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1.  Multiple Genetic Loci Influence Serum Urate and Their Relationship with Gout and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors 
Elevated serum urate levels can lead to gout and are associated with cardiovascular risk factors. We performed genome-wide association to search for genetic susceptibility loci for serum urate and gout, and investigated the causal nature of the associations of serum urate with gout and selected cardiovascular risk factors and coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods and Results
Meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed in 5 population-based cohorts of the CHARGE consortium for serum urate and gout in 28,283 white individuals. The effect of the most significant SNP at all genome-wide significant loci on serum urate was added to create a genetic urate score. Findings were replicated in the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS; n=22,054). SNPs at 8 genetic loci achieved genome-wide significance with serum urate levels (p-values 4×10−8 to 2×10−242; SLC22A11, GCKR, R3HDM2-INHBC region, RREB1, PDZK1, SLC2A9, ABCG2, SLC17A1). Only two loci [SLC2A9, ABCG2] showed genome-wide significant association with gout. The genetic urate score was strongly associated with serum urate and gout (odds ratio 12.4 per 100 umol/L; p-value=3×10−39), but not with blood pressure, glucose, eGFR, chronic kidney disease, or CHD. The lack of association between the genetic score and the latter phenotypes was also observed in WGHS.
The genetic urate score analysis suggested a causal relationship between serum urate and gout but did not provide evidence for one between serum urate and cardiovascular risk factors and CHD.
PMCID: PMC3371395  PMID: 20884846
urate; gout; cardiovascular disease risk factors; genome-wide association study; Mendelian randomization
2.  A common missense variant of monocarboxylate transporter 9 (MCT9/SLC16A9) gene is associated with renal overload gout, but not with all gout susceptibility 
Human Cell  2013;26:133-136.
Gout is a common disease caused by hyperuricemia, which shows elevated serum uric acid (SUA) levels. From a viewpoint of urate handling in humans, gout patients can be divided into those with renal overload (ROL) gout with intestinal urate underexcretion, and those with renal underexcretion (RUE) gout. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) revealed an association between SUA and a variant in human monocarboxylate transporter 9 (MCT9/SLC16A9) gene. Although the function of MCT9 remains unclear, urate is mostly excreted via intestine and kidney where MCT9 expression is observed. In this study, we investigated the relationship between a variant of MCT9 and gout in 545 patients and 1,115 healthy volunteers. A missense variant of MCT9 (K258T), rs2242206, significantly increased the risk of ROL gout (p = 0.012), with odds ratio (OR) of 1.28, although it revealed no significant association with all gout cases (p = 0.10), non-ROL gout cases (p = 0.83), and RUE gout cases (p = 0.34). In any case groups and the control group, minor allele frequencies of rs2242206 were >0.40. Therefore, rs2242206 is a common missense variant and is revealed to have an association with ROL gout, indicating that rs2242206 relates to decreased intestinal urate excretion rather than decreased renal urate excretion. Our study provides clues to better understand the pathophysiology of gout as well as the physiological roles of MCT9.
PMCID: PMC3844819  PMID: 23990105
Gouty arthritis; Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); Gut urate excretion; Carnitine; Solute carrier (SLC) family transporter
3.  Association of three genetic loci with uric acid concentration and risk of gout: a genome-wide association study 
Lancet  2008;372(9654):1953-1961.
Hyperuricemia, a highly heritable trait, is a key risk factor for gout. We aimed to identify novel genes related to serum uric acid (UA) and gout.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were conducted for serum UA in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS; n=7699) and the Rotterdam Study (RS; n=4148). Genome-wide significant SNPs were replicated among white (n=11024) and black (n=3843) Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study participants. The association of these SNPs was evaluated with gout; results in whites were combined using meta-analysis.
Three loci in FHS and two in the RS showed genome-wide significance with UA. Top SNPs in each locus were: missense SNP rs16890979 in SLC2A9 (p=7.0×10−168 [whites]; 2.9×10−18 [blacks]), missense SNP rs2231142 in ABCG2 (p=2.5×10−60 [whites]; 9.8×10−4 [blacks]), and rs1165205 in SLC17A3 (p=3.3×10−26 [whites]; 0.33 [blacks]). All SNPs showed direction-consistent association with gout in whites: rs16890979 (OR 0.58 per T allele, 95% CI 0.53–0.63, p=1.2×10−31), rs2231142 (OR=1.74 per T allele, 1.51–1.99, p=3.3×10−15), and rs1165205 (OR=0.85 per T allele, 0.77–0.94, p=0.002). In ARIC blacks, rs2231142 showed a direction-consistent association with gout (OR=1.71, 1.06–2.77, p=0.028). An additive genetic risk score (0–6) comprised of high risk alleles at the three loci showed graded associations in each study across scores with UA (from 272–351 μmol/l [FHS], 269–386 μmol/l [RS], and 303–426 μmol/l [ARIC whites]) and gout (prevalence 2–13% [FHS], 2–8% [RS], 1–18% [ARIC whites]).
We identified three genetic loci (two novel including a candidate functional variant Q141K in ABCG2) related to UA and gout. A score based on genes with a putative role in renal urate handling showed a substantial risk gradient for gout.
PMCID: PMC2803340  PMID: 18834626
genome-wide association; uric acid; gout; epidemiology
4.  Association analysis of the SLC22A11 (organic anion transporter 4) and SLC22A12 (urate transporter 1) urate transporter locus with gout in New Zealand case-control sample sets reveals multiple ancestral-specific effects 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R220.
There is inconsistent association between urate transporters SLC22A11 (organic anion transporter 4 (OAT4)) and SLC22A12 (urate transporter 1 (URAT1)) and risk of gout. New Zealand (NZ) Māori and Pacific Island people have higher serum urate and more severe gout than European people. The aim of this study was to test genetic variation across the SLC22A11/SLC22A12 locus for association with risk of gout in NZ sample sets.
