Publications by authors named "Eric Jorgenson"

108 Publications

Full title: A large-scale transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) of 10 blood cell phenotypes reveals complexities of TWAS fine-mapping.

Genet Epidemiol 2021 Nov 15. Epub 2021 Nov 15.

Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Hematological measures are important intermediate clinical phenotypes for many acute and chronic diseases and are highly heritable. Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified thousands of loci containing trait-associated variants, the causal genes underlying these associations are often uncertain. To better understand the underlying genetic regulatory mechanisms, we performed a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) to systematically investigate the association between genetically predicted gene expression and hematological measures in 54,542 Europeans from the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Aging cohort. We found 239 significant gene-trait associations with hematological measures; we replicated 71 associations at p < 0.05 in a TWAS meta-analysis consisting of up to 35,900 Europeans from the Women's Health Initiative, Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, and BioMe Biobank. Additionally, we attempted to refine this list of candidate genes by performing conditional analyses, adjusting for individual variants previously associated with hematological measures, and performed further fine-mapping of TWAS loci. To facilitate interpretation of our findings, we designed an R Shiny application to interactively visualize our TWAS results by integrating them with additional genetic data sources (GWAS, TWAS from multiple reference panels, conditional analyses, known GWAS variants, etc.). Our results and application highlight frequently overlooked TWAS challenges and illustrate the complexity of TWAS fine-mapping.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gepi.22436DOI Listing
November 2021

Exome sequencing and analysis of 454,787 UK Biobank participants.

Nature 2021 Nov 18;599(7886):628-634. Epub 2021 Oct 18.

Regeneron Genetics Center, Tarrytown, NY, USA.

A major goal in human genetics is to use natural variation to understand the phenotypic consequences of altering each protein-coding gene in the genome. Here we used exome sequencing to explore protein-altering variants and their consequences in 454,787 participants in the UK Biobank study. We identified 12 million coding variants, including around 1 million loss-of-function and around 1.8 million deleterious missense variants. When these were tested for association with 3,994 health-related traits, we found 564 genes with trait associations at P ≤ 2.18 × 10. Rare variant associations were enriched in loci from genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but most (91%) were independent of common variant signals. We discovered several risk-increasing associations with traits related to liver disease, eye disease and cancer, among others, as well as risk-lowering associations for hypertension (SLC9A3R2), diabetes (MAP3K15, FAM234A) and asthma (SLC27A3). Six genes were associated with brain imaging phenotypes, including two involved in neural development (GBE1, PLD1). Of the signals available and powered for replication in an independent cohort, 81% were confirmed; furthermore, association signals were generally consistent across individuals of European, Asian and African ancestry. We illustrate the ability of exome sequencing to identify gene-trait associations, elucidate gene function and pinpoint effector genes that underlie GWAS signals at scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04103-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8596853PMC
November 2021

Whole-genome sequencing in diverse subjects identifies genetic correlates of leukocyte traits: The NHLBI TOPMed program.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 10 27;108(10):1836-1851. Epub 2021 Sep 27.

Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

Many common and rare variants associated with hematologic traits have been discovered through imputation on large-scale reference panels. However, the majority of genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been conducted in Europeans, and determining causal variants has proved challenging. We performed a GWAS of total leukocyte, neutrophil, lymphocyte, monocyte, eosinophil, and basophil counts generated from 109,563,748 variants in the autosomes and the X chromosome in the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program, which included data from 61,802 individuals of diverse ancestry. We discovered and replicated 7 leukocyte trait associations, including (1) the association between a chromosome X, pseudo-autosomal region (PAR), noncoding variant located between cytokine receptor genes (CSF2RA and CLRF2) and lower eosinophil count; and (2) associations between single variants found predominantly among African Americans at the S1PR3 (9q22.1) and HBB (11p15.4) loci and monocyte and lymphocyte counts, respectively. We further provide evidence indicating that the newly discovered eosinophil-lowering chromosome X PAR variant might be associated with reduced susceptibility to common allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis and asthma. Additionally, we found a burden of very rare FLT3 (13q12.2) variants associated with monocyte counts. Together, these results emphasize the utility of whole-genome sequencing in diverse samples in identifying associations missed by European-ancestry-driven GWASs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.08.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8546043PMC
October 2021

QT Interval Dynamics and Cardiovascular Outcomes: A Cohort Study in an Integrated Health Care Delivery System.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 10 28;10(19):e018513. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Division of Research Kaiser Permanente Oakland CA.

