Publications by authors named "Alanna C Morrison"

192 Publications

Genetic susceptibility, obesity, and lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes: The ARIC study and Rotterdam Study.

Diabet Med 2021 Jul 10:e14639. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Aims: Both lifestyle factors and genetic background contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Estimation of the lifetime risk of diabetes based on genetic information has not been presented, and the extent to which a normal body weight can offset a high lifetime genetic risk is unknown.

Methods: We used data from 15,671 diabetes-free participants of European ancestry aged 45 years and older from the prospective population-based ARIC study and Rotterdam Study (RS). We quantified the remaining lifetime risk of diabetes stratified by genetic risk and quantified the effect of normal weight in terms of relative and lifetime risks in low, intermediate, and high genetic risk.

Results: At age 45 years, the lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes in ARIC in the low, intermediate, and high genetic risk category was 33.2%, 41.3%, and 47.2%, and in RS 22.8%, 30.6%, and 35.5%, respectively. The absolute lifetime risk for individuals with normal weight compared to individuals with obesity was 24% lower in ARIC and 8.6% lower in RS in the low genetic risk group, 36.3% lower in ARIC and 31.3% lower in RS in the intermediate genetic risk group, and 25.0% lower in ARIC and 29.4% lower in RS in the high genetic risk group.

Conclusions: Genetic variants for type 2 diabetes have value in estimating the lifetime risk of type 2 diabetes. Normal weight mitigates partly the deleterious effect of high genetic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dme.14639DOI Listing
July 2021

Identification of novel and rare variants associated with handgrip strength using whole genome sequence data from the NHLBI Trans-Omics in Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(7):e0253611. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States of America.

Handgrip strength is a widely used measure of muscle strength and a predictor of a range of morbidities including cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality. Previous genome-wide association studies of handgrip strength have focused on common variants primarily in persons of European descent. We aimed to identify rare and ancestry-specific genetic variants associated with handgrip strength by conducting whole-genome sequence association analyses using 13,552 participants from six studies representing diverse population groups from the Trans-Omics in Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program. By leveraging multiple handgrip strength measures performed in study participants over time, we increased our effective sample size by 7-12%. Single-variant analyses identified ten handgrip strength loci among African-Americans: four rare variants, five low-frequency variants, and one common variant. One significant and four suggestive genes were identified associated with handgrip strength when aggregating rare and functional variants; all associations were ancestry-specific. We additionally leveraged the different ancestries available in the UK Biobank to further explore the ancestry-specific association signals from the single-variant association analyses. In conclusion, our study identified 11 new loci associated with handgrip strength with rare and/or ancestry-specific genetic variations, highlighting the added value of whole-genome sequencing in diverse samples. Several of the associations identified using single-variant or aggregate analyses lie in genes with a function relevant to the brain or muscle or were reported to be associated with muscle or age-related traits. Further studies in samples with sequence data and diverse ancestries are needed to confirm these findings.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0253611PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253404PMC
July 2021

Supplemental Association of Clonal Hematopoiesis With Incident Heart Failure.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2021 Jul;78(1):42-52

Department of Epidemiology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA; Care New England, Center for Primary Care and Prevention, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA; Department of Family Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Age-related clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP), defined as clonally expanded leukemogenic sequence variations (particularly in DNMT3A, TET2, ASXL1, and JAK2) in asymptomatic individuals, is associated with cardiovascular events, including recurrent heart failure (HF).

Objectives: This study sought to evaluate whether CHIP is associated with incident HF.

Methods: CHIP status was obtained from whole exome or genome sequencing of blood DNA in participants without prevalent HF or hematological malignancy from 5 cohorts. Cox proportional hazards models were performed within each cohort, adjusting for demographic and clinical risk factors, followed by fixed-effect meta-analyses. Large CHIP clones (defined as variant allele frequency >10%), HF with or without baseline coronary heart disease, and left ventricular ejection fraction were evaluated in secondary analyses.

Results: Of 56,597 individuals (59% women, mean age 58 years at baseline), 3,406 (6%) had CHIP, and 4,694 developed HF (8.3%) over up to 20 years of follow-up. CHIP was prospectively associated with a 25% increased risk of HF in meta-analysis (hazard ratio: 1.25; 95% confidence interval: 1.13-1.38) with consistent associations across cohorts. ASXL1, TET2, and JAK2 sequence variations were each associated with an increased risk of HF, whereas DNMT3A sequence variations were not associated with HF. Secondary analyses suggested large CHIP was associated with a greater risk of HF (hazard ratio: 1.29; 95% confidence interval: 1.15-1.44), and the associations for CHIP on HF with and without prior coronary heart disease were homogenous. ASXL1 sequence variations were associated with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction.

Conclusions: CHIP, particularly sequence variations in ASXL1, TET2, and JAK2, represents a new risk factor for HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.04.085DOI Listing
July 2021

Determinants of penetrance and variable expressivity in monogenic metabolic conditions across 77,184 exomes.