A total of 12 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variants in four haplotype blocks were genotyped using TaqMan® and Sequenom MassArray in 1003 gout cases and 1156 controls. All cases had gout according to the 1977 American Rheumatism Association criteria. Association analysis of single markers and haplotypes was performed using PLINK and Stata.
A haplotype block 1 SNP (rs17299124) (upstream of SLC22A11) was associated with gout in less admixed Polynesian sample sets, but not European Caucasian (odds ratio; OR = 3.38, P = 6.1 × 10-4; OR = 0.91, P = 0.40, respectively) sample sets. A protective block 1 haplotype caused the rs17299124 association (OR = 0.28, P = 6.0 × 10-4). Within haplotype block 2 (SLC22A11) we could not replicate previous reports of association of rs2078267 with gout in European Caucasian (OR = 0.98, P = 0.82) sample sets, however this SNP was associated with gout in Polynesian (OR = 1.51, P = 0.022) sample sets. Within haplotype block 3 (including SLC22A12) analysis of haplotypes revealed a haplotype with trans-ancestral protective effects (OR = 0.80, P = 0.004), and a second haplotype conferring protection in less admixed Polynesian sample sets (OR = 0.63, P = 0.028) but risk in European Caucasian samples (OR = 1.33, P = 0.039).
Our analysis provides evidence for multiple ancestral-specific effects across the SLC22A11/SLC22A12 locus that presumably influence the activity of OAT4 and URAT1 and risk of gout. Further fine mapping of the association signal is needed using trans-ancestral re-sequence data.
PMCID: PMC3978909  PMID: 24360580
5.  Polymorphisms in the Presumptive Promoter Region of the SLC2A9 Gene Are Associated with Gout in a Chinese Male Population 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e24561.
Glucose transporter 9 (GLUT9) is a high-capacity/low-affinity urate transporter. To date, several recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and follow-up studies have identified genetic variants of SLC2A9 associated with urate concentrations and susceptibility to gout. We therefore investigated associations between gout and polymorphisms and haplotypes in the presumptive promoter region of GLUT9 in Chinese males.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The approximately 2000 bp presumptive promoter region upstream of the start site of exon 1 of GLUT9 was sequenced and subjected to genetic analysis. A genotype-phenotype correlation was performed and polymorphisms-induced changes in transcription factor binding sites were predicted. Of 21 SNPs identified in GLUT9, five had not been previously reported. Two of the SNPs (rs13124007 and rs6850166) were associated with susceptibility to gout (p = 0.009 and p = 0.042, respectively). The C allele of rs13124007 appeared to be the risk allele for predisposition to gout (p = 0.006, OR 1.709 [95% CI 1.162–2.514]). For rs6850166, an increased risk of gout was associated with the A allele (p = 0.029, OR 1.645 [95% CI 1.050–2.577]). After Bonferroni correction, there was statistically difference in rs13124007 allele frequencies between gout cases and controls (P = 0.042). Haplotype analyses showed that haplotype GG was a protective haplotype (p = 0.0053) and haplotype CA was associated with increased risk of gout (p = 0.0326). Genotype-phenotype analysis among gout patients revealed an association of rs13124007 with serum triglycerides levels (P = 0.001). The C to G substitution in polymorphism rs13124007 resulted in a loss of a binding site for transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1).
Polymorphisms rs13124007 and rs6850166 are associated with susceptibility to gout in Chinese males.
PMCID: PMC3290627  PMID: 22393348
6.  Genome-wide association analyses identify 18 new loci associated with serum urate concentrations 
Köttgen, Anna | Albrecht, Eva | Teumer, Alexander | Vitart, Veronique | Krumsiek, Jan | Hundertmark, Claudia | Pistis, Giorgio | Ruggiero, Daniela | O’Seaghdha, Conall M | Haller, Toomas | Yang, Qiong | Tanaka, Toshiko | Johnson, Andrew D | Kutalik, Zoltán | Smith, Albert V | Shi, Julia | Struchalin, Maksim | Middelberg, Rita P S | Brown, Morris J | Gaffo, Angelo L | Pirastu, Nicola | Li, Guo | Hayward, Caroline | Zemunik, Tatijana | Huffman, Jennifer | Yengo, Loic | Zhao, Jing Hua | Demirkan, Ayse | Feitosa, Mary F | Liu, Xuan | Malerba, Giovanni | Lopez, Lorna M | van der Harst, Pim | Li, Xinzhong | Kleber, Marcus E | Hicks, Andrew A | Nolte, Ilja M | Johansson, Asa | Murgia, Federico | Wild, Sarah H | Bakker, Stephan J L | Peden, John F | Dehghan, Abbas | Steri, Maristella | Tenesa, Albert | Lagou, Vasiliki | Salo, Perttu | Mangino, Massimo | Rose, Lynda M | Lehtimäki, Terho | Woodward, Owen M | Okada, Yukinori | Tin, Adrienne | Müller, Christian | Oldmeadow, Christopher | Putku, Margus | Czamara, Darina | Kraft, Peter | Frogheri, Laura | Thun, Gian Andri | Grotevendt, Anne | Gislason, Gauti Kjartan | Harris, Tamara B | Launer, Lenore J | McArdle, Patrick | Shuldiner, Alan R | Boerwinkle, Eric | Coresh, Josef | Schmidt, Helena | Schallert, Michael | Martin, Nicholas G | Montgomery, Grant W | Kubo, Michiaki | Nakamura, Yusuke | Tanaka, Toshihiro | Munroe, Patricia B | Samani, Nilesh J | Jacobs, David R | Liu, Kiang | D’Adamo, Pio | Ulivi, Sheila | Rotter, Jerome I | Psaty, Bruce M | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gerard | Campbell, Susan | Devuyst, Olivier | Navarro, Pau | Kolcic, Ivana | Hastie, Nicholas | Balkau, Beverley | Froguel, Philippe | Esko, Tõnu | Salumets, Andres | Khaw, Kay Tee | Langenberg, Claudia | Wareham, Nicholas J | Isaacs, Aaron | Kraja, Aldi | Zhang, Qunyuan | Wild, Philipp S | Scott, Rodney J | Holliday, Elizabeth G | Org, Elin | Viigimaa, Margus | Bandinelli, Stefania | Metter, Jeffrey E | Lupo, Antonio | Trabetti, Elisabetta | Sorice, Rossella | Döring, Angela | Lattka, Eva | Strauch, Konstantin | Theis, Fabian | Waldenberger, Melanie | Wichmann, H-Erich | Davies, Gail | Gow, Alan J | Bruinenberg, Marcel | Study, LifeLines Cohort | Stolk, Ronald P | Kooner, Jaspal S | Zhang, Weihua | Winkelmann, Bernhard R | Boehm, Bernhard O | Lucae, Susanne | Penninx, Brenda W | Smit, Johannes H | Curhan, Gary | Mudgal, Poorva | Plenge, Robert M | Portas, Laura | Persico, Ivana | Kirin, Mirna | Wilson, James F | Leach, Irene Mateo | van Gilst, Wiek H | Goel, Anuj | Ongen, Halit | Hofman, Albert | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Uitterlinden, Andre G | Imboden, Medea | von Eckardstein, Arnold | Cucca, Francesco | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Piras, Maria Grazia | Nauck, Matthias | Schurmann, Claudia | Budde, Kathrin | Ernst, Florian | Farrington, Susan M | Theodoratou, Evropi | Prokopenko, Inga | Stumvoll, Michael | Jula, Antti | Perola, Markus | Salomaa, Veikko | Shin, So-Youn | Spector, Tim D | Sala, Cinzia | Ridker, Paul M | Kähönen, Mika | Viikari, Jorma | Hengstenberg, Christian | Nelson, Christopher P | Consortium, CARDIoGRAM | Consortium, DIAGRAM | Consortium, ICBP | Consortium, MAGIC | Meschia, James F | Nalls, Michael A | Sharma, Pankaj | Singleton, Andrew B | Kamatani, Naoyuki | Zeller, Tanja | Burnier, Michel | Attia, John | Laan, Maris | Klopp, Norman | Hillege, Hans L | Kloiber, Stefan | Choi, Hyon | Pirastu, Mario | Tore, Silvia | Probst-Hensch, Nicole M | Völzke, Henry | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Parsa, Afshin | Schmidt, Reinhold | Whitfield, John B | Fornage, Myriam | Gasparini, Paolo | Siscovick, David S | Polašek, Ozren | Campbell, Harry | Rudan, Igor | Bouatia-Naji, Nabila | Metspalu, Andres | Loos, Ruth J F | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Borecki, Ingrid B | Ferrucci, Luigi | Gambaro, Giovanni | Deary, Ian J | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H R | Chambers, John C | März, Winfried | Pramstaller, Peter P | Snieder, Harold | Gyllensten, Ulf | Wright, Alan F | Navis, Gerjan | Watkins, Hugh | Witteman, Jacqueline C M | Sanna, Serena | Schipf, Sabine | Dunlop, Malcolm G | Tönjes, Anke | Ripatti, Samuli | Soranzo, Nicole | Toniolo, Daniela | Chasman, Daniel I | Raitakari, Olli | Kao, W H Linda | Ciullo, Marina | Fox, Caroline S | Caulfield, Mark | Bochud, Murielle | Gieger, Christian
Nature genetics  2012;45(2):145-154.
Elevated serum urate concentrations can cause gout, a prevalent and painful inflammatory arthritis. By combining data from >140,000 individuals of European ancestry within the Global Urate Genetics Consortium (GUGC), we identified and replicated 28 genome-wide significant loci in association with serum urate concentrations (18 new regions in or near TRIM46, INHBB, SFMBT1, TMEM171, VEGFA, BAZ1B, PRKAG2, STC1, HNF4G, A1CF, ATXN2, UBE2Q2, IGF1R, NFAT5, MAF, HLF, ACVR1B-ACVRL1 and B3GNT4). Associations for many of the loci were of similar magnitude in individuals of non-European ancestry. We further characterized these loci for associations with gout, transcript expression and the fractional excretion of urate. Network analyses implicate the inhibins-activins signaling pathways and glucose metabolism in systemic urate control. New candidate genes for serum urate concentration highlight the importance of metabolic control of urate production and excretion, which may have implications for the treatment and prevention of gout.
PMCID: PMC3663712  PMID: 23263486
7.  Short communication: genetic variations of SLC2A9 in relation to Parkinson’s disease 
Epidemiological studies showed that higher plasma urate was associated with lower risk for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and slower disease progression. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) consistently showed that several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the solute carrier family 2 member 9 gene (SLC2A9 ) were associated with plasma urate concentration and the risk of gout.
We conducted a case–control study to examine twelve tag SNPs of the SLC2A9 gene in relation to PD among 788 cases and 911 controls of European ancestry. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were derived from logistic regression models, adjusting for age, sex, smoking and caffeine consumption.
These SNPs were all in linkage disequilibrium (R2 > 0.7). None of them were associated with PD risk. Among women, however, there was a suggestion that the presence of the minor allele of one SNP (rs7442295) was related to a small increase in PD risk [OR (95% CI) = 1.48 (1.01-2.16)].
This study provides little support for genetic variations of SLC2A9 and PD risk.
