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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Oct 28;52(18):1468-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.07.047.

Naturally occurring human genetic variation in the 3'-untranslated region of the secretory protein chromogranin A is associated with autonomic blood pressure regulation and hypertension in a sex-dependent fashion.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Center for Human Genetics and Genomics, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, California 92093, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We aimed to determine whether the common variation at the chromogranin A (CHGA) locus increases susceptibility to hypertension.

BACKGROUND:

CHGA regulates catecholamine storage and release. Previously we systematically identified genetic variants across CHGA.

METHODS:

We carried out dense genotyping across the CHGA locus in >1,000 individuals with the most extreme blood pressures (BPs) in the population, as well as twin pairs with autonomic phenotypes. We also characterized the function of a trait-associated 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) variant with transfected CHGA 3'-UTR/luciferase reporter plasmids.

RESULTS:

CHGA was overexpressed in patients with hypertension, especially hypertensive men, and CHGA predicted catecholamines. In individuals with extreme BPs, CHGA genetic variants predicted BP, especially in men, with a peak association occurring in the 3'-UTR at C+87T, accounting for up to approximately 12/ approximately 9 mm Hg. The C+87T genotype predicted CHGA secretion in vivo, with the +87T allele (associated with lower BP) also diminishing plasma CHGA by approximately 10%. The C+87T 3'-UTR variant also predicted the BP response to environmental (cold) stress; the same allele (+87T) that diminished basal BP in the population also decreased the systolic BP response to stress by approximately 12 mm Hg, and the response was smaller in women (by approximately 6 mm Hg). In a chromaffin cell-transfected CHGA 3'-UTR/luciferase reporter plasmid, the +87T allele associated with lower BP also decreased reporter expression by approximately 30%. In cultured chromaffin cells, reducing endogenous CHGA expression by small interfering ribonucleic acid caused approximately two-thirds depletion of catecholamine storage vesicles.

CONCLUSIONS:

Common variant C+87T in the CHGA 3'-UTR is a functional polymorphism causally associated with hypertension especially in men of the population, and we propose steps ("intermediate phenotypes") whereby in a sex-dependent fashion this genetic variant influences the ultimate disease trait. These observations suggest new molecular strategies to probe the pathophysiology, risk, and rational treatment of hypertension.

PMID:
19017515
PMCID:
PMC2659417
DOI:
10.1016/j.jacc.2008.07.047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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