The QT interval, an electrocardiographic measure reflecting myocardial repolarization, is a heritable trait. QT prolongation is a risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD) and could indicate the presence of the potentially lethal Mendelian Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). Using a genome-wide association and replication study in up to 100,000 individuals we identified 35 common variant QT interval loci, that collectively explain ∼8-10% of QT variation and highlight the importance of calcium regulation in myocardial repolarization. Rare variant analysis of 6 novel QT loci in 298 unrelated LQTS probands identified coding variants not found in controls but of uncertain causality and therefore requiring validation. Several newly identified loci encode for proteins that physically interact with other recognized repolarization proteins. Our integration of common variant association, expression and orthogonal protein-protein interaction screens provides new insights into cardiac electrophysiology and identifies novel candidate genes for ventricular arrhythmias, LQTS,and SCD.
genome-wide association study; QT interval; Long QT Syndrome; sudden cardiac death; myocardial repolarization; arrhythmias
Genome wide association studies (GWAS) for fasting glucose (FG) and insulin (FI) have identified common variant signals which explain 4.8% and 1.2% of trait variance, respectively. It is hypothesized that low-frequency and rare variants could contribute substantially to unexplained genetic variance. To test this, we analyzed exome-array data from up to 33,231 non-diabetic individuals of European ancestry. We found exome-wide significant (P<5×10-7) evidence for two loci not previously highlighted by common variant GWAS: GLP1R (p.Ala316Thr, minor allele frequency (MAF)=1.5%) influencing FG levels, and URB2 (p.Glu594Val, MAF = 0.1%) influencing FI levels. Coding variant associations can highlight potential effector genes at (non-coding) GWAS signals. At the G6PC2/ABCB11 locus, we identified multiple coding variants in G6PC2 (p.Val219Leu, p.His177Tyr, and p.Tyr207Ser) influencing FG levels, conditionally independent of each other and the non-coding GWAS signal. In vitro assays demonstrate that these associated coding alleles result in reduced protein abundance via proteasomal degradation, establishing G6PC2 as an effector gene at this locus. Reconciliation of single-variant associations and functional effects was only possible when haplotype phase was considered. In contrast to earlier reports suggesting that, paradoxically, glucose-raising alleles at this locus are protective against type 2 diabetes (T2D), the p.Val219Leu G6PC2 variant displayed a modest but directionally consistent association with T2D risk. Coding variant associations for glycemic traits in GWAS signals highlight PCSK1, RREB1, and ZHX3 as likely effector transcripts. These coding variant association signals do not have a major impact on the trait variance explained, but they do provide valuable biological insights.
Understanding how FI and FG levels are regulated is important because their derangement is a feature of T2D. Despite recent success from GWAS in identifying regions of the genome influencing glycemic traits, collectively these loci explain only a small proportion of trait variance. Unlocking the biological mechanisms driving these associations has been challenging because the vast majority of variants map to non-coding sequence, and the genes through which they exert their impact are largely unknown. In the current study, we sought to increase our understanding of the physiological pathways influencing both traits using exome-array genotyping in up to 33,231 non-diabetic individuals to identify coding variants and consequently genes associated with either FG or FI levels. We identified novel association signals for both traits including the receptor for GLP-1 agonists which are a widely used therapy for T2D. Furthermore, we identified coding variants at several GWAS loci which point to the genes underlying these association signals. Importantly, we found that multiple coding variants in G6PC2 result in a loss of protein function and lower fasting glucose levels.
Forced vital capacity (FVC), a spirometric measure of pulmonary function, reflects lung volume and is used to diagnose and monitor lung diseases. We performed genome-wide association study meta-analysis of FVC in 52,253 individuals from 26 studies and followed up the top associations in 32,917 additional individuals of European ancestry. We found six new regions associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) with FVC in or near EFEMP1, BMP6, MIR-129-2/HSD17B12, PRDM11, WWOX, and KCNJ2. Two (GSTCD and PTCH1) loci previously associated with spirometric measures were related to FVC. Newly implicated regions were followed-up in samples of African American, Korean, Chinese, and Hispanic individuals. We detected transcripts for all six newly implicated genes in human lung tissue. The new loci may inform mechanisms involved in lung development and pathogenesis of restrictive lung disease.
