Publications by authors named "Nicholette D Palmer"

142 Publications

A high-resolution HLA reference panel capturing global population diversity enables multi-ancestry fine-mapping in HIV host response.

Nat Genet 2021 Oct 5;53(10):1504-1516. Epub 2021 Oct 5.

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Fine-mapping to plausible causal variation may be more effective in multi-ancestry cohorts, particularly in the MHC, which has population-specific structure. To enable such studies, we constructed a large (n = 21,546) HLA reference panel spanning five global populations based on whole-genome sequences. Despite population-specific long-range haplotypes, we demonstrated accurate imputation at G-group resolution (94.2%, 93.7%, 97.8% and 93.7% in admixed African (AA), East Asian (EAS), European (EUR) and Latino (LAT) populations). Applying HLA imputation to genome-wide association study data for HIV-1 viral load in three populations (EUR, AA and LAT), we obviated effects of previously reported associations from population-specific HIV studies and discovered a novel association at position 156 in HLA-B. We pinpointed the MHC association to three amino acid positions (97, 67 and 156) marking three consecutive pockets (C, B and D) within the HLA-B peptide-binding groove, explaining 12.9% of trait variance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00935-7DOI Listing
October 2021

Metabolomic architecture of obesity implicates metabolonic lactone sulfate in cardiometabolic disease.

Mol Metab 2021 Sep 24;54:101342. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Identify and characterize circulating metabolite profiles associated with adiposity to inform precision medicine.

Methods: Untargeted plasma metabolomic profiles in the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Family Study (IRASFS) Mexican American cohort (n = 1108) were analyzed for association with anthropometric (body mass index, BMI; waist circumference, WC; waist-to-hip ratio, WHR) and computed tomography measures (visceral adipose tissue, VAT; subcutaneous adipose tissue, SAT; visceral-to-subcutaneous ratio, VSR) of adiposity. Genetic data, inclusive of genome-wide array-based genotyping, whole exome sequencing (WES) and whole genome sequencing (WGS), were evaluated to identify the genetic contributors. Phenotypic and genetic association signals were replicated across ancestries. Transcriptomic data were analyzed to explore the relationship between genetic and metabolomic data.

Results: A partially characterized metabolite, tentatively named metabolonic lactone sulfate (X-12063), was consistently associated with BMI, WC, WHR, VAT, and SAT in IRASFS Mexican Americans (P <2.02 × 10). Trait associations were replicated in IRASFS African Americans (P < 1.12 × 10). Expanded analyses revealed associations with multiple phenotypic measures of cardiometabolic health, e.g. insulin sensitivity (S), triglycerides (TG), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) in both ancestries. Metabolonic lactone sulfate levels were heritable (h > 0.47), and a significant genetic signal at the ZSCAN25/CYP3A5 locus (P = 9.00 × 10, P = 2.31 × 10) was observed, highlighting a putative functional variant (rs776746, CYP3A5∗3). Transcriptomic analysis in the African American Genetics of Metabolism and Expression (AAGMEx) cohort supported the association of CYP3A5 with metabolonic lactone sulfate levels (P = 6.64 × 10).

Conclusions: Variant rs776746 is associated with a decrease in the transcript levels of CYP3A5, which in turn is associated with increased metabolonic lactone sulfate levels and poor cardiometabolic health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2021.101342DOI Listing
September 2021

Population sequencing data reveal a compendium of mutational processes in the human germ line.

Science 2021 08 12;373(6558):1030-1035. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Biological mechanisms underlying human germline mutations remain largely unknown. We statistically decompose variation in the rate and spectra of mutations along the genome using volume-regularized nonnegative matrix factorization. The analysis of a sequencing dataset (TOPMed) reveals nine processes that explain the variation in mutation properties between loci. We provide a biological interpretation for seven of these processes. We associate one process with bulky DNA lesions that are resolved asymmetrically with respect to transcription and replication. Two processes track direction of replication fork and replication timing, respectively. We identify a mutagenic effect of active demethylation primarily acting in regulatory regions and a mutagenic effect of long interspersed nuclear elements. We localize a mutagenic process specific to oocytes from population sequencing data. This process appears transcriptionally asymmetric.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aba7408DOI Listing
August 2021

Urine APOL1 Isoforms Reflect Plasma-Derived Liver-Synthesized Proteins.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 Oct 23;32(10):2442-2444. Epub 2021 Jun 23.

Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Nephrology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2021030411DOI Listing
October 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

Associations of circulating choline and its related metabolites with cardiometabolic biomarkers: an international pooled analysis.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 09;114(3):893-906

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: Choline is an essential nutrient; however, the associations of choline and its related metabolites with cardiometabolic risk remain unclear.

Objective: We examined the associations of circulating choline, betaine, carnitine, and dimethylglycine (DMG) with cardiometabolic biomarkers and their potential dietary and nondietary determinants.

Methods: The cross-sectional analyses included 32,853 participants from 17 studies, who were free of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease. In each study, metabolites and biomarkers were log-transformed and standardized by means and SDs, and linear regression coefficients (β) and 95% CIs were estimated with adjustments for potential confounders. Study-specific results were combined by random-effects meta-analyses. A false discovery rate <0.05 was considered significant.

Results: We observed moderate positive associations of circulating choline, carnitine, and DMG with creatinine [β (95% CI): 0.136 (0.084, 0.188), 0.106 (0.045, 0.168), and 0.128 (0.087, 0.169), respectively, for each SD increase in biomarkers on the log scale], carnitine with triglycerides (β = 0.076; 95% CI: 0.042, 0.109), homocysteine (β = 0.064; 95% CI: 0.033, 0.095), and LDL cholesterol (β = 0.055; 95% CI: 0.013, 0.096), DMG with homocysteine (β = 0.068; 95% CI: 0.023, 0.114), insulin (β = 0.068; 95% CI: 0.043, 0.093), and IL-6 (β = 0.060; 95% CI: 0.027, 0.094), but moderate inverse associations of betaine with triglycerides (β = -0.146; 95% CI: -0.188, -0.104), insulin (β = -0.106; 95% CI: -0.130, -0.082), homocysteine (β = -0.097; 95% CI: -0.149, -0.045), and total cholesterol (β = -0.074; 95% CI: -0.102, -0.047). In the whole pooled population, no dietary factor was associated with circulating choline; red meat intake was associated with circulating carnitine [β = 0.092 (0.042, 0.142) for a 1 serving/d increase], whereas plant protein was associated with circulating betaine [β = 0.249 (0.110, 0.388) for a 5% energy increase]. Demographics, lifestyle, and metabolic disease history showed differential associations with these metabolites.

Conclusions: Circulating choline, carnitine, and DMG were associated with unfavorable cardiometabolic risk profiles, whereas circulating betaine was associated with a favorable cardiometabolic risk profile. Future prospective studies are needed to examine the associations of these metabolites with incident cardiovascular events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab152DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8408854PMC
September 2021

Genome-wide association study of vitamin D concentrations and bone mineral density in the African American-Diabetes Heart Study.

PLoS One 2021 20;16(5):e0251423. Epub 2021 May 20.

Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, United States of America.

Relative to European Americans, African Americans have lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) concentrations, higher 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D3) concentrations and bone mineral density (BMD), and paradoxically reduced burdens of calcified atherosclerotic plaque (subclinical atherosclerosis). To identify genetic factors contributing to vitamin D and BMD measures, association analysis of >14M variants was conducted in a maximum of 697 African American-Diabetes Heart Study participants with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The most significant association signals were detected for VDBP on chromosome 4; variants rs7041 (β = 0.44, SE = 0.019, P = 9.4x10-86) and rs4588 (β = 0.17, SE = 0.021, P = 3.5x10-08) in the group-specific component (vitamin D binding protein) gene (GC). These variants were found to be independently associated. In addition, rs7041 was also associated with bioavailable vitamin D (BAVD; β = 0.16, SE = 0.02, P = 3.3x10-19). Six rare variants were significantly associated with 25OHD, including a non-synonymous variant in HSPG2 (rs116788687; β = -1.07, SE = 0.17, P = 2.2x10-10) and an intronic variant in TNIK (rs143555701; β = -1.01, SE = 0.18, P = 9.0x10-10), both biologically related to bone development. Variants associated with 25OHD failed to replicate in African Americans from the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Family Study (IRASFS). Evaluation of vitamin D metabolism and bone mineral density phenotypes in an African American population enriched for T2D could provide insight into ethnic specific differences in vitamin D metabolism and bone mineral density.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0251423PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8136717PMC
May 2021

Multi-ancestry genome-wide gene-sleep interactions identify novel loci for blood pressure.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

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

Long and short sleep duration are associated with elevated blood pressure (BP), possibly through effects on molecular pathways that influence neuroendocrine and vascular systems. To gain new insights into the genetic basis of sleep-related BP variation, we performed genome-wide gene by short or long sleep duration interaction analyses on four BP traits (systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure) across five ancestry groups in two stages using 2 degree of freedom (df) joint test followed by 1df test of interaction effects. Primary multi-ancestry analysis in 62,969 individuals in stage 1 identified three novel gene by sleep interactions that were replicated in an additional 59,296 individuals in stage 2 (stage 1 + 2 P < 5 × 10), including rs7955964 (FIGNL2/ANKRD33) that increases BP among long sleepers, and rs73493041 (SNORA26/C9orf170) and rs10406644 (KCTD15/LSM14A) that increase BP among short sleepers (P < 5 × 10). Secondary ancestry-specific analysis identified another novel gene by long sleep interaction at rs111887471 (TRPC3/KIAA1109) in individuals of African ancestry (P = 2 × 10). Combined stage 1 and 2 analyses additionally identified significant gene by long sleep interactions at 10 loci including MKLN1 and RGL3/ELAVL3 previously associated with BP, and significant gene by short sleep interactions at 10 loci including C2orf43 previously associated with BP (P < 10). 2df test also identified novel loci for BP after modeling sleep that has known functions in sleep-wake regulation, nervous and cardiometabolic systems. This study indicates that sleep and primary mechanisms regulating BP may interact to elevate BP level, suggesting novel insights into sleep-related BP regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01087-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8517040PMC
April 2021

Allele-specific variation at APOE increases nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and obesity but decreases risk of Alzheimer's disease and myocardial infarction.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Jul;30(15):1443-1456

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

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a leading cause of chronic liver disease and is highly correlated with metabolic disease. NAFLD results from environmental exposures acting on a susceptible polygenic background. This study performed the largest multiethnic investigation of exonic variation associated with NAFLD and correlated metabolic traits and diseases. An exome array meta-analysis was carried out among eight multiethnic population-based cohorts (n = 16 492) with computed tomography (CT) measured hepatic steatosis. A fixed effects meta-analysis identified five exome-wide significant loci (P < 5.30 × 10-7); including a novel signal near TOMM40/APOE. Joint analysis of TOMM40/APOE variants revealed the TOMM40 signal was attributed to APOE rs429358-T; APOE rs7412 was not associated with liver attenuation. Moreover, rs429358-T was associated with higher serum alanine aminotransferase, liver steatosis, cirrhosis, triglycerides and obesity; as well as, lower cholesterol and decreased risk of myocardial infarction and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in phenome-wide association analyses in the Michigan Genomics Initiative, United Kingdom Biobank and/or public datasets. These results implicate APOE in imaging-based identification of NAFLD. This association may or may not translate to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; however, these results indicate a significant association with advanced liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis. These findings highlight allelic heterogeneity at the APOE locus and demonstrate an inverse link between NAFLD and AD at the exome level in the largest analysis to date.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab096DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283205PMC
July 2021

Chromosome Xq23 is associated with lower atherogenic lipid concentrations and favorable cardiometabolic indices.

Nat Commun 2021 04 12;12(1):2182. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Cardiology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Healthcare Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.

Autosomal genetic analyses of blood lipids have yielded key insights for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, X chromosome genetic variation is understudied for blood lipids in large sample sizes. We now analyze genetic and blood lipid data in a high-coverage whole X chromosome sequencing study of 65,322 multi-ancestry participants and perform replication among 456,893 European participants. Common alleles on chromosome Xq23 are strongly associated with reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (min P = 8.5 × 10), with similar effects for males and females. Chromosome Xq23 lipid-lowering alleles are associated with reduced odds for CHD among 42,545 cases and 591,247 controls (P = 1.7 × 10), and reduced odds for diabetes mellitus type 2 among 54,095 cases and 573,885 controls (P = 1.4 × 10). Although we observe an association with increased BMI, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI is reduced, bioimpedance analyses indicate increased gluteofemoral fat, and abdominal MRI analyses indicate reduced visceral adiposity. Co-localization analyses strongly correlate increased CHRDL1 gene expression, particularly in adipose tissue, with reduced concentrations of blood lipids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22339-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042019PMC
April 2021

Circulating trimethylamine N-oxide in association with diet and cardiometabolic biomarkers: an international pooled analysis.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 05;113(5):1145-1156

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a diet-derived, gut microbial-host cometabolite, has been linked to cardiometabolic diseases. However, the relations remain unclear between diet, TMAO, and cardiometabolic health in general populations from different regions and ethnicities.

Objectives: To examine associations of circulating TMAO with dietary and cardiometabolic factors in a pooled analysis of 16 population-based studies from the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Methods: Included were 32,166 adults (16,269 white, 13,293 Asian, 1247 Hispanic/Latino, 1236 black, and 121 others) without cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, or inflammatory bowel disease. Linear regression coefficients (β) were computed for standardized TMAO with harmonized variables. Study-specific results were combined by random-effects meta-analysis. A false discovery rate <0.10 was considered significant.

Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, circulating TMAO was associated with intakes of animal protein and saturated fat (β = 0.124 and 0.058, respectively, for a 5% energy increase) and with shellfish, total fish, eggs, and red meat (β = 0.370, 0.151, 0.081, and 0.056, respectively, for a 1 serving/d increase). Plant protein and nuts showed inverse associations (β = -0.126 for a 5% energy increase from plant protein and -0.123 for a 1 serving/d increase of nuts). Although the animal protein-TMAO association was consistent across populations, fish and shellfish associations were stronger in Asians (β = 0.285 and 0.578), and egg and red meat associations were more prominent in Americans (β = 0.153 and 0.093). Besides, circulating TMAO was positively associated with creatinine (β = 0.131 SD increase in log-TMAO), homocysteine (β = 0.065), insulin (β = 0.048), glycated hemoglobin (β = 0.048), and glucose (β = 0.023), whereas it was inversely associated with HDL cholesterol (β = -0.047) and blood pressure (β = -0.030). Each TMAO-biomarker association remained significant after further adjusting for creatinine and was robust in subgroup/sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions: In an international, consortium-based study, animal protein was consistently associated with increased circulating TMAO, whereas TMAO associations with fish, shellfish, eggs, and red meat varied among populations. The adverse associations of TMAO with certain cardiometabolic biomarkers, independent of renal function, warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106754PMC
May 2021

Robust, flexible, and scalable tests for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium across diverse ancestries.

Genetics 2021 05;218(1)

Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.

Traditional Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) tests (the χ2 test and the exact test) have long been used as a metric for evaluating genotype quality, as technical artifacts leading to incorrect genotype calls often can be identified as deviations from HWE. However, in data sets composed of individuals from diverse ancestries, HWE can be violated even without genotyping error, complicating the use of HWE testing to assess genotype data quality. In this manuscript, we present the Robust Unified Test for HWE (RUTH) to test for HWE while accounting for population structure and genotype uncertainty, and to evaluate the impact of population heterogeneity and genotype uncertainty on the standard HWE tests and alternative methods using simulated and real sequence data sets. Our results demonstrate that ignoring population structure or genotype uncertainty in HWE tests can inflate false-positive rates by many orders of magnitude. Our evaluations demonstrate different tradeoffs between false positives and statistical power across the methods, with RUTH consistently among the best across all evaluations. RUTH is implemented as a practical and scalable software tool to rapidly perform HWE tests across millions of markers and hundreds of thousands of individuals while supporting standard VCF/BCF formats. RUTH is publicly available at https://www.github.com/statgen/ruth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/genetics/iyab044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8128395PMC
May 2021

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

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

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

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

Sequencing of 53,831 diverse genomes from the NHLBI TOPMed Program.

Nature 2021 02 10;590(7845):290-299. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

The Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme seeks to elucidate the genetic architecture and biology of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. The initial phases of the programme focused on whole-genome sequencing of individuals with rich phenotypic data and diverse backgrounds. Here we describe the TOPMed goals and design as well as the available resources and early insights obtained from the sequence data. The resources include a variant browser, a genotype imputation server, and genomic and phenotypic data that are available through dbGaP (Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes). In the first 53,831 TOPMed samples, we detected more than 400 million single-nucleotide and insertion or deletion variants after alignment with the reference genome. Additional previously undescribed variants were detected through assembly of unmapped reads and customized analysis in highly variable loci. Among the more than 400 million detected variants, 97% have frequencies of less than 1% and 46% are singletons that are present in only one individual (53% among unrelated individuals). These rare variants provide insights into mutational processes and recent human evolutionary history. The extensive catalogue of genetic variation in TOPMed studies provides unique opportunities for exploring the contributions of rare and noncoding sequence variants to phenotypic variation. Furthermore, combining TOPMed haplotypes with modern imputation methods improves the power and reach of genome-wide association studies to include variants down to a frequency of approximately 0.01%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03205-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875770PMC
February 2021

Genome-wide association study of serum liver enzymes implicates diverse metabolic and liver pathology.

Nat Commun 2021 02 5;12(1):816. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Serum liver enzyme concentrations are the most frequently-used laboratory markers of liver disease, a major cause of mortality. We conduct a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of liver enzymes from UK BioBank and BioBank Japan. We identified 160 previously-unreported independent alanine aminotransferase, 190 aspartate aminotransferase, and 199 alkaline phosphatase genome-wide significant associations, with some affecting multiple different enzymes. Associated variants implicate genes that demonstrate diverse liver cell type expression and promote a range of metabolic and liver diseases. These findings provide insight into the pathophysiology of liver and other metabolic diseases that are associated with serum liver enzyme concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20870-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7865025PMC
February 2021

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

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

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

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

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

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 01;106(2):372-387

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

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

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

Design: Genetics of Obesity-associated Liver Disease Consortium.

Setting: Population-based.

Main Outcome: Computed tomography measured liver attenuation.

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

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

Skeletal muscle extracellular matrix remodeling with worsening glycemic control in nonhuman primates.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2021 03 18;320(3):R226-R235. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) development may be mediated by skeletal muscle (SkM) function, which is responsible for >80% of circulating glucose uptake. The goals of this study were to assess changes in global- and location-level gene expression, remodeling proteins, fibrosis, and vascularity of SkM with worsening glycemic control, through RNA sequencing, immunoblotting, and immunostaining. We evaluated SkM samples from health-diverse African green monkeys () to investigate these relationships. We assessed SkM remodeling at the molecular level by evaluating unbiased transcriptomics in age-, sex-, weight-, and waist circumference-matched metabolically healthy, prediabetic (PreT2D) and T2D monkeys ( = 13). Our analysis applied novel location-specific gene differences and shows that extracellular facing and cell membrane-associated genes and proteins are highly upregulated in metabolic disease. We verified transcript patterns using immunohistochemical staining and protein analyses of matrix metalloproteinase 16 (MMP16), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2 (TIMP2), and VEGF. Extracellular matrix (ECM) functions to support intercellular communications, including the coupling of capillaries to muscle cells, which was worsened with increasing blood glucose. Multiple regression modeling from age- and health-diverse monkeys ( = 33) revealed that capillary density was negatively predicted by only fasting blood glucose. The loss of vascularity in SkM co-occurred with reduced expression of hypoxia-sensing genes, which is indicative of a disconnect between altered ECM and reduced endothelial cells, and known perfusion deficiencies present in PreT2D and T2D. This report supports that rising blood glucose values incite ECM remodeling and reduce SkM capillarization, and that targeting ECM would be a rational approach to improve health with metabolic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00240.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7988770PMC
March 2021

Inherited causes of clonal haematopoiesis in 97,691 whole genomes.

Nature 2020 10 14;586(7831):763-768. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

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

Age is the dominant risk factor for most chronic human diseases, but the mechanisms through which ageing confers this risk are largely unknown. The age-related acquisition of somatic mutations that lead to clonal expansion in regenerating haematopoietic stem cell populations has recently been associated with both haematological cancer and coronary heart disease-this phenomenon is termed clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP). Simultaneous analyses of germline and somatic whole-genome sequences provide the opportunity to identify root causes of CHIP. Here we analyse high-coverage whole-genome sequences from 97,691 participants of diverse ancestries in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Trans-omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme, and identify 4,229 individuals with CHIP. We identify associations with blood cell, lipid and inflammatory traits that are specific to different CHIP driver genes. Association of a genome-wide set of germline genetic variants enabled the identification of three genetic loci associated with CHIP status, including one locus at TET2 that was specific to individuals of African ancestry. In silico-informed in vitro evaluation of the TET2 germline locus enabled the identification of a causal variant that disrupts a TET2 distal enhancer, resulting in increased self-renewal of haematopoietic stem cells. Overall, we observe that germline genetic variation shapes haematopoietic stem cell function, leading to CHIP through mechanisms that are specific to clonal haematopoiesis as well as shared mechanisms that lead to somatic mutations across tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2819-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944936PMC
October 2020

rs641738C>T near MBOAT7 is associated with liver fat, ALT and fibrosis in NAFLD: A meta-analysis.

J Hepatol 2021 01 31;74(1):20-30. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU), University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Background & Aims: A common genetic variant near MBOAT7 (rs641738C>T) has been previously associated with hepatic fat and advanced histology in NAFLD; however, these findings have not been consistently replicated in the literature. We aimed to establish whether rs641738C>T is a risk factor across the spectrum of NAFLD and to characterise its role in the regulation of related metabolic phenotypes through a meta-analysis.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of studies with data on the association between rs641738C>T genotype and liver fat, NAFLD histology, and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lipids or insulin. These included directly genotyped studies and population-level data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We performed a random effects meta-analysis using recessive, additive and dominant genetic models.

Results: Data from 1,066,175 participants (9,688 with liver biopsies) across 42 studies were included in the meta-analysis. rs641738C>T was associated with higher liver fat on CT/MRI (+0.03 standard deviations [95% CI 0.02-0.05], p = 4.8×10) and diagnosis of NAFLD (odds ratio [OR] 1.17 [95% CI 1.05-1.3], p = 0.003) in Caucasian adults. The variant was also positively associated with presence of advanced fibrosis (OR 1.22 [95% CI 1.03-1.45], p = 0.021) in Caucasian adults using a recessive model of inheritance (CC + CT vs. TT). Meta-analysis of data from previous GWAS found the variant to be associated with higher ALT (p = 0.002) and lower serum triglycerides (p = 1.5×10). rs641738C>T was not associated with fasting insulin and no effect was observed in children with NAFLD.

Conclusions: Our study validates rs641738C>T near MBOAT7 as a risk factor for the presence and severity of NAFLD in individuals of European descent.

Lay Summary: Fatty liver disease is a common condition where fat builds up in the liver, which can cause liver inflammation and scarring (including 'cirrhosis'). It is closely linked to obesity and diabetes, but some genes are also thought to be important. We did this study to see whether one specific change ('variant') in one gene ('MBOAT7') was linked to fatty liver disease. We took data from over 40 published studies and found that this variant near MBOAT7 is linked to more severe fatty liver disease. This means that drugs designed to work on MBOAT7 could be useful for treating fatty liver disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.08.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755037PMC
January 2021

Dynamic incorporation of multiple in silico functional annotations empowers rare variant association analysis of large whole-genome sequencing studies at scale.

Nat Genet 2020 09 24;52(9):969-983. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Data Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Large-scale whole-genome sequencing studies have enabled the analysis of rare variants (RVs) associated with complex phenotypes. Commonly used RV association tests have limited scope to leverage variant functions. We propose STAAR (variant-set test for association using annotation information), a scalable and powerful RV association test method that effectively incorporates both variant categories and multiple complementary annotations using a dynamic weighting scheme. For the latter, we introduce 'annotation principal components', multidimensional summaries of in silico variant annotations. STAAR accounts for population structure and relatedness and is scalable for analyzing very large cohort and biobank whole-genome sequencing studies of continuous and dichotomous traits. We applied STAAR to identify RVs associated with four lipid traits in 12,316 discovery and 17,822 replication samples from the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program. We discovered and replicated new RV associations, including disruptive missense RVs of NPC1L1 and an intergenic region near APOC1P1 associated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0676-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483769PMC
September 2020

Gene-educational attainment interactions in a multi-ancestry genome-wide meta-analysis identify novel blood pressure loci.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 06 5;26(6):2111-2125. Epub 2020 May 5.

Health Disparities Research Section, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD, 21224, USA.

Educational attainment is widely used as a surrogate for socioeconomic status (SES). Low SES is a risk factor for hypertension and high blood pressure (BP). To identify novel BP loci, we performed multi-ancestry meta-analyses accounting for gene-educational attainment interactions using two variables, "Some College" (yes/no) and "Graduated College" (yes/no). Interactions were evaluated using both a 1 degree of freedom (DF) interaction term and a 2DF joint test of genetic and interaction effects. Analyses were performed for systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure. We pursued genome-wide interrogation in Stage 1 studies (N = 117 438) and follow-up on promising variants in Stage 2 studies (N = 293 787) in five ancestry groups. Through combined meta-analyses of Stages 1 and 2, we identified 84 known and 18 novel BP loci at genome-wide significance level (P < 5 × 10). Two novel loci were identified based on the 1DF test of interaction with educational attainment, while the remaining 16 loci were identified through the 2DF joint test of genetic and interaction effects. Ten novel loci were identified in individuals of African ancestry. Several novel loci show strong biological plausibility since they involve physiologic systems implicated in BP regulation. They include genes involved in the central nervous system-adrenal signaling axis (ZDHHC17, CADPS, PIK3C2G), vascular structure and function (GNB3, CDON), and renal function (HAS2 and HAS2-AS1, SLIT3). Collectively, these findings suggest a role of educational attainment or SES in further dissection of the genetic architecture of BP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0719-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7641978PMC
June 2021

Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network (APOLLO): Design and Rationale.

Kidney Int Rep 2020 Mar 13;5(3):278-288. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.

Introduction: Much of the higher risk for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in African American individuals relates to ancestry-specific variation in the apolipoprotein L1 gene (). Relative to kidneys from European American deceased-donors, kidneys from African American deceased-donors have shorter allograft survival and African American living-kidney donors more often develop ESKD. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network (APOLLO) is prospectively assessing kidney allograft survival from donors with recent African ancestry based on donor and recipient genotypes.

Methods: APOLLO will evaluate outcomes from 2614 deceased kidney donor-recipient pairs, as well as additional living-kidney donor-recipient pairs and unpaired deceased-donor kidneys.

Results: The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, American Society of Transplantation, American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, and nearly all U.S. kidney transplant programs, organ procurement organizations (OPOs), and histocompatibility laboratories are participating in this observational study. APOLLO employs a central institutional review board (cIRB) and maintains voluntary partnerships with OPOs and histocompatibility laboratories. A Community Advisory Council composed of African American individuals with a personal or family history of kidney disease has advised the NIH Project Office and Steering Committee since inception. UNOS is providing data for outcome analyses.

Conclusion: This article describes unique aspects of the protocol, design, and performance of APOLLO. Results will guide use of genotypic data to improve the assessment of quality in deceased-donor kidneys and could increase numbers of transplanted kidneys, reduce rates of discard, and improve the safety of living-kidney donation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ekir.2019.11.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7056919PMC
March 2020

Genome-wide association study for time to failure of kidney transplants from African American deceased donors.

Clin Transplant 2020 06 25;34(6):e13827. Epub 2020 Apr 25.

Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Nephrology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Two renal-risk variants in the apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) in African American (AA) deceased donors (DD) are associated with shorter renal allograft survival after transplantation. To identify additional genes contributing to allograft survival, a genome-wide association study was performed in 532 AA DDs. Phenotypic data were obtained from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Association and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-by-APOL1 interaction tests were conducted using death-censored renal allograft survival accounting for relevant covariates. Replication and inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis were performed using data from 250 AA DD in the Genomics of Transplantation study. Accounting for APOL1, multiple SNPs near the Nudix Hydrolase 7 gene (NUDT7) showed strong independent effects (P = 1.6 × 10 -2.2 × 10 ). Several SNPs in the Translocation protein SEC63 homolog (SEC63; P = 2 × 10 -3.7 × 10 ) and plasmacytoma variant translocation 1 (PVT1) genes (P = 4.0 × 10 -7 × 10 ) modified the effect of APOL1 on allograft survival. SEC63 is expressed in human renal tubule cells and glomeruli, and PVT1 is associated with diabetic kidney disease. Overall, associations were detected for 41 SNPs (P = 2 × 10 -5 × 10 ) contributing independently or interacting with APOL1 to impact renal allograft survival after transplantation from AA DD. Given the small sample size of the discovery and replication sets, independent validations and functional genomic efforts are needed to validate these results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.13827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694574PMC
June 2020

Use of >100,000 NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Consortium whole genome sequences improves imputation quality and detection of rare variant associations in admixed African and Hispanic/Latino populations.

PLoS Genet 2019 12 23;15(12):e1008500. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Genomics Platform, Broad Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Most genome-wide association and fine-mapping studies to date have been conducted in individuals of European descent, and genetic studies of populations of Hispanic/Latino and African ancestry are limited. In addition, these populations have more complex linkage disequilibrium structure. In order to better define the genetic architecture of these understudied populations, we leveraged >100,000 phased sequences available from deep-coverage whole genome sequencing through the multi-ethnic NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program to impute genotypes into admixed African and Hispanic/Latino samples with genome-wide genotyping array data. We demonstrated that using TOPMed sequencing data as the imputation reference panel improves genotype imputation quality in these populations, which subsequently enhanced gene-mapping power for complex traits. For rare variants with minor allele frequency (MAF) < 0.5%, we observed a 2.3- to 6.1-fold increase in the number of well-imputed variants, with 11-34% improvement in average imputation quality, compared to the state-of-the-art 1000 Genomes Project Phase 3 and Haplotype Reference Consortium reference panels. Impressively, even for extremely rare variants with minor allele count <10 (including singletons) in the imputation target samples, average information content rescued was >86%. Subsequent association analyses of TOPMed reference panel-imputed genotype data with hematological traits (hemoglobin (HGB), hematocrit (HCT), and white blood cell count (WBC)) in ~21,600 African-ancestry and ~21,700 Hispanic/Latino individuals identified associations with two rare variants in the HBB gene (rs33930165 with higher WBC [p = 8.8x10-15] in African populations, rs11549407 with lower HGB [p = 1.5x10-12] and HCT [p = 8.8x10-10] in Hispanics/Latinos). By comparison, neither variant would have been genome-wide significant if either 1000 Genomes Project Phase 3 or Haplotype Reference Consortium reference panels had been used for imputation. Our findings highlight the utility of the TOPMed imputation reference panel for identification of novel rare variant associations not previously detected in similarly sized genome-wide studies of under-represented African and Hispanic/Latino populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008500DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953885PMC
December 2019

Multi-ancestry sleep-by-SNP interaction analysis in 126,926 individuals reveals lipid loci stratified by sleep duration.

Nat Commun 2019 11 12;10(1):5121. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.

Both short and long sleep are associated with an adverse lipid profile, likely through different biological pathways. To elucidate the biology of sleep-associated adverse lipid profile, we conduct multi-ancestry genome-wide sleep-SNP interaction analyses on three lipid traits (HDL-c, LDL-c and triglycerides). In the total study sample (discovery + replication) of 126,926 individuals from 5 different ancestry groups, when considering either long or short total sleep time interactions in joint analyses, we identify 49 previously unreported lipid loci, and 10 additional previously unreported lipid loci in a restricted sample of European-ancestry cohorts. In addition, we identify new gene-sleep interactions for known lipid loci such as LPL and PCSK9. The previously unreported lipid loci have a modest explained variance in lipid levels: most notable, gene-short-sleep interactions explain 4.25% of the variance in triglyceride level. Collectively, these findings contribute to our understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in sleep-associated adverse lipid profiles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12958-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6851116PMC
November 2019

Classification of Type 2 Diabetes Genetic Variants and a Novel Genetic Risk Score Association With Insulin Clearance.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 04;105(4)

Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, US.

Context: Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 450 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Objective: To facilitate use of these SNPs in future genetic risk score (GRS)-based analyses, we aimed to classify the SNPs based on physiology. We also sought to validate GRS associations with insulin-related traits in deeply phenotyped Mexican Americans.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A total of 457 T2D SNPs from the literature were assigned physiologic function based on association studies and cluster analyses. All SNPs (All-GRS), beta-cell (BC-GRS), insulin resistance (IR-GRS), lipodystrophy (Lipo-GRS), and body mass index plus lipids (B + L-GRS) were evaluated for association with diabetes and indices of insulin secretion (from oral glucose tolerance test), insulin sensitivity and insulin clearance (from euglycemic clamp), and adiposity and lipid markers in 1587 Mexican Americans.

Results: Of the 457 SNPs, 52 were classified as BC, 30 as IR, 12 as Lipo, 12 as B + L, whereas physiologic function of 351 was undefined. All-GRS was strongly associated with T2D. Among nondiabetic Mexican Americans, BC-GRS was associated with reduced insulinogenic index, IR-GRS was associated with reduced insulin sensitivity, and Lipo-GRS was associated with reduced adiposity. B + L-GRS was associated with increased insulin clearance. The latter did not replicate in an independent cohort wherein insulin clearance was assessed by a different method.

Conclusions: Supporting their utility, BC-GRS, IR-GRS, and Lipo-GRS, based on SNPs discovered largely in Europeans, exhibited expected associations in Mexican Americans. The novel association of B + L-GRS with insulin clearance suggests that impaired ability to reduce insulin clearance in compensation for IR may play a role in the pathogenesis of T2D. Whether this applies to other ethnic groups remains to be determined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgz198DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7059988PMC
April 2020

Genome-wide association meta-analyses and fine-mapping elucidate pathways influencing albuminuria.

Nat Commun 2019 09 11;10(1):4130. Epub 2019 Sep 11.

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Increased levels of the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR) are associated with higher risk of kidney disease progression and cardiovascular events, but underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we conduct trans-ethnic (n = 564,257) and European-ancestry specific meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies of UACR, including ancestry- and diabetes-specific analyses, and identify 68 UACR-associated loci. Genetic correlation analyses and risk score associations in an independent electronic medical records database (n = 192,868) reveal connections with proteinuria, hyperlipidemia, gout, and hypertension. Fine-mapping and trans-Omics analyses with gene expression in 47 tissues and plasma protein levels implicate genes potentially operating through differential expression in kidney (including TGFB1, MUC1, PRKCI, and OAF), and allow coupling of UACR associations to altered plasma OAF concentrations. Knockdown of OAF and PRKCI orthologs in Drosophila nephrocytes reduces albumin endocytosis. Silencing fly PRKCI further impairs slit diaphragm formation. These results generate a priority list of genes and pathways for translational research to reduce albuminuria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11576-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6739370PMC
September 2019

Insulin Resistance Exacerbates Genetic Predisposition to Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Individuals Without Diabetes.

Hepatol Commun 2019 Jul 18;3(7):894-907. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

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

The accumulation of excess fat in the liver (hepatic steatosis) in the absence of heavy alcohol consumption causes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which has become a global epidemic. Identifying metabolic risk factors that interact with the genetic risk of NAFLD is important for reducing disease burden. We tested whether serum glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), and waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI interact with genetic variants in or near the patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 () gene, the glucokinase regulatory protein () gene, the neurocan/transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 () gene and the lysophospholipase-like 1 () gene to exacerbate hepatic steatosis, estimated by liver attenuation. We performed association analyses in 10 population-based cohorts separately and then meta-analyzed results in up to 14,751 individuals (11,870 of European ancestry and 2,881 of African ancestry). We found that rs738409 significantly interacted with insulin, insulin resistance, BMI, glucose, and TG to increase hepatic steatosis in nondiabetic individuals carrying the G allele. Additionally, rs780094 significantly interacted with insulin, insulin resistance, and TG. Conditional analyses using the two largest European ancestry cohorts in the study showed that insulin levels accounted for most of the interaction of rs738409 with BMI, glucose, and TG in nondiabetic individuals. Insulin, -rs738409, and their interaction accounted for at least 8% of the variance in hepatic steatosis in these two cohorts. Insulin resistance, either directly or through the resultant elevated insulin levels, more than other metabolic traits, appears to amplify the -rs738409-G genetic risk for hepatic steatosis. Improving insulin resistance in nondiabetic individuals carrying rs738409-G may preferentially decrease hepatic steatosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep4.1353DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6601321PMC
July 2019
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