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Clin Genet. 2008 Aug;74(2):155-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2008.01043.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

Cathepsin S genotypes are associated with Apo-A1 and HDL-cholesterol in lean and obese French populations.

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INSERM, Nutriomique U872, Paris, France; Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6, UMR S 872, Paris, France.


Cathepsin S (CTSS) is a cysteine protease that has a central role in remodeling the extracellular matrix and, as such, has been implicated in the etiology of cardiovascular disease. This study used five tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) to screen the CTSS gene in healthy lean (n = 1891) and obese French populations (n = 477) for their association with various phenotypes: body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, glycemia, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), apolipoprotein A1 (Apo-A1) and apolipoprotein B. Significant associations were identified between rs11576175 tSNP (A/G) and Apo-A1 and HDL-C plasma levels in a sex-specific manner. Lean female subjects homozygous for the minor A-allele had higher levels of circulating Apo-A1 (p = 0.0003), while lean male A/A carriers had higher levels of HDL-C (p = 0.007) compared with the other genotypes. In the obese cohort, associations were found between three tSNPs and Apo-A1 levels in adult female subjects: rs10888390 (G/A), p = 0.01; rs10888394 (T/C), p = 0.03; and rs1136774 (C/T), p = 0.02; however, only rs10888390 remained significant in a combined model (p = 0.03). These results provide the first evidence that CTSS sequence variations are associated with two human metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular diseases: plasma Apo-A1 and HDL-C concentrations.

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