Background Long QT has been associated with ventricular dysrhythmias, cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, and sudden cardiac death. However, no studies to date have investigated the dynamics of within-person QT change over time in relation to risk of incident CVD and all-cause mortality in a real-world setting. Methods and Results A cohort study among members of an integrated health care delivery system in Northern California including 61 455 people (mean age, 62 years; 60% women, 42% non-White) with 3 or more ECGs (baseline in 2005-2009; mean±SD follow-up time, 7.6±2.6 years). In fully adjusted models, tertile 3 versus tertile 1 of average QT corrected (using the Fridericia correction) was associated with cardiac arrest (hazard ratio [HR], 1.66), heart failure (HR, 1.62), ventricular dysrhythmias (HR, 1.56), all CVD (HR, 1.31), ischemic heart disease (HR, 1.28), total stroke (HR, 1.18), and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.24). Tertile 3 versus tertile 2 of the QT corrected linear slope was associated with cardiac arrest (HR, 1.22), ventricular dysrhythmias (HR, 1.12), and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.09). Tertile 3 versus tertile 1 of the QT corrected root mean squared error was associated with ventricular dysrhythmias (HR, 1.34), heart failure (HR, 1.28), all-cause mortality (HR, 1.20), all CVD (HR, 1.14), total stroke (HR, 1.08), and ischemic heart disease (HR, 1.07). Conclusions Our results demonstrate improved predictive ability for CVD outcomes using longitudinal information from serial ECGs. Long-term average QT corrected was more strongly associated with CVD outcomes than the linear slope or the root mean squared error. This new evidence is clinically relevant because ECGs are frequently used, noninvasive, and inexpensive.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.018513DOI Listing
October 2021

Whole genome sequence analysis of platelet traits in the NHLBI trans-omics for precision medicine initiative.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Sep 6. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

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, 77030, USA.

Platelets play a key role in thrombosis and hemostasis. Platelet count (PLT) and mean platelet volume (MPV) are highly heritable quantitative traits, with hundreds of genetic signals previously identified, mostly in European ancestry populations. We here utilize whole genome sequencing from NHLBI's Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Initiative (TOPMed) in a large multi-ethnic sample to further explore common and rare variation contributing to PLT (n = 61 200) and MPV (n = 23 485). We identified and replicated secondary signals at MPL (rs532784633) and PECAM1 (rs73345162), both more common in African ancestry populations. We also observed rare variation in Mendelian platelet related disorder genes influencing variation in platelet traits in TOPMed cohorts (not enriched for blood disorders). For example, association of GP9 with lower PLT and higher MPV was partly driven by a pathogenic Bernard-Soulier syndrome variant (rs5030764, p.Asn61Ser), and the signals at TUBB1 and CD36 were partly driven by loss of function variants not annotated as pathogenic in ClinVar (rs199948010 and rs571975065). However, residual signal remained for these gene-based signals after adjusting for lead variants, suggesting that additional variants in Mendelian genes with impacts in general population cohorts remain to be identified. Gene-based signals were also identified at several GWAS identified loci for genes not annotated for Mendelian platelet disorders (PTPRH, TET2, CHEK2), with somatic variation driving the result at TET2. These results highlight the value of whole genome sequencing in populations of diverse genetic ancestry to identify novel regulatory and coding signals, even for well-studied traits like platelet traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab252DOI Listing
September 2021

A polygenic risk score for asthma in a large racially diverse population.

Clin Exp Allergy 2021 Nov 5;51(11):1410-1420. Epub 2021 Sep 5.

PRecisiOn Medicine Translational Research (PROMoTeR) Center, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) will have important utility for asthma and other chronic diseases as a tool for predicting disease incidence and subphenotypes.

Objective: We utilized findings from a large multiancestry GWAS of asthma to compute a PRS for asthma with relevance for racially diverse populations.

Methods: We derived two PRSs for asthma using a standard approach (based on genome-wide significant variants) and a lasso sum regression approach (allowing all genetic variants to potentially contribute). We used data from the racially diverse Kaiser Permanente GERA cohort (68 638 non-Hispanic Whites, 5874 Hispanics, 6870 Asians and 2760 Blacks). Race was self-reported by questionnaire.

