Osteoporosis is a common disease of bone possessing a strong genetic component. Cytochrome P450 aromatase, which is encoded by the CYP19A1 gene, converts androgens to estradiol. Considerable evidence suggests that extragonadal estrogens play an important role in determining bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women, and, among them, those synthesized in bone cells may also be important for the determination of bone phenotype. Therefore, CYP19A1 is an excellent candidate gene for osteoporosis. Since a region upstream of exon I.3, including exon I.6, was identified as containing repressor elements of promoter pII, we conducted a search for SNPs in this region of CYP19A1. Two SNPs [Aro1(rs4775936) and Aro2] located in exon I.6 and promoter I.6, respectively, were identified and their association with BMD analyzed in a cohort of 256 Spanish postmenopausal women. Aro1(rs4775936), but not Aro2, was associated with lumbar spine BMD (P = 0.029). Homozygotes AA (16% of the women) exhibited significantly higher lumbar spine BMD, compared with GG or GA individuals. Therefore, this study describes the Aro1 polymorphism which lies within a regulatory region and which may be a functional polymorphism, partially responsible for the bone phenotype it is associated with. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Bone mineral density
- Postmenopausal osteoporosis