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Metabolic Dysregulation of the Lysophospholipid/autotaxin Axis in the Chromosome 9p21 Gene SNP rs10757274



Common chromosome 9p21 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) increase coronary heart disease risk, independent of traditional lipid risk factors. However, lipids comprise large numbers of structurally related molecules not measured in traditional risk measurements, and many have inflammatory bioactivities. Here, we applied lipidomic and genomic approaches to 3 model systems to characterize lipid metabolic changes in common Chr9p21 SNPs, which confer ≈30% elevated coronary heart disease risk associated with altered expression of ANRIL, a long ncRNA.


Untargeted and targeted lipidomics was applied to plasma from NPHSII (Northwick Park Heart Study II) homozygotes for AA or GG in rs10757274, followed by correlation and network analysis. To identify candidate genes, transcriptomic data from shRNA downregulation of ANRIL in HEK-293 cells was mined. Transcriptional data from vascular smooth muscle cells differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells of individuals with/without Chr9p21 risk, nonrisk alleles, and corresponding knockout isogenic lines were next examined. Last, an in-silico analysis of miRNAs was conducted to identify how ANRIL might control lysoPL (lysophosphospholipid)/lysoPA (lysophosphatidic acid) genes.


Elevated risk GG correlated with reduced lysoPLs, lysoPA, and ATX (autotaxin). Five other risk SNPs did not show this phenotype. LysoPL-lysoPA interconversion was uncoupled from ATX in GG plasma, suggesting metabolic dysregulation. Significantly altered expression of several lysoPL/lysoPA metabolizing enzymes was found in HEK cells lacking ANRIL. In the vascular smooth muscle cells data set, the presence of risk alleles associated with altered expression of several lysoPL/lysoPA enzymes. Deletion of the risk locus reversed the expression of several lysoPL/lysoPA genes to nonrisk haplotype levels. Genes that were altered across both cell data sets were DGKA, MBOAT2, PLPP1, and LPL. The in-silico analysis identified 4 ANRIL-regulated miRNAs that control lysoPL genes as miR-186-3p, miR-34a-3p, miR-122-5p, and miR-34a-5p.


A Chr9p21 risk SNP associates with complex alterations in immune-bioactive phospholipids and their metabolism. Lipid metabolites and genomic pathways associated with coronary heart disease pathogenesis in Chr9p21 and ANRIL-associated disease are demonstrated.

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