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1.  Directional dominance on stature and cognition in diverse human populations 
Joshi, Peter K. | Esko, Tonu | Mattsson, Hannele | Eklund, Niina | Gandin, Ilaria | Nutile, Teresa | Jackson, Anne U. | Schurmann, Claudia | Smith, Albert V. | Zhang, Weihua | Okada, Yukinori | Stančáková, Alena | Faul, Jessica D. | Zhao, Wei | Bartz, Traci M. | Concas, Maria Pina | Franceschini, Nora | Enroth, Stefan | Vitart, Veronique | Trompet, Stella | Guo, Xiuqing | Chasman, Daniel I. | O’Connel, Jeffery R. | Corre, Tanguy | Nongmaithem, Suraj S. | Chen, Yuning | Mangino, Massimo | Ruggiero, Daniela | Traglia, Michela | Farmaki, Aliki-Eleni | Kacprowski, Tim | Bjonnes, Andrew | van der Spek, Ashley | Wu, Ying | Giri, Anil K. | Yanek, Lisa R. | Wang, Lihua | Hofer, Edith | Rietveld, Cornelius A. | McLeod, Olga | Cornelis, Marilyn C. | Pattaro, Cristian | Verweij, Niek | Baumbach, Clemens | Abdellaoui, Abdel | Warren, Helen R. | Vuckovic, Dragana | Mei, Hao | Bouchard, Claude | Perry, John R.B. | Cappellani, Stefania | Mirza, Saira S. | Benton, Miles C. | Broeckel, Ulrich | Medland, Sarah E. | Lind, Penelope A. | Malerba, Giovanni | Drong, Alexander | Yengo, Loic | Bielak, Lawrence F. | Zhi, Degui | van der Most, Peter J. | Shriner, Daniel | Mägi, Reedik | Hemani, Gibran | Karaderi, Tugce | Wang, Zhaoming | Liu, Tian | Demuth, Ilja | Zhao, Jing Hua | Meng, Weihua | Lataniotis, Lazaros | van der Laan, Sander W. | Bradfield, Jonathan P. | Wood, Andrew R. | Bonnefond, Amelie | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S. | Hall, Leanne M. | Salvi, Erika | Yazar, Seyhan | Carstensen, Lisbeth | de Haan, Hugoline G. | Abney, Mark | Afzal, Uzma | Allison, Matthew A. | Amin, Najaf | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | Bakker, Stephan J.L. | Barr, R. Graham | Baumeister, Sebastian E. | Benjamin, Daniel J. | Bergmann, Sven | Boerwinkle, Eric | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Campbell, Archie | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chan, Yingleong | Chanock, Stephen J. | Chen, Constance | Chen, Y.-D. Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Connell, John | Correa, Adolfo | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Smith, George Davey | Davies, Gail | Dörr, Marcus | Ehret, Georg | Ellis, Stephen B. | Feenstra, Bjarke | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ford, Ian | Fox, Caroline S. | Frayling, Timothy M. | Friedrich, Nele | Geller, Frank | Scotland, Generation | Gillham-Nasenya, Irina | Gottesman, Omri | Graff, Misa | Grodstein, Francine | Gu, Charles | Haley, Chris | Hammond, Christopher J. | Harris, Sarah E. | Harris, Tamara B. | Hastie, Nicholas D. | Heard-Costa, Nancy L. | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hocking, Lynne J. | Homuth, Georg | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Huang, Jinyan | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Hysi, Pirro G. | Ikram, M. Arfan | Ingelsson, Erik | Joensuu, Anni | Johansson, Åsa | Jousilahti, Pekka | Jukema, J. Wouter | Kähönen, Mika | Kamatani, Yoichiro | Kanoni, Stavroula | Kerr, Shona M. | Khan, Nazir M. | Koellinger, Philipp | Koistinen, Heikki A. | Kooner, Manraj K. | Kubo, Michiaki | Kuusisto, Johanna | Lahti, Jari | Launer, Lenore J. | Lea, Rodney A. | Lehne, Benjamin | Lehtimäki, Terho | Liewald, David C.M. | Lind, Lars | Loh, Marie | Lokki, Marja-Liisa | London, Stephanie J. | Loomis, Stephanie J. | Loukola, Anu | Lu, Yingchang | Lumley, Thomas | Lundqvist, Annamari | Männistö, Satu | Marques-Vidal, Pedro | Masciullo, Corrado | Matchan, Angela | Mathias, Rasika A. | Matsuda, Koichi | Meigs, James B. | Meisinger, Christa | Meitinger, Thomas | Menni, Cristina | Mentch, Frank D. | Mihailov, Evelin | Milani, Lili | Montasser, May E. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Morrison, Alanna | Myers, Richard H. | Nadukuru, Rajiv | Navarro, Pau | Nelis, Mari | Nieminen, Markku S. | Nolte, Ilja M. | O’Connor, George T. | Ogunniyi, Adesola | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Palmas, Walter R. | Pankow, James S. | Patarcic, Inga | Pavani, Francesca | Peyser, Patricia A. | Pietilainen, Kirsi | Poulter, Neil | Prokopenko, Inga | Ralhan, Sarju | Redmond, Paul | Rich, Stephen S. | Rissanen, Harri | Robino, Antonietta | Rose, Lynda M. | Rose, Richard | Sala, Cinzia | Salako, Babatunde | Salomaa, Veikko | Sarin, Antti-Pekka | Saxena, Richa | Schmidt, Helena | Scott, Laura J. | Scott, William R. | Sennblad, Bengt | Seshadri, Sudha | Sever, Peter | Shrestha, Smeeta | Smith, Blair H. | Smith, Jennifer A. | Soranzo, Nicole | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Southam, Lorraine | Stanton, Alice V. | Stathopoulou, Maria G. | Strauch, Konstantin | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Suderman, Matthew J. | Tandon, Nikhil | Tang, Sian-Tsun | Taylor, Kent D. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Töglhofer, Anna Maria | Tomaszewski, Maciej | Tšernikova, Natalia | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Vaidya, Dhananjay | van Hylckama Vlieg, Astrid | van Setten, Jessica | Vasankari, Tuula | Vedantam, Sailaja | Vlachopoulou, Efthymia | Vozzi, Diego | Vuoksimaa, Eero | Waldenberger, Melanie | Ware, Erin B. | Wentworth-Shields, William | Whitfield, John B. | Wild, Sarah | Willemsen, Gonneke | Yajnik, Chittaranjan S. | Yao, Jie | Zaza, Gianluigi | Zhu, Xiaofeng | Project, The BioBank Japan | Salem, Rany M. | Melbye, Mads | Bisgaard, Hans | Samani, Nilesh J. | Cusi, Daniele | Mackey, David A. | Cooper, Richard S. | Froguel, Philippe | Pasterkamp, Gerard | Grant, Struan F.A. | Hakonarson, Hakon | Ferrucci, Luigi | Scott, Robert A. | Morris, Andrew D. | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Dedoussis, George | Deloukas, Panos | Bertram, Lars | Lindenberger, Ulman | Berndt, Sonja I. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Tönjes, Anke | Munroe, Patricia B. | Sørensen, Thorkild I.A. | Rotimi, Charles N. | Arnett, Donna K. | Oldehinkel, Albertine J. | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Balkau, Beverley | Gambaro, Giovanni | Morris, Andrew P. | Eriksson, Johan G. | Wright, Margie J. | Martin, Nicholas G. | Hunt, Steven C. | Starr, John M. | Deary, Ian J. | Griffiths, Lyn R. | Tiemeier, Henning | Pirastu, Nicola | Kaprio, Jaakko | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Pérusse, Louis | Wilson, James G. | Girotto, Giorgia | Caulfield, Mark J. | Raitakari, Olli | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Gieger, Christian | van der Harst, Pim | Hicks, Andrew A. | Kraft, Peter | Sinisalo, Juha | Knekt, Paul | Johannesson, Magnus | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Hamsten, Anders | Schmidt, Reinhold | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Vartiainen, Erkki | Becker, Diane M. | Bharadwaj, Dwaipayan | Mohlke, Karen L. | Boehnke, Michael | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Teumer, Alexander | Zeggini, Eleftheria | Metspalu, Andres | Gasparini, Paolo | Ulivi, Sheila | Ober, Carole | Toniolo, Daniela | Rudan, Igor | Porteous, David J. | Ciullo, Marina | Spector, Tim D. | Hayward, Caroline | Dupuis, Josée | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Wright, Alan F. | Chandak, Giriraj R. | Vollenweider, Peter | Shuldiner, Alan | Ridker, Paul M. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Sattar, Naveed | Gyllensten, Ulf | North, Kari E. | Pirastu, Mario | Psaty, Bruce M. | Weir, David R. | Laakso, Markku | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Takahashi, Atsushi | Chambers, John C. | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Strachan, David P. | Campbell, Harry | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Perola, Markus | Polašek, Ozren | Wilson, James F.
Nature  2015;523(7561):459-462.
