The Protein C anticoagulant pathway regulates blood coagulation by preventing the inadequate formation of thrombi. It has two main plasma components: protein C and protein S. Individuals with protein C or protein S deficiency present a dramatically increased incidence of thromboembolic disorders. Here, we present the results of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for protein C and protein S plasma levels in a set of extended pedigrees from the Genetic Analysis of Idiopathic Thrombophilia (GAIT) Project. A total number of 397 individuals from 21 families were typed for 307,984 SNPs using the Infinium® 317 k Beadchip (Illumina). Protein C and protein S (free, functional and total) plasma levels were determined with biochemical assays for all participants. Association with phenotypes was investigated through variance component analysis. After correcting for multiple testing, two SNPs for protein C plasma levels (rs867186 and rs8119351) and another two for free protein S plasma levels (rs1413885 and rs1570868) remained significant on a genome-wide level, located in and around the PROCR and the DNAJC6 genomic regions respectively. No SNPs were significantly associated with functional or total protein S plasma levels, although rs1413885 from DNAJC6 showed suggestive association with the functional protein S phenotype, possibly indicating that this locus plays an important role in protein S metabolism. Our results provide evidence that PROCR and DNAJC6 might play a role in protein C and free protein S plasma levels in the population studied, warranting further investigation on the role of these loci in the etiology of venous thromboembolism and other thrombotic diseases.
© 2011 Athanasiadis et al.