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1.  Meta-analysis identifies multiple loci associated with kidney function–related traits in east Asian populations 
Nature genetics  2012;44(8):904-909.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), impairment of kidney function, is a serious public health problem, and the assessment of genetic factors influencing kidney function has substantial clinical relevance. Here, we report a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for kidney function–related traits, including 71,149 east Asian individuals from 18 studies in 11 population-, hospital- or family-based cohorts, conducted as part of the Asian Genetic Epidemiology Network (AGEN). Our meta-analysis identified 17 loci newly associated with kidney function–related traits, including the concentrations of blood urea nitrogen, uric acid and serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate based on serum creatinine levels (eGFRcrea) (P < 5.0 × 10−8). We further examined these loci with in silico replication in individuals of European ancestry from the KidneyGen, CKDGen and GUGC consortia, including a combined total of ~110,347 individuals. We identify pleiotropic associations among these loci with kidney function–related traits and risk of CKD. These findings provide new insights into the genetics of kidney function.
PMCID: PMC4737645  PMID: 22797727
2.  Adjustment of Cell-Type Composition Minimizes Systematic Bias in Blood DNA Methylation Profiles Derived by DNA Collection Protocols 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(1):e0147519.
Differences in DNA collection protocols may be a potential confounder in epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) using a large number of blood specimens from multiple biobanks and/or cohorts. Here we show that pre-analytical procedures involved in DNA collection can induce systematic bias in the DNA methylation profiles of blood cells that can be adjusted by cell-type composition variables. In Experiment 1, whole blood from 16 volunteers was collected to examine the effect of a 24 h storage period at 4°C on DNA methylation profiles as measured using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array. Our statistical analysis showed that the P-value distribution of more than 450,000 CpG sites was similar to the theoretical distribution (in quantile-quantile plot, λ = 1.03) when comparing two control replicates, which was remarkably deviated from the theoretical distribution (λ = 1.50) when comparing control and storage conditions. We then considered cell-type composition as a possible cause of the observed bias in DNA methylation profiles and found that the bias associated with the cold storage condition was largely decreased (λadjusted = 1.14) by taking into account a cell-type composition variable. As such, we compared four respective sample collection protocols used in large-scale Japanese biobanks or cohorts as well as two control replicates. Systematic biases in DNA methylation profiles were observed between control and three of four protocols without adjustment of cell-type composition (λ = 1.12–1.45) and no remarkable biases were seen after adjusting for cell-type composition in all four protocols (λadjusted = 1.00–1.17). These results revealed important implications for comparing DNA methylation profiles between blood specimens from different sources and may lead to discovery of disease-associated DNA methylation markers and the development of DNA methylation profile-based predictive risk models.
PMCID: PMC4723336  PMID: 26799745
3.  A polygenic risk score for breast cancer in women receiving tamoxifen or raloxifene on NSABP P-1 and P-2 
Recent genetic studies have identified common variation in susceptibility loci that stratify lifetime risks of breast cancer and may inform prevention and screening strategies. However, whether these loci have similar implications for women treated with tamoxifen or raloxifene (SERMs) is unknown. We conducted a matched case–control study of 592 cases who developed breast cancer and 1,171 unaffected women from 32,859 participants on SERM therapy enrolled on NSABP P-1 and P-2 breast cancer prevention trials. We formed a quantitative polygenic risk score (PRS) using genotypes of 75 breast cancer-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms and examined the PRS as a risk factor for breast cancer among women treated with SERMs. The PRS ranged from 3.98 to 7.74, with a one-unit change associated with a 42 % increase in breast cancer (OR = 1.42; P = 0.0002). The PRS had a stronger association with breast cancer among high-risk women with no first-degree family history (OR = 1.62) compared to those with a positive family history (OR = 1.32) (Pintx = 0.04). There was also suggestion that PRS was a stronger risk factor for ER-positive (OR = 1.59, P = 0.0002) than ER-negative (OR = 1.05, P = 0.84) breast cancer (Pintx = 0.10). Associations did not differ by tamoxifen or raloxifene treatment, age at trial entry, 5-year predicted Gail model risk or other clinical variables. The PRS is a strong risk factor for ER-positive breast cancer in moderate to high-risk individuals treated with either tamoxifen or raloxifene for cancer prevention. These data suggest that common genetic variation informs risk of breast cancer in women receiving SERMs.
PMCID: PMC4327931  PMID: 25575444
SERMs; Mammographic density; Polygenic risk score; Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
4.  A Genome Wide Study of Copy Number Variation Associated with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma in Malaysian Chinese Identifies CNVs at 11q14.3 and 6p21.3 as Candidate Loci 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(1):e0145774.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a neoplasm of the epithelial lining of the nasopharynx. Despite various reports linking genomic variants to NPC predisposition, very few reports were done on copy number variations (CNV). CNV is an inherent structural variation that has been found to be involved in cancer predisposition.