Homozygosity has long been associated with rare, often devastating, Mendelian disorders1 and Darwin was one of the first to recognise that inbreeding reduces evolutionary fitness2. However, the effect of the more distant parental relatedness common in modern human populations is less well understood. Genomic data now allow us to investigate the effects of homozygosity on traits of public health importance by observing contiguous homozygous segments (runs of homozygosity, ROH), which are inferred to be homozygous along their complete length. Given the low levels of genome-wide homozygosity prevalent in most human populations, information is required on very large numbers of people to provide sufficient power3,4. Here we use ROH to study 16 health-related quantitative traits in 354,224 individuals from 102 cohorts and find statistically significant associations between summed runs of homozygosity (SROH) and four complex traits: height, forced expiratory lung volume in 1 second (FEV1), general cognitive ability (g) and educational attainment (nominal p<1 × 10−300, 2.1 × 10−6, 2.5 × 10−10, 1.8 × 10−10). In each case increased homozygosity was associated with decreased trait value, equivalent to the offspring of first cousins being 1.2 cm shorter and having 10 months less education. Similar effect sizes were found across four continental groups and populations with different degrees of genome-wide homozygosity, providing convincing evidence for the first time that homozygosity, rather than confounding, directly contributes to phenotypic variance. Contrary to earlier reports in substantially smaller samples5,6, no evidence was seen of an influence of genome-wide homozygosity on blood pressure and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or ten other cardio-metabolic traits. Since directional dominance is predicted for traits under directional evolutionary selection7, this study provides evidence that increased stature and cognitive function have been positively selected in human evolution, whereas many important risk factors for late-onset complex diseases may not have been.
doi:10.1038/nature14618
PMCID: PMC4516141  PMID: 26131930
2.  Corrigendum: Novel loci affecting iron homeostasis and their effects in individuals at risk for hemochromatosis 
Nature communications  2015;6:6542.
doi:10.1038/ncomms7542
PMCID: PMC5183534  PMID: 25817829
3.  Brief Report: Genetics of Alcoholic Cirrhosis—GenomALC Multinational Study 
Background
The risk of alcohol‐related liver cirrhosis increases with increasing alcohol consumption, but many people with very high intake escape from liver disease. We postulate that susceptibility to alcoholic cirrhosis has a complex genetic component and propose that this can be dissected through a large and sufficiently powered genomewide association study (GWAS).
Methods
The GenomALC Consortium comprises researchers from Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States, with a joint aim of exploring the genetic and genomic basis of alcoholic cirrhosis. For this National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism funded study, we are recruiting high‐risk drinkers who are either cases (with alcoholic cirrhosis) or controls (drinking comparable amounts over similar time, but free of significant liver disease). Extensive phenotypic data are obtained using semistructured interviews and patient records, and blood samples are collected.
Results
We have successfully recruited 859 participants including 538 matched case–control samples as of September 2014, using study‐specific inclusion–exclusion criteria and data collection protocols. Of these, 580 are cases (442 men and 138 women) and 279 are controls (205 men and 74 women). Duration of excessive drinking was slightly greater in cases than controls and was significantly less in women than men. Cases had significantly lower lifetime alcohol intake than controls. Both cases and controls had a high prevalence of reported parental alcohol problems, but cases were significantly more likely to report that a father with alcohol problems had died from liver disease (odds ratio 2.53, 95% confidence interval 1.31 to 4.87, p = 0.0055).
Conclusions
Recruitment of participants for a GWAS of alcoholic cirrhosis has proved feasible across countries with multiple sites. Affected patients often consume less alcohol than unaffected ones, emphasizing the existence of individual vulnerability factors. Cases are more likely to report liver disease in a father with alcohol problems than controls, consistent with a potential genetic component to the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis.
doi:10.1111/acer.12693
PMCID: PMC4398999  PMID: 25872595
Alcoholic Liver Disease; Genomewide Association; Cirrhosis; Genetic Risk Factors; High‐Risk Drinkers
4.  Genetic associations at 53 loci highlight cell types and biological pathways relevant for kidney function 
Pattaro, Cristian | Teumer, Alexander | Gorski, Mathias | Chu, Audrey Y. | Li, Man | Mijatovic, Vladan | Garnaas, Maija | Tin, Adrienne | Sorice, Rossella | Li, Yong | Taliun, Daniel | Olden, Matthias | Foster, Meredith | Yang, Qiong | Chen, Ming-Huei | Pers, Tune H. | Johnson, Andrew D. | Ko, Yi-An | Fuchsberger, Christian | Tayo, Bamidele | Nalls, Michael | Feitosa, Mary F. | Isaacs, Aaron | Dehghan, Abbas | d’Adamo, Pio | Adeyemo, Adebowale | Dieffenbach, Aida Karina | Zonderman, Alan B. | Nolte, Ilja M. | van der Most, Peter J. | Wright, Alan F. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Morrison, Alanna C. | Hofman, Albert | Smith, Albert V. | Dreisbach, Albert W. | Franke, Andre | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Metspalu, Andres | Tonjes, Anke | Lupo, Antonio | Robino, Antonietta | Johansson, Åsa | Demirkan, Ayse | Kollerits, Barbara | Freedman, Barry I. | Ponte, Belen | Oostra, Ben A. | Paulweber, Bernhard | Krämer, Bernhard K. | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Buckley, Brendan M. | Peralta, Carmen A. | Hayward, Caroline | Helmer, Catherine | Rotimi, Charles N. | Shaffer, Christian M. | Müller, Christian | Sala, Cinzia | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Saint-Pierre, Aude | Ackermann, Daniel | Shriner, Daniel | Ruggiero, Daniela | Toniolo, Daniela | Lu, Yingchang | Cusi, Daniele | Czamara, Darina | Ellinghaus, David | Siscovick, David S. | Ruderfer, Douglas | Gieger, Christian | Grallert, Harald | Rochtchina, Elena | Atkinson, Elizabeth J. | Holliday, Elizabeth G. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Salvi, Erika | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Murgia, Federico | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Ernst, Florian | Kronenberg, Florian | Hu, Frank B. | Navis, Gerjan J. | Curhan, Gary C. | Ehret, George B. | Homuth, Georg | Coassin, Stefan | Thun, Gian-Andri | Pistis, Giorgio | Gambaro, Giovanni | Malerba, Giovanni | Montgomery, Grant W. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Jacobs, Gunnar | Li, Guo | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Campbell, Harry | Schmidt, Helena | Wallaschofski, Henri | Völzke, Henry | Brenner, Hermann | Kroemer, Heyo K. | Kramer, Holly | Lin, Honghuang | Leach, I. Mateo | Ford, Ian | Guessous, Idris | Rudan, Igor | Prokopenko, Inga | Borecki, Ingrid | Heid, Iris M. | Kolcic, Ivana | Persico, Ivana | Jukema, J. Wouter | Wilson, James F. | Felix, Janine F. | Divers, Jasmin | Lambert, Jean-Charles | Stafford, Jeanette M. | Gaspoz, Jean-Michel | Smith, Jennifer A. | Faul, Jessica D. | Wang, Jie Jin | Ding, Jingzhong | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Attia, John | Whitfield, John B. | Chalmers, John | Viikari, Jorma | Coresh, Josef | Denny, Joshua C. | Karjalainen, Juha | Fernandes, Jyotika K. | Endlich, Karlhans | Butterbach, Katja | Keene, Keith L. | Lohman, Kurt | Portas, Laura | Launer, Lenore J. | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Yengo, Loic | Franke, Lude | Ferrucci, Luigi | Rose, Lynda M. | Kedenko, Lyudmyla | Rao, Madhumathi | Struchalin, Maksim | Kleber, Marcus E. | Cavalieri, Margherita | Haun, Margot | Cornelis, Marilyn C. | Ciullo, Marina | Pirastu, Mario | de Andrade, Mariza | McEvoy, Mark A. | Woodward, Mark | Adam, Martin | Cocca, Massimiliano | Nauck, Matthias | Imboden, Medea | Waldenberger, Melanie | Pruijm, Menno | Metzger, Marie | Stumvoll, Michael | Evans, Michele K. | Sale, Michele M. | Kähönen, Mika | Boban, Mladen | Bochud, Murielle | Rheinberger, Myriam | Verweij, Niek | Bouatia-Naji, Nabila | Martin, Nicholas G. | Hastie, Nick | Probst-Hensch, Nicole | Soranzo, Nicole | Devuyst, Olivier | Raitakari, Olli | Gottesman, Omri | Franco, Oscar H | Polasek, Ozren | Gasparini, Paolo | Munroe, Patricia B. | Ridker, Paul M. | Mitchell, Paul | Muntner, Paul | Meisinger, Christa | Smit, Johannes H. | Kovacs, Peter | Wild, Philipp S. | Froguel, Philippe | Rettig, Rainer | Magi, Reedik | Biffar, Reiner | Schmidt, Reinhold | Middelberg, Rita PS | Carroll, Robert J. | Penninx, Brenda W. | Scott, Rodney J. | Katz, Ronit | Sedaghat, Sanaz | Wild, Sarah H. | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Ulivi, Sheila | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Enroth, Stefan | Kloiber, Stefan | Trompet, Stella | Stengel, Benedicte | Hancock, Stephen J. | Turner, Stephen T. | Rosas, Sylvia E. | Stracke, Sylvia | Harris, Tamara B. | Zeller, Tanja | Zemunik, Tatijana | Lehtimäki, Terho | Illig, Thomas | Aspelund, Thor | Nikopensius, Tiit | Esko, Tonu | Tanaka, Toshiko | Gyllensten, Ulf | Völker, Uwe | Emilsson, Valur | Vitart, Veronique | Aalto, Ville | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Chouraki, Vincent | Chen, Wei-Min | Igl, Wilmar | März, Winfried | Koenig, Wolfgang | Lieb, Wolfgang | Loos, Ruth J. F. | Liu, Yongmei | Snieder, Harold | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Parsa, Afshin | O’Connell, Jeffrey R. | Susztak, Katalin | Hamet, Pavel | Tremblay, Johanne | de Boer, Ian H. | Böger, Carsten A. | Goessling, Wolfram | Chasman, Daniel I. | Köttgen, Anna | Kao, WH Linda | Fox, Caroline S.
Nature communications  2016;7:10023.
Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, nineteen associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biologic pathways.
doi:10.1038/ncomms10023
PMCID: PMC4735748  PMID: 26831199
5.  Genome-wide association study of blood lead shows multiple associations near ALAD 
Human Molecular Genetics  2015;24(13):3871-3879.
Exposure to high levels of environmental lead, or biomarker evidence of high body lead content, is associated with anaemia, developmental and neurological deficits in children, and increased mortality in adults. Adverse effects of lead still occur despite substantial reduction in environmental exposure. There is genetic variation between individuals in blood lead concentration but the polymorphisms contributing to this have not been defined. We measured blood or erythrocyte lead content, and carried out genome-wide association analysis, on population-based cohorts of adult volunteers from Australia and UK (N = 5433). Samples from Australia were collected in two studies, in 1993–1996 and 2002–2005 and from UK in 1991–1992. One locus, at ALAD on chromosome 9, showed consistent association with blood lead across countries and evidence for multiple independent allelic effects. The most significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs1805313 (P = 3.91 × 10−14 for lead concentration in a meta-analysis of all data), is known to have effects on ALAD expression in blood cells but other SNPs affecting ALAD expression did not affect blood lead. Variants at 12 other loci, including ABO, showed suggestive associations (5 × 10−6 > P > 5 × 10−8). Identification of genetic polymorphisms affecting blood lead reinforces the view that genetic factors, as well as environmental ones, are important in determining blood lead levels. The ways in which ALAD variation affects lead uptake or distribution are still to be determined.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddv112
PMCID: PMC4459389  PMID: 25820613
6.  Brief Report: Genetics of Alcoholic Cirrhosis - GenomALC multinational Study 
Background
The risk of alcohol-related liver cirrhosis increases with increasing alcohol consumption, but many people with very high intake escape liver disease. We postulate that susceptibility to alcoholic cirrhosis has a complex genetic component, and propose that this can be dissected through a large and sufficiently-powered genome-wide association study (GWAS).
Methods
The GenomALC Consortium comprises researchers from Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States, with a joint aim of exploring the genetic and genomic basis of alcoholic cirrhosis. For this NIH/NIAAA funded study, we are recruiting high-risk drinkers who are either cases (with alcoholic cirrhosis) or controls (drinking comparable amounts over similar time, but free of significant liver disease). Extensive phenotypic data are obtained using semi-structured interviews and patient records, and blood samples are collected.
Results
We have successfully recruited 859 participants including 538 matched case-control samples as of September 2014, using study specific inclusion-exclusion criteria and data collection protocols. Of these, 580 are cases (442 men, 138 women) and 279 are controls (205 men, 74 women). Duration of excessive drinking was slightly greater in cases than controls and was significantly less in women than men. Cases had significantly lower lifetime alcohol intake than controls. Both cases and controls had a high prevalence of reported parental alcohol problems, but cases were significantly more likely to report that a father with alcohol problems had died from liver disease (Odds Ratio 2.53, 95% CI 1.31–4.87, p = 0.0055).
Conclusions
Recruitment of participants for a GWAS of alcoholic cirrhosis has proved feasible across countries with multiple sites. Affected patients often consume less alcohol than unaffected ones, emphasising the existence of individual vulnerability factors. Cases are more likely to report liver disease in a father with alcohol problems than controls, consistent with a potential genetic component to the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis.
doi:10.1111/acer.12693
PMCID: PMC4398999  PMID: 25872595
alcoholic liver disease; genome wide association; cirrhosis; genetic risk factors; high-risk drinkers
7.  Age- and Sex-Specific Causal Effects of Adiposity on Cardiovascular Risk Factors 
Fall, Tove | Hägg, Sara | Ploner, Alexander | Mägi, Reedik | Fischer, Krista | Draisma, Harmen H.M. | Sarin, Antti-Pekka | Benyamin, Beben | Ladenvall, Claes | Åkerlund, Mikael | Kals, Mart | Esko, Tõnu | Nelson, Christopher P. | Kaakinen, Marika | Huikari, Ville | Mangino, Massimo | Meirhaeghe, Aline | Kristiansson, Kati | Nuotio, Marja-Liisa | Kobl, Michael | Grallert, Harald | Dehghan, Abbas | Kuningas, Maris | de Vries, Paul S. | de Bruijn, Renée F.A.G. | Willems, Sara M. | Heikkilä, Kauko | Silventoinen, Karri | Pietiläinen, Kirsi H. | Legry, Vanessa | Giedraitis, Vilmantas | Goumidi, Louisa | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Strauch, Konstantin | Koenig, Wolfgang | Lichtner, Peter | Herder, Christian | Palotie, Aarno | Menni, Cristina | Uitterlinden, André G. | Kuulasmaa, Kari | Havulinna, Aki S. | Moreno, Luis A. | Gonzalez-Gross, Marcela | Evans, Alun | Tregouet, David-Alexandre | Yarnell, John W.G. | Virtamo, Jarmo | Ferrières, Jean | Veronesi, Giovanni | Perola, Markus | Arveiler, Dominique | Brambilla, Paolo | Lind, Lars | Kaprio, Jaakko | Hofman, Albert | Stricker, Bruno H. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Ikram, M. Arfan | Franco, Oscar H. | Cottel, Dominique | Dallongeville, Jean | Hall, Alistair S. | Jula, Antti | Tobin, Martin D. | Penninx, Brenda W. | Peters, Annette | Gieger, Christian | Samani, Nilesh J. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Whitfield, John B. | Martin, Nicholas G. | Groop, Leif | Spector, Tim D. | Magnusson, Patrik K. | Amouyel, Philippe | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Nilsson, Peter M. | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Metspalu, Andres | Strachan, David P. | Salomaa, Veikko | Ripatti, Samuli | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Prokopenko, Inga | McCarthy, Mark I. | Ingelsson, Erik
Diabetes  2015;64(5):1841-1852.
Observational studies have reported different effects of adiposity on cardiovascular risk factors across age and sex. Since cardiovascular risk factors are enriched in obese individuals, it has not been easy to dissect the effects of adiposity from those of other risk factors. We used a Mendelian randomization approach, applying a set of 32 genetic markers to estimate the causal effect of adiposity on blood pressure, glycemic indices, circulating lipid levels, and markers of inflammation and liver disease in up to 67,553 individuals. All analyses were stratified by age (cutoff 55 years of age) and sex. The genetic score was associated with BMI in both nonstratified analysis (P = 2.8 × 10−107) and stratified analyses (all P < 3.3 × 10−30). We found evidence of a causal effect of adiposity on blood pressure, fasting levels of insulin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in a nonstratified analysis and in the <55-year stratum. Further, we found evidence of a smaller causal effect on total cholesterol (P for difference = 0.015) in the ≥55-year stratum than in the <55-year stratum, a finding that could be explained by biology, survival bias, or differential medication. In conclusion, this study extends previous knowledge of the effects of adiposity by providing sex- and age-specific causal estimates on cardiovascular risk factors.
doi:10.2337/db14-0988
PMCID: PMC4407863  PMID: 25712996
8.  Adiposity as a cause of cardiovascular disease: a Mendelian randomization study 
Background: Adiposity, as indicated by body mass index (BMI), has been associated with risk of cardiovascular diseases in epidemiological studies. We aimed to investigate if these associations are causal, using Mendelian randomization (MR) methods.
Methods: The associations of BMI with cardiovascular outcomes [coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure and ischaemic stroke], and associations of a genetic score (32 BMI single nucleotide polymorphisms) with BMI and cardiovascular outcomes were examined in up to 22 193 individuals with 3062 incident cardiovascular events from nine prospective follow-up studies within the ENGAGE consortium. We used random-effects meta-analysis in an MR framework to provide causal estimates of the effect of adiposity on cardiovascular outcomes.
Results: There was a strong association between BMI and incident CHD (HR = 1.20 per SD-increase of BMI, 95% CI, 1.12–1.28, P = 1.9·10−7), heart failure (HR = 1.47, 95% CI, 1.35–1.60, P = 9·10−19) and ischaemic stroke (HR = 1.15, 95% CI, 1.06–1.24, P = 0.0008) in observational analyses. The genetic score was robustly associated with BMI (β = 0.030 SD-increase of BMI per additional allele, 95% CI, 0.028–0.033, P = 3·10−107). Analyses indicated a causal effect of adiposity on development of heart failure (HR = 1.93 per SD-increase of BMI, 95% CI, 1.12–3.30, P = 0.017) and ischaemic stroke (HR = 1.83, 95% CI, 1.05–3.20, P = 0.034). Additional cross-sectional analyses using both ENGAGE and CARDIoGRAMplusC4D data showed a causal effect of adiposity on CHD.
Conclusions: Using MR methods, we provide support for the hypothesis that adiposity causes CHD, heart failure and, previously not demonstrated, ischaemic stroke.
doi:10.1093/ije/dyv094
PMCID: PMC4553708  PMID: 26016847
Cardiovascular disease; epidemiology; body mass index; Mendelian randomization
9.  Genome-wide association study identifies novel genetic variants contributing to variation in blood metabolite levels 
Nature communications  2015;6:7208.
Metabolites are small molecules involved in cellular metabolism, which can be detected in biological samples using metabolomic techniques. Here we present the results of genome-wide association and meta-analyses for variation in the blood serum levels of 129 metabolites as measured by the Biocrates metabolomic platform. In a discovery sample of 7,478 individuals of European descent, we find 4,068 genome- and metabolome-wide significant (Z-test, P < 1.09 × 10−9) associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and metabolites, involving 59 independent SNPs and 85 metabolites. Five of the fifty-nine independent SNPs are new for serum metabolite levels, and were followed-up for replication in an independent sample (N=1,182). The novel SNPs are located in or near genes encoding metabolite transporter proteins or enzymes (SLC22A16, ARG1, AGPS and ACSL1) that have demonstrated biomedical or pharmaceutical importance. The further characterization of genetic influences on metabolic phenotypes is important for progress in biological and medical research.
doi:10.1038/ncomms8208
PMCID: PMC4745136  PMID: 26068415
10.  Genetic associations at 53 loci highlight cell types and biological pathways relevant for kidney function 
Pattaro, Cristian | Teumer, Alexander | Gorski, Mathias | Chu, Audrey Y. | Li, Man | Mijatovic, Vladan | Garnaas, Maija | Tin, Adrienne | Sorice, Rossella | Li, Yong | Taliun, Daniel | Olden, Matthias | Foster, Meredith | Yang, Qiong | Chen, Ming-Huei | Pers, Tune H. | Johnson, Andrew D. | Ko, Yi-An | Fuchsberger, Christian | Tayo, Bamidele | Nalls, Michael | Feitosa, Mary F. | Isaacs, Aaron | Dehghan, Abbas | d'Adamo, Pio | Adeyemo, Adebowale | Dieffenbach, Aida Karina | Zonderman, Alan B. | Nolte, Ilja M. | van der Most, Peter J. | Wright, Alan F. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Morrison, Alanna C. | Hofman, Albert | Smith, Albert V. | Dreisbach, Albert W. | Franke, Andre | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Metspalu, Andres | Tonjes, Anke | Lupo, Antonio | Robino, Antonietta | Johansson, Åsa | Demirkan, Ayse | Kollerits, Barbara | Freedman, Barry I. | Ponte, Belen | Oostra, Ben A. | Paulweber, Bernhard | Krämer, Bernhard K. | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Buckley, Brendan M. | Peralta, Carmen A. | Hayward, Caroline | Helmer, Catherine | Rotimi, Charles N. | Shaffer, Christian M. | Müller, Christian | Sala, Cinzia | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Saint-Pierre, Aude | Ackermann, Daniel | Shriner, Daniel | Ruggiero, Daniela | Toniolo, Daniela | Lu, Yingchang | Cusi, Daniele | Czamara, Darina | Ellinghaus, David | Siscovick, David S. | Ruderfer, Douglas | Gieger, Christian | Grallert, Harald | Rochtchina, Elena | Atkinson, Elizabeth J. | Holliday, Elizabeth G. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Salvi, Erika | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Murgia, Federico | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Ernst, Florian | Kronenberg, Florian | Hu, Frank B. | Navis, Gerjan J. | Curhan, Gary C. | Ehret, George B. | Homuth, Georg | Coassin, Stefan | Thun, Gian-Andri | Pistis, Giorgio | Gambaro, Giovanni | Malerba, Giovanni | Montgomery, Grant W. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Jacobs, Gunnar | Li, Guo | Wichmann, H-Erich | Campbell, Harry | Schmidt, Helena | Wallaschofski, Henri | Völzke, Henry | Brenner, Hermann | Kroemer, Heyo K. | Kramer, Holly | Lin, Honghuang | Leach, I. Mateo | Ford, Ian | Guessous, Idris | Rudan, Igor | Prokopenko, Inga | Borecki, Ingrid | Heid, Iris M. | Kolcic, Ivana | Persico, Ivana | Jukema, J. Wouter | Wilson, James F. | Felix, Janine F. | Divers, Jasmin | Lambert, Jean-Charles | Stafford, Jeanette M. | Gaspoz, Jean-Michel | Smith, Jennifer A. | Faul, Jessica D. | Wang, Jie Jin | Ding, Jingzhong | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Attia, John | Whitfield, John B. | Chalmers, John | Viikari, Jorma | Coresh, Josef | Denny, Joshua C. | Karjalainen, Juha | Fernandes, Jyotika K. | Endlich, Karlhans | Butterbach, Katja | Keene, Keith L. | Lohman, Kurt | Portas, Laura | Launer, Lenore J. | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Yengo, Loic | Franke, Lude | Ferrucci, Luigi | Rose, Lynda M. | Kedenko, Lyudmyla | Rao, Madhumathi | Struchalin, Maksim | Kleber, Marcus E. | Cavalieri, Margherita | Haun, Margot | Cornelis, Marilyn C. | Ciullo, Marina | Pirastu, Mario | de Andrade, Mariza | McEvoy, Mark A. | Woodward, Mark | Adam, Martin | Cocca, Massimiliano | Nauck, Matthias | Imboden, Medea | Waldenberger, Melanie | Pruijm, Menno | Metzger, Marie | Stumvoll, Michael | Evans, Michele K. | Sale, Michele M. | Kähönen, Mika | Boban, Mladen | Bochud, Murielle | Rheinberger, Myriam | Verweij, Niek | Bouatia-Naji, Nabila | Martin, Nicholas G. | Hastie, Nick | Probst-Hensch, Nicole | Soranzo, Nicole | Devuyst, Olivier | Raitakari, Olli | Gottesman, Omri | Franco, Oscar H. | Polasek, Ozren | Gasparini, Paolo | Munroe, Patricia B. | Ridker, Paul M. | Mitchell, Paul | Muntner, Paul | Meisinger, Christa | Smit, Johannes H. | Kovacs, Peter | Wild, Philipp S. | Froguel, Philippe | Rettig, Rainer | Mägi, Reedik | Biffar, Reiner | Schmidt, Reinhold | Middelberg, Rita P. S. | Carroll, Robert J. | Penninx, Brenda W. | Scott, Rodney J. | Katz, Ronit | Sedaghat, Sanaz | Wild, Sarah H. | Kardia, Sharon L. R. | Ulivi, Sheila | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Enroth, Stefan | Kloiber, Stefan | Trompet, Stella | Stengel, Benedicte | Hancock, Stephen J. | Turner, Stephen T. | Rosas, Sylvia E. | Stracke, Sylvia | Harris, Tamara B. | Zeller, Tanja | Zemunik, Tatijana | Lehtimäki, Terho | Illig, Thomas | Aspelund, Thor | Nikopensius, Tiit | Esko, Tonu | Tanaka, Toshiko | Gyllensten, Ulf | Völker, Uwe | Emilsson, Valur | Vitart, Veronique | Aalto, Ville | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Chouraki, Vincent | Chen, Wei-Min | Igl, Wilmar | März, Winfried | Koenig, Wolfgang | Lieb, Wolfgang | Loos, Ruth J. F. | Liu, Yongmei | Snieder, Harold | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Parsa, Afshin | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Susztak, Katalin | Hamet, Pavel | Tremblay, Johanne | de Boer, Ian H. | Böger, Carsten A. | Goessling, Wolfram | Chasman, Daniel I. | Köttgen, Anna | Kao, W. H. Linda | Fox, Caroline S.
Nature Communications  2016;7:10023.
Reduced glomerular filtration rate defines chronic kidney disease and is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), combining data across 133,413 individuals with replication in up to 42,166 individuals. We identify 24 new and confirm 29 previously identified loci. Of these 53 loci, 19 associate with eGFR among individuals with diabetes. Using bioinformatics, we show that identified genes at eGFR loci are enriched for expression in kidney tissues and in pathways relevant for kidney development and transmembrane transporter activity, kidney structure, and regulation of glucose metabolism. Chromatin state mapping and DNase I hypersensitivity analyses across adult tissues demonstrate preferential mapping of associated variants to regulatory regions in kidney but not extra-renal tissues. These findings suggest that genetic determinants of eGFR are mediated largely through direct effects within the kidney and highlight important cell types and biological pathways.
Reduced glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a hallmark of chronic kidney disease. Here, Pattaro et al. conduct a meta-analysis to discover several new loci associated with variation in eGFR and find that genes associated with eGFR loci often encode proteins potentially related to kidney development.
doi:10.1038/ncomms10023
PMCID: PMC4735748  PMID: 26831199
11.  Serum Cholesterol and Variant in Cholesterol-Related Gene CETP Predict White Matter Microstructure 
Neurobiology of aging  2014;35(11):2504-2513.
Several common genetic variants influence cholesterol levels, which play a key role in overall health. Myelin synthesis and maintenance are highly sensitive to cholesterol concentrations, and abnormal cholesterol levels increase the risk for various brain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). We report significant associations between higher serum cholesterol (CHOL) levels and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and higher fractional anisotropy in 403 young adults (23.8±2.4 years) scanned with diffusion imaging and anatomical MRI at 4 Tesla. By fitting a multi-locus genetic model within white matter areas associated with CHOL, we found that a set of 18 cholesterol-related SNPs implicated in AD risk predicted FA. We focused on the SNP with the largest individual effects - CETP (rs5882) – and found that increased G-allele dosage was associated with higher FA and lower radial and mean diffusivities in voxel-wise analyses of the whole brain. A follow-up analysis detected WM associations with rs5882 in the opposite direction in 78 older individuals (74.3±7.3 years). Cholesterol levels may influence WM integrity, and cholesterol-related genes may exert age-dependent effects.
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.05.024
PMCID: PMC4198330  PMID: 24997672
brain structure; DTI; imaging genetics; cholesterol; development; aging
12.  Novel loci affecting iron homeostasis and their effects in individuals at risk for hemochromatosis 
Nature communications  2014;5:4926.
Variation in body iron is associated with or causes diseases, including anaemia and iron overload. Here we analyse genetic association data on biochemical markers of iron status from eleven European-population studies, with replication in eight additional cohorts (total up to 48,972 subjects). We find eleven genome-wide-significant (p < 5 × 10−8) loci, some including known iron-related genes (HFE, SLC40A1, TF, TFR2, TFRC, TMPRSS6) and others novel (ABO, ARNTL, FADS2, NAT2, TEX14). SNPs at ARNTL, TF, and TFR2 affect iron markers in HFE C282Y homozygotes at risk for hemochromatosis. There is substantial overlap between our iron loci and loci affecting erythrocyte and lipid phenotypes. These results will facilitate investigation of the roles of iron in disease.
doi:10.1038/ncomms5926
PMCID: PMC4215164  PMID: 25352340
13.  Iron and hepcidin as risk factors in atherosclerosis: what do the genes say? 
BMC Genetics  2015;16:79.
Background
Previous reports suggested a role for iron and hepcidin in atherosclerosis. Here, we evaluated the causality of these associations from a genetic perspective via (i) a Mendelian randomization (MR) approach, (ii) study of association of atherosclerosis-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with iron and hepcidin, and (iii) estimation of genomic correlations between hepcidin, iron and atherosclerosis.
Results
Analyses were performed in a general population sample. Iron parameters (serum iron, serum ferritin, total iron-binding capacity and transferrin saturation), serum hepcidin and genome-wide SNP data were available for N = 1,819; non-invasive measurements of atherosclerosis (NIMA), i.e., presence of plaque, intima media thickness and ankle-brachial index (ABI), for N = 549. For the MR, we used 12 iron-related SNPs that were previously identified in a genome-wide association meta-analysis on iron status, and assessed associations of individual SNPs and quartiles of a multi-SNP score with NIMA. Quartile 4 versus quartile 1 of the multi-SNP score showed directionally consistent associations with the hypothesized direction of effect for all NIMA in women, indicating that increased body iron status is a risk factor for atherosclerosis in women. We observed no single SNP associations that fit the hypothesized directions of effect between iron and NIMA, except for rs651007, associated with decreased ferritin concentration and decreased atherosclerosis risk. Two of six NIMA-related SNPs showed association with the ratio hepcidin/ferritin, suggesting that an increased hepcidin/ferritin ratio increases atherosclerosis risk. Genomic correlations were close to zero, except for hepcidin and ferritin with ABI at rest [−0.27 (SE 0.34) and −0.22 (SE 0.35), respectively] and ABI after exercise [−0.29 (SE 0.34) and −0.30 (0.35), respectively]. The negative sign indicates an increased atherosclerosis risk with increased hepcidin and ferritin concentrations.
Conclusions
Our results suggest a potential causal role for hepcidin and ferritin in atherosclerosis, and may indicate that iron status is causally related to atherosclerosis in women.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12863-015-0246-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12863-015-0246-4
PMCID: PMC4498499  PMID: 26159428
Hepcidin; Iron; Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular disease; General population; Mendelian randomization
14.  Circulating Lipids Are Associated with Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis and Represent Potential Biomarkers for Risk Assessment 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0130346.
Liver disease is the greatest cause of death related to alcohol and a major public health problem. While excessive alcohol intake results in hepatosteatosis in most individuals, this can progress in some to more severe forms of liver disease including fibrosis and cirrhosis. An ongoing challenge in the management of alcoholic liver disease is the identification of liver injury early in the disease process such that intervention strategies can prevent serious long term outcomes. Given that excessive alcohol consumption results in dysregulation of lipid metabolism we applied lipid profiling technology to characterise and compare serum lipid profiles from excessive chronic drinkers with no liver disease to those with advanced alcoholic cirrhosis. In a cohort of 59 excessive drinkers (31 with liver cirrhosis and 28 with no evidence of liver disease) we used electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry to measure over 300 individual lipid species in serum, including species of the major phospholipid, sphingolipid, glycerolipid and sterol classes. Six of the 25 lipid classes and subclasses were significantly associated with alcoholic liver cirrhosis; these included dihexosylceramide, trihexosylceramide, alkylphosphatidylcholine, lysoalkylphosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol and free cholesterol. Multivariate classification models created with only clinical characteristics gave an optimal model with an AUC of 0.847 and an accuracy of 79.7%. The addition of lipid measurements to the clinical characteristics resulted in models of improved performance with an AUC of 0.892 and accuracy of 81.8%. The gain in AUC and accuracy of the combined models highlight the potential of serum lipids as markers of liver injury in alcoholic liver disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130346
PMCID: PMC4479371  PMID: 26107182
15.  A Genome-Wide Association Study of Monozygotic Twin-Pairs Suggests a Locus Related to Variability of Serum High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol 
Genome-wide association analysis on monozygotic twin pairs offers a route to discovery of gene–environment interactions through testing for variability loci associated with sensitivity to individual environment/lifestyle. We present a genome-wide scan of loci associated with intra-pair differences in serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. We report data for 1,720 monozygotic female twin pairs from GenomEUtwin project with 2.5 million SNPs, imputed or genotyped, and measured serum lipid fractions for both twins. We found one locus associated with intra-pair differences in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, rs2483058 in an intron of SRGAP2, where twins carrying the C allele are more sensitive to environmental factors (p = 3.98 × 10−8). We followed up the association in further genotyped monozygotic twins (N = 1 261) which showed a moderate association for the variant (p = .002, same direction of an effect). In addition, we report a new association on the level of apolipoprotein A-II (p = 4.03 × 10−8).
doi:10.1017/thg.2012.63
PMCID: PMC4333218  PMID: 23031429
twins; association; lipids; apolipoproteins; interaction
16.  Genome-wide association study identifies loci affecting blood copper, selenium and zinc 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(19):3998-4006.
Genetic variation affecting absorption, distribution or excretion of essential trace elements may lead to health effects related to sub-clinical deficiency. We have tested for allelic effects of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on blood copper, selenium and zinc in a genome-wide association study using two adult cohorts from Australia and the UK. Participants were recruited in Australia from twins and their families and in the UK from pregnant women. We measured erythrocyte Cu, Se and Zn (Australian samples) or whole blood Se (UK samples) using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Genotyping was performed with Illumina chips and >2.5 m SNPs were imputed from HapMap data. Genome-wide significant associations were found for each element. For Cu, there were two loci on chromosome 1 (most significant SNPs rs1175550, P = 5.03 × 10−10, and rs2769264, P = 2.63 × 10−20); for Se, a locus on chromosome 5 was significant in both cohorts (combined P = 9.40 × 10−28 at rs921943); and for Zn three loci on chromosomes 8, 15 and X showed significant results (rs1532423, P = 6.40 × 10−12; rs2120019, P = 1.55 × 10−18; and rs4826508, P = 1.40 × 10−12, respectively). The Se locus covers three genes involved in metabolism of sulphur-containing amino acids and potentially of the analogous Se compounds; the chromosome 8 locus for Zn contains multiple genes for the Zn-containing enzyme carbonic anhydrase. Where potentially relevant genes were identified, they relate to metabolism of the element (Se) or to the presence at high concentration of a metal-containing protein (Cu).
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt239
PMCID: PMC3766178  PMID: 23720494
17.  Novel Approach Identifies SNPs in SLC2A10 and KCNK9 with Evidence for Parent-of-Origin Effect on Body Mass Index 
Hoggart, Clive J. | Venturini, Giulia | Mangino, Massimo | Gomez, Felicia | Ascari, Giulia | Zhao, Jing Hua | Teumer, Alexander | Winkler, Thomas W. | Tšernikova, Natalia | Luan, Jian'an | Mihailov, Evelin | Ehret, Georg B. | Zhang, Weihua | Lamparter, David | Esko, Tõnu | Macé, Aurelien | Rüeger, Sina | Bochud, Pierre-Yves | Barcella, Matteo | Dauvilliers, Yves | Benyamin, Beben | Evans, David M. | Hayward, Caroline | Lopez, Mary F. | Franke, Lude | Russo, Alessia | Heid, Iris M. | Salvi, Erika | Vendantam, Sailaja | Arking, Dan E. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Chambers, John C. | Fiorito, Giovanni | Grallert, Harald | Guarrera, Simonetta | Homuth, Georg | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Porteous, David | Moradpour, Darius | Iranzo, Alex | Hebebrand, Johannes | Kemp, John P. | Lammers, Gert J. | Aubert, Vincent | Heim, Markus H. | Martin, Nicholas G. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Peraita-Adrados, Rosa | Santamaria, Joan | Negro, Francesco | Schmidt, Carsten O. | Scott, Robert A. | Spector, Tim D. | Strauch, Konstantin | Völzke, Henry | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Yuan, Wei | Bell, Jordana T. | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Peters, Annette | Matullo, Giuseppe | Wallaschofski, Henri | Whitfield, John B. | Paccaud, Fred | Vollenweider, Peter | Bergmann, Sven | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Tafti, Mehdi | Hastie, Nicholas D. | Cusi, Daniele | Bochud, Murielle | Frayling, Timothy M. | Metspalu, Andres | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Scherag, André | Smith, George Davey | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Rousson, Valentin | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Rivolta, Carlo | Loos, Ruth J. F. | Kutalik, Zoltán
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(7):e1004508.
The phenotypic effect of some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) depends on their parental origin. We present a novel approach to detect parent-of-origin effects (POEs) in genome-wide genotype data of unrelated individuals. The method exploits increased phenotypic variance in the heterozygous genotype group relative to the homozygous groups. We applied the method to >56,000 unrelated individuals to search for POEs influencing body mass index (BMI). Six lead SNPs were carried forward for replication in five family-based studies (of ∼4,000 trios). Two SNPs replicated: the paternal rs2471083-C allele (located near the imprinted KCNK9 gene) and the paternal rs3091869-T allele (located near the SLC2A10 gene) increased BMI equally (beta = 0.11 (SD), P<0.0027) compared to the respective maternal alleles. Real-time PCR experiments of lymphoblastoid cell lines from the CEPH families showed that expression of both genes was dependent on parental origin of the SNPs alleles (P<0.01). Our scheme opens new opportunities to exploit GWAS data of unrelated individuals to identify POEs and demonstrates that they play an important role in adult obesity.
Author Summary
Large genetic association studies have revealed many genetic factors influencing common traits, such as body mass index (BMI). These studies assume that the effect of genetic variants is the same regardless of whether they are inherited from the mother or the father. In our study, we have developed a new approach that allows us to investigate variants whose impact depends on their parental origin (parent-of-origin effects), in unrelated samples when the parental origin cannot be inferred. This is feasible because at genetic markers at which such effects occur there is increased variability of the trait among individuals who inherited different genetic codes from their mother and their father compared to individuals who inherited the same genetic code from both parents. We applied this methodology to discover genetic markers with parent-of-origin effects (POEs) on BMI. This resulted in six candidate markers showing strong POE association. We then attempted to replicate the POE effects of these markers in family studies (where one can infer the parental origin of the inherited variants). Two of our candidates showed significant association in the family studies, the paternal and maternal effects of these markers were in the opposite direction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004508
PMCID: PMC4117451  PMID: 25078964
18.  Identification of heart rate–associated loci and their effects on cardiac conduction and rhythm disorders 
den Hoed, Marcel | Eijgelsheim, Mark | Esko, Tõnu | Brundel, Bianca J J M | Peal, David S | Evans, David M | Nolte, Ilja M | Segrè, Ayellet V | Holm, Hilma | Handsaker, Robert E | Westra, Harm-Jan | Johnson, Toby | Isaacs, Aaron | Yang, Jian | Lundby, Alicia | Zhao, Jing Hua | Kim, Young Jin | Go, Min Jin | Almgren, Peter | Bochud, Murielle | Boucher, Gabrielle | Cornelis, Marilyn C | Gudbjartsson, Daniel | Hadley, David | Van Der Harst, Pim | Hayward, Caroline | Heijer, Martin Den | Igl, Wilmar | Jackson, Anne U | Kutalik, Zoltán | Luan, Jian’an | Kemp, John P | Kristiansson, Kati | Ladenvall, Claes | Lorentzon, Mattias | Montasser, May E | Njajou, Omer T | O’Reilly, Paul F | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Pourcain, Beate St. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Salo, Perttu | Tanaka, Toshiko | Timpson, Nicholas J | Vitart, Veronique | Waite, Lindsay | Wheeler, William | Zhang, Weihua | Draisma, Harmen H M | Feitosa, Mary F | Kerr, Kathleen F | Lind, Penelope A | Mihailov, Evelin | Onland-Moret, N Charlotte | Song, Ci | Weedon, Michael N | Xie, Weijia | Yengo, Loic | Absher, Devin | Albert, Christine M | Alonso, Alvaro | Arking, Dan E | de Bakker, Paul I W | Balkau, Beverley | Barlassina, Cristina | Benaglio, Paola | Bis, Joshua C | Bouatia-Naji, Nabila | Brage, Søren | Chanock, Stephen J | Chines, Peter S | Chung, Mina | Darbar, Dawood | Dina, Christian | Dörr, Marcus | Elliott, Paul | Felix, Stephan B | Fischer, Krista | Fuchsberger, Christian | de Geus, Eco J C | Goyette, Philippe | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Harris, Tamara B | Hartikainen, Anna-liisa | Havulinna, Aki S | Heckbert, Susan R | Hicks, Andrew A | Hofman, Albert | Holewijn, Suzanne | Hoogstra-Berends, Femke | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Jensen, Majken K | Johansson, Åsa | Junttila, Juhani | Kääb, Stefan | Kanon, Bart | Ketkar, Shamika | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Knowles, Joshua W | Kooner, Angrad S | Kors, Jan A | Kumari, Meena | Milani, Lili | Laiho, Päivi | Lakatta, Edward G | Langenberg, Claudia | Leusink, Maarten | Liu, Yongmei | Luben, Robert N | Lunetta, Kathryn L | Lynch, Stacey N | Markus, Marcello R P | Marques-Vidal, Pedro | Leach, Irene Mateo | McArdle, Wendy L | McCarroll, Steven A | Medland, Sarah E | Miller, Kathryn A | Montgomery, Grant W | Morrison, Alanna C | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Navarro, Pau | Nelis, Mari | O’Connell, Jeffrey R | O’Donnell, Christopher J | Ong, Ken K | Newman, Anne B | Peters, Annette | Polasek, Ozren | Pouta, Anneli | Pramstaller, Peter P | Psaty, Bruce M | Rao, Dabeeru C | Ring, Susan M | Rossin, Elizabeth J | Rudan, Diana | Sanna, Serena | Scott, Robert A | Sehmi, Jaban S | Sharp, Stephen | Shin, Jordan T | Singleton, Andrew B | Smith, Albert V | Soranzo, Nicole | Spector, Tim D | Stewart, Chip | Stringham, Heather M | Tarasov, Kirill V | Uitterlinden, André G | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Whitfield, John B | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilson, James F | Witteman, Jacqueline C M | Wong, Andrew | Wong, Quenna | Jamshidi, Yalda | Zitting, Paavo | Boer, Jolanda M A | Boomsma, Dorret I | Borecki, Ingrid B | Van Duijn, Cornelia M | Ekelund, Ulf | Forouhi, Nita G | Froguel, Philippe | Hingorani, Aroon | Ingelsson, Erik | Kivimaki, Mika | Kronmal, Richard A | Kuh, Diana | Lind, Lars | Martin, Nicholas G | Oostra, Ben A | Pedersen, Nancy L | Quertermous, Thomas | Rotter, Jerome I | van der Schouw, Yvonne T | Verschuren, W M Monique | Walker, Mark | Albanes, Demetrius | Arnar, David O | Assimes, Themistocles L | Bandinelli, Stefania | Boehnke, Michael | de Boer, Rudolf A | Bouchard, Claude | Caulfield, W L Mark | Chambers, John C | Curhan, Gary | Cusi, Daniele | Eriksson, Johan | Ferrucci, Luigi | van Gilst, Wiek H | Glorioso, Nicola | de Graaf, Jacqueline | Groop, Leif | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hsueh, Wen-Chi | Hu, Frank B | Huikuri, Heikki V | Hunter, David J | Iribarren, Carlos | Isomaa, Bo | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kiemeney, Lambertus A | van der Klauw, Melanie M | Kooner, Jaspal S | Kraft, Peter | Iacoviello, Licia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lokki, Marja-Liisa L | Mitchell, Braxton D | Navis, Gerjan | Nieminen, Markku S | Ohlsson, Claes | Poulter, Neil R | Qi, Lu | Raitakari, Olli T | Rimm, Eric B | Rioux, John D | Rizzi, Federica | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Sever, Peter S | Shields, Denis C | Shuldiner, Alan R | Sinisalo, Juha | Stanton, Alice V | Stolk, Ronald P | Strachan, David P | Tardif, Jean-Claude | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Tuomilehto, Jaako | van Veldhuisen, Dirk J | Virtamo, Jarmo | Viikari, Jorma | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gérard | Widen, Elisabeth | Cho, Yoon Shin | Olsen, Jesper V | Visscher, Peter M | Willer, Cristen | Franke, Lude | Erdmann, Jeanette | Thompson, John R | Pfeufer, Arne | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Newton-Cheh, Christopher | Ellinor, Patrick T | Stricker, Bruno H Ch | Metspalu, Andres | Perola, Markus | Beckmann, Jacques S | Smith, George Davey | Stefansson, Kari | Wareham, Nicholas J | Munroe, Patricia B | Sibon, Ody C M | Milan, David J | Snieder, Harold | Samani, Nilesh J | Loos, Ruth J F
Nature genetics  2013;45(6):621-631.
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.
doi:10.1038/ng.2610
PMCID: PMC3696959  PMID: 23583979
19.  A genome wide association study of alcohol dependence symptom counts in extended pedigrees identifies C15orf53 
Molecular psychiatry  2012;18(11):10.1038/mp.2012.143.
Several studies have identified genes associated with alcohol use disorders, but the variation in each of these genes explains only a small portion of the genetic vulnerability. The goal of the present study was to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in extended families from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) to identify novel genes affecting risk for alcohol dependence. To maximize the power of the extended family design we used a quantitative endophenotype, measured in all individuals: number of alcohol dependence symptoms endorsed (symptom count). Secondary analyses were performed to determine if the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with symptom count were also associated with the dichotomous phenotype, DSM-IV alcohol dependence. This family-based GWAS identified SNPs in C15orf53 that are strongly associated with DSM-IV alcohol (p=4.5×10−8, inflation corrected p=9.4×10−7). Results with DSM-IV alcohol dependence in the regions of interest support our findings with symptom count, though the associations were less significant. Attempted replications of the most promising association results were conducted in two independent samples: non-overlapping subjects from the Study of Addiction: Genes and Environment (SAGE) and the Australian twin-family study of alcohol use disorders (OZALC). Nominal association of C15orf53 with symptom count was observed in SAGE. The variant that showed strongest association with symptom count, rs12912251 and its highly correlated variants (D′=1, r2≥ 0.95), has previously been associated with risk for bipolar disorder.
doi:10.1038/mp.2012.143
PMCID: PMC3752321  PMID: 23089632
DSM-IV alcohol dependence symptoms; Family-based GWAS; C15orf53; Quantitative traits
20.  Discovery and Refinement of Loci Associated with Lipid Levels 
Willer, Cristen J. | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Sengupta, Sebanti | Peloso, Gina M. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Ganna, Andrea | Chen, Jin | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Mora, Samia | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Chang, Hsing-Yi | Demirkan, Ayşe | Den Hertog, Heleen M. | Do, Ron | Donnelly, Louise A. | Ehret, Georg B. | Esko, Tõnu | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Fischer, Krista | Fontanillas, Pierre | Fraser, Ross M. | Freitag, Daniel F. | Gurdasani, Deepti | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hyppönen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | Jackson, Anne U. | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kaakinen, Marika | Kettunen, Johannes | Kleber, Marcus E. | Li, Xiaohui | Luan, Jian’an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Mangino, Massimo | Mihailov, Evelin | Montasser, May E. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | O’Connell, Jeffrey R. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Perola, Markus | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Sanna, Serena | Saxena, Richa | Service, Susan K. | Shah, Sonia | Shungin, Dmitry | Sidore, Carlo | Song, Ci | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Van den Herik, Evita G. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Volcik, Kelly A. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wong, Andrew | Wu, Ying | Zhang, Weihua | Absher, Devin | Asiki, Gershim | Barroso, Inês | Been, Latonya F. | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Brambilla, Paolo | Burnett, Mary S. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S.F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Epstein, Stephen E. | Ingi Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur | Gigante, Bruna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grallert, Harald | Gravito, Martha L. | Groves, Christopher J. | Hallmans, Göran | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Holm, Hilma | Hung, Yi-Jen | Illig, Thomas | Jones, Michelle R. | Kaleebu, Pontiano | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Eric | Klopp, Norman | Komulainen, Pirjo | Kumari, Meena | Langenberg, Claudia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lin, Shih-Yi | Lindström, Jaana | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Mach, François | McArdle, Wendy L | Meisinger, Christa | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Müller, Gabrielle | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Narisu, Narisu | Nieminen, Tuomo V.M. | Nsubuga, Rebecca N. | Olafsson, Isleifur | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Papamarkou, Theodore | Pomilla, Cristina | Pouta, Anneli | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Scharnagl, Hubert | Seeley, Janet | Silander, Kaisa | Stančáková, Alena | Stirrups, Kathleen | Swift, Amy J. | Tiret, Laurence | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Pelt, L. Joost | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wainwright, Nicholas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wilson, James F. | Young, Elizabeth H. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Adair, Linda S. | Arveiler, Dominique | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Bennett, Franklyn | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bovet, Pascal | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chambers, John C. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Cooper, Richard S. | Danesh, John | Dedoussis, George | de Faire, Ulf | Feranil, Alan B. | Ferrières, Jean | Ferrucci, Luigi | Freimer, Nelson B. | Gieger, Christian | Groop, Leif C. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, G. Kees | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hveem, Kristian | Iribarren, Carlos | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kesäniemi, Antero | Kivimaki, Mika | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koudstaal, Peter J. | Krauss, Ronald M. | Kuh, Diana | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kyvik, Kirsten O. | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | McCarthy, Mark I. | McKenzie, Colin A. | Meneton, Pierre | Metspalu, Andres | Moilanen, Leena | Morris, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Power, Chris | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Saleheen, Danish | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Saramies, Jouko | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Sheu, Wayne H-H | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Siegbahn, Agneta | Spector, Tim D. | Stefansson, Kari | Strachan, David P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uusitupa, Matti | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallentin, Lars | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Whitfield, John B. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Ordovas, Jose M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Chasman, Daniel I. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Franks, Paul W. | Ripatti, Samuli | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Rich, Stephen S. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Kathiresan, Sekar | Mohlke, Karen L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Abecasis, Gonçalo R.
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):1274-1283.
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.
doi:10.1038/ng.2797
PMCID: PMC3838666  PMID: 24097068
21.  Common variants associated with plasma triglycerides and risk for coronary artery disease 
Do, Ron | Willer, Cristen J. | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Sengupta, Sebanti | Gao, Chi | Peloso, Gina M. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Ganna, Andrea | Chen, Jin | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Mora, Samia | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Chang, Hsing-Yi | Demirkan, Ayşe | Den Hertog, Heleen M. | Donnelly, Louise A. | Ehret, Georg B. | Esko, Tõnu | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Fischer, Krista | Fontanillas, Pierre | Fraser, Ross M. | Freitag, Daniel F. | Gurdasani, Deepti | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hyppönen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | Jackson, Anne U. | Johansson, Åsa | Johnson, Toby | Kaakinen, Marika | Kettunen, Johannes | Kleber, Marcus E. | Li, Xiaohui | Luan, Jian'an | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Mangino, Massimo | Mihailov, Evelin | Montasser, May E. | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Perola, Markus | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Sanna, Serena | Saxena, Richa | Service, Susan K. | Shah, Sonia | Shungin, Dmitry | Sidore, Carlo | Song, Ci | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Surakka, Ida | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Van den Herik, Evita G. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Volcik, Kelly A. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wong, Andrew | Wu, Ying | Zhang, Weihua | Absher, Devin | Asiki, Gershim | Barroso, Inês | Been, Latonya F. | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bonnycastle, Lori L | Brambilla, Paolo | Burnett, Mary S. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S.F. | Döring, Angela | Elliott, Paul | Epstein, Stephen E. | Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur Ingi | Gigante, Bruna | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Grallert, Harald | Gravito, Martha L. | Groves, Christopher J. | Hallmans, Göran | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Holm, Hilma | Hung, Yi-Jen | Illig, Thomas | Jones, Michelle R. | Kaleebu, Pontiano | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Eric | Klopp, Norman | Komulainen, Pirjo | Kumari, Meena | Langenberg, Claudia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lin, Shih-Yi | Lindström, Jaana | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Mach, François | McArdle, Wendy L | Meisinger, Christa | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Müller, Gabrielle | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Narisu, Narisu | Nieminen, Tuomo V.M. | Nsubuga, Rebecca N. | Olafsson, Isleifur | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Papamarkou, Theodore | Pomilla, Cristina | Pouta, Anneli | Rader, Daniel J. | Reilly, Muredach P. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Scharnagl, Hubert | Seeley, Janet | Silander, Kaisa | Stančáková, Alena | Stirrups, Kathleen | Swift, Amy J. | Tiret, Laurence | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Pelt, L. Joost | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wainwright, Nicholas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wilson, James F. | Young, Elizabeth H. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Adair, Linda S. | Arveiler, Dominique | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Bennett, Franklyn | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bovet, Pascal | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chambers, John C. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Cooper, Richard S. | Danesh, John | Dedoussis, George | de Faire, Ulf | Feranil, Alan B. | Ferrières, Jean | Ferrucci, Luigi | Freimer, Nelson B. | Gieger, Christian | Groop, Leif C. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hingorani, Aroon | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Hofman, Albert | Hovingh, G. Kees | Hsiung, Chao Agnes | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hveem, Kristian | Iribarren, Carlos | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kesäniemi, Antero | Kivimaki, Mika | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koudstaal, Peter J. | Krauss, Ronald M. | Kuh, Diana | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kyvik, Kirsten O. | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | März, Winfried | McCarthy, Mark I. | McKenzie, Colin A. | Meneton, Pierre | Metspalu, Andres | Moilanen, Leena | Morris, Andrew D. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Njølstad, Inger | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Power, Chris | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Saleheen, Danish | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanghera, Dharambir K. | Saramies, Jouko | Schwarz, Peter E.H. | Sheu, Wayne H-H | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Siegbahn, Agneta | Spector, Tim D. | Stefansson, Kari | Strachan, David P. | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uusitupa, Matti | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallentin, Lars | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Whitfield, John B. | Wolffenbuttel, Bruce H.R. | Altshuler, David | Ordovas, Jose M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Palmer, Colin N.A. | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Chasman, Daniel I. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Franks, Paul W. | Ripatti, Samuli | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Sandhu, Manjinder S. | Rich, Stephen S. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Mohlke, Karen L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Daly, Mark J. | Neale, Benjamin M. | Kathiresan, Sekar
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):1345-1352.
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.
doi:10.1038/ng.2795
PMCID: PMC3904346  PMID: 24097064
22.  Metabolic and biochemical effects of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption 
Background
Alcohol consumption has multiple biochemical consequences. Only a few of these are useful as diagnostic markers but many reflect potentially harmful or beneficial effects of alcohol. Average consumption of two to four drinks per day is associated with lower overall or cardiovascular mortality risk than either lower or higher intake. We have analysed the dose-response relationships between reported alcohol consumption and 17 biomarkers, with emphasis on intake of up to three drinks per day.
Methods
Biochemical tests were performed on serum from 8396 study participants (3750 men and 4646 women, aged 51 ± 13 years, range 18–93) who had provided information on alcohol consumption in the week preceding blood collection.
Results
GGT, ALT, AST, CDT, urate, ferritin and bilirubin showed little or no change with alcohol consumption below two to three drinks per day, but increased with higher intake. HDL-C and albumin showed increasing results, and insulin showed decreasing results, across the entire range of alcohol use. Biphasic responses, where subjects reporting one to two drinks per day had lower results than those reporting either more or less alcohol use, occurred for triglycerides, glucose, C-reactive protein, alkaline phosphatase and butyrylcholinesterase. Increasing alcohol use was associated with decreasing LDL-C in younger women, but higher LDL-C in older men.
Conclusions
Some markers show threshold relationships with alcohol, others show continuous ones, and a third group show biphasic or U-shaped relationships. Overall the biochemical sequelae of low-to-moderate alcohol use are consistent with the epidemiological evidence on morbidity and mortality.
doi:10.1111/acer.12015
PMCID: PMC3568441  PMID: 23134229
Alcohol; Biomarkers; Dose-response curve; Population study
23.  Genetic Insights into Cardiometabolic Risk Factors 
Many biochemical traits are recognised as risk factors, which contribute to or predict the development of disease. Only a few are in widespread use, usually to assist with treatment decisions and motivate behavioural change. The greatest effort has gone into evaluation of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes, with substantial overlap as ‘cardiometabolic’ risk. Over the past few years many genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have sought to account for variation in risk factors, with the expectation that identifying relevant polymorphisms would improve our understanding or prediction of disease; others have taken the direct approach of genomic case-control studies for the corresponding diseases. Large GWAS have been published for coronary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, and also for associated biomarkers or risk factors including body mass index, lipids, C-reactive protein, urate, liver function tests, glucose and insulin. Results are not encouraging for personal risk prediction based on genotyping, mainly because known risk loci only account for a small proportion of risk. Overlap of allelic associations between disease and marker, as found for low density lipoprotein cholesterol and heart disease, supports a causal association, but in other cases genetic studies have cast doubt on accepted risk factors. Some loci show unexpected effects on multiple markers or diseases. An intriguing feature of risk factors is the blurring of categories shown by the correlation between them and the genetic overlap between diseases previously thought of as distinct. GWAS can provide insight into relationships between risk factors, biomarkers and diseases, with potential for new approaches to disease classification.
PMCID: PMC3961996  PMID: 24659834
24.  Association between in vivo alcohol metabolism and genetic variation in pathways that metabolize the carbon skeleton of ethanol and NADH reoxidation in the Alcohol Challenge Twin Study 
Background
Variation in alcohol metabolism affects the duration of intoxication and alcohol use. While the majority of genetic association studies investigating variation in alcohol metabolism have focused on polymorphisms in alcohol or aldehyde dehydrogenases, we have now tested for association with genes in alternative metabolic pathways that catalyze the carbon skeleton of ethanol and NADH reoxidation.
Methods
950 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning 14 genes (ACN9, ACSS1, ACSS2, ALDH1A1, CAT, CYP2E1, GOT1, GOT2, MDH1, MDH2, SLC25A10, SLC25A11, SLC25A12, SLC25A13) were genotyped in 352 young adults who participated in an alcohol challenge study. Traits tested were blood and breath alcohol concentration, peak alcohol concentration and rates of alcohol absorption and elimination. Allelic association was tested using quantitative univariate and multivariate methods.
Results
A CYP2E1 promoter SNP (rs4838767, minor allele frequency 0.008) exceeded the threshold for study-wide significance (4.01 × 10−5) for two early blood alcohol concentration (BAC), eight breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) measures and the peak BrAC. For each phenotype the minor C-allele was related to a lower alcohol concentration, most strongly for the fourth BrAC (P = 2.07 × 10−7) explaining ~8% of the phenotypic variance. We also observed suggestive patterns of association with variants in ALDH1A1 and on chromosome 17 near SLC25A11 for aspects of blood and breath alcohol metabolism. A SNP upstream of GOT1 (rs2490286) reached study-wide significance for multivariate BAC metabolism (P = 0.000040).
Conclusions
Overall, we did not find strong evidence that variation in genes coding for proteins that further metabolize the carbon backbone of acetaldehyde, or contribute to mechanisms for regenerating NAD from NADH, affects alcohol metabolism in our European-descent subjects. However, based on the breath alcohol data, variation in the promoter of CYP2E1 may play a role in pre-absorptive or early hepatic alcohol metabolism, but more samples are required to validate this finding.
doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01829.x
PMCID: PMC3729587  PMID: 22577853
alcohol metabolism; association; genetics; CYP2E1; alcohol challenge
25.  Mining the Human Phenome Using Allelic Scores That Index Biological Intermediates 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(10):e1003919.
It is common practice in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to focus on the relationship between disease risk and genetic variants one marker at a time. When relevant genes are identified it is often possible to implicate biological intermediates and pathways likely to be involved in disease aetiology. However, single genetic variants typically explain small amounts of disease risk. Our idea is to construct allelic scores that explain greater proportions of the variance in biological intermediates, and subsequently use these scores to data mine GWAS. To investigate the approach's properties, we indexed three biological intermediates where the results of large GWAS meta-analyses were available: body mass index, C-reactive protein and low density lipoprotein levels. We generated allelic scores in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, and in publicly available data from the first Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium. We compared the explanatory ability of allelic scores in terms of their capacity to proxy for the intermediate of interest, and the extent to which they associated with disease. We found that allelic scores derived from known variants and allelic scores derived from hundreds of thousands of genetic markers explained significant portions of the variance in biological intermediates of interest, and many of these scores showed expected correlations with disease. Genome-wide allelic scores however tended to lack specificity suggesting that they should be used with caution and perhaps only to proxy biological intermediates for which there are no known individual variants. Power calculations confirm the feasibility of extending our strategy to the analysis of tens of thousands of molecular phenotypes in large genome-wide meta-analyses. We conclude that our method represents a simple way in which potentially tens of thousands of molecular phenotypes could be screened for causal relationships with disease without having to expensively measure these variables in individual disease collections.
Author Summary
The standard approach in genome-wide association studies is to analyse the relationship between genetic variants and disease one marker at a time. Significant associations between markers and disease are then used as evidence to implicate biological intermediates and pathways likely to be involved in disease aetiology. However, single genetic variants typically only explain small amounts of disease risk. Our idea is to construct allelic scores that explain greater proportions of the variance in biological intermediates than single markers, and then use these scores to data mine genome-wide association studies. We show how allelic scores derived from known variants as well as allelic scores derived from hundreds of thousands of genetic markers across the genome explain significant portions of the variance in body mass index, levels of C-reactive protein, and LDLc cholesterol, and many of these scores show expected correlations with disease. Power calculations confirm the feasibility of scaling our strategy to the analysis of tens of thousands of molecular phenotypes in large genome-wide meta-analyses. Our method represents a simple way in which tens of thousands of molecular phenotypes could be screened for potential causal relationships with disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003919
PMCID: PMC3814299  PMID: 24204319

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