Results: For the standard PRS, non-Hispanic Whites showed the highest odds ratio for a standard deviation increase in PRS for asthma (OR = 1.16 (95% CI 1.14-1.18)). The standard PRS was also associated with asthma in Hispanic (OR = 1.12 (95% CI 1.05-1.19)) and Asian (OR = 1.10 (95% CI 1.04-1.17)) subjects, with a trend towards increased risk in Blacks (OR = 1.05 (95% CI 0.97-1.15)). We detected an interaction by sex, with men showing a higher risk of asthma with an increase in PRS as compared to women. The lasso sum regression-derived PRS showed stronger associations with asthma in non-Hispanic White subjects (OR = 1.20 (95% CI 1.18-1.23)), Hispanics (OR = 1.17 (95% 1.10-1.26)), Asians (OR = 1.18 (95% CI 1.10-1.27)) and Blacks (OR = 1.10 (95% CI 0.99-1.22)).

Conclusion: Polygenic risk scores across multiple racial/ethnic groups were associated with increased asthma risk, suggesting that PRSs have potential as a tool for predicting disease development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cea.14007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8551047PMC
November 2021

GLIS1 regulates trabecular meshwork function and intraocular pressure and is associated with glaucoma in humans.

Nat Commun 2021 08 12;12(1):4877. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Immunity, Inflammation and Disease Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.

Chronically elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the major risk factor of primary open-angle glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. Dysfunction of the trabecular meshwork (TM), which controls the outflow of aqueous humor (AqH) from the anterior chamber, is the major cause of elevated IOP. Here, we demonstrate that mice deficient in the Krüppel-like zinc finger transcriptional factor GLI-similar-1 (GLIS1) develop chronically elevated IOP. Magnetic resonance imaging and histopathological analysis reveal that deficiency in GLIS1 expression induces progressive degeneration of the TM, leading to inefficient AqH drainage from the anterior chamber and elevated IOP. Transcriptome and cistrome analyses identified several glaucoma- and extracellular matrix-associated genes as direct transcriptional targets of GLIS1. We also identified a significant association between GLIS1 variant rs941125 and glaucoma in humans (P = 4.73 × 10), further supporting a role for GLIS1 into glaucoma etiology. Our study identifies GLIS1 as a critical regulator of TM function and maintenance, AqH dynamics, and IOP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25181-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8361148PMC
August 2021

Transcriptome-Wide Association Study of Blood Cell Traits in African Ancestry and Hispanic/Latino Populations.

Genes (Basel) 2021 07 8;12(7). Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.

Background: Thousands of genetic variants have been associated with hematological traits, though target genes remain unknown at most loci. Moreover, limited analyses have been conducted in African ancestry and Hispanic/Latino populations; hematological trait associated variants more common in these populations have likely been missed.

Methods: To derive gene expression prediction models, we used ancestry-stratified datasets from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA, including = 229 African American and = 381 Hispanic/Latino participants, monocytes) and the Depression Genes and Networks study (DGN, = 922 European ancestry participants, whole blood). We then performed a transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) for platelet count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and white blood cell count in African ( = 27,955) and Hispanic/Latino ( = 28,324) ancestry participants.

Results: Our results revealed 24 suggestive signals ( < 1 × 10) that were conditionally distinct from known GWAS identified variants and successfully replicated these signals in European ancestry subjects from UK Biobank. We found modestly improved correlation of predicted and measured gene expression in an independent African American cohort (the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy (GENOA) study ( = 802), lymphoblastoid cell lines) using the larger DGN reference panel; however, some genes were well predicted using MESA but not DGN.

Conclusions: These analyses demonstrate the importance of performing TWAS and other genetic analyses across diverse populations and of balancing sample size and ancestry background matching when selecting a TWAS reference panel.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes12071049DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8307403PMC
July 2021

New and sex-specific migraine susceptibility loci identified from a multiethnic genome-wide meta-analysis.

Commun Biol 2021 07 22;4(1):864. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Sutter Health, Walnut Creek, CA, USA.

Migraine is a common disabling primary headache disorder that is ranked as the most common neurological cause of disability worldwide. Women present with migraine much more frequently than men, but the reasons for this difference are unknown. Migraine heritability is estimated to up to 57%, yet much of the genetic risk remains unaccounted for, especially in non-European ancestry populations. To elucidate the etiology of this common disorder, we conduct a multiethnic genome-wide association meta-analysis of migraine, combining results from the GERA and UK Biobank cohorts, followed by a European-ancestry meta-analysis using public summary statistics. We report 79 loci associated with migraine, of which 45 were novel. Sex-stratified analyses identify three additional novel loci (CPS1, PBRM1, and SLC25A21) specific to women. This large multiethnic migraine study provides important information that may substantially improve our understanding of the etiology of migraine susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02356-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8298472PMC
July 2021

Large-Scale Imputation of KIR Copy Number and HLA Alleles in North American and European Psoriasis Case-Control Cohorts Reveals Association of Inhibitory KIR2DL2 With Psoriasis.

