Lack of an association between E-selectin gene polymorphisms and risk of Kawasaki disease


Toshihiko Shirakawa, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Nagasaki University Hospital, Sakamoto 1-7-1, Nagasaki 852-8501, Japan. Email:


Background:  Coronary artery lesions (CAL) are a serious complication of Kawasaki disease (KD). The increased serum E-selectin level during the acute phase of KD and the association of E-selectin gene (SELE) polymorphisms with the prevalence of coronary artery disease in adults suggest a possible association between SELE polymorphisms and the development of CAL in KD patients.

Methods:  The subjects consisted of 177 KD patients, including 59 with and 118 without CAL, and 305 healthy controls. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of SELE, 98G>T (rs1805193) and Ser128Arg (rs5361), were genotyped by direct sequencing and the high-resolution melting curve method, respectively. The allele distributions were assessed using the chi-squared test.

Results:  There were no significant differences in the T allele frequency at 98G>T between KD patients and controls (1.4% vs 1.0%, P= 0.55) or between KD patients with and without CAL (1.7% vs 1.3%, P= 0.77). Similarly, there were no differences in the distribution of the C allele (128Arg) at Ser128Arg between KD patients and controls (4.5% vs 3.4%, P= 0.40) or between KD patients with and without CAL (4.2% vs 4.7%, P= 0.86).

Conclusion:  Although no association was detected between these SELE polymorphisms and the prevalence of KD or the development of CAL, this may have been due to the study limitations, including a low frequency of the minor alleles and a small sample size. A larger-scale association study is needed in order for a definitive conclusion to be made as to whether these SNP are associated with susceptibility to KD or not.