Myocardial infarction might result from the interactions of multiple genetic and environmental factors, none of which can cause disease solely by each of themselves. Although molecular biological studies revealed that a number of proteins are possibly involved in its pathogenesis, little, if any genetic findings have been reported so far. To reveal genetic backgrounds of myocardial infarction, we performed a large-scale, case-control association study using 92,788 gene-based single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. We have identified functional SNPs within the lymphotoxin-alpha gene (LTA) located on chromosome 6p21 that conferred susceptibility to myocardial infarction. Furthermore, we could identify galectin-2 protein as a binding partner of LTA protein. The association study further revealed that a functional SNP in LGALS2 encoding galectin-2, which led to altered secretion of LTA, also indicated a risk of myocardial infarction. A combined strategy of genetic and molecularcellular biological approaches may be useful in clarifying pathogenesis of common diseases.