Front Immunol 2021 11;12:684326. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States.

Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) regulate immune responses in NK and CD8+ T cells interaction with HLA ligands. KIR genes, including KIR2DS1, KIR3DL1, and KIR3DS1 have previously been implicated in psoriasis susceptibility. However, these previous studies were constrained to small sample sizes, in part due to the time and expense required for direct genotyping of KIR genes. Here, we implemented KIR*IMP to impute KIR copy number from single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 19 in the discovery cohort (n=11,912) from the PAGE consortium, University of California San Francisco, and the University of Dundee, and in a replication cohort (n=66,357) from Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Stratified multivariate logistic regression that accounted for patient ancestry and high-risk HLA alleles revealed that KIR2DL2 copy number was significantly associated with psoriasis in the discovery cohort (p ≤ 0.05). The KIR2DL2 copy number association was replicated in the Kaiser Permanente replication cohort. This is the first reported association of KIR2DL2 copy number with psoriasis and highlights the importance of KIR genetics in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.684326DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231283PMC
October 2021

A large multiethnic GWAS meta-analysis of cataract identifies new risk loci and sex-specific effects.

Nat Commun 2021 06 14;12(1):3595. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), Division of Research, Oakland, CA, USA.

Cataract is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly worldwide and cataract surgery is one of the most common operations performed in the United States. As the genetic etiology of cataract formation remains unclear, we conducted a multiethnic genome-wide association meta-analysis, combining results from the GERA and UK Biobank cohorts, and tested for replication in the 23andMe research cohort. We report 54 genome-wide significant loci, 37 of which were novel. Sex-stratified analyses identified CASP7 as an additional novel locus specific to women. We show that genes within or near 80% of the cataract-associated loci are significantly expressed and/or enriched-expressed in the mouse lens across various spatiotemporal stages as per iSyTE analysis. Furthermore, iSyTE shows 32 candidate genes in the associated loci have altered gene expression in 9 different gene perturbation mouse models of lens defects/cataract, suggesting their relevance to lens biology. Our work provides further insight into the complex genetic architecture of cataract susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23873-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8203611PMC
June 2021

Genetic variation affects morphological retinal phenotypes extracted from UK Biobank optical coherence tomography images.

PLoS Genet 2021 05 12;17(5):e1009497. Epub 2021 May 12.

School of Life Course Sciences, Section of Ophthalmology, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) enables non-invasive imaging of the retina and is used to diagnose and manage ophthalmic diseases including glaucoma. We present the first large-scale genome-wide association study of inner retinal morphology using phenotypes derived from OCT images of 31,434 UK Biobank participants. We identify 46 loci associated with thickness of the retinal nerve fibre layer or ganglion cell inner plexiform layer. Only one of these loci has been associated with glaucoma, and despite its clear role as a biomarker for the disease, Mendelian randomisation does not support inner retinal thickness being on the same genetic causal pathway as glaucoma. We extracted overall retinal thickness at the fovea, representative of foveal hypoplasia, with which three of the 46 SNPs were associated. We additionally associate these three loci with visual acuity. In contrast to the Mendelian causes of severe foveal hypoplasia, our results suggest a spectrum of foveal hypoplasia, in part genetically determined, with consequences on visual function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009497DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8143408PMC
May 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

Extension of Mendelian Randomization to Identify Earliest Manifestations of Alzheimer Disease: Association of Genetic Risk Score for Alzheimer Disease With Lower Body Mass Index by Age 50 Years.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 10;190(10):2163-2171

Weight loss or lower body mass index (BMI) could be an early symptom of Alzheimer disease (AD), but when this begins to emerge is difficult to estimate with traditional observational data. In an extension of Mendelian randomization, we leveraged variation in genetic risk for late-onset AD risk to estimate the causal effect of AD on BMI and the earliest ages at which AD-related weight loss (or lower BMI as a proxy) occurs. We studied UK Biobank participants enrolled in 2006-2010, who were without dementia, aged 39-73, with European genetic ancestry. BMI was calculated with measured height/weight (weight (kg)/height (m)2). An AD genetic risk score (AD-GRS) was calculated based on 23 genetic variants. Using linear regressions, we tested the association of AD-GRS with BMI, stratified by decade, and calculated the age of divergence in BMI trends between low and high AD-GRS. AD-GRS was not associated with BMI in 39- to 49-year-olds (β = 0.00, 95% confidence interval (CI): -0.03, 0.03). AD-GRS was associated with lower BMI in 50- to 59-year-olds (β = -0.03, 95% CI: -0.06, -0.01) and 60- to 73-year-olds (β = -0.09, 95% CI:-0.12, -0.07). Model-based BMI age curves for high versus low AD-GRS began to diverge after age 47 years. Sensitivity analyses found no evidence for pleiotropy or survival bias. Longitudinal replication is needed; however, our findings suggest that AD genes might begin to reduce BMI decades prior to dementia diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwab103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8576370PMC
October 2021

A multi-ethnic genome-wide association study implicates collagen matrix integrity and cell differentiation pathways in keratoconus.

