Publications by authors named "Jerome I Rotter"

682 Publications

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
June 2021

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits.

Nat Genet 2021 Jun 31;53(6):840-860. Epub 2021 May 31.

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

Glycemic traits are used to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic health. To date, most genetic studies of glycemic traits have focused on individuals of European ancestry. Here we aggregated genome-wide association studies comprising up to 281,416 individuals without diabetes (30% non-European ancestry) for whom fasting glucose, 2-h glucose after an oral glucose challenge, glycated hemoglobin and fasting insulin data were available. Trans-ancestry and single-ancestry meta-analyses identified 242 loci (99 novel; P < 5 × 10), 80% of which had no significant evidence of between-ancestry heterogeneity. Analyses restricted to individuals of European ancestry with equivalent sample size would have led to 24 fewer new loci. Compared with single-ancestry analyses, equivalent-sized trans-ancestry fine-mapping reduced the number of estimated variants in 99% credible sets by a median of 37.5%. Genomic-feature, gene-expression and gene-set analyses revealed distinct biological signatures for each trait, highlighting different underlying biological pathways. Our results increase our understanding of diabetes pathophysiology by using trans-ancestry studies for improved power and resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610958PMC
June 2021

Clonal hematopoiesis associated with epigenetic aging and clinical outcomes.

Aging Cell 2021 Jun 29;20(6):e13366. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is a common precursor state for blood cancers that most frequently occurs due to mutations in the DNA-methylation modifying enzymes DNMT3A or TET2. We used DNA-methylation array and whole-genome sequencing data from four cohorts together comprising 5522 persons to study the association between CHIP, epigenetic clocks, and health outcomes. CHIP was strongly associated with epigenetic age acceleration, defined as the residual after regressing epigenetic clock age on chronological age, in several clocks, ranging from 1.31 years (GrimAge, p < 8.6 × 10 ) to 3.08 years (EEAA, p < 3.7 × 10 ). Mutations in most CHIP genes except DNA-damage response genes were associated with increases in several measures of age acceleration. CHIP carriers with mutations in multiple genes had the largest increases in age acceleration and decrease in estimated telomere length. Finally, we found that ~40% of CHIP carriers had acceleration >0 in both Hannum and GrimAge (referred to as AgeAccelHG+). This group was at high risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 2.90, p < 4.1 × 10 ) and coronary heart disease (CHD) (hazard ratio 3.24, p < 9.3 × 10 ) compared to those who were CHIP-/AgeAccelHG-. In contrast, the other ~60% of CHIP carriers who were AgeAccelHG- were not at increased risk of these outcomes. In summary, CHIP is strongly linked to age acceleration in multiple clocks, and the combination of CHIP and epigenetic aging may be used to identify a population at high risk for adverse outcomes and who may be a target for clinical interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13366DOI Listing
June 2021

Benchmarking association analyses of continuous exposures with RNA-seq in observational studies.

Brief Bioinform 2021 May 20. Epub 2021 May 20.

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center at the Lundquist Institute, USA.

Large datasets of hundreds to thousands of individuals measuring RNA-seq in observational studies are becoming available. Many popular software packages for analysis of RNA-seq data were constructed to study differences in expression signatures in an experimental design with well-defined conditions (exposures). In contrast, observational studies may have varying levels of confounding transcript-exposure associations; further, exposure measures may vary from discrete (exposed, yes/no) to continuous (levels of exposure), with non-normal distributions of exposure. We compare popular software for gene expression-DESeq2, edgeR and limma-as well as linear regression-based analyses for studying the association of continuous exposures with RNA-seq. We developed a computation pipeline that includes transformation, filtering and generation of empirical null distribution of association P-values, and we apply the pipeline to compute empirical P-values with multiple testing correction. We employ a resampling approach that allows for assessment of false positive detection across methods, power comparison and the computation of quantile empirical P-values. The results suggest that linear regression methods are substantially faster with better control of false detections than other methods, even with the resampling method to compute empirical P-values. We provide the proposed pipeline with fast algorithms in an R package Olivia, and implemented it to study the associations of measures of sleep disordered breathing with RNA-seq in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbab194DOI Listing
May 2021

Transcriptome prediction performance across machine learning models and diverse ancestries.

