Publications by authors named "Momoko Horikoshi"

59 Publications

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
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611832PMC
August 2021

Structural basis of ethnic-specific variants of PAX4 associated with type 2 diabetes.

Hum Genome Var 2021 Jul 5;8(1):25. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Recently, we conducted genome-wide association studies of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a Japanese population, which identified 20 novel T2D loci that were not associated with T2D in Europeans. Moreover, nine novel missense risk variants, such as those of PAX4, were not rare in the Japanese population, but rare in Europeans. We report in silico structural analysis of ethnic-specific variants of PAX4, which suggests the pathogenic effect of these variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41439-021-00156-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8257626PMC
July 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 association studies identify two novel loci conferring susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 05;30(8):716-726

Department of Advanced Genomic and Laboratory Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0215, Japan.

Several reports have suggested that genetic susceptibility contributes to the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy. We aimed to identify genetic loci that confer susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. We analysed 5 790 508 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 8880 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes, 4839 retinopathy cases and 4041 controls, as well as 2217 independent Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes, 693 retinopathy cases and 1524 controls. The results of these two genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were combined with an inverse variance meta-analysis (Stage-1), followed by de novo genotyping for the candidate SNP loci (P < 1.0 × 10-4) in an independent case-control study (Stage-2, 2260 cases and 723 controls). After combining the association data (Stages 1 and 2) using meta-analysis, the associations of two loci reached a genome-wide significance level: rs12630354 near STT3B on chromosome 3, P = 1.62 × 10-9, odds ratio (OR) = 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.23, and rs140508424 within PALM2 on chromosome 9, P = 4.19 × 10-8, OR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.36-1.91. However, the association of these two loci was not replicated in Korean, European or African American populations. Gene-based analysis using Stage-1 GWAS data identified a gene-level association of EHD3 with susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy (P = 2.17 × 10-6). In conclusion, we identified two novel SNP loci, STT3B and PALM2, and a novel gene, EHD3, that confers susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy; however, further replication studies are required to validate these associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab044DOI Listing
May 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

Novel loci for childhood body mass index and shared heritability with adult cardiometabolic traits.

PLoS Genet 2020 10 12;16(10):e1008718. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Public Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The genetic background of childhood body mass index (BMI), and the extent to which the well-known associations of childhood BMI with adult diseases are explained by shared genetic factors, are largely unknown. We performed a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of BMI in 61,111 children aged between 2 and 10 years. Twenty-five independent loci reached genome-wide significance in the combined discovery and replication analyses. Two of these, located near NEDD4L and SLC45A3, have not previously been reported in relation to either childhood or adult BMI. Positive genetic correlations of childhood BMI with birth weight and adult BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, diastolic blood pressure and type 2 diabetes were detected (Rg ranging from 0.11 to 0.76, P-values <0.002). A negative genetic correlation of childhood BMI with age at menarche was observed. Our results suggest that the biological processes underlying childhood BMI largely, but not completely, overlap with those underlying adult BMI. The well-known observational associations of BMI in childhood with cardio-metabolic diseases in adulthood may reflect partial genetic overlap, but in light of previous evidence, it is also likely that they are explained through phenotypic continuity of BMI from childhood into adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008718DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581004PMC
October 2020

Population-specific and trans-ancestry genome-wide analyses identify distinct and shared genetic risk loci for coronary artery disease.

Nat Genet 2020 11 5;52(11):1169-1177. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan.

To elucidate the genetics of coronary artery disease (CAD) in the Japanese population, we conducted a large-scale genome-wide association study of 168,228 individuals of Japanese ancestry (25,892 cases and 142,336 controls) with genotype imputation using a newly developed reference panel of Japanese haplotypes including 1,781 CAD cases and 2,636 controls. We detected eight new susceptibility loci and Japanese-specific rare variants contributing to disease severity and increased cardiovascular mortality. We then conducted a trans-ancestry meta-analysis and discovered 35 additional new loci. Using the meta-analysis results, we derived a polygenic risk score (PRS) for CAD, which outperformed those derived from either Japanese or European genome-wide association studies. The PRS prioritized risk factors among various clinical parameters and segregated individuals with increased risk of long-term cardiovascular mortality. Our data improve the clinical characterization of CAD genetics and suggest the utility of trans-ancestry meta-analysis for PRS derivation in non-European populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0705-3DOI Listing
November 2020

Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies GP2 gene risk variants for pancreatic cancer.

