Thrombomodulin is an endothelial glycoprotein that decreases thrombin activity and activates protein C. A recent study has shown that G-33A promoter mutation of the thrombomodulin gene occurs particularly in Asians. In this study, we analyzed the distribution of G-33A mutation in the promoter region of the thrombomodulin gene in the Chinese population and determined whether the mutation might be a risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). In addition, the influence of this mutation on plasma soluble thrombomodulin levels in patients with CAD was also examined. We studied 320 consecutive patients (mean age 63 years; 73% men) with CAD and 200 age- and sex-matched control subjects. Screening for thrombomodulin G-33A promoter mutation was conducted using polymerase chain reaction, single-strand conformation polymorphism, and direct deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing. The frequency of the G-33A mutation (GA+AA genotypes) was significantly higher in the CAD group (23.8% vs 15.5%, odds ratio [OR] 1.70, p = 0.031). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the mutation was an independent risk factor (OR 1.81, p = 0.016) for CAD, as was hypertension (OR 1.44, p = 0.040), diabetes mellitus (OR 2.50, p <0.001), and smoking (OR 2.15, p <0.001). In CAD patients with GG genotype, the soluble thrombomodulin level increased with the extent of CAD (36 ± 15 vs 47 ± 18 vs 55 ± 36 ng/ml in 1-, 2-, or 3-vessel CAD, p <0.001). However, in CAD patients with G-33A mutation, there was no difference between the levels of soluble thrombomodulin (39 ± 17 vs 37 ± 15 vs 42 ± 18 ng/ml, p = NS) in 1-, 2-, or 3-vessel CAD. Our observations suggest that there is a significant association of the G-33A mutation in thrombomodulin gene with CAD, and this mutation may influence the soluble thrombomodulin levels in patients with CAD. Copyright (C) 2000 Excerpta Medica Inc.
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