HGG Adv 2021 Apr 5;2(2). Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Program in Bioinformatics, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Transcriptome prediction methods such as PrediXcan and FUSION have become popular in complex trait mapping. Most transcriptome prediction models have been trained in European populations using methods that make parametric linear assumptions like the elastic net (EN). To potentially further optimize imputation performance of gene expression across global populations, we built transcriptome prediction models using both linear and non-linear machine learning (ML) algorithms and evaluated their performance in comparison to EN. We trained models using genotype and blood monocyte transcriptome data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) comprising individuals of African, Hispanic, and European ancestries and tested them using genotype and whole-blood transcriptome data from the Modeling the Epidemiology Transition Study (METS) comprising individuals of African ancestries. We show that the prediction performance is highest when the training and the testing population share similar ancestries regardless of the prediction algorithm used. While EN generally outperformed random forest (RF), support vector regression (SVR), and K nearest neighbor (KNN), we found that RF outperformed EN for some genes, particularly between disparate ancestries, suggesting potential robustness and reduced variability of RF imputation performance across global populations. When applied to a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) phenotype, we show including RF prediction models in PrediXcan revealed potential gene associations missed by EN models. Therefore, by integrating other ML modeling into PrediXcan and diversifying our training populations to include more global ancestries, we may uncover new genes associated with complex traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xhgg.2020.100019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8087249PMC
April 2021

Epigenome-wide association study of kidney function identifies trans-ethnic and ethnic-specific loci.

Genome Med 2021 Apr 30;13(1):74. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.

Background: DNA methylation (DNAm) is associated with gene regulation and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a measure of kidney function. Decreased eGFR is more common among US Hispanics and African Americans. The causes for this are poorly understood. We aimed to identify trans-ethnic and ethnic-specific differentially methylated positions (DMPs) associated with eGFR using an agnostic, genome-wide approach.

Methods: The study included up to 5428 participants from multi-ethnic studies for discovery and 8109 participants for replication. We tested the associations between whole blood DNAm and eGFR using beta values from Illumina 450K or EPIC arrays. Ethnicity-stratified analyses were performed using linear mixed models adjusting for age, sex, smoking, and study-specific and technical variables. Summary results were meta-analyzed within and across ethnicities. Findings were assessed using integrative epigenomics methods and pathway analyses.

Results: We identified 93 DMPs associated with eGFR at an FDR of 0.05 and replicated 13 and 1 DMPs across independent samples in trans-ethnic and African American meta-analyses, respectively. The study also validated 6 previously published DMPs. Identified DMPs showed significant overlap enrichment with DNase I hypersensitive sites in kidney tissue, sites associated with the expression of proximal genes, and transcription factor motifs and pathways associated with kidney tissue and kidney development.

Conclusions: We uncovered trans-ethnic and ethnic-specific DMPs associated with eGFR, including DMPs enriched in regulatory elements in kidney tissue and pathways related to kidney development. These findings shed light on epigenetic mechanisms associated with kidney function, bridging the gap between population-specific eGFR-associated DNAm and tissue-specific regulatory context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-021-00877-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8088054PMC
April 2021

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

Am J Hum Genet 2021 May 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
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

