A functional variant in the promoter region regulates the C-reactive protein gene and is a potential candidate for increased risk of atrial fibrillation.

Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital Yun-Lin Branch, Yun-Lin, Taiwan.
Journal of Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 6.46). 02/2012; 272(3):305-15. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2012.02531.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In a large population-based cohort, the level of C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients at baseline predicts an increased risk of future development of atrial fibrillation (AF). The mechanism of this increased risk is unknown. Furthermore, both the molecular effects of CRP on atrial myocytes and fibroblasts and whether genetic variants in the CRP gene predispose to AF are also unknown.
A genetic association study between CRP gene polymorphisms and AF was performed in two independent populations (I: 100 AF patients and 101 controls; II: 348 AF patients and 356 controls), with functional studies to elucidate the mechanism of association.
Three polymorphisms (T-861C, A-821G and C-390A/C-390T) were found in the 1-kb promoter of CRP. A triallelic polymorphism (C-390A/C-390T) captured all haplotype information and determined the CRP gene promoter activity and the plasma CRP level, and was in nearly complete linkage disequilibrium with G1059C polymorphism in exon 2. The -390A variant was associated with a higher CRP gene promoter activity, a higher plasma CRP level and a higher risk of AF. Patients with AF also had a higher plasma CRP level than controls. CRP significantly increased the inward L-type calcium current in atrial myocytes with no changes in other ionic currents. CRP did not affect the expressions of type I alpha 1 (COL1A1), type III alpha 1 (COL3A1) and type 1 alpha 2 (COL1A2) procollagens in atrial fibroblasts.
A CRP gene promoter triallelic polymorphism was associated with CRP gene promoter activity, determined the plasma level of CRP, and predicted the risk of AF. The mechanism of this may be via augmention of calcium influx by CRP in atrial myocytes, but not because of atrial fibrosis.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rapid electrical activation, as occurs during atrial fibrillation (AF), is known to cause reductions in atrial refractoriness and in adaptation to heart rate of the atrial refractory period, which promote the maintenance of AF, but the underlying ionic mechanisms are unknown. In order to determine the cellular and ionic changes caused by chronic atrial tachycardia, we studied right atrial myocytes from dogs subjected to 1, 7, or 42 days of atrial pacing at 400/min and compared them with myocytes from sham-operated dogs (pacemaker inserted but not activated). Rapid pacing led to progressive increases in the duration of AF induced by bursts of 10-Hz stimuli (from 3 +/- 2 seconds in sham-operated dogs to 3060 +/- 707 seconds in dogs after 42 days of pacing, P < .001) and reduced atrial refractoriness and adaptation to rate of the atrial refractory period. Voltage-clamp studies showed that chronic rapid pacing did not alter inward rectifier K+ current, rapid or slow components of the delayed rectifier current, the ultrarapid delayed rectifier current, T-type Ca2+ current, or Ca(2+)-dependent Cl- current. In contrast, the densities of transient outward current (Ito) and L-type Ca2+ current (ICa) were progressively reduced as the duration of rapid pacing increased, without concomitant changes in kinetics or voltage dependence. In keeping with in vivo changes in refractoriness, action potential duration (APD) and APD adaptation to rate were decreased by rapid pacing. The response of the action potential and ionic currents flowing during the action potential (as exposed by action-potential voltage clamp) to nifedipine in normal canine cells and in cells from rapidly paced dogs suggested that the APD changes in paced dogs were largely due to reductions in ICa. We conclude that sustained atrial tachycardia reduces Ito and ICa, that the reduced ICa decreases APD and APD adaptation to rate, and that these cellular changes likely account for the alterations in atrial refractoriness associated with enhanced ability to maintain AF in the model.
    Circulation Research 10/1997; 81(4):512-25. · 11.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation, the most common sustained cardiac-rhythm disturbance, affects over 2 million Americans and accounts for one third of all strokes in patients over 65 years of age. The molecular basis for atrial fibrillation is unknown, and palliative therapy is used to control the ventricular rate and prevent systemic emboli. We identified a family of 26 members of whom 10 had atrial fibrillation which segregated as an autosomal dominant disease. We subsequently identified two additional families in which the disease was linked to the same locus. We screened the human genome with 300 polymorphic dinucleotide-repeat markers using an unconventional strategy of pooling the DNA samples into two groups (affected and unaffected), which reduced the sample size by approximately 90 percent, before performing linkage analysis to map the locus. This made it possible to identify potential loci within a few weeks. The lod scores for markers D10S569 and D10S607, located at 10q22-q24, were 3.60 in Family 1. The disease locus in Families 2 and 3 was also linked to the same markers, with lod scores of 6.02 and 5.35 for markers D10S569 and D10S607, respectively, when data on all three families were combined. Haplotype analysis of the three families showed that the locus was between D10S1694 and D10S1786, an interval of 11.3 centimorgans. Identification of the gene for familial atrial fibrillation will help to elucidate the molecular basis of the disease and provide insights into acquired forms. The strategy of pooling DNA samples for analysis is more time and cost effective than conventional screening and should accelerate the process of gene mapping in the future.
    New England Journal of Medicine 04/1997; 336(13):905-11. · 54.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have derived a cardiac muscle cell line, designated HL-1, from the AT-1 mouse atrial cardiomyocyte tumor lineage. HL-1 cells can be serially passaged, yet they maintain the ability to contract and retain differentiated cardiac morphological, biochemical, and electrophysiological properties. Ultrastructural characteristics typical of embryonic atrial cardiac muscle cells were found consistently in the cultured HL-1 cells. Reverse transcriptase-PCR-based analyses confirmed a pattern of gene expression similar to that of adult atrial myocytes, including expression of alpha-cardiac myosin heavy chain, alpha-cardiac actin, and connexin43. They also express the gene for atrial natriuretic factor. Immunohistochemical staining of the HL-1 cells indicated that the distribution of the cardiac-specific markers desmin, sarcomeric myosin, and atrial natriuretic factor was similar to that of cultured atrial cardiomyocytes. A delayed rectifier potassium current (IKr) was the most prominent outward current in HL-1 cells. The activating currents displayed inward rectification and deactivating current tails were voltage-dependent, saturated at >+20 mV, and were highly sensitive to dofetilide (IC50 of 46.9 nM). Specific binding of [3H]dofetilide was saturable and fit a one-site binding isotherm with a Kd of 140 +/- 60 nM and a Bmax of 118 fmol per 10(5) cells. HL-1 cells represent a cardiac myocyte cell line that can be repeatedly passaged and yet maintain a cardiac-specific phenotype.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/1998; 95(6):2979-84. · 9.81 Impact Factor