Gene by smoking interaction in blood pressure

May E Montasser, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Hypertension (HT) is mediated by the interaction of many genetic and environmental factors. Previous genome-wide linkage analysis studies have found many loci that show linkage to HT or blood pressure (BP) regulation, but the results were generally inconsistent. Gene by environment interaction is among the reasons that potentially explain these inconsistencies between studies. Here we investigate influences of gene by smoking (GxS) interaction on HT and BP in European American (EA), African American (AA) and Mexican American (MA) families from the GENOA study. A variance component-based method was utilized to perform genome-wide linkage analysis of systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and HT status, as well as bivariate analysis for SBP and DBP for smokers, non-smokers, and combined groups. The most significant results were found for SBP in MA. The strongest signal was for chromosome 17q24 (LOD = 4.2), increased to (LOD = 4.7) in bivariate analysis but there was no evidence of GxS interaction at this locus (p = 0.48). Two signals were identified only in one group: on chromosome 15q26.2 (LOD = 3.37) in non-smokers and chromosome 7q21.11 (LOD = 1.4) in smokers, both of which had strong evidence for GxS interaction (p = 0.00039 and 0.009 respectively). There were also two other signals, one on chromosome 20q12 (LOD = 2.45) in smokers, which became much higher in the combined sample (LOD = 3.53), and one on chromosome 6p22.2 (LOD = 2.06) in non-smokers. Neither peak had very strong evidence for GxS interaction (p = 0.08 and 0.06 respectively). A fine mapping association study was performed using 200 SNPs in 30 genes located under the linkage signals on chromosomes 15 and 17. Under the chromosome 15 peak, the association analysis identified 6 SNPs accounting for a 7 mmHg increase in SBP in MA non-smokers. For the chromosome 17 linkage peak, the association analysis identified 3 SNPs accounting for a 6 mmHg increase in SBP in MA. However, none of these SNPs was significant after correcting for multiple testing, and accounting for them in the linkage analysis produced very small reductions in the linkage signal. The linkage analysis of BP traits considering the smoking status produced very interesting signals for SBP in the MA population. The fine mapping association analysis gave some insight into the contribution of some SNPs to two of the identified signals, but since these SNPs did not remain significant after multiple testing correction and did not explain the linkage peaks, more work is needed to confirm these exploratory results and identify the culprit variations under these linkage peaks.

Subject Area

Genetics|Statistics|Environmental science

Recommended Citation

Montasser, May E, "Gene by smoking interaction in blood pressure" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3297431.