Publications by authors named "Jian'an Luan"

199 Publications

The genomics of heart failure: design and rationale of the HERMES consortium.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Sep 3. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

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

Aims: The HERMES (HEart failure Molecular Epidemiology for Therapeutic targetS) consortium aims to identify the genomic and molecular basis of heart failure.

Methods And Results: The consortium currently includes 51 studies from 11 countries, including 68 157 heart failure cases and 949 888 controls, with data on heart failure events and prognosis. All studies collected biological samples and performed genome-wide genotyping of common genetic variants. The enrolment of subjects into participating studies ranged from 1948 to the present day, and the median follow-up following heart failure diagnosis ranged from 2 to 116 months. Forty-nine of 51 individual studies enrolled participants of both sexes; in these studies, participants with heart failure were predominantly male (34-90%). The mean age at diagnosis or ascertainment across all studies ranged from 54 to 84 years. Based on the aggregate sample, we estimated 80% power to genetic variant associations with risk of heart failure with an odds ratio of ≥1.10 for common variants (allele frequency ≥ 0.05) and ≥1.20 for low-frequency variants (allele frequency 0.01-0.05) at P < 5 × 10 under an additive genetic model.

Conclusions: HERMES is a global collaboration aiming to (i) identify the genetic determinants of heart failure; (ii) generate insights into the causal pathways leading to heart failure and enable genetic approaches to target prioritization; and (iii) develop genomic tools for disease stratification and risk prediction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13517DOI Listing
September 2021

Utility of Genetically Predicted Lp(a) (Lipoprotein [a]) and ApoB Levels for Cardiovascular Risk Assessment.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Aug 31:CIRCGEN121003312. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health (H.W., J.B.R.).

Background: Current lipid guidelines suggest measurement of Lp(a) (lipoprotein[a]) and ApoB (apolipoprotein B) for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk assessment. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for Lp(a) and ApoB may identify individuals unlikely to have elevated Lp(a) or ApoB and thus reduce such suggested testing.

Methods: PRSs were developed using LASSO regression among 273 222 and 356 958 UK Biobank participants of white British ancestry for Lp(a) and ApoB, respectively, and validated in separate sets of 60 771 UK Biobank and 15 050 European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk participants. We then assessed the proportion of participants who, based on these PRSs, were unlikely to benefit from Lp(a) or ApoB measurements, according to current lipid guidelines.

Results: In the UK Biobank and European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk cohorts, the area under the receiver operating curve for the PRS-predicted Lp(a) and ApoB to identify individuals with elevated Lp(a) and ApoB was at least 0.91 (95% CI, 0.90-0.92) and 0.74 (95% CI, 0.73-0.75), respectively. The Lp(a) PRS and measured Lp(a) showed comparable association with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease incidence, whereas the ApoB PRS was in general less predictive of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk than measured ApoB. In the context of the ESC/EAS lipid guidelines, at a 95% sensitivity to identify individuals with elevated Lp(a) and ApoB levels, at least 54% of Lp(a) and 24% of ApoB testing could be reduced by prescreening with a PRS while maintaining a low false-negative rate.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of suggested testing for elevated Lp(a) and a modest proportion of testing for elevated ApoB could potentially be reduced by prescreening individuals with PRSs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.121.003312DOI Listing
August 2021

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

Nature 2021 08 4;596(7872):393-397. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Genome Integrity and Instability Group, Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain.

Reproductive longevity is essential for fertility and influences healthy ageing in women, but insights into its underlying biological mechanisms and treatments to preserve it are limited. Here we identify 290 genetic determinants of ovarian ageing, assessed using normal variation in age at natural menopause (ANM) in about 200,000 women of European ancestry. These common alleles were associated with clinical extremes of ANM; women in the top 1% of genetic susceptibility have an equivalent risk of premature ovarian insufficiency to those carrying monogenic FMR1 premutations. The identified loci implicate a broad range of DNA damage response (DDR) processes and include loss-of-function variants in key DDR-associated genes. Integration with experimental models demonstrates that these DDR processes act across the life-course to shape the ovarian reserve and its rate of depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that experimental manipulation of DDR pathways highlighted by human genetics increases fertility and extends reproductive life in mice. Causal inference analyses using the identified genetic variants indicate that extending reproductive life in women improves bone health and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, but increases the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms that govern ovarian ageing, when they act, and how they might be targeted by therapeutic approaches to extend fertility and prevent disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03779-7DOI Listing
August 2021

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption May Modify Associations Between Genetic Variants in the CHREBP (Carbohydrate Responsive Element Binding Protein) Locus and HDL-C (High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol) and Triglyceride Concentrations.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Aug 16;14(4):e003288. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology (R.L.G., D.O.M.-K., F.R.R., R.dM.), Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands.