Analyses of circulating metabolites in large prospective epidemiological studies could lead to improved prediction and better biological understanding of coronary heart disease (CHD). We performed a mass spectrometry-based non-targeted metabolomics study for association with incident CHD events in 1,028 individuals (131 events; 10 y. median follow-up) with validation in 1,670 individuals (282 events; 3.9 y. median follow-up). Four metabolites were replicated and independent of main cardiovascular risk factors [lysophosphatidylcholine 18∶1 (hazard ratio [HR] per standard deviation [SD] increment = 0.77, P-value<0.001), lysophosphatidylcholine 18∶2 (HR = 0.81, P-value<0.001), monoglyceride 18∶2 (MG 18∶2; HR = 1.18, P-value = 0.011) and sphingomyelin 28∶1 (HR = 0.85, P-value = 0.015)]. Together they contributed to moderate improvements in discrimination and re-classification in addition to traditional risk factors (C-statistic: 0.76 vs. 0.75; NRI: 9.2%). MG 18∶2 was associated with CHD independently of triglycerides. Lysophosphatidylcholines were negatively associated with body mass index, C-reactive protein and with less evidence of subclinical cardiovascular disease in additional 970 participants; a reverse pattern was observed for MG 18∶2. MG 18∶2 showed an enrichment (P-value = 0.002) of significant associations with CHD-associated SNPs (P-value = 1.2×10−7 for association with rs964184 in the ZNF259/APOA5 region) and a weak, but positive causal effect (odds ratio = 1.05 per SD increment in MG 18∶2, P-value = 0.05) on CHD, as suggested by Mendelian randomization analysis. In conclusion, we identified four lipid-related metabolites with evidence for clinical utility, as well as a causal role in CHD development.
Non-targeted metabolomic profiling of large population-based studies has become feasible only in the past 1–2 years and this hypothesis-free exploration of the metabolome holds a great potential to fuel the discovery of novel biomarkers for coronary heart disease (CHD). Such biomarkers are not only important for risk stratification and treatment decisions, but can also improve understanding of cardiovascular disease pathophysiology to identify new drug targets. In this study, we investigated the metabolic profiles of more than 3,600 individuals from three population-based studies, and discovered four metabolites that are consistently associated with incident CHD. We integrate genetic and metabolomic analysis to delineate the underlying biological mechanisms and evaluate potential causal effects of the novel biomarkers. Specifically, we found one metabolite to be strongly associated with single nucleotides polymorphisms previously reported for association with CHD, and consistent with a potential causal role in CHD development, as suggested by Mendelian randomization analysis.
We aimed to validate genetic variants as instruments for insulin resistance and secretion, to characterise their association with intermediate phenotypes, and to investigate their role in T2D risk among normal-weight, overweight and obese individuals.We investigated the association of genetic scores with euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp- and OGTT-based measures of insulin resistance and secretion, and a range of metabolic measures in up to 18,565 individuals. We also studied their association with T2D risk among normal-weight, overweight and obese individuals in up to 8,124 incident T2D cases. The insulin resistance score was associated with lower insulin sensitivity measured by M/I value (β in SDs-per-allele [95%CI]:−0.03[−0.04,−0.01];p=0.004). This score was associated with lower BMI (−0.01[−0.01,−0.0;p=0.02) and gluteofemoral fat-mass (−0.03[−0.05,−0.02;p=1.4×10−6), and with higher ALT (0.02[0.01,0.03];p=0.002) and gamma-GT (0.02[0.01,0.03];p=0.001). While the secretion score had a stronger association with T2D in leaner individuals (pinteraction=0.001), we saw no difference in the association of the insulin resistance score with T2D among BMI- or waist-strata(pinteraction>0.31). While insulin resistance is often considered secondary to obesity, the association of the insulin resistance score with lower BMI and adiposity and with incident T2D even among individuals of normal weight highlights the role of insulin resistance and ectopic fat distribution in T2D, independently of body size.
