Dysregulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression has been implicated as a major contributor to the development of a number of common disease pathologies. The aim of this study was to establish the extent of genetic variability within the VEGF gene and to determine whether this genetic variation influenced levels of VEGF protein expression. The promoter region and exon 1 of the VEGF gene were screened for polymorphisms using single-stranded conformation (SSCP) polymorphism analysis and direct PCR-sequencing. We identified 15 novel sequence polymorphisms most of which were rare. Eleven of these polymorphisms were single base substitutions, three were single base insertions and one was a two base deletion. Thirteen of the polymorphisms were located within the promoter and two in the 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of the gene. We established PCR-RFLP typing systems for ten of the polymorphisms. For the two common polymorphisms at -460 and +405, we developed a combined sequence specific priming (SSP) PCR typing system to determine the cis/trans orientation of each allele and hence, ascertain haplotypes. A significant correlation was observed between lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) VEGF protein production and genotype for the +405 polymorphism.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.