PloS one

Possible association between dysfunction of vitamin D binding protein (GC Globulin) and migraine attacks.

PMID 25147936


To identify the genetic causality of migraine and acute, severe melalgia, we performed a linkage analysis and exome sequencing in a family with four affected individuals. We identified a variant (R21L) in exon 2 of the GC globulin gene, which is involved in the transportation of vitamin D metabolites and acts as a chemotaxic factor; this variant was co-segregated within the family. To investigate the relationship between GC globulin and melalgia, we investigated the cytokine levels in serum samples from the patients and control subjects using a cytokine antibody array. GC globulin can bind to both MCP-1 and RANTES in human serum but has a higher affinity to MCP-1. In cell culture systems, MCP-1 was able to bind to overexpressed wild-type GC globulin but not to the GC globulin variant, and the GC globulin binding affinity to MCP-1 was significantly lower in sera from the patients than in sera from control subjects. A higher concentration of MCP-1 was also observed in sera from the patients. Thus, the dysfunctional GC globulin affected cytokine release, especially the release of MCP-1, and MCP-1 might play important roles in melalgia and migraine.