Publications by authors named "Joel Eriksson"

35 Publications

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

Hum Mol Genet 2021 04;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

Disentangling the genetics of lean mass.

Am J Clin Nutr 2019 02;109(2):276-287

Icelandic Heart Association Holtasmari, Kopavogur, Iceland.

Background: Lean body mass (LM) plays an important role in mobility and metabolic function. We previously identified five loci associated with LM adjusted for fat mass in kilograms. Such an adjustment may reduce the power to identify genetic signals having an association with both lean mass and fat mass.

Objectives: To determine the impact of different fat mass adjustments on genetic architecture of LM and identify additional LM loci.

Methods: We performed genome-wide association analyses for whole-body LM (20 cohorts of European ancestry with n = 38,292) measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) or bioelectrical impedance analysis, adjusted for sex, age, age2, and height with or without fat mass adjustments (Model 1 no fat adjustment; Model 2 adjustment for fat mass as a percentage of body mass; Model 3 adjustment for fat mass in kilograms).

Results: Seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in separate loci, including one novel LM locus (TNRC6B), were successfully replicated in an additional 47,227 individuals from 29 cohorts. Based on the strengths of the associations in Model 1 vs Model 3, we divided the LM loci into those with an effect on both lean mass and fat mass in the same direction and refer to those as "sumo wrestler" loci (FTO and MC4R). In contrast, loci with an impact specifically on LM were termed "body builder" loci (VCAN and ADAMTSL3). Using existing available genome-wide association study databases, LM increasing alleles of SNPs in sumo wrestler loci were associated with an adverse metabolic profile, whereas LM increasing alleles of SNPs in "body builder" loci were associated with metabolic protection.

Conclusions: In conclusion, we identified one novel LM locus (TNRC6B). Our results suggest that a genetically determined increase in lean mass might exert either harmful or protective effects on metabolic traits, depending on its relation to fat mass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy272DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500901PMC
February 2019

Genome Analyses of >200,000 Individuals Identify 58 Loci for Chronic Inflammation and Highlight Pathways that Link Inflammation and Complex Disorders.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 11;103(5):691-706

Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a sensitive biomarker of chronic low-grade inflammation and is associated with multiple complex diseases. The genetic determinants of chronic inflammation remain largely unknown, and the causal role of CRP in several clinical outcomes is debated. We performed two genome-wide association studies (GWASs), on HapMap and 1000 Genomes imputed data, of circulating amounts of CRP by using data from 88 studies comprising 204,402 European individuals. Additionally, we performed in silico functional analyses and Mendelian randomization analyses with several clinical outcomes. The GWAS meta-analyses of CRP revealed 58 distinct genetic loci (p < 5 × 10). After adjustment for body mass index in the regression analysis, the associations at all except three loci remained. The lead variants at the distinct loci explained up to 7.0% of the variance in circulating amounts of CRP. We identified 66 gene sets that were organized in two substantially correlated clusters, one mainly composed of immune pathways and the other characterized by metabolic pathways in the liver. Mendelian randomization analyses revealed a causal protective effect of CRP on schizophrenia and a risk-increasing effect on bipolar disorder. Our findings provide further insights into the biology of inflammation and could lead to interventions for treating inflammation and its clinical consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.09.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6218410PMC
November 2018

Genetic Variants Associated with Circulating Fibroblast Growth Factor 23.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2018 10 14;29(10):2583-2592. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Kidney Research Institute, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Background: Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), a bone-derived hormone that regulates phosphorus and vitamin D metabolism, contributes to the pathogenesis of mineral and bone disorders in CKD and is an emerging cardiovascular risk factor. Central elements of FGF23 regulation remain incompletely understood; genetic variation may help explain interindividual differences.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of circulating FGF23 concentrations among 16,624 participants of European ancestry from seven cohort studies, excluding participants with eGFR<30 ml/min per 1.73 m to focus on FGF23 under normal conditions. We evaluated the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with natural log-transformed FGF23 concentration, adjusted for age, sex, study site, and principal components of ancestry. A second model additionally adjusted for BMI and eGFR.

Results: We discovered 154 SNPs from five independent regions associated with FGF23 concentration. The SNP with the strongest association, rs17216707 (=3.0×10), lies upstream of , which encodes the primary catabolic enzyme for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Each additional copy of the T allele at this locus is associated with 5% higher FGF23 concentration. Another locus strongly associated with variations in FGF23 concentration is rs11741640, within and upstream of (a gene involved in renal phosphate transport). Additional adjustment for BMI and eGFR did not materially alter the magnitude of these associations. Another top locus (within , the ABO blood group transferase gene) was no longer statistically significant at the genome-wide level.

Conclusions: Common genetic variants located near genes involved in vitamin D metabolism and renal phosphate transport are associated with differences in circulating FGF23 concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2018020192DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6171267PMC
October 2018

Large meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies five loci for lean body mass.

Nat Commun 2017 07 19;8(1):80. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Division of Statistical Genomics, Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, 63110, USA.

