The serum enzyme paraoxonase (PON) protects LDLs from oxidative stress. We recently identified promoter polymorphisms of the PON gene that strongly affect gene expression and serum levels of the enzyme. The present study tested the hypothesis that promoter polymorphism T(-107)C could be a risk factor for vascular disease in type 2 diabetic patients by virtue of its ability to modulate serum concentrations of the antioxidant enzyme. The low-expressor genotype (TT) was associated with significantly lower serum PON concentrations, and it was over-represented in type 2 diabetic patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) (TT vs. TC+CC: odds ratio [OR] 1.64 [95% CI 1.03-2.61], P < 0.05). The association of the low-expressor genotype with an increased risk of disease was independent of other risk factors, including the coding region Q191R polymorphism (OR 2.12 [95% CI 1.19-3.70], P = 0.01). However, an interaction of the promoter polymorphism with the Q191R polymorphism, which was previously identified as an independent risk factor, was observed. The low-expressor promoter allele (-107T) associated with the high-risk 191R allele showed a lower-than-expected level of risk (OR 2.21 vs. the expected 4.76). The data are consistent with the hypothesis that low expression of the antioxidant enzyme PON increases the risk of CHD. Moreover, the promoter polymorphism appears to have a modulating effect on risk that is associated with the coding region polymorphism Q191R. This study indicates a strong genetic component to the antioxidant capacity of HDLs.

This content is only available via PDF.