Research Article

Fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 Gly388Arg polymorphism associated with severity of gallstone disease in a Chinese population

Published: March 08, 2012
Genet. Mol. Res. 11 (1) : 548-555 DOI: 10.4238/2012.March.8.3

Abstract

The etiology of gallstone disease is multifactorial; supersaturation of bile with cholesterol is a primary cause for gallstone formation. In previous studies, we found that fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) plays an important role in maintaining bile acid homeostasis by regulating the expression of cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), a rate-limiting enzyme for bile acid biosynthesis. The Gly388Arg (G-388R) polymorphism of FGFR4 affects stabilization and activation of FGFR4. Consequently, we studied the FGFR4 gene as a candidate gene for genetic susceptibility to gallstone disease. We found that overexpression of FGFR4, especially the G-388R mutant of FGFR4, inhibits luciferase activity of CYP7A1 reporter in HepG2 cells, indicating that the G-388R mutant of FGFR4 may have greater inhibitory activity against bile acid biosynthesis. To investigate the association of FGFR4 polymorphism with gallstone disease, 117 patients with gallstone disease and 457 controls were genotyped for FGFR4 polymorphism G-388R by PCR-RFLP. Although the incidence of gallstone disease was not greater in patients with the FGFR4 RR genotype, the ratio of gallstone patients with acute cholecystitis in the FGFR4 RR genotype (42%) was significantly higher than that in other genotypes of FGFR4 (P = 0.019). In conclusion, the FGFR4 polymorphism is a genetic risk factor contributing to aggravation of gallstone disease.

The etiology of gallstone disease is multifactorial; supersaturation of bile with cholesterol is a primary cause for gallstone formation. In previous studies, we found that fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) plays an important role in maintaining bile acid homeostasis by regulating the expression of cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), a rate-limiting enzyme for bile acid biosynthesis. The Gly388Arg (G-388R) polymorphism of FGFR4 affects stabilization and activation of FGFR4. Consequently, we studied the FGFR4 gene as a candidate gene for genetic susceptibility to gallstone disease. We found that overexpression of FGFR4, especially the G-388R mutant of FGFR4, inhibits luciferase activity of CYP7A1 reporter in HepG2 cells, indicating that the G-388R mutant of FGFR4 may have greater inhibitory activity against bile acid biosynthesis. To investigate the association of FGFR4 polymorphism with gallstone disease, 117 patients with gallstone disease and 457 controls were genotyped for FGFR4 polymorphism G-388R by PCR-RFLP. Although the incidence of gallstone disease was not greater in patients with the FGFR4 RR genotype, the ratio of gallstone patients with acute cholecystitis in the FGFR4 RR genotype (42%) was significantly higher than that in other genotypes of FGFR4 (P = 0.019). In conclusion, the FGFR4 polymorphism is a genetic risk factor contributing to aggravation of gallstone disease.

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