PMCID: PMC3598344  PMID: 23422251
8.  Genome-wide scan identifies a quantitative trait locus at 4p15.3 for serum urate 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2010;18(11):1243-1247.
Elevated serum urate levels lead to gout and are associated with hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to identify evidence for genetic linkage with serum urate and to determine whether variation within positional candidate genes is associated with serum urate levels in a non-European population. Genetic linkage analysis and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping was performed in a large family pedigree cohort from Mauritius. We assessed associations between serum urate levels and 97 SNPs in a positional candidate gene, SLC2A9. A genome-wide scan identified a new region with evidence for linkage for serum urate at 4p15.3. SNP genotyping identified significant association between six SNP variants in SLC2A9 and serum urate levels. Allelic and gender-based effects were noted for several SNPs. Significant correlations were also observed between serum urate levels and individual components of metabolic syndrome. Our study results implicate genetic variation in SLC2A9 in influencing levels of serum urate over a broad range of values in a large Mauritian family cohort.
PMCID: PMC2987471  PMID: 20588307
serum urate; quantitative trait loci; genotype
9.  Lack of change in urate deposition by dual-energy computed tomography among clinically stable patients with long-standing tophaceous gout: a prospective longitudinal study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(5):R160.
Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) has potential for monitoring urate deposition in patients with gout. The aim of this prospective longitudinal study was to analyse measurement error of DECT urate volume measurement in clinically stable patients with tophaceous gout.
Seventy-three patients with tophaceous gout on stable therapy attended study visits at baseline and twelve months. All patients had a comprehensive clinical assessment including serum urate testing and DECT scanning of both feet. Two readers analysed the DECT scans for the total urate volume in both feet. Analysis included inter-reader intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and limits of agreement, and calculation of the smallest detectable change.
Mean (standard deviation) serum urate concentration over the study period was 0.38 (0.09) mmol/L. Urate-lowering therapy was prescribed in 70 (96%) patients. The median (interquartile range) baseline DECT urate volume was 0.49 (0.16, 2.18) cm3, and change in DECT urate volume was -0.01 (-0.40, 0.28) cm3. Inter-reader ICCs were 1.00 for baseline DECT volumes and 0.93 for change values. Inter-reader bias (standard deviation) for baseline volumes was -0.18 (0.63) cm3 and for change was -0.10 (0.93) cm3. The smallest detectable change was 0.91 cm3. There were 47 (64%) patients with baseline DECT urate volumes <0.91 cm3. Higher serum urate concentrations were observed in patients with increased DECT urate volumes above the smallest detectable change (P = 0.006). However, a relationship between changes in DECT urate volumes and serum urate concentrations was not observed in the entire group.
In patients with tophaceous gout on stable conventional urate-lowering therapy the measurement error for DECT urate volume assessment is substantially greater than the median baseline DECT volume. Analysis of patients commencing or intensifying urate-lowering therapy should clarify the optimal use of DECT as a potential outcome measure in studies of chronic gout.
PMCID: PMC3978645  PMID: 24286500
10.  Hypertension and the risk of incident gout in a population-based study: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Cohort 
We quantified the impact of hypertension on gout incidence in middle-aged white and African American, men and women. ARIC is a prospective population-based cohort recruited between 1987–1989 from 4 US communities. Using a time-dependent Cox Proportional Hazards model, we estimated the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of incident gout by time-varying hypertension and tested for mediation by serum urate level. There were 10,872 participants among whom 45% had hypertension over follow-up; 43% were men and 21% were African-American. Over 9 years, 274 (2.5%) participants developed gout; 1.8% of women and 3.5% of men. The unadjusted HR of incident gout was approximately 3 times (HR=2.87; 95% CI: 2.24, 3.78) greater for those with hypertension. Adjusting for confounders resulted in an attenuated but still significant association between hypertension and gout (HR= 2.00; 95% CI: 1.54, 2.61). Adjustment for serum urate level further attenuated but did not abrogate the association (HR=1.36, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.79). There was no evidence of effect modification by sex (p-value=0.35), race (p-value=0.99), or obesity at baseline (p-value=0.82). Hypertension was independently associated with increased gout risk in middle-aged African American and white adults. Serum urate level may be a partial intermediate on the pathway between hypertension and gout.
PMCID: PMC3464949  PMID: 23031144
hypertension; uric acid; gout
11.  African American patients with gout: efficacy and safety of febuxostat vs allopurinol 
African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to develop gout, but they are less likely to be treated with urate-lowering therapy (ULT). Furthermore, African Americans typically present with more comorbidities associated with gout, such as hypertension, obesity, and renal impairment. We determined the efficacy and safety of ULT with febuxostat or allopurinol in African American subjects with gout and associated comorbidities and in comparison to Caucasian gout subjects.
This is a secondary analysis of the 6-month Phase 3 CONFIRMS trial. Eligible gouty subjects with baseline serum urate (sUA) ≥ 8.0 mg/dL were randomized 1:1:1 to receive febuxostat 40 mg, febuxostat 80 mg, or allopurinol (300 mg or 200 mg depending on renal function) daily. All subjects received gout flare prophylaxis. Primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects in each treatment group with sUA < 6.0 mg/dL at the final visit. Additional endpoints included the proportion of subjects with mild or with moderate renal impairment who achieved a target sUA < 6.0 mg/dL at final visit. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded throughout the study.