Nat Commun 2020 06 24;11(1):3175. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Aichi Cancer Center Hospital, Nagoya, 464-8681, Japan.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Japan. To identify risk loci, we perform a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies comprising 2,039 pancreatic cancer patients and 32,592 controls in the Japanese population. Here, we identify 3 (13q12.2, 13q22.1, and 16p12.3) genome-wide significant loci (P < 5.0 × 10), of which 16p12.3 has not been reported in the Western population. The lead single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at 16p12.3 is rs78193826 (odds ratio = 1.46, 95% confidence interval = 1.29-1.66, P = 4.28 × 10), an Asian-specific, nonsynonymous glycoprotein 2 (GP2) gene variant. Associations between selected GP2 gene variants and pancreatic cancer are replicated in 10,822 additional cases and controls of East Asian origin. Functional analyses using cell lines provide supporting evidence of the effect of rs78193826 on KRAS activity. These findings suggest that GP2 gene variants are probably associated with pancreatic cancer susceptibility in populations of East Asian ancestry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16711-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7314803PMC
June 2020

Large-scale genome-wide association study in a Japanese population identifies novel susceptibility loci across different diseases.

Nat Genet 2020 07 8;52(7):669-679. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Laboratory for Bone and Joint Diseases, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Tokyo, Japan.

The overwhelming majority of participants in current genetic studies are of European ancestry. To elucidate disease biology in the East Asian population, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) with 212,453 Japanese individuals across 42 diseases. We detected 320 independent signals in 276 loci for 27 diseases, with 25 novel loci (P < 9.58 × 10). East Asian-specific missense variants were identified as candidate causal variants for three novel loci, and we successfully replicated two of them by analyzing independent Japanese cohorts; p.R220W of ATG16L2 (associated with coronary artery disease) and p.V326A of POT1 (associated with lung cancer). We further investigated enrichment of heritability within 2,868 annotations of genome-wide transcription factor occupancy, and identified 378 significant enrichments across nine diseases (false discovery rate < 0.05) (for example, NKX3-1 for prostate cancer). This large-scale GWAS in a Japanese population provides insights into the etiology of complex diseases and highlights the importance of performing GWAS in non-European populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0640-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7968075PMC
July 2020

Identification of type 2 diabetes loci in 433,540 East Asian individuals.

Nature 2020 06 6;582(7811):240-245. Epub 2020 May 6.

Vanderbilt Genetics Institute, Division of Genetic Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 240 loci that are associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D); however, most of these loci have been identified in analyses of individuals with European ancestry. Here, to examine T2D risk in East Asian individuals, we carried out a meta-analysis of GWAS data from 77,418 individuals with T2D and 356,122 healthy control individuals. In the main analysis, we identified 301 distinct association signals at 183 loci, and across T2D association models with and without consideration of body mass index and sex, we identified 61 loci that are newly implicated in predisposition to T2D. Common variants associated with T2D in both East Asian and European populations exhibited strongly correlated effect sizes. Previously undescribed associations include signals in or near GDAP1, PTF1A, SIX3, ALDH2, a microRNA cluster, and genes that affect the differentiation of muscle and adipose cells. At another locus, expression quantitative trait loci at two overlapping T2D signals affect two genes-NKX6-3 and ANK1-in different tissues. Association studies in diverse populations identify additional loci and elucidate disease-associated genes, biology, and pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2263-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292783PMC
June 2020

Characterizing rare and low-frequency height-associated variants in the Japanese population.

Nat Commun 2019 09 27;10(1):4393. Epub 2019 Sep 27.

Laboratory for Statistical Analysis, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Yokohama, 230-0045, Japan.

