What is CYP11B2?
This enzyme is also called aldosterone synthase (because it produces aldosterone). It is one of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs) .
CYPs eliminate toxins and drugs from the human body. However, some, like CYP11B2, are not involved in detoxification but in steroid hormone production.
This enzyme is found in the adrenal glands .
This enzyme is important for maintaining aldosterone levels. Aldosterone, in turn, maintains sodium and potassium in balance and helps maintain blood pH levels.
Aldosterone deficiency due to CYP11B2 mutations can cause excessive sodium release and potassium retention, resulting in hyponatremia (low sodium), hyperkalemia (high potassium), and metabolic acidosis, which can be fatal .
CYP11B2 also helps maintain blood pressure.
Milder enzyme deficiency is associated with postural hypotension (low blood pressure upon standing) in adulthood .
Higher enzyme activity can result in the overproduction of aldosterone.
High levels of aldosterone lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and increase the risk of heart disease .
There are over twenty CYP11B2 gene variants .
Some variants increase, while others decrease aldosterone production.
This variant is further associated with atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) (meta-analysis, 11 studies, 1629 cases, and 2284 controls)  and increases heart disease risk in Whites and Asians (meta-analysis, 5 studies, 3687 subjects) .
It may also increase the risk of stroke (meta-analysis, 7 studies, 2765 cases, and 3118 controls) .
rs1799998 C may contribute to kidney disease (nephropathy) (meta-analysis, 5 studies, 825 cases and 910 controls) .
In addition, the C variant was also associated with higher BMI (290 subjects) .
C/C female carriers accumulate more fat and may be more prone to obesity (1386 subjects) .
On the other hand, T/T increases the risk of recurrent brain ischemia (low brain oxygen) by 1.98-fold (208 patients) .
The T variant and lower aldosterone levels are more often found in Himalayan people. They may help natives cope with lower oxygen levels (662 subjects) .
Increasing or Decreasing CYP11B2
These increase CYP11B2:
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) 
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) 
- Angiotensin and potassium