Through a series of linkage analyses in a large Chinese family cohort of psoriasis, we previously identified and confirmed a non-HLA psoriasis linkage locus PSORS9 within a small region at 4q31.2-32.1. Within the critical region of the PSORS9 locus, IL-15 has been long recognized as a strong candidate gene for psoriasis. In this study, we investigated the association between IL-15 genetic polymorphisms and psoriasis in a large Chinese sample. Highly significant evidence for association was identified at a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (g.96516A --> T) within the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of the IL-15 gene (P=0.00006, after correction for multiple testing). Haplotype analysis using the SNPs within the 3'UTR region also provided strong supporting evidence for association (P=0.00005), where we identified a haplotype of the 3'UTR region of IL-15 associated with increased risk to psoriasis (odds ratio=1.65). This association was also supported by the results of our expression activity analyses, where we demonstrated that the identified risk haplotype is associated with an increased activity of IL-15. Therefore, we provided early evidence for the important role of IL-15 genetic variants in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, probably by increasing interleukin production and inflammation in the lesions of psoriasis.