PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of wtpaEurope PMCEurope PMC Funders GroupSubmit a Manuscript
 
Nat Genet. Author manuscript; available in PMC Aug 1, 2012.
Published in final edited form as:
PMCID: PMC3272375
UKMSID: UKMS37119
META-ANALYSIS OF GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION STUDIES IDENTIFIES THREE NEW RISK LOCI FOR ATOPIC DERMATITIS
Lavinia Paternoster,1,75 Marie Standl,2,75 Chih-Mei Chen,3 Adaikalavan Ramasamy,4,5,6 Klaus Bønnelykke,7 Liesbeth Duijts,8,9,10 Manuel A Ferreira,11 Alexessander Couto Alves,5 Jacob P Thyssen,12 Eva Albrecht,13 Hansjörg Baurecht,14,15,16 Bjarke Feenstra,17 Patrick MA Sleiman,18 Pirro Hysi,19 Nicole M Warrington,20 Ivan Curjuric,21,22 Ronny Myhre,23 John A Curtin,24 Maria M Groen-Blokhuis,25 Marjan Kerkhof,26 Annika Sääf,27 Andre Franke,28 David Ellinghaus,28 Regina Fölster-Holst,29 Emmanouil Dermitzakis,30,31 Stephen B Montgomery,30,31 Holger Prokisch,32,33 Katharina Heim,33 Anna-Liisa Hartikainen,34 Anneli Pouta,34,35 Juha Pekkanen,36 Alexandra IF Blakemore,37 Jessica L Buxton,37 Marika Kaakinen,38 David L Duffy,11 Pamela A Madden,39 Andrew C Heath,39 Grant W Montgomery,11 Philip J Thompson,40 Melanie C Matheson,41 Peter Le Souëf,42 AAGC collaborators,43 Beate St Pourcain,44 George Davey Smith,1 John Henderson,44 John P Kemp,1 Nicholas J Timpson,1 Panos Deloukas,31 Susan M Ring,44 H-Erich Wichmann,2,45,46 Martina Müller-Nurasyid,13,47,48 Natalija Novak,49 Norman Klopp,50 Elke Rodríguez,14,15 Wendy McArdle,51 Allan Linneberg,52 Torkil Menné,12 Ellen A Nohr,53 Albert Hofman,8,9 André G Uitterlinden,8,9,54 Cornélia M van Duijn,9 Fernando Rivadeneira,8,9,54 Johan C de Jongste,10 Ralf JP van der Valk,8,9,10 Matthias Wjst,55 Rain Jogi,56 Frank Geller,17 Heather A Boyd,17 Jeffrey C Murray,57 Cecilia Kim,18 Frank Mentch,18 Michael March,18 Massimo Mangino,19 Tim D Spector,19 Veronique Bataille,19 Craig E Pennell,20 Patrick G Holt,58 Peter Sly,59 Carla MT Tiesler,2,60 Elisabeth Thiering,2 Thomas Illig,50 Medea Imboden,21,22 Wenche Nystad,61 Angela Simpson,24 Jouke-Jan Hottenga,25 Dirkje Postma,62 Gerard H Koppelman,63 Henriette A Smit,64 Cilla Söderhäll,65 Bo Chawes,7 Eskil Kreiner-Møller,7 Hans Bisgaard,7 Erik Melén,27,66 Dorret I Boomsma,25 Adnan Custovic,24 Bo Jacobsson,23,67 Nicole M Probst-Hensch,21,22 Lyle J Palmer,68 Daniel Glass,19 Hakon Hakonarson,18,69 Mads Melbye,17 Deborah L Jarvis,4 Vincent WV Jaddoe,8,9,70 Christian Gieger,13 The GOYA consortium,71 David P Strachan,72 Nicholas G Martin,11 Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin,5,73,74 Joachim Heinrich,2,76 David M Evans,1,76 and Stephan Weidinger29,76, for the EArly Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology (EAGLE) Consortium
1MRC CAiTE centre, School of Social & Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
2Institute of Epidemiology I, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany
3Hannover Medical School, Department for Paediatric Pneumology, Allergy and Neonatology, Hannover, Germany
4Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
5Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
6Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Kings College London, Guy’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom
7COPSAC, Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood; Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen & Copenhagen University Hospital, Gentofte, Denmark
8The Generation R Study Group, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
9Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
10Department of Pediatrics, Division of Respiratory Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
11Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia
12National Allergy Research Centre, Department of Dermato-Allergology, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
13Institute of Genetic Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany
14Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
15ZAUM-Center for Allergy and Environment, Helmholtz-Zentrum and Technische Universität, Munich, Germany
16Graduate School of Information Science in Health, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
17Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark
18The Center for Applied Genomics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA
19Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London
20School of Women’s and Infants’ Health, The University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia
21Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (SwissTPH), Basel, Switzerland
22University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
23Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Department of Genes and Environment, Division of Epidemiology, Oslo, Norway
24The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, NIHR Translational Research Facility in Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
25Department of Biological Psychology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
26Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, GRIAC research institute, Groningen, The Netherlands
27Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
28Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Kiel, Germany
29Department of Dermatology, Allergology, and Venerology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany
30Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva Medical School, Geneva, 1211 Switzerland
31Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom
32Institute of Human Genetics, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
33Institute of Human Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany
34Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oulu
35Department of Children, Young People and Families, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland
36Department of Environmental Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Kuopio, Finland
37School of Public Health, Imperial College London
38Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
39Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, United States
40Lung Institute of Western Australia (WA) and Centre for Asthma, Allergy and Respiratory Research, University of WA, Perth, Australia
41Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic Epidemiology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
42School of Paediatrics and Child Health, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Australia
43Australian Asthma Genetics Consortium, a full list of collaborators is included in the Supplementary Note.
44The School of Social & Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
45Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Chair of Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
46Klinikum Grosshadern, Munich, Germany
47Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Chair of Epidemiology and Chair of Genetic Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
48Department of Medicine I, University Hospital Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany
49Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University of Bonn Medical Center, Bonn, Germany
50Unit for Molecular Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany
51University of Bristol, ALSPAC Laboratory, School of Social & Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
52Research Center for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Denmark
53Institute of Public Health, Aarhus University, Denmark
54Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
55Comprehensive Pneumology Center and Institute of Lung Biology and Disease, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany
56Lung Clinic, Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia
57Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA
58Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and Centre for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia
59Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute; University of Queensland; WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on Children’s Environmental Health, Queensland, Australia
60Division of Metabolic Diseases and Nutritional Medicine, Dr von Hauner Children’s Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Munich, Germany
61Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, Oslo, Norway
62Department of Pulmonology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
63Dpt of Pediatric Pulmonology and Pediatric Allergology, Beatrix Children ’s Hospital, GRIAC research institute, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
64Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands
65Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
66Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
67Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, Sweden
68Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto; University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
69Department of Pediatric, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
70Department of Pediatrics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
71The Genetics of Overweight Young Adults consortium, list of members in Supplementary Note
72Division of Population Health Sciences and Education, St George’s, University of London, London, UK
73Institute of Health Sciences, Biocenter, University of Oulu, Finland
74National Institute of Health and Welfare, Finland
75These authors contributed equally to this work.
76These authors jointly directed this work.
Corresponding Author: Lavinia Paternoster, MRC CaiTE centre, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Oakfield Road, Oakfield Grove, Bristol, BS8 2BN, UK, l.paternoster/at/bristol.ac.uk, Telephone: +44 (0)117 3310135
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic skin disease with high heritability. Apart from filaggrin (FLG), the genes influencing AD are largely unknown. We conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 5,606 cases and 20,565 controls from 16 population-based cohorts and followed up the ten most strongly associated novel markers in a further 5,419 cases and 19,833 controls from 14 studies. Three SNPs met genome-wide significance in the discovery and replication cohorts combined: rs479844 upstream of OVOL1 (OR=0.88, p=1.1×10−13) and rs2164983 near ACTL9 (OR=1.16, p=7.1×10−9), genes which have been implicated in epidermal proliferation and differentiation, as well as rs2897442 in KIF3A within the cytokine cluster on 5q31.1 (OR=1.11, p=3.8×10−8). We also replicated the FLG locus and two recently identified association signals at 11q13.5 (rs7927894, p=0.008) and 20q13.3 (rs6010620, p=0.002). Our results underline the importance of both epidermal barrier function and immune dysregulation in AD pathogenesis.
Atopic dermatitis (AD), or eczema, is one of the most common chronic inflammatory skin diseases with prevalence rates of up to 20% in children and 3% in adults. It commonly starts during infancy and frequently precedes or co-occurs with food allergy, asthma and rhinitis1 . AD shows a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations and is characterized by dry skin, intense pruritus, and a typical age-related distribution of inflammatory lesions with frequent bacterial and viral superinfections1. Profound alterations in skin barrier function and immunologic abnormalities are considered key components affecting the development and severity of AD, but the exact cellular and molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood1 .
There is substantial evidence in support of a strong genetic component in AD; however, knowledge on the genetic susceptibility to AD is rather limited2,3. So far, only null mutations in the epidermal structural protein filaggrin gene (FLG) have been established as major risk factors4,5 .
The only genome-wide association study (GWAS) on AD in European populations so far identified a novel susceptibility locus on 11q13.5, downstream of C11orf306. A recent second GWAS in a Chinese Han population identified two novel loci, one of which also showed evidence for association in a German sample (rs6010620, 20q13.33)7. In a collaborative effort to unravel additional risk genes for AD, we conducted a well powered two-staged genome-wide association meta-analysis in The EArly Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology (EAGLE) Consortium.
In the discovery analysis of 5,606 AD cases and 20,565 controls from 16 population-based cohorts of European descent (Supplementary Tables 1,2) there was little evidence for population stratification at study level (λGC<=1.08) or at the meta-analysis level (λGC=1.02), but an excess of association signals beyond those expected by chance (Supplementary Figs.1,2).
SNPs from two regions reached genome-wide significance in the discovery meta-analysis (Fig.1; Supplementary Table 3): rs7000782 (8q21.13, ZBTB10, OR=1.14, p=1.6×10−8) and rs9050 (1q21.3, TCHH, OR=1.33, p=1.9×10−8). Given the proximity of rs9050 to the well-established AD susceptibility gene FLG4,5, we evaluated whether the observed association was due to linkage disequilibrium (LD) with FLG mutations. Despite low correlation between rs9050 and the two most prevalent FLG mutations (in ALSPAC (The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children): r2=0.257 for R501X, r2=0.001 for 2282del4) and high levels of recombination (peak of 20cM/Mb at ~150.4Mb in HapMap) between the TCHH and FLG regions, in a meta-analysis across eight studies conditional on the two FLG mutations, rs9050 was no longer associated with AD (OR=0.98, p=0.88) (Supplementary Fig.3) and was therefore not investigated further. rs9050 might tag a far-reaching haplotype on which the FLG null mutations occur, but we cannot exclude that there are additional AD risk variants in this complex region.
Figure 1
Figure 1
Manhattan plot for the discovery genome-wide association meta-analysis of atopic dermatitis
The 11q13.5 locus previously reported to be associated in the only other European GWAS on AD to date6 was confirmed in our meta-analysis (rs7927894 p=0.008, OR=1.07, 95%CI 1.02-1.12) (Supplementary Fig.4). So was the variant rs6010620 reported in a recent Chinese GWAS7 (p=0.002, OR=1.09, 95%CI 1.03-1.15).
Of the 15 loci reported to be associated with asthma or total serum IgE levels in a recent GWAS8, two showed suggestive evidence for association with AD (IL13:rs1295686, p=0.0008 and rs20541, p=0.0007; STAT6:rs167769 p=0.0379) (Supplementary Table 4).
After excluding the rs9050 SNP, we attempted to replicate the remaining 10 most strongly associated loci (P<10−5 in discovery, Table 1; Supplementary Table 3; Fig.2; Supplementary Fig.5) in 5,419 cases and 19,833 controls from 14 studies (Supplementary Tables 1,2). Three of the ten SNPs showed significant association after conservative Bonferroni correction (p<0.05/10=0.005) in the replication meta-analysis (and same direction of effect as the discovery meta-analysis): rs479844 near OVOL1, rs2164983 near ACTL9, and rs2897442 in intron 8 of KIF3A (Table 1; Fig. 2). All three SNPs reached genome-wide significance in the combined meta-analysis of discovery and replication sets: rs479844 (p=1.1×10−13, OR=0.88), rs2164983 (p=7.1×10−9, OR=1.16) and rs2897442 (p=3.8×10−8, OR=1.11). In contrast, rs7000782, which had reached genome-wide significance in the discovery analysis, showed no evidence of association in replication (p=0.296). There was no evidence of interactions between the three replicated SNPs (Supplementary Table 5).
Table 1
Table 1
Discovery and replication results of the loci associated with atopic dermatitis
Figure 2
Figure 2
Figure 2
Figure 2
Forest plots for the association of (a) rs479844, (b) rs2164983 and (c) rs2894772 with atopic dermatitis
rs479844 (at 11q13.1) is located <3kb upstream of OVOL1. The pattern of LD is complex at this locus, but there is low recombination between rs479844 and this gene in Europeans (Supplementary Fig.2). OVOL1 belongs to a highly conserved family of genes involved in the regulation of the development and differentiation of epithelial tissues and germ cells9-11 . It acts as a c-Myc repressor in keratinocytes, is activated by the β-catenin-LEF1 complex during epidermal differentiation, and represents a downstream target of Wg/Wnt and TGF-β/BMP7-Smad4 developmental signaling pathways10,12,13. Apart from their role in the organogenesis of skin and skin appendages14,15, these pathways are also implicated in the postnatal regulation of epidermal proliferation and differentiation16-18. Disruption of OVOL1 in mice leads to keratinocyte hyperproliferation, hair shaft abnormalities, kidney cysts, and defective spermatogenesis10,11. In addition, OVOL1 regulates loricrin expression thereby preventing premature terminal differentiation10. Thus, it might be speculated whether variation at this locus influences epidermal proliferation and/or differentiation, which is known to be disturbed in AD. Analysis of transcript levels of all genes within 500 kb of rs479844 (OVOL1) in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from 949 ALSPAC individuals revealed a significant association between rs479844 and a nearby hypothetical protein DKFZp761E198 (p=7×10−5). Likewise, analysis of SNP-transcript pairs in the MuTHER (Multiple Tissue Human Expression Resource) skin genome-wide expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) pilot database of 160 samples19 provided suggestive evidence for an association in the same direction with DKFZp761E198 in one of the twin sets (Supplementary Fig.6). Further investigations are needed to clarify if the causal variant(s) at this locus exerts its effect through this transcript.
rs2164983 (at 19p13.2) is located in an intergenic region 70kb upstream of ADAMTS10 and 18kb downstream of ACTL9 (encoding a hypothetical protein). ADAMTS are a group of complex secreted zinc-dependent metalloproteinases, which bind to and cleave extracellular matrix components, and are involved in connective tissue remodelling and extracellular matrix turnover20,21. Actin proteins have well-characterized cytoskeletal functions, are important for the maintenance of epithelial morphology and cell migration, and have also been implicated in nuclear activities22-24. The low recombination between rs2164983 and ACTL9 and recombination peak between rs2164983 and ADAMTS10 in CEU HapMap individuals (Supplementary Fig.2) suggests the functional variant may be located within the ACTL9 region. There was no evidence for association between this SNP and any expression level of genes within 500kb in the ALSPAC LCL eQTL analysis, nor the MuTHER skin eQTL data (Supplementary Fig.6).
rs2897442 is located in intron 8 of KIF3A, which encodes a subunit of kinesin-II complex, required for the assembly of primary cilia, essential for Hedgehog signaling and implicated in β-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling to induce expression of a variety of genes that influence proliferation and apoptosis25,26. Of note, KIF3A is located in the 5q31 region, which is characterized by a complex LD pattern and contains a cluster of cytokine and immune-related genes, and has been linked to several autoimmune or inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis27,28, Crohn’s disease29,30, and asthma
8,29,31 (Supplementary Table 4). In particular, distinct functional IL13 variants have been associated with asthma susceptibility32. Although rs2897442 is within the KIF3A gene, there is little recombination between this region and IL4 (interleukin 4). But there does appear to be a recombination peak between this region and IL13 (Supplementary Fig.7a). However, a secondary signal also appears to be present in the IL13/RAD50 region, and when conditioning on rs2897442 in our discovery meta-analysis, the signal in the IL13/RAD50 region remains, providing evidence of two independent signals (Supplementary Fig.7b). In an attempt to refine the association at this locus further, we analysed Immunochip data from 1,553 German AD cases and 3,640 population controls, 767 and 983 of which were part of the replication stage. The Immunochip is a custom content Illumina iSelect array focusing on autoimmune disorders, and offers an increased resolution at 5q31. In the population tested, the strongest signal was seen for the IL13 SNP rs848 (p=1.93×10−10), which is in high LD with the functional IL13 variant rs20541 (r2=0.979, D’=0.995). Further significant signals were observed for a cluster of tightly linked variants in IL4 (lead SNP rs66913936, p= 2.58×10−8) and KIF3A (rs2897442, p=8.84×10−7) (Supplementary Tables 6,7; Supplementary Fig.8). While rs2897442 showed only weak LD with rs848 (r2=0.160, D’=0.483), it was strongly correlated with rs66913936 (r2=0.858, D’=0.982). Likewise, pair-wise genotype-conditioned analyses showed that the significant association of rs2897442 with AD was abolished upon conditioning on rs66913936, whereas there was a remaining signal after conditioning on rs848 (Supplementary Tables 6,7). Analysis of LCL expression levels of all genes within 500kb of rs2897442 in ALSPAC revealed a modest association between rs2897442 and IL13 transcript levels (p=2.7×10−3). No associations with any transcript levels within 500kb of the proxy variant rs2299009 (r2=1) were seen in the MuTHER skin eQTL data (Supplementary Fig.6). However, this does not exclude a regulatory effect in another tissue or physiological state, involvement of causative variants in LD with these SNPs in long-range control of more distant genes33, or different functional effects such as alternative splicing.
It is well known that genes that participate in the same pathway tend to be adjacent in the human genome and coordinately regulated34. Thus, our results and previous findings suggest that there are distinct effects at this locus, which might be part of a regulatory block. Further efforts including detailed sequencing and functional exploration are necessary to fully explore this locus.
Variants rs2164983, rs1327914 and rs10983837 showed evidence of heterogeneity in the meta-analysis (p<0.01). The overall random effects results for these variants were OR=1.14 (95%CI 1.05 −1.24), p=0.001; OR=1.06 (95%CI 1.00 - 1.13), p=0.058; and OR=1.11 (95%CI 0.98 - 1.20) p=0.155, respectively. Stratified analysis showed that the effects of rs2164983 and rs1327914 were stronger in the childhood AD cohorts (OR=1.23, p=2.9×10−9; OR=1.12, p=2.5×10−4) as compared to those studies that included AD cases of any age (OR=1.17, p=0.002; OR=1.02, p=0.584, p-value for the differences p=0.031 and p=0.028, respectively) (Supplementary Fig.9). This did not fully explain the heterogeneity for rs2164983 (in the childhood only cohorts the p-value for heterogeneity was still p<0.01). COPSAC (Copenhagen Studies on Asthma in Children) is noticeably in the opposite direction and excluding this study gives a heterogeneity p-value of 0.069 (OR=1.17, p=8.1×10−10). However, COPSAC is diagnostically and demographically comparable to the other cohorts and so there is no obvious reason why this cohort should give such a different result. Neither stratification by age of diagnosis nor whether a physician’s diagnosis was a case criterion explained the heterogeneity observed for rs10983837. Stratified analyses also indicated a stronger effect of rs2897442 in studies with a more stringent definition of AD (reported physician’s diagnosis) (OR=1.14, p=7.0×10−9) as compared to studies where AD was defined as self-reported history of AD only (OR=1.05, p=0.119) (Supplementary Fig.9). These observations underline the importance of careful phenotyping and support the claim of distinct disease entities rather than one illness as is reflected by current rather broad and inclusive concepts of AD. It is anticipated that the results of molecular studies will enable a more precise classification of AD.
In summary, in this large-scale GWAS on 11,025 AD cases and 40,398 controls we have identified and replicated two novel AD risk loci near genes which have annotations that suggest a role in epidermal proliferation and differentiation, supporting the importance of abnormalities in skin barrier function in the pathobiology of AD. In addition, we observed a genome-wide significant association signal from within the cytokine cluster on 5q31.1, this appeared to be due to two distinct signals, one centered on RAD50/IL13 and the other on IL4/KIF3A, both of which showed moderate association with IL13 expression. We further observed a signal in the epidermal differentiation complex, representing the FLG locus, and replicated the 11q13.5 variant identified in the only other (smaller) European GWAS on AD published to date. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that AD is caused by both epidermal barrier abnormalities and immunological features. Further studies are needed to identify the causal variants at these loci and to understand the mechanisms through which they confer AD risk.
Supplementary Material
Acknowledgements
The full list of acknowledgements for each study is in the Supplementary Note.
APPENDIX
Methods
Discovery Analysis
For the discovery analysis we used 5,606 AD cases and 20,565 controls of European descent from 16 population-based cohorts, 10 of which were birth cohorts. Details on sample recruitment, phenotypes and summary details for each collection are given in the Supplementary Methods and in Supplementary Table 1. Genome-wide genotyping was performed independently in each cohort with the use of various standard genotyping technologies (see Supplementary Table 2). Each study independently conducted imputation with reference to HapMap release 21 or 22 CEU phased genotypes, and performed association analysis using logistic regression models based on an expected allelic-dosage model for SNPs, adjusting for sex and ancestry-informative principal components, as necessary. SNPs with a minor allele frequency <1% and poor imputation quality (R2<0.3 if using MACH or proper-info<0.4 if using IMPUTE imputation algorithm) were excluded. After genomic control at individual study levels, we combined association data for ~2.5 million imputed and genotyped autosomal SNPs into an inverse-variance fixed-effects additive-model meta-analysis. There was little evidence for population stratification at study level (λGC<=1.08, Supplementary Table 2) or at the meta-analysis level (λGC=1.02), and the quantile-quantile (Q-Q) plot of the meta-statistic showed a marked excess of detectable association signals well beyond those expected by chance (Supplementary Fig.1).
Replication Analysis
For replication we selected the most strongly associated SNPs from the 10 most strongly associated loci in the discovery meta-analysis (all were P < 10−5 in stage 1, Table 1). These SNPs were analysed using in silico data from 11 GWA sample sets not included in the discovery meta-analysis and additional de novo genotyping in a further 3 studies (Supplementary Tables 1,2), for a maximum possible replication sample size of 5,419 cases and 19,833 controls, all of European descent. Each study again conducted the association analyses using a logistic regression model with similar covariate adjustments, based on expected allelic dosage for the in silico studies and allele counts in the de novo genotyping studies and the results were meta-analysed in Stata 11.1 software (Statacorp LP, Texas, USA). We applied a threshold of p<5×10−8 for genome-wide significance and tested for overall heterogeneity of the discovery and replication studies using the Cochran’s Q-statistic.
Immunochip Analysis Methods
We evaluated 1,553 German AD cases and 3,640 German population controls. Cases were obtained from German university hospitals (Technical University Munich as part of the GENEVA study, and University of Kiel). AD was diagnosed on the basis of a skin examination by experienced dermatologists according to standard criteria in the presence of chronic or chronically relapsing pruritic dermatitis with the typical morphology and distribution6. Controls were derived from the KORA population-based surveys35 and the previously described population-based Popgen Biobank36. 767 of the cases and 983 of the controls were also part of the replication stage. Samples with > 10% missing data, individuals from each pair of unexpected duplicates or relatives, as well as individuals with outlier heterozygosities of ±5 s.d. away from the mean were excluded. The remaining Immunochip samples were tested for population stratification using the principal components stratification method, as implemented in EIGENSTRAT37. The results of principal component analysis revealed no evidence for population stratification. SNPs that had >5% missing data, a minor allele frequency <1% and exact Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium Pcontrols <10−4 were excluded. Association P values were calculated using χ2 tests (d.f. = 1) and conditional association was analyzed using logistic regression both implemented in PLINK38 from where we also derived odds ratios and their respective confidence intervals.
ALSPAC Expression Analysis Methods
997 unrelated ALSPAC individuals for which LCLs had been generated had RNA extracted using Qiagen’s Rneasy extraction kit and amplified using Ambion’s illumina totalprep 96 RNA amplification kit and expression surveyed using the Illumina HT-12 v3 bead arrays. Each individual was run with 2 replicates. Expression data was normalized by quantile normalization between replicates and then median normalization across individuals. 949 ALSPAC individuals had both expression levels and imputed genome-wide SNP data available (see ALSPAC replication cohort genotyping above). For each of the three AD replicated SNPs (rs479844, rs2164983 and rs2897442, we used linear regression in Mach2QTL to investigate the association between each SNP and any transcript within +/− 500kb of the SNP.
Footnotes
Author Contributions
Study level data analysis L Paternoster, M Standl, A Ramasamy, K Bønnelykke, L Duijts, MA Ferreira, AC Alves, JP Thyssen, E Albrecht, H Baurecht, B Feenstra, P Hysi, NM Warrington, I Curjuric, R Myhre, JA Curtin, MM Groen-Blokhuis, M Kerkhof, A Sääf, A Franke, D Ellinghaus, SB Montgomery, BS Pourcain, JP Kemp, NJ Timpson, M Müller-Nurasyid, F Geller, M March, M Mangino, TD Spector, V Bataille, CMT Tiesler, E Thiering, M Imboden, A Simpson, JJ Hottenga, HA Smit, B Chawes, E Kreiner-Møller, E Melén, A Custovic, B Jacobsson, NM Probst-Hensch, D Glass, DL Jarvis, D Strachan
Study design L Paternoster, M Standl, CM Chen, L Duijts, JP Thyssen, B Feenstra, PM Sleiman, M Kerkhof, E Dermitzakis, AL Hartikainen, A Pouta, J Pekkanen, M Kaakinen, GD Smith, J Henderson, HE Wichmann, N Novak, A Linneberg, T Menné, EA Nohr, A Hofman, AG Uitterlinden, CM van Duijn, F Rivadeneira, JC de Jongste, RJ van der Valk, HA Boyd, JC Murray, TD Spector, P Sly, W Nystad, A Simpson, D Postma, GH Koppelman, HA Smit, H Bisgaard, DI Boomsma, A Custovic, NM Probst-Hensch, H Hakonarson, M Melbye, DL Jarvis, VW Jaddoe, C Gieger, MR Jarvelin, J Heinrich, DM Evans, S Weidinger
Writing paper L Paternoster, M Standl, A Ramasamy, K Bønnelykke, J Heinrich, DM Evans, S Weidinger
Data collection K Bønnelykke, L Duijts, JP Thyssen, B Feenstra, R Myhre, M Kerkhof, R Fölster-Holst, E Dermitzakis, SB Montgomery, AL Hartikainen, A Pouta, J Pekkanen, M Kaakinen, DL Duffy, PA Madden, AC Heath, GW Montgomery, PJ Thompson, MC Matheson, PL Souëf, J Henderson, SM Ring, W McArdle, A Linneberg, T Menné, EA Nohr, JC de Jongste, RJ van der Valk, M Wjst, R Jogi, F Geller, HA Boyd, JC Murray, F Mentch, TD Spector, V Bataille, CE Pennell, PG Holt, P Sly, M Imboden, W Nystad, A Simpson, D Postma, GH Koppelman, HA Smit, B Chawes, E Kreiner-Møller, H Bisgaard, E Melén, DI Boomsma, A Custovic, B Jacobsson, NM Probst-Hensch, LJ Palmer, M Melbye, DL Jarvis, VW Jaddoe, NG Martin, MR Jarvelin, J Heinrich, S Weidinger
Genotyping R Myhre, A Franke, AIF Blakemore, JL Buxton, P Deloukas, SM Ring, N Klopp, E Rodríguez, W McArdle, A Linneberg, AG Uitterlinden, F Rivadeneira, M Wjst, C Kim, CE Pennell, T Illig, C Söderhäll, B Jacobsson, LJ Palmer, MR Jarvelin
Revising and reviewing paper L Paternoster, M Standl, CM Chen, A Ramasamy, K Bønnelykke, L Duijts, MA Ferreira, AC Alves, JP Thyssen, E Albrecht, H Baurecht, B Feenstra, PM Sleiman, P Hysi, NM Warrington, I Curjuric, R Myhre, JA Curtin, MM Groen-Blokhuis, M Kerkhof, A Sääf, A Franke, D Ellinghaus, R Fölster-Holst, E Dermitzakis, SB Montgomery, AL Hartikainen, A Pouta, J Pekkanen, AIF Blakemore, JL Buxton, M Kaakinen, DL Duffy, PA Madden, AC Heath, GW Montgomery, PJ Thompson, MC Matheson, PL Souëf, BS Pourcain, GD Smith, J Henderson, JP Kemp, NJ Timpson, P Deloukas, SM Ring, HE Wichmann, M Müller-Nurasyid, N Novak, N Klopp, E Rodríguez, W McArdle, A Linneberg, T Menné, EA Nohr, A Hofman, AG Uitterlinden, CM van Duijn, F Rivadeneira, JC de Jongste, RJ van der Valk, M Wjst, R Jogi, F Geller, HA Boyd, JC Murray, C Kim, F Mentch, M March, M Mangino, TD Spector, V Bataille, CE Pennell, PG Holt, P Sly, CMT Tiesler, E Thiering, T Illig, M Imboden, W Nystad, A Simpson, JJ Hottenga, D Postma, GH Koppelman, HA Smit, C Söderhäll, B Chawes, E Kreiner-Møller, H Bisgaard, E Melén, DI Boomsma, A Custovic, B Jacobsson, NM Probst-Hensch, LJ Palmer, D Glass, H Hakonarson, M Melbye, DL Jarvis, VW Jaddoe, C Gieger, D Strachan, NG Martin, MR Jarvelin, J Heinrich, DM Evans, S Weidinger
1. Bieber T. Atopic dermatitis. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:1483–1494. [PubMed]
2. Brown SJ, McLean WHI. Eczema genetics: current state of knowledge and future goals. J Invest Dermatol. 2009;129:543–552. [PubMed]
3. Morar N, Willis-Owen SAG, Moffatt MF, Cookson WOCM. The genetics of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006;118:24–34. 35–6. [PubMed]
4. Palmer CNA, et al. Common loss-of-function variants of the epidermal barrier protein filaggrin are a major predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis. Nat Genet. 2006;38:441–446. [PubMed]
5. Rodríguez E, et al. Meta-analysis of filaggrin polymorphisms in eczema and asthma: robust risk factors in atopic disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;123:1361–70. e7. [PubMed]
6. Esparza-Gordillo J, et al. A common variant on chromosome 11q13 is associated with atopic dermatitis. Nat Genet. 2009;41:596–601. [PubMed]
7. Sun LD, et al. Genome-wide association study identifies two new susceptibility loci for atopic dermatitis in the Chinese Han population. Nat Genet. 2011;43:690–694. [PubMed]
8. Moffatt MF, et al. A large-scale, consortium-based genomewide association study of asthma. N Engl J Med. 2010;363:1211–1221. [PubMed]
9. Li B, et al. Ovol1 regulates meiotic pachytene progression during spermatogenesis by repressing Id2 expression. Development. 2005;132:1463–1473. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
10. Nair M, et al. Ovol1 regulates the growth arrest of embryonic epidermal progenitor cells and represses c-myc transcription. J Cell Biol. 2006;173:253–264. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
11. Dai X, et al. The ovo gene required for cuticle formation and oogenesis in flies is involved in hair formation and spermatogenesis in mice. Genes Dev. 1998;12:3452–3463. [PubMed]
12. Kowanetz M, Valcourt U, Bergström R, Heldin CH, Moustakas A. Id2 and Id3 define the potency of cell proliferation and differentiation responses to transforming growth factor beta and bone morphogenetic protein. Mol Cell Biol. 2004;24:4241–4254. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
13. Li B, et al. The LEF1/beta -catenin complex activates movo1, a mouse homolog of Drosophila ovo required for epidermal appendage differentiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002;99:6064–6069. [PubMed]
14. Owens P, Han G, Li AG, Wang XJ. The role of Smads in skin development. J Invest Dermatol. 2008;128:783–790. [PubMed]
15. Widelitz RB. Wnt signaling in skin organogenesis. Organogenesis. 2008;4:123–133. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
16. Buschke S, et al. A decisive function of transforming growth factor-?/Smad signaling in tissue morphogenesis and differentiation of human HaCaT keratinocytes. Mol Biol Cell. 2011;22:782–794. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
17. Maganga R, et al. Secreted Frizzled related protein-4 (sFRP4) promotes epidermal differentiation and apoptosis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008;377:606–611. [PubMed]
18. Romanowska M, et al. Wnt5a exhibits layer-specific expression in adult skin, is upregulated in psoriasis, and synergizes with type 1 interferon. PLoS One. 2009;4:e5354. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
19. Nica AC, et al. The architecture of gene regulatory variation across multiple human tissues: the MuTHER study. PLoS Genet. 2011;7:e1002003. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
20. Apte SS. A disintegrin-like and metalloprotease (reprolysin-type) with thrombospondin type 1 motif (ADAMTS) superfamily: functions and mechanisms. J Biol Chem. 2009;284:31493–31497. [PubMed]
21. Porter S, Clark IM, Kevorkian L, Edwards DR. The ADAMTS metalloproteinases. Biochem J. 2005;386:15–27. [PubMed]
22. Pollard TD. The cytoskeleton, cellular motility and the reductionist agenda. Nature. 2003;422:741–745. [PubMed]
23. Pollard TD, Borisy GG. Cellular motility driven by assembly and disassembly of actin filaments. Cell. 2003;112:453–465. [PubMed]
24. Winder SJ. Structural insights into actin-binding, branching and bundling proteins. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003;15:14–22. [PubMed]
25. Goetz SC, Anderson KV. The primary cilium: a signalling centre during vertebrate development. Nat Rev Genet. 2010;11:331–344. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
26. Mosimann C, Hausmann G, Basler K. Beta-catenin hits chro matin: regulation of Wnt target gene activation. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009;10:276–286. [PubMed]
27. Chang M, et al. Variants in the 5q31 cytokine gene cluster are associated with psoriasis. Genes Immun. 2008;9:176–181. [PubMed]
28. Nair RP, et al. Genome-wide scan reveals association of psoriasis with IL -23 and NF-kappaB pathways. Nat Genet. 2009;41:199–204. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
29. Li Y, et al. The 5q31 variants associated with psoriasis and Crohn’s disease are distinct. Hum Mol Genet. 2008;17:2978–2985. [PubMed]
30. Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium Genome-wide association study of 14,000 cases of seven common diseases and 3,000 shared controls. Nature. 2007;447:661–678. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
31. Weidinger S, et al. Genome-wide scan on total serum IgE levels identifies FCER1A as novel susceptibility locus. PLoS Genet. e1000166;4:2008. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
32. Vercelli D. Discovering susceptibility genes for asthma and allergy. Nat Rev Immunol. 2008;8:169–182. [PubMed]
33. Kleinjan DA, van Heyningen V. Long-range control of gene expression: emerging mechanisms and disruption in disease. Am J Hum Genet. 2005;76:8–32. [PubMed]
34. Sproul D, Gilbert N, Bickmore WA. The role of chromatin structure in regulating the expression of clustered genes. Nat Rev Genet. 2005;6:775–781. [PubMed]
35. Holle R, Happich M, Löwel H, Wichmann HE., MONICA/KORA Study Group KORA–a research platform for population based health research. Gesundheitswesen. 2005;67(Suppl 1):S19–S25. [PubMed]
36. Krawczak M, et al. PopGen: population-based recruitment of patients and controls for the analysis of complex genotype-phenotype relationships. Community Genet. 2006;9:55–61. [PubMed]
37. Price A, et al. Principal components analysis corrects for stratification in genome-wide association studies. Nat Genet. 2006;38:904–909. [PubMed]
38. Purcell S, et al. PLINK: a tool set for whole-genome association and population-based linkage analyses. Am J Hum Genet. 2007;81:559–575. [PubMed]