Widening of the blood vessels and therefore blood flow and blood pressure is regulated, amongst other things, by a molecule called bradykinin.  Bradykinin binds to the bradykinin receptor (a protein encoded by the BDKRB2 gene).  Different variants of this gene lead to lower or higher expression of this receptor and are associated with hypertension risk and also with endurance athletes.


 

Global population distribution:

Source: 1000 Genome Project. Global averages for both sexes

BDKRB2: CC

39%

BDKRB2: TC

45%

BDKRB2: TT

16%

More about BDKRB2

THE BDKRB2 GENE

BDKRB2 encodes for a receptor which interacts with the molecule bradykinin. Bradykinin binding to the BDKRB2 receptor leads to the relaxing and widening of blood vessels and therefore helps regulate blood pressure. Bradykinin is known to cause the release of nitric oxide which causes smooth muscle in blood vessels to relax.

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