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Sequence variation in the human angiotensin converting enzyme.

Rieder M.J., Taylor S.L., Clark A.G., Nickerson D.A.

Angiotensin converting enzyme (encoded by the gene DCP1, also known as ACE) catalyses the conversion of angiotensin I to the physiologically active peptide angiotensin II, which controls fluid-electrolyte balance and systemic blood pressure. Because of its key function in the renin-angiotensin system, many association studies have been performed with DCP1. Nearly all studies have associated the presence (insertion, I) or absence (deletion, D) of a 287-bp Alu repeat element in intron 16 with the levels of circulating enzyme or cardiovascular pathophysiologies. Many epidemiological studies suggest that the DCP1*D allele confers increased susceptibility to cardiovascular disease; however, other reports have found no such association or even a beneficial effect. We present here the complete genomic sequence of DCP1 from 11 individuals, representing the longest contiguous scan (24 kb) for sequence variation in human DNA. We identified 78 varying sites in 22 chromosomes that resolved into 13 distinct haplotypes. Of the variant sites, 17 were in absolute linkage disequilibrium with the commonly typed Alu insertion/deletion polymorphism, producing two distinct and distantly related clades. We also identified a major subdivision in the Alu deletion clade that enables further analysis of the traits associated with this gene. The diversity uncovered in DCP1 is comparable to that described for other regions in the human genome. The highly correlated structure in DCP1 raises important issues for the determination of functional DNA variants within genes and genetic studies in humans based on marker association.

Nat. Genet. 22:59-62(1999) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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