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J Thromb Haemost. 2006 Jun;4(6):1279-87.

Association between patterns of nucleotide variation across the three fibrinogen genes and plasma fibrinogen levels: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.

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1
Departments of Epidemiology and Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98101-1448, USA. apreiner@u.washington.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous genotype-phenotype association studies of fibrinogen have been limited by incomplete knowledge of genomic sequence variation within and between major ethnic groups in FGB, FGA, and FGG.

METHODS:

We characterized the linkage disequilibrium patterns and haplotype structure across the human fibrinogen gene locus in European- and African-American populations. We analyzed the association between common polymorphisms in the fibrinogen genes and circulating levels of both 'functional' fibrinogen (measured by the Clauss clotting rate method) and total fibrinogen (measured by immunonephelometry) in a large, multi-center, bi-racial cohort of young US adults.

RESULTS:

A common haplotype tagged by the A minor allele of the well-studied FGB-455 G/A promoter polymorphism (FGB 1437) was confirmed to be strongly associated with increased plasma fibrinogen levels. Two non-coding variants specific to African-American chromosomes, FGA 3845 A and FGG 5729 G, were each associated with lower plasma fibrinogen levels. In European-Americans, a common haplotype tagged by FGA Thr312Ala and several other variant alleles across the fibrinogen gene locus was strongly associated with decreased fibrinogen levels as measured by functional assay, but not by immunoassay. Overall, common polymorphisms within the three fibrinogen genes explain < 2% of the variability in plasma fibrinogen concentration.

CONCLUSIONS:

In young adults, fibrinogen multi-locus genotypes are associated with plasma fibrinogen levels. The specific single nucleotide polymorphism and haplotype patterns for these associations differ according to population and also according to phenotypic assay. It is likely that a substantial proportion of the heritable component of plasma fibrinogen concentration is due to genetic variation outside the three fibrinogen genes.

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