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Coll Antropol. 2003 Dec;27(2):523-36.

Molecular variation at functional genes and the history of human populations--data on candidate genes for cardiovascular risk in the Mediterranean.

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  • 1Department of Animal Biology-Anthropology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


A screening of 22 DNA polymorphisms has been performed in western Mediterranean populations (Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, and Central Mediterranean Islands). The analyzed markers correspond to polymorphic sites in several candidate genes for cardiovascular disease including apolipopoteins and their receptors (APOA1, APOB, APOE, APOC1, APOC2, LPA, and LDLR), genes implied in the hemostasis regulation (Factor VII, alpha and beta-fibrinogen, alpha and beta platelet-integrin, tissue plasminogen activator, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1), and the angiotensin converting enzyme gene. The results are presented of a partial analysis carried out in following population samples: 6 from the Iberian Peninsula, 2 from Morocco, and 3 from Central Islands. The degree of inter-population diversity was significant and consistent with data from other kind of genetic polymorphisms. The apportionment of the allele frequency variance supported a geographic structure into three main regions: Central Mediterranean Islands, the Iberia Peninsula and North Africa. The genetic distance pattern is compatible with a south-to-north North African influence in the Iberian Peninsula and a remarkable gene flow from sub-Saharan Africa into Morocco. Epidemiologically, North Africa is characterized by high frequencies of LPA PNR alleles with high number of repeats (protective for cardiovascular risk) and high frequencies of the APOE*E4 allele (risk factor) as compared with European populations.

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