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Analysis of p53 gene polymorphism (codon 72) in symptomatic patients with atherosclerosis

Author(s): M.H. Lagares, K.S.F. Silva, A.M. Barbosa, D.A. Rodrigues, I.R. Costa, J.V.M. Martins, M.P. Morais, F.L. Campedelli and K.K.V.O. Moura

Atherosclerosis is a multifactorial pathological disease that alters the morphology and function of arterial walls. The atheroma growth leads to vessel hardening and lumen narrowing, limiting the blood flow. The atheroma plaque can eventually break, expose highly thrombogenic material and lead to platelet activation and subsequent formation of a thrombus that may block blood flow in loco, or even leading to obstruction of other vessels with a smaller diameter. This process is one of the main determinants of the clinical manifestations of atherosclerosis, such as coronary artery disease, ischemic stroke, and peripheral arterial disease. Although the inflammatory theory about atherosclerosis is the most renowned one, observations point to common biological characteristics between cancer and atherosclerosis suggesting a possible association between p53 and atherosclerotic diseases. We collected peripheral blood samples from 200 individuals with clinical manifestations of atherosclerotic disease and 100 individuals without manisfestation of the disease to form the control group. DNA was subjected to molecular analysis (PCR) to identify the polymorphism of the p53 gene. We have not found any relationship between the polymorphism of the p53 gene and atherosclerosis in the population studied (P = 0.36). There was no relationship between atherosclerosis, polymorphism of p53 and the variables accounted: smoking habit (P = 0.72, 0.51 and 0.62 for smokers, non-smokers and former smokers respectively), alcohol consumption (P = 0.17 for individuals with drinking habits and 0.38 for those who do not consume alcohol beverage), systemic arterial hypertension (P = 0.60), diabetes mellitus (P = 0.34), and dyslipidemia (P = 0.89). Our population has a high rate of miscegenation and heterozygotes, and according to studies the arginine variant is more related to plaque formation because it induces apoptosis more frequently when compared to the proline variant. According to our results, there is no association between the polymorphism of the p53 gene, atherosclerosis and its risk factors in the population studied.