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Functional characterization of common BCL11B gene desert variants suggests a lymphocyte-mediated association of BCL11B with aortic stiffness

Al Maskari, R; Hardege, I; Cleary, S; Figg, N; Li, Y; Siew, K; Khir, A; ... Yasmin, ; + view all (2018) Functional characterization of common BCL11B gene desert variants suggests a lymphocyte-mediated association of BCL11B with aortic stiffness. European Journal of Human Genetics , 26 (11) pp. 1648-1657. 10.1038/s41431-018-0226-z. Green open access

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Abstract

The recent genome-wide analysis of carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) identified a significant locus within the 14q32.2 gene desert. Gene regulatory elements for the transcriptional regulator B-cell CLL/lymphoma 11B (BCL11B) are within this locus and an attractive target for the gene association. We investigated the functional impact of these gene desert SNPs on BCL11B transcript in human aorta to characterize further its role in aortic stiffness. To do this, we used a large repository of aortic tissues (n = 185) from an organ transplant program and assessed ex vivo stiffness of the aortic rings. We tested association of three lead SNPs from the GWAS meta-analysis with ex vivo aortic stiffness and BCL11B aortic mRNA expression: rs1381289 and rs10782490 SNPs associated significantly with PWV and showed allele-specific differences in BCL11B mRNA. The risk alleles associated with lower BCL11B expression, suggesting a protective role for BCL11B. Despite strong association, we could not detect BCL11B protein in the human aorta. However, qPCR for CD markers showed that BCL11B transcript correlated strongly with markers for activated lymphocytes. Our data confirm the significance of the 14q32.2 region as a risk locus for aortic stiffness and an upstream regulator of BCL11B. The BCL11B transcript detected in the human aorta may reflect lymphocyte infiltration, suggesting that immune mechanisms contribute to the observed association of BCL11B with aortic stiffness.

Type: Article
Title: Functional characterization of common BCL11B gene desert variants suggests a lymphocyte-mediated association of BCL11B with aortic stiffness
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41431-018-0226-z
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-018-0226-z
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Internal Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10089760
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