A functional variant in the CARD4 gene and risk of premature coronary heart disease

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Infection and innate immunity have been suggested as playing an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The recently discovered pattern-recognition receptor (PRR) proteins initiate signalling after host–pathogen interactions and several PRRs, especially the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), have been shown to be involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. A new addition to the PRRs is CARD4, a gene that encodes the protein nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 1 (NOD1) and that seems to be associated with barrier function in chronic inflammatory disorders. Recently, a functional variant in the CARD4 gene, the insertion–deletion polymorphism ND1 +32656, has been associated with inflammatory barrier diseases (inflammatory bowel diseases and asthma). We analysed the frequencies of this known functional mutation in the CARD4 gene and of the two adjacent variants, rs2075822 and rs2907748, in a German sample of 1440 unrelated early onset coronary heart disease (CHD) patients and healthy controls. Genotype and haplotype data showed no evidence for a significant association of these CARD4 variants with CHD. Our results suggest that the analysed CARD4 mutations do not play a major role in the aetiology of CHD.

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