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Keywords:

  • 25-HYDROXYVITAMIN D;
  • COMMON VARIANT;
  • POLYMORPHISM;
  • VITAMIN D

ABSTRACT

Vitamin D deficiency has been recognized as a major public health issue worldwide. Recent studies have indicated that genetic factors might play an important role in determining serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels in Caucasians and African Americans. However, the genes that contribute to the variation in serum 25(OH)D levels in Chinese are unknown. In this study, we screened 15 key genes within the vitamin D metabolic pathway using 96 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in a group of 2897 unrelated healthy Chinese subjects. Significant confounding factors that may influence the variability in serum 25(OH)D levels were used as covariates for association analyses. An association test for quantitative traits was performed to evaluate the association between candidate genes and serum 25(OH)D levels. In the present study, variants and/or haplotypes in GC, CYP2R1, and DHCR7/NADSYN1 were identified as being associated with 25(OH)D levels. Participants with three or four risk alleles of the two variants (GC-rs4588 and CYP2R1-rs10766197) had an increased chance of presenting with a 25(OH)D concentration lower than 20 ng/mL (odds ratio 2.121, 95% confidence interval 1.586–2.836, p = 6.1 × 10−8) compared with those lacking the risk alleles. Each additional copy of a risk allele was significantly associated with a 0.12-fold decrease in the log-25(OH)D concentration (p = 3.7 × 10−12). Haplotype TGA of GC rs705117-rs2282679-rs1491710, haplotype GAGTAC of GC rs842999-rs705120-rs222040-rs4588-rs7041-rs10488854, haplotype CA of GC rs1155563-rs222029, and haplotype AAGA of CYP2R1 rs7936142-rs12794714-rs2060793-rs16930609 were genetic risk factors toward a lower 25(OH)D concentration. In contrast, haplotype TGGGCCC of DHCR7/NADSYN1 rs1790349-rs7122671-rs1790329-rs11606033-rs2276360-rs1629220-rs2282618 were genetic protective factors. The results suggest that the GC, CYP2R1, and DHCR7/NADSYN1 genes might contribute to variability in the serum 25(OH)D levels in a healthy Chinese population in Shanghai. These markers could be used as tools in Mendelian randomization analyses of vitamin D, and they could potentially be drug targets in the Chinese population in Shanghai.