A discovery cohort of Malaysian Chinese descent (NPC patients, n = 140; Healthy controls, n = 256) were genotyped using Illumina® HumanOmniExpress BeadChip. PennCNV and cnvPartition calling algorithms were applied for CNV calling. Taqman CNV assays and digital PCR were used to validate CNV calls and replicate candidate copy number variant region (CNVR) associations in a follow-up Malaysian Chinese (NPC cases, n = 465; and Healthy controls, n = 677) and Malay cohort (NPC cases, n = 114; Healthy controls, n = 124).
Six putative CNVRs overlapping GRM5, MICA/HCP5/HCG26, LILRB3/LILRA6, DPY19L2, RNase3/RNase2 and GOLPH3 genes were jointly identified by PennCNV and cnvPartition. CNVs overlapping GRM5 and MICA/HCP5/HCG26 were subjected to further validation by Taqman CNV assays and digital PCR. Combined analysis in Malaysian Chinese cohort revealed a strong association at CNVR on chromosome 11q14.3 (Pcombined = 1.54x10-5; odds ratio (OR) = 7.27; 95% CI = 2.96–17.88) overlapping GRM5 and a suggestive association at CNVR on chromosome 6p21.3 (Pcombined = 1.29x10-3; OR = 4.21; 95% CI = 1.75–10.11) overlapping MICA/HCP5/HCG26 genes.
Our results demonstrated the association of CNVs towards NPC susceptibility, implicating a possible role of CNVs in NPC development.
PMCID: PMC4701378  PMID: 26730743
5.  Association between endometriosis and the interleukin 1A (IL1A) locus 
Are single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the interleukin 1A (IL1A) gene locus associated with endometriosis risk?
We found evidence for strong association between IL1A SNPs and endometriosis risk.
Genetic factors contribute substantially to the complex aetiology of endometriosis and the disease has an estimated heritability of ∼51%. We, and others, have conducted genome-wide association (GWA) studies for endometriosis, which identified a total of nine independent risk loci. Recently, two small Japanese studies reported eight SNPs (rs6542095, rs11677416, rs3783550, rs3783525, rs3783553, rs2856836, rs1304037 and rs17561) at the IL1A gene locus as suggestively associated with endometriosis risk. There is also evidence of a link between inflammation and endometriosis.
We sought to further investigate the eight IL1A SNPs for association with endometriosis using an independent sample of 3908 endometriosis cases and 8568 controls of European and Japanese ancestry. The study was conducted between October 2013 and July 2014.
By leveraging GWA data from our previous multi-ethnic GWA meta-analysis for endometriosis, we imputed variants in the IL1A region, using a recent 1000 Genomes reference panel. After combining summary statistics for the eight SNPs from our European and Japanese imputed data with the published results, a fixed-effect meta-analysis was performed. An additional meta-analysis restricted to endometriosis cases with moderate-to-severe (revised American Fertility Society stage 3 or 4) disease versus controls was also performed.
All eight IL1A SNPs successfully replicated at P < 0.014 in the European imputed data with concordant direction and similar size to the effects reported in the original Japanese studies. Of these, three SNPs (rs6542095, rs3783550 and rs3783525) also showed association with endometriosis at a nominal P < 0.05 in our independent Japanese sample. Fixed-effect meta-analysis of the eight SNPs for moderate-to-severe endometriosis produced a genome-wide significant association for rs6542095 (odds ratio = 1.21; 95% confidence interval = 1.13–1.29; P = 3.43 × 10−8).
The meta-analysis for moderate-to-severe endometriosis included results of moderate-to-severe endometriosis cases from our European data sets and all endometriosis cases from the Japanese data sets, as disease stage information was not available for endometriosis cases in the Japanese data sets.
SNP rs6542095 is located ∼2.3 kb downstream of the IL1A gene and ∼6.9 kb upstream of cytoskeleton-associated protein 2-like (CKAP2L) gene. The IL1A gene encodes the IL1a protein, a member of the interleukin 1 cytokine family which is involved in various immune responses and inflammatory processes. These results provide important replication in an independent Japanese sample and, for the first time, association of the IL1A locus in endometriosis patients of European ancestry. SNPs within the IL1A locus may regulate other genes, but if IL1A is the target, our results provide supporting evidence for a link between inflammatory responses and the pathogenesis of endometriosis.
The research was funded by grants from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust. None of the authors has competing interests for the study.
PMCID: PMC4262465  PMID: 25336714
endometriosis; genome-wide association studies; interleukin 1A; inflammation; immune responses
6.  Trans-ethnic meta-analysis of white blood cell phenotypes 
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(25):6944-6960.