Allele Specific Variation at APOE Increases Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Obesity but Decreases Risk of Alzheimer's Disease and Myocardial Infarction.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a leading cause of chronic liver disease and is highly correlated with metabolic disease. NAFLD results from environmental exposures acting on a susceptible polygenic background. This study performed the largest multiethnic investigation of exonic variation associated with NAFLD and correlated metabolic traits and diseases. An exome array meta-analysis was carried out among eight multiethnic population-based cohorts (n = 16 492) with computed tomography (CT) measured hepatic steatosis. A fixed effects meta-analysis identified five exome-wide significant loci (P < 5.30x10-7); including a novel signal near TOMM40/APOE. Joint analysis of TOMM40/APOE variants revealed the TOMM40 signal was attributed to APOE rs429358-T; APOE rs7412 was not associated with liver attenuation. Moreover, rs429358-T was associated with higher serum alanine aminotransferase, liver steatosis, cirrhosis, triglycerides and obesity; as well as, lower cholesterol and decreased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and Alzheimer's disease (ad) in phenome-wide association analyses in the Michigan Genomics Initiative, United Kingdom Biobank and/or public datasets. These results implicate APOE in imaging-based identification of NAFLD. This association may or may not translate to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); however, these results indicate a significant association with advanced liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis. These findings highlight allelic heterogeneity at the APOE locus and demonstrate an inverse link between NAFLD and ad at the exome level in the largest analysis to date.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab096DOI 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

Multi-omics analysis identifies CpGs near G6PC2 mediating the effects of genetic variants on fasting glucose.

Diabetologia 2021 Jul 12;64(7):1613-1625. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Zhunan, Taiwan.

Aims/hypothesis: An elevated fasting glucose level in non-diabetic individuals is a key predictor of type 2 diabetes. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified hundreds of SNPs for fasting glucose but most of their functional roles in influencing the trait are unclear. This study aimed to identify the mediation effects of DNA methylation between SNPs identified as significant from GWAS and fasting glucose using Mendelian randomisation (MR) analyses.

Methods: We first performed GWAS analyses for three cohorts (Taiwan Biobank with 18,122 individuals, the Healthy Aging Longitudinal Study in Taiwan with 1989 individuals and the Stanford Asia-Pacific Program for Hypertension and Insulin Resistance with 416 individuals) with individuals of Han Chinese ancestry in Taiwan, followed by a meta-analysis for combining the three GWAS analysis results to identify significant and independent SNPs for fasting glucose. We determined whether these SNPs were methylation quantitative trait loci (meQTLs) by testing their associations with DNA methylation levels at nearby CpG sites using a subsample of 1775 individuals from the Taiwan Biobank. The MR analysis was performed to identify DNA methylation with causal effects on fasting glucose using meQTLs as instrumental variables based on the 1775 individuals. We also used a two-sample MR strategy to perform replication analysis for CpG sites with significant MR effects based on literature data.

Results: Our meta-analysis identified 18 significant (p < 5 × 10) and independent SNPs for fasting glucose. Interestingly, all 18 SNPs were meQTLs. The MR analysis identified seven CpGs near the G6PC2 gene that mediated the effects of a significant SNP (rs2232326) in the gene on fasting glucose. The MR effects for two CpGs were replicated using summary data based on the European population, using an exonic SNP rs2232328 in G6PC2 as the instrument.

Conclusions/interpretation: Our analysis results suggest that rs2232326 and rs2232328 in G6PC2 may affect DNA methylation at CpGs near the gene and that the methylation may have downstream effects on fasting glucose. Therefore, SNPs in G6PC2 and CpGs near G6PC2 may reside along the pathway that influences fasting glucose levels. This is the first study to report CpGs near G6PC2, an important gene for regulating insulin secretion, mediating the effects of GWAS-significant SNPs on fasting glucose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00125-021-05449-9DOI Listing
July 2021

Collaborative Cohort of Cohorts for COVID-19 Research (C4R) Study: Study Design.

