Recent reports have suggested a reproducible association between the rs11121615 SNP, located within an intron of the castor zinc finger 1 (CASZ1) gene, and varicose veins. This study aimed to determine if this variant is also differentially associated with the various clinical classifications of chronic venous disease (CVD). The rs11121615 SNP was genotyped in two independent cohorts from New Zealand (n = 1876 controls /1606 CVD cases) and the Netherlands (n = 1626/2966). Participants were clinically assessed using well-established CVD criteria. The association between the rs11121615 C-allele and varicose veins was validated in both cohorts. This was strongest in those with higher clinical severity classes and was not significant in those with non-varicose vein CVD. Functional analysis of the rs11121615 variant demonstrated that the risk allele was associated with increased enhancer activity. This study demonstrates that the CASZ1 gene associated C-allele of rs11121615 has a significant, reproducible, association with CVD (CEAP C ≥ 2 meta-odds ratio 1.31, 95% CI 1.27-1.34, P = 1 × 10-98, PHet = 0.25), but not with non-varicose vein (CEAP C1, telangiectasia or reticular veins) forms of venous disease. The effect size of this association therefore appears to be susceptible to influence by phenotypic heterogeneity, particularly if a cohort includes a large number of cases with lower severity CVD.

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Journal Scientific Reports
Jones, G.T, Marsman, J. (Judith), Pardo Cortes, L.M, Nijsten, T.E.C, de Maeseneer, M.G.R, Phillips, V. (Vicky), … van Rij, A.M. (2019). A variant of the castor zinc finger 1 (CASZ1) gene is differentially associated with the clinical classification of chronic venous disease. Scientific Reports, 9(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-50586-2