White blood cell (WBC) count is a common clinical measure used as a predictor of certain aspects of human health, including immunity and infection status. WBC count is also a complex trait that varies among individuals and ancestry groups. Differences in linkage disequilibrium structure and heterogeneity in allelic effects are expected to play a role in the associations observed between populations. Prior genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses have identified genomic loci associated with WBC and its subtypes, but much of the heritability of these phenotypes remains unexplained. Using GWAS summary statistics for over 50 000 individuals from three diverse populations (Japanese, African-American and European ancestry), a Bayesian model methodology was employed to account for heterogeneity between ancestry groups. This approach was used to perform a trans-ethnic meta-analysis of total WBC, neutrophil and monocyte counts. Ten previously known associations were replicated and six new loci were identified, including several regions harboring genes related to inflammation and immune cell function. Ninety-five percent credible interval regions were calculated to narrow the association signals and fine-map the putatively causal variants within loci. Finally, a conditional analysis was performed on the most significant SNPs identified by the trans-ethnic meta-analysis (MA), and nine secondary signals within loci previously associated with WBC or its subtypes were identified. This work illustrates the potential of trans-ethnic analysis and ascribes a critical role to multi-ethnic cohorts and consortia in exploring complex phenotypes with respect to variants that lie outside the European-biased GWAS pool.
PMCID: PMC4245044  PMID: 25096241
7.  Association of Genetically Determined Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2 Activity with Diabetic Complications in Relation to Alcohol Consumption in Japanese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The Fukuoka Diabetes Registry 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(11):e0143288.
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) detoxifies aldehyde produced during ethanol metabolism and oxidative stress. A genetic defect in this enzyme is common in East Asians and determines alcohol consumption behaviors. We investigated the impact of genetically determined ALDH2 activity on diabetic microvascular and macrovascular complications in relation to drinking habits in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. An ALDH2 single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs671) was genotyped in 4,400 patients. Additionally, the relationship of clinical characteristics with ALDH2 activity (ALDH2 *1/*1 active enzyme activity vs. *1/*2 or *2/*2 inactive enzyme activity) and drinking habits (lifetime abstainers vs. former or current drinkers) was investigated cross-sectionally (n = 691 in *1/*1 abstainers, n = 1,315 in abstainers with *2, n = 1,711 in *1/*1 drinkers, n = 683 in drinkers with *2). The multiple logistic regression analysis for diabetic complications was adjusted for age, sex, current smoking habits, leisure-time physical activity, depressive symptoms, diabetes duration, body mass index, hemoglobin A1c, insulin use, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic blood pressure and renin-angiotensin system inhibitors use. Albuminuria prevalence was significantly lower in the drinkers with *2 than that of other groups (odds ratio [95% confidence interval (CI)]: *1/*1 abstainers as the referent, 0.94 [0.76–1.16] in abstainers with *2, 1.00 [0.80–1.26] in *1/*1 drinkers, 0.71 [0.54–0.93] in drinkers with *2). Retinal photocoagulation prevalence was also lower in drinkers with ALDH2 *2 than that of other groups. In contrast, myocardial infarction was significantly increased in ALDH2 *2 carriers compared with that in ALDH2 *1/*1 abstainers (odds ratio [95% CI]: *1/*1 abstainers as the referent, 2.63 [1.28–6.13] in abstainers with *2, 1.89 [0.89–4.51] in *1/*1 drinkers, 2.35 [1.06–5.79] in drinkers with *2). In summary, patients with type 2 diabetes and ALDH2 *2 displayed a lower microvascular complication prevalence associated with alcohol consumption but a higher macrovascular complication prevalence irrespective of alcohol consumption.
PMCID: PMC4658066  PMID: 26599441
8.  Large-scale association analysis in Asians identifies new susceptibility loci for prostate cancer 
Nature Communications  2015;6:8469.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified ∼100 genetic loci associated with prostate cancer risk. Less than a dozen of these loci were initially identified from GWAS in two Asian populations, likely because of smaller sample sizes of these individual GWAS in Asians. Here, we conduct a large-scale meta-analysis of two GWAS from the Japanese population (1,583 cases and 3,386 controls) and the Chinese population (1,417 cases and 1,008 controls), followed by replication in three independent sample sets. We identify two independent susceptibility loci for prostate cancer at 11p15.4 (rs12791447, P=3.59 × 10−8; PPFIBP2) and 14q23.2 (rs58262369, P=6.05 × 10−10; ESR2). The mRNA levels of PPFIBP2 and ESR2 are differentially expressed in prostate tumours and paired normal tissues. Our study adds two new loci to the limited number of prostate cancer risk-associated variants in Asians and provides important insight into potential biological mechanisms of prostate cancer.
Genetic variations influence the risk of prostate cancer. Here, the authors use a meta-analysis of Genome-wide association studies from Asian populations and uncover new susceptibility loci at 11p15.4 and 14q23.2.
PMCID: PMC4633711  PMID: 26443449
9.  Genetic variants of SLC17A1 are associated with cholesterol homeostasis and hyperhomocysteinaemia in Japanese men 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:15888.
