The objective was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in exons of the osteoprotegerin gene and to analyze the relationship between the SNPs and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and direct sequencing methods to identify SNPs and genotypes in 205 postmenopausal women. BMD at the lumbar spine (L2–4) and femoral neck (FN) were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Serum osteocalcin (OC), osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) and urinary N-telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) were also measured. In exon 1 of the OPG gene, we found the Lys3Asn SNP. In 205 postmenopausal women, the Asn-allele frequency was 26.0%, and the distribution of Lys3Asn genotypes was Lys-Lys 56.6%, Lys-Asn 34.6% and Asn-Asn 8.8%, respectively. BMD at the lumbar spine (L2–4) of the Asn-Asn genotype was significantly higher (9.5–12.6%) than Lys-Asn and Lys-Lys genotypes ( P =0.012), with evidence for an allele dose effect ( P =0.008). Results remained similar after adjustment for age and body mass index. The Lys3Asn polymorphism of the OPG gene alone accounted for 7.7% of the variance of the L2–4 BMD in a multiple regression model. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the OPG genotype Lys-Lys had a 2.7 times (95% CI: 0.83–9.11) greater risk for osteopenia/osteoporosis than the Asn-Asn genotype. The Lys3Asn polymorphism in the OPG gene is associated with L2–4 BMD in postmenopausal women. The Lys-allele is associated with lower BMD and an increased risk for osteoporosis.
Bone mineral density Gene Osteoprotegerin Single nucleotide polymorphism