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Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2013 Apr;6(2):163-70. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.112.964254. Epub 2013 Mar 16.

Gene-centric analysis identifies variants associated with interleukin-6 levels and shared pathways with other inflammation markers.

Author information

1
Genetic Epidemiology Group, Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom. t.shah@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND- Inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), a possible risk factor for coronary heart disease, has an estimated heritability of >60%, but to date few genetic variants influencing IL-6 levels are known. METHODS AND RESULTS- We used the ITMAT-Broad-Care (IBC) HumanCVD disease BeadChip in the Whitehall II study (N=4911) and British Women's Heart and Health Study (N=3445) to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with circulating IL-6 levels. Twenty-two single-nucleotide polymorphisms from 7 loci (IL6R/TDRD10, HLA-DRB1, BUD13, SEZ6L, IL1RN, TRIB3, and ABO) were associated with IL-6 (P<10(-5)), although none were associated with the IL6 gene itself. With the exception of TRIB3, all loci have been previously reported in genome-wide association studies for autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. Fourteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the IL6R region in high-linkage disequilibrium (r(2)>0.9) with a nonsynonymous variant, rs2228145, were also associated with IL-6 and C-reactive protein concentration (P<10(-5)). An IL-6-specific weighted allele score explained 2% of the variance of log IL-6 levels (P=2.4410(-22)) in Whitehall II and 1% (P=1.910(-8)) in British Women's Heart and Health Studies. CONCLUSIONS- Multiple common genetic variants of modest effect influence IL-6 concentration. Several loci contain single-nucleotide polymorphisms, exhibiting overlapping associations with autoimmune and cardiovascular disorders and other circulating biomarkers. Genetic variants associated with IL-6 provide important tools for probing the causal relevance of IL-6 signaling in a range of cardiometabolic diseases.

PMID:
23505291
DOI:
10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.112.964254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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