Background: Essential hypertension (EH) is influenced by various environmental and genetic factors. Nitric oxide is important for the functional integrity of the vascular endothelium and is produced in endothelial cells by the enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). EH has a strong genetic component, and the NOS3 gene, which encodes eNOS, represents an interesting candidate for contribution to the phenotype. The most clinically relevant polymorphisms in the NOS3 gene are rs1799983 in exon 7 (encoding Glu298Asp), a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) in intron 4, and rs2070744 (T-786C) in the promoter region. This study aims to investigate the association between these three polymorphisms in the NOS3 gene and EH in Sudanese patients. Methods: Hypertensive patients (n = 157) > 18 years of age with established hypertension from various hospitals in Khartoum, and controls (n = 85) > 18 years of age and with blood pressure measurements <140/90, were included in this case control study. Genotypes at the NOS3 variants were determined using TaqMan and polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analyses. Genotype and allele frequencies were compared between the two groups by χ2 analysis, and differences were expressed as odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). P values <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: The rs2070744 polymorphism in NOS3 was found to be associated with EH in the Sudanese population as the patients group had higher frequency of CC genotype compared with the controls (6.6% vs 6.1%, p = 0.02). Considering a dominant inheritance model, the frequency of TC + CC genotypes in patients was significantly higher than that in the control subjects (52.6% vs 34.1%, respectively; p < 0.01), with an odds ratio (95% CI) of 2.14 (1.23-3.74). In addition, the C allele was more frequent in the patients than the control group (29.6% vs 20%, p = 0.03, OR = 1.84 (1.15-2.93)). The c allele of intron 4 VNTR was reported in >1% of the Sudanese population under study. Conclusion: The results of this study indicated that the rs2070744 polymorphism in NOS3 may be a genetic susceptibility factor for EH in the Sudanese population. The callele of intron 4 VNTR is not rare in the Sudanese population.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Medical Genetics