Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and collagen IA1 (COLIA1) genes have been suggested as possibly implicated in reduced bone mineral density (BMD). The present study investigated the occurrence of association and linkage disequilibrium between radiographic hand BMD and polymorphic alleles of ERα and COLIA1 genes, in human pedigrees of a Chuvasha population in Russia. The study sample included 463 members of 113 pedigrees, mostly nuclear families. We performed association and transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) analyses of the combined PvuII and XbaI RFLPs alleles on the same chromosome (haplotype) of the ERα gene with BMD Z scores of cancellous or cortical bone in the hand phalanges. The association analyses were performed separately for both genders in the parental generation, i.e., 'fathers' (n = 114; average age 64.2 y) and 'mothers' (n = 122; average age 62.7 y). The Px haplotype was associated significantly with lower BMD Z scores in 'mothers' only. The difference between subjects who carried one or two copies of the Px haplotype and those lacking it was 0.68 Z scores, P = 0.003 and 0.51 Z scores, P = 0.025 for cancellous and cortical bone, respectively. Multiple linear regression model with age, height, weight, and Px haplotype status as predictors explained 26.7% and 28.3% of the total observed variance in BMD with Px haplotype as independent predictor explaining 5.9%; P = 0.002 and 3%; P = 0.028 (cancellous and cortical bone, respectively). Results of t-TDT for triads of two parents and just one of their female offspring (but not male offspring) suggested the existence of linkage disequilibrium between the two loci of Px haplotype and BMD trait (P = 0.047). No association was found between polymorphic alleles of COLIA1 gene and BMD, but 'mothers' with combined genotypes of Px haplotype of ERα gene and "s" allele of COLIA1 gene had the lowest mean Z scores (-0.944 and -0.788 for cancellous and cortical bone, respectively). We conclude that the Px haplotype of the ERα gene is associated with low BMD values in females, as the phenotype is gender dependent (the association was not observed in males), and the "s" allele of COLIA1 I gene in combination with this haplotype contributes to reduced BMD.
- Collagen IA1
- Estrogen receptor