The NFKB1 promoter polymorphism (-94ins/delATTG) alters nuclear translocation of NF-κB1 in monocytes after lipopolysaccharide stimulation and is associated with increased mortality in sepsis

Anesthesiology. 2013 Jan;118(1):123-33. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e318277a652.


Background: Because the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) coupled pathway is believed to amplify inflammation prevailing in sepsis, the authors tested the hypotheses that the insertion-deletion polymorphism (-94ins/delATTG) (1) alters nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB and activator protein-1 (NF-κB1) in monocytes after lipopolysaccharide stimulation; (2) affects lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-κB1 messenger RNA expression, tumor necrosis factor α concentrations, and tissue factor activity; and (3) may be associated with increased 30-day mortality in patients with sepsis.

Methods: Nuclear translocation of NF-κB1 in monocytes after lipopolysaccharide stimulation from healthy blood donors was performed with immunofluorescence staining (n = 5 each). Lipopolysaccharide-induced NF-κB1 messenger RNA expression was measured with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR; n = 60), tumor necrosis factor α concentrations with a multiplexing system kit (n = 60), and tissue factor activity with thromboelastometry (n = 105). In a prospective study, multivariate proportional hazard analysis tested 30-day mortality in patients with sepsis (n = 143).

Methods and results: The homozygous deletion genotype compared with the homozygous insertion genotype was associated with a nearly twofold increase in nuclear translocation of NF-κB1 (P = 0.001), a threefold difference in NF-κB1 messenger RNA expression (P = 0.001), and a twofold increase in tissue factor expression (P = 0.021). The deletion allele in adults with severe sepsis was tested as an independent prognostic factor for 30-day mortality (hazard ratio, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.13-4.8; P = 0.022). Mortality was 25% for homozygous insertion genotypes but 41% for combined heterozygous deletion/homozygous deletion genotypes (P = 0.034).

Conclusion: The deletion allele of the NFκB1 insertion-deletion (-94ins/delATTG) polymorphism is associated with increased 30-day mortality in patients with severe sepsis and increased reaction of the innate immune system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Lipopolysaccharides / genetics
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes
  • NF-kappa B / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sepsis / genetics
  • Sepsis / metabolism
  • Sepsis / mortality*
  • Translocation, Genetic / genetics*


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B