Epidemiological studies have shown that genetic factors contribute to the etiology of the common and serious pregnancy-specific disorder pre-eclampsia (PE)/eclampsia (E). Candidate-gene studies have provided evidence (albeit controversial) of linkage to several genes, including angiotensinogen on 1q42-43 and eNOS on 7q36. A recent medium-density genome scan in Icelandic families identified significant linkage to D2S286 (at 94.05 cM) on chromosome 2p12 and suggestive linkage to D2S321 (at 157.5 cM) on chromosome 2q23. In the present article, the authors report the results of a medium-density genome scan in 34 families, representing 121 affected women, from Australia and New Zealand. Multipoint nonparametric linkage analysis, using the GENEHUNTER-PLUS program, showed suggestive evidence of linkage to chromosome 2 (-LOD = 2.58), at 144.7 cM, between D2S112 and D2S151, and to chromosome 11q23-24, between D11S925 and D11S4151 (LOD = 2.02 at 121.3 cM). Given the limited precision of estimates of the map location of disease-predisposing loci for complex traits, the present finding on chromosome 2 is consistent with the finding from the Icelandic study, and it may represent evidence of the same locus segregating in the population from Australia and New Zealand. The authors propose that the PE/E-linked locus on chromosome 2p should be designated the 'PREG1' (pre-eclampsia, eclampsia gene 1) locus.
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