To identify genetic variants influencing plasma lipid concentrations, we first used genotype imputation and meta-analysis to combine three genome-wide scans totaling 8,816 individuals and comprising 6,068 individuals specific to our study (1,874 individuals from the FUSION study of type 2 diabetes and 4,184 individuals from the SardiNIA study of aging-associated variables) and 2,758 individuals from the Diabetes Genetics Initiative, reported in a companion study in this issue. We subsequently examined promising signals in 11,569 additional individuals. Overall, we identify strongly associated variants in eleven loci previously implicated in lipid metabolism (ABCA1, the APOA5-APOA4-APOC3-APOA1 and APOE-APOC clusters, APOB, CETP, GCKR, LDLR, LPL, LIPC, LIPG and PCSK9) and also in several newly identified loci (near MVK-MMAB and GALNT2, with variants primarily associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; near SORT1, with variants primarily associated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; near TRIB1, MLXIPL and ANGPTL3, with variants primarily associated with triglycerides; and a locus encompassing several genes near NCAN, with variants strongly associated with both triglycerides and LDL cholesterol). Notably, the 11 independent variants associated with increased LDL cholesterol concentrations in our study also showed increased frequency in a sample of coronary artery disease cases versus controls.
Large consortia have revealed hundreds of genetic loci associated with anthropometric traits, one trait at a time. We examined whether genetic variants affect body shape as a composite phenotype that is represented by a combination of anthropometric traits. We developed an approach that calculates averaged PCs (AvPCs) representing body shape derived from six anthropometric traits (body mass index, height, weight, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio). The first four AvPCs explain >99% of the variability, are heritable, and associate with cardiometabolic outcomes. We performed genome-wide association analyses for each body shape composite phenotype across 65 studies and meta-analysed summary statistics. We identify six novel loci: LEMD2 and CD47 for AvPC1, RPS6KA5/C14orf159 and GANAB for AvPC3, and ARL15 and ANP32 for AvPC4. Our findings highlight the value of using multiple traits to define complex phenotypes for discovery, which are not captured by single-trait analyses, and may shed light onto new pathways.
Past genome-wide associate studies have identified hundreds of genetic loci that influence body size and shape when examined one trait at a time. Here, Jeff and colleagues develop an aggregate score of various body traits, and use meta-analysis to find new loci linked to body shape.
Looking back over the past decade of human genomics, Francis Collins finds five key lessons for the future of personalized medicine — for technology, policy, partnerships and pharmacogenomics.
Exposure to indoor air pollution from household burning and solid fuels affects nearly half of the world’s population.
In Africa, programs to improve health will require major investments in institutions that can train and retain health professionals.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute announces bold plans to build a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network that will unite millions of patients through a coordinated collaboration with researchers and health care delivery organizations.
A mechanism for funding biomedical research at NIH that transcends Institute and Center boundaries is bearing fruit
A comprehensive and collaborative strategy to enable the investigation of new uses of approved and abandoned drug compounds could advance translational research.
President Obama has announced a research initiative that aims to accelerate progress toward a new era of precision medicine, with a near-term focus on cancers and a longer-term aim to generate knowledge applicable to the whole range of health and disease.
Editorials; everolimus; lamin type A; lonafarnib; morpholinos; progeria; rare diseases; translational medical research
Despite dramatic advances in the molecular pathogenesis of disease, translation of basic biomedical research into safe and effective clinical applications remains a slow, expensive, and failure-prone endeavor. To pursue opportunities for disruptive translational innovation, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) intends to establish a new entity, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The mission of NCATS is to catalyze the generation of innovative methods and technologies that will enhance the development, testing, and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of diseases and conditions. The new center’s activities will complement, and not compete with, translational research being carried out at NIH and elsewhere in the public and private sectors.
Given the yearly challenge of seasonal influenza and the potential catastrophic consequences of future pandemics, the need for intensive basic and clinical influenza research is unquestionable. Although the fruits of decades of research have enabled dramatic improvements in our ability to prevent and treat influenza, many fundamental questions remain, including those related to the complex factors associated with host switching and transmission of influenza viruses. Recent public concern over two H5N1 influenza manuscripts that studied the transmissibility of influenza viruses has triggered intense discussion on dual-use research and the way forward.
The Human Genome Project, which launched a quarter of a century ago this week, still holds lessons for the consortium-based science it ushered in, say Eric D. Green, James D. Watson and Francis S. Collins.
The NIH BRAIN Initiative will build on recent successes in neuroscience to create and apply new tools for understanding brain activity.
Janine A. Clayton and Francis S. Collins unveil policies to ensure that preclinical research funded by the US National Institutes of Health considers females and males.