Background: ChREBP (carbohydrate responsive element binding protein) is a transcription factor that responds to sugar consumption. Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption and genetic variants in the locus have separately been linked to HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and triglyceride concentrations. We hypothesized that SSB consumption would modify the association between genetic variants in the locus and dyslipidemia.

Methods: Data from 11 cohorts from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium (N=63 599) and the UK Biobank (N=59 220) were used to quantify associations of SSB consumption, genetic variants, and their interaction on HDL-C and triglyceride concentrations using linear regression models. A total of 1606 single nucleotide polymorphisms within or near were considered. SSB consumption was estimated from validated questionnaires, and participants were grouped by their estimated intake.

Results: In a meta-analysis, rs71556729 was significantly associated with higher HDL-C concentrations only among the highest SSB consumers (β, 2.12 [95% CI, 1.16-3.07] mg/dL per allele; <0.0001), but not significantly among the lowest SSB consumers (=0.81; <0.0001). Similar results were observed for 2 additional variants (rs35709627 and rs71556736). For triglyceride, rs55673514 was positively associated with triglyceride concentrations only among the highest SSB consumers (β, 0.06 [95% CI, 0.02-0.09] ln-mg/dL per allele, =0.001) but not the lowest SSB consumers (=0.84; =0.0005).

Conclusions: Our results identified genetic variants in the locus that may protect against SSB-associated reductions in HDL-C and other variants that may exacerbate SSB-associated increases in triglyceride concentrations. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT00005133, NCT00005121, NCT00005487, and NCT00000479.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8373451PMC
August 2021

Variants associated with expression have sex-differential effects on lung function.

Wellcome Open Res 2020 24;5:111. Epub 2021 May 24.

Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, UK.

Lung function is highly heritable and differs between the sexes throughout life. However, little is known about sex-differential genetic effects on lung function. We aimed to conduct the first genome-wide genotype-by-sex interaction study on lung function to identify genetic effects that differ between males and females. We tested for interactions between 7,745,864 variants and sex on spirometry-based measures of lung function in UK Biobank (N=303,612), and sought replication in 75,696 independent individuals from the SpiroMeta consortium. Five independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showed genome-wide significant (P<5x10 ) interactions with sex on lung function, and 21 showed suggestive interactions (P<1x10 ). The strongest signal, from rs7697189 (chr4:145436894) on forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV ) (P=3.15x10 ), was replicated (P=0.016) in SpiroMeta. The C allele increased FEV more in males (untransformed FEV β=0.028 [SE 0.0022] litres) than females (β=0.009 [SE 0.0014] litres), and this effect was not accounted for by differential effects on height, smoking or pubertal age. rs7697189 resides upstream of the hedgehog-interacting protein ( ) gene and was previously associated with lung function and lung expression. We found expression was significantly different between the sexes (P=6.90x10 ), but we could not detect sex differential effects of rs7697189 on expression. We identified a novel genotype-by-sex interaction at a putative enhancer region upstream of the gene. Establishing the mechanism by which SNPs have different effects on lung function in males and females will be important for our understanding of lung health and diseases in both sexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15846.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938335.2PMC
May 2021

Prepubertal Dietary and Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids Related to Puberty Timing: Longitudinal Cohort and Mendelian Randomization Analyses.

Nutrients 2021 May 30;13(6). Epub 2021 May 30.

MRC Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge Biomedical Campus Box 285, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK.

Dietary intakes of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids (FAs) have been inconsistently associated with puberty timing. We examined longitudinal associations of prepubertal dietary and plasma phospholipid FAs with several puberty timing traits in boys and girls. In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, prepubertal fat intakes at 3-7.5 years and plasma phospholipid FAs at 7.5 years were measured. Timings of Tanner stage 2 genital or breast development and voice breaking or menarche from repeated reports at 8-17 years, and age at peak height velocity (PHV) from repeated height measurements at 5-20 years were estimated. In linear regression models with adjustment for maternal and infant characteristics, dietary substitution of polyunsaturated FAs for saturated FAs, and higher concentrations of dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (20:3n6) and palmitoleic acid (16:1n7) were associated with earlier timing of puberty traits in girls ( = 3872) but not boys ( = 3654). In Mendelian Randomization models, higher genetically predicted circulating dihomo-γ-linolenic acid was associated with earlier menarche in girls. Based on repeated dietary intake data, objectively measured FAs and genetic causal inference, these findings suggest that dietary and endogenous metabolic pathways that increase plasma dihomo-γ-linolenic acid, an intermediate metabolite of n-6 polyunsaturated FAs, may promote earlier puberty timing in girls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13061868DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8228200PMC
May 2021

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits.

