G-protein signaling

Article Review 3

An RGS2 3’UTR Polymorphism is Associated With Preeclampsia in Overweight Women

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-associated syndrome initiated by poor placental perfusion which, together with maternal genetic and metabolic risk factors, cause the maternal response. The regulation of G-protein signaling 2 (RGS2) gene has been implicated in blood pressure regulation by inhibiting vasoconstriction mediated by G protein-coupled receptors. Low RGS2 levels is associated with hypertension and obesity. One cause of low RGS2 levels is the 3’ UTR C1114G polymorphism in the RGS2 gene (mutation rs4606). This study used obstetric and perinatal data to classify pregnancies as preeclamptic or normal control and as normal, overweight, or obese based on the mother’s pre-pregnancy body mass index. The rs4606 mutation was in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, though no association between preeclampsia and the rs4606 mutation was found under a dominant, recessive, or additive model. However, the CG and GG genotypes were significantly associated with preeclampsia in overweight women. The researchers concluded that RGS2 function could contribute to the increased rate of preeclampsia in overweight women.

All of the study participants had extensive clinical background information available for admission into the study and for classification of the pregnancies. Since the study included women from all Finnish university hospitals, the participants were representative of the Finnish population. The critical value for the statistical tests was 0.05, which is generally accepted as statistically significant data. Additionally, over 1300 preeclamptic and 600 normal pregnancies were included in the study, which is a decent size.

The rs4606 mutation in the RGS2 gene is associated with metabolic syndrome in white European men, weight gain in young hypertensive men, personality traits and brain function linked to anxiety disorders, and lower benefit from sertraline treatment to social anxiety disorder. Therefore, women with the mutation could be at higher risk of postpartum depression in addition to the known cardiovascular and insulin resistance problems after pregnancy. More research should be done to determine the role of RGS2 and the effect of the rs4606 mutation on that role.  Similar studies should include data on participants’ personality traits and anxiety disorders to determine if this mutation could explain some of the link between preeclampisa and anxiety/depression.

Karppanen, Tina, et al. “An RGS2 3’UTR Polymorphism is Associated With Preeclampsia in Overweight Women.” BMC Genetics 17. (2016): 1-7. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Oct. 2016.