• APC resistance;
  • FV Leiden;
  • pseudo-homozygosity;
  • prothrombinase-based assay;
  • SNP;
  • venous thrombosis

Summary. Background and Objectives: The factor (F) V Leiden mutation causes activated protein C (APC) resistance by decreasing the susceptibility of FVa to APC-mediated inactivation and by impairing the APC-cofactor activity of FV in FVIIIa inactivation. However, APC resistance and the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) vary widely among FV Leiden heterozygotes. Common F5 genetic variation probably contributes to this variability. Patients/methods: APC resistance was determined in 250 FV Leiden heterozygotes and 133 normal relatives using the prothrombinase-based assay, which specifically measures the susceptibility of plasma FVa to APC. The effects of 12 F5 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the normalized APC sensitivity ratio (nAPCsr) and on FV levels were determined by multiple regression analysis. Results: In FV Leiden heterozygotes, VTE risk increased with increasing nAPCsr, reaching an odds ratio (OR) of 9.9 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–80.5) in the highest nAPCsr quartile. The minor alleles of several F5 SNPs, including 327 A/G (Q51Q), 409 G/C (D79H), 2663 A/G (K830R, T2 haplotype), 6533 T/C (M2120T) and 6755 A/G (D2194G, R2 haplotype), increased the nAPCsr in FV Leiden heterozygotes, but not in their normal relatives. Most of these effects could be attributed to a shift in the FVLeiden/normal FV ratio. Four FV Leiden heterozygotes with extremely high nAPCsr turned out to be pseudo-homozygotes, i.e. they carried a deleterious mutation on the non-Leiden allele. Conclusions: In FV Leiden heterozygotes, the prothrombinase-based nAPCsr is a marker of VTE risk and is modulated by common F5 SNPs that affect the FVLeiden/normal FV ratio in plasma.