Nat Genet 2021 06 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

Genome-wide meta-analysis of muscle weakness identifies 15 susceptibility loci in older men and women.

Nat Commun 2021 01 28;12(1):654. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Low muscle strength is an important heritable indicator of poor health linked to morbidity and mortality in older people. In a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of 256,523 Europeans aged 60 years and over from 22 cohorts we identify 15 loci associated with muscle weakness (European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People definition: n = 48,596 cases, 18.9% of total), including 12 loci not implicated in previous analyses of continuous measures of grip strength. Loci include genes reportedly involved in autoimmune disease (HLA-DQA1 p = 4 × 10), arthritis (GDF5 p = 4 × 10), cell cycle control and cancer protection, regulation of transcription, and others involved in the development and maintenance of the musculoskeletal system. Using Mendelian randomization we report possible overlapping causal pathways, including diabetes susceptibility, haematological parameters, and the immune system. We conclude that muscle weakness in older adults has distinct mechanisms from continuous strength, including several pathways considered to be hallmarks of ageing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-20918-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844411PMC
January 2021

A cross-platform approach identifies genetic regulators of human metabolism and health.

Nat Genet 2021 01 7;53(1):54-64. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Metabolic Research Laboratories, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

In cross-platform analyses of 174 metabolites, we identify 499 associations (P < 4.9 × 10) characterized by pleiotropy, allelic heterogeneity, large and nonlinear effects and enrichment for nonsynonymous variation. We identify a signal at GLP2R (p.Asp470Asn) shared among higher citrulline levels, body mass index, fasting glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide and type 2 diabetes, with β-arrestin signaling as the underlying mechanism. Genetically higher serine levels are shown to reduce the likelihood (by 95%) and predict development of macular telangiectasia type 2, a rare degenerative retinal disease. Integration of genomic and small molecule data across platforms enables the discovery of regulators of human metabolism and translation into clinical insights.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00751-5DOI Listing
January 2021

Sex-dimorphic genetic effects and novel loci for fasting glucose and insulin variability.

Nat Commun 2021 01 5;12(1):24. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Department of Biostatistics and Data Science, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Differences between sexes contribute to variation in the levels of fasting glucose and insulin. Epidemiological studies established a higher prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in men and impaired glucose tolerance in women, however, the genetic component underlying this phenomenon is not established. We assess sex-dimorphic (73,089/50,404 women and 67,506/47,806 men) and sex-combined (151,188/105,056 individuals) fasting glucose/fasting insulin genetic effects via genome-wide association study meta-analyses in individuals of European descent without diabetes. Here we report sex dimorphism in allelic effects on fasting insulin at IRS1 and ZNF12 loci, the latter showing higher RNA expression in whole blood in women compared to men. We also observe sex-homogeneous effects on fasting glucose at seven novel loci. Fasting insulin in women shows stronger genetic correlations than in men with waist-to-hip ratio and anorexia nervosa. Furthermore, waist-to-hip ratio is causally related to insulin resistance in women, but not in men. These results position dissection of metabolic and glycemic health sex dimorphism as a steppingstone for understanding differences in genetic effects between women and men in related phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19366-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785747PMC
January 2021

Genetic architecture of host proteins involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Nat Commun 2020 12 16;11(1):6397. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Understanding the genetic architecture of host proteins interacting with SARS-CoV-2 or mediating the maladaptive host response to COVID-19 can help to identify new or repurpose existing drugs targeting those proteins. We present a genetic discovery study of 179 such host proteins among 10,708 individuals using an aptamer-based technique. We identify 220 host DNA sequence variants acting in cis (MAF 0.01-49.9%) and explaining 0.3-70.9% of the variance of 97 of these proteins, including 45 with no previously known protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) and 38 encoding current drug targets. Systematic characterization of pQTLs across the phenome identified protein-drug-disease links and evidence that putative viral interaction partners such as MARK3 affect immune response. Our results accelerate the evaluation and prioritization of new drug development programmes and repurposing of trials to prevent, treat or reduce adverse outcomes. Rapid sharing and detailed interrogation of results is facilitated through an interactive webserver ( https://omicscience.org/apps/covidpgwas/ ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19996-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7744536PMC
December 2020

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

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

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

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

Plasma Vitamin C and Type 2 Diabetes: Genome-Wide Association Study and Mendelian Randomization Analysis in European Populations.