Human height is a representative phenotype to elucidate genetic architecture. However, the majority of large studies have been performed in European population. To investigate the rare and low-frequency variants associated with height, we construct a reference panel (N = 3,541) for genotype imputation by integrating the whole-genome sequence data from 1,037 Japanese with that of the 1000 Genomes Project, and perform a genome-wide association study in 191,787 Japanese. We report 573 height-associated variants, including 22 rare and 42 low-frequency variants. These 64 variants explain 1.7% of the phenotypic variance. Furthermore, a gene-based analysis identifies two genes with multiple height-increasing rare and low-frequency nonsynonymous variants (SLC27A3 and CYP26B1; P < 2.5 × 10). Our analysis shows a general tendency of the effect sizes of rare variants towards increasing height, which is contrary to findings among Europeans, suggesting that height-associated rare variants are under different selection pressure in Japanese and European populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12276-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6764965PMC
September 2019

A trans-ancestral meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies reveals loci associated with childhood obesity.

Hum Mol Genet 2019 10;28(19):3327-3338

Unidad de Investigacion Medica en Bioquımica, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Medico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico City, Mexico.

Although hundreds of genome-wide association studies-implicated loci have been reported for adult obesity-related traits, less is known about the genetics specific for early-onset obesity and with only a few studies conducted in non-European populations to date. Searching for additional genetic variants associated with childhood obesity, we performed a trans-ancestral meta-analysis of 30 studies consisting of up to 13 005 cases (≥95th percentile of body mass index (BMI) achieved 2-18 years old) and 15 599 controls (consistently <50th percentile of BMI) of European, African, North/South American and East Asian ancestry. Suggestive loci were taken forward for replication in a sample of 1888 cases and 4689 controls from seven cohorts of European and North/South American ancestry. In addition to observing 18 previously implicated BMI or obesity loci, for both early and late onset, we uncovered one completely novel locus in this trans-ancestral analysis (nearest gene, METTL15). The variant was nominally associated with only the European subgroup analysis but had a consistent direction of effect in other ethnicities. We then utilized trans-ancestral Bayesian analysis to narrow down the location of the probable causal variant at each genome-wide significant signal. Of all the fine-mapped loci, we were able to narrow down the causative variant at four known loci to fewer than 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (FAIM2, GNPDA2, MC4R and SEC16B loci). In conclusion, an ethnically diverse setting has enabled us to both identify an additional pediatric obesity locus and further fine-map existing loci.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddz161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6859434PMC
October 2019

Maternal and fetal genetic effects on birth weight and their relevance to cardio-metabolic risk factors.

Nat Genet 2019 05 1;51(5):804-814. Epub 2019 May 1.

Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Birth weight variation is influenced by fetal and maternal genetic and non-genetic factors, and has been reproducibly associated with future cardio-metabolic health outcomes. In expanded genome-wide association analyses of own birth weight (n = 321,223) and offspring birth weight (n = 230,069 mothers), we identified 190 independent association signals (129 of which are novel). We used structural equation modeling to decompose the contributions of direct fetal and indirect maternal genetic effects, then applied Mendelian randomization to illuminate causal pathways. For example, both indirect maternal and direct fetal genetic effects drive the observational relationship between lower birth weight and higher later blood pressure: maternal blood pressure-raising alleles reduce offspring birth weight, but only direct fetal effects of these alleles, once inherited, increase later offspring blood pressure. Using maternal birth weight-lowering genotypes to proxy for an adverse intrauterine environment provided no evidence that it causally raises offspring blood pressure, indicating that the inverse birth weight-blood pressure association is attributable to genetic effects, and not to intrauterine programming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0403-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6522365PMC
May 2019

Association Between Genetic Risk and Development of Type 2 Diabetes in a General Japanese Population: The Hisayama Study.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2019 08;104(8):3213-3222

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

Context: Although recent genetic studies have identified many susceptibility loci associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D), the usefulness of such loci for precision medicine remains uncertain.

Objective: This study investigated the impact of genetic risk score (GRS) on the development of T2D in a general Japanese population.

Participants: The current study consists of 1465 subjects aged 40 to 79 years without diabetes who underwent a health examination in 2002.

Design: The GRS was generated using the literature-based effect size for T2D of 84 susceptibility loci for the Japanese population, and the risk estimates of GRS on the incidence of T2D were computed by using a Cox proportional hazard model in a 10-year follow-up study. The influence of GRS on the predictive ability was estimated with Harrell C statistics, integrated discrimination improvement (IDI), and continuous net reclassification improvement (cNRI).

Results: During the 10-year follow-up, 199 subjects experienced T2D. The risk of developing T2D increased significantly with elevating quintiles of GRS (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio for the fifth vs first quintile, 2.85; 95% CI, 1.83 to 4.44). When incorporating GRS into the multivariable model comprising environmental risk factors, the Harrell C statistics (95% CI) increased from 0.681 (0.645 to 0.717) to 0.707 (0.672 to 0.742) and the predictive ability of T2D was significantly improved (IDI, 0.0376; 95% CI, 0.0284 to 0.0494; cNRI, 0.3565; 95% CI, 0.1278 to 0.5829). GRS was also associated with the risk of T2D independently of environmental risk factors.

Conclusions: These findings suggest the usefulness of GRS for identifying a high-risk population together with environmental risk factors in the Japanese population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2018-01782DOI Listing
August 2019

Identification of 28 new susceptibility loci for type 2 diabetes in the Japanese population.

Nat Genet 2019 03 4;51(3):379-386. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Laboratory for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Kidney Diseases, RIKEN Centre for Integrative Medical Sciences, Yokohama, Japan.

To understand the genetics of type 2 diabetes in people of Japanese ancestry, we conducted A meta-analysis of four genome-wide association studies (GWAS; 36,614 cases and 155,150 controls of Japanese ancestry). We identified 88 type 2 diabetes-associated loci (P < 5.0 × 10) with 115 independent signals (P < 5.0 × 10), of which 28 loci with 30 signals were novel. Twenty-eight missense variants were in linkage disequilibrium (r > 0.6) with the lead variants. Among the 28 missense variants, three previously unreported variants had distinct minor allele frequency (MAF) spectra between people of Japanese and European ancestry (MAF > 0.05 versus MAF < 0.01), including missense variants in genes related to pancreatic acinar cells (GP2) and insulin secretion (GLP1R). Transethnic comparisons of the molecular pathways identified from the GWAS results highlight both ethnically shared and heterogeneous effects of a series of pathways on type 2 diabetes (for example, monogenic diabetes and beta cells).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0332-4DOI Listing
March 2019

Elucidating the genetic architecture of reproductive ageing in the Japanese population.

Nat Commun 2018 05 17;9(1):1977. Epub 2018 May 17.

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

Population studies elucidating the genetic architecture of reproductive ageing have been largely limited to European ancestries, restricting the generalizability of the findings and overlooking possible key genes poorly captured by common European genetic variation. Here, we report 26 loci (all P < 5 × 10) for reproductive ageing, i.e. puberty timing or age at menopause, in a non-European population (up to 67,029 women of Japanese ancestry). Highlighted genes for menopause include GNRH1, which supports a primary, rather than passive, role for hypothalamic-pituitary GnRH signalling in the timing of menopause. For puberty timing, we demonstrate an aetiological role for receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatases by combining evidence across population genetics and pre- and peri-pubertal changes in hypothalamic gene expression in rodent and primate models. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate widespread differences in allele frequencies and effect estimates between Japanese and European associated variants, highlighting the benefits and challenges of large-scale trans-ethnic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04398-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958096PMC
May 2018

LPA Variants Are Associated With Residual Cardiovascular Risk in Patients Receiving Statins.

Circulation 2018 10;138(17):1839-1849

RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Yokohama, Japan (M.K., S.M., M.H., Y.M.).

Background: Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of death globally. Although therapy with statins decreases circulating levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and the incidence of CHD, additional events occur despite statin therapy in some individuals. The genetic determinants of this residual cardiovascular risk remain unknown.

Methods: We performed a 2-stage genome-wide association study of CHD events during statin therapy. We first identified 3099 cases who experienced CHD events (defined as acute myocardial infarction or the need for coronary revascularization) during statin therapy and 7681 controls without CHD events during comparable intensity and duration of statin therapy from 4 sites in the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network. We then sought replication of candidate variants in another 160 cases and 1112 controls from a fifth Electronic Medical Records and Genomics site, which joined the network after the initial genome-wide association study. Finally, we performed a phenome-wide association study for other traits linked to the most significant locus.

