Does your blood pressure increase in stressful situations? Well, then your phosducin gene could be responsible, says a new study.
Researchers at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, have identified a role for the protein generated by the phosducin gene in modulating blood pressure in response to stress in both mice and humans.
The team, led by Lutz Hein and Ulrich Broeckel, generated mice lacking phosducin and found that they had increased baseline blood pressure when compared with normal mice and that they showed enhanced increases in blood pressure in response to post-operative stress.
Analysis in humans indicated that a number of phosducin gene variants were associated with certain stress-dependent blood pressure responses.
Further, one gene variant in particular was associated with elevated baseline blood pressure.
These data led the researchers to suggest that phosducin might be a good target for drugs designed to alleviate stress-induced high blood pressure.
The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.