Objectives: Recent genome-wide association and functional studies have shown that the ABCG2 gene encodes for a urate transporter, and a common causal ABCG2 variant, rs2231142, leads to elevated uric acid levels and prevalent gout among Whites and Blacks. We examined whether this finding is observed in a Japanese population, since Asians have a high reported prevalence of the T-risk allele.
Methods: A total of 3923 Japanese people from the Circulatory Risk in Communities Study aged 40-90 years were genotyped for rs2231142. Associations of the rs2231142 variant with serum uric acid levels and prevalence of gout and hyperuricaemia were examined.
Results: The frequency of the T-risk allele was 31% in this Japanese sample. Multivariable adjusted mean uric acid levels were 7-9 micromol/l higher for TG and TT than GG carriers (P-additive = 0.0006). The multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of prevalent gout was 1.37 (95% CI 0.68, 2.76) for TG and 4.37 (95% CI 1.98, 9.62) for TT compared with the GG carriers (P-additive = 0.001). When evaluating the combined outcome of hyperuricaemia and gout, the respective ORs were 1.40 (95% CI 1.04, 1.87) for TG and 1.88 (95% CI 1.23, 2.89) for TT carriers. The population attributable risk was 29% for gout and 19% for gout and/or hyperuricaemia.
Conclusions: The association of the causal ABCG2 rs2231142 variant with uric acid levels and gout was confirmed in a sample of Japanese ancestry. Our study emphasizes the importance of this common causal variant in a population with a high risk allele frequency, especially as more Japanese adopt a Western lifestyle with a concomitant increase in mean serum uric acid levels.