Of the 2,269 subjects enrolled, 10.0% were African American and 82.1% were Caucasian. African American subjects were mostly male (89.5%), obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2; 67.1%), with mean baseline sUA of 9.8 mg/dL and mean duration of gout of 10.4 years. The proportions of African American subjects with a baseline history of diabetes, renal impairment, or cardiovascular disease were significantly higher compared to Caucasians (p < 0.001). ULT with febuxostat 80 mg was superior to both febuxostat 40 mg (p < 0.001) and allopurinol (p = 0.004). Febuxostat 40 mg was comparable in efficacy to allopurinol. Significantly more African American subjects with mild or moderate renal impairment achieved sUA < 6.0 mg/dL in the febuxostat 80 group than in either the febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol group (p < 0.05). Efficacy rates in all treatment groups regardless of renal function were comparable between African American and Caucasian subjects, as were AE rates.
In African American subjects with significant comorbidities, febuxostat 80 mg is significantly more efficacious than either febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol 200/300 mg. Febuxostat was well tolerated in this African American population.
Please see related article:
PMCID: PMC3317813  PMID: 22316106
12.  Can racial disparities in optimal gout treatment be reduced? evidence from a randomized trial 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:15.
There is a disproportionate burden of gout in African-Americans in the U.S. due to a higher disease prevalence and lower likelihood of receiving urate-lowering therapy (ULT), compared to Caucasians. There is an absence of strong data as to whether the response to ULT differs by race/ethnicity. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders recently published a secondary analyses of the CONFIRMS trial, a large randomized controlled, double-blind trial of 2,269 gout patients. The authors reported that the likelihood of achieving the primary study efficacy end-point of achieving serum urate < 6 mg/dl was similar between African-Americans and Caucasians, for all three treatment arms (Febuxostat 40 mg and 80 mg and allopurinol 300/200 mg). More importantly, rates were similar in subgroups of patients with mild or moderate renal insufficiency. Adverse event rates were similar, as were the rates of gout flares. These findings constitute a convincing evidence to pursue aggressive ULT in gout patients, regardless of race/ethnicity. This approach will likely help to narrow the documented racial disparities in gout care.
Please see related article:
PMCID: PMC3337326  PMID: 22316088
Gout; Disparity; Race; treatment; Febuxostat; Allopurinol; randomized; African-American
13.  Common variants of a urate-associated gene LRP2 are not associated with gout susceptibility 
Rheumatology International  2013;34:473-476.
A recent genome-wide association study revealed that there is an association between serum uric acid (SUA) levels and rs2544390, a common variant in low-density lipoprotein-related protein 2 (LRP2/Megalin) gene. Two other variants of LRP2, rs2229268 and rs3755166, are also found to have associations with dyslipidemia and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively, which also could have a relationship with SUA in human. Although no studies report that LRP2 transports urate, LRP2 is a multi-ligand receptor and expresses in many tissues including kidney, suggesting a direct and/or indirect relationship with gout. In the present study, we investigated the association between gout and these variants of LRP2 with 741 clinically diagnosed male gout patients and 1,302 controls. As a result, the three common LRP2 variants, rs2544390, rs2229268 and rs3755166, showed no association with gout (P = 0.76, 0.55, and 0.22, respectively). Our study is the first to reveal that an SUA-related gene LRP2 is not involved in gout susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3953547  PMID: 24366390
Gouty arthritis; Hyperuricemia; Hyperlipidemia; Urate exporter; Low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR); LDLR gene family
14.  Influence of the ABCG2 gout risk 141 K allele on urate metabolism during a fructose challenge 
Both genetic variation in ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2) and intake of fructose-containing beverages are major risk factors for hyperuricemia and gout. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that the ABCG2 gout risk allele 141 K promotes the hyperuricaemic response to fructose loading.
Healthy volunteers (n = 74) provided serum and urine samples immediately before and 30, 60, 120 and 180 minutes after ingesting a 64 g fructose solution. Data were analyzed based on the presence or absence of the ABCG2 141 K gout risk allele.
The 141 K risk allele was present in 23 participants (31%). Overall, serum urate (SU) concentrations during the fructose load were similar in those with and without the 141 K allele (PSNP = 0.15). However, the 141 K allele was associated with a smaller increase in SU following fructose intake (PSNP <0.0001). Those with the 141 K allele also had a smaller increase in serum glucose following the fructose load (PSNP = 0.002). Higher fractional excretion of uric acid (FEUA) at baseline and throughout the fructose load was observed in those with the 141 K risk allele (PSNP <0.0001). However, the change in FEUA in response to fructose was not different in those with and without the 141 K risk allele (PSNP = 0.39). The 141 K allele effects on serum urate and glucose were more pronounced in Polynesian participants and in those with a body mass index ≥25 kg/m2.
In contrast to the predicted responses for a hyperuricemia/gout risk allele, the 141 K allele is associated with smaller increases in SU and higher FEUA following a fructose load. The results suggest that ABCG2 interacts with extra-renal metabolic pathways in a complex manner to regulate SU and gout risk.
Clinical Trials Registration
The study was registered by the Australian Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12610001036000).
PMCID: PMC3978630  PMID: 24476385
15.  The renal urate transporter SLC17A1 locus: confirmation of association with gout 
Two major gout-causing genes have been identified, the urate transport genes SLC2A9 and ABCG2. Variation within the SLC17A1 locus, which encodes sodium-dependent phosphate transporter 1, a renal transporter of uric acid, has also been associated with serum urate concentration. However, evidence for association with gout is equivocal. We investigated the association of the SLC17A1 locus with gout in New Zealand sample sets.
Five variants (rs1165196, rs1183201, rs9358890, rs3799344, rs12664474) were genotyped across a New Zealand sample set totaling 971 cases and 1,742 controls. Cases were ascertained according to American Rheumatism Association criteria. Two population groups were studied: Caucasian and Polynesian.
At rs1183201 (SLC17A1), evidence for association with gout was observed in both the Caucasian (odds ratio (OR) = 0.67, P = 3.0 × 10-6) and Polynesian (OR = 0.74, P = 3.0 × 10-3) groups. Meta-analysis confirmed association of rs1183201 with gout at a genome-wide level of significance (OR = 0.70, P = 3.0 × 10-8). Haplotype analysis suggested the presence of a common protective haplotype.
