Association of genetic polymorphisms of de novo nucleotide biosynthesis with increased CHD susceptibility in the northern Chinese population

Clin Genet. 2017 May;91(5):748-755. doi: 10.1111/cge.12874. Epub 2016 Dec 12.


Congenital heart disease (CHD) is one of most prevalent birth defects in the world. However, the underlying molecular mechanism(s) have not been fully understood. Here we report that increased CHD susceptibility is associated with genetic polymorphisms for de novo nucleotide biosynthesis in northern Chinese population, which has been reported with lower plasma folate levels. Nine tagSNPs of four genes (GART, ATIC, MTHFD1 and SHMT1) in de novo nucleotide biosynthesis were sequenced in 802 sporadic CHD patients and 1093 controls from two Han Chinese populations, located in north China (Shandong) and South China (Shanghai), respectively. Six SNPs were found to be significantly associated with CHDs or septation defects only in the Shandong population dataset, but none displayed significant association with any CHDs in the Shanghai population dataset as well as in the combined dataset. We also showed that the minor A allele of rs7279549 in GART reduced transcriptional activity and displayed lower affinity for unknown transcription factor(s), demonstrating the allele is a functional risk factor for CHD in Shandong population. Our study indicates that dysregulation of de novo nucleotide biosynthesis pathway may conditionally contribute to CHD pathogenesis in northern Chinese.

Keywords: congenital heart diseases; de novo nucleotide biosynthesis; genetic polymorphism.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Asians / genetics
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Glycine Hydroxymethyltransferase / genetics*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethyl and Formyl Transferases / genetics*
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase (NADP) / genetics*
  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens / genetics*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics*
  • Nucleotide Deaminases / genetics*
  • Nucleotides / biosynthesis
  • Nucleotides / genetics
  • Phosphoribosylglycinamide Formyltransferase / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Minor Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Nucleotides
  • Transcription Factors
  • inosine monophosphate synthase
  • MTHFD1 protein, human
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase (NADP)
  • Hydroxymethyl and Formyl Transferases
  • Glycine Hydroxymethyltransferase
  • SHMT protein, human
  • Phosphoribosylglycinamide Formyltransferase
  • Nucleotide Deaminases
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases
  • GART protein, human