Background: Fucosyltransferase 2 (FUT2) participates in intestinal antigen secretion and bacterial adherence. FUT2 homozygous nonsense mutations (FUT2M) and subsequent nonsecretor status is associated with Crohn's disease (CD). The common null allele is rs601338. We assessed the relationship between FUT2M and disease course. Methods: In consecutive adult CD outpatients, clinical, biochemical, and genetic data were collected at baseline visits. Patients were longitudinally followed over 5 years. The primary outcome analyzed the relationship between FUT2M and rates of CD patients in persistent steroid-free clinical remission requiring neither surgery, biologics, nor immunomodulators. Results: Sixty-two CD patients were recruited. FUT2M homozygotes (rs601338 or any mutation in linkage disequilibrium) were detected in 27% of CD (17/62). Patients with rs601338 mutations had higher rates of the primary outcome (homozygous: 46.6%, heterozygous: 28.0%, wild-type: 5.3%, P=0.02). Similar findings existed for CD patients with homozygous mutations in any single-nucleotide polymorphism for FUT2 (homozygous: 41.2%, heterozygous: 25.9%, wild-type: 5.6%, P=0.04). On multivariable analysis, rs601338 mutation was associated with the primary outcome (odds ratio=3.4, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-8.7, P=0.01), while other parameters were not. Mutation of rs601338 was associated with lower rates of penetrating disease (homozygous: 13.3%, heterozygous: 28.0%, wild-type: 52.6%, P=0.05) and particularly in high-risk patients (homozygous: 0%, heterozygous: 37.5%, wild-type: 83.3%, P=0.01). Conclusions: FUT2 mutation status is associated with a favorable clinical course in CD. Further confirmatory studies are needed.
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