We confirm the SLC17A1 locus as the third associated with gout at a genome-wide level of significance.
PMCID: PMC3446466  PMID: 22541845
16.  Association of the lipoprotein receptor-related protein 2 gene with gout and non-additive interaction with alcohol consumption 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R177.
The T allele of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP: rs2544390) in lipoprotein receptor-related protein 2 (LRP2) is associated with higher serum urate and risk of gout in Japanese individuals. SNP rs2544390 also interacts with alcohol consumption in determining hyperuricemia in this population. We investigated the association of rs2544390 with gout, and interaction with all types of alcohol consumption in European and New Zealand (NZ) Māori and Pacific subjects, and a Māori study cohort from the East Coast region of NZ’s North Island.
Rs2544390 was genotyped by Taqman®. From NZ a total of 1205 controls and 1431 gout cases clinically ascertained were used. Publicly available genotype and serum urate data were utilized from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and the Framingham Heart Study (FHS). Alcohol consumption data were obtained by consumption frequency questions in all study cohorts. Multivariate adjusted logistic regression was done using STATA.
The T allele of rs2544390 was associated with increased risk of gout in the combined Māori and Pacific Island cohort (OR = 1.20, P = 0.009), and associated with gout in the European subjects, but with a protective effect (OR = 0.79, PUnadjusted = 0.02). Alcohol consumption was positively associated with risk of gout in Māori and Pacific subjects (0.2% increased risk/g/week, P = 0.004). There was a non-additive interaction between any alcohol intake and the risk of gout in the combined Māori and Pacific cohorts (PInteraction = 0.001), where any alcohol intake was associated with a 4.18-fold increased risk in the CC genotype group (P = 6.6x10-5), compared with a 1.14-fold increased risk in the CT/TT genotype group (P = 0.40). These effects were not observed in European subjects.
Association of the T-allele with gout risk in the Māori and Pacific subjects was consistent with this allele increasing serum urate in Japanese individuals. The non-additive interaction in the Māori and Pacific subjects showed that alcohol consumption over-rides any protective effect conferred by the CC genotype. Further exploration of the mechanism underlying this interaction should generate new understanding of the biological role of alcohol in gout, in addition to strengthening the evidence base for reduction of alcohol consumption in the management of gout.
PMCID: PMC3979038  PMID: 24286387
17.  Hyperuricemia and untreated gout are poor prognostic markers among those with a recent acute myocardial infarction 
Patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI) are often at risk for complications, including subsequent MI and death. Use of prognostic markers may aid in preventing these poor outcomes. Hyperuricemia is associated with increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and/or mortality; however, it is unknown if serum urate (sUA) levels predict outcomes in patients with previous MI. The purpose of this study was to assess hyperuricemia as a biomarker of CHD outcomes in such patients.
These were post hoc analyses of datasets from the Aspirin Myocardial Infarction Study, a 1:1 randomized, double-blind clinical trial, conducted from 1975 to 1979, that examined mortality rates following daily aspirin administration over three years in individuals with documented MI. The primary outcome measures were all-cause death, CHD mortality, coronary incidence, and stroke by quartile of baseline sUA. A sub-analysis of all outcome measures in the presence or absence of gouty arthritis was also performed.
Of 4,524 enrolled participants, data on 4,352 were analyzed here. All outcomes were greatest for patients in the fourth sUA quartile. In multivariate regression models, the hazard ratios (HR) for patients in the highest quartile were 1.88 for all-cause mortality (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.45 to 2.46), 1.99 for CHD mortality (95% CI, 1.49 to 2.66), and 1.36 for coronary incidence (95% CI, 1.08 to 1.70). Participants with untreated gout had an adjusted hazard ratio ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 (all P < 0.01) for these outcomes. Participants with gout who were receiving treatment did not exhibit this additional risk.
sUA and untreated gout may be independent prognostic markers for poor all-cause and CHD mortality in patients with recent acute MI.
PMCID: PMC3392798  PMID: 22251426
18.  The effect of febuxostat to prevent a further reduction in renal function of patients with hyperuricemia who have never had gout and are complicated by chronic kidney disease stage 3: study protocol for a multicenter randomized controlled study 
Trials  2014;15:26.
Hyperuricemia is a risk factor for the onset of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is significantly associated with the progression of CKD. However, there is no sufficient evidence by interventional research supporting a cause-effect relationship. Hyperuricemic patients without gouty arthritis, whose serum urate (SUA) concentration is ≥8.0 mg/dL and who have a complication, are treated by pharmacotherapy in addition to lifestyle guidance. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that rationalizes pharmacotherapy for patients with hyperuricemia who have no complication and whose SUA concentration is below 9.0 mg/dL.
The FEATHER (FEbuxostat versus placebo rAndomized controlled Trial regarding reduced renal function in patients with Hyperuricemia complicated by chRonic kidney disease stage 3) study is a prospective, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of febuxostat—a novel, nonpurine, selective, xanthine oxidase inhibitor. The present study will enroll, at 64 medical institutions in Japan, 400 Japanese patients aged 20 years or older who have hyperuricemia without gouty arthritis, who present CKD stage 3, and whose SUA concentration is 7.1-10.0 mg/dL. Patients are randomly assigned to either the febuxostat or the control group, in which febuxostat tablets and placebo are administered orally, respectively. The dosage of the study drugs should be one 10-mg tablet/day at weeks 1 to 4 after study initiation, increased to one 20-mg tablet/day at weeks 5 to 8, and elevated to one 40-mg tablet/day at week 9 and then maintained until week 108. The primary endpoint is estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) slope. The secondary endpoints include the amount and percent rate of change in eGFR from baseline to week 108, the amount and percent rate of change in SUA concentration from baseline to week 108, the proportion of patients who achieved an SUA concentration ≤6.0 mg/dL, and the incidence of renal function deterioration.
