Genome-wide mapping of human loci for essential hypertension
ABSTRACT Blood pressure may contribute to 50% of the global cardiovascular disease epidemic. By understanding the genes predisposing to common disorders such as human essential hypertension we may gain insights into novel pathophysiological mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets. In the Medical Research Council BRItish Genetics of HyperTension (BRIGHT) study, we aim to identify these genetic factors by scanning the human genome for susceptibility genes for essential hypertension. We describe the results of a genome scan for hypertension in a large white European population.
We phenotyped 2010 affected sibling pairs drawn from 1599 severely hypertensive families, and completed a 10 centimorgan genome-wide scan. After rigorous quality control, we analysed the genotypic data by non-parametric linkage, which tests whether genes are shared in excess among the affected sibling pairs. Lod scores, calculated at regular points along each chromosome, were used to assess the support for linkage.
Linkage analysis identified a principle locus on chromosome 6q, with a lod score of 3.21 that attained genome-wide significance (p=0.042). The inclusion of three further loci with lod scores higher than 1.57 (2q, 5q, and 9q) also show genome-wide significance (p=0.017) when assessed under a locus-counting analysis.
These findings imply that human essential hypertension has an oligogenic element (a few genes may be involved in determination of the trait) possibly superimposed on more minor genetic effects, and that several genes may be tractable to a positional cloning strategy.
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ABSTRACT: The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) has long been recognized as playing a vital role in blood pressure (BP) regulation due to its involvement in fluid balance. The genes encoding the three ENaC subunits are likewise important contributors to hypertension, both in rare monogenic diseases and in the general population.The unusually high numbers of genetic variants associated with complex traits, including BP, that are located in non-coding areas suggest an involvement of these variants in regulatory functions. This may involve differential regulation of expression in different tissues.Emerging evidence indicates that the ENaC plays an important role in BP determination not only via its actions in the kidney, but also in other tissues commonly involved in BP regulation. The ENaC in the central nervous system is proposed to regulate BP via sympathetic nervous system activity. Recent evidence suggests that the ENaC contributes to vascular function and the myogenic response. Additional roles potentially include initiation of the baroreceptor reflex via ENaC in the baroreceptors and driving high salt intake with a ‘taste for salt’ via ENaC in the tongue.The present review describes the involvement of the ENaC in the determination of BP at a genetic and physiological level, detailing recent evidence for its role in the kidney and in other pertinent tissues.Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology 08/2013; 40(8). DOI:10.1111/1440-1681.12124 · 2.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Blood pressure (BP) is a complex trait, with a heritability of 30 to 40%. Several genome wide associated BP loci explain only a small fraction of the phenotypic variation. Family studies can provide an important tool for gene discovery by utilizing trait and genetic transmission information among relative-pairs. We have previously described a quantitative trait locus at chromosome 17q25.3 influencing systolic BP in American Indians of the Strong Heart Family Study (SHFS). This locus has been reported to associate with variation in BP traits in family studies of Europeans, African Americans and Hispanics.BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 11/2014; 14(1):158. DOI:10.1186/1471-2261-14-158 · 1.50 Impact Factor