A Functional Variant of Lipopolysaccharide Binding Protein Predisposes to Sepsis and Organ Dysfunction in Patients with Major Trauma

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To determine the hypothesis that genetic variations of the lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) gene influence risk for the development of sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction (MOD) in patients with major trauma.


Lipopolysaccharide-binding protein plays a central role in innate immune response as the first line of defense and directing the microbial-induced activation of the inflammatory host response. Although a total of 112 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified so far within the entire LBP gene, only a few SNPs have been studied.


Nine haplotype tagging SNPs (htSNPs) were selected from 51 SNPs with a minor allele frequency of ≥5% using the HapMap database for the Chinese Han population. Two independent cohorts of major trauma patients were recruited. The 9 htSNPs were genotyped using pyrosequencing method and analyzed in relation to the risk of development of sepsis and MOD, LBP production, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced activation of peripheral blood leukocytes. Moreover, the functionality of the rs2232618 polymorphism was assessed by the observation of its effects on the binding and activation of LPS and the LBP-CD14 interaction.


Among the 9 htSNPs, only the rs2232618 was significantly associated with higher susceptibility to sepsis and MOD in the 2 independent cohorts of major trauma patients recruited from southwest and eastern China. This SNP was also significantly associated with LPS-induced activation of peripheral blood leukocytes. In addition, the rs2232618 polymorphism could enhance LBP protein activities, showing significant increases in LPS binding to macrophages, LPS-induced cellular activation, and LBP-CD14 interaction at the presence of the variant LBP protein.


The rs2232618 polymorphism is a functional SNP and confers host susceptibility to sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction in patients with major trauma.

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