Adipocyte-derived leucine aminopeptidase (ALAP) inactivates angiotensin II and/or generates bradykinin in the kidney, suggesting a possible role for ALAP in the regulation of blood pressure. We considered the hypothesis that genomic variants of the ALAP gene are associated with hypertension or individual variations in blood pressure. We screened for mutations in the ALAP gene in 48 unrelated Japanese individuals and identified 33 polymorphisms including 15 novel polymorphisms. We then performed a two-stage analysis. In the first stage, the eight missense polymorphisms were evaluated for associations with blood pressure in 96 apparently healthy individuals. In the second stage, only the most promising polymorphisms were evaluated for association with essential hypertension in 143 hypertensive and 348 normotensive subjects. Among the eight missense polymorphisms, the Ile276Met and Lys528Arg polymorphisms showed significant association with blood pressure. Subsequent analysis confirmed association between the Lys528Arg polymorphism and essential hypertension. The estimated odds ratio for essential hypertension was 2.3 for presence of the Arg allele at codon 528, in comparison with presence of the Lys/Lys genotype (P = 0.004). These findings support involvement of ALAP in the regulation of blood pressure.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.