Variations in the potassium channel genes KCNK3 and KCNK9 in relation to blood pressure and aldosterone production: An exploratory study

Jeesun Jung, Paula Q. Barrett, George J. Eckert, Howard J. Edenberg, Xiaoling Xuei, Wanzhu Tu, J. Howard Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Context: Two potassium (K) channel genes, Kcnk3 and Kcnk9, when deleted in mice, produced a model of hyperaldosteronism and hypertension. Objective: Our objective was to explore genetic variation [single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP)] in KCNK3 and KCNK9 in relation to blood pressure (BP) and aldosterone production in humans. Subjects and Study Design: Two groups of healthy European Americans (EA) and African Americans (AA) were studied: 1) a longitudinal study group (age ∼14 yr when enrolled, 444 EA and 351 AA) and 2) an inpatient cross-sectional study group (age ∼23 yr, 85 EA and 109 AA). Plasma renin activity, plasma aldosterone concentration, and level of serum K were measured cross-sectionally; BP was measured semiannually in the longitudinal study. SNP were selected to provide coverage of the genes for both EA and AA (15 in KCNK3 and 74 in KCNK9). Results: No associations with KCNK3 were observed. In the longitudinal study, multiple SNP in KCNK9 associated with systolic BP in AA, whereas associations were primarily with aldosterone production in EA. The direction of the changes was the same for aldosterone production and BP, whereas serum K changed in the opposite direction. In the cross-sectional study, associations were observed only in AA. Combining the two studies, one SNP in particular, rs888345, was strongly associated with BP in AA and with indices of aldosterone production in AA and EA. Conclusion: Results of an exploratory study suggest that BP and aldosterone production may be affected by variations in KCNK9. The findings could have relevance to risk for hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2160-E2167
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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