Background Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays a pivotal role in early atherosclerosis, vascular remodelling and development of atherosclerotic lesion. The potentially functional MMP-9 polymorphisms may contribute to the susceptibility of coronary artery disease (CAD). We aimed to investigate the association between three SNPs (−1562C>T, R279Q, R668Q) of the MMP-9 gene with CAD in the Uighur population of China.
Materials and methods 375 angiographic ally proven patients with coronary artery disease and 417 sex-matched and ethnically matched controls were genotyped for MMP-9 polymorphisms by the PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technique. Genotype/allele frequencies were compared in patients and controls using the χ2 test. The relationship between the polymorphism of the MMP-9 gene and the severity of coronary arterial stenosis was analysed also.
Results At MMP-9 -1562 locus, there were significant differences between patients and controls (p<0.05), leading to significant OR for TT genotype (OR=2.93, CI 1.03 to 8.72) and R allele (OR=1.85, CI 1.34 to 2.54). These OR were higher in the sub-sample of smokers (3.87 and 2.06, respectively). Binary logistic regression analysis also confirmed that R allele carriers (CT and TT) have a higher risk of CAD (OR=2.07, CI 1.09 to 2.95). MMP-9 R279Q locus did not show significant differences between patients and controls. But QQ genotype and Q allele were significant risk factors in the smoker group. Q allele carriers (RQ and QQ) were also significantly associated with CAD risk in the smoker group (OR=1.43, CI 1.13 to 1.2.26). The R668Q locus did not show significant differences between two groups. And the MMP-9 polymorphism may not be useful as a predictor of the severity of coronary atherosclerosis.
Conclusions MMP-9 -1562T allele and TT genotype are significantly associated with CAD patients from the Uighur Population of China (Xinjiang). This association was stronger in smokers, supporting the conclusion that an interaction between MMP-9 activity and smoking augments CAD risk. Further studies with larger sample size are warranted to confirm these associations in different populations.