BACKGROUND: Extreme constitution "Prakriti" types of Ayurveda exhibit systemic physiological attributes. Our earlier genetic study has revealed differences in EGLN1, key modulator of hypoxia axis between Prakriti types. This was associated with differences in high altitude adaptation and susceptibility to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). In this study we investigate other molecular differences that contribute to systemic attributes of Prakriti that would be relevant in predictive marker discovery.
METHODS: Genotyping of 96 individuals of the earlier cohort was carried out in a panel of 2,800 common genic SNPs represented in Indian Genomic Variation Consortium (IGVC) panel from 24 diverse populations. Frequency distribution patterns of Prakriti differentiating variations (FDR correction P < 0.05) was studied in IGVC and 55 global populations (HGDP-CEPH) panels. Genotypic interactions between VWF, identified from the present analysis, and EGLN1 was analyzed using multinomial logistic regression in Prakriti and Indian populations from contrasting altitudes. Spearman's Rank correlation was used to study this genotypic interaction with respect to altitude in HGDP-CEPH panel. Validation of functional link between EGLN1 and VWF was carried out in a mouse model using chemical inhibition and siRNA studies.
RESULT: Significant differences in allele frequencies were observed in seven genes (SPTA1, VWF, OLR1, UCP2, OR6K3, LEPR, and OR10Z1) after FDR correction (P < 0.05). A non synonymous variation (C/T, rs1063856) associated with thrombosis/bleeding susceptibility respectively, differed significantly between Kapha (C-allele) and Pitta (T-allele) constitution types. A combination of derived EGLN1 allele (HAPE associated) and ancestral VWF allele (thrombosis associated) was significantly high in Kapha group compared to Pitta (p < 10(-5)). The combination of risk-associated Kapha alleles was nearly absent in natives of high altitude. Inhibition of EGLN1 using (DHB) and an EGLN1 specific siRNA in a mouse model lead to a marked increase in vWF levels as well as pro-thrombotic phenotype viz. reduced bleeding time and enhanced platelet count and activation.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrate for the first time a genetic link between EGLN1 and VWF in a constitution specific manner which could modulate thrombosis/bleeding susceptibility and outcomes of hypoxia. Integration of Prakriti in population stratification may help assemble common variations in key physiological axes that confers differences in disease occurrence and patho-phenotypic outcomes.