The present study aims to examine whether febuxostat prevents a further reduction in renal function as assessed with eGFR in subjects and will (1) provide evidence to indicate the inverse association between a reduction in SUA concentration and an improvement in renal function and (2) rationalize pharmacotherapy for subjects and clarify its clinical relevance.
Trial registration
UMIN Identifier: UMIN000008343
PMCID: PMC3899617  PMID: 24433285
Xanthine oxidase inhibitor; Urate-lowering therapy; Reduced renal function; Hyperuricemia; Chronic kidney disease; Randomized controlled study; Placebo
19.  Efficacy of allopurinol and benzbromarone for the control of hyperuricaemia. A pathogenic approach to the treatment of primary chronic gout 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1998;57(9):545-549.
OBJECTIVES—To study the efficacy of allopurinol and benzbromarone to reduce serum urate concentrations in patients with primary chronic gout.
METHODS—Prospective, parallel, open study of 86 consecutive male patients with primary chronic gout. Forty nine patients (26 normal excretors and 23 under excretors) were given allopurinol 300 mg/day and 37 under excretors benzbromarone 100 mg/day. After achieving steady plasma urate concentrations with such doses, treatment was then adjusted to obtain optimal plasmatic urate concentrations (under 6 mg/dl).
RESULTS—Patients receiving allopurinol 300 mg/day showed a mean reduction of plasmatic urate of 2.75 mg/dl (from 8.60 to 5.85 mg/dl) and 3.34 mg/dl (from 9.10 to 5.76 mg/dl) in normal excretors and under excretors respectively. Patients receiving benzbromarone 100 mg/day achieved a reduction of plasmatic urate of 5.04 mg/dl (from 8.58 to 3.54 mg/dl). Fifty three per cent of patients receiving allopurinol and 100% receiving benzbromarone achieved optimal plasma urate concentrations at such doses. The patients with poor results with allopurinol 300 mg/day achieved a proper plasma urate concentration with allopurinol 450 to 600 mg/day, the mean final dose being 372 mg/day. Renal fuction improved and no case of renal lithiasis was observed among benzbromarone treated patients, whose mean final dose was 76 mg/day.
CONCLUSION—Benzbromarone is very effective to control plasma urate concentrations at doses ranging from 50 to 100 mg/day. Uricosuric treatment is a suitable approach to the treatment of patients with gout who show underexcretion of urate.

 Keywords: gout; gout suppressants; allopurinol; benzbromarone
PMCID: PMC1752740  PMID: 9849314
20.  Association between being African-American, serum urate levels and the risk of developing hyperuricemia: findings from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults cohort 
Findings that African-American race/ethnicity is associated with higher concentrations of serum urate have not been adjusted for possible confounding factors or have not explored this question as a primary outcome. We tested this hypothesis in a bi-racial cohort of younger African-American and white men and women.
Data from 5,049 participants at the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort baseline (1985 to1986) and follow-up for up to 20 years of individuals without hyperuricemia (defined as a serum urate of 6.8 mg/dL or more) at baseline were utilized. We determined associations between race, serum urate and the development of hyperuricemia in sex-specific cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Confounding factors examined included: age at enrollment, body mass index, development of hypertension, glomerular filtration rate, medication use, diet and alcohol intake and menopausal symptoms in women.
Referent to whites, African-American men and women had significantly lower concentrations of serum urate at baseline. African-American men had an essentially equal risk of developing incident hyperuricemia during follow-up compared with white men (multivariable adjusted HR = 1.12 (0.88 to1.40)). African-American women developed a significantly increased risk of hyperuricemia when compared to white women (HR = 2.31 (1.34 to 3.99)).
Young African-American men and women had lower concentrations of serum urate than whites. During longitudinal follow-up, African-American women had a significantly increased risk of developing hyperuricemia when compared with white women, a difference that was not observed in men. Differences in production of serum urate or a more rapid decline in fractional excretion of serum urate are potential, albeit still unproven, explanations for these findings in African-American women.
PMCID: PMC3392790  PMID: 22225548
21.  Effect of Fenofibrate in Combination with Urate Lowering Agents in Patients with Gout 
To assess the efficacy of fenofibrate treatment in combination with urate lowering agents in patients with gout.
Fourteen male patients with chronic tophaceous or recurrent acute attacks of gout were evaluated in an open-label pilot study of the hypolipidemic agent, fenofibrate (Lipidil Supra® 160 mg/d). Patients were stable on urate lowering agents (allopurinol or benzbromarone) for ≥three months without acute attack for the most recent one month before participating. All patients were being treated with established doses of urate lowering agents without modification throughout the study. Clinical and biochemical assessments including serum uric acid, creatinine, liver function test and fasting serum lipid were measured at (1) baseline (2) after two months of fenofibrate treatment and (3) two months after fenofibrate was withdrawn.
Serum uric acid was lowered by 23% after two months of fenofibrate treatment (6.93±2.16 vs. 5.22±1.16 mg/dL; p=0.016). Triglyceride levels were also reduced after fenofibrate treatment (p=0.001). However, this effect was reversed after the withdrawal (p=0.002) of the drug. Alkaline phosphatase was reduced after fenofibrate treatment (p=0.006), but increased 21% after the withdrawal of the drug (p=0.002). By contrast, serum levels of high density lipoprotein and creatinine were increased 9% (p=0.018) and 12% (p=0.006), respectively; however, both levels were significantly decreased to the baseline levels upon withdrawal of fenofibrate.
