Variants in ALOX5, ALOX5AP and LTA4H are not associated with atherosclerotic plaque phenotypes: The Athero-Express Genomics Study

Sander W. Van Der Laan*, Hassan Foroughi Asl, Pleunie van den Borne, Jessica van Setten, M. E Madeleine van der Perk, Sander M. van de Weg, Arjan H. Schoneveld, Dominique P V de Kleijn, Tom Michoel, Johan L M Björkegren, Hester M. den Ruijter, Folkert W. Asselbergs, Paul I W de Bakker, Gerard Pasterkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The eicosanoid genes ALOX5, ALOX5AP and LTA4H have been implicated in atherosclerosis. We assessed the impact of common variants in these genes on gene expression, circulating protein levels, and atherosclerotic plaque phenotypes. Methods: We included patients from the Stockholm Atherosclerosis Gene Expression study (STAGE, N=109), and the Athero-Express Biobank Study (AE, N=1443). We tested 1453 single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in ALOX5, ALOX5AP and LTA4H for association with gene expression in STAGE. We also tested these SNVs for association with seven histologically defined plaque phenotypes in the AE (which included calcification, collagen, cellular content, atheroma size, and intraplaque vessel density and hemorrhage). Results: We replicate a known cis-eQTL (rs6538697, p=1.96×10-6) for LTA4H expression in whole blood of patients from STAGE. We found no significant association for any of the SNVs tested with serum levels of ALOX5 or ALOX5AP (p>5.79×10-4). For atherosclerotic plaque phenotypes the strongest associations were found for intraplaque vessel density and smooth muscle cells in the ALOX5AP locus (p>1.67×10-4). Conclusions: We replicate a known eQTL for LTA4H expression in whole blood using STAGE data. We found no associations of variants in and around ALOX5, ALOX5AP and LTA4H with serum ALOX5 or ALOX5AP levels, or plaque phenotypes. On the supposition that these genes play a causal role in atherosclerosis, these results suggest that common variants in these loci play a limited role (if any) in influencing advanced atherosclerotic plaque morphology to the extent that it impacts atherosclerotic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-538
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • ALOX5
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Eicosanoids
  • Plaque
  • Single-nucleotide polymorphism


Dive into the research topics of 'Variants in ALOX5, ALOX5AP and LTA4H are not associated with atherosclerotic plaque phenotypes: The Athero-Express Genomics Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this