Hyperuricaemia is an undisputed and highly predictive biomarker for cardiovascular risk. SLC17A1, expressed in the liver and kidneys, harbours potent candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms that decrease uric acid levels. Therefore, we examined SLC17A1 polymorphisms (rs1165196, rs1179086, and rs3757131), which might suppress cardiovascular risk factors and that are involved in liver functioning, via a large-scale pooled analysis of the Japanese general population in a cross-sectional study. Using data from the Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort Study, we identified 1842 participants of both sexes, 35–69-years-old, having the requisite data, and analysed their SLC17A1 genotypes. In men, logistic regression analyses revealed that minor alleles in SLC17A1 polymorphisms (rs1165196 and rs3757131) were associated with a low-/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio >2.0 (rs1165196: odds ratio [OR], 0.703; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.536–0.922; rs3757131: OR, 0.658; 95% CI, 0.500–0.866), and with homocysteine levels of >10.0 nmol/mL (rs1165196: OR, 0.544; 95% CI, 0.374–0.792; rs3757131: OR, 0.509; 95% CI, 0.347–0.746). Therefore, these polymorphisms had dominant negative effects on cholesterol homeostasis and hyperhomocysteinaemia, in men, independent of alcohol consumption, physical activity, or daily energy and nutrition intake. Thus, genetic variants of SLC17A1 are potential biomarkers for altered cholesterol homeostasis and hyperhomocysteinaemia in Japanese men.
PMCID: PMC4630628  PMID: 26524967
10.  Genome-Wide Association Study of Peripheral Arterial Disease in a Japanese Population 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(10):e0139262.
Characteristics of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) are the occlusion or stenosis of multiple vessel sites caused mainly by atherosclerosis and chronic lower limb ischemia. To identify PAD susceptible loci, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) with 785 cases and 3,383 controls in a Japanese population using 431,666 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP). After staged analyses including a total of 3,164 cases and 20,134 controls, we identified 3 novel PAD susceptibility loci at IPO5/RAP2A, EDNRA and HDAC9 with genome wide significance (combined P = 6.8 x 10−14, 5.3 x 10−9 and 8.8 x 10−8, respectively). Fine-mapping at the IPO5/RAP2A locus revealed that rs9584669 conferred risk of PAD. Luciferase assay showed that the risk allele at this locus reduced expression levels of IPO5. To our knowledge, these are the first genetic risk factors for PAD.
PMCID: PMC4619060  PMID: 26488411
11.  Integrating Genetic, Transcriptional, and Functional Analyses to Identify Five Novel Genes for Atrial Fibrillation 
Circulation  2014;130(15):1225-1235.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects over 30 million individuals worldwide and is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, and death. AF is highly heritable, yet the genetic basis for the arrhythmia remains incompletely understood.
Methods & Results
To identify new AF-related genes, we utilized a multifaceted approach, combining large-scale genotyping in two ethnically distinct populations, cis-eQTL mapping, and functional validation. Four novel loci were identified in individuals of European descent near the genes NEURL (rs12415501, RR=1.18, 95%CI 1.13 – 1.23, p=6.5×10−16), GJA1 (rs13216675, RR=1.10, 95%CI 1.06 – 1.14, p=2.2×10−8), TBX5 (rs10507248, RR=1.12, 95%CI 1.08 – 1.16, p=5.7×10−11), and CAND2 (rs4642101, RR=1.10, 95%CI 1.06 – 1.14, p=9.8×10−9). In Japanese, novel loci were identified near NEURL (rs6584555, RR=1.32, 95%CI 1.26–1.39, p=2.0×10−25) and CUX2 (rs6490029, RR=1.12, 95%CI 1.08–1.16, p=3.9×10−9). The top SNPs or their proxies were identified as cis-eQTLs for the genes CAND2 (p=2.6×10−19), GJA1 (p=2.66×10−6), and TBX5 (p=1.36×10−05). Knockdown of the zebrafish orthologs of NEURL and CAND2 resulted in prolongation of the atrial action potential duration (17% and 45%, respectively).
We have identified five novel loci for AF. Our results further expand the diversity of genetic pathways implicated in AF and provide novel molecular targets for future biological and pharmacological investigation.
PMCID: PMC4190011  PMID: 25124494
atrial fibrillation; genetics; epidemiology; expression; functional analysis; zebrafish
12.  A Genome-Wide Association Study to Identify Genomic Modulators of Rate Control Therapy in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation 
The American journal of cardiology  2014;114(4):593-600.
For many patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), ventricular rate control with atrioventricular (AV) nodal blockers is considered first-line therapy, though response to treatment is highly variable. Using an extreme phenotype of failure of rate control necessitating AV nodal ablation and pacemaker implantation, we conducted a genome wide association study (GWAS) to identify genomic modulators of rate control therapy. Cases included 95 patients who failed rate control therapy. Controls (N=190) achieved adequate rate control therapy with ≤2 AV nodal blockers using a conventional clinical definition. Genotyping was performed on the Illumina 610-Quad platform, and results were imputed to the 1000 Genomes reference haplotypes. 554,041 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) met criteria for minor allele frequency (>0.01), call rate (>95%), and quality control, and 6,055,224 SNPs were available after imputation. No SNP reached the canonical threshold for significance for GWAS of P<5 × 10−8. Sixty-three SNPs with P<10−5 at 6 genomic loci were genotyped in a validation cohort of 130 cases and 157 controls. These included 6q24.3 (near SAMD5/SASH1, P=9.36 × 10−8), 4q12 (IGFBP7, P=1.75 × 10−7), 6q22.33 (C6orf174, P=4.86 × 10−7), 3p21.31 (CDCP1, P=1.18 × 10−6), 12p12.1 (SOX5, P=1.62 × 10−6), and 7p11 (LANCL2, P=6.51 × 10−6). However, none of these were significant in the replication cohort or in a meta-analysis of both cohorts. In conclusion, we identified several potentially important genomic modulators of rate control therapy in AF, particularly SOX5, which was previously associated with resting heart rate and PR interval. However these failed to reach genome-wide significance.