Results: The meta-analysis identified 7 single nucleotide polymorphisms at a genome-wide level of significance within the LPA/PLG locus associated with CHD events on statin treatment. The most significant association was for an intronic single nucleotide polymorphism within LPA/PLG (rs10455872; minor allele frequency, 0.069; odds ratio, 1.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.35-1.86; P=2.6×10). In the replication cohort, rs10455872 was also associated with CHD events (odds ratio, 1.71; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-2.57; P=0.009). The association of this single nucleotide polymorphism with CHD events was independent of statin-induced change in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (odds ratio, 1.62; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-2.24; P=0.004) and persisted in individuals with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ≤70 mg/dL (odds ratio, 2.43; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-4.75; P=0.015). A phenome-wide association study supported the effect of this region on coronary heart disease and did not identify noncardiovascular phenotypes.

Conclusions: Genetic variations at the LPA locus are associated with CHD events during statin therapy independently of the extent of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol lowering. This finding provides support for exploring strategies targeting circulating concentrations of lipoprotein(a) to reduce CHD events in patients receiving statins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.031356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6202211PMC
October 2018

Regulatory variants at KLF14 influence type 2 diabetes risk via a female-specific effect on adipocyte size and body composition.

Nat Genet 2018 04 9;50(4):572-580. Epub 2018 Apr 9.

Department of Medicine, Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Individual risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is modified by perturbations to the mass, distribution and function of adipose tissue. To investigate the mechanisms underlying these associations, we explored the molecular, cellular and whole-body effects of T2D-associated alleles near KLF14. We show that KLF14 diabetes-risk alleles act in adipose tissue to reduce KLF14 expression and modulate, in trans, the expression of 385 genes. We demonstrate, in human cellular studies, that reduced KLF14 expression increases pre-adipocyte proliferation but disrupts lipogenesis, and in mice, that adipose tissue-specific deletion of Klf14 partially recapitulates the human phenotype of insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and T2D. We show that carriers of the KLF14 T2D risk allele shift body fat from gynoid stores to abdominal stores and display a marked increase in adipocyte cell size, and that these effects on fat distribution, and the T2D association, are female specific. The metabolic risk associated with variation at this imprinted locus depends on the sex both of the subject and of the parent from whom the risk allele derives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0088-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5935235PMC
April 2018

Genome-wide association study of offspring birth weight in 86 577 women identifies five novel loci and highlights maternal genetic effects that are independent of fetal genetics.

Hum Mol Genet 2018 02;27(4):742-756

FIMM Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, Helsinki University, Helsinki FI-00014, Finland.

Genome-wide association studies of birth weight have focused on fetal genetics, whereas relatively little is known about the role of maternal genetic variation. We aimed to identify maternal genetic variants associated with birth weight that could highlight potentially relevant maternal determinants of fetal growth. We meta-analysed data on up to 8.7 million SNPs in up to 86 577 women of European descent from the Early Growth Genetics (EGG) Consortium and the UK Biobank. We used structural equation modelling (SEM) and analyses of mother-child pairs to quantify the separate maternal and fetal genetic effects. Maternal SNPs at 10 loci (MTNR1B, HMGA2, SH2B3, KCNAB1, L3MBTL3, GCK, EBF1, TCF7L2, ACTL9, CYP3A7) were associated with offspring birth weight at P < 5 × 10-8. In SEM analyses, at least 7 of the 10 associations were consistent with effects of the maternal genotype acting via the intrauterine environment, rather than via effects of shared alleles with the fetus. Variants, or correlated proxies, at many of the loci had been previously associated with adult traits, including fasting glucose (MTNR1B, GCK and TCF7L2) and sex hormone levels (CYP3A7), and one (EBF1) with gestational duration. The identified associations indicate that genetic effects on maternal glucose, cytochrome P450 activity and gestational duration, and potentially on maternal blood pressure and immune function, are relevant for fetal growth. Further characterization of these associations in mechanistic and causal analyses will enhance understanding of the potentially modifiable maternal determinants of fetal growth, with the goal of reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with low and high birth weights.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddx429DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5886200PMC
February 2018

Sequence data and association statistics from 12,940 type 2 diabetes cases and controls.

