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Effect of Genetic Variants Associated With Plasma Homocysteine Levels on Stroke Risk

Stroke. 2014 May 20. pii: STROKEAHA.114.005208. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Cotlarciuc I, Malik R, Holliday EG, Ahmadi KR, Paré G, Psaty BM, Fornage M, Hasan N, Rinne PE, Ikram MA, Markus HS, Rosand J, Mitchell BD, Kittner SJ, Meschia JF, van Meurs JB, Uitterlinden AG, Worrall BB, Dichgans M, Sharma P; on behalf of METASTROKE and the International Stroke Genetics Consortium.
Publication Date: 2014

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Elevated total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) levels are known to be associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke (IS). Given that both tHcy and IS are heritable traits, we investigated a potential genetic relationship between homocysteine levels and stroke risk by assessing 18 polymorphisms previously associated with tHcy levels for their association with IS and its subtypes.

METHODS:
Previous meta-analysis results from an international stroke collaborative network, METASTROKE, were used to assess association of the 18 tHcy-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 12 389 IS cases and 62 004 controls. We also investigated the associations in regions located within 50 kb from the 18 tHcy-related SNPs and the association of a genetic risk score, including the 18 SNPs.

RESULTS:
One SNP located in the RASIP1 gene and a cluster of 3 SNPs located at and near SLC17A3 were significantly associated with IS (P<0.0003) after correcting for multiple testing. For stroke subtypes, the sentinel SNP located upstream of MUT was significantly associated with small-vessel disease (P=0.0022), whereas 1 SNP located in MTHFR was significantly associated with large-vessel disease (P=0.00019). A genetic risk score, including the 18 SNPs, did not show significant association with IS or its subtypes.

CONCLUSIONS:
This study found several potential associations with IS and its subtypes: an association of an MUT variant with small-vessel disease, an MTHFR variant with large-vessel disease, and associations of RASIP1 and SLC17A3 variants with overall IS.

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