Diabetes Care 2021 01 17;44(1):98-106. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Unit of Nutrition and Cancer, Cancer Epidemiology Research Program and Translational Research Laboratory; Catalan Institute of Oncology - ICO, Group of Research on Nutrition and Cancer, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), L'Hospitalet of Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: Higher plasma vitamin C levels are associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk, but whether this association is causal is uncertain. To investigate this, we studied the association of genetically predicted plasma vitamin C with type 2 diabetes.

Research Design And Methods: We conducted genome-wide association studies of plasma vitamin C among 52,018 individuals of European ancestry to discover novel genetic variants. We performed Mendelian randomization analyses to estimate the association of genetically predicted differences in plasma vitamin C with type 2 diabetes in up to 80,983 case participants and 842,909 noncase participants. We compared this estimate with the observational association between plasma vitamin C and incident type 2 diabetes, including 8,133 case participants and 11,073 noncase participants.

Results: We identified 11 genomic regions associated with plasma vitamin C ( < 5 × 10), with the strongest signal at , and 10 novel genetic loci including , , , , , , , , , and . Plasma vitamin C was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes (hazard ratio per SD 0.88; 95% CI 0.82, 0.94), but there was no association between genetically predicted plasma vitamin C (excluding variant due to its apparent pleiotropic effect) and type 2 diabetes (1.03; 95% CI 0.96, 1.10).

Conclusions: These findings indicate discordance between biochemically measured and genetically predicted plasma vitamin C levels in the association with type 2 diabetes among European populations. The null Mendelian randomization findings provide no strong evidence to suggest the use of vitamin C supplementation for type 2 diabetes prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/dc20-1328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7783939PMC
January 2021

Genome-wide association analysis of type 2 diabetes in the EPIC-InterAct study.

Sci Data 2020 11 13;7(1):393. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a global public health challenge. Whilst the advent of genome-wide association studies has identified >400 genetic variants associated with T2D, our understanding of its biological mechanisms and translational insights is still limited. The EPIC-InterAct project, centred in 8 countries in the European Prospective Investigations into Cancer and Nutrition study, is one of the largest prospective studies of T2D. Established as a nested case-cohort study to investigate the interplay between genetic and lifestyle behavioural factors on the risk of T2D, a total of 12,403 individuals were identified as incident T2D cases, and a representative sub-cohort of 16,154 individuals was selected from a larger cohort of 340,234 participants with a follow-up time of 3.99 million person-years. We describe the results from a genome-wide association analysis between more than 8.9 million SNPs and T2D risk among 22,326 individuals (9,978 cases and 12,348 non-cases) from the EPIC-InterAct study. The summary statistics to be shared provide a valuable resource to facilitate further investigations into the genetics of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41597-020-00716-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7666191PMC
November 2020

Meta-analysis investigating the role of interleukin-6 mediated inflammation in type 2 diabetes.

EBioMedicine 2020 Nov 21;61:103062. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, United Kingdom; Regeneron Genetics Center, 777 Old Saw Mill River Rd, Tarrytown, NY 10591, United States.

Background: Evidence from animal models and observational epidemiology points to a role for chronic inflammation, in which interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a key player, in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, it is unknown whether IL-6 mediated inflammation is implicated in the pathophysiology of T2D.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of 15 prospective studies to investigate associations between IL-6 levels and incident T2D including 5,421 cases and 31,562 non-cases. We also estimated the association of a loss-of-function missense variant (Asp358Ala) in the IL-6 receptor gene (IL6R), previously shown to mimic the effects of IL-6R inhibition, in a large trans-ethnic meta-analysis of six T2D case-control studies including 260,614 cases and 1,350,640 controls.

