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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Polymorphism in the 5'-flanking region of human glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier subunit gene is associated with myocardial infarction.

BACKGROUND: Human glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL) is a rate-limiting enzyme for the synthesis of glutathione that plays a crucial role in antioxidant defense mechanisms in most mammalian cells, including vascular cells. Oxidants transcriptionally upregulate GCL genes for glutathione synthesis, providing a protective mechanism against oxidative stress-induced cellular dysfunction. This study examined the hypothesis that variation in the GCL genes may be associated with coronary artery disease in which oxidative stress plays a pathogenetic role. METHODS AND RESULTS: We searched for the common variants in the 5'-flanking region of the GCL modifier subunit (GCLM) gene in patients with myocardial infarction (MI). We found a polymorphism (-588C/T) in which the T allele showed lower promoter activity (40% to 50% of C allele) in response to oxidants in the luciferase reporter gene assay. Allele frequencies were determined by polymerase chain reaction-based analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphism in 429 patients with MI and 428 control subjects (as defined by angiography) in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. The frequency of the T polymorphism was significantly higher in the MI group than in the control group (CT and TT genotypes: 31.5% in MI group versus 19.2% in control group; P<0.001). In multiple logistic regression analysis, the T polymorphism was a risk factor for MI independent of traditional coronary artery disease risk factors (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.38 to 2.83; P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the -588T polymorphism of the GCLM gene may suppress GCLM gene induction in response to oxidants and that it is a genetic risk factor for MI.[1]


  1. Polymorphism in the 5'-flanking region of human glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier subunit gene is associated with myocardial infarction. Nakamura, S., Kugiyama, K., Sugiyama, S., Miyamoto, S., Koide, S., Fukushima, H., Honda, O., Yoshimura, M., Ogawa, H. Circulation (2002) [Pubmed]
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