Genetic analysis of hsCRP in American Indians: The Strong heart family study

Lyle G. Best, Poojitha Balakrishnan, Shelley A. Cole, Karin Haack, Jonathan M. Kocarnik, Nathan Pankratz, Matthew Z. Anderson, Nora Franceschini, Barbara V. Howard, Elisa T. Lee, Kari E. North, Jason G. Umans, Joseph M. Yracheta, Ana Navas-Acien, V. Saroja Voruganti

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4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Increased serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an important component of the innate immune response, are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) have been identified which are associated with CRP levels, and Mendelian randomization studies have shown a positive association between SNPs increasing CRP expression and risk of colon cancer (but thus far not CVD). The effects of individual genetic variants often interact with the genetic background of a population and hence we sought to resolve the genetic determinants of serum CRP in a number of American Indian populations.

METHODS: The Strong Heart Family Study (SHFS) has serum CRP measurements from 2428 tribal members, recruited as large families from three regions of the United States. Microsatellite markers and MetaboChip defined SNP genotypes were incorporated into variance components, decomposition-based linkage and association analyses.

RESULTS: CRP levels exhibited significant heritability (h2 = 0.33 ± 0.05, p<1.3 X 10-20). A locus on chromosome (chr) 6, near marker D6S281 (approximately at 169.6 Mb, GRCh38/hg38) showed suggestive linkage (LOD = 1.9) to CRP levels. No individual SNPs were found associated with CRP levels after Bonferroni adjustment for multiple testing (threshold <7.77 x 10-7), however, we found nominal associations, many of which replicate previous findings at the CRP, HNF1A and 7 other loci. In addition, we report association of 46 SNPs located at 7 novel loci on chromosomes 2, 5, 6(2 loci), 9, 10 and 17, with an average of 15.3 Kb between SNPs and all with p-values less than 7.2 X 10-4.

CONCLUSION: In agreement with evidence from other populations, these data show CRP serum levels are under considerable genetic influence; and include loci, such as near CRP and other genes, that replicate results from other ethnic groups. These findings also suggest possible novel loci on chr 6 and other chromosomes that warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0223574
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Best et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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