Abstract Background/Objective: Gene-gene interactions in the reverse cholesterol transport system for high-density lipoproteincholesterol (HDL-C) are poorly understood. The present study observed gene-gene combination effect and interactions between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ABCA1, APOA1, SR-B1, and CETP in serum HDL-C from a cross-sectional study in the Japanese population. Methods: The study population comprised 1,535 men and 1,515 women aged 35-69 years who were enrolled in the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study. We selected 13 SNPs in the ABCA1, APOA1, CETP, and SR-B1 genes in the reverse cholesterol transport system. The effects of genetic and environmental factors were assessed using general linear and logistic regression models after adjusting for age, sex, and region. Principal Findings: Alcohol consumption and daily activity were positively associated with HDL-C levels, whereas smoking had a negative relationship. The T allele of CETP, rs3764261, was correlated with higher HDL-C levels and had the highest coefficient (2.93 mg/dL/allele) among the 13 SNPs, which was statistically significant after applying the Bonferroni correction (p<0.001). Gene-gene combination analysis revealed that CETP rs3764261 was associated with high HDL-C levels with any combination of SNPs from ABCA1 , APOA1, and SR-B1, although no gene-gene interaction was apparent. An increasing trend for serum HDL-C was also observed with an increasing number of alleles (p<0.001). Conclusions: The present study identified a multiplier effect from a polymorphism in CETP with ABCA1, APOA1, and SR-B1, as well as a dose-dependence according to the number of alleles present.
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