Celera and Collaborators Discover Genetic Markers Associated with Early-onset Heart Attacks


Celera Genomics, an Applera Corporation business, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University and Brigham Young University, announced a publication describing two novel genetic markers associated with an increased risk for myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack. Neither of the two gene variants, VAMP8 and HNRPUL1, has previously been associated with MI. This paper will appear in "Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and Vascular Biology".

The retrospective research study performed in samples from over 2,000 individuals in three case-control studies identified two genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are associated with increased risk for early-onset heart attack. The study identified novel genetic markers in two genes: VAMP8, which is involved in platelet aggregation; and HNRPUL1, which encodes a ribonuclear protein.

Celera evaluated DNA samples from more than 2,000 individuals in three studies to compare patterns of genetic variation in people with a history of early-onset MI to those with no history of MI. The results were significant in all three studies.

The key finding of the study was that variants of the VAMP8 and HNRPUL1 genes were associated with early-onset MI and had the same risk variants in all three studies. These genetic markers were identified through a genome-wide study of an initial 11,647 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 7,136 genes, focusing on SNPs that could influence gene function in order to increase the likelihood of identifying disease-causing gene variants. These were tested for association with early-onset MI in three case-control study studies with a total of 821 cases and 1,200 controls.

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