WNK lysine-deficient protein kinase 1 (WNK1) is a member of the WNK family of serine/threonine kinases with no lysine (K), and these kinases have been implicated as important modulators of salt homeostasis in the kidney. It is well known that high dietary sodium and low dietary potassium have been implicated in the etiology of increased blood pressure. However, the blood pressure response to dietary sodium and potassium intake varies considerably among individuals. In this study, we have detected that the haplotypes of the WNK1 gene are associated with blood pressure variations in the general Japanese population. In addition, we investigated the interactions between the haplotypes of the WNK1 gene and dietary sodium and potassium intake for determining inter-individual variations in blood pressure. Our data support the hypothesis that part of the variation in blood pressure response to dietary sodium and potassium intake among individuals can be explained by variations in the WNK1 gene.
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