Fenofibrate can effectively reduce uric acid levels in addition to its known hypolipidemic effect. Fenofibrate may be used as a potential urate lowering agent in patients with gout, especially in those with coexisting hyperlipidemia.
PMCID: PMC3890742  PMID: 16913436
Fenofibrate; Gout; Hyperuricemia; Hyperlipidemia
22.  Gout, genetics and ABC transporters 
Gout is a chronic arthritic disease associated with high levels of urate in blood. Recent advances in research have permitted the identification of several new and common genetic factors underlying the disease. Among them, a polymorphism in the ABC transporter gene ATP-binding cassette transporter isoform G2 has been highlighted. ATP-binding cassette transporter isoform G2 was found to be involved in renal urate elimination, and the presence of the Q141K polymorphism to induce a 2-fold decrease in urate efflux. The Q141K variant has been shown to have impaired trafficking, leading to its intracellular retention, whereas the wild type protein is expressed on the cell surface. Several agents are being studied for the purpose of improving folding, trafficking and function of various ABC transporters, including ATP-binding cassette transporter isoform G2. If successful, this strategy opens doors to potential new therapies for gout.
PMCID: PMC3206739  PMID: 22065982
23.  Plasma Urate and Parkinson's Disease in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;169(9):1064-1069.
Higher plasma urate concentration has been linked to lower risk of Parkinson's disease in men, but data are lacking on women and African Americans. The authors examined plasma urate in relation to Parkinson's disease in the biracial, population-based Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort. Between 1987 and 1989, 15,792 participants, aged 45–64 years, were recruited from 4 US communities and have since been followed with 3 triennial visits and annual surveillance. Plasma urate was measured at visits 1 and 2, and the concentrations were highly correlated. From visit 1 through 2004, 95 potential cases of Parkinson's disease were identified from multiple sources. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated from multivariate logistic regression models. Plasma urate concentration was inversely associated with Parkinson's disease occurrence. The odds ratios between extreme quartiles of plasma urate were 0.4 (95% confidence interval: 0.2, 0.8) in the overall analysis, 0.3 (95% confidence interval: 0.1, 0.7) for men, and 0.4 (95% confidence interval: 0.2, 1.0) for Caucasians. Such an association was also suggested among women and African Americans but was not statistically significant because of small sample sizes. These data support the previous finding that urate may be a protective factor against Parkinson's disease.
PMCID: PMC2727240  PMID: 19299404
cohort studies; Parkinson disease; uric acid
24.  Impact of allopurinol use on urate concentration and cardiovascular outcome 
To characterize patients with urate measurements by urate-lowering therapy (ULT) use and to study the impact of allopurinol treatment on cardiovascular and mortality outcomes.
A cohort study using a record-linkage database. The study included 7135 patients aged ≥60 years with urate measurements between 2000 and 2002 followed up until 2007. A Cox regression model was used. The association between urate levels, dispensed allopurinol and cardiovascular hospitalization and mortality was determined.
Six thousand and forty-two patients were not taking ULT and 45.9% of those (2774 of 6042) had urate concentrations ≤6 mg dl−1. Among 1035 allopurinol users, 44.7% (45.6% for men and 43.3% for women) reached target urate concentration. There was no significant increased risk of cardiovascular events for allopurinol users when compared with non-ULT users [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.95–1.26] and the non-ULT group with urate >6 mg dl−1 (adjusted HR 1.07, 95% CI 0.89–1.28). Within the allopurinol use cohort, cardiovascular event rates were 74.0 (95% CI 61.9–86.1) per 1000 person years for the 100 mg group, 69.7 (49.6–89.8) for the 200 mg group and 47.6 (38.4–56.9) for the ≥300 mg group. Compared with low-dose (100 mg) users, high-dose (≥300 mg) users had significant reductions in the risk of cardiovascular events (adjusted HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.50–0.94) and mortality (adjusted HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.59–0.94).
Less than 50% of patients taking allopurinol reached target urate concentration. Higher doses of allopurinol were associated with better control of urate and lower risks of both cardiovascular events and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3080649  PMID: 21395653
allopurinol; cardiovascular event; mortality; urate
25.  Impact of allopurinol use on urate concentration and cardiovascular outcome 
To characterize patients with urate measurements by urate-lowering therapy (ULT) use and to study the impact of allopurinol treatment on cardiovascular and mortality outcomes.
A cohort study using a record-linkage database. The study included 7135 patients aged ≥60 years with urate measurements between 2000 and 2002 followed up until 2007. A Cox regression model was used. The association between urate levels, dispensed allopurinol and cardiovascular hospitalization and mortality was determined.
Six thousand and forty-two patients were not taking ULT and 45.9% of those (2774 of 6042) had urate concentrations ≤6 mg dl−1. Among 1035 allopurinol users, 44.7% (45.6% for men and 43.3% for women) reached target urate concentration. There was no significant increased risk of cardiovascular events for allopurinol users when compared with non-ULT users [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.95–1.26] and the non-ULT group with urate >6 mg dl−1 (adjusted HR 1.07, 95% CI 0.89–1.28). Within the allopurinol use cohort, cardiovascular event rates were 74.0 (95% CI 61.9–86.1) per 1000 person years for the 100 mg group, 69.7 (49.6–89.8) for the 200 mg group and 47.6 (38.4–56.9) for the ≥300 mg group. Compared with low-dose (100 mg) users, high-dose (≥300 mg) users had significant reductions in the risk of cardiovascular events (adjusted HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.50–0.94) and mortality (adjusted HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.59–0.94).
Less than 50% of patients taking allopurinol reached target urate concentration. Higher doses of allopurinol were associated with better control of urate and lower risks of both cardiovascular events and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3080649  PMID: 21395653
allopurinol; cardiovascular event; mortality; urate

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