Findings: In a meta-analysis of 15 prospective studies, higher levels of IL-6 (per log pg/mL) were significantly associated with a higher risk of incident T2D (1·24 95% CI, 1·17, 1·32; P = 1 × 10). In a trans-ethnic meta-analysis of 260,614 cases and 1,350,640 controls, the IL6R Asp358Ala missense variant was associated with lower odds of T2D (OR, 0·98; 95% CI, 0·97, 0·99; P = 2 × 10). This association was not due to diagnostic misclassification and was consistent across ethnic groups. IL-6 levels mediated up to 5% of the association between higher body mass index and T2D.

Interpretation: Large-scale human prospective and genetic data provide evidence that IL-6 mediated inflammation is implicated in the etiology of T2D but suggest that the impact of this pathway on disease risk in the general population is likely to be small.

Funding: The EPICNorfolk study has received funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) (MR/N003284/1, MC-UU_12015/1 and MC_PC_13048) and Cancer Research UK (C864/A14136). The Fenland Study is funded by the MRC (MC_UU_12015/1 and MC_PC_13046).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.103062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581887PMC
November 2020

The association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D metabolites and type 2 diabetes in European populations: A meta-analysis and Mendelian randomisation analysis.

PLoS Med 2020 10 16;17(10):e1003394. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Background: Prior research suggested a differential association of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) metabolites with type 2 diabetes (T2D), with total 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 inversely associated with T2D, but the epimeric form (C3-epi-25(OH)D3) positively associated with T2D. Whether or not these observational associations are causal remains uncertain. We aimed to examine the potential causality of these associations using Mendelian randomisation (MR) analysis.

Methods And Findings: We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for total 25(OH)D (N = 120,618), 25(OH)D3 (N = 40,562), and C3-epi-25(OH)D3 (N = 40,562) in participants of European descent (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition [EPIC]-InterAct study, EPIC-Norfolk study, EPIC-CVD study, Ely study, and the SUNLIGHT consortium). We identified genetic variants for MR analysis to investigate the causal association of the 25(OH)D metabolites with T2D (including 80,983 T2D cases and 842,909 non-cases). We also estimated the observational association of 25(OH)D metabolites with T2D by performing random effects meta-analysis of results from previous studies and results from the EPIC-InterAct study. We identified 10 genetic loci associated with total 25(OH)D, 7 loci associated with 25(OH)D3 and 3 loci associated with C3-epi-25(OH)D3. Based on the meta-analysis of observational studies, each 1-standard deviation (SD) higher level of 25(OH)D was associated with a 20% lower risk of T2D (relative risk [RR]: 0.80; 95% CI 0.77, 0.84; p < 0.001), but a genetically predicted 1-SD increase in 25(OH)D was not significantly associated with T2D (odds ratio [OR]: 0.96; 95% CI 0.89, 1.03; p = 0.23); this result was consistent across sensitivity analyses. In EPIC-InterAct, 25(OH)D3 (per 1-SD) was associated with a lower risk of T2D (RR: 0.81; 95% CI 0.77, 0.86; p < 0.001), while C3-epi-25(OH)D3 (above versus below lower limit of quantification) was positively associated with T2D (RR: 1.12; 95% CI 1.03, 1.22; p = 0.006), but neither 25(OH)D3 (OR: 0.97; 95% CI 0.93, 1.01; p = 0.14) nor C3-epi-25(OH)D3 (OR: 0.98; 95% CI 0.93, 1.04; p = 0.53) was causally associated with T2D risk in the MR analysis. Main limitations include the lack of a non-linear MR analysis and of the generalisability of the current findings from European populations to other populations of different ethnicities.

Conclusions: Our study found discordant associations of biochemically measured and genetically predicted differences in blood 25(OH)D with T2D risk. The findings based on MR analysis in a large sample of European ancestry do not support a causal association of total 25(OH)D or 25(OH)D metabolites with T2D and argue against the use of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7567390PMC
October 2020

Genetic Studies of Leptin Concentrations Implicate Leptin in the Regulation of Early Adiposity.

