Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 81, Issue 12, pp 766–779

Paraoxonase gene polymorphisms, oxidative stress, and diseases


DOI: 10.1007/s00109-003-0481-4

Cite this article as:
Li, HL., Liu, DP. & Liang, CC. J Mol Med (2003) 81: 766. doi:10.1007/s00109-003-0481-4


The paraoxonase (PON) gene cluster contains at least three members, including PON1, PON2, and PON3, located on chromosome 7q21.3–22.1. Until now there has been little insight into the role of the respective gene products in human physiology and pathology. However, emerging evidence from biochemical and genetic experiments is providing clues about the role(s) of the products of these genes, which indicates that PON(s) acts as important guardians against cellular damage from toxic agents, such as organophosphates, oxidized lipids in the plasma low-density lipoproteins. In parallel, substantial data have been published on the association between the polymorphisms of PON(s) and coronary heart disease. It has become clear that the polymorphisms significantly affect the prevalence of coronary heart disease. However, the associations between the PON(s) polymorphisms and most of these conditions were found to be inconsistent when additional populations were investigated. This contribution provides an overview of the status of research of each of the three genes and the available association studies and the potential problems in interpreting the data. We also review the current evidence on the association between PON(s) polymorphisms and diseases other than coronary heart disease and some metabolic quantitative phenotypes, such as plasma lipoproteins, plasma glucose, and birthweight. Finally, we suggest directions for the future that might elucidate the role of the PON genetic polymorphisms in this potentially important function of PON(s) and the role in coronary heart disease and other related diseases.


ParaoxonaseCoronary heart diseasePolymorphismAtherosclerosisReview



Alzheimer’s dementia




Coronary heart disease


High-density lipoprotein


Low-density lipoprotein


Parkinson’s disease



Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical SciencesChinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingP.R. China