Association of cathepsin B gene polymorphisms with tropical calcific pancreatitis

Mahurkar, S.; Idris, M. M.; Reddy, D. N.; Bhaskar, S.; Rao, G. V.; Thomas, V.; Singh, L.; Chandak, G. R.
September 2006
Gut;Sep2006, Vol. 55 Issue 9, p1270
Academic Journal
Background and aims: Tropical calcific pancreatitis (TCP) is a type of chronic pancreatitis unique to countries in the tropics. Mutations in pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor (SPINK1) rather than cationic trypsinogen (PRSS1) explain the disease in only 50% of TCP patients. As cathepsin B (CTSB) is known to activate cationic trypsinogen, we attempted to understand the role of CTSB mutations in TCP. Evidence of epistatic interaction was investigated with the previously associated N34S SPINK1 allele, a variant considered to be a modifier rather than a true susceptibility allele. Subjects and methods: We sequenced the coding region of CTSB gene in 51 TCP patients and 25 controls and further genotyped 89 patients and 1 30 controls from the same cohort for Leu26Val, C595T, T663C, and Ser53Gly polymorphisms. The positive findings observed in the earlier cohort were re-examined in an ethnically matched replication cohort comprising 166 patients and 1 75 controls. Appropriate statistical analyses were performed and Bonferroni correction for multiple testing was applied. Results: We found a statistically significant association of the Val26 allele at Leu26Val polymorphism with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.15 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.60-2.90 (p=0.009)), after Bonferroni correction (corrected p value = 0.025). This significant association of Leu26Val with TCP was replicated in another cohort (OR 2.10 (95% CI 1.56-2.84); p=0.013). Val26 allele also showed significantly higher frequency in N34S positive and N345 negative patients than in controls (p =0.019 and 0.013, respectively). We also found significant differences in the mutant allele frequencies at Ser53Gly and C595T single nucleotide polymorphisms between N34S positive patients and controls (p=0.008 and 0.001, respectively). Although haplotype analysis did not complement the results of allelic association, it did uncover a unique haplotype protective for TCP (p=0.0035). Conclusion: Our study suggests for the first time that CTSB polymorphisms are associated with TCP. As PRSS1 mutations are absent in TCP and the N34S SPINK1 mutation is proposed to play a modifier role, these variants may be critical as a trigger for cationic trypsinogen activation.


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