Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which degrade extracellular proteins as part of a variety of physiological processes, and their inhibitors have been implicated in the dental caries process. Here we investigated 28 genetic variants spanning the MMP10, MMP14, and MMP16 genes to detect association with dental caries experience in 13 age- and race-stratified (n=3,587) samples from 6 parent studies. Analyses were performed separately for each sample, and results were combined across samples by meta-analysis. Two SNPs (rs2046315 and rs10429371) upstream of MMP16 were significantly associated with caries in an individual sample of white adults and via meta-analysis across 8 adult samples after gene-wise adjustment for multiple comparisons. Noteworthy is SNP rs2046315 (p=8.14×10-8) association with caries in white adults. This SNP was originally nominated in a genome-wide-association study (GWAS) of dental caries in a sample of white adults and yielded associations in a subsequent GWAS of surface level caries in white adults as well. Therefore, in our study, we were able to recapture the association between rs2046315 and dental caries in white adults. Although we did not strengthen evidence that MMPs 10, 14, and 16 influence caries risk, MMP16 is still a likely candidate gene to pursue.
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