BackgroundAdolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a well characterized spinal deformity that affects millions of children world-wide. The role of genetic factor in the development of AIS has been of great interest, since obvious hereditary trend has been observed in AIS families. In a recent study of Chinese population, a novel mutation of AKAP2 was observed in a family with AIS, which was believed to play a role in the aetiopathogenesis of AIS. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether genetic variants of AKAP2 are associated with the susceptibility of AIS in Chinese population.MethodsSNV c.2645A > C of AKAP2 was genotyped in 1254 AIS patients and 1232 normal controls using allelic-specific multiple ligase detection reactions. SNPs located within 5′ untranslated regions (UTR) and 3′ UTR of AKAP2 gene were selected using Haploview (v2.6). The GWAS database composed of 961 AIS patients and 1499 controls was referred to for the genotyping information. Relative mRNA expression of AKAP2 in peripheral blood was analyzed for 33 patients and 18 age-matched controls. Comparison between the cases and controls were performed using the Student’s t test. PLINK (v1.90) was used to calculate the association of each SNP with the disease by Cochran-Armitage trend test.ResultsAll the patients and the controls presented a genotype of AA in c.2645A > C of AKAP2, and there was no case of mutation in any subject. A total of 116 SNPs covering AKAP2 were analyzed, and none of these SNPs was found to have significantly different allele frequency between the cases and the controls. The mRNA expression of AKAP2 in patients was comparable with that in the controls (1.9 ± 0.8 vs. 1.8 ± 0.7, p = 0.66).ConclusionsOur large-scale replication study of the variants in AKAP2 gene did not support its association with the susceptibility of AIS in the Chinese population. In future study, functional studies of the previously reported rare variant are warranted to clarify whether the variant can regulate the expression of AKAP2. The whole AKAP2 gene can be sequenced in larger AIS cohorts to identify potentially missing mutations.