Nat Commun 2021 06 9;12(1):3505. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Hundreds of thousands of genetic variants have been reported to cause severe monogenic diseases, but the probability that a variant carrier develops the disease (termed penetrance) is unknown for virtually all of them. Additionally, the clinical utility of common polygenetic variation remains uncertain. Using exome sequencing from 77,184 adult individuals (38,618 multi-ancestral individuals from a type 2 diabetes case-control study and 38,566 participants from the UK Biobank, for whom genotype array data were also available), we apply clinical standard-of-care gene variant curation for eight monogenic metabolic conditions. Rare variants causing monogenic diabetes and dyslipidemias display effect sizes significantly larger than the top 1% of the corresponding polygenic scores. Nevertheless, penetrance estimates for monogenic variant carriers average 60% or lower for most conditions. We assess epidemiologic and genetic factors contributing to risk prediction in monogenic variant carriers, demonstrating that inclusion of polygenic variation significantly improves biomarker estimation for two monogenic dyslipidemias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23556-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8190084PMC
June 2021

Leveraging a health information exchange for analyses of COVID-19 outcomes including an example application using smoking history and mortality.

PLoS One 2021 3;16(6):e0247235. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, United States of America.

Understanding sociodemographic, behavioral, clinical, and laboratory risk factors in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 is critically important, and requires building large and diverse COVID-19 cohorts with both retrospective information and prospective follow-up. A large Health Information Exchange (HIE) in Southeast Texas, which assembles and shares electronic health information among providers to facilitate patient care, was leveraged to identify COVID-19 patients, create a cohort, and identify risk factors for both favorable and unfavorable outcomes. The initial sample consists of 8,874 COVID-19 patients ascertained from the pandemic's onset to June 12th, 2020 and was created for the analyses shown here. We gathered demographic, lifestyle, laboratory, and clinical data from patient's encounters across the healthcare system. Tobacco use history was examined as a potential risk factor for COVID-19 fatality along with age, gender, race/ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), and number of comorbidities. Of the 8,874 patients included in the cohort, 475 died from COVID-19. Of the 5,356 patients who had information on history of tobacco use, over 26% were current or former tobacco users. Multivariable logistic regression showed that the odds of COVID-19 fatality increased among those who were older (odds ratio = 1.07, 95% CI 1.06, 1.08), male (1.91, 95% CI 1.58, 2.31), and had a history of tobacco use (2.45, 95% CI 1.93, 3.11). History of tobacco use remained significantly associated (1.65, 95% CI 1.27, 2.13) with COVID-19 fatality after adjusting for age, gender, and race/ethnicity. This effort demonstrates the impact of having an HIE to rapidly identify a cohort, aggregate sociodemographic, behavioral, clinical and laboratory data across disparate healthcare providers electronic health record (HER) systems, and follow the cohort over time. These HIE capabilities enable clinical specialists and epidemiologists to conduct outcomes analyses during the current COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Tobacco use appears to be an important risk factor for COVID-19 related death.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247235PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8174716PMC
June 2021

Whole-genome sequencing association analysis of quantitative red blood cell phenotypes: The NHLBI TOPMed program.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 05 21;108(5):874-893. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.

Whole-genome sequencing (WGS), a powerful tool for detecting novel coding and non-coding disease-causing variants, has largely been applied to clinical diagnosis of inherited disorders. Here we leveraged WGS data in up to 62,653 ethnically diverse participants from the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program and assessed statistical association of variants with seven red blood cell (RBC) quantitative traits. We discovered 14 single variant-RBC trait associations at 12 genomic loci, which have not been reported previously. Several of the RBC trait-variant associations (RPN1, ELL2, MIDN, HBB, HBA1, PIEZO1, and G6PD) were replicated in independent GWAS datasets imputed to the TOPMed reference panel. Most of these discovered variants are rare/low frequency, and several are observed disproportionately among non-European Ancestry (African, Hispanic/Latino, or East Asian) populations. We identified a 3 bp indel p.Lys2169del (g.88717175_88717177TCT[4]) (common only in the Ashkenazi Jewish population) of PIEZO1, a gene responsible for the Mendelian red cell disorder hereditary xerocytosis (MIM: 194380), associated with higher mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). In stepwise conditional analysis and in gene-based rare variant aggregated association analysis, we identified several of the variants in HBB, HBA1, TMPRSS6, and G6PD that represent the carrier state for known coding, promoter, or splice site loss-of-function variants that cause inherited RBC disorders. Finally, we applied base and nuclease editing to demonstrate that the sentinel variant rs112097551 (nearest gene RPN1) acts through a cis-regulatory element that exerts long-range control of the gene RUVBL1 which is essential for hematopoiesis. Together, these results demonstrate the utility of WGS in ethnically diverse population-based samples and gene editing for expanding knowledge of the genetic architecture of quantitative hematologic traits and suggest a continuum between complex trait and Mendelian red cell disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206199PMC
May 2021

FGL1 as a modulator of plasma D-dimer levels: Exome-wide marker analysis of plasma tPA, PAI-1, and D-dimer.

J Thromb Haemost 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: Use of targeted exome-arrays with common, rare variants and functionally enriched variation has led to discovery of new genes contributing to population variation in risk factors. Plasminogen activator-inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and the plasma product D-dimer are important components of the fibrinolytic system. There have been few large-scale genome-wide or exome-wide studies of PAI-1, tPA, and D-dimer.

Objectives: We sought to discover new genetic loci contributing to variation in these traits using an exome-array approach.

Methods: Cohort-level analyses and fixed effects meta-analyses of PAI-1 (n = 15 603), tPA (n = 6876,) and D-dimer (n = 19 306) from 12 cohorts of European ancestry with diverse study design were conducted, including single-variant analyses and gene-based burden testing.

