Association of bone mineral density with polymorphism of the human matrix Gla protein locus in elderly women
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The contribution of genetic factors has been implicated in the determination of bone mass in twin and family studies. Some of the genes involved would regulate bone metabolism, bone formation, and resorption, all processes that determine bone mass. One candidate gene, matrix Gla protein gene (MGP), has been implicated in the pathogenesis of bone loss through a repression of bone formation. To analyze the genetic background for osteoporosis in elderly women, we have investigated a possible association between the CA repeat polymorphism at the human MGP gene locus and bone mineral density (BMD) of radial bone in 460 elderly Japanese women. Genotypes were classified into six groups according to the number of CA repeats present, from 13 to 18 (alleles A1 through A6). BMD was expressed as the adjusted BMD (ADJBMD), which was the body mass index (BMI)- and age-adjusted average BMD. The 214 women who lacked an A2 allele (212 bp, containing 17 repeats of CA) had significantly lower adjusted BMD than the participants (n = 246) who possessed an allele of that size (mean ± SD; 0.303 ± 0.062 vs 0.315 ± 0.062 g/cm2; P = 0.0382). This result suggests that genetic variation at the MGP locus is associated with some determinants for BMD in elderly women. Therefore, this locus should serve as one of the genetic markers for osteoporosis.
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