Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Theresa M. Beckie, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jason W. Beckstead, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Duane C. Eichler, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Maureen W. Groer, Ph.D.


Genetics, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, inflammation, obesity


The leading cause of death among women is coronary heart disease (CHD), a multifactorial disease with polygenic heritability estimated at 50%. Polymorphisms in the family with sequence similarity 5, member C’ (

FAM5C) gene have been associated with myocardial infarction (MI), and one single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has partially accounted for linkage in an acute coronary syndrome subset. The linkage peak on FAM5C corresponds directly with a quantitative trait locus for the inflammatory biomarker monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, as well as a linkage peak to metabolic syndrome (MetS). Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing CHD, and MI has been positively associated with elevated inflammatory biomarkers. This study was designed as a descriptive pilot gene association study. The purpose was to investigate the variability of the FAM5C SNP (rs10920501) in a cohort of women with documented CHD. It also examined the association between the variability of the FAM5C SNP (rs10920501), MetS, inflammatory markers, and the association with early onset CHD in the presence or absence of MI. A subset of 91 women was derived from an earlier study of women randomized to either a

gender-tailored or traditional cardiac rehabilitation program. The results indicated the T allele of

FAM5C SNP rs10920501 has a strong protective effect in women with a history of MI. Women with a history of MI and the heterozygous (AT) genotype had a mean age of onset of CHD at 62 years, compared to the homozygous wild type (AA) with a mean age of onset at 55 years, (F (3, 34) = 5.00, p < .01). No women in this study with the homozygous variant (TT) had an MI, further demonstrating the protective effective of the T allele. The genotype of FAM5C SNP rs10920501 explains approximately seven percent of the variability of age of onset of CHD in women who have had an MI, while holding body mass index (BMI) and smoking history constant. There was no significant relationship between FAM5C SNP (rs109320501) and MetS or any inflammatory biomarkers in this sample. In conclusion, FAM5C remains a gene of interest in a complex disease process.