Objective: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located at microRNA (miRNA) binding sites (miR-SNPs) can affect the expression of genes. This study aimed to identify the miR-SNPs associated with atherosclerosis and stroke. Methods: Patients with ischemic stroke (n = 657) and stroke- and myocardial infarction-free volunteers (n = 1571) were enrolled. The carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was measured in the control participants. Seventy-nine stroke susceptibility genes were initially selected and 13 genes were predicted to have miR-SNPs at their 3' untranslated regions (3'UTR). The miRNA arrays were used to further identify potential miR-SNPs. The miR-SNP rs3735590 at the paraoxonase 1 (PON1) gene was finally selected and its associations with stroke and carotid IMT were evaluated. The 3'UTR reporter and SNP functional assays were then performed to validate the results. Results: Compared with CC genotype, patients with CT or TT genotype at rs3735590 had lower risk of ischemic stroke (OR = 0.72, p = 0.036; OR = 0.83, p = 0.077, respectively). Among the healthy participants, the CT or TT genotype was associated with thinner IMT in the internal carotid arteries in comparison with CC genotype (β = -0.76, p = 0.003; β = -0.022, p = 0.452, respectively). Our findings suggested that the minor allele T had a protective effect on atherosclerosis. Results from 3'UTR reporter assays showed that PON1 is a direct target gene of miR-616. In plasmid constructs carrying the risk allele C at rs3735590, miR-616 inhibited the genetic expression of PON1. However, substitution of C by T at rs3735590 reduced the miR-616 binding affinity, leading to overexpression of the PON1 gene. Conclusion: Our study is the first to show that the miR-SNP at PON1 could affect genetic expression and is associated with an elevated risk for ischemic stroke and subclinical atherosclerosis.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - May 2013|
- Intima-media thickness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine