Preterm delivery (PTD) is the leading cause of infant mortality and morbidity worldwide. The etiology of PTD is largely unknown but is believed to be complex, encompassing multiple genetic and environmental determinants. To date, reports of genetic studies on PTD are sparse. We conducted a large-scale case-control study exploring the associations of 426 single-nucleotide polymorphisms with PTD in 300 mothers with PTD and 458 mothers with term deliveries at the Boston Medical Center. Twenty-five candidate genes were included in the final haplotype analysis, and a significant association of F5 gene haplotype with PTD was revealed and remained significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing (P=0.025). We applied different statistical algorithms (both Gibbs sampling and expectation-maximization) in reconstructing haplotype phases and different tests (both likelihood ratio test and permutation test) in association analyses, and all yielded similar results. We also performed exploratory ethnicity-specific analyses, which confirmed the consistent findings of the F5 gene across the ethnic groups. Moreover, IL1R2 (P=0.002 in Blacks), NOS2A (P < 0.001 in Whites) and OPRM1 (P=0.004 in Hispanics) gene haplotypes were associated with PTD in specific ethnic groups but not at global significance level. In summary, our results underscore the potentially important role of F5 gene variants in the pathogenesis of PTD, and demonstrate the utility of high-throughput genotyping and a haplotype-based approach in dissecting genetic basis of complex traits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology