Genome-wide association study of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and interleukin-6 levels in multiethnic HIV+ cohorts

ESPRIT, SMART and START Study Groups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives:Elevated levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), D-dimer, and C-reactive protein (hsCRP) are associated with increased incidence of comorbid disease and mortality among people living with HIV (PLWH). Prior studies suggest a genetic basis for these biomarker elevations in the general population. The study objectives are to identify the genetic basis for these biomarkers among PLWH.Methods:Baseline levels of hsCRP, D-dimer, and IL-6, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were determined for 7768 participants in three HIV treatment trials. Single variant analysis was performed for each biomarker on samples from each of three ethnic groups [African (AFR), Admixed American (AMR), European (EUR)] within each trial including covariates relevant to biomarker levels. For each ethnic group, the results were pooled across trials, then further pooled across ethnicities.Results:The transethnic analysis identified three, two, and one known loci associated with hsCRP, D-dimer, and IL-6 levels, respectively, and two novel loci, FGB and GCNT1, associated with D-dimer levels. Lead SNPs exhibited similar effects across ethnicities. Additionally, three novel, ethnic-specific loci were identified: CATSPERG associated with D-dimer in AFR and PROX1-AS1 and TRAPPC9 associated with IL-6 in AFR and AMR, respectively.Conclusion:Eleven loci associated with three biomarker levels were identified in PLWH from the three studies including six loci known in the general population and five novel loci associated with D-dimer and IL-6 levels. These findings support the hypothesis that host genetics may partially contribute to chronic inflammation in PLWH and help to identify potential targets for intervention of serious non-AIDS complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the US Department of Health and Human Services nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US government. This research was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Funding Information:
This project was funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, NIH under contract no. HHSN261200800001E. The project is also supported in part by other NIH grants UM1-AI068641, UM1-AI120197, 1U01-AI36780, U01-AI046362, U01-AI042170 and U01-AI46957.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • D-dimer
  • HIV
  • cardiovascular disease
  • chronic inflammation
  • genome-wide association studies
  • high-sensitivity C-reactive protein
  • interleukin-6


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