Myocardial infarction is a common disease and among the leading causes of death in the world. We previously reported association of variants in LGALS2, encoding galectin-2, with myocardial infarction susceptibility in a case-control association study in a Japanese population. Here we identify BRAP (BRCA1-associated protein) as a galectin-2-binding protein. We report an association of SNPs in BRAP with myocardial infarction risk in a large Japanese cohort (P = 3.0 × 10-18, OR = 1.48, 2,475 cases and 2,778 controls), with replication in additional Japanese and Taiwanese cohorts (P = 4.4 × 10-6, 862 cases and 1,113 controls and P = 4.7 × 10-3, 349 cases and 994 controls, respectively). BRAP expression was observed in smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and macrophages in human atherosclerotic lesions. BRAP knockdown by siRNA using cultured coronary endothelial cells suppressed activation of NF-κB, a central mediator of inflammation.
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