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Differential miRNA expression influenced by race in hypertensive and non-hypertensive women

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Poster Session III

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center



* FARE Award Winner


  • D.F. Dluzen
  • N. Noren Hooten
  • Y. Zhang
  • K.D. Jacob
  • A.B. Zonderman
  • M.K. Evans


Hypertension has an earlier onset and more frequently results in end-organ complications among African Americans (AA) when compared to Whites. In the United States it is estimated that >40% of AA are hypertensive compared with 30% of Whites. Previous data suggests that gene expression patterns may increase the susceptibility to selected chronic diseases so we posited that differential gene expression patterns may influence the disproportionate incidence and prevalence of hypertension among AAs. Transcriptional profiling of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from AA and White normotensive and hypertensive females identified hundreds of mRNAs differentially expressed by race or presence of hypertension. Since microRNAs regulate gene expression, we additionally profiled microRNA expression. We identified 36 significantly- and differentially-expressed microRNAs. Gene expression changes were validated using RT-qPCR in an expanded cohort and gene functionality was investigated using in vitro models. Analysis of microarray expression changes identified microRNA-mRNA regulatory networks in hypertension-related pathways, e.g. the renin-angiotensin system and nitric oxide signaling pathways, which differ by race. Together, these findings identify several gene and microRNA candidates whose expression differs with race and may contribute to hypertension related health disparities and potentially serve as biomarkers for hypertension or targets for therapeutic modalities.

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