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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55869. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055869. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

FADS gene polymorphisms confer the risk of coronary artery disease in a Chinese Han population through the altered desaturase activities: based on high-resolution melting analysis.

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Center for Gene Diagnosis, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China.



We explored the desaturase activities and the correlation of fatty acid desaturases (FADS) gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with plasma fatty acid in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients in a Chinese Han population.


Plasma fatty acids were measured by gas chromatography in CAD patients (n = 505) and a control group (n = 510). Five SNPs in the FADS gene were genotyped with high-resolution melting (HRM) methods.


After adjustment, D6D activity, assessed as arachidonic acid (AA, C20:4n-6)/linoleic acid (LA, C18:2n-6), was higher in CAD patients (p<0.001). D9D activity, which was estimated as the ratio of palmitoleic acid (C16:1)/palmitic acid (C16:0) or oleic acid (C18:1n-9) to stearic acid (C18:0), was also increased (p<0.001). The genotype distributions of rs174537 G>T and rs174460 C>T were different between the two groups. The rs174537 T allele was associated with a lower risk of CAD [OR 0.743, 95% CI (0.624, 0.884), p = 0.001]. Carriers of the rs174460 C allele were associated with a higher risk of CAD [OR 1.357, 95% CI (1.106, 1.665), p = 0.003].


We firstly report that the rs174460 C allele is associated with a higher risk of CAD, and confirm that the rs174537 T allele is associated with a lower risk of CAD. Our results indicate that FADS gene polymorphisms are likely to influence plasma fatty acid concentrations and desaturase activities.

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