Clinical relevance of single nucleotide polymorphisms of the high mobility group box 1 protein gene in patients with major trauma in Southwest China

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High-mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1) is a pivotal late mediator involved in the development of sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in critically ill patients. While several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been demonstrated to be critical determinants for outcome of critically ill patients, little is known about the clinical relevance of SNPs of the HMGB1 gene up to date.


A total of 3 tag SNPs of the HMGB1 gene were selected using HapMap database and linkage disequilibrium analysis. The tag SNPs were genotyped using a pyrosequencing methodology in 556 unrelated patients with major trauma. Peripheral whole blood samples obtained immediately after admission were determined for HMGB1 production in response to ex vivo lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation.


The rs2249825 SNP and the haplotype TCG were significantly associated with LPS–induced HMGB1 production by peripheral blood leukocytes. There were also significant differences in sepsis morbidity rate and MOD scores among patients with different genotypes of the rs2249825. In addition, the patients with the wild-type haplotype TCG had a lesser sepsis morbidity rate and MOD scores than those without the TCG haplotype.


A total of 3 SNPs might act as tag SNPs for the entire HMGB1 gene. The rs2249825 and the haplotype TCG might be used as relevant risk estimate for the development of sepsis and MODS in patients with major trauma.

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