Lean body mass, consisting mostly of skeletal muscle, is important for healthy aging. We performed a genome-wide association study for whole body (20 cohorts of European ancestry with n = 38,292) and appendicular (arms and legs) lean body mass (n = 28,330) measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry or bioelectrical impedance analysis, adjusted for sex, age, height, and fat mass. Twenty-one single-nucleotide polymorphisms were significantly associated with lean body mass either genome wide (p < 5 × 10) or suggestively genome wide (p < 2.3 × 10). Replication in 63,475 (47,227 of European ancestry) individuals from 33 cohorts for whole body lean body mass and in 45,090 (42,360 of European ancestry) subjects from 25 cohorts for appendicular lean body mass was successful for five single-nucleotide polymorphisms in/near HSD17B11, VCAN, ADAMTSL3, IRS1, and FTO for total lean body mass and for three single-nucleotide polymorphisms in/near VCAN, ADAMTSL3, and IRS1 for appendicular lean body mass. Our findings provide new insight into the genetics of lean body mass.Lean body mass is a highly heritable trait and is associated with various health conditions. Here, Kiel and colleagues perform a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for whole body lean body mass and find five novel genetic loci to be significantly associated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00031-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5517526PMC
July 2017

Causal relationship between obesity and serum testosterone status in men: A bi-directional mendelian randomization analysis.

PLoS One 2017 27;12(4):e0176277. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Context: Obesity in men is associated with low serum testosterone and both are associated with several diseases and increased mortality.

Objectives: Examine the direction and causality of the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and serum testosterone.

Design: Bi-directional Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis on prospective cohorts.

Setting: Five cohorts from Denmark, Germany and Sweden (Inter99, SHIP, SHIP Trend, GOOD and MrOS Sweden).

Participants: 7446 Caucasian men, genotyped for 97 BMI-associated SNPs and three testosterone-associated SNPs.

Main Outcome Measures: BMI and serum testosterone adjusted for age, smoking, time of blood sampling and site.

Results: 1 SD genetically instrumented increase in BMI was associated with a 0.25 SD decrease in serum testosterone (IV ratio: -0.25, 95% CI: -0.42--0.09, p = 2.8*10-3). For a body weight reduction altering the BMI from 30 to 25 kg/m2, the effect would equal a 13% increase in serum testosterone. No association was seen for genetically instrumented testosterone with BMI, a finding that was confirmed using large-scale data from the GIANT consortium (n = 104349).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that there is a causal effect of BMI on serum testosterone in men. Population level interventions to reduce BMI are expected to increase serum testosterone in men.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0176277PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407807PMC
September 2017

Genome-wide physical activity interactions in adiposity - A meta-analysis of 200,452 adults.

PLoS Genet 2017 Apr 27;13(4):e1006528. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Estonian Genome Center, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.

Physical activity (PA) may modify the genetic effects that give rise to increased risk of obesity. To identify adiposity loci whose effects are modified by PA, we performed genome-wide interaction meta-analyses of BMI and BMI-adjusted waist circumference and waist-hip ratio from up to 200,452 adults of European (n = 180,423) or other ancestry (n = 20,029). We standardized PA by categorizing it into a dichotomous variable where, on average, 23% of participants were categorized as inactive and 77% as physically active. While we replicate the interaction with PA for the strongest known obesity-risk locus in the FTO gene, of which the effect is attenuated by ~30% in physically active individuals compared to inactive individuals, we do not identify additional loci that are sensitive to PA. In additional genome-wide meta-analyses adjusting for PA and interaction with PA, we identify 11 novel adiposity loci, suggesting that accounting for PA or other environmental factors that contribute to variation in adiposity may facilitate gene discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1006528DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407576PMC
April 2017

Genome-wide meta-analysis of 241,258 adults accounting for smoking behaviour identifies novel loci for obesity traits.

Nat Commun 2017 04 26;8:14977. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia.

Few genome-wide association studies (GWAS) account for environmental exposures, like smoking, potentially impacting the overall trait variance when investigating the genetic contribution to obesity-related traits. Here, we use GWAS data from 51,080 current smokers and 190,178 nonsmokers (87% European descent) to identify loci influencing BMI and central adiposity, measured as waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio both adjusted for BMI. We identify 23 novel genetic loci, and 9 loci with convincing evidence of gene-smoking interaction (GxSMK) on obesity-related traits. We show consistent direction of effect for all identified loci and significance for 18 novel and for 5 interaction loci in an independent study sample. These loci highlight novel biological functions, including response to oxidative stress, addictive behaviour, and regulatory functions emphasizing the importance of accounting for environment in genetic analyses. Our results suggest that tobacco smoking may alter the genetic susceptibility to overall adiposity and body fat distribution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14977DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414044PMC
April 2017

Genetic Variants Associated with Circulating Parathyroid Hormone.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2017 May 7;28(5):1553-1565. Epub 2016 Dec 7.

Department of Medicine, University of Cantabria, and Hospital Universitario Marques de Valdecilla, Insituto de Investigacion Sanitaria, Santander, Spain.

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a primary calcium regulatory hormone. Elevated serum PTH concentrations in primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism have been associated with bone disease, hypertension, and in some studies, cardiovascular mortality. Genetic causes of variation in circulating PTH concentrations are incompletely understood. We performed a genome-wide association study of serum PTH concentrations among 29,155 participants of European ancestry from 13 cohort studies (=22,653 and =6502 in discovery and replication analyses, respectively). We evaluated the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with natural log-transformed PTH concentration adjusted for age, sex, season, study site, and principal components of ancestry. We discovered associations of SNPs from five independent regions with serum PTH concentration, including the strongest association with rs6127099 upstream of (=4.2 × 10), a gene that encodes the primary catabolic enzyme for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and 25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Each additional copy of the minor allele at this SNP associated with 7% higher serum PTH concentration. The other SNPs associated with serum PTH concentration included rs4074995 within (=6.6 × 10), rs219779 adjacent to (=3.5 × 10), rs4443100 near (=8.7 × 10), and rs73186030 near (=4.8 × 10). Of these five SNPs, rs6127099, rs4074995, and rs219779 replicated. Thus, common genetic variants located near genes involved in vitamin D metabolism and calcium and renal phosphate transport associated with differences in circulating PTH concentrations. Future studies could identify the causal variants at these loci, and the clinical and functional relevance of these variants should be pursued.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2016010069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407713PMC
May 2017

A principal component meta-analysis on multiple anthropometric traits identifies novel loci for body shape.