medRxiv 2021 Mar 20. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

The Collaborative Cohort of Cohorts for COVID-19 Research (C4R) is a national prospective study of adults at risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) comprising 14 established United States (US) prospective cohort studies. For decades, C4R cohorts have collected extensive data on clinical and subclinical diseases and their risk factors, including behavior, cognition, biomarkers, and social determinants of health. C4R will link this pre-COVID phenotyping to information on SARS-CoV-2 infection and acute and post-acute COVID-related illness. C4R is largely population-based, has an age range of 18-108 years, and broadly reflects the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity of the US. C4R is ascertaining severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and COVID-19 illness using standardized questionnaires, ascertainment of COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths, and a SARS-CoV-2 serosurvey via dried blood spots. Master protocols leverage existing robust retention rates for telephone and in-person examinations, and high-quality events surveillance. Extensive pre-pandemic data minimize referral, survival, and recall bias. Data are being harmonized with research-quality phenotyping unmatched by clinical and survey-based studies; these will be pooled and shared widely to expedite collaboration and scientific findings. This unique resource will allow evaluation of risk and resilience factors for COVID-19 severity and outcomes, including post-acute sequelae, and assessment of the social and behavioral impact of the pandemic on long-term trajectories of health and aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.19.21253986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987050PMC
March 2021

Discovery and fine-mapping of height loci via high-density imputation of GWASs in individuals of African ancestry.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 04 12;108(4):564-582. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

The Charles R. Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Although many loci have been associated with height in European ancestry populations, very few have been identified in African ancestry individuals. Furthermore, many of the known loci have yet to be generalized to and fine-mapped within a large-scale African ancestry sample. We performed sex-combined and sex-stratified meta-analyses in up to 52,764 individuals with height and genome-wide genotyping data from the African Ancestry Anthropometry Genetics Consortium (AAAGC). We additionally combined our African ancestry meta-analysis results with published European genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. In the African ancestry analyses, we identified three novel loci (SLC4A3, NCOA2, ECD/FAM149B1) in sex-combined results and two loci (CRB1, KLF6) in women only. In the African plus European sex-combined GWAS, we identified an additional three novel loci (RCCD1, G6PC3, CEP95) which were equally driven by AAAGC and European results. Among 39 genome-wide significant signals at known loci, conditioning index SNPs from European studies identified 20 secondary signals. Two of the 20 new secondary signals and none of the 8 novel loci had minor allele frequencies (MAF) < 5%. Of 802 known European height signals, 643 displayed directionally consistent associations with height, of which 205 were nominally significant (p < 0.05) in the African ancestry sex-combined sample. Furthermore, 148 of 241 loci contained ≤20 variants in the credible sets that jointly account for 99% of the posterior probability of driving the associations. In summary, trans-ethnic meta-analyses revealed novel signals and further improved fine-mapping of putative causal variants in loci shared between African and European ancestry populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.02.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8059339PMC
April 2021

Identification of candidate genes and pathways in retinopathy of prematurity by whole exome sequencing of preterm infants enriched in phenotypic extremes.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 2;11(1):4966. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Ophthalmology, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, 3375 SW Terwilliger Boulevard, Portland, OR, 97239, USA.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a vasoproliferative retinal disease affecting premature infants. In addition to prematurity itself and oxygen treatment, genetic factors have been suggested to predispose to ROP. We aimed to identify potentially pathogenic genes and biological pathways associated with ROP by analyzing variants from whole exome sequencing (WES) data of premature infants. As part of a multicenter ROP cohort study, 100 non-Hispanic Caucasian preterm infants enriched in phenotypic extremes were subjected to WES. Gene-based testing was done on coding nonsynonymous variants. Genes showing enrichment of qualifying variants in severe ROP compared to mild or no ROP from gene-based tests with adjustment for gestational age and birth weight were selected for gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). Mean BW of included infants with pre-plus, type-1 or type 2 ROP including aggressive posterior ROP (n = 58) and mild or no ROP (n = 42) were 744 g and 995 g, respectively. No single genes reached genome-wide significance that could account for a severe phenotype. GSEA identified two significantly associated pathways (smooth endoplasmic reticulum and vitamin C metabolism) after correction for multiple tests. WES of premature infants revealed potential pathways that may be important in the pathogenesis of ROP and in further genetic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83552-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7925531PMC
March 2021

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

Commun Biol 2021 Mar 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

The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis individual response to vitamin D trial: Building a randomized clinical trial into an observational cohort study.

Contemp Clin Trials 2021 Apr 12;103:106318. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Division of Nephrology and Kidney Research Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States of America.

