The HACD4 haplotype as a risk factor for atherosclerosis in males
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The 9p21.3 region is rich in regulatory elements and the variants in this region had been robustly associated with carotid plaque (CP) and coronary artery disease (CAD). Recently, the HACD4 was detected as one of the six 9p21.3 differentially expressed genes associated with accelerated atherosclerosis and greater mean lesion area in the Athsq1 congenic mice. We aimed to investigate association of two potentially regulatory HACD4 variants (rs36212560 I/D, rs2275888 T/C) and their haplotypes with CP occurrence and the level of HACD4 and FOCAD mRNA in human CP tissue. Association study was replicated in CAD patients who suffered the first myocardial infarction. Study included 477 CP patients, 303 healthy controls and replication sample of 224 CAD males from the population of Serbia. Genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR using TaqMan (R) technology. The gene expression was detected with TaqMan (R) technology. We have found significant and independen...t association of DT haplotype with CP presence in men (adjusted OR = 1.64 CI = 1.12-2.42, p = 0.011). The result was replicated in CAD males (adjusted OR = 1.84 CI = 1.21-2.80, p = 0.004). We have found significant effect of the HACD4 rs2275888 on FOCAD mRNA level in human CP tissue. Correction for multiple testing was performed. Independent association of HACD4 haplotypes with atherosclerotic phenotypes connotes a further validation and replication in larger cohorts as well as functional studies to enlighten the potential mechanism of its action in pathophysiology of atherosclerosis.