Nat Commun 2016 11 23;7:13357. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Department of Kinesiology, Laval University, Québec, Québec, Canada G1V 0A6.

Large consortia have revealed hundreds of genetic loci associated with anthropometric traits, one trait at a time. We examined whether genetic variants affect body shape as a composite phenotype that is represented by a combination of anthropometric traits. We developed an approach that calculates averaged PCs (AvPCs) representing body shape derived from six anthropometric traits (body mass index, height, weight, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio). The first four AvPCs explain >99% of the variability, are heritable, and associate with cardiometabolic outcomes. We performed genome-wide association analyses for each body shape composite phenotype across 65 studies and meta-analysed summary statistics. We identify six novel loci: LEMD2 and CD47 for AvPC1, RPS6KA5/C14orf159 and GANAB for AvPC3, and ARL15 and ANP32 for AvPC4. Our findings highlight the value of using multiple traits to define complex phenotypes for discovery, which are not captured by single-trait analyses, and may shed light onto new pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13357DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5114527PMC
November 2016

Genome-wide analysis identifies 12 loci influencing human reproductive behavior.

Nat Genet 2016 12 31;48(12):1462-1472. Epub 2016 Oct 31.

Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The genetic architecture of human reproductive behavior-age at first birth (AFB) and number of children ever born (NEB)-has a strong relationship with fitness, human development, infertility and risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, very few genetic loci have been identified, and the underlying mechanisms of AFB and NEB are poorly understood. We report a large genome-wide association study of both sexes including 251,151 individuals for AFB and 343,072 individuals for NEB. We identified 12 independent loci that are significantly associated with AFB and/or NEB in a SNP-based genome-wide association study and 4 additional loci associated in a gene-based effort. These loci harbor genes that are likely to have a role, either directly or by affecting non-local gene expression, in human reproduction and infertility, thereby increasing understanding of these complex traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3698DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5695684PMC
December 2016

Fall Risk Assessment Predicts Fall-Related Injury, Hip Fracture, and Head Injury in Older Adults.

J Am Geriatr Soc 2016 11 30;64(11):2242-2250. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Objectives: To investigate the role of a fall risk assessment, using the Downton Fall Risk Index (DFRI), in predicting fall-related injury, fall-related head injury and hip fracture, and death, in a large cohort of older women and men residing in Sweden.

Design: Cross sectional observational study.

Setting: Sweden.

Participants: Older adults (mean age 82.4 ± 7.8) who had a fall risk assessment using the DFRI at baseline (N = 128,596).

Measurements: Information on all fall-related injuries, all fall-related head injuries and hip fractures, and all-cause mortality was collected from the Swedish Patient Register and Cause of Death Register. The predictive role of DFRI was calculated using Poisson regression models with age, sex, height, weight, and comorbidities as covariates, taking time to outcome or end of study into account.

Results: During a median follow-up of 253 days (interquartile range 90-402 days) (>80,000 patient-years), 15,299 participants had a fall-related injury, 2,864 a head injury, and 2,557 a hip fracture, and 23,307 died. High fall risk (DFRI ≥3) independently predicted fall-related injury (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.39-1.49), hip fracture (HR = 1.51, 95% CI =1.38-1.66), head injury (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.03-1.22), and all-cause mortality (HR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.35-1.43). DFRI more strongly predicted head injury (HR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.21-1.36 vs HR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.04-1.11) and hip fracture (HR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.30-1.53 vs HR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.05-1.11) in 70-year old men than in 90-year old women (P < .001).

Conclusion: Fall risk assessment using DFRI independently predicts fall-related injury, fall-related head injury and hip fracture, and all-cause mortality in older men and women, indicating its clinical usefulness to identify individuals who would benefit from interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14439DOI Listing
November 2016

Genomewide meta-analysis identifies loci associated with IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels with impact on age-related traits.

Aging Cell 2016 Oct 21;15(5):811-24. Epub 2016 Jun 21.

Leiden University Medical Center, Medical Statistics and Bioinformatics, Leiden, 2300 RC, The Netherlands.

The growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis can be manipulated in animal models to promote longevity, and IGF-related proteins including IGF-I and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) have also been implicated in risk of human diseases including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Through genomewide association study of up to 30 884 adults of European ancestry from 21 studies, we confirmed and extended the list of previously identified loci associated with circulating IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations (IGF1, IGFBP3, GCKR, TNS3, GHSR, FOXO3, ASXL2, NUBP2/IGFALS, SORCS2, and CELSR2). Significant sex interactions, which were characterized by different genotype-phenotype associations between men and women, were found only for associations of IGFBP-3 concentrations with SNPs at the loci IGFBP3 and SORCS2. Analyses of SNPs, gene expression, and protein levels suggested that interplay between IGFBP3 and genes within the NUBP2 locus (IGFALS and HAGH) may affect circulating IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations. The IGF-I-decreasing allele of SNP rs934073, which is an eQTL of ASXL2, was associated with lower adiposity and higher likelihood of survival beyond 90 years. The known longevity-associated variant rs2153960 (FOXO3) was observed to be a genomewide significant SNP for IGF-I concentrations. Bioinformatics analysis suggested enrichment of putative regulatory elements among these IGF-I- and IGFBP-3-associated loci, particularly of rs646776 at CELSR2. In conclusion, this study identified several loci associated with circulating IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations and provides clues to the potential role of the IGF axis in mediating effects of known (FOXO3) and novel (ASXL2) longevity-associated loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.12490DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5013013PMC
October 2016

Genome-wide meta-analysis uncovers novel loci influencing circulating leptin levels.

Nat Commun 2016 Feb 1;7:10494. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachussetts 02215, USA.

Leptin is an adipocyte-secreted hormone, the circulating levels of which correlate closely with overall adiposity. Although rare mutations in the leptin (LEP) gene are well known to cause leptin deficiency and severe obesity, no common loci regulating circulating leptin levels have been uncovered. Therefore, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating leptin levels from 32,161 individuals and followed up loci reaching P<10(-6) in 19,979 additional individuals. We identify five loci robustly associated (P<5 × 10(-8)) with leptin levels in/near LEP, SLC32A1, GCKR, CCNL1 and FTO. Although the association of the FTO obesity locus with leptin levels is abolished by adjustment for BMI, associations of the four other loci are independent of adiposity. The GCKR locus was found associated with multiple metabolic traits in previous GWAS and the CCNL1 locus with birth weight. Knockdown experiments in mouse adipose tissue explants show convincing evidence for adipogenin, a regulator of adipocyte differentiation, as the novel causal gene in the SLC32A1 locus influencing leptin levels. Our findings provide novel insights into the regulation of leptin production by adipose tissue and open new avenues for examining the influence of variation in leptin levels on adiposity and metabolic health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740377PMC
February 2016

The Influence of Age and Sex on Genetic Associations with Adult Body Size and Shape: A Large-Scale Genome-Wide Interaction Study.

PLoS Genet 2015 Oct 1;11(10):e1005378. Epub 2015 Oct 1.

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Huntsville, Alabama, United States of America.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 100 genetic variants contributing to BMI, a measure of body size, or waist-to-hip ratio (adjusted for BMI, WHRadjBMI), a measure of body shape. Body size and shape change as people grow older and these changes differ substantially between men and women. To systematically screen for age- and/or sex-specific effects of genetic variants on BMI and WHRadjBMI, we performed meta-analyses of 114 studies (up to 320,485 individuals of European descent) with genome-wide chip and/or Metabochip data by the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium. Each study tested the association of up to ~2.8M SNPs with BMI and WHRadjBMI in four strata (men ≤50y, men >50y, women ≤50y, women >50y) and summary statistics were combined in stratum-specific meta-analyses. We then screened for variants that showed age-specific effects (G x AGE), sex-specific effects (G x SEX) or age-specific effects that differed between men and women (G x AGE x SEX). For BMI, we identified 15 loci (11 previously established for main effects, four novel) that showed significant (FDR<5%) age-specific effects, of which 11 had larger effects in younger (<50y) than in older adults (≥50y). No sex-dependent effects were identified for BMI. For WHRadjBMI, we identified 44 loci (27 previously established for main effects, 17 novel) with sex-specific effects, of which 28 showed larger effects in women than in men, five showed larger effects in men than in women, and 11 showed opposite effects between sexes. No age-dependent effects were identified for WHRadjBMI. This is the first genome-wide interaction meta-analysis to report convincing evidence of age-dependent genetic effects on BMI. In addition, we confirm the sex-specificity of genetic effects on WHRadjBMI. These results may provide further insights into the biology that underlies weight change with age or the sexually dimorphism of body shape.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005378DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4591371PMC
October 2015

Whole-genome sequencing identifies EN1 as a determinant of bone density and fracture.

Nature 2015 Oct 14;526(7571):112-7. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston, Massachusetts 02131, USA.

The extent to which low-frequency (minor allele frequency (MAF) between 1-5%) and rare (MAF ≤ 1%) variants contribute to complex traits and disease in the general population is mainly unknown. Bone mineral density (BMD) is highly heritable, a major predictor of osteoporotic fractures, and has been previously associated with common genetic variants, as well as rare, population-specific, coding variants. Here we identify novel non-coding genetic variants with large effects on BMD (ntotal = 53,236) and fracture (ntotal = 508,253) in individuals of European ancestry from the general population. Associations for BMD were derived from whole-genome sequencing (n = 2,882 from UK10K (ref. 10); a population-based genome sequencing consortium), whole-exome sequencing (n = 3,549), deep imputation of genotyped samples using a combined UK10K/1000 Genomes reference panel (n = 26,534), and de novo replication genotyping (n = 20,271). We identified a low-frequency non-coding variant near a novel locus, EN1, with an effect size fourfold larger than the mean of previously reported common variants for lumbar spine BMD (rs11692564(T), MAF = 1.6%, replication effect size = +0.20 s.d., Pmeta = 2 × 10(-14)), which was also associated with a decreased risk of fracture (odds ratio = 0.85; P = 2 × 10(-11); ncases = 98,742 and ncontrols = 409,511). Using an En1(cre/flox) mouse model, we observed that conditional loss of En1 results in low bone mass, probably as a consequence of high bone turnover. We also identified a novel low-frequency non-coding variant with large effects on BMD near WNT16 (rs148771817(T), MAF = 1.2%, replication effect size = +0.41 s.d., Pmeta = 1 × 10(-11)). In general, there was an excess of association signals arising from deleterious coding and conserved non-coding variants. These findings provide evidence that low-frequency non-coding variants have large effects on BMD and fracture, thereby providing rationale for whole-genome sequencing and improved imputation reference panels to study the genetic architecture of complex traits and disease in the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14878DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4755714PMC
October 2015

Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies six novel loci associated with habitual coffee consumption.

Mol Psychiatry 2015 May 7;20(5):647-656. Epub 2014 Oct 7.

Translational Gerontology Branch, National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Coffee, a major dietary source of caffeine, is among the most widely consumed beverages in the world and has received considerable attention regarding health risks and benefits. We conducted a genome-wide (GW) meta-analysis of predominately regular-type coffee consumption (cups per day) among up to 91,462 coffee consumers of European ancestry with top single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) followed-up in ~30 062 and 7964 coffee consumers of European and African-American ancestry, respectively. Studies from both stages were combined in a trans-ethnic meta-analysis. Confirmed loci were examined for putative functional and biological relevance. Eight loci, including six novel loci, met GW significance (log10Bayes factor (BF)>5.64) with per-allele effect sizes of 0.03-0.14 cups per day. Six are located in or near genes potentially involved in pharmacokinetics (ABCG2, AHR, POR and CYP1A2) and pharmacodynamics (BDNF and SLC6A4) of caffeine. Two map to GCKR and MLXIPL genes related to metabolic traits but lacking known roles in coffee consumption. Enhancer and promoter histone marks populate the regions of many confirmed loci and several potential regulatory SNPs are highly correlated with the lead SNP of each. SNP alleles near GCKR, MLXIPL, BDNF and CYP1A2 that were associated with higher coffee consumption have previously been associated with smoking initiation, higher adiposity and fasting insulin and glucose but lower blood pressure and favorable lipid, inflammatory and liver enzyme profiles (P<5 × 10(-8)).Our genetic findings among European and African-American adults reinforce the role of caffeine in mediating habitual coffee consumption and may point to molecular mechanisms underlying inter-individual variability in pharmacological and health effects of coffee.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mp.2014.107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4388784PMC
May 2015

Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies two loci associated with circulating osteoprotegerin levels.

Hum Mol Genet 2014 Dec 30;23(24):6684-93. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Department of Medicine,

Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is involved in bone homeostasis and tumor cell survival. Circulating OPG levels are also important biomarkers of various clinical traits, such as cancers and atherosclerosis. OPG levels were measured in serum or in plasma. In a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 10 336 individuals from European and Asian origin, we discovered that variants >100 kb upstream of the TNFRSF11B gene encoding OPG and another new locus on chromosome 17q11.2 were significantly associated with OPG variation. We also identified a suggestive locus on chromosome 14q21.2 associated with the trait. Moreover, we estimated that over half of the heritability of OPG levels could be explained by all variants examined in our study. Our findings provide further insight into the genetic regulation of circulating OPG levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddu386DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4240210PMC
December 2014

Limited clinical utility of a genetic risk score for the prediction of fracture risk in elderly subjects.

J Bone Miner Res 2015 Jan;30(1):184-94

Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

It is important to identify the patients at highest risk of fractures. A recent large-scale meta-analysis identified 63 autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with bone mineral density (BMD), of which 16 were also associated with fracture risk. Based on these findings, two genetic risk scores (GRS63 and GRS16) were developed. Our aim was to determine the clinical usefulness of these GRSs for the prediction of BMD, BMD change, and fracture risk in elderly subjects. We studied two male (Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study [MrOS] US, MrOS Sweden) and one female (Study of Osteoporotic Fractures [SOF]) large prospective cohorts of older subjects, looking at BMD, BMD change, and radiographically and/or medically confirmed incident fractures (8067 subjects, 2185 incident nonvertebral or vertebral fractures). GRS63 was associated with BMD (≅3% of the variation explained) but not with BMD change. Both GRS63 and GRS16 were associated with fractures. After BMD adjustment, the effect sizes for these associations were substantially reduced. Similar results were found using an unweighted GRS63 and an unweighted GRS16 compared with those found using the corresponding weighted risk scores. Only minor improvements in C-statistics (AUC) for fractures were found when the GRSs were added to a base model (age, weight, and height), and no significant improvements in C-statistics were found when they were added to a model further adjusted for BMD. Net reclassification improvements with the addition of the GRSs to a base model were modest and substantially attenuated in BMD-adjusted models. GRS63 is associated with BMD, but not BMD change, suggesting that the genetic determinants of BMD differ from those of BMD change. When BMD is known, the clinical utility of the two GRSs for fracture prediction is limited in elderly subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4281709PMC
January 2015

Genome wide association identifies common variants at the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 locus influencing plasma cortisol and corticosteroid binding globulin.

