NFKB1 promoter variation implicates shear-induced NOS3 gene expression and endothelial function in prehypertensives and stage I hypertensives

Joon Young Park, Iain K.G. Farrance, Nicola M. Fenty, James M. Hagberg, Stephen M. Roth, David M. Mosser, Min Qi Wang, Han Joong Jo, Toshihiko Okazaki, Steven R. Brant, Michael D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In endothelial cells, NF-κB is an important intracellular signaling molecule by which changes in wall shear stress are transduced into the nucleus to initiate downstream endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS3) gene expression. We investigated whether NF-κ light-chain gene enhancer in B cells 1 (NFKB1) promoter polymorphism (-94NFKB1 I/D, where I is the insertion allele and D is the deletion allele) was associated with 1) NOS3 gene expression in endothelial cells under physiological levels of unidirectional laminar shear stress (LSS) and 2) endothelial function in prehypertensive and stage I hypertensive individuals before and after a 6-mo supervised endurance exercise intervention. Competitive EMSAs revealed that proteins present in the nuclei of endothelial cells preferentially bound to the I allele NFKB1 promoter compared with the D allele. Reporter gene assays showed that the I allele promoter had significantly higher activity than the D allele. In agreement with these observations, homozygous II genotype cells had higher p50 expression levels than homozygous DD genotype cells. Cells with the homozygous II genotype showed a greater increase in NOS3 protein expression than did homozygous DD genotype cells under LSS. Functional experiments on volunteers confirmed higher baseline reactive hyperemic forearm blood flow, and, furthermore, the subgroup analysis revealed that DD homozygotes were significantly less prevalent in the exercise responder group compared with II and ID genotypes. We conclude that the -94NFKB1 I/D promoter variation contributes to the modulation of vascular function and adaptability to exercise-induced flow shear stress, most likely due to differences in NFKB1 gene transactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2320-H2327
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Nitric oxide synthase 3
  • Nuclear factor-κ light-chain gene enhancer in B cells 1
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'NFKB1 promoter variation implicates shear-induced NOS3 gene expression and endothelial function in prehypertensives and stage I hypertensives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this