PMCID: PMC4119836  PMID: 25015694
atrial fibrillation; genomics; rate control
13.  Performance comparison of four commercial human whole-exome capture platforms 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:12742.
Whole exome sequencing (WXS) is widely used to identify causative genetic mutations of diseases. However, not only have several commercial human exome capture platforms been developed, but substantial updates have been released in the past few years. We report a performance comparison for the latest release of four commercial platforms, Roche/NimbleGen’s SeqCap EZ Human Exome Library v3.0, Illumina’s Nextera Rapid Capture Exome (v1.2), Agilent’s SureSelect XT Human All Exon v5 and Agilent’s SureSelect QXT, using the same DNA samples. Agilent XT showed the highest target enrichment efficiency and the best SNV and short indel detection sensitivity in coding regions with the least amount of sequencing. Agilent QXT had slightly inferior target enrichment than Agilent XT. Illumina, with additional sequencing, detected SNVs and short indels at the same quality as Agilent XT, and showed the best performance in coverage of medically interesting mutations. NimbleGen detected more SNVs and indels in untranslated regions than the others. We also found that the platforms, which enzymatically fragment the genomic DNA (gDNA), detected more homozygous SNVs than those using sonicated gDNA. We believe that our analysis will help investigators when selecting a suitable exome capture platform for their particular research.
PMCID: PMC4522667  PMID: 26235669
14.  Citalopram and escitalopram plasma drug and metabolite concentrations: genome-wide associations 
Citalopram (CT) and escitalopram (S-CT) are among the most widely prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). We applied a genome-wide association study to identify genetic factors that contribute to variation in plasma concentrations of CT or S-CT and their metabolites in MDD patients treated with CT or S-CT.
Our genome-wide association study was performed using samples from 435 MDD patients. Linear mixed models were used to account for within-subject correlations of longitudinal measures of plasma drug/metabolite concentrations (4 and 8 weeks after the initiation of drug therapy), and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were modelled as additive allelic effects.
Genome-wide significant associations were observed for S-CT concentration with SNPs in or near the CYP2C19 gene on chromosome 10 (rs1074145, P = 4.1 × 10−9) and with S-didesmethylcitalopram concentration for SNPs near the CYP2D6 locus on chromosome 22 (rs1065852, P = 2.0 × 10−16), supporting the important role of these cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes in biotransformation of citalopram. After adjustment for the effect of CYP2C19 functional alleles, the analyses also identified novel loci that will require future replication and functional validation.
In vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that the biotransformation of CT to monodesmethylcitalopram and didesmethylcitalopram is mediated by CYP isozymes. The results of our genome-wide association study performed in MDD patients treated with CT or S-CT have confirmed those observations but also identified novel genomic loci that might play a role in variation in plasma levels of CT or its metabolites during the treatment of MDD patients with these selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC4137829  PMID: 24528284
citalopram; escitalopram; genome-wide association study; major depressive disorder; plasma drug concentration; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
15.  CMTR1 is associated with increased asthma exacerbations in patients taking inhaled corticosteroids 
Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are the most effective controller medications for asthma, and variability in ICS response is associated with genetic variation. Despite ICS treatment, some patients with poor asthma control experience severe asthma exacerbations, defined as a hospitalization or emergency room visit. We hypothesized that some individuals may be at increased risk of asthma exacerbations, despite ICS use, due to genetic factors. A GWAS of 237,726 common, independent markers was conducted in 806 Caucasian asthmatic patients from two population‐based biobanks: BioVU, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Tennessee (369 patients), and Personalized Medicine Research Project (PMRP) at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin (437 patients). Using a case–control study design, the association of each SNP locus with the outcome of asthma exacerbations (defined as asthma‐related emergency department visits or hospitalizations concurrent with oral corticosteroid use), was evaluated for each population by logistic regression analysis, adjusting for age, gender and the first four principal components. A meta‐analysis of the results was conducted. Validation of expression of selected candidate genes was determined by evaluating an independent microarray expression data set. Our study identified six novel SNPs associated with differential risk of asthma exacerbations (P < 10−05). The top GWAS result, rs2395672 in CMTR1, was associated with an increased risk of exacerbations in both populations (OR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.03–1.11; joint P = 2.3 × 10−06). Two SNPs (rs2395672 and rs279728) were associated with increased risk of exacerbations, while the remaining four SNPs (rs4271056, rs6467778, rs2691529, and rs9303988) were associated with decreased risk. Three SNPs (rs2395672, rs6467778, and rs2691529) were present in three genes: CMTR1, TRIM24 and MAGI2. The CMTR1 mRNA transcript was significantly differentially expressed in nasal lavage samples from asthmatics during acute exacerbations, suggesting potential involvement of this gene in the development of this phenotype. We show that genetic variability may contribute to asthma exacerbations in patients taking ICS. Furthermore, our studies implicate CMTR1 as a novel candidate gene with potential roles in the pathogenesis of asthma exacerbations.