PLoS Genet 2014 Jul 10;10(7):e1004474. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Variation in plasma levels of cortisol, an essential hormone in the stress response, is associated in population-based studies with cardio-metabolic, inflammatory and neuro-cognitive traits and diseases. Heritability of plasma cortisol is estimated at 30-60% but no common genetic contribution has been identified. The CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) consortium undertook genome wide association meta-analysis for plasma cortisol in 12,597 Caucasian participants, replicated in 2,795 participants. The results indicate that <1% of variance in plasma cortisol is accounted for by genetic variation in a single region of chromosome 14. This locus spans SERPINA6, encoding corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG, the major cortisol-binding protein in plasma), and SERPINA1, encoding α1-antitrypsin (which inhibits cleavage of the reactive centre loop that releases cortisol from CBG). Three partially independent signals were identified within the region, represented by common SNPs; detailed biochemical investigation in a nested sub-cohort showed all these SNPs were associated with variation in total cortisol binding activity in plasma, but some variants influenced total CBG concentrations while the top hit (rs12589136) influenced the immunoreactivity of the reactive centre loop of CBG. Exome chip and 1000 Genomes imputation analysis of this locus in the CROATIA-Korcula cohort identified missense mutations in SERPINA6 and SERPINA1 that did not account for the effects of common variants. These findings reveal a novel common genetic source of variation in binding of cortisol by CBG, and reinforce the key role of CBG in determining plasma cortisol levels. In turn this genetic variation may contribute to cortisol-associated degenerative diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004474DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4091794PMC
July 2014

Association of vitamin D status with arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk: a mendelian randomisation study.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2014 Sep 25;2(9):719-29. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Institute of Biomedicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.

Background: Low plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration is associated with high arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk, but whether this association is causal is unknown. We used a mendelian randomisation approach to test whether 25(OH)D concentration is causally associated with blood pressure and hypertension risk.

Methods: In this mendelian randomisation study, we generated an allele score (25[OH]D synthesis score) based on variants of genes that affect 25(OH)D synthesis or substrate availability (CYP2R1 and DHCR7), which we used as a proxy for 25(OH)D concentration. We meta-analysed data for up to 108 173 individuals from 35 studies in the D-CarDia collaboration to investigate associations between the allele score and blood pressure measurements. We complemented these analyses with previously published summary statistics from the International Consortium on Blood Pressure (ICBP), the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, and the Global Blood Pressure Genetics (Global BPGen) consortium.

Findings: In phenotypic analyses (up to n=49 363), increased 25(OH)D concentration was associated with decreased systolic blood pressure (β per 10% increase, -0·12 mm Hg, 95% CI -0·20 to -0·04; p=0·003) and reduced odds of hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 0·98, 95% CI 0·97-0·99; p=0·0003), but not with decreased diastolic blood pressure (β per 10% increase, -0·02 mm Hg, -0·08 to 0·03; p=0·37). In meta-analyses in which we combined data from D-CarDia and the ICBP (n=146 581, after exclusion of overlapping studies), each 25(OH)D-increasing allele of the synthesis score was associated with a change of -0·10 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (-0·21 to -0·0001; p=0·0498) and a change of -0·08 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (-0·15 to -0·02; p=0·01). When D-CarDia and consortia data for hypertension were meta-analysed together (n=142 255), the synthesis score was associated with a reduced odds of hypertension (OR per allele, 0·98, 0·96-0·99; p=0·001). In instrumental variable analysis, each 10% increase in genetically instrumented 25(OH)D concentration was associated with a change of -0·29 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (-0·52 to -0·07; p=0·01), a change of -0·37 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (-0·73 to 0·003; p=0·052), and an 8·1% decreased odds of hypertension (OR 0·92, 0·87-0·97; p=0·002).

Interpretation: Increased plasma concentrations of 25(OH)D might reduce the risk of hypertension. This finding warrants further investigation in an independent, similarly powered study.

Funding: British Heart Foundation, UK Medical Research Council, and Academy of Finland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(14)70113-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4582411PMC
September 2014

Does bone resorption stimulate periosteal expansion? A cross-sectional analysis of β-C-telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX), genetic markers of the RANKL pathway, and periosteal circumference as measured by pQCT.

J Bone Miner Res 2014 Apr;29(4):1015-24

MRC Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK; School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

We hypothesized that bone resorption acts to increase bone strength through stimulation of periosteal expansion. Hence, we examined whether bone resorption, as reflected by serum β-C-telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX), is positively associated with periosteal circumference (PC), in contrast to inverse associations with parameters related to bone remodeling such as cortical bone mineral density (BMDC ). CTX and mid-tibial peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) scans were available in 1130 adolescents (mean age 15.5 years) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, time of sampling, tanner stage, lean mass, fat mass, and height. CTX was positively related to PC (β=0.19 [0.13, 0.24]) (coefficient=SD change per SD increase in CTX, 95% confidence interval)] but inversely associated with BMDC (β=-0.46 [-0.52,-0.40]) and cortical thickness [β=-0.11 (-0.18, -0.03)]. CTX was positively related to bone strength as reflected by the strength-strain index (SSI) (β=0.09 [0.03, 0.14]). To examine the causal nature of this relationship, we then analyzed whether single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within key osteoclast regulatory genes, known to reduce areal/cortical BMD, conversely increase PC. Fifteen such genetic variants within or proximal to genes encoding receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK), RANK ligand (RANKL), and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were identified by literature search. Six of the 15 alleles that were inversely related to BMD were positively related to CTX (p<0.05 cut-off) (n=2379). Subsequently, we performed a meta-analysis of associations between these SNPs and PC in ALSPAC (n=3382), Gothenburg Osteoporosis and Obesity Determinants (GOOD) (n=938), and the Young Finns Study (YFS) (n=1558). Five of the 15 alleles that were inversely related to BMD were positively related to PC (p<0.05 cut-off). We conclude that despite having lower BMD, individuals with a genetic predisposition to higher bone resorption have greater bone size, suggesting that higher bone resorption is permissive for greater periosteal expansion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4138988PMC
April 2014

Meta-analysis of genome-wide studies identifies MEF2C SNPs associated with bone mineral density at forearm.