Results: Five variants located in NME7, FGL1, and the fibrinogen locus, all associated with D-dimer levels, achieved genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10 ). Replication was sought for these 5 variants, as well as 45 well-imputed variants with P < 1 × 10 in the discovery using an independent cohort. Replication was observed for three out of the five significant associations, including a novel and uncommon (0.013 allele frequency) coding variant p.Trp256Leu in FGL1 (fibrinogen-like-1) with increased plasma D-dimer levels. Additionally, a candidate-gene approach revealed a suggestive association for a coding variant (rs143202684-C) in SERPINB2, and suggestive associations with consistent effect in the replication analysis include an intronic variant (rs11057830-A) in SCARB1 associated with increased D-dimer levels.

Conclusion: This work provides new evidence for a role of FGL1 in hemostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.15345DOI Listing
April 2021

A System for Phenotype Harmonization in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Genotype-phenotype association studies often combine phenotype data from multiple studies to increase power. Harmonization of the data usually requires substantial effort due to heterogeneity in phenotype definitions, study design, data collection procedures, and data set organization. Here we describe a centralized system for phenotype harmonization that includes input from phenotype domain and study experts, quality control, documentation, reproducible results, and data sharing mechanisms. This system was developed for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine program, which is generating genomic and other omics data for >80 studies with extensive phenotype data. To date, 63 phenotypes have been harmonized across thousands of participants from up to 17 studies per phenotype (participants recruited 1948-2012). We discuss challenges in this undertaking and how they were addressed. The harmonized phenotype data and associated documentation have been submitted to National Institutes of Health data repositories for controlled-access by the scientific community. We also provide materials to facilitate future harmonization efforts by the community, which include (1) the code used to generate the 63 harmonized phenotypes, enabling others to reproduce, modify or extend these harmonizations to additional studies; and (2) results of labeling thousands of phenotype variables with controlled vocabulary terms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwab115DOI Listing
April 2021

Multi-ancestry genome-wide gene-sleep interactions identify novel loci for blood pressure.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Long and short sleep duration are associated with elevated blood pressure (BP), possibly through effects on molecular pathways that influence neuroendocrine and vascular systems. To gain new insights into the genetic basis of sleep-related BP variation, we performed genome-wide gene by short or long sleep duration interaction analyses on four BP traits (systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure) across five ancestry groups in two stages using 2 degree of freedom (df) joint test followed by 1df test of interaction effects. Primary multi-ancestry analysis in 62,969 individuals in stage 1 identified three novel gene by sleep interactions that were replicated in an additional 59,296 individuals in stage 2 (stage 1 + 2 P < 5 × 10), including rs7955964 (FIGNL2/ANKRD33) that increases BP among long sleepers, and rs73493041 (SNORA26/C9orf170) and rs10406644 (KCTD15/LSM14A) that increase BP among short sleepers (P < 5 × 10). Secondary ancestry-specific analysis identified another novel gene by long sleep interaction at rs111887471 (TRPC3/KIAA1109) in individuals of African ancestry (P = 2 × 10). Combined stage 1 and 2 analyses additionally identified significant gene by long sleep interactions at 10 loci including MKLN1 and RGL3/ELAVL3 previously associated with BP, and significant gene by short sleep interactions at 10 loci including C2orf43 previously associated with BP (P < 10). 2df test also identified novel loci for BP after modeling sleep that has known functions in sleep-wake regulation, nervous and cardiometabolic systems. This study indicates that sleep and primary mechanisms regulating BP may interact to elevate BP level, suggesting novel insights into sleep-related BP regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01087-0DOI Listing
April 2021

Chromosome Xq23 is associated with lower atherogenic lipid concentrations and favorable cardiometabolic indices.

Nat Commun 2021 04 12;12(1):2182. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Cardiology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Healthcare Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.

Autosomal genetic analyses of blood lipids have yielded key insights for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, X chromosome genetic variation is understudied for blood lipids in large sample sizes. We now analyze genetic and blood lipid data in a high-coverage whole X chromosome sequencing study of 65,322 multi-ancestry participants and perform replication among 456,893 European participants. Common alleles on chromosome Xq23 are strongly associated with reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (min P = 8.5 × 10), with similar effects for males and females. Chromosome Xq23 lipid-lowering alleles are associated with reduced odds for CHD among 42,545 cases and 591,247 controls (P = 1.7 × 10), and reduced odds for diabetes mellitus type 2 among 54,095 cases and 573,885 controls (P = 1.4 × 10). Although we observe an association with increased BMI, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI is reduced, bioimpedance analyses indicate increased gluteofemoral fat, and abdominal MRI analyses indicate reduced visceral adiposity. Co-localization analyses strongly correlate increased CHRDL1 gene expression, particularly in adipose tissue, with reduced concentrations of blood lipids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22339-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042019PMC
April 2021

Sequencing of 53,831 diverse genomes from the NHLBI TOPMed Program.

Nature 2021 02 10;590(7845):290-299. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

The Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme seeks to elucidate the genetic architecture and biology of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. The initial phases of the programme focused on whole-genome sequencing of individuals with rich phenotypic data and diverse backgrounds. Here we describe the TOPMed goals and design as well as the available resources and early insights obtained from the sequence data. The resources include a variant browser, a genotype imputation server, and genomic and phenotypic data that are available through dbGaP (Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes). In the first 53,831 TOPMed samples, we detected more than 400 million single-nucleotide and insertion or deletion variants after alignment with the reference genome. Additional previously undescribed variants were detected through assembly of unmapped reads and customized analysis in highly variable loci. Among the more than 400 million detected variants, 97% have frequencies of less than 1% and 46% are singletons that are present in only one individual (53% among unrelated individuals). These rare variants provide insights into mutational processes and recent human evolutionary history. The extensive catalogue of genetic variation in TOPMed studies provides unique opportunities for exploring the contributions of rare and noncoding sequence variants to phenotypic variation. Furthermore, combining TOPMed haplotypes with modern imputation methods improves the power and reach of genome-wide association studies to include variants down to a frequency of approximately 0.01%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03205-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875770PMC
February 2021

Association between ABO haplotypes and the risk of venous thrombosis: impact on disease risk estimation.

Blood 2021 Apr;137(17):2394-2402

Aix Marseille University, INSERM, Institut National de Recherche pour l'Agriculture, l'Alimentation et l'Environnement (INRAE), Centre de Recherche en CardioVasculaire et Nutrition, Marseille, France.

Genetic risk score (GRS) analysis is a popular approach to derive individual risk prediction models for complex diseases. In venous thrombosis (VT), such type of analysis shall integrate information at the ABO blood group locus, which is one of the major susceptibility loci. However, there is no consensus about which single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) must be investigated when properly assessing association between ABO locus and VT risk. Using comprehensive haplotype analyses of ABO blood group tagging SNPs in 5425 cases and 8445 controls from 6 studies, we demonstrate that using only rs8176719 (tagging O1) to correctly assess the impact of ABO locus on VT risk is suboptimal, because 5% of rs8176719-delG carriers do not have an increased risk of developing VT. Instead, we recommend the use of 4 SNPs, rs2519093 (tagging A1), rs1053878 (A2), rs8176743 (B), and rs41302905 (O2), when assessing the impact of ABO locus on VT risk to avoid any risk misestimation. Compared with the O1 haplotype, the A2 haplotype is associated with a modest increase in VT risk (odds ratio, ∼1.2), the A1 and B haplotypes are associated with an ∼1.8-fold increased risk, whereas the O2 haplotype tends to be slightly protective (odds ratio, ∼0.80). In addition, although the A1 and B blood groups are associated with increased von Willebrand factor and factor VIII plasma levels, only the A1 blood group is associated with ICAM levels, but in an opposite direction, leaving additional avenues to be explored to fully understand the spectrum of biological effects mediated by ABO locus on cardiovascular traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2020008997DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085481PMC
April 2021

Lifestyle Risk Score: handling missingness of individual lifestyle components in meta-analysis of gene-by-lifestyle interactions.

Eur J Hum Genet 2021 May 26;29(5):839-850. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Recent studies consider lifestyle risk score (LRS), an aggregation of multiple lifestyle exposures, in identifying association of gene-lifestyle interaction with disease traits. However, not all cohorts have data on all lifestyle factors, leading to increased heterogeneity in the environmental exposure in collaborative meta-analyses. We compared and evaluated four approaches (Naïve, Safe, Complete and Moderator Approaches) to handle the missingness in LRS-stratified meta-analyses under various scenarios. Compared to "benchmark" results with all lifestyle factors available for all cohorts, the Complete Approach, which included only cohorts with all lifestyle components, was underpowered due to lower sample size, and the Naïve Approach, which utilized all available data and ignored the missingness, was slightly inflated. The Safe Approach, which used all data in LRS-exposed group and only included cohorts with all lifestyle factors available in the LRS-unexposed group, and the Moderator Approach, which handled missingness via moderator meta-regression, were both slightly conservative and yielded almost identical p values. We also evaluated the performance of the Safe Approach under different scenarios. We observed that the larger the proportion of cohorts without missingness included, the more accurate the results compared to "benchmark" results. In conclusion, we generally recommend the Safe Approach, a straightforward and non-inflated approach, to handle heterogeneity among cohorts in the LRS based genome-wide interaction meta-analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-021-00808-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8110957PMC
May 2021

A Mendelian randomization of γ' and total fibrinogen levels in relation to venous thromboembolism and ischemic stroke.

Blood 2020 12;136(26):3062-3069

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX.

Fibrinogen is a key component of the coagulation cascade, and variation in its circulating levels may contribute to thrombotic diseases, such as venous thromboembolism (VTE) and ischemic stroke. Gamma prime (γ') fibrinogen is an isoform of fibrinogen that has anticoagulant properties. We applied 2-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) to estimate the causal effect of total circulating fibrinogen and its isoform, γ' fibrinogen, on risk of VTE and ischemic stroke subtypes using summary statistics from genome-wide association studies. Genetic instruments for γ' fibrinogen and total fibrinogen were selected, and the inverse-variance weighted MR approach was used to estimate causal effects in the main analysis, complemented by sensitivity analyses that are more robust to the inclusion of pleiotropic variants, including MR-Egger, weighted median MR, and weighted mode MR. The main inverse-variance weighted MR estimates based on a combination of 16 genetic instruments for γ' fibrinogen and 75 genetic instruments for total fibrinogen indicated a protective effect of higher γ' fibrinogen and higher total fibrinogen on VTE risk. There was also a protective effect of higher γ' fibrinogen levels on cardioembolic and large artery stroke risk. Effect estimates were consistent across sensitivity analyses. Our results provide evidence to support effects of genetically determined γ' fibrinogen on VTE and ischemic stroke risk. Further research is needed to explore mechanisms underlying these effects and their clinical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019004781DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7770565PMC
December 2020

Discovery of rare variants associated with blood pressure regulation through meta-analysis of 1.3 million individuals.

Nat Genet 2020 12 23;52(12):1314-1332. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark.

Genetic studies of blood pressure (BP) to date have mainly analyzed common variants (minor allele frequency > 0.05). In a meta-analysis of up to ~1.3 million participants, we discovered 106 new BP-associated genomic regions and 87 rare (minor allele frequency ≤ 0.01) variant BP associations (P < 5 × 10), of which 32 were in new BP-associated loci and 55 were independent BP-associated single-nucleotide variants within known BP-associated regions. Average effects of rare variants (44% coding) were ~8 times larger than common variant effects and indicate potential candidate causal genes at new and known loci (for example, GATA5 and PLCB3). BP-associated variants (including rare and common) were enriched in regions of active chromatin in fetal tissues, potentially linking fetal development with BP regulation in later life. Multivariable Mendelian randomization suggested possible inverse effects of elevated systolic and diastolic BP on large artery stroke. Our study demonstrates the utility of rare-variant analyses for identifying candidate genes and the results highlight potential therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00713-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610439PMC
December 2020

Genetic loci associated with prevalent and incident myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium.

PLoS One 2020 13;15(11):e0230035. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California, United States of America.

Background: Genome-wide association studies have identified multiple genomic loci associated with coronary artery disease, but most are common variants in non-coding regions that provide limited information on causal genes and etiology of the disease. To overcome the limited scope that common variants provide, we focused our investigation on low-frequency and rare sequence variations primarily residing in coding regions of the genome.

Methods And Results: Using samples of individuals of European ancestry from ten cohorts within the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, both cross-sectional and prospective analyses were conducted to examine associations between genetic variants and myocardial infarction (MI), coronary heart disease (CHD), and all-cause mortality following these events. For prevalent events, a total of 27,349 participants of European ancestry, including 1831 prevalent MI cases and 2518 prevalent CHD cases were used. For incident cases, a total of 55,736 participants of European ancestry were included (3,031 incident MI cases and 5,425 incident CHD cases). There were 1,860 all-cause deaths among the 3,751 MI and CHD cases from six cohorts that contributed to the analysis of all-cause mortality. Single variant and gene-based analyses were performed separately in each cohort and then meta-analyzed for each outcome. A low-frequency intronic variant (rs988583) in PLCL1 was significantly associated with prevalent MI (OR = 1.80, 95% confidence interval: 1.43, 2.27; P = 7.12 × 10-7). We conducted gene-based burden tests for genes with a cumulative minor allele count (cMAC) ≥ 5 and variants with minor allele frequency (MAF) < 5%. TMPRSS5 and LDLRAD1 were significantly associated with prevalent MI and CHD, respectively, and RC3H2 and ANGPTL4 were significantly associated with incident MI and CHD, respectively. No loci were significantly associated with all-cause mortality following a MI or CHD event.

Conclusion: This study identified one known locus (ANGPTL4) and four new loci (PLCL1, RC3H2, TMPRSS5, and LDLRAD1) associated with cardiovascular disease risk that warrant further investigation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230035PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665790PMC
December 2020

Whole genome sequence analysis of pulmonary function and COPD in 19,996 multi-ethnic participants.

Nat Commun 2020 10 14;11(1):5182. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, The Department of Pediatrics, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, 90502, USA.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diagnosed by reduced lung function, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. We performed whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis of lung function and COPD in a multi-ethnic sample of 11,497 participants from population- and family-based studies, and 8499 individuals from COPD-enriched studies in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program. We identify at genome-wide significance 10 known GWAS loci and 22 distinct, previously unreported loci, including two common variant signals from stratified analysis of African Americans. Four novel common variants within the regions of PIAS1, RGN (two variants) and FTO show evidence of replication in the UK Biobank (European ancestry n ~ 320,000), while colocalization analyses leveraging multi-omic data from GTEx and TOPMed identify potential molecular mechanisms underlying four of the 22 novel loci. Our study demonstrates the value of performing WGS analyses and multi-omic follow-up in cohorts of diverse ancestry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18334-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598941PMC
October 2020

A Genome-wide Association Study Discovers 46 Loci of the Human Metabolome in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 11 7;107(5):849-863. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Human Genetics Center, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address:

Variation in levels of the human metabolome reflect changes in homeostasis, providing a window into health and disease. The genetic impact on circulating metabolites in Hispanics, a population with high cardiometabolic disease burden, is largely unknown. We conducted genome-wide association analyses on 640 circulating metabolites in 3,926 Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos participants. The estimated heritability for 640 metabolites ranged between 0%-54% with a median at 2.5%. We discovered 46 variant-metabolite pairs (p value < 1.2 × 10, minor allele frequency ≥ 1%, proportion of variance explained [PEV] mean = 3.4%, PEV = 1%-22%) with generalized effects in two population-based studies and confirmed 301 known locus-metabolite associations. Half of the identified variants with generalized effect were located in genes, including five nonsynonymous variants. We identified co-localization with the expression quantitative trait loci at 105 discovered and 151 known loci-metabolites sets. rs5855544, upstream of SLC51A, was associated with higher levels of three steroid sulfates and co-localized with expression levels of SLC51A in several tissues. Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis identified several metabolites associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) and type 2 diabetes. For example, two variants located in or near CYP4F2 (rs2108622 and rs79400241, respectively), involved in vitamin E metabolism, were associated with the levels of octadecanedioate and vitamin E metabolites (gamma-CEHC and gamma-CEHC glucuronide); MR analysis showed that genetically high levels of these metabolites were associated with lower odds of CHD. Our findings document the genetic architecture of circulating metabolites in an underrepresented Hispanic/Latino community, shedding light on disease etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.09.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675000PMC
November 2020

Burden of rare deleterious variants in WNT signaling genes among 511 myelomeningocele patients.

PLoS One 2020 24;15(9):e0239083. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, TX, United States of America.

Genes in the noncanonical WNT signaling pathway controlling planar cell polarity have been linked to the neural tube defect myelomeningocele. We hypothesized that some genes in the WNT signaling network have a higher mutational burden in myelomeningocele subjects than in reference subjects in gnomAD. Exome sequencing data from 511 myelomeningocele subjects was obtained in-house and data from 29,940 ethnically matched subjects was provided by version 2 of the publicly available Genome Aggregation Database. To compare mutational burden, we collapsed rare deleterious variants across each of 523 human WNT signaling genes in case and reference populations. Ten WNT signaling genes were disrupted with a higher mutational burden among Mexican American myelomeningocele subjects compared to reference subjects (Fishers exact test, P ≤ 0.05) and seven different genes were disrupted among individuals of European ancestry compared to reference subjects. Gene ontology enrichment analyses indicate that genes disrupted only in the Mexican American population play a role in planar cell polarity whereas genes identified in both populations are important for the regulation of canonical WNT signaling. In summary, evidence for WNT signaling genes that may contribute to myelomeningocele in humans is presented and discussed.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0239083PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7514064PMC
November 2020

Identification of novel candidate risk genes for myelomeningocele within the glucose homeostasis/oxidative stress and folate/one-carbon metabolism networks.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020 11 22;8(11):e1495. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the second most common complex birth defect, yet, our understanding of the genetic contribution to their development remains incomplete. Two environmental factors associated with NTDs are Folate and One Carbon Metabolism (FOCM) and Glucose Homeostasis and Oxidative Stress (GHOS). Utilizing next-generation sequencing of a large patient cohort, we identify novel candidate genes in these two networks to provide insights into NTD mechanisms.

Methods: Exome sequencing (ES) was performed in 511 patients, born with myelomeningocele, divided between European American and Mexican American ethnicities. Healthy control data from the Genome Aggregation database were ethnically matched and used as controls. Rare, high fidelity, nonsynonymous predicted damaging missense, nonsense, or canonical splice site variants in independently generated candidate gene lists for FOCM and GHOS were identified. We used a gene-based collapsing approach to quantify mutational burden in case and controls, with the control cohort estimated using cumulative allele frequencies assuming Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.

Results: We identified 45 of 837 genes in the FOCM network and 22 of 568 genes in the GHOS network as possible NTD risk genes with p < 0.05. No nominally significant risk genes were shared between ethnicities. Using a novel approach to mutational burden we identify 55 novel NTD risk associations.

Conclusions: We provide a means of utilizing large publicly available sequencing datasets as controls for sequencing projects examining rare disease. This approach confirmed existing risk genes for myelomeningocele and identified possible novel risk genes. Lastly, it suggests possible distinct genetic etiologies for this malformation between different ethnicities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7667334PMC
November 2020

Efficient gene-environment interaction tests for large biobank-scale sequencing studies.

Genet Epidemiol 2020 11 30;44(8):908-923. Epub 2020 Aug 30.

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas.

Complex human diseases are affected by genetic and environmental risk factors and their interactions. Gene-environment interaction (GEI) tests for aggregate genetic variant sets have been developed in recent years. However, existing statistical methods become rate limiting for large biobank-scale sequencing studies with correlated samples. We propose efficient Mixed-model Association tests for GEne-Environment interactions (MAGEE), for testing GEI between an aggregate variant set and environmental exposures on quantitative and binary traits in large-scale sequencing studies with related individuals. Joint tests for the aggregate genetic main effects and GEI effects are also developed. A null generalized linear mixed model adjusting for covariates but without any genetic effects is fit only once in a whole genome GEI analysis, thereby vastly reducing the overall computational burden. Score tests for variant sets are performed as a combination of genetic burden and variance component tests by accounting for the genetic main effects using matrix projections. The computational complexity is dramatically reduced in a whole genome GEI analysis, which makes MAGEE scalable to hundreds of thousands of individuals. We applied MAGEE to the exome sequencing data of 41,144 related individuals from the UK Biobank, and the analysis of 18,970 protein coding genes finished within 10.4 CPU hours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7754763PMC
November 2020

Mendelian Randomization Analysis of Hemostatic Factors and Their Contribution to Peripheral Artery Disease-Brief Report.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2021 01 27;41(1):380-386. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, PA (A.M.S., K.-M.C., S.M.D.).

