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Blood. 2012 Feb 23;119(8):1929-34. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-10-383661. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Influence of single nucleotide polymorphisms in factor VIII and von Willebrand factor genes on plasma factor VIII activity: the ARIC Study.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Sciences Section, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.


Factor VIII (FVIII) functions as a cofactor for factor IXa in the contact coagulation pathway and circulates in a protective complex with von Willebrand factor (VWF). Plasma FVIII activity is strongly influenced by environmental and genetic factors through VWF-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the coding and promoter sequence in the FVIII gene have been extensively studied for effects on FVIII synthesis, secretion, and activity, but impacts of non-disease-causing intronic SNPs remain largely unknown. We analyzed FVIII SNPs and FVIII activity in 10,434 healthy Americans of European (EA) or African (AA) descent in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Among covariates, age, race, diabetes, and ABO contributed 2.2%, 3.5%, 4%, and 10.7% to FVIII intersubject variation, respectively. Four intronic FVIII SNPs associated with FVIII activity and 8 with FVIII-VWF ratio in a sex- and race-dependent manner. The FVIII haplotypes AT and GCTTTT also associated with FVIII activity. Seven VWF SNPs were associated with FVIII activity in EA subjects, but no FVIII SNPs were associated with VWF Ag. These data demonstrate that intronic SNPs could directly or indirectly influence intersubject variation of FVIII activity. Further investigation may reveal novel mechanisms of regulating FVIII expression and activity.

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