Commun Biol 2021 03 1;4(1):266. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation (formerly Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute) at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; Department of Pediatrics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, USA.

Keratoconus is characterised by reduced rigidity of the cornea with distortion and focal thinning that causes blurred vision, however, the pathogenetic mechanisms are unknown. It can lead to severe visual morbidity in children and young adults and is a common indication for corneal transplantation worldwide. Here we report the first large scale genome-wide association study of keratoconus including 4,669 cases and 116,547 controls. We have identified significant association with 36 genomic loci that, for the first time, implicate both dysregulation of corneal collagen matrix integrity and cell differentiation pathways as primary disease-causing mechanisms. The results also suggest pleiotropy, with some disease mechanisms shared with other corneal diseases, such as Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. The common variants associated with keratoconus explain 12.5% of the genetic variance, which shows potential for the future development of a diagnostic test to detect susceptibility to disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-01784-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7921564PMC
March 2021

Cigarette smoking behaviors and the importance of ethnicity and genetic ancestry.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 02 11;11(1):120. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), Oakland, CA, 94612, USA.

Cigarette smoking contributes to numerous diseases and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Smoking behaviors vary widely across race/ethnicity, but it is not clear why. Here, we examine the contribution of genetic ancestry to variation in two smoking-related traits in 43,485 individuals from four race/ethnicity groups (non-Hispanic white, Hispanic/Latino, East Asian, and African American) from a single U.S. healthcare plan. Smoking prevalence was the lowest among East Asians (22.7%) and the highest among non-Hispanic whites (38.5%). We observed significant associations between genetic ancestry and smoking-related traits. Within East Asians, we observed higher smoking prevalence with greater European (versus Asian) ancestry (P = 9.95 × 10). Within Hispanic/Latinos, higher cigarettes per day (CPD) was associated with greater European ancestry (P = 3.34 × 10). Within non-Hispanic whites, the lowest number of CPD was observed for individuals of southeastern European ancestry (P = 9.06 × 10). These associations remained after considering known smoking-associated loci, education, socioeconomic factors, and marital status. Our findings support the role of genetic ancestry and socioeconomic factors in cigarette smoking behaviors in non-Hispanic whites, Hispanic/Latinos, and East Asians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01244-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7907280PMC
February 2021

Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies 127 open-angle glaucoma loci with consistent effect across ancestries.

Nat Commun 2021 02 24;12(1):1258. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), is a heritable common cause of blindness world-wide. To identify risk loci, we conduct a large multi-ethnic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies on a total of 34,179 cases and 349,321 controls, identifying 44 previously unreported risk loci and confirming 83 loci that were previously known. The majority of loci have broadly consistent effects across European, Asian and African ancestries. Cross-ancestry data improve fine-mapping of causal variants for several loci. Integration of multiple lines of genetic evidence support the functional relevance of the identified POAG risk loci and highlight potential contributions of several genes to POAG pathogenesis, including SVEP1, RERE, VCAM1, ZNF638, CLIC5, SLC2A12, YAP1, MXRA5, and SMAD6. Several drug compounds targeting POAG risk genes may be potential glaucoma therapeutic candidates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20851-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7904932PMC
February 2021

Cross-cancer evaluation of polygenic risk scores for 16 cancer types in two large cohorts.

Nat Commun 2021 02 12;12(1):970. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, USA.

Even distinct cancer types share biological hallmarks. Here, we investigate polygenic risk score (PRS)-specific pleiotropy across 16 cancers in European ancestry individuals from the Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging cohort (16,012 cases, 50,552 controls) and UK Biobank (48,969 cases, 359,802 controls). Within cohorts, each PRS is evaluated in multivariable logistic regression models against all other cancer types. Results are then meta-analyzed across cohorts. Ten positive and one inverse cross-cancer associations are found after multiple testing correction. Two pairs show bidirectional associations; the melanoma PRS is positively associated with oral cavity/pharyngeal cancer and vice versa, whereas the lung cancer PRS is positively associated with oral cavity/pharyngeal cancer, and the oral cavity/pharyngeal cancer PRS is inversely associated with lung cancer. Overall, we validate known, and uncover previously unreported, patterns of pleiotropy that have the potential to inform investigations of risk prediction, shared etiology, and precision cancer prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21288-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7880989PMC
February 2021

Genetic ancestry, skin pigmentation, and the risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic white populations.

Commun Biol 2020 12 14;3(1):765. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.

Although cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is one of the most common malignancies in individuals of European ancestry, the incidence of cSCC in Hispanic/Latinos is also increasing. cSCC has both a genetic and environmental etiology. Here, we examine the role of genetic ancestry, skin pigmentation, and sun exposure in Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic whites on cSCC risk. We observe an increased cSCC risk with greater European ancestry (P = 1.27 × 10) within Hispanic/Latinos and with greater northern (P = 2.38 × 10) and western (P = 2.28 × 10) European ancestry within non-Hispanic whites. These associations are significantly, but not completely, attenuated after considering skin pigmentation-associated loci, history of actinic keratosis, and sun-protected versus sun-exposed anatomical sites. We also report an association of the well-known pigment variant Ala111Thr (rs1426654) at SLC24A5 with cSCC in Hispanic/Latinos. These findings demonstrate a strong correlation of northwestern European genetic ancestry with cSCC risk in both Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, largely but not entirely mediated through its impact on skin pigmentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01461-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736583PMC
December 2020

A Large-Scale Association Study Detects Novel Rare Variants, Risk Genes, Functional Elements, and Polygenic Architecture of Prostate Cancer Susceptibility.

Cancer Res 2021 04 8;81(7):1695-1703. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Program in Biological and Medical Informatics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

To identify rare variants associated with prostate cancer susceptibility and better characterize the mechanisms and cumulative disease risk associated with common risk variants, we conducted an integrated study of prostate cancer genetic etiology in two cohorts using custom genotyping microarrays, large imputation reference panels, and functional annotation approaches. Specifically, 11,984 men (6,196 prostate cancer cases and 5,788 controls) of European ancestry from Northern California Kaiser Permanente were genotyped and meta-analyzed with 196,269 men of European ancestry (7,917 prostate cancer cases and 188,352 controls) from the UK Biobank. Three novel loci, including two rare variants (European ancestry minor allele frequency < 0.01, at 3p21.31 and 8p12), were significant genome wide in a meta-analysis. Gene-based rare variant tests implicated a known prostate cancer gene (), as well as a novel candidate gene (), which encodes a receptor highly expressed in prostate tissue and is related to the B7/CD28 family of T-cell immune checkpoint markers. Haplotypic patterns of long-range linkage disequilibrium were observed for rare genetic variants at and other loci, reflecting their evolutionary history. In addition, a polygenic risk score (PRS) of 188 prostate cancer variants was strongly associated with risk (90th vs. 40th-60th percentile OR = 2.62, = 2.55 × 10). Many of the 188 variants exhibited functional signatures of gene expression regulation or transcription factor binding, including a 6-fold difference in log-probability of androgen receptor binding at the variant rs2680708 (17q22). Rare variant and PRS associations, with concomitant functional interpretation of risk mechanisms, can help clarify the full genetic architecture of prostate cancer and other complex traits. SIGNIFICANCE: This study maps the biological relationships between diverse risk factors for prostate cancer, integrating different functional datasets to interpret and model genome-wide data from over 200,000 men with and without prostate cancer..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2635DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8137514PMC
April 2021

Identification of 31 loci for mammographic density phenotypes and their associations with breast cancer risk.

Nat Commun 2020 10 9;11(1):5116. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, CA, USA.

Mammographic density (MD) phenotypes are strongly associated with breast cancer risk and highly heritable. In this GWAS meta-analysis of 24,192 women, we identify 31 MD loci at P < 5 × 10, tripling the number known to 46. Seventeen identified MD loci also are associated with breast cancer risk in an independent meta-analysis (P < 0.05). Mendelian randomization analyses show that genetic estimates of dense area (DA), nondense area (NDA), and percent density (PD) are all significantly associated with breast cancer risk (P < 0.05). Pathway analyses reveal distinct biological processes involving DA, NDA and PD loci. These findings provide additional insights into the genetic basis of MD phenotypes and their associations with breast cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18883-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7547012PMC
October 2020

The Polygenic and Monogenic Basis of Blood Traits and Diseases.