The INdividual response to VITamin D (INVITe) trial was a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group trial of vitamin D supplementation (2000 IU daily) designed to determine clinical and genetic characteristics that modify the response to vitamin D supplementation. To enhance internal and external validity and reduce cost, the INVITe trial was nested within the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), an ongoing prospective observational cohort study. The INVITe trial enrolled a community-based population of 666 racially and ethnically diverse participants from January 2017 to April 2019. This represents 30% of 2210 MESA participants approached for screening, and 96% of those found to be eligible. Barriers to enrollment included delayed initiation of the trial relative to scheduled MESA study visits, a lower number of available MESA participants than expected, and a high prevalence (18%) of high-dose vitamin D supplementation (>1000 IU daily, an exclusion criterion). The final study visit was attended by 611 participants (92%), and median adherence was 98%. Our experience suggests that integration of a randomized trial into an existing observational cohort study may leverage strengths of the source population and enhance enrollment, retention, and adherence, although with limited enrollment capacity. The INVITe trial will use rigorously-collected data to advance understanding of individual determinants of vitamin D response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2021.106318DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8089051PMC
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

Genome-wide association study of circulating interleukin 6 levels identifies novel loci.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Apr;30(5):393-409

Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties with a heritability estimate of up to 61%. The circulating levels of IL-6 in blood have been associated with an increased risk of complex disease pathogenesis. We conducted a two-staged, discovery and replication meta genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating serum IL-6 levels comprising up to 67 428 (ndiscovery = 52 654 and nreplication = 14 774) individuals of European ancestry. The inverse variance fixed effects based discovery meta-analysis, followed by replication led to the identification of two independent loci, IL1F10/IL1RN rs6734238 on chromosome (Chr) 2q14, (Pcombined = 1.8 × 10-11), HLA-DRB1/DRB5 rs660895 on Chr6p21 (Pcombined = 1.5 × 10-10) in the combined meta-analyses of all samples. We also replicated the IL6R rs4537545 locus on Chr1q21 (Pcombined = 1.2 × 10-122). Our study identifies novel loci for circulating IL-6 levels uncovering new immunological and inflammatory pathways that may influence IL-6 pathobiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098112PMC
April 2021

Whole genome sequence analyses of eGFR in 23,732 people representing multiple ancestries in the NHLBI trans-omics for precision medicine (TOPMed) consortium.

EBioMedicine 2021 Jan 6;63:103157. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, United States.

Background: Genetic factors that influence kidney traits have been understudied for low frequency and ancestry-specific variants.

Methods: We combined whole genome sequencing (WGS) data from 23,732 participants from 10 NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program multi-ethnic studies to identify novel loci for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Participants included European, African, East Asian, and Hispanic ancestries. We applied linear mixed models using a genetic relationship matrix estimated from the WGS data and adjusted for age, sex, study, and ethnicity.

Findings: When testing single variants, we identified three novel loci driven by low frequency variants more commonly observed in non-European ancestry (PRKAA2, rs180996919, minor allele frequency [MAF] 0.04%, P = 6.1 × 10; METTL8, rs116951054, MAF 0.09%, P = 4.5 × 10; and MATK, rs539182790, MAF 0.05%, P = 3.4 × 10). We also replicated two known loci for common variants (rs2461702, MAF=0.49, P = 1.2 × 10, nearest gene GATM, and rs71147340, MAF=0.34, P = 3.3 × 10, CDK12). Testing aggregated variants within a gene identified the MAF gene. A statistical approach based on local ancestry helped to identify replication samples for ancestry-specific variants.

Interpretation: This study highlights challenges in studying variants influencing kidney traits that are low frequency in populations and more common in non-European ancestry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.103157DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7804602PMC
January 2021

Loss-of-function genomic variants highlight potential therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease.

Nat Commun 2020 12 18;11(1):6417. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, Department of Pediatrics and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, CA, USA.