Diabetes 2020 12 11;69(12):2806-2818. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

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

Leptin influences food intake by informing the brain about the status of body fat stores. Rare mutations associated with congenital leptin deficiency cause severe early-onset obesity that can be mitigated by administering leptin. However, the role of genetic regulation of leptin in polygenic obesity remains poorly understood. We performed an exome-based analysis in up to 57,232 individuals of diverse ancestries to identify genetic variants that influence adiposity-adjusted leptin concentrations. We identify five novel variants, including four missense variants, in , , , and , and one intergenic variant near The missense variant Val94Met (rs17151919) in was common in individuals of African ancestry only, and its association with lower leptin concentrations was specific to this ancestry ( = 2 × 10, = 3,901). Using in vitro analyses, we show that the Met94 allele decreases leptin secretion. We also show that the Met94 allele is associated with higher BMI in young African-ancestry children but not in adults, suggesting that leptin regulates early adiposity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db20-0070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7679778PMC
December 2020

Genetic architecture of host proteins interacting with SARS-CoV-2.

bioRxiv 2020 Jul 1. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Strategies to develop therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 infection may be informed by experimental identification of viral-host protein interactions in cellular assays and measurement of host response proteins in COVID-19 patients. Identification of genetic variants that influence the level or activity of these proteins in the host could enable rapid 'in silico' assessment in human genetic studies of their causal relevance as molecular targets for new or repurposed drugs to treat COVID-19. We integrated large-scale genomic and aptamer-based plasma proteomic data from 10,708 individuals to characterize the genetic architecture of 179 host proteins reported to interact with SARS-CoV-2 proteins or to participate in the host response to COVID-19. We identified 220 host DNA sequence variants acting in (MAF 0.01-49.9%) and explaining 0.3-70.9% of the variance of 97 of these proteins, including 45 with no previously known protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) and 38 encoding current drug targets. Systematic characterization of pQTLs across the phenome identified protein-drug-disease links, evidence that putative viral interaction partners such as MARK3 affect immune response, and establish the first link between a recently reported variant for respiratory failure of COVID-19 patients at the locus and hypercoagulation, i.e. maladaptive host response. Our results accelerate the evaluation and prioritization of new drug development programmes and repurposing of trials to prevent, treat or reduce adverse outcomes. Rapid sharing and dynamic and detailed interrogation of results is facilitated through an interactive webserver ( https://omicscience.org/apps/covidpgwas/ ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.01.182709DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7337378PMC
July 2020

Genomic analysis of diet composition finds novel loci and associations with health and lifestyle.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Jun 11;26(6):2056-2069. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Endocrinology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ, Groningen, The Netherlands.

We conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of relative intake from the macronutrients fat, protein, carbohydrates, and sugar in over 235,000 individuals of European ancestries. We identified 21 unique, approximately independent lead SNPs. Fourteen lead SNPs are uniquely associated with one macronutrient at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10), while five of the 21 lead SNPs reach suggestive significance (P < 1 × 10) for at least one other macronutrient. While the phenotypes are genetically correlated, each phenotype carries a partially unique genetic architecture. Relative protein intake exhibits the strongest relationships with poor health, including positive genetic associations with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease (r ≈ 0.15-0.5). In contrast, relative carbohydrate and sugar intake have negative genetic correlations with waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, and neighborhood deprivation (|r| ≈ 0.1-0.3) and positive genetic correlations with physical activity (r ≈ 0.1 and 0.2). Relative fat intake has no consistent pattern of genetic correlations with poor health but has a negative genetic correlation with educational attainment (r ≈-0.1). Although our analyses do not allow us to draw causal conclusions, we find no evidence of negative health consequences associated with relative carbohydrate, sugar, or fat intake. However, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that relative protein intake plays a role in the etiology of metabolic dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0697-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7767645PMC
June 2021

Genome-wide association study of adipocyte lipolysis in the GENetics of adipocyte lipolysis (GENiAL) cohort.

Mol Metab 2020 04 25;34:85-96. Epub 2020 Jan 25.

Lipid laboratory, Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:

Objectives: Lipolysis, hydrolysis of triglycerides to fatty acids in adipocytes, is tightly regulated, poorly understood, and, if perturbed, can lead to metabolic diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes. The goal of this study was to identify the genetic regulators of lipolysis and elucidate their molecular mechanisms.

Methods: Adipocytes from abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies were isolated and were incubated without (spontaneous lipolysis) or with a catecholamine (stimulated lipolysis) to analyze lipolysis. DNA was extracted and genome-wide genotyping and imputation conducted. After quality control, 939 samples with genetic and lipolysis data were available. Genome-wide association studies of spontaneous and stimulated lipolysis were conducted. Subsequent in vitro gene expression analyses were used to identify candidate genes and explore their regulation of adipose tissue biology.

