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J Biol Chem. 2017 Aug 25;292(34):13970-13985. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.778134. Epub 2017 Jun 30.

A haplotype variant of the human chromogranin A gene (CHGA) promoter increases CHGA expression and the risk for cardiometabolic disorders.

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From the Department of Biotechnology, Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036.
the Department of Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India.
the Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Madras Medical Mission, Chennai 600037, and.
From the Department of Biotechnology, Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036,


The acidic glycoprotein chromogranin A (CHGA) is co-stored/co-secreted with catecholamines and crucial for secretory vesicle biogenesis in neuronal/neuroendocrine cells. CHGA is dysregulated in several cardiovascular diseases, but the underlying mechanisms are not well established. Here, we sought to identify common polymorphisms in the CHGA promoter and to explore the mechanistic basis of their plausible contribution to regulating CHGA protein levels in circulation. Resequencing of the CHGA promoter in an Indian population (n = 769) yielded nine single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): G-1106A, A-1018T, T-1014C, T-988G, G-513A, G-462A, T-415C, C-89A, and C-57T. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis indicated strong LD among SNPs at the -1014, -988, -462, and -89 bp positions and between the -1018 and -57 bp positions. Haplotype analysis predicted five major promoter haplotypes that displayed differential promoter activities in neuronal cells; specifically, haplotype 2 (containing variant T alleles at -1018 and -57 bp) exhibited the highest promoter activity. Systematic computational and experimental analyses revealed that transcription factor c-Rel has a role in activating the CHGA promoter haplotype 2 under basal and pathophysiological conditions (viz. inflammation and hypoxia). Consistent with the higher in vitro CHGA promoter activity of haplotype 2, individuals carrying this haplotype had higher plasma CHGA levels, plasma glucose levels, diastolic blood pressure, and body mass index. In conclusion, these results suggest a functional role of the CHGA promoter haplotype 2 (occurring in a large proportion of the world population) in enhancing CHGA expression in haplotype 2 carriers who may be at higher risk for cardiovascular/metabolic disorders.


c-Rel; cardiovascular; chromogranin; haplotype; hypoxia; inflammation; metabolic disease; single nucleotide polymorphisms; transcription; transcriptional regulation

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