A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in the RASGRF2 Gene Is Associated with Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis in Men

Citation: Novo-Veleiro I, Cieza-Borrella C, Pastor I, Chamorro A-J, Laso F-J, González-Sarmiento R, et al. (2016) A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in the RASGRF2 Gene Is Associated with Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis in Men. PLoS ONE 11(12): e0168685. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168685
Published: December 19, 2016

Background: Genetic polymorphisms in the RAS gene family are associated with different diseases, which may include alcohol-related disorders. Previous studies showed an association of the allelic variant rs26907 in RASGRF2 gene with higher alcohol intake. Additionally, the rs61764370 polymorphism in the KRAS gene is located in a binding site for the let-7 micro-RNA family, which is potentially involved in alcohol-induced inflammation. Therefore, this study was designed to explore the association between these two polymorphisms and susceptibility to alcoholism or alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
Methods: We enrolled 301 male alcoholic patients and 156 healthy male volunteers in this study. Polymorphisms were genotyped by using TaqMan® PCR assays for allelic discrimination. Allelic and genotypic frequencies were compared between the two groups. Logistic regression analysis was performed to analyze the inheritance model.
Results: The A allele of the RASGRF2 polymorphism (rs26907) was significantly more prevalent among alcoholic patients with cirrhosis (23.2%) compared to alcoholic patients without ALD (14.2%). This difference remained significant in the group of patients with alcohol dependence (28.8% vs. 14.3%) but not in those with alcohol abuse (15.1% vs. 14.4%). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that the A allele of this polymorphism (AA or GA genotype) was associated with alcoholic cirrhosis both in the total group of alcoholics (odds ratio [OR]: 2.33, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.32–4.11; P = 0.002) and in the group of patients with alcohol dependence (OR: 3.1, 95% CI: 1.50–6.20; P = 0.001). Allelic distributions of the KRAS polymorphism (rs61764370) did not differ between the groups.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this genetic association study represents the first to show an association of the RASGRF2 G>A (rs26907) polymorphism with ALD in men, particularly in the subgroup of patients with AD. The findings suggest the potential relevance of the RAS gene family in alcoholism and ALD.


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