Contribution of Polymorphisms in IKZF1 Gene to Childhood Acute Leukemia: A Meta-Analysis of 33 Case-Control Studies


Two common polymorphisms in the IKZF1 gene (rs4132601 and rs11978267 variants) have been reported to be associated with childhood acute leukemia (AL) risk, however the results were inconsistent. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis to generate large-scale evidence on whether IKZF1 variants are risk factors for childhood AL.


The PubMed, Embase, EBSCO, and Web of Science were searched up to June 2, 2014 for studies on the association of IKZF1 polymorphisms with childhood AL risk. Data were extracted and the odd ratios (ORs) and95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated by a fixed-effects orrandom-effects model. Subgroup analysis by ethnicity and leukemia subtype, sensitivity and cumulative meta-analyses were performed. Moreover, publication bias was assessed by Begg's and Egger's tests.


In total, 33 case control studies were finally included in this meta-analysis. For rs4132601 polymorphism, significantly increased AL risk was observed in all genetic models (the association was still significant when the p value was Bonferroni adjusted to 0.025). In the subgroup analysis by tumor type, statistical association was observed in B-cell precursor ALL (BCP-ALL). Additionally, when stratified by ethnicity, significantly increased AL risk was only observed in European subgroup, but not among African or mixed population subgroups. Finally, similar results were found forrs11978267 polymorphism.


In summary, this meta-analysis provides evidence that rs4132601 and rs11978267 polymorphisms in the IKZF1 gene mightcontribute to the occurrence of BCP-ALL, especially in European populations. Moreover, further studies with large sample size are required to clarify possibleroles of IKZF1 variants in other ethnic groups (e.g., Asians and Africans).