Genome-wide association study of circulating retinol levels


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Abstract

Retinol is one of the most biologically active forms of vitamin A and is hypothesized to influence a wide range of human diseases including asthma, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases and cancer. We conducted a genome-wide association study of 5006 Caucasian individuals drawn from two cohorts of men: the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study and the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. We identified two independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with circulating retinol levels, which are located near the transthyretin (TTR) and retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) genes which encode major carrier proteins of retinol: rs1667255 (P =2.30× 10−17) and rs10882272 (P =6.04× 10−12). We replicated the association with rs10882272 in RBP4 in independent samples from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Invecchiare in Chianti Study (InCHIANTI) that included 3792 women and 504 men (P =9.49× 10−5), but found no association for retinol with rs1667255 in TTR among women, thus suggesting evidence for gender dimorphism (P-interaction=1.31× 10−5). Discovery of common genetic variants associated with serum retinol levels may provide further insight into the contribution of retinol and other vitamin A compounds to the development of cancer and other complex diseases.

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