Differential Endothelial Cell Gene Expression by African Americans Versus Caucasian Americans

P. Wei et al., Pub Med, January 11, 2011

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Health disparities and the high prevalence of cardiovascular disease continue to be perplexing worldwide health challenges. This study addresses the possibility that genetic differences affecting the biology of the vascular endothelium could be a factor contributing to the increased burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer among African Americans (AA) compared to Caucasian Americans (CA).

METHODS:

From self-identified, healthy, 20 to 29-year-old AA (n = 21) and CA (n = 17), we established cultures of blood outgrowth endothelial cells (BOEC) and applied microarray profiling. BOEC have never been exposed to in vivo influences, and their gene expression reflects culture conditions (meticulously controlled) and donor genetics. Significance Analysis of Microarray identified differential expression of single genes. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis examined expression of pre-determined gene sets that survey nine biological systems relevant to endothelial biology.

RESULTS:

At the highly stringent threshold of False Discovery Rate (FDR) = 0, 31 single genes were differentially expressed in AA. PSPH exhibited the greatest fold-change (AA > CA), but this was entirely accounted for by a homolog (PSPHL) hidden within the PSPH probe set. Among other significantly different genes were: for AA > CA, SOS1, AMFR, FGFR3; and for AA < CA, ARVCF, BIN3, EIF4B. Many more (221 transcripts for 204 genes) were differentially expressed at the less stringent threshold of FDR <.05. Using the biological systems approach, we identified shear response biology as being significantly different for AA versus CA, showing an apparent tonic increase of expression (AA > CA) for 46/157 genes within that system.

CONCLUSIONS:

Many of the genes implicated here have substantial roles in endothelial biology. Shear stress response, a critical regulator of endothelial function and vascular homeostasis, may be different between AA and CA. These results potentially have direct implications for the role of endothelial cells in vascular disease (hypertension, stroke) and cancer (via angiogenesis). Also, they are consistent with our over-arching hypothesis that genetic influences stemming from ancestral continent-of-origin could impact upon endothelial cell biology and thereby contribute to disparity of vascular-related disease burden among AA. The method used here could be productively employed to bridge the gap between information from structural genomics (for example, disease association) and cell function and pathophysiology.

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  • Anonymous

    ”31 single genes were differentially expressed in AA.”

    How can this be? Race is a social construct.

  • Anonymous

    Are these people inferring that there is some kind of difference between humans besides skin color? There is only one race, the human race. Facists who use pseudo-science as a cover for racism should be stripped of their academic standing and silenced. Anti-Facists and fellow workers unite! Let nothing slow our Progessive march to social justice and true equality for all. Down with racist science.

  • Ben

    @ 2

    If a wager was made for man’s survival, as a SPECIES, and all you had to do (without wiki no doubt) was tell what melanin is exactly made of…we would all be dead men.

    Let us be thankful that this isn’t the case.

  • Tholzel

    If would be laughable if the people who hold these opinions — that “race is a social construct” (whatever that means, or that there is just one race — the human race — were anything other than deeply committed ideologues — and liberal to their very cores. But it is useless to argue with them. NOTHING you can do to prove that there are many races with many different characteristics will satisfy them. Different skins color? Ah, that’s not a difference; it’s only skin deep. Three-foot average height difference between pigmies and Tutses, well, it’ll all come out in the wash. Their ludicrous blindness makes one want to ask what it would take to get them to agree that there are many, many fixed genetic differences between groups of humans which have interbred for millennia. Even if you discovered a band of four-legged “humans,” these liberals would argue to their deaths that there is no differences, we all all humans. (Pathetic)

  • Anonymous

    2 — Anonymous wrote at 4:10 PM on October 10:

    Are these people inferring that there is some kind of difference between humans besides skin color? There is only one race, the human race. Facists who use pseudo-science as a cover for racism should be stripped of their academic standing and silenced. Anti-Facists and fellow workers unite! Let nothing slow our Progessive march to social justice and true equality for all. Down with racist science.

    ——————————

    Okay, troll…Now you can go back to your lefty, marxist sites.