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      Renin-Angiotensin System Gene Polymorphisms and Atrial Fibrillation: A Regression Approach for the Detection of Gene-Gene Interactions in a Large Hospitalized Population

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          Objectives: To test the association between renin-angiotensin system gene variants and atrial fibrillation (AF) using a regression approach. Methods: A total of 1,236 consecutive patients (227 with AF and 1,009 with normal sinus rhythm as controls) were recruited. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene I/D polymorphism; T174M, M235T, G–6A, A–20C, G–152A and G–217A polymorphisms of the angiotensinogen (AGT) gene, and A1166C polymorphism of the angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R) gene were genotyped. We used a regression approach based on a generalized linear model to evaluate haplotype effects and to detect gene-gene interactions by incorporating interaction terms in the model. Results: In single-locus analyses, no locus was associated with AF. After adjustment for AF risk factors, we found significant differences in the global AGT gene haplotype profile (the global score statistic = 30.364, p = 0.001) and individual haplotype frequencies between AF patients and controls. Furthermore, significant 2-way gene-gene interactions between ACE I/D polymorphism and AGT gene haplotypes and between AT1R A1166C polymorphism and AGT gene haplotypes, and 3-way interaction between ACE I/D, AT1R A1166C and AGT gene haplotypes were detected. Conclusions: These results are compatible with the concept of multilocus and multigene effects in determining the risk of complex diseases such as AF, which would be missed with conventional single-locus approaches.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Score tests for association between traits and haplotypes when linkage phase is ambiguous.

          A key step toward the discovery of a gene related to a trait is the finding of an association between the trait and one or more haplotypes. Haplotype analyses can also provide critical information regarding the function of a gene; however, when unrelated subjects are sampled, haplotypes are often ambiguous because of unknown linkage phase of the measured sites along a chromosome. A popular method of accounting for this ambiguity in case-control studies uses a likelihood that depends on haplotype frequencies, so that the haplotype frequencies can be compared between the cases and controls; however, this traditional method is limited to a binary trait (case vs. control), and it does not provide a method of testing the statistical significance of specific haplotypes. To address these limitations, we developed new methods of testing the statistical association between haplotypes and a wide variety of traits, including binary, ordinal, and quantitative traits. Our methods allow adjustment for nongenetic covariates, which may be critical when analyzing genetically complex traits. Furthermore, our methods provide several different global tests for association, as well as haplotype-specific tests, which give a meaningful advantage in attempts to understand the roles of many different haplotypes. The statistics can be computed rapidly, making it feasible to evaluate the associations between many haplotypes and a trait. To illustrate the use of our new methods, they are applied to a study of the association of haplotypes (composed of genes from the human-leukocyte-antigen complex) with humoral immune response to measles vaccination. Limited simulations are also presented to demonstrate the validity of our methods, as well as to provide guidelines on how our methods could be used.
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            KCNQ1 gain-of-function mutation in familial atrial fibrillation.

            Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia whose molecular etiology is poorly understood. We studied a family with hereditary persistent AF and identified the causative mutation (S140G) in the KCNQ1 (KvLQT1) gene on chromosome 11p15.5. The KCNQ1 gene encodes the pore-forming alpha subunit of the cardiac I(Ks) channel (KCNQ1/KCNE1), the KCNQ1/KCNE2 and the KCNQ1/KCNE3 potassium channels. Functional analysis of the S140G mutant revealed a gain-of-function effect on the KCNQ1/KCNE1 and the KCNQ1/KCNE2 currents, which contrasts with the dominant negative or loss-of-function effects of the KCNQ1 mutations previously identified in patients with long QT syndrome. Thus, the S140G mutation is likely to initiate and maintain AF by reducing action potential duration and effective refractory period in atrial myocytes.
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              Effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition on the development of the atrial fibrillation substrate in dogs with ventricular tachypacing-induced congestive heart failure.

              Atrial structural remodeling creates a substrate for atrial fibrillation (AF), but the underlying signal transduction mechanisms are unknown. This study assessed the effects of ACE inhibition on arrhythmogenic atrial remodeling and associated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) changes in a dog model of congestive heart failure (CHF). Dogs were subjected to various durations of ventricular tachypacing (VTP, 220 to 240 bpm) in the presence or absence of oral enalapril 2 mg. kg(-1). d(-1). VTP for 5 weeks induced CHF, local atrial conduction slowing, and interstitial fibrosis and prolonged atrial burst pacing-induced AF. Atrial angiotensin II concentrations and MAPK expression were increased by tachypacing, with substantial changes in phosphorylated forms of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and p38-kinase. Enalapril significantly reduced tachypacing-induced changes in atrial angiotensin II concentrations and ERK expression. Enalapril also attenuated the effects of CHF on atrial conduction (conduction heterogeneity index reduced from 3.1+/-0.4 to 1.9+/-0.2 ms/mm, P<0.05), atrial fibrosis (from 11.9+/-1.1% to 7.5+/-0.4%, P<0.01), and mean AF duration (from 651+/-164 to 218+/-75 seconds, P<0.05). Vasodilator therapy of a separate group of VTP dogs with hydralazine and isosorbide mononitrate did not alter CHF-induced fibrosis or AF promotion. CHF-induced increases in angiotensin II content and MAPK activation contribute to arrhythmogenic atrial structural remodeling. ACE inhibition interferes with signal transduction leading to the AF substrate in CHF and may represent a useful new component to AF therapy.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                July 2008
                01 February 2008
                : 111
                : 1
                : 1-7
                aDivision of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, and bDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
                113419 Cardiology 2008;111:1–7
                © 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 4, References: 28, Pages: 7
                Original Research


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