Background And Objective: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the third most common form of atherosclerotic vascular disease and is characterized by significant functional disability and increased cardiovascular mortality. Recent genetic data support a role for a procoagulation protein variant, the factor V Leiden mutation, in PAD. The role of other hemostatic factors in PAD remains unknown. We evaluated the role of hemostatic factors in PAD using Mendelian randomization. Approach and Results: Two-sample Mendelian randomization to evaluate the roles of FVII (factor VII), FVIII (factor VIII), FXI (factor XI), VWF (von Willebrand factor), and fibrinogen in PAD was performed using summary statistics from GWAS for hemostatic factors performed within the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in the Genome Epidemiology Consortium and from GWAS performed for PAD within the Million Veteran Program. Genetically determined FVIII and VWF, but not FVII, FXI, or fibrinogen, were associated with PAD in Mendelian randomization experiments (FVIII: odds ratio, 1.41 [95% CI, 1.23-1.62], =6.0×10, VWF: odds ratio, 1.28 [95% CI, 1.07-1.52], =0.0073). In single variant sensitivity analysis, the locus was the strongest genetic instrument for both FVIII and VWF.

Conclusions: Our results suggest a role for hemostasis, and by extension, thrombosis in PAD. Further study is warranted to determine whether VWF and FVIII independently affect the biology of PAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313847DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785109PMC
January 2021

Dynamic incorporation of multiple in silico functional annotations empowers rare variant association analysis of large whole-genome sequencing studies at scale.

Nat Genet 2020 09 24;52(9):969-983. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Data Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Large-scale whole-genome sequencing studies have enabled the analysis of rare variants (RVs) associated with complex phenotypes. Commonly used RV association tests have limited scope to leverage variant functions. We propose STAAR (variant-set test for association using annotation information), a scalable and powerful RV association test method that effectively incorporates both variant categories and multiple complementary annotations using a dynamic weighting scheme. For the latter, we introduce 'annotation principal components', multidimensional summaries of in silico variant annotations. STAAR accounts for population structure and relatedness and is scalable for analyzing very large cohort and biobank whole-genome sequencing studies of continuous and dichotomous traits. We applied STAAR to identify RVs associated with four lipid traits in 12,316 discovery and 17,822 replication samples from the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program. We discovered and replicated new RV associations, including disruptive missense RVs of NPC1L1 and an intergenic region near APOC1P1 associated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0676-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483769PMC
September 2020

Maternal Hypertension-Related Genotypes and Congenital Heart Defects.

Am J Hypertens 2021 02;34(1):82-91

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, UTHealth School of Public Health, Houston, Texas, USA.

Background: Maternal hypertension has been associated with congenital heart defect occurrence in several studies. We assessed whether maternal genotypes associated with this condition were also associated with congenital heart defect occurrence.

Methods: We used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study to identify non-Hispanic white (NHW) and Hispanic women with (cases) and without (controls) a pregnancy in which a select simple, isolated heart defect was present between 1999 and 2011. We genotyped 29 hypertension-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We conducted logistic regression analyses separately by race/ethnicity to assess the relationship between the presence of any congenital heart defect and each SNP and an overall blood pressure genetic risk score (GRS). All analyses were then repeated to assess 4 separate congenital heart defect subtypes.

Results: Four hypertension-related variants were associated with congenital heart defects among NHW women (N = 1,568 with affected pregnancies). For example, 1 intronic variant in ARHGAP2, rs633185, was associated with conotruncal defects (odds ratio [OR]: 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-1.6). Additionally, 2 variants were associated with congenital heart defects among Hispanic women (N = 489 with affected pregnancies). The GRS had a significant association with septal defects (OR: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.2-3.5) among NHW women.

Conclusions: We replicated a previously reported association between rs633185 and conotruncal defects. Although additional hypertension-related SNPs were also associated with congenital heart defects, more work is needed to better understand the relationship between genetic risk for maternal hypertension and congenital heart defects occurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpaa116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7891240PMC
February 2021

Role of Rare and Low-Frequency Variants in Gene-Alcohol Interactions on Plasma Lipid Levels.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2020 08 8;13(4):e002772. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health (L.F.B., J.A.S., W.Z., S.L.R.K.), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Background: Alcohol intake influences plasma lipid levels, and such effects may be moderated by genetic variants. We aimed to characterize the role of aggregated rare and low-frequency protein-coding variants in gene by alcohol consumption interactions associated with fasting plasma lipid levels.

Methods: In the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium, fasting plasma triglycerides and high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were measured in 34 153 individuals with European ancestry from 5 discovery studies and 32 277 individuals from 6 replication studies. Rare and low-frequency functional protein-coding variants (minor allele frequency, ≤5%) measured by an exome array were aggregated by genes and evaluated by a gene-environment interaction test and a joint test of genetic main and gene-environment interaction effects. Two dichotomous self-reported alcohol consumption variables, current drinker, defined as any recurrent drinking behavior, and regular drinker, defined as the subset of current drinkers who consume at least 2 drinks per week, were considered.

Results: We discovered and replicated 21 gene-lipid associations at 13 known lipid loci through the joint test. Eight loci (, , , , , , , and ) remained significant after conditioning on the common index single-nucleotide polymorphism identified by previous genome-wide association studies, suggesting an independent role for rare and low-frequency variants at these loci. One significant gene-alcohol interaction on triglycerides in a novel locus was significantly discovered (=6.65×10 for the interaction test) and replicated at nominal significance level (=0.013) in .

Conclusions: In conclusion, this study applied new gene-based statistical approaches and suggested that rare and low-frequency genetic variants interacted with alcohol consumption on lipid levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002772DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442680PMC
August 2020

Aptamer-Based Proteomic Platform Identifies Novel Protein Predictors of Incident Heart Failure and Echocardiographic Traits.