PMCID: PMC4693729  PMID: 26734457
Asthma; GWAS; inhaled corticosteroids; EMR; exacerbations; pharmacogenomics
16.  Multiple Nonglycemic Genomic Loci Are Newly Associated With Blood Level of Glycated Hemoglobin in East Asians 
Diabetes  2014;63(7):2551-2562.
Glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is used as a measure of glycemic control and also as a diagnostic criterion for diabetes. To discover novel loci harboring common variants associated with HbA1c in East Asians, we conducted a meta-analysis of 13 genome-wide association studies (GWAS; N = 21,026). We replicated our findings in three additional studies comprising 11,576 individuals of East Asian ancestry. Ten variants showed associations that reached genome-wide significance in the discovery data set, of which nine (four novel variants at TMEM79 [P value = 1.3 × 10−23], HBS1L/MYB [8.5 × 10−15], MYO9B [9.0 × 10−12], and CYBA [1.1 × 10−8] as well as five variants at loci that had been previously identified [CDKAL1, G6PC2/ABCB11, GCK, ANK1, and FN3KI]) showed consistent evidence of association in replication data sets. These variants explained 1.76% of the variance in HbA1c. Several of these variants (TMEM79, HBS1L/MYB, CYBA, MYO9B, ANK1, and FN3K) showed no association with either blood glucose or type 2 diabetes. Among individuals with nondiabetic levels of fasting glucose (<7.0 mmol/L) but elevated HbA1c (≥6.5%), 36.1% had HbA1c <6.5% after adjustment for these six variants. Our East Asian GWAS meta-analysis has identified novel variants associated with HbA1c as well as demonstrated that the effects of known variants are largely transferable across ethnic groups. Variants affecting erythrocyte parameters rather than glucose metabolism may be relevant to the use of HbA1c for diagnosing diabetes in these populations.
PMCID: PMC4284402  PMID: 24647736
17.  Exome Analyses of Long QT Syndrome Reveal Candidate Pathogenic Mutations in Calmodulin-Interacting Genes 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0130329.
Long QT syndrome (LQTS) is an arrhythmogenic disorder that can lead to sudden death. To date, mutations in 15 LQTS-susceptibility genes have been implicated. However, the genetic cause for approximately 20% of LQTS patients remains elusive. Here, we performed whole-exome sequencing analyses on 59 LQTS and 61 unaffected individuals in 35 families and 138 unrelated LQTS cases, after genetic screening of known LQTS genes. Our systematic analysis of familial cases and subsequent verification by Sanger sequencing identified 92 candidate mutations in 88 genes for 23 of the 35 families (65.7%): these included eleven de novo, five recessive (two homozygous and three compound heterozygous) and seventy-three dominant mutations. Although no novel commonly mutated gene was identified other than known LQTS genes, protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analyses revealed ten new pathogenic candidates that directly or indirectly interact with proteins encoded by known LQTS genes. Furthermore, candidate gene based association studies using an independent set of 138 unrelated LQTS cases and 587 controls identified an additional novel candidate. Together, mutations in these new candidates and known genes explained 37.1% of the LQTS families (13 in 35). Moreover, half of the newly identified candidates directly interact with calmodulin (5 in 11; comparison with all genes; p=0.042). Subsequent variant analysis in the independent set of 138 cases identified 16 variants in the 11 genes, of which 14 were in calmodulin-interacting genes (87.5%). These results suggest an important role of calmodulin and its interacting proteins in the pathogenesis of LQTS.
PMCID: PMC4488844  PMID: 26132555
18.  Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Novel Pharmacogenomic Loci For Therapeutic Response to Montelukast in Asthma 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0129385.
Genome-wide association study (GWAS) is a powerful tool to identify novel pharmacogenetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) are a major class of asthma medications, and genetic factors contribute to variable responses to these drugs. We used GWAS to identify novel SNPs associated with the response to the LTRA, montelukast, in asthmatics.
Using genome-wide genotype and phenotypic data available from American Lung Association - Asthma Clinical Research Center (ALA-ACRC) cohorts, we evaluated 8-week change in FEV1 related to montelukast administration in a discovery population of 133 asthmatics. The top 200 SNPs from the discovery GWAS were then tested in 184 additional samples from two independent cohorts.