J Med Genet 2013 Jul 9;50(7):473-8. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Departments of Medicine, Human Genetics, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, 3755, Côte Ste-Catherine Road, Montreal, Québec H3T 1E2, Canada.

Background: Forearm fractures affect 1.7 million individuals worldwide each year and most occur earlier in life than hip fractures. While the heritability of forearm bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture is high, their genetic determinants are largely unknown.

Aim: To identify genetic variants associated with forearm BMD and forearm fractures.

Methods: BMD at distal radius, measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, was tested for association with common genetic variants. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for BMD in 5866 subjects of European descent and then selected the variants for replication in 715 Mexican American samples. Gene-based association was carried out to supplement the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) association test. We then tested the BMD-associated SNPs for association with forearm fracture in 2023 cases and 3740 controls.

Results: We found that five SNPs in the introns of MEF2C were associated with forearm BMD at a genome-wide significance level (p<5×10(-8)) in meta-analysis (lead SNP, rs11951031[T] -0.20 SDs per allele, p=9.01×10(-9)). The gene-based association test suggested an association between MEF2C and forearm BMD (p=0.003). The association between MEF2C variants and risk of fracture did not achieve statistical significance (SNP rs12521522[A]: OR=1.14 (95% CI 0.92 to 1.35), p=0.14). Meta-analysis also revealed two genome-wide suggestive loci at CTNNA2 and 6q23.2.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that variants at MEF2C were associated with forearm BMD, implicating this gene in the determination of BMD at forearm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2012-101287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3769185PMC
July 2013

Genetic determinants of trabecular and cortical volumetric bone mineral densities and bone microstructure.

PLoS Genet 2013 21;9(2):e1003247. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

MRC Centre for Causal Analyses in Translational Epidemiology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Most previous genetic epidemiology studies within the field of osteoporosis have focused on the genetics of the complex trait areal bone mineral density (aBMD), not being able to differentiate genetic determinants of cortical volumetric BMD (vBMD), trabecular vBMD, and bone microstructural traits. The objective of this study was to separately identify genetic determinants of these bone traits as analysed by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT). Separate GWA meta-analyses for cortical and trabecular vBMDs were performed. The cortical vBMD GWA meta-analysis (n = 5,878) followed by replication (n = 1,052) identified genetic variants in four separate loci reaching genome-wide significance (RANKL, rs1021188, p = 3.6×10⁻¹⁴; LOC285735, rs271170, p = 2.7×10⁻¹²; OPG, rs7839059, p = 1.2×10⁻¹⁰; and ESR1/C6orf97, rs6909279, p = 1.1×10⁻⁹). The trabecular vBMD GWA meta-analysis (n = 2,500) followed by replication (n = 1,022) identified one locus reaching genome-wide significance (FMN2/GREM2, rs9287237, p = 1.9×10⁻⁹). High-resolution pQCT analyses, giving information about bone microstructure, were available in a subset of the GOOD cohort (n = 729). rs1021188 was significantly associated with cortical porosity while rs9287237 was significantly associated with trabecular bone fraction. The genetic variant in the FMN2/GREM2 locus was associated with fracture risk in the MrOS Sweden cohort (HR per extra T allele 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.60-0.93) and GREM2 expression in human osteoblasts. In conclusion, five genetic loci associated with trabecular or cortical vBMD were identified. Two of these (FMN2/GREM2 and LOC285735) are novel bone-related loci, while the other three have previously been reported to be associated with aBMD. The genetic variants associated with cortical and trabecular bone parameters differed, underscoring the complexity of the genetics of bone parameters. We propose that a genetic variant in the RANKL locus influences cortical vBMD, at least partly, via effects on cortical porosity, and that a genetic variant in the FMN2/GREM2 locus influences GREM2 expression in osteoblasts and thereby trabecular number and thickness as well as fracture risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1003247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3578773PMC
June 2013

FTO genotype is associated with phenotypic variability of body mass index.

Nature 2012 Oct 16;490(7419):267-72. Epub 2012 Sep 16.

University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, The University of Queensland, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland 4102, Australia.