Genetics; type 2 diabetes; insulin resistance; insulin secretion; adipose expandability
Adiponectin is strongly inversely associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, but its causal role remains controversial. We used a Mendelian randomization approach to test the hypothesis that adiponectin causally influences insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We used genetic variants at the ADIPOQ gene as instruments to calculate a regression slope between adiponectin levels and metabolic traits (up to 31,000 individuals) and a combination of instrumental variables and summary statistics–based genetic risk scores to test the associations with gold-standard measures of insulin sensitivity (2,969 individuals) and type 2 diabetes (15,960 case subjects and 64,731 control subjects). In conventional regression analyses, a 1-SD decrease in adiponectin levels was correlated with a 0.31-SD (95% CI 0.26–0.35) increase in fasting insulin, a 0.34-SD (0.30–0.38) decrease in insulin sensitivity, and a type 2 diabetes odds ratio (OR) of 1.75 (1.47–2.13). The instrumental variable analysis revealed no evidence of a causal association between genetically lower circulating adiponectin and higher fasting insulin (0.02 SD; 95% CI −0.07 to 0.11; N = 29,771), nominal evidence of a causal relationship with lower insulin sensitivity (−0.20 SD; 95% CI −0.38 to −0.02; N = 1,860), and no evidence of a relationship with type 2 diabetes (OR 0.94; 95% CI 0.75–1.19; N = 2,777 case subjects and 13,011 control subjects). Using the ADIPOQ summary statistics genetic risk scores, we found no evidence of an association between adiponectin-lowering alleles and insulin sensitivity (effect per weighted adiponectin-lowering allele: −0.03 SD; 95% CI −0.07 to 0.01; N = 2,969) or type 2 diabetes (OR per weighted adiponectin-lowering allele: 0.99; 95% CI 0.95–1.04; 15,960 case subjects vs. 64,731 control subjects). These results do not provide any consistent evidence that interventions aimed at increasing adiponectin levels will improve insulin sensitivity or risk of type 2 diabetes.
Growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is a stress-responsive cytokine produced in cardiovascular cells under conditions of inflammation and oxidative stress, and is emerging as an important prognostic marker in individuals with and without existing cardiovascular disease. Thus, we examined the clinical and genetic correlates of circulating GDF-15 levels, which have not been collectively investigated.
A total of 2,991 participants of the Framingham Offspring Study free of clinically overt cardiovascular disease underwent measurement of plasma GDF-15 levels (mean age 59 years, 56% women). Clinical correlates of GDF-15 were examined in multivariable analyses. A genome-wide association study of GDF-15 levels was then conducted, including participants of the Framingham Offspring Study and the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study.
GDF-15 was positively associated with age, smoking, antihypertensive treatment, diabetes, worse kidney function, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, but it was negatively associated with total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Clinical correlates accounted for 38% of inter-individual variation in circulating GDF-15, whereas genetic factors account for up to 38% of residual variability (h2=0.38; P=2.5 × 10−11). We identified one genome-wide significant locus, which included the GDF15 gene, on chromosome 19p13.11 associated with GDF-15 concentrations (smallest P=2.74−32 for rs888663). Conditional analyses revealed two independent association signals at this locus (rs888663 and rs1054564), which were associated with altered cis-gene expression in blood cell lines.
In ambulatory individuals, both cardiometabolic risk factors and genetic factors play an important role in determining circulating GDF-15 concentrations, and contribute similarly to overall variation.
Epidemiology; Genetics; Risk factors; Cardiovascular diseases
Background: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are compounds that are generated through various industrial activities and released in the surrounding environment. Different animal studies have shown effects of different POPs on various inflammatory markers.
Objective: Because very few studies have been conducted in humans, we assessed the associations between different POPs and inflammatory markers in a large population-based sample of elderly men and women (all 70 years of age) from Sweden.
Methods: This cross-sectional study investigated the concentrations of several polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin, and brominated diphenyl ether congeners and their association with a number of inflammatory markers [vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), E-selectin, C-reactive protein (CRP), total leucocyte count, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), and interleukin 6 (IL-6)] in 992 individuals. These individuals were recruited from the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) cohort. We used a total toxic equivalency (TEQ) value that measures toxicological effects with the relative potencies of various POPs.
Results: Following adjustment for potential confounders, the TEQ value (driven mainly by PCB-126) was significantly associated with levels of ICAM-1 (p < 10–5). A similar trend was also observed between sum of PCBs and VCAM-1 (p < 0.001). No significant associations were observed between levels of POPs and other inflammatory markers.
Conclusions: TEQ values were associated with levels of ICAM-1, to a lesser degree also with VCAM-1, but not with CRP and several other inflammatory markers. These findings suggest an activation of vascular adhesion molecules by POPs, and particularly by PCB-126.
Citation: Kumar J, Lind PM, Salihovic S, van Bavel B, Ingelsson E, Lind L. 2014. Persistent organic pollutants and inflammatory markers in a cross-sectional study of elderly Swedish people: The PIVUS cohort. Environ Health Perspect 122:977–983; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307613
We analyzed temporal trends in the incidence of myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke in Sweden by socioeconomic position and investigated whether social inequalities in incidence of these diseases changed over time.
Materials and Methods
We studied a cohort of almost three million Swedish residents born between 1932 and 1960 followed from 1987 until 2010. Incident cases of myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke were identified in the Swedish National Inpatient Register and Cause of Death Register. Socioeconomic position was retrieved from the Population and Housing Censuses. Incidence rates of myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke and incidence rate ratios comparing levels of socioeconomic position were estimated using flexible parametric survival models adjusted for calendar year, attained age, sex, and birth country.
The overall incidences of myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke decreased over time among men, but were stable over time among women. With regard to ischemic stroke incidence, socioeconomic inequality increased over time in the age group 55 to 59: the incidence rate ratios for low manual compared to high non-manual increased from 1.3 (95% CI: 1.2–1.4) in 1997 to 1.5 (1.4–1.7) in 2010 among men, and from 1.4 (1.3–1.6) in 1997 to 2.1 (1.8–2.5) in 2010 among women. The socioeconomic inequality in incidence of myocardial infarction was stable over time for both men and women.
There was a decrease in myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke incidence over time among men but no significant change for women. Our study highlights existing, and in some cases increasing, social inequalities in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.
Increased circulating cathepsin S levels have been linked to increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases and cancer. However, whether cathepsin S is a modifiable risk factor is unclear. We aimed to investigate the effects of a prudent diet on plasma cathepsin S levels in healthy individuals.
Explorative analyses of a randomized study were performed in 88 normal to slightly overweight and hyperlipidemic men and women (aged 25 to 65) that were randomly assigned to ad libitum prudent diet, i.e. healthy Nordic diet (ND) or a control group (habitual Western diet) for 6 weeks. Whereas all foods in the ND were provided, the control group was advised to consume their habitual diet throughout the study. The ND was in line with dietary recommendations, e.g. low in saturated fats, sugars and salt, but high in plant-based foods rich in fibre and unsaturated fats.
The ND significantly decreased cathepsin S levels (from 20.1 (+/-4.0 SD) to 19.7 μg/L (+/-4.3 SD)) compared with control group (from 18.2 (+/-2.9 SD) to 19.1 μg/L (+/-3.8 SD)). This difference remained after adjusting for sex and change in insulin sensitivity (P = 0.03), and near significant after adjusting for baseline cathepsin S levels (P = 0.06), but not for change in weight or LDL-C. Changes in cathepsin S levels were directly correlated with change in LDL-C.
Compared with a habitual control diet, a provided ad libitum healthy Nordic diet decreased cathepsin S levels in healthy individuals, possibly mediated by weight loss or lowered LDL-C. These differences between groups in cathepsin S were however not robust and therefore need further investigation.
Nordic prudent diet; Cathepsin S; Weight loss; Cardiometabolic risk factors
Variation in plasma levels of cortisol, an essential hormone in the stress response, is associated in population-based studies with cardio-metabolic, inflammatory and neuro-cognitive traits and diseases. Heritability of plasma cortisol is estimated at 30–60% but no common genetic contribution has been identified. The CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) consortium undertook genome wide association meta-analysis for plasma cortisol in 12,597 Caucasian participants, replicated in 2,795 participants. The results indicate that <1% of variance in plasma cortisol is accounted for by genetic variation in a single region of chromosome 14. This locus spans SERPINA6, encoding corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG, the major cortisol-binding protein in plasma), and SERPINA1, encoding α1-antitrypsin (which inhibits cleavage of the reactive centre loop that releases cortisol from CBG). Three partially independent signals were identified within the region, represented by common SNPs; detailed biochemical investigation in a nested sub-cohort showed all these SNPs were associated with variation in total cortisol binding activity in plasma, but some variants influenced total CBG concentrations while the top hit (rs12589136) influenced the immunoreactivity of the reactive centre loop of CBG. Exome chip and 1000 Genomes imputation analysis of this locus in the CROATIA-Korcula cohort identified missense mutations in SERPINA6 and SERPINA1 that did not account for the effects of common variants. These findings reveal a novel common genetic source of variation in binding of cortisol by CBG, and reinforce the key role of CBG in determining plasma cortisol levels. In turn this genetic variation may contribute to cortisol-associated degenerative diseases.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone from the adrenal glands that is essential in the response to stress. Most cortisol in blood is bound to corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG). Diseases causing cortisol deficiency (Addison's disease) or excess (Cushing's syndrome) are life-threatening. Variations in plasma cortisol have been associated with cardiovascular and psychiatric diseases and their risk factors. To dissect the genetic contribution to variation in plasma cortisol, we formed the CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) consortium and recruited collaborators with suitable samples from more than 15,000 people. The results reveal that the major genetic influence on plasma cortisol is mediated by variations in the binding capacity of CBG. This is determined by differences in the circulating concentrations of CBG and also in the immunoreactivity of its ‘reactive centre loop’, potentially influencing not only binding affinity for cortisol but also the stability of CBG and hence the tissue delivery of cortisol. These findings provide the first evidence for a common genetic effect on levels of this clinically important hormone, suggest that differences in CBG between individuals are biologically important, and pave the way for further research to dissect causality in the associations of plasma cortisol with common diseases.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci influencing cross-sectional lung function, but less is known about genes influencing longitudinal change in lung function.
We performed GWAS of the rate of change in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) in 14 longitudinal, population-based cohort studies comprising 27,249 adults of European ancestry using linear mixed effects model and combined cohort-specific results using fixed effect meta-analysis to identify novel genetic loci associated with longitudinal change in lung function. Gene expression analyses were subsequently performed for identified genetic loci. As a secondary aim, we estimated the mean rate of decline in FEV1 by smoking pattern, irrespective of genotypes, across these 14 studies using meta-analysis.
The overall meta-analysis produced suggestive evidence for association at the novel IL16/STARD5/TMC3 locus on chromosome 15 (P = 5.71 × 10-7). In addition, meta-analysis using the five cohorts with ≥3 FEV1 measurements per participant identified the novel ME3 locus on chromosome 11 (P = 2.18 × 10-8) at genome-wide significance. Neither locus was associated with FEV1 decline in two additional cohort studies. We confirmed gene expression of IL16, STARD5, and ME3 in multiple lung tissues. Publicly available microarray data confirmed differential expression of all three genes in lung samples from COPD patients compared with controls. Irrespective of genotypes, the combined estimate for FEV1 decline was 26.9, 29.2 and 35.7 mL/year in never, former, and persistent smokers, respectively.
In this large-scale GWAS, we identified two novel genetic loci in association with the rate of change in FEV1 that harbor candidate genes with biologically plausible functional links to lung function.
Loss-of-function mutations protective against human disease provide in vivo validation of therapeutic targets1,2,3, yet none are described for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Through sequencing or genotyping ~150,000 individuals across five ethnicities, we identified 12 rare protein-truncating variants in SLC30A8, which encodes an islet zinc transporter (ZnT8)4 and harbors a common variant (p.Trp325Arg) associated with T2D risk, glucose, and proinsulin levels5–7. Collectively, protein-truncating variant carriers had 65% reduced T2D risk (p=1.7×10−6), and non-diabetic Icelandic carriers of a frameshift variant (p.Lys34SerfsX50) demonstrated reduced glucose levels (−0.17 s.d., p=4.6×10−4). The two most common protein-truncating variants (p.Arg138X and p.Lys34SerfsX50) individually associate with T2D protection and encode unstable ZnT8 proteins. Previous functional study of SLC30A8 suggested reduced zinc transport increases T2D risk8,9, yet phenotypic heterogeneity was observed in rodent Slc30a8 knockouts10–15. Contrastingly, loss-of-function mutations in humans provide strong evidence that SLC30A8 haploinsufficiency protects against T2D, proposing ZnT8 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in T2D prevention.
The cardiorenal syndrome, the detrimental bi-directional interplay between symptomatic heart failure and chronic kidney disease, is a major clinical challenge. Nonetheless, it is unknown if this interplay begins already at an asymptomatic stage. Therefore we investigated whether the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is associated with left ventricular function in participants free from clinical heart failure and with a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) >40% and with pre-specified sub-group analyses in individuals with a GFR >60 mL/min/m2.
Two independent community-based cohorts were used; the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS; n = 911; 50% women; mean age: 70 years) and the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM; n = 538; mean age: 71 years). We investigated cross-sectional association between cystatin C-based GFR (estimated glomerular function [eGFR]) and systolic (LVEF), diastolic- (isovolumic relaxation time [IVRT]) and global left ventricular function (myocardial performance index [MPI]) determined by echocardiography.
In both PIVUS and ULSAM, higher eGFR was significantly associated with higher LVEF (P = 0.004 [PIVUS] and P = 0.005 [ULSAM]). In PIVUS, higher eGFR was significantly associated with lower IVRT (P = 0.001) and MPI (P = 0.006), in age- and sex-adjusted models. After further adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, the association between higher eGFR and higher LVEF was still statistically significant (P = 0.008 [PIVUS] and P = 0.02 [ULSAM]). In PIVUS, the age- and sex-adjusted association between eGFR and left ventricular function was similar in participants with eGFR >60 mL/min/m2.
Our data suggest that the interplay between kidney and heart function begins prior to the development of symptomatic heart failure and kidney disease.
chronic kidney disease; cystatin C; glomerular filtration rate; left ventricular dysfunction; heart failure
Elevated resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 181,171 individuals, we identified 14 new loci associated with heart rate and confirmed associations with all 7 previously established loci. Experimental downregulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio identified 20 genes at 11 loci that are relevant for heart rate regulation and highlight a role for genes involved in signal transmission, embryonic cardiac development and the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death. In addition, genetic susceptibility to increased heart rate is associated with altered cardiac conduction and reduced risk of sick sinus syndrome, and both heart rate–increasing and heart rate–decreasing variants associate with risk of atrial fibrillation. Our findings provide fresh insights into the mechanisms regulating heart rate and identify new therapeutic targets.
The gene encoding sortilin receptor 1 (SORL1) has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease risk. We examined 15 SORL1 variants and SNP-set risk scores in relation to longitudinal verbal, spatial, memory and perceptual speed performance, testing for age trends and sex-specific effects. Altogether, 1609 individuals from three population-based Swedish twin studies were assessed up to five times across 16 years. Controlling for APOE, multiple simple and sex-moderated associations were observed for spatial, episodic memory and verbal trajectories (p = 1.25E-03 to p = 4.83E-02). Five variants (rs11600875, rs753780, rs7105365, rs11820794, rs2070045) were associated across domains. Notably, in those homozygous for rs2070045 risk alleles, males demonstrated initially favorable performance but accelerating declines, while females showed overall lower performance. SNP-set risk scores predicted spatial (Card Rotations, p = 5.92E-03) and episodic memory trajectories (Thurstone Picture Memory, p = 3.34E-02), where higher risk scores benefitted men’s versus women’s performance up to age 75 but with accelerating declines. SORL1 is associated with cognitive aging, and may contribute differentially to change in men and women.
cognitive decline; SORL1 association; sortilin receptor 1; SNP set risk scores; sex differences; aging
Since human CYP2B6 has been identified as the major CYP enzyme involved in the metabolism of 2,2’,4,4’-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) and that human 2B6 is a highly polymorphic CYP, with known functional variants, we evaluated if circulating concentrations of a major brominated flame retardant, BDE-47, were related to genetic variation in the CYP2B6 gene in a population sample.
In the population-based Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study (men and women all aged 70), 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CYP2B6 gene were genotyped. Circulating concentrations of BDE-47 were analyzed by high-resolution gas chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC/ HRMS).
Several SNPs in the CYP2B6 gene were associated with circulating concentrations of BDE-47 (P = 10-4 to 10-9). The investigated SNPs came primarily from two haplotypes, although the correlation between the haplotypes was rather high. Conditional analyses adjusting for the SNP with the strongest association with the exposure (rs2014141) did not provide evidence for independent signals.
Circulating concentrations of BDE-47 were related to genetic variation in the CYP2B6 gene in an elderly population.
2,2’,4,4’-tetrabromodiphenyl ether; BDE-47; CYP; Elderly; Epidemiology; Gene; SNP
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable, risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,578 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5×10−8, including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian, and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipids are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio, and body mass index. Our results illustrate the value of genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestries and provide insights into biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological, and therapeutic research.
Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiologic studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P<5×10−8 for each) to examine the role of triglycerides on risk for CAD. First, we highlight loci associated with both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, and show that the direction and magnitude of both are factors in determining CAD risk. Second, we consider loci with only a strong magnitude of association with triglycerides and show that these loci are also associated with CAD. Finally, in a model accounting for effects on LDL-C and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a polymorphism's strength of effect on triglycerides is correlated with the magnitude of its effect on CAD risk. These results suggest that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins causally influence risk for CAD.
Variants in the growth factor receptor-bound protein 10 (GRB10) gene were in a GWAS meta-analysis associated with reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) if inherited from the father, but inexplicably reduced fasting glucose when inherited from the mother. GRB10 is a negative regulator of insulin signaling and imprinted in a parent-of-origin fashion in different tissues. GRB10 knock-down in human pancreatic islets showed reduced insulin and glucagon secretion, which together with changes in insulin sensitivity may explain the paradoxical reduction of glucose despite a decrease in insulin secretion. Together, these findings suggest that tissue-specific methylation and possibly imprinting of GRB10 can influence glucose metabolism and contribute to T2D pathogenesis. The data also emphasize the need in genetic studies to consider whether risk alleles are inherited from the mother or the father.
In this paper, we report the first large genome-wide association study in man for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) indices during an oral glucose tolerance test. We identify seven genetic loci and provide effects on GSIS for all previously reported glycemic traits and obesity genetic loci in a large-scale sample. We observe paradoxical effects of genetic variants in the growth factor receptor-bound protein 10 (GRB10) gene yielding both reduced GSIS and reduced fasting plasma glucose concentrations, specifically showing a parent-of-origin effect of GRB10 on lower fasting plasma glucose and enhanced insulin sensitivity for maternal and elevated glucose and decreased insulin sensitivity for paternal transmissions of the risk allele. We also observe tissue-specific differences in DNA methylation and allelic imbalance in expression of GRB10 in human pancreatic islets. We further disrupt GRB10 by shRNA in human islets, showing reduction of both insulin and glucagon expression and secretion. In conclusion, we provide evidence for complex regulation of GRB10 in human islets. Our data suggest that tissue-specific methylation and imprinting of GRB10 can influence glucose metabolism and contribute to T2D pathogenesis. The data also emphasize the need in genetic studies to consider whether risk alleles are inherited from the mother or the father.
Approaches exploiting extremes of the trait distribution may reveal novel loci for common traits, but it is unknown whether such loci are generalizable to the general population. In a genome-wide search for loci associated with upper vs. lower 5th percentiles of body mass index, height and waist-hip ratio, as well as clinical classes of obesity including up to 263,407 European individuals, we identified four new loci (IGFBP4, H6PD, RSRC1, PPP2R2A) influencing height detected in the tails and seven new loci (HNF4G, RPTOR, GNAT2, MRPS33P4, ADCY9, HS6ST3, ZZZ3) for clinical classes of obesity. Further, we show that there is large overlap in terms of genetic structure and distribution of variants between traits based on extremes and the general population and little etiologic heterogeneity between obesity subgroups.
The adipocyte-secreted protein adiponectin is associated with insulin sensitivity in observational studies. We aimed to evaluate whether this relationship is causal using a Mendelian randomization approach. In a sample of Swedish men aged 71 years (n = 942) from the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM), insulin sensitivity (M/I ratio) was measured by the euglycemic insulin clamp. We used three genetic variants in the ADIPOQ locus as instrumental variables (IVs) to estimate the potential causal effect of adiponectin on insulin sensitivity and compared these with results from conventional linear regression. The three ADIPOQ variants, rs17300539, rs3774261, and rs6444175, were strongly associated with serum adiponectin levels (all P ≤ 5.3 × 10−9) and were also significantly associated with M/I ratio in the expected direction (all P ≤ 0.022). IV analysis confirmed that genetically determined adiponectin increased insulin sensitivity (β = 0.47–0.81, all P ≤ 0.014) comparable with observational estimates (β = 0.50, all Pdifference ≥ 0.136). Adjustment for BMI and waist circumference partly explained the association of both genetically determined and observed adiponectin levels with insulin sensitivity. The observed association between higher adiponectin levels and increased insulin sensitivity is likely to represent a causal relationship partly mediated by reduced adiposity.
Whether loci that influence fasting glucose (FG) and fasting insulin (FI) levels, as identified by genome-wide association studies, modify associations of diet with FG or FI is unknown. We utilized data from 15 US and European cohort studies comprising 51,289 persons without diabetes to test whether genotype and diet interact to influence FG or FI concentration. We constructed a diet score using study-specific quartile rankings for intakes of whole grains, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts/seeds (favorable) and red/processed meats, sweets, sugared beverages, and fried potatoes (unfavorable). We used linear regression within studies, followed by inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis, to quantify 1) associations of diet score with FG and FI levels and 2) interactions of diet score with 16 FG-associated loci and 2 FI-associated loci. Diet score (per unit increase) was inversely associated with FG (β = −0.004 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval: −0.005, −0.003) and FI (β = −0.008 ln-pmol/L, 95% confidence interval: −0.009, −0.007) levels after adjustment for demographic factors, lifestyle, and body mass index. Genotype variation at the studied loci did not modify these associations. Healthier diets were associated with lower FG and FI concentrations regardless of genotype at previously replicated FG- and FI-associated loci. Studies focusing on genomic regions that do not yield highly statistically significant associations from main-effect genome-wide association studies may be more fruitful in identifying diet-gene interactions.
diabetes; dietary pattern; gene-environment interaction; glucose; insulin
To investigate associations between serum cathepsin S, impaired insulin sensitivity, defective insulin secretion, and diabetes risk in a community-based sample of elderly men without diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Serum cathepsin S, insulin sensitivity (euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp), and insulin secretion (early insulin response during an oral glucose tolerance test) were measured in 905 participants of the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (mean age, 71 years). Thirty participants developed diabetes during 6 years of follow-up.
After adjustment for age, anthropometric variables, and inflammatory markers, higher cathepsin S was associated with decreased insulin sensitivity (regression coefficient per SD increase −0.09 [95% CI −0.14 to −0.04], P = 0.001), but no association with early insulin response was found. Moreover, higher cathepsin S was associated with a higher risk for developing diabetes (odds ratio per SD increase 1.48 [1.08–2.01], P = 0.01).
Cathepsin S activity appears to be involved in the early dysregulation of glucose and insulin metabolism.
The length of female reproductive lifespan is associated with multiple adverse outcomes, including breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and infertility. The biological processes that govern the timing of the beginning and end of reproductive life are not well understood. Genetic variants are known to contribute to ∼50% of the variation in both age at menarche and menopause, but to date the known genes explain <15% of the genetic component. We have used genome-wide association in a bivariate meta-analysis of both traits to identify genes involved in determining reproductive lifespan. We observed significant genetic correlation between the two traits using genome-wide complex trait analysis. However, we found no robust statistical evidence for individual variants with an effect on both traits. A novel association with age at menopause was detected for a variant rs1800932 in the mismatch repair gene MSH6 (P = 1.9 × 10−9), which was also associated with altered expression levels of MSH6 mRNA in multiple tissues. This study contributes to the growing evidence that DNA repair processes play a key role in ovarian ageing and could be an important therapeutic target for infertility.