Results: One locus on chromosome 19 demonstrated genome-wide significance with spontaneous lipolysis. 60 loci showed suggestive associations with spontaneous or stimulated lipolysis, of which many influenced both traits. In the chromosome 19 locus, only HIF3A was expressed in the adipocytes and displayed genotype-dependent gene expression. HIF3A knockdown in vitro increased lipolysis and the expression of key lipolysis-regulating genes.

Conclusions: In conclusion, we identified a genetic regulator of spontaneous lipolysis and provided evidence of HIF3A as a novel key regulator of lipolysis in subcutaneous adipocytes as the mechanism through which the locus influences adipose tissue biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2020.01.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7021539PMC
April 2020

Genome-wide Association Study for Vitamin D Levels Reveals 69 Independent Loci.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 03 13;106(3):327-337. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Department of Human Genetics, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1B1, Canada; Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC H3T 1E2, Canada; Department of Medicine, McGill University Montreal, QC H3G 1Y6, Canada; Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1A2, Canada; Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London WC2R 2LS, UK. Electronic address:

We aimed to increase our understanding of the genetic determinants of vitamin D levels by undertaking a large-scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) of serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD). To do so, we used imputed genotypes from 401,460 white British UK Biobank participants with available 25OHD levels, retaining single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with minor allele frequency (MAF) > 0.1% and imputation quality score > 0.3. We performed a linear mixed model GWAS on standardized log-transformed 25OHD, adjusting for age, sex, season of measurement, and vitamin D supplementation. These results were combined with those from a previous GWAS including 42,274 Europeans. In silico functional follow-up of the GWAS results was undertaken to identify enrichment in gene sets, pathways, and expression in tissues, and to investigate the partitioned heritability of 25OHD and its shared heritability with other traits. Using this approach, the SNP heritability of 25OHD was estimated to 16.1%. 138 conditionally independent SNPs were detected (p value < 6.6 × 10) among which 53 had MAF < 5%. Single variant association signals mapped to 69 distinct loci, among which 63 were previously unreported. We identified enrichment in hepatic and lipid metabolism gene pathways and enriched expression of the 25OHD genes in liver, skin, and gastrointestinal tissues. We observed partially shared heritability between 25OHD and socio-economic traits, a feature which may be mediated through time spent outdoors. Therefore, through a large 25OHD GWAS, we identified 63 loci that underline the contribution of genes outside the vitamin D canonical metabolic pathway to the genetic architecture of 25OHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.01.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7058824PMC
March 2020

Genome-wide association and Mendelian randomisation analysis provide insights into the pathogenesis of heart failure.

Nat Commun 2020 01 9;11(1):163. Epub 2020 Jan 9.

Department of Biostatistics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A small proportion of HF cases are attributable to monogenic cardiomyopathies and existing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have yielded only limited insights, leaving the observed heritability of HF largely unexplained. We report results from a GWAS meta-analysis of HF comprising 47,309 cases and 930,014 controls. Twelve independent variants at 11 genomic loci are associated with HF, all of which demonstrate one or more associations with coronary artery disease (CAD), atrial fibrillation, or reduced left ventricular function, suggesting shared genetic aetiology. Functional analysis of non-CAD-associated loci implicate genes involved in cardiac development (MYOZ1, SYNPO2L), protein homoeostasis (BAG3), and cellular senescence (CDKN1A). Mendelian randomisation analysis supports causal roles for several HF risk factors, and demonstrates CAD-independent effects for atrial fibrillation, body mass index, and hypertension. These findings extend our knowledge of the pathways underlying HF and may inform new therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13690-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6952380PMC
January 2020

Associations of autozygosity with a broad range of human phenotypes.

Nat Commun 2019 10 31;10(1):4957. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Department of Neurology, Brain Centre Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, 3584 CX, The Netherlands.

In many species, the offspring of related parents suffer reduced reproductive success, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression. In humans, the importance of this effect has remained unclear, partly because reproduction between close relatives is both rare and frequently associated with confounding social factors. Here, using genomic inbreeding coefficients (F) for >1.4 million individuals, we show that F is significantly associated (p < 0.0005) with apparently deleterious changes in 32 out of 100 traits analysed. These changes are associated with runs of homozygosity (ROH), but not with common variant homozygosity, suggesting that genetic variants associated with inbreeding depression are predominantly rare. The effect on fertility is striking: F equivalent to the offspring of first cousins is associated with a 55% decrease [95% CI 44-66%] in the odds of having children. Finally, the effects of F are confirmed within full-sibling pairs, where the variation in F is independent of all environmental confounding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12283-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6823371PMC
October 2019

Phenome-wide association analysis of LDL-cholesterol lowering genetic variants in PCSK9.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord 2019 10 29;19(1):240. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

Department Primary Care & Population Health, University College London, London, UK.

