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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 May;34(5):1093-101. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.302088. Epub 2014 Feb 27.

Genome-wide association study for circulating tissue plasminogen activator levels and functional follow-up implicates endothelial STXBP5 and STX2.

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From National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA (J.H., A.D.J., C.J.O.); Division of Intramural Research, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD (J.H., A.D.J., C.J.O.); MRC Human Genetics Unit, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom (J.E.H., V.V., A.F.W., C.H.); The Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY (M.Y., C.J.L.); Departments of Cardiology (S.T., J.W.J.), Gerontology and Geriatrics (S.T., A.J.M.d.C., R.G.J.W.), and Molecular Epidemiology (P.E.S.), Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands; Department of Cardiology, Division of Heart and Lungs, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands (F.W.A.); Durrer Center for Cardiogenetic Research, ICIN-Netherlands Heart Institute, Utrecht, the Netherlands (F.W.A.); Institute of Cardiovascular Science, Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom (F.W.A.); Cardiovascular Genetics and Genomics Group, Atherosclerosis Research Unit, Department of Medicine (M.S.-L., L.F., P.E., A.H.), Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden; INSERM UMRS 937, Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris, France (D.-A.T., V.T., T.O.M., F.C.); ICAN Institute for Cardiometabolism and Nutrion, Paris, France (D.-A.T., V.T., F.C.); Departments of Public Health Sciences (W.M.C., B.B.W., F.C.) and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (M.M.S.), Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; Departments of Epidemiology (N.L.S., B.M.P., B.M.), Medicine (B.M.P., J.C.B.), and Health Services (B.M.P.), University of Washington, Seattle, WA; Group Health Research Institute, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, WA (N.L.S., B.M.P.); Seattle Epidemiologic Research and Information Center, VA Office of Research and

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  • Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Aug;34(8):E19. Yamkauchi, Munekazu [corrected to Yamakuchi, Munekazu].



Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a serine protease, catalyzes the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin, the major enzyme responsible for endogenous fibrinolysis. In some populations, elevated plasma levels of tPA have been associated with myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular diseases. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies to identify novel correlates of circulating levels of tPA.


Fourteen cohort studies with tPA measures (N=26 929) contributed to the meta-analysis. Three loci were significantly associated with circulating tPA levels (P<5.0×10(-8)). The first locus is on 6q24.3, with the lead single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; rs9399599; P=2.9×10(-14)) within STXBP5. The second locus is on 8p11.21. The lead SNP (rs3136739; P=1.3×10(-9)) is intronic to POLB and <200 kb away from the tPA encoding the gene PLAT. We identified a nonsynonymous SNP (rs2020921) in modest linkage disequilibrium with rs3136739 (r(2)=0.50) within exon 5 of PLAT (P=2.0×10(-8)). The third locus is on 12q24.33, with the lead SNP (rs7301826; P=1.0×10(-9)) within intron 7 of STX2. We further found evidence for the association of lead SNPs in STXBP5 and STX2 with expression levels of the respective transcripts. In in vitro cell studies, silencing STXBP5 decreased the release of tPA from vascular endothelial cells, whereas silencing STX2 increased the tPA release. Through an in silico lookup, we found no associations of the 3 lead SNPs with coronary artery disease or stroke.


We identified 3 loci associated with circulating tPA levels, the PLAT region, STXBP5, and STX2. Our functional studies implicate a novel role for STXBP5 and STX2 in regulating tPA release.


fibrinolysis; genome-wide association study; hemostasis; meta-analysis; tissue plasminogen activator

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