CYP17A1 enzyme activity is linked to ambulatory blood pressure in a family-based population study

Daniel Ackermann, Menno Pruijm, Belen Ponte, Idris Guessous, Georg Ehret, Geneviève Escher, Bernhard Dick, Heba Al-Alwan, Philippe Vuistiner, Fred Paccaud, Michel Burnier, Antoinette Péchère-Bertschi, Pierre Yves Martin, Bruno Vogt, Markus Mohaupt, Murielle Bochud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies have linked CYP17A1 coding for the steroid hormone synthesizing enzyme 17α-hydroxylase (CYP17A1) to blood pressure (BP). We hypothesized that the genetic signal may translate into a correlation of ambulatory BP (ABP) with apparent CYP17A1 activity in a family-based population study and estimated the heritability of CYP17A1 activity. METHODS: In the Swiss Kidney Project on Genes in Hypertension, day and night urinary excretions of steroid hormone metabolites were measured in 518 participants (220 men, 298 women), randomly selected from the general population. CYP17A1 activity was assessed by 2 ratios of urinary steroid metabolites: one estimating the combined 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase activity (ratio 1) and the other predominantly 17α-hydroxylase activity (ratio 2). A mixed linear model was used to investigate the association of ABP with log-transformed CYP17A1 activities exploring effect modification by urinary sodium excretion. RESULTS: Daytime ABP was positively associated with ratio 1 under conditions of high, but not low urinary sodium excretion (P interaction <0.05). Ratio 2 was not associated with ABP. Heritability estimates (SE) for day and night CYP17A1 activities were 0.39 (0.10) and 0.40 (0.09) for ratio 1, and 0.71 (0.09) and 0.55 (0.09) for ratio 2 (P values <0.001). CYP17A1 activities, assessed with ratio 1, were lower in older participants. CONCLUSIONS: Low apparent CYP17A1 activity (assessed with ratio 1) is associated with elevated daytime ABP when salt intake is high. CYP17A1 activity is heritable and diminished in the elderly. These observations highlight the modifying effect of salt intake on the association of CYP17A1 with BP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-493
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • Aging
  • Blood pressure
  • CYP17A1
  • Heritability
  • Hypertension
  • Salt
  • Steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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