Circ Heart Fail 2020 05 15;13(5):e006749. Epub 2020 May 15.

Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA (M.N., M.G.L, R.S.V).

Background: We used a large-scale, high-throughput DNA aptamer-based discovery proteomic platform to identify circulating biomarkers of cardiac remodeling and incident heart failure (HF) in community-dwelling individuals.

Methods: We evaluated 1895 FHS (Framingham Heart Study) participants (age 55±10 years, 54% women) who underwent proteomic profiling and echocardiography. Plasma levels of 1305 proteins were related to echocardiographic traits and to incident HF using multivariable regression. Statistically significant protein-HF associations were replicated in the HUNT (Nord-Trøndelag Health) study (n=2497, age 63±10 years, 43% women), and results were meta-analyzed. Genetic variants associated with circulating protein levels (pQTLs) were related to echocardiographic traits in the EchoGen (n=30 201) and to incident HF in the CHARGE (n=20 926) consortia.

Results: Seventeen proteins associated with echocardiographic traits in cross-sectional analyses (false discovery rate <0.10), and 8 of these proteins had pQTLs associated with echocardiographic traits in EchoGen (<0.0007). In Cox models adjusted for clinical risk factors, 29 proteins demonstrated associations with incident HF in FHS (174 HF events, mean follow-up 19 [limits, 0.2-23.7] years). In meta-analyses of FHS and HUNT, 6 of these proteins were associated with incident HF (<3.8×10; 3 with higher risk: NT-proBNP [N-terminal proB-type natriuretic peptide], TSP2 [thrombospondin-2], MBL [mannose-binding lectin]; and 3 with lower risk: ErbB1 [epidermal growth factor receptor], GDF-11/8 [growth differentiation factor-11/8], and RGMC [hemojuvelin]). For 5 of the 6 proteins, pQTLs were associated with echocardiographic traits (<0.0006) in EchoGen, and for RGMC, a protein quantitative trait loci was associated with incident HF (=0.001).

Conclusions: A large-scale proteomics approach identified new predictors of cardiac remodeling and incident HF. Future studies are warranted to elucidate how biological pathways represented by these proteins may mediate cardiac remodeling and HF risk and to assess if these proteins can improve HF risk prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.119.006749DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7236427PMC
May 2020

Gene-educational attainment interactions in a multi-ancestry genome-wide meta-analysis identify novel blood pressure loci.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 May 5. Epub 2020 May 5.

Health Disparities Research Section, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Educational attainment is widely used as a surrogate for socioeconomic status (SES). Low SES is a risk factor for hypertension and high blood pressure (BP). To identify novel BP loci, we performed multi-ancestry meta-analyses accounting for gene-educational attainment interactions using two variables, "Some College" (yes/no) and "Graduated College" (yes/no). Interactions were evaluated using both a 1 degree of freedom (DF) interaction term and a 2DF joint test of genetic and interaction effects. Analyses were performed for systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure. We pursued genome-wide interrogation in Stage 1 studies (N = 117 438) and follow-up on promising variants in Stage 2 studies (N = 293 787) in five ancestry groups. Through combined meta-analyses of Stages 1 and 2, we identified 84 known and 18 novel BP loci at genome-wide significance level (P < 5 × 10). Two novel loci were identified based on the 1DF test of interaction with educational attainment, while the remaining 16 loci were identified through the 2DF joint test of genetic and interaction effects. Ten novel loci were identified in individuals of African ancestry. Several novel loci show strong biological plausibility since they involve physiologic systems implicated in BP regulation. They include genes involved in the central nervous system-adrenal signaling axis (ZDHHC17, CADPS, PIK3C2G), vascular structure and function (GNB3, CDON), and renal function (HAS2 and HAS2-AS1, SLIT3). Collectively, these findings suggest a role of educational attainment or SES in further dissection of the genetic architecture of BP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0719-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7641978PMC
May 2020

Identifying blood pressure loci whose effects are modulated by multiple lifestyle exposures.

Genet Epidemiol 2020 09 29;44(6):629-641. Epub 2020 Mar 29.

Division of Biostatistics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Although multiple lifestyle exposures simultaneously impact blood pressure (BP) and cardiovascular health, most analysis so far has considered each single lifestyle exposure (e.g., smoking) at a time. Here, we exploit gene-multiple lifestyle exposure interactions to find novel BP loci. For each of 6,254 Framingham Heart Study participants, we computed lifestyle risk score (LRS) value by aggregating the risk of four lifestyle exposures (smoking, alcohol, education, and physical activity) on BP. Using the LRS, we performed genome-wide gene-environment interaction analysis in systolic and diastolic BP using the joint 2 degree of freedom (DF) and 1 DF interaction tests. We identified one genome-wide significant (p < 5 × 10 ) and 11 suggestive (p < 1 × 10 ) loci. Gene-environment analysis using single lifestyle exposures identified only one of the 12 loci. Nine of the 12 BP loci detected were novel. Loci detected by the LRS were located within or nearby genes with biologically plausible roles in the pathophysiology of hypertension, including KALRN, VIPR2, SNX1, and DAPK2. Our results suggest that simultaneous consideration of multiple lifestyle exposures in gene-environment interaction analysis can identify additional loci missed by single lifestyle approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7717887PMC
September 2020