A male-specific association between AGTR1 hypermethylation and coronary heart disease
The AGTR1 gene encodes angiotensin II receptor type 1, which is involved in cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD). In the current study, we analyzed AGTR1 methylation level in a Han Chinese population by SYBR green-based quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP). We collected blood samples from 761 CHD patients and 398 non-CHD controls at the Ningbo First Hospital. A data mining analysis was also performed to explore the association between AGTR1 methylation and AGTR1 gene expression, using datasets from the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics and the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Our results showed a significantly higher percentage of methylated reference (PMR) of AGTR1 in male CHD patients compared with male non-CHD controls (median PMR: 2.12% vs. 0.59%, p = 0.037). The data mining analysis showed that AGTR1 expression was significantly increased in human hepatoma HepG2 cells treated with the demethylation agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (fold = 3.12, p = 0.009). Further data mining analysis using the cholangiocarcinoma (TCGA, PanCancer Atlas) data indicated an inverse association between AGTR1 methylation and AGTR1 expression (r = -0.595, p = 1.29E-04). Overall, our results suggest that AGTR1 methylation is involved in the regulation of AGTR1 gene expression and that AGTR1 hypermethylation is associated with CHD in males. These findings may provide new clues about the pathogenesis of CHD.
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