Genome-wide search for genes affecting serum uric acid levels: the Framingham Heart Study

Metabolism. 2005 Nov;54(11):1435-41. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2005.05.007.


Serum uric acid levels are associated with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease. Uric acid has been shown to be heritable; however, genome-wide linkage analyses have not been reported. Genome-wide multipoint variance components linkage analyses with 401 markers spaced at approximately 10 centimorgan (cM) were conducted on 1258 subjects of the Framingham Heart Study, using the average of two serum uric acid measurements obtained in examinations 1 and 2 around 1971 and 1979. Covariates in fully adjusted model included sex, age, body mass index (BMI), serum creatinine, alcohol consumption, diabetes, diuretic treatment, and triglycerides. To investigate possible pleiotropic effects between uric acid and covariates that may have a genetic component, bivariate linkage analyses of uric acid with BMI, triglycerides, and glucose were conducted at the uric acid linkage regions. The heritability of uric acid was 0.63. The highest multipoint log-of-the-odds (LOD) score was 3.3 at 50 cM on chromosome 15 for age-sex-adjusted uric acid, but decreased to 1.5 after multivariable adjustment. Additional evidence of linkage was seen on chromosomes 2 (LOD score 1.1 at 4 cM) and 8 (LOD score 1.7 at 6 cM) for multivariable-adjusted uric acid. Pleiotropic effects were only found between uric acid and glucose and BMI at chromosomes 8 and 15 linkage locations, respectively. We have identified several novel loci linked to uric acid. We found possible pleiotropic effects between uric acid and BMI and glucose. Further research is necessary to identify the genes involved in uric acid metabolism and their roles in hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Chromosomes, Human*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 15
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 2
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 8
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genome, Human*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Middle Aged
  • Uric Acid / blood*


  • Uric Acid