There is evidence across several species for genetic control of phenotypic variation of complex traits, such that the variance among phenotypes is genotype dependent. Understanding genetic control of variability is important in evolutionary biology, agricultural selection programmes and human medicine, yet for complex traits, no individual genetic variants associated with variance, as opposed to the mean, have been identified. Here we perform a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of phenotypic variation using ∼170,000 samples on height and body mass index (BMI) in human populations. We report evidence that the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs7202116 at the FTO gene locus, which is known to be associated with obesity (as measured by mean BMI for each rs7202116 genotype), is also associated with phenotypic variability. We show that the results are not due to scale effects or other artefacts, and find no other experiment-wise significant evidence for effects on variability, either at loci other than FTO for BMI or at any locus for height. The difference in variance for BMI among individuals with opposite homozygous genotypes at the FTO locus is approximately 7%, corresponding to a difference of ∼0.5 kilograms in the standard deviation of weight. Our results indicate that genetic variants can be discovered that are associated with variability, and that between-person variability in obesity can partly be explained by the genotype at the FTO locus. The results are consistent with reported FTO by environment interactions for BMI, possibly mediated by DNA methylation. Our BMI results for other SNPs and our height results for all SNPs suggest that most genetic variants, including those that influence mean height or mean BMI, are not associated with phenotypic variance, or that their effects on variability are too small to detect even with samples sizes greater than 100,000.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11401DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3564953PMC
October 2012

A genome-wide association meta-analysis of circulating sex hormone-binding globulin reveals multiple Loci implicated in sex steroid hormone regulation.

PLoS Genet 2012 19;8(7):e1002805. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a glycoprotein responsible for the transport and biologic availability of sex steroid hormones, primarily testosterone and estradiol. SHBG has been associated with chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes (T2D) and with hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis of 21,791 individuals from 10 epidemiologic studies and validated these findings in 7,046 individuals in an additional six studies. We identified twelve genomic regions (SNPs) associated with circulating SHBG concentrations. Loci near the identified SNPs included SHBG (rs12150660, 17p13.1, p = 1.8 × 10(-106)), PRMT6 (rs17496332, 1p13.3, p = 1.4 × 10(-11)), GCKR (rs780093, 2p23.3, p = 2.2 × 10(-16)), ZBTB10 (rs440837, 8q21.13, p = 3.4 × 10(-09)), JMJD1C (rs7910927, 10q21.3, p = 6.1 × 10(-35)), SLCO1B1 (rs4149056, 12p12.1, p = 1.9 × 10(-08)), NR2F2 (rs8023580, 15q26.2, p = 8.3 × 10(-12)), ZNF652 (rs2411984, 17q21.32, p = 3.5 × 10(-14)), TDGF3 (rs1573036, Xq22.3, p = 4.1 × 10(-14)), LHCGR (rs10454142, 2p16.3, p = 1.3 × 10(-07)), BAIAP2L1 (rs3779195, 7q21.3, p = 2.7 × 10(-08)), and UGT2B15 (rs293428, 4q13.2, p = 5.5 × 10(-06)). These genes encompass multiple biologic pathways, including hepatic function, lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism and T2D, androgen and estrogen receptor function, epigenetic effects, and the biology of sex steroid hormone-responsive cancers including breast and prostate cancer. We found evidence of sex-differentiated genetic influences on SHBG. In a sex-specific GWAS, the loci 4q13.2-UGT2B15 was significant in men only (men p = 2.5 × 10(-08), women p = 0.66, heterogeneity p = 0.003). Additionally, three loci showed strong sex-differentiated effects: 17p13.1-SHBG and Xq22.3-TDGF3 were stronger in men, whereas 8q21.12-ZBTB10 was stronger in women. Conditional analyses identified additional signals at the SHBG gene that together almost double the proportion of variance explained at the locus. Using an independent study of 1,129 individuals, all SNPs identified in the overall or sex-differentiated or conditional analyses explained ~15.6% and ~8.4% of the genetic variation of SHBG concentrations in men and women, respectively. The evidence for sex-differentiated effects and allelic heterogeneity highlight the importance of considering these features when estimating complex trait variance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002805DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3400553PMC
January 2013

WNT16 influences bone mineral density, cortical bone thickness, bone strength, and osteoporotic fracture risk.

PLoS Genet 2012 Jul 5;8(7):e1002745. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Department of Medicine, Human Genetics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

We aimed to identify genetic variants associated with cortical bone thickness (CBT) and bone mineral density (BMD) by performing two separate genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses for CBT in 3 cohorts comprising 5,878 European subjects and for BMD in 5 cohorts comprising 5,672 individuals. We then assessed selected single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for osteoporotic fracture in 2,023 cases and 3,740 controls. Association with CBT and forearm BMD was tested for ∼2.5 million SNPs in each cohort separately, and results were meta-analyzed using fixed effect meta-analysis. We identified a missense SNP (Thr>Ile; rs2707466) located in the WNT16 gene (7q31), associated with CBT (effect size of -0.11 standard deviations [SD] per C allele, P = 6.2 × 10(-9)). This SNP, as well as another nonsynonymous SNP rs2908004 (Gly>Arg), also had genome-wide significant association with forearm BMD (-0.14 SD per C allele, P = 2.3 × 10(-12), and -0.16 SD per G allele, P = 1.2 × 10(-15), respectively). Four genome-wide significant SNPs arising from BMD meta-analysis were tested for association with forearm fracture. SNP rs7776725 in FAM3C, a gene adjacent to WNT16, was associated with a genome-wide significant increased risk of forearm fracture (OR = 1.33, P = 7.3 × 10(-9)), with genome-wide suggestive signals from the two missense variants in WNT16 (rs2908004: OR = 1.22, P = 4.9 × 10(-6) and rs2707466: OR = 1.22, P = 7.2 × 10(-6)). We next generated a homozygous mouse with targeted disruption of Wnt16. Female Wnt16(-/-) mice had 27% (P<0.001) thinner cortical bones at the femur midshaft, and bone strength measures were reduced between 43%-61% (6.5 × 10(-13)
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002745DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390364PMC
July 2012
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