DNA Damage and Repair in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease: Correlation With Plaque Morphology Using Optical Coherence Tomography (DECODE Study).


Coronary Research Group, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK; Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The aim of this study was to examine DNA ligase activity and expression of DNA damage response pathway (DDR) genes in patients with stable angina (SA) and non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and determine whether they correlate with plaque morphology.
BACKGROUND : Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) have evidence of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). It is unclear whether this represents excess damage or defective DNA repair activity.
METHODS : DNA ligase activity and the expression of 22 DDR genes were measured in PBMCs of patients (both SA (n = 47) and NSTEMI (n = 42)) and in age and gender-matched controls (n = 35). Target lesion anatomical assessment was undertaken with frequency domain optical coherent tomography.
RESULTS : DNA ligase activity was different across the three groups of patients (control = 119 ± 53, NSTEMI = 115.6 ± 85.1, SA = 81 ± 55.7 units/g of nuclear protein; ANOVA p = 0.023). Pair wise comparison demonstrated that this significance is due to differences between the control and SA patients (p = 0.046). Genes involved in double strand break repair and nucleotide excision repair pathways were differentially expressed in patients with SA and NSTEMI. In SA patients, fibrocalcific plaques were strongly associated with GTSE1, DDB1, MLH3 and ERCC1 expression. By contrast, in NSTEMI patients the strongest association was observed between fibrous plaques and ATM and XPA expression.
CONCLUSIONS : PBMCs from patients with CAD exhibit differences in DNA ligase activity and expression of DDR genes. Expression levels of certain DDR genes are strongly associated with plaque morphology and may play a role in plaque development and progression. Trial Registration Number URL: www.Clinicaltrials.gov; NCT02335086.

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