Background: Previous reports have shown that heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) may be associated with Crohn disease. However, genetic analysis of the HSP70 gene in Crohn disease has not been done. The aim of this study is to investigate whether HSP70-2 gene polymorphism is involved in susceptibility to Crohn disease in the Japanese population and whether it correlates with clinical manifestation of the disease. Methods: A total of 108 genetically unrelated patients with Crohn disease and 108 healthy controls were typed for HSP70-2 PstI polymorphism by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (alleles A and B). Patients with Crohn disease were classified into two types: either perforating or non-perforating. Results: Genotype and allele frequency did not differ between patients and controls. In patients with Crohn disease, allele A frequency was significantly higher in the non-perforating than in the perforating type (P = 0.02). When patients with Crohn disease of more than 6.7 years' duration were assessed, the differences in genotype and allele frequency between the two groups became more significant (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: These data suggest that HSP70-2 gene polymorphic allele A is a possible genetic marker of less severe clinical phenotype in Japanese patients with Crohn disease.
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