Genomic Variant in IL-37 Confers A Significant Risk of Coronary Artery Disease

Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 9;7:42175. doi: 10.1038/srep42175.


The interleukin 1 family plays an important role in the immune and inflammatory responses. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a chronic inflammatory disease. However, the genetic association between IL-37, the seventh member of the IL-1 family, and CAD is unknown. Here we show that a single nucleotide polymorphism in the IL-37 gene (rs3811047) confers a significant risk of CAD. We have performed an association analysis between rs3811047 and CAD in two independent populations with 2,501 patients and 3,116 controls from China. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis has been performed to determine if the IL-37 expression level is influenced by rs3811047. We show that the minor allele A of rs3811047 is significantly associated with CAD in two independent populations under a recessive model (Padj = 5.51 × 10-3/OR = 1.56 in the GeneID Northernern population and Padj = 1.23 × 10-3/OR = 1.45 in the GeneID Central population). The association became more significant in the combined population (Padj = 9.70 × 10-6/OR = 1.47). Moreover, the association remains significant in a CAD case control population matched for age and sex. Allele A of rs3811047 shows significant association with a decreased mRNA expression level of IL-37 (n = 168, P = 3.78 × 10-4). These data suggest that IL37 is a new susceptibility gene for CAD, which provides a potential target for the prevention and treatment of CAD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alleles
  • China
  • Coronary Artery Disease / genetics*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Risk Factors


  • IL37 protein, human
  • Interleukin-1