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Ulcerative colitis (UC), a common form of inflammatory bowel disease, is a multifactorial disorder with significant genetic influence. Recently, evidence of linkage on chromosome 7q near the intestinal mucin gene MUC3 was reported by an affected sib-pair analysis. Previous reports indicate a possible mucin abnormality in UC patients, but whether genetic differences in a specific mucin gene are associated with UC is unknown. Here we analysed polymorphisms of variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) within this gene using DNAs obtained from 243 Japanese (75 patients with UC and 168 controls), and to confirm the result we undertook a two-stage examination using 328 Caucasian samples (72 and 85 with UC in the first and second stages, respectively, and 171 controls). When the frequency of patients carrying one or two rare VNTR alleles was compared with that of controls, a significant increase was found first in Japanese patients (odds ratio 2.72, 95% CI 1.17-6.32, P = 0. 0308). In Caucasians, the odds ratio was 2.80 (95% CI 1.36-5.75, P = 0.0079) in the first stage, 2.43 (95% CI 1.20-4.92, P = 0.0196) in the second stage and 2.60 (95% CI 1.41-4.80, P = 0.0024) in total. The overall odds ratio was 2.64 (95% CI 1.60-4.33, P = 0.0001). This result suggests that rare alleles of the MUC3 gene may confer genetic predisposition to UC.


Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





307 - 311


Alleles, Colitis, Ulcerative, DNA, Gene Frequency, Humans, Intestinal Mucosa, Minisatellite Repeats, Mucin-3, Mucins, Odds Ratio, Polymorphism, Genetic