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Role of Genetic Changes in the Progression of Cardiovascular Diseases

Author(s): S. A. Sheweita | H. Baghdadi | A. R. Allam

Journal: International Journal of Biomedical Science
ISSN 1550-9702

Volume: 7;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 238;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: cardiovascular diseases | genetic polymorphisms of nitric oxidesynthase | hyperlipidemia | hyperhomocysteinemia polymorphisms | paraoxonase polymorphisms

This review aims to investigate the role of genetic changes in the development of cardiovascular diseases [CVD]. Oxidation of Low density Lipoprotein (LDL) and mutations in LDLreceptors gene are a trigger for numerous of atherogenic events. Also, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) plays an important role in vasodilatation of blood vessels through synthesis of nitric oxide.Three single base pair changes, 786T/C, 922A/G, and 1468T/A, have been identified in the promoter region of the eNOS gene and are associated with coronary spasm. Moreover, two distinct variable nucleotide tandem repeats (VNTRs) in introns 4 and 13 have been detected. The presence of a minimum of 38 CA repeats in intron 13 has been associated with an independent 2.2-fold increase in the risk of coronary artery disease [CAD]. Plasma glutathione peroxidase (GPx-3) maintains the vascular bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO), through depletion of reactive oxygen species. Mutation(s) or polymorphism(s) in the plasma GPx-3 gene promoter may predispose to a thrombotic disorder, and constitute a genetic risk factor for thrombotic cerebrovascular disease. Hyperhomocysteinemia is another independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and arterial thrombosis. Severe hyperhomocysteinemia could be caused by cystathionine-β-synthase enzyme deficiency but it could be due to homozygosity of a common 677C/T point mutation in the coding region of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene as a 3-fold increase in risk of CAD is associated with the MTHFR 677TT genotype. A second common variant in MTHFR 1298A/C is associated with decreased enzyme activity in vitro and in vivo, especially when occurring simultaneously with the 677 C/T polymorphism. Elevated fibrinogen, an essential component of the coagulation system, has been most consistently associated with arterial thrombotic disorders. Several polymorphisms (148C/T, 455G/A, and -854G/A) have been identified in the genes encoding the 3 pairs of fibrinogen polypeptide chains. The -455G/A, and -854G/A substitutions are the most physiologically relevant mutations. In addition the -455A allele has been associated with the progression of atheroma, and also with a 2.5-fold increase in risk of multiple lacunar infarcts in a cohort of elderly patients with stroke. It is concluded that genetic changes in the previously mentioned genes could play a significant role in the initiation and progression of CVD. This review provides useful information for both physicians and medical students whom are interested in human genetics which is related to cardiovascular diseases

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