Sci Data 2017 12 19;4:170179. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

To investigate the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) to high resolution, the GoT2D and T2D-GENES consortia catalogued variation from whole-genome sequencing of 2,657 European individuals and exome sequencing of 12,940 individuals of multiple ancestries. Over 27M SNPs, indels, and structural variants were identified, including 99% of low-frequency (minor allele frequency [MAF] 0.1-5%) non-coding variants in the whole-genome sequenced individuals and 99.7% of low-frequency coding variants in the whole-exome sequenced individuals. Each variant was tested for association with T2D in the sequenced individuals, and, to increase power, most were tested in larger numbers of individuals (>80% of low-frequency coding variants in ~82 K Europeans via the exome chip, and ~90% of low-frequency non-coding variants in ~44 K Europeans via genotype imputation). The variants, genotypes, and association statistics from these analyses provide the largest reference to date of human genetic information relevant to T2D, for use in activities such as T2D-focused genotype imputation, functional characterization of variants or genes, and other novel analyses to detect associations between sequence variation and T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.179DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5735917PMC
December 2017

Trans-ethnic meta-regression of genome-wide association studies accounting for ancestry increases power for discovery and improves fine-mapping resolution.

Hum Mol Genet 2017 09;26(18):3639-3650

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

Trans-ethnic meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) across diverse populations can increase power to detect complex trait loci when the underlying causal variants are shared between ancestry groups. However, heterogeneity in allelic effects between GWAS at these loci can occur that is correlated with ancestry. Here, a novel approach is presented to detect SNP association and quantify the extent of heterogeneity in allelic effects that is correlated with ancestry. We employ trans-ethnic meta-regression to model allelic effects as a function of axes of genetic variation, derived from a matrix of mean pairwise allele frequency differences between GWAS, and implemented in the MR-MEGA software. Through detailed simulations, we demonstrate increased power to detect association for MR-MEGA over fixed- and random-effects meta-analysis across a range of scenarios of heterogeneity in allelic effects between ethnic groups. We also demonstrate improved fine-mapping resolution, in loci containing a single causal variant, compared to these meta-analysis approaches and PAINTOR, and equivalent performance to MANTRA at reduced computational cost. Application of MR-MEGA to trans-ethnic GWAS of kidney function in 71,461 individuals indicates stronger signals of association than fixed-effects meta-analysis when heterogeneity in allelic effects is correlated with ancestry. Application of MR-MEGA to fine-mapping four type 2 diabetes susceptibility loci in 22,086 cases and 42,539 controls highlights: (i) strong evidence for heterogeneity in allelic effects that is correlated with ancestry only at the index SNP for the association signal at the CDKAL1 locus; and (ii) 99% credible sets with six or fewer variants for five distinct association signals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddx280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5755684PMC
September 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

How Can Genetic Studies Help Us to Understand Links Between Birth Weight and Type 2 Diabetes?

Curr Diab Rep 2017 04;17(4):22

Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, University of Exeter, RILD Building, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK.

Purpose Of Review: In observational epidemiology, both low and high birth weights are associated with later type 2 diabetes. The mechanisms underlying the associations are poorly understood. We review evidence for the roles of genetic and non-genetic factors linking both sides of the birth weight distribution to risk of type 2 diabetes, focusing on contributions made by the most recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of birth weight.

Recent Findings: There are now nine genetic loci robustly implicated in both fetal growth and type 2 diabetes. At many of these, the same alleles are associated both with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and a lower birth weight. This supports the Fetal Insulin Hypothesis and reflects a general pattern for type 2 diabetes susceptibility alleles: genome-wide, there is an inverse genetic correlation with birth weight, and initial estimates suggest genetic factors explain a large part of the covariance between the two traits. However, the associations at individual loci show heterogeneity; some fetal risk alleles are associated with higher birth weight. For most of these, the association reflects their correlation with the maternal risk allele which raises maternal glucose, thus increasing fetal insulin-mediated growth. GWAS have improved our understanding of the mechanisms underlying associations between type 2 diabetes and birth weight but questions remain about the relative importance of genetic versus non-genetic factors and of maternal versus fetal genotypes. To answer these questions, future work will require well-powered analyses of parents and offspring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11892-017-0852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5350261PMC
April 2017

Genome-wide associations for birth weight and correlations with adult disease.

