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The N125S polymorphism in the cathepsin G gene (rs45567233) is associated with susceptibility to osteomyelitis in a Spanish population.


BACKGROUND:Osteomyelitis is a bone infection, most often caused by Staphylococcus aureus, in which neutrophils play a key role. Cathepsin G (CTSG) is a bactericidal serine protease stored in the neutrophil azurophilic granules. CTSG regulates inflammation, activating matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and coagulation. Lactoferrin (LF), a neutrophil glycoprotein, increases CTSG catalytic activity and induces inflammation. The aim of this study was to analyze a potential association between a CTSG gene polymorphism (Asn125Ser or N125S, rs45567233), that modifies CTSG activity, and could affect susceptibility to, or outcome of, bacterial osteomyelitis. METHODS:CTSG N125S polymorphism was genotyped in 329 osteomyelitis patients and 415 controls), Blood coagulation parameters, serum CTSG activity, LF, MMP-1, MMP-13, and soluble receptor activator for nuclear factor κ B ligand (sRANKL) levels were assessed in carriers of the different CTSG genotypes. RESULTS:CTSG N125S (AG) genotype was significantly more frequent among osteomyelitis patients than controls (15.5% vs. 9.4%, p = 0.014). CTSG N125S variant G allele (AG +GG) was also more frequent among osteomyelitis patients (8.1% vs. 4.7%, p = 0.01). Serum CTSG activity and LF levels were significantly higher in osteomyelitis patients carrying the G allele compared to those with the AA genotype, (p<0.04). Serum MMP-1 was lower in the G allele carriers (p = 0.01). There was no association between these genotypes and clinical characteristics of osteomyelitis, or coagulation parameters, MMP-13, and sRANKL serum levels. CONCLUSIONS:Differences in the CTSG gene might enhance osteomyelitis susceptibility by increasing CTSG activity and LF levels.

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