Background: Connexin (Cx) proteins are the building blocks of gap junctions. Among
these, Cx37 and Cx40 are expressed on vascular system and reported to have cardioprotective role.
Linking polymorphisms in genes coding for Cx and coronary artery disease (CAD) risk showed conflicting
results in different populations. None has been studied before in Egyptians. Therefore, the aims
of this study were to investigate the influence of Cx37 C1019T and Cx40 A71G polymorphisms on the
predisposition of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in Egyptians, to study linkage disequilibrium (LD)
and combined effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and to correlate the genotypes with
sVCAM-1 serum levels.
Methods: Total of 201 Egyptian subjects were recruited for the study. They were divided into 104 AMI
patients and 97 healthy controls. Genotypes for each participant were determined using a polymerase
chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Serum sVCAM-1was measured
Results: Allele frequencies for both Cx37 and Cx40 were not significantly different between AMI and
Controls (p=0.93 and p=0.26 respectively). Moreover, studying the dominant and recessive models
concluded that none of the genotypes was a risk factor. Both SNPs were not in LD (R2=0.0027). Serum
analysis showed higher levels of sVCAM-1 in AMI patients (p<0.0001). sVCAM-1 levels were not
significantly different among SNPs (Cx37; p=0.244 and Cx40; p=0.266).
Conclusion: This study shows that Cx37 C1019T and Cx40 A71G polymorphisms are not associated
with cardioprotective role in Egyptians. Moreover, both SNPs are inherited separately and none of the
genotypes were associated with higher sVCAM-1 levels.