Pharmaceutical drugs targeting dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease (CVD) may increase the risk of fatty liver disease and other metabolic disorders. To identify potential novel CVD drug targets without these adverse effects, we perform genome-wide analyses of participants in the HUNT Study in Norway (n = 69,479) to search for protein-altering variants with beneficial impact on quantitative blood traits related to cardiovascular disease, but without detrimental impact on liver function. We identify 76 (11 previously unreported) presumed causal protein-altering variants associated with one or more CVD- or liver-related blood traits. Nine of the variants are predicted to result in loss-of-function of the protein. This includes ZNF529:p.K405X, which is associated with decreased low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (P = 1.3 × 10) without being associated with liver enzymes or non-fasting blood glucose. Silencing of ZNF529 in human hepatoma cells results in upregulation of LDL receptor and increased LDL uptake in the cells. This suggests that inhibition of ZNF529 or its gene product should be prioritized as a novel candidate drug target for treating dyslipidemia and associated CVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20086-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749177PMC
December 2020

Cerebral small vessel disease genomics and its implications across the lifespan.

Nat Commun 2020 12 8;11(1):6285. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA.

White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are the most common brain-imaging feature of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), hypertension being the main known risk factor. Here, we identify 27 genome-wide loci for WMH-volume in a cohort of 50,970 older individuals, accounting for modification/confounding by hypertension. Aggregated WMH risk variants were associated with altered white matter integrity (p = 2.5×10-7) in brain images from 1,738 young healthy adults, providing insight into the lifetime impact of SVD genetic risk. Mendelian randomization suggested causal association of increasing WMH-volume with stroke, Alzheimer-type dementia, and of increasing blood pressure (BP) with larger WMH-volume, notably also in persons without clinical hypertension. Transcriptome-wide colocalization analyses showed association of WMH-volume with expression of 39 genes, of which four encode known drug targets. Finally, we provide insight into BP-independent biological pathways underlying SVD and suggest potential for genetic stratification of high-risk individuals and for genetically-informed prioritization of drug targets for prevention trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19111-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722866PMC
December 2020

A Noncoding Variant Near PPP1R3B Promotes Liver Glycogen Storage and MetS, but Protects Against Myocardial Infarction.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Jan;106(2):372-387

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Havard University, Boston, MA, USA.

Context: Glycogen storage diseases are rare. Increased glycogen in the liver results in increased attenuation.

Objective: Investigate the association and function of a noncoding region associated with liver attenuation but not histologic nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Design: Genetics of Obesity-associated Liver Disease Consortium.

Setting: Population-based.

Main Outcome: Computed tomography measured liver attenuation.

Results: Carriers of rs4841132-A (frequency 2%-19%) do not show increased hepatic steatosis; they have increased liver attenuation indicative of increased glycogen deposition. rs4841132 falls in a noncoding RNA LOC157273 ~190 kb upstream of PPP1R3B. We demonstrate that rs4841132-A increases PPP1R3B through a cis genetic effect. Using CRISPR/Cas9 we engineered a 105-bp deletion including rs4841132-A in human hepatocarcinoma cells that increases PPP1R3B, decreases LOC157273, and increases glycogen perfectly mirroring the human disease. Overexpression of PPP1R3B or knockdown of LOC157273 increased glycogen but did not result in decreased LOC157273 or increased PPP1R3B, respectively, suggesting that the effects may not all occur via affecting RNA levels. Based on electronic health record (EHR) data, rs4841132-A associates with all components of the metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, rs4841132-A associated with decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and risk for myocardial infarction (MI). A metabolic signature for rs4841132-A includes increased glycine, lactate, triglycerides, and decreased acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate.

Conclusions: These results show that rs4841132-A promotes a hepatic glycogen storage disease by increasing PPP1R3B and decreasing LOC157273. rs4841132-A promotes glycogen accumulation and development of MetS but lowers LDL cholesterol and risk for MI. These results suggest that elevated hepatic glycogen is one cause of MetS that does not invariably promote MI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823249PMC
January 2021