Aims: Recent studies have suggested that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in miRNA genes or their binding sites may alter an individual's susceptibility to coronary artery disease (CAD). In the present study, the association between two such SNPs (rs2910164 in miR-146a and rs12190287, which disrupts miRNA binding to TCF21) and CAD, in an Iranian population, was evaluated and in silico analyses were conducted to predict disease-related effects of miR-146a rs2910164. Methods: The study population consisted of angiographically confirmed CAD patients (n = 300) and asymptomatic controls (n = 300). Genotyping was performed using the TaqMan genotyping assay. Results: A multivariate regression analysis revealed that rs2910164 was associated with an increased CAD risk in the dominant model. In comparison to GG homozygotes, individuals who carry at least one C allele had a significantly higher risk of CAD (GC+CC vs. GG, odds ratios [OR]: 1.82, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 1.18-2.80, p = 6.358e-3). Similarly, TCF21 rs12190287 was observed to be associated with CAD in a log-additive model (OR: 0.63, 95% CI: 0.45-0.88, p = 6.584e-3). An in silico analysis revealed that rs2910164 may modify the miR-146a-3p-mediated regulation of several biological processes that are implicated in CAD, like those that are related to the regulation of apoptosis and immune response. Conclusions: Our data provide the first evidence for the association of miR-146a rs2910164 and TCF21 rs12190287 with CAD in an Iranian population, encouraging further research to elucidate the disease-related effects of miR-146a rs2910164.
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