Cell 2020 09;182(5):1214-1231.e11

Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Science, National Institute on Aging/NIH, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Blood cells play essential roles in human health, underpinning physiological processes such as immunity, oxygen transport, and clotting, which when perturbed cause a significant global health burden. Here we integrate data from UK Biobank and a large-scale international collaborative effort, including data for 563,085 European ancestry participants, and discover 5,106 new genetic variants independently associated with 29 blood cell phenotypes covering a range of variation impacting hematopoiesis. We holistically characterize the genetic architecture of hematopoiesis, assess the relevance of the omnigenic model to blood cell phenotypes, delineate relevant hematopoietic cell states influenced by regulatory genetic variants and gene networks, identify novel splice-altering variants mediating the associations, and assess the polygenic prediction potential for blood traits and clinical disorders at the interface of complex and Mendelian genetics. These results show the power of large-scale blood cell trait GWAS to interrogate clinically meaningful variants across a wide allelic spectrum of human variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7482360PMC
September 2020

Trans-ethnic and Ancestry-Specific Blood-Cell Genetics in 746,667 Individuals from 5 Global Populations.

Cell 2020 09;182(5):1198-1213.e14

Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA 02130, USA; Department of Medicine, Division on Aging, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Most loci identified by GWASs have been found in populations of European ancestry (EUR). In trans-ethnic meta-analyses for 15 hematological traits in 746,667 participants, including 184,535 non-EUR individuals, we identified 5,552 trait-variant associations at p < 5 × 10, including 71 novel associations not found in EUR populations. We also identified 28 additional novel variants in ancestry-specific, non-EUR meta-analyses, including an IL7 missense variant in South Asians associated with lymphocyte count in vivo and IL-7 secretion levels in vitro. Fine-mapping prioritized variants annotated as functional and generated 95% credible sets that were 30% smaller when using the trans-ethnic as opposed to the EUR-only results. We explored the clinical significance and predictive value of trans-ethnic variants in multiple populations and compared genetic architecture and the effect of natural selection on these blood phenotypes between populations. Altogether, our results for hematological traits highlight the value of a more global representation of populations in genetic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.06.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480402PMC
September 2020

Pan-cancer study detects genetic risk variants and shared genetic basis in two large cohorts.

Nat Commun 2020 09 4;11(1):4423. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Deciphering the shared genetic basis of distinct cancers has the potential to elucidate carcinogenic mechanisms and inform broadly applicable risk assessment efforts. Here, we undertake genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and comprehensive evaluations of heritability and pleiotropy across 18 cancer types in two large, population-based cohorts: the UK Biobank (408,786 European ancestry individuals; 48,961 cancer cases) and the Kaiser Permanente Genetic Epidemiology Research on Adult Health and Aging cohorts (66,526 European ancestry individuals; 16,001 cancer cases). The GWAS detect 21 genome-wide significant associations independent of previously reported results. Investigations of pleiotropy identify 12 cancer pairs exhibiting either positive or negative genetic correlations; 25 pleiotropic loci; and 100 independent pleiotropic variants, many of which are regulatory elements and/or influence cross-tissue gene expression. Our findings demonstrate widespread pleiotropy and offer further insight into the complex genetic architecture of cross-cancer susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18246-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7473862PMC
September 2020

Association of genetic risk for Alzheimer disease and hearing impairment.

Neurology 2020 10 2;95(16):e2225-e2234. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (W.D.B., K.Y.), Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (K.Y., S.F.A., T.J.H., M.M.G.), Department of Neurology (K.Y.), and Institute for Human Genetics (T.J.H.), University of California, San Francisco; 23andMe (T.J.F.), Mountain View; San Francisco VA Health Care System (K.Y.), CA; Department of Medicine and Public Health (S.W.), Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain; Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research (E.J.), Oakland; and Public Health Sciences (R.A.W.), Division of Epidemiology, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, UC Davis School of Medicine, CA.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that incipient Alzheimer disease (AD) may adversely affect hearing and that hearing loss may adversely affect cognition, we evaluated whether genetic variants that increase AD risk also increase problem hearing and genetic variants that increase hearing impairment risk do not influence cognition.

Methods: UK Biobank participants without dementia ≥56 years of age with Caucasian genetic ancestry completed a Digit Triplets Test of speech-in-noise hearing (n = 80,074), self-reported problem hearing and hearing with background noise (n = 244,915), and completed brief cognitive assessments. A genetic risk score for AD (AD-GRS) was calculated as a weighted sum of 23 previously identified AD-related polymorphisms. A genetic risk score for hearing (hearing-GRS) was calculated using 3 previously identified polymorphisms related to hearing impairment. Using age-, sex-, and genetic ancestry-adjusted logistic and linear regression models, we evaluated whether the AD-GRS predicted poor hearing and whether the hearing-GRS predicted worse cognition.

