Since beta2-adrenergic receptors are important regulators of blood pressure, genetic variation in this receptor could explain risk of elevated blood pressure in selected individuals. We tested the hypothesis that Gly16Arg, Gln27Glu, and Thr164Ile in the beta2-adrenergic receptor gene associated with elevated blood pressure.
We genotyped 9185 individuals from the adult Danish general population.
Allele frequencies of 16Arg, 27Glu, and 164Ile were 0.38, 0.44, and 0.01, respectively. Among women never treated with antihypertensive medication those heterozygous for Thr164Ile versus non-carriers had increased diastolic blood pressure (P=0.02). Women heterozygous for Thr164Ile versus non-carriers had an odds ratio for elevated blood pressure of 1.93 (95% CI: 1.30-2.86). Finally, women double heterozygous for Thr164Ile and Gln27Glu or Gly16Arg versus non-carriers at all 3 loci had an odds ratio for elevated blood pressure of 2.49 (1.28-4.85) or 3.19 (1.46-6.97). In men, blood pressure was not influenced by this genetic variation.
In women Thr164Ile heterozygosity is associated with increased diastolic blood pressure, and represent a risk factor for elevated blood pressure in women in the general population. This was most pronounced in those women also heterozygous for Gln27Glu or Gly16Arg.
In vertebrates, the synthesis of prostaglandin hormones is catalyzed by cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, a constitutively expressed enzyme with physiological functions, and COX-2, induced in inflammation and cancer. Prostaglandins have been detected in high concentrations in certain corals, and previous evidence suggested their biosynthesis through a lipoxygenase-allene oxide pathway. Here we describe the discovery of an ancestor of cyclooxygenases that is responsible for prostaglandin biosynthesis in coral. Using a homology-based polymerase chain reaction cloning strategy, the cDNA encoding a polypeptide with approximately 50% amino acid identity to both mammalian COX-1 and COX-2 was cloned and sequenced from the Arctic soft coral Gersemia fruticosa. Nearly all the amino acids essential for substrate binding and catalysis as determined in the mammalian enzymes are represented in coral COX: the arachidonate-binding Arg(120) and Tyr(355) are present, as are the heme-coordinating His(207) and His(388); the catalytic Tyr(385); and the target of aspirin attack, Ser(530). A key amino acid that determines the sensitivity to selective COX-2 inhibitors (Ile(523) in COX-1 and Val(523) in COX-2) is present in coral COX as isoleucine. The conserved Glu(524), implicated in the binding of certain COX inhibitors, is represented as alanine. Expression of the G. fruticosa cDNA afforded a functional cyclooxygenase that converted exogenous arachidonic acid to prostaglandins. The biosynthesis was inhibited by indomethacin, whereas the selective COX-2 inhibitor nimesulide was ineffective. We conclude that the cyclooxygenase occurs widely in the animal kingdom and that vertebrate COX-1 and COX-2 are evolutionary derivatives of the invertebrate precursor.
We determined the prevalence of GSTP1-Ile105 and GSTP1-Val105 alleles in patients with bronchial asthma and atopic dermatitis and healthy children of 2 groups (randomized and nonatopic control). The GSTP1-Ile105/Val105 genotype determines the resistance to atopic dermatitis (odds ratio=0.51; 95% confidence interval: 0.28-0.92; p=0.023). However, both homozygotes are at high risk of developing atopic dermatitis (near-significant differences).
The steroid 21-hydroxylase enzyme (P450c21) is a member of the cytochrome P450 gene superfamily and is essential in the synthesis of cortisol and aldosterone. Defects in the P450c21B gene cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a common genetic disorder leading to virilization of newborn females. To avoid the standard cloning of mutant P450c21 genes from genomic libraries, we amplified the full-length genomic P450c21 genes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The amplification was followed by cloning and sequencing of a defective P450c21B gene. The strategy described here is generally applicable, thus making a simple characterization of the complete P450c21B gene possible. The method was tested in one patient suffering from the simple virilizing form of CAH. The sequence of three independent clones originating from the defective P450c21B showed that Ile at position 172 in exon 4 was substituted by Asn. The identical mutation also has been found in other patients with CAH.