Background: The CYP4A11 arachidonic acid monooxygenase oxidizes endogenous arachidonic acid (AA) to 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE), a metabolite with renovascular and tubular functions. Mice with targeted disruption of Cyp4a14, a murine homologue of CYP4A11, have severe hypertension. We combined molecular and biochemical approaches to identify a functional variant of the CYP4A11 20-HETE synthase and determine its association with hypertensive status in 2 independent human populations.
Methods and results: A thymidine-to-cytosine polymorphism at nucleotide 8590 resulted in a phenylalanine-to-serine substitution at amino acid 434. Expression of cDNA with serine 434 resulted in a protein with a significantly reduced AA and lauric acid metabolizing activity. In a population of 512 whites from Tennessee, the age, body mass index, and gender-adjusted OR of having hypertension attributable to the 8590C variant was 2.31 (95% CI 1.41 to 3.78) compared with the reference 8590TT genotype. In subjects from the Framingham Heart Study, the adjusted ORs of hypertension associated with the 8590C variant were 1.23 (CI 0.94 to 1.59; n=1538) in all subjects and 1.33 (CI 1.01 to 1.77; n=1331) when subjects with diabetes were excluded. No association of the variant with hypertension was detected in a population of 120 blacks.
Conclusions: We identified a variant of the human CYP4A11 (T8590C) that encodes for a monooxygenase with reduced 20-HETE synthase activity. The association of the T8590C variant with hypertension supports its role as a polygenic determinant of blood pressure control in humans, and results obtained from the large population database suggest that the relevance of the variant may vary according to hypertension comorbidity.