Background: We characterised the phenotypic consequence of genetic variation at the PCSK9 locus and compared findings with recent trials of pharmacological inhibitors of PCSK9.

Methods: Published and individual participant level data (300,000+ participants) were combined to construct a weighted PCSK9 gene-centric score (GS). Seventeen randomized placebo controlled PCSK9 inhibitor trials were included, providing data on 79,578 participants. Results were scaled to a one mmol/L lower LDL-C concentration.

Results: The PCSK9 GS (comprising 4 SNPs) associations with plasma lipid and apolipoprotein levels were consistent in direction with treatment effects. The GS odds ratio (OR) for myocardial infarction (MI) was 0.53 (95% CI 0.42; 0.68), compared to a PCSK9 inhibitor effect of 0.90 (95% CI 0.86; 0.93). For ischemic stroke ORs were 0.84 (95% CI 0.57; 1.22) for the GS, compared to 0.85 (95% CI 0.78; 0.93) in the drug trials. ORs with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were 1.29 (95% CI 1.11; 1.50) for the GS, as compared to 1.00 (95% CI 0.96; 1.04) for incident T2DM in PCSK9 inhibitor trials. No genetic associations were observed for cancer, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or Alzheimer's disease - outcomes for which large-scale trial data were unavailable.

Conclusions: Genetic variation at the PCSK9 locus recapitulates the effects of therapeutic inhibition of PCSK9 on major blood lipid fractions and MI. While indicating an increased risk of T2DM, no other possible safety concerns were shown; although precision was moderate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12872-019-1187-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6820948PMC
October 2019

Quality of dietary fat and genetic risk of type 2 diabetes: individual participant data meta-analysis.

BMJ 2019 07 25;366:l4292. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Objective: To investigate whether the genetic burden of type 2 diabetes modifies the association between the quality of dietary fat and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Design: Individual participant data meta-analysis.

Data Sources: Eligible prospective cohort studies were systematically sourced from studies published between January 1970 and February 2017 through electronic searches in major medical databases (Medline, Embase, and Scopus) and discussion with investigators.

Review Methods: Data from cohort studies or multicohort consortia with available genome-wide genetic data and information about the quality of dietary fat and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in participants of European descent was sought. Prospective cohorts that had accrued five or more years of follow-up were included. The type 2 diabetes genetic risk profile was characterized by a 68-variant polygenic risk score weighted by published effect sizes. Diet was recorded by using validated cohort-specific dietary assessment tools. Outcome measures were summary adjusted hazard ratios of incident type 2 diabetes for polygenic risk score, isocaloric replacement of carbohydrate (refined starch and sugars) with types of fat, and the interaction of types of fat with polygenic risk score.

Results: Of 102 305 participants from 15 prospective cohort studies, 20 015 type 2 diabetes cases were documented after a median follow-up of 12 years (interquartile range 9.4-14.2). The hazard ratio of type 2 diabetes per increment of 10 risk alleles in the polygenic risk score was 1.64 (95% confidence interval 1.54 to 1.75, I=7.1%, τ=0.003). The increase of polyunsaturated fat and total omega 6 polyunsaturated fat intake in place of carbohydrate was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, with hazard ratios of 0.90 (0.82 to 0.98, I=18.0%, τ=0.006; per 5% of energy) and 0.99 (0.97 to 1.00, I=58.8%, τ=0.001; per increment of 1 g/d), respectively. Increasing monounsaturated fat in place of carbohydrate was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes (hazard ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.19, I=25.9%, τ=0.006; per 5% of energy). Evidence of small study effects was detected for the overall association of polyunsaturated fat with the risk of type 2 diabetes, but not for the omega 6 polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat associations. Significant interactions between dietary fat and polygenic risk score on the risk of type 2 diabetes (P>0.05 for interaction) were not observed.

Conclusions: These data indicate that genetic burden and the quality of dietary fat are each associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes. The findings do not support tailoring recommendations on the quality of dietary fat to individual type 2 diabetes genetic risk profiles for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes, and suggest that dietary fat is associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes across the spectrum of type 2 diabetes genetic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4292DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6652797PMC
July 2019
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