Genetic Variant of PAX1 Gene Is Functionally Associated With Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis in the Chinese Population

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2018 Apr 1;43(7):492-496. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002475.


Study design: A genetic association study.

Objective: To investigate the association between PAX1 gene and the susceptibility of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) in the Chinese population and to further determine the functional variant regulating PAX1 expression in patients with AIS.

Summary of background data: In a previous study an enhancer locus of PAX1 was reported to be associated with the development of AIS in the Caucasian and the Japanese population. However, there is a paucity of knowledge concerning the functional role of PAX1 in the Chinese AIS population.

Methods: The single-nucleotide polymorphisms rs6137473 and rs169311 were genotyped in 2914 patients and 3924 controls. The differences of genotype and allele distributions between patients and controls were calculated using chi-square test. Paraspinal muscles were collected from 84 patients with AIS. The one-way analysis of variance test was used to compare the mRNA expression of PAX1 among different genotypes.

Results: Both rs6137473 and rs169311 were significantly associated with the susceptibility of AIS. Allele G of rs6137473 and allele A of rs169311 can significantly add to the risk of AIS with an odds ratio of 1.17 and 1.22, respectively. Moreover, there was significant difference regarding the expression of the PAX1 between the concave side and convex side of the patients. Patients with genotype AA of rs169311 had significantly decreased expression of PAX1 than those with genotype CC. As for rs6137473, no remarkable difference of PAX1 expression was found among the three genotypes.

Conclusion: The association between PAX1 and the susceptibility of AIS was successfully replicated in the Chinese population. Moreover, rs169311 could be a functional variant regulating the expression of PAX1 in the paraspinal muscles of AIS. Further functional analysis is warranted for a comprehensive knowledge on the contribution of this variant to the development of AIS.

Level of evidence: 3.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Kyphosis / genetics
  • Male
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Scoliosis / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • PAX1 transcription factor