Genome-wide association study identifies novel loci for plasma levels of protein C: The ARIC study

Weihong Tang, Saonli Basu, Xiaoxiao Kong, James S. Pankow, Nena Aleksic, Adrian Tan, Mary Cushman, Eric Boerwinkle, Aaron R. Folsom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Protein C is an important endogenous anticoagulant in hemostasis. Deficiencies of protein C due to genetic mutations or a low level of circulating protein C increase the risk of venous thromboembolism. We performed a genome-wide association scan for plasma protein C antigen concentration with approximately 2.5 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 8048 individuals of European ancestry and a replication analysis in a separate sample of 1376 individuals in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Four independent loci from 3 regions were identified with genome-wide significance: 2p23 (GCKR, best SNP rs1260326, P = 2.04 × 10-17), 2q13-q14 (PROC, rs1158867, P = 3.77 × 10-36), 20q11 (near and within PROCR, rs8119351, P = 2.68 × 10-203), and 20q11.22 (EDEM2, rs6120849, P = 7.19 × 10-37 and 5.23 × 10-17 before and after conditional analysis, respectively). All 4 loci replicated in the independent sample. Furthermore, pooling the discovery and replication sets yielded an additional locus at chromosome 7q11.23 (BAZ1B, rs17145713, P = 2.83 × 10-8). The regions marked by GCKR, EDEM2, and BAZ1B are novel loci that have not been previously reported for association with protein C concentration. In summary, this first genome-wide scan for circulating protein C concentration identified both new and known loci in the general population. These findings may improve the understanding of physiologic mechanisms in protein C regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5032-5036
Number of pages5
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2 2010


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