Results: Poor speech-in-noise hearing (>-5.5-dB speech reception threshold; prevalence 14%) was associated with lower cognitive scores (ß = -1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI] -1.54 to -1.03). Higher AD-GRS was significantly associated with poor speech-in-noise hearing (odds ratio [OR] 1.06; 95% CI 1.01-1.11) and self-reported problems hearing with background noise (OR 1.03; 95% CI 1.00-1.05). Hearing-GRS was not significantly associated with cognitive scores (ß = -0.05; 95% CI -0.17 to 0.07).

Conclusions: Genetic risk for AD also influences speech-in-noise hearing. We failed to find evidence that genetic risk for hearing impairment affects cognition. AD disease processes or a that shared etiology may cause speech-in-noise difficulty before dementia onset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010709DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7713783PMC
October 2020

Age-of-onset information helps identify 76 genetic variants associated with allergic disease.

PLoS Genet 2020 06 30;16(6):e1008725. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Risk factors that contribute to inter-individual differences in the age-of-onset of allergic diseases are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to identify genetic risk variants associated with the age at which symptoms of allergic disease first develop, considering information from asthma, hay fever and eczema. Self-reported age-of-onset information was available for 117,130 genotyped individuals of European ancestry from the UK Biobank study. For each individual, we identified the earliest age at which asthma, hay fever and/or eczema was first diagnosed and performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of this combined age-of-onset phenotype. We identified 50 variants with a significant independent association (P<3x10-8) with age-of-onset. Forty-five variants had comparable effects on the onset of the three individual diseases and 38 were also associated with allergic disease case-control status in an independent study (n = 222,484). We observed a strong negative genetic correlation between age-of-onset and case-control status of allergic disease (rg = -0.63, P = 4.5x10-61), indicating that cases with early disease onset have a greater burden of allergy risk alleles than those with late disease onset. Subsequently, a multivariate GWAS of age-of-onset and case-control status identified a further 26 associations that were missed by the univariate analyses of age-of-onset or case-control status only. Collectively, of the 76 variants identified, 18 represent novel associations for allergic disease. We identified 81 likely target genes of the 76 associated variants based on information from expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) and non-synonymous variants, of which we highlight ADAM15, FOSL2, TRIM8, BMPR2, CD200R1, PRKCQ, NOD2, SMAD4, ABCA7 and UBE2L3. Our results support the notion that early and late onset allergic disease have partly distinct genetic architectures, potentially explaining known differences in pathophysiology between individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008725DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7367489PMC
June 2020

A multiethnic genome-wide analysis of 44,039 individuals identifies 41 new loci associated with central corneal thickness.

Commun Biol 2020 06 11;3(1):301. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), Division of Research, Oakland, CA, 94612, USA.

Central corneal thickness (CCT) is one of the most heritable human traits, with broad-sense heritability estimates ranging between 0.68 to 0.95. Despite the high heritability and numerous previous association studies, only 8.5% of CCT variance is currently explained. Here, we report the results of a multiethnic meta-analysis of available genome-wide association studies in which we find association between CCT and 98 genomic loci, of which 41 are novel. Among these loci, 20 were significantly associated with keratoconus, and one (RAPSN rs3740685) was significantly associated with glaucoma after Bonferroni correction. Two-sample Mendelian randomization analysis suggests that thinner CCT does not causally increase the risk of primary open-angle glaucoma. This large CCT study explains up to 14.2% of CCT variance and increases substantially our understanding of the etiology of CCT variation. This may open new avenues of investigation into human ocular traits and their relationship to the risk of vision disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-1037-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289804PMC
June 2020

Genetic and environmental factors underlying keratinocyte carcinoma risk.

JCI Insight 2020 05 21;5(10). Epub 2020 May 21.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Division of Research, Oakland, California, USA.

Recent large-scale GWAS and large epidemiologic studies have accelerated the discovery of genes and environmental factors that contribute to the risk of keratinocyte carcinoma (KC), which includes basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). This Review summarizes the genomic regions associated with SCC and BCC risk, examines the genetic overlap between SCC and BCC, and discusses biological pathways involved in SCC and BCC development. Next, we review environmental factors that are associated with KC risk, including those that are shared between SCC and BCC as well as others that associated with only one type of KC. We conclude with a critical appraisal of current research and potential directions for future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.134783DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7259534PMC
May 2020
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