Twenty-eight SNP associations from the discovery GWAS were replicated. Of these, rs6475448 achieved genome-wide significance (combined P = 1.97 x 10-09), and subjects from all four studies who were homozygous for rs6475448 showed increased ΔFEV1 from baseline in response to montelukast.
Through GWAS, we identified a novel pharmacogenomic locus related to improved montelukast response in asthmatics.
PMCID: PMC4470685  PMID: 26083242
19.  Establishment of CYP2D6 Reference Samples by Multiple Validated Genotyping Platforms 
The pharmacogenomics journal  2014;14(6):564-572.
Cytochrome P450 2D6 (cytochrome P450, family 2, subfamily D, polypeptide 6, or CYP2D6), a highly polymorphic drug metabolizing enzyme, is involved in the metabolism of one quarter of the most commonly prescribed medications. Here, we have applied multiple genotyping methods and Sanger sequencing to assign precise and reproducible CYP2D6 genotypes, including copy numbers, for 48 HapMap samples. Furthermore, by analyzing a set of 50 human liver microsomes using endoxifen formation from N-desmethyl-tamoxifen as the phenotype of interest, we observed a significant positive correlation between CYP2D6 genotype-assigned activity score and endoxifen formation rate (rs = 0.68 by Rank correlation test, P = 5.3 ×10−8), which corroborated the genotype-phenotype prediction derived from our genotyping methodologies. In the future, these 48 publicly available HapMap samples characterized by multiple substantiated CYP2D6 genotyping platforms could serve as a reference resource for assay development, validation, quality control, and proficiency testing for other CYP2D6 genotyping projects, and for programs pursuing clinical pharmacogenomic testing implementation.
PMCID: PMC4237721  PMID: 24980783
CYP2D6; genotyping; pharmacogenomics clinical implementation; sequencing
20.  Influence of Genetic Variants in EGF and Other Genes on Hematological Traits in Korean Populations by a Genome-Wide Approach 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:914965.
Hematological traits are important health indicators and are used as diagnostic clinical parameters for human disorders. Recently, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified many genetic loci associated with hematological traits in diverse ethnic groups. However, additional GWAS are necessary to elucidate the breadth of genetic variation and the underlying genetic architecture represented by hematological metrics. To identify additional genetic loci influencing hematological traits (such as hematocrit, hemoglobin concentration, white blood cell count, red blood cell count, and platelet count), we conducted GWAS and meta-analyses on data from 12,509 Korean individuals grouped into population-based cohorts. Of interest is EGF, a factor plays a role in the proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells. We identified a novel EGF variant, which associated with platelet count in our study (Pcombined = 2.44 × 10−15). Our study also replicated 16 genetic associations related to five hematological traits with genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) that were previously established in other ethnic groups. Of these, variants influencing platelet count are distributed across several genes and have pleiotropic effects in coronary artery disease and dyslipidemia. Our findings may aid in elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying not only hematopoiesis but also inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC4430676  PMID: 26064965
21.  Differential quantification of CYP2D6 gene copy number by four different quantitative real-time PCR assays 
Pharmacogenetics and genomics  2010;20(7):451-454.
Copy number variations (CNVs) in the CYP2D6 gene contribute to interindividual variation in drug metabolism. Since the most common duplicated allele in Asian populations is the nonfunctional CYP2D6*36 allele, the goal of this study was to identify CNV assays that can differentiate between multiple copies of the CYP2D6*36 allele and multiple copies of other CYP2D6 alleles.
We determined CYP2D6 gene copy numbers in 32 subjects with known CYP2D6 CNVs from the Coriell Japanese-Chinese panel using four qRT-PCR assays. These assays target different regions of the CYP2D6 gene: 5′-flanking region (5′flank), intron 2 (Int2), intron 6 (Int6), and exon 9 (Ex9). The specific target site of the Ex9 assay was verified by sequencing the PCR amplicon.
Three of the CYP2D6 CNV assays (5′-flank, Int2, and Int6) estimated CYP2D6 copy numbers that were concordant for all 32 subjects. However, the Ex9 assay was concordant in only 10 of 32 samples. The 10 concordant samples did not contain any CYP2D6*36 alleles and the 22 discordant samples contained at least one CYP2D6*36 allele. Also, the Ex9 assay accurately quantified all of the non-CYP2D6*36 alleles in all samples. Ex9 amplicon sequencing indicated that it targets a region of CYP2D6 exon 9 that undergoes partial gene-conversion in the CYP2D6*36 allele.
CYP2D6 Ex9 CNV assay can be used to determine the copy number of non-CYP2D6*36 alleles. Selective amplification of non-CYP2D6*36 sequence by the Ex9 assay should be useful in determining the number of functional copies of CYP2D6 in Asian populations.
PMCID: PMC4411953  PMID: 20421845
Cytochrome P450 2D6; copy number variation; genotyping
22.  Anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibody (ACPA)-negative RA shares a large proportion of susceptibility loci with ACPA-positive RA: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association study in a Japanese population 
Although susceptibility genes for anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibodies (ACPA)-positive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been successfully discovered by genome-wide association studies (GWAS), little is known about the genetic background of ACPA-negative RA. We intended to elucidate genetic background of ACPA-negative RA.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS comprising 670 ACPA-negative RA and 16,891 controls for 1,948,138 markers, followed by a replication study of the top 35 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using 916 cases and 3,764 controls. Inverse-variance method was applied to assess overall effects. To assess overlap of susceptibility loci between ACPA-positive and -negative RA, odds ratios (ORs) of the 21 susceptibility markers to RA in Japanese were compared between the two subsets. In addition, SNPs were stratified by the p-values in GWAS meta-analysis for either ACPA-positive RA or ACPA-negative RA to address the question whether weakly-associated genes were also shared. The correlations between ACPA-positive RA and the subpopulations of ACPA-negative RA (rheumatoid factor (RF)-positive and RF-negative subsets) were also addressed.
Rs6904716 in LEMD2 of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) locus showed a borderline association with ACPA-negative RA (overall p = 5.7 × 10−8), followed by rs6986423 in CSMD1 (p = 2.4 × 10−6) and rs17727339 in FCRL3 (p = 1.4 × 10−5). ACPA-negative RA showed significant correlations of ORs with ACPA-positive RA for the 21 susceptibility SNPs and non-HLA SNPs with p-values far from significance. These significant correlations with ACPA-positive RA were true for ACPA-negative RF-positive and ACPA-negative RF-negative RA. On the contrary, positive correlations were not observed between the ACPA-negative two subpopulations.
Many of the susceptibility loci were shared between ACPA-positive and -negative RA.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0623-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4431175  PMID: 25927497
23.  A meta-analysis of 87,040 individuals identifies 23 new susceptibility loci for prostate cancer 
Al Olama, Ali Amin | Kote-Jarai, Zsofia | Berndt, Sonja I. | Conti, David V. | Schumacher, Fredrick | Han, Ying | Benlloch, Sara | Hazelett, Dennis J. | Wang, Zhaoming | Saunders, Ed | Leongamornlert, Daniel | Lindstrom, Sara | Jugurnauth-Little, Sara | Dadaev, Tokhir | Tymrakiewicz, Malgorzata | Stram, Daniel O. | Rand, Kristin | Wan, Peggy | Stram, Alex | Sheng, Xin | Pooler, Loreall C. | Park, Karen | Xia, Lucy | Tyrer, Jonathan | Kolonel, Laurence N. | Le Marchand, Loic | Hoover, Robert N. | Machiela, Mitchell J. | Yeager, Merideth | Burdette, Laurie | Chung, Charles C. | Hutchinson, Amy | Yu, Kai | Goh, Chee | Ahmed, Mahbubl | Govindasami, Koveela | Guy, Michelle | Tammela, Teuvo L.J. | Auvinen, Anssi | Wahlfors, Tiina | Schleutker, Johanna | Visakorpi, Tapio | Leinonen, Katri A. | Xu, Jianfeng | Aly, Markus | Donovan, Jenny | Travis, Ruth C. | Key, Tim J. | Siddiq, Afshan | Canzian, Federico | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Takahashi, Atsushi | Kubo, Michiaki | Pharoah, Paul | Pashayan, Nora | Weischer, Maren | Nordestgaard, Borge G. | Nielsen, Sune F. | Klarskov, Peter | Røder, Martin Andreas | Iversen, Peter | Thibodeau, Stephen N. | McDonnell, Shannon K | Schaid, Daniel J | Stanford, Janet L. | Kolb, Suzanne | Holt, Sarah | Knudsen, Beatrice | Coll, Antonio Hurtado | Gapstur, Susan M. | Diver, W. Ryan | Stevens, Victoria L. | Maier, Christiane | Luedeke, Manuel | Herkommer, Kathleen | Rinckleb, Antje E. | Strom, Sara S. | Pettaway, Curtis | Yeboah, Edward D. | Tettey, Yao | Biritwum, Richard B. | Adjei, Andrew A. | Tay, Evelyn | Truelove, Ann | Niwa, Shelley | Chokkalingam, Anand P. | Cannon-Albright, Lisa | Cybulski, Cezary | Wokołorczyk, Dominika | Kluźniak, Wojciech | Park, Jong | Sellers, Thomas | Lin, Hui-Yi | Isaacs, William B. | Partin, Alan W. | Brenner, Hermann | Dieffenbach, Aida Karina | Stegmaier, Christa | Chen, Constance | Giovannucci, Edward L. | Ma, Jing | Stampfer, Meir | Penney, Kathryn L. | Mucci, Lorelei | John, Esther M. | Ingles, Sue A. | Kittles, Rick A. | Murphy, Adam B. | Pandha, Hardev | Michael, Agnieszka | Kierzek, Andrzej M. | Blot, William | Signorello, Lisa B. | Zheng, Wei | Albanes, Demetrius | Virtamo, Jarmo | Weinstein, Stephanie | Nemesure, Barbara | Carