Characterization of glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) gene polymorphisms and a family-based association study with hypertension

Charles C Chung, The University of Texas Grad. Sch. of Biomed. Sci. at Houston


Hypertension is usually defined as having values of systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg. Hypertension is one of the main adverse effects of glucocorticoid on the cardiovascular system. Glucocorticoids are essential hormones, secreted from adrenal glands in circadian fashion. Glucocorticoid's effect on blood pressure is conveyed by the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1), an omnipresent nuclear transcription factor. Although polymorphisms in this gene have long been implicated to be a causal factor for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, no study has yet thoroughly interrogated the gene's polymorphisms for their effect on blood pressure levels. Therefore, I have first resequenced ∼30 kb of the gene, encompassing all exons, promoter regions, 5'/3' UTRs as well as at least 1.5 kb of the gene's flanking regions from 114 chromosome 5 monosomic cell lines, comprised of three major American ethnic groups—European American, African American and Mexican American. I observed 115 polymorphisms and 14 common molecularly phased haplotypes. A subset of markers was chosen for genotyping study populations of GENOA (Genetic Epidemiology Network of Atherosclerosis; 1022 non-Hispanic whites, 1228 African Americans and 954 Mexican Americans). Since these study populations include sibships, the family-based association test was performed on 4 blood pressure-related quantitative variables—pulse, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure. Using these analyses, multiple correlated SNPs are significantly protective against high systolic blood pressure in non-Hispanic whites, which includes rsb198, a SNP formerly associated with beneficial body compositions. Haplotype association analysis also supports this finding and all p-values remained significant after permutation tests. I therefore conclude that multiple correlated SNPs on the gene may confer protection against high blood pressure in non-Hispanic whites. ^

Subject Area

Biology, Genetics

Recommended Citation

Chung, Charles C, "Characterization of glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) gene polymorphisms and a family-based association study with hypertension" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3289982.