Nature 2016 10 28;538(7624):248-252. Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Birth weight (BW) has been shown to be influenced by both fetal and maternal factors and in observational studies is reproducibly associated with future risk of adult metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease. These life-course associations have often been attributed to the impact of an adverse early life environment. Here, we performed a multi-ancestry genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis of BW in 153,781 individuals, identifying 60 loci where fetal genotype was associated with BW (P < 5 × 10). Overall, approximately 15% of variance in BW was captured by assays of fetal genetic variation. Using genetic association alone, we found strong inverse genetic correlations between BW and systolic blood pressure (R = -0.22, P = 5.5 × 10), T2D (R = -0.27, P = 1.1 × 10) and coronary artery disease (R = -0.30, P = 6.5 × 10). In addition, using large -cohort datasets, we demonstrated that genetic factors were the major contributor to the negative covariance between BW and future cardiometabolic risk. Pathway analyses indicated that the protein products of genes within BW-associated regions were enriched for diverse processes including insulin signalling, glucose homeostasis, glycogen biosynthesis and chromatin remodelling. There was also enrichment of associations with BW in known imprinted regions (P = 1.9 × 10). We demonstrate that life-course associations between early growth phenotypes and adult cardiometabolic disease are in part the result of shared genetic effects and identify some of the pathways through which these causal genetic effects are mediated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature19806DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5164934PMC
October 2016

The genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes.

Nature 2016 08 11;536(7614):41-47. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

The genetic architecture of common traits, including the number, frequency, and effect sizes of inherited variants that contribute to individual risk, has been long debated. Genome-wide association studies have identified scores of common variants associated with type 2 diabetes, but in aggregate, these explain only a fraction of the heritability of this disease. Here, to test the hypothesis that lower-frequency variants explain much of the remainder, the GoT2D and T2D-GENES consortia performed whole-genome sequencing in 2,657 European individuals with and without diabetes, and exome sequencing in 12,940 individuals from five ancestry groups. To increase statistical power, we expanded the sample size via genotyping and imputation in a further 111,548 subjects. Variants associated with type 2 diabetes after sequencing were overwhelmingly common and most fell within regions previously identified by genome-wide association studies. Comprehensive enumeration of sequence variation is necessary to identify functional alleles that provide important clues to disease pathophysiology, but large-scale sequencing does not support the idea that lower-frequency variants have a major role in predisposition to type 2 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18642DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5034897PMC
August 2016

Genome-wide association study identifies 74 loci associated with educational attainment.

Nature 2016 05 11;533(7604):539-42. Epub 2016 May 11.

Department of Neurology, General Hospital and Medical University Graz, Graz 8036, Austria.

Educational attainment is strongly influenced by social and other environmental factors, but genetic factors are estimated to account for at least 20% of the variation across individuals. Here we report the results of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for educational attainment that extends our earlier discovery sample of 101,069 individuals to 293,723 individuals, and a replication study in an independent sample of 111,349 individuals from the UK Biobank. We identify 74 genome-wide significant loci associated with the number of years of schooling completed. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with educational attainment are disproportionately found in genomic regions regulating gene expression in the fetal brain. Candidate genes are preferentially expressed in neural tissue, especially during the prenatal period, and enriched for biological pathways involved in neural development. Our findings demonstrate that, even for a behavioural phenotype that is mostly environmentally determined, a well-powered GWAS identifies replicable associated genetic variants that suggest biologically relevant pathways. Because educational attainment is measured in large numbers of individuals, it will continue to be useful as a proxy phenotype in efforts to characterize the genetic influences of related phenotypes, including cognition and neuropsychiatric diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature17671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4883595PMC
May 2016
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