Peptides of natriuretic-diuretic activity have been identified and implicated in the control of extracellular fluid volume and electrolyte homeostasis. There are multiple forms of these so-called atrial natriuretic polypeptides (ANP), ranging in molecular weight from 3,000 to 13,000, and it has been suggested that all may derive from the same precursor.
The cDNA of the natriuretic peptide precursor A gene encodes gamma-ANP, a polypeptide of 13,000 MW, whose C-terminal 28 amino acids are processed as alpha-ANP. Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) appears to be synthesized as a large precursor, atrial pronatriodilatin. The cDNA has an open reading frame potentially encoding a protein of 152 amino acids, of which the first 24 amino acids strongly resemble a signal sequence. This is followed by a sequence with 80% homology to a second vasoactive protein, porcine cardiodilatin.
Frossard et al. (1997) studied an insertion/deletion (I/D) dimorphism located in the second intron of the human atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) gene among 232 UAE nationals (112 normotensives and 120 hypertensives) from the Abu Dhabi Emirate, with a view to evaluating the value of this marker in relation to hypertension. Results reveal that genotype frequencies of this I/D marker occur in Hardy-Weinberg proportions (respective genotype frequencies in the overall sample population are: II, 51%; ID, 42%; DD, 7%). No association, however, was evidenced between this dimorphic site and clinical diagnosis of essential hypertension. This suggests that: 1) this I/D dimorphism is not a useful marker to study the relationship between the ANF gene and hypertension in the UAE; and 2) variations of the ANF gene that may be in linkage disequilibrium with this marker do not play a major role in the determination of hypertension in this Arab population. Obineche et al. (2002) carried out a case-controlled study on a group of 151 UAE nationals (62 normotensives with and without left ventricular hypertrophy and 89 hypertensives, also with and without left ventricular hypertrophy) with a view to evaluate the value of an insertion/deletion (I/D) dimorphism located in the second intron of the human atrial natriuretic factor gene in relation to left ventricular hypertrophy. Obineche and colleagues found a significant difference in the distribution of the I and D alleles between the two groups. The significant association of the D allele with left ventricular hypertrophy could implicate the involvement of variants of the ANF gene in the determination of left ventricular hypertrophy.
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