Am J Hum Genet 2014 Feb;94(2):223-32
Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02118, USA; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study, Framingham, MA 01702, USA. Electronic address:
Low-frequency coding DNA sequence variants in the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 gene (PCSK9) lower plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), protect against risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and have prompted the development of a new class of therapeutics. It is uncertain whether the PCSK9 example represents a paradigm or an isolated exception. We used the "Exome Array" to genotype >200,000 low-frequency and rare coding sequence variants across the genome in 56,538 individuals (42,208 European ancestry [EA] and 14,330 African ancestry [AA]) and tested these variants for association with LDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides. Although we did not identify new genes associated with LDL-C, we did identify four low-frequency (frequencies between 0.1% and 2%) variants (ANGPTL8 rs145464906 [c.361C>T; p.Gln121*], PAFAH1B2 rs186808413 [c.482C>T; p.Ser161Leu], COL18A1 rs114139997 [c.331G>A; p.Gly111Arg], and PCSK7 rs142953140 [c.1511G>A; p.Arg504His]) with large effects on HDL-C and/or triglycerides. None of these four variants was associated with risk for CHD, suggesting that examples of low-frequency coding variants with robust effects on both lipids and CHD will be limited.