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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Mar 14, 1995; 92(6): 1851–1855.

Allele-specific increase in basal transcription of the plasminogen-activator inhibitor 1 gene is associated with myocardial infarction.


Increased plasminogen-activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) activity is a common finding in patients with coronary heart disease. Here we provide evidence for an independent, etiological role of PAI-1 in myocardial infarction. The 4G allele of a recently described common 4/5-guanine-tract (4G/5G) polymorphism in the PAI-1 promoter is associated with higher plasma PAI-1 activity. The prevalence of the 4G allele is significantly higher in patients with myocardial infarction before the age of 45 than in population-based controls (allele frequencies of 0.63 vs. 0.53). Both alleles bind a transcriptional activator, whereas the 5G allele also binds a repressor protein to an overlapping binding site. In the absence of bound repressor, the basal level of PAI-1 transcription is increased.

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