Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common sustained arrhythmia, has a strong genetic component, but the mechanism by which common genetic variants lead to increased AF susceptibility is unknown. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified that the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) most strongly associated with AF are located on chromosome 4q25 in an intergenic region distal to the PITX2 gene. Our objective was to determine whether the AF-associated SNPs on chromosome 4q25 were associated with PITX2c expression in adult human left atrial appendages. Analysis of a lone AF GWAS identified four independent AF risk SNPs at chromosome 4q25. Human adult left atrial appendage tissue was obtained from 239 subjects of European Ancestry and used for SNP analysis of genomic DNA and determination of PITX2c RNA expression levels by quantitative PCR. Subjects were divided into three groups based on their history of AF and pre-operative rhythm. AF rhythm subjects had higher PITX2c expression than those with history of AF but in sinus rhythm. PITX2c expression was not associated with the AF risk SNPs in human adult left atrial appendages in all subjects combined or in each of the three subgroups. However, we identified seven SNPs modestly associated with PITX2c expression located in the introns of the ENPEP gene, ∼54 kb proximal to PITX2. PITX2c expression in human adult left atrial appendages is not associated with the chromosome 4q25 AF risk SNPs; thus, the mechanism by which these SNPs are associated with AF remains enigmatic. © 2014 Gore-Panter et al.
Gore-Panter, Shamone R.; Hsu, Jeffery; Hanna, Peter; Gillinov, A. Marc; Pettersson, Gosta; Newton, David W.; Moravec, Christine S.; Van Wagoner, David R.; and Chung, Mina K., "Atrial Fibrillation Associated Chromosome 4q25 Variants Are Not Associated With PITX2c Expression in Human Adult Left Atrial Appendages" (2014). Biological, Geological, and Environmental Faculty Publications. 226.
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