Associations between genetic variations in the FURIN gene and hypertension

BMC Med Genet. 2010 Aug 13;11:124. doi: 10.1186/1471-2350-11-124.


Background: Hypertension is a complex disease influenced by multiple genetic and environmental factors. The Kazakh ethnic group is characterized by a relatively high prevalence of hypertension. Previous research indicates that the FURIN gene may play a pivotal role in the renin-angiotensin system and maintaining the sodium-electrolyte balance. Because these systems influence blood pressure regulation, we considered FURIN as a candidate gene for hypertension. The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate the association between genetic variations in the FURIN gene and essential hypertension in a Xinjiang Kazakh population.

Methods: We sequenced all exons and the promoter regions of the FURIN gene in 94 hypertensive individuals to identify genetic variations associated with the disorder. Genotyping was performed using the TaqMan polymerase chain reaction method for four representative common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, -7315C > T, 1970C > G, 5604C > G, 6262C > T) in 934 Kazakh Chinese people. One SNP (1970C > G) was replicated in 1,219 Uygur Chinese people.

Results: Nine novel and seven known single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in the FURIN gene. The results suggest that 1970C > G was associated with a hypertension phenotype in Kazakh Chinese (additive model, P = 0.091; dominant model, P = 0.031, allele model, P = 0.030), and after adjustment with logistic regression analysis, ORs were 1.451 (95%CI 1.106-1.905, P = 0.008) and 1.496 (95% 1.103-2.028, P = 0.01) in additive and dominant models, respectively. In addition, the association between 1970C > G and hypertension was replicated in Uygur subjects (additive model, P = 0.042; dominant model, P = 0.102; allele model, P = 0.027) after adjustment in additive and dominant models, ORs were 1.327 (95% 1.07-1.646), P = 0.01 and 1.307 (95%CI 1.015-1.681, P = 0.038), respectively. G allele carriers exhibited significant lower urinary Na+ excretion rate than non-carriers in the Kazakh Chinese population (152.45 ± 76.04 uM/min vs 173.33 ± 90.02 uM/min, P = 0.007).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the FURIN gene may be a candidate gene involved in human hypertension, and that the G allele of 1970C > G may be a modest risk factor for hypertension in Xinjiang Kazakh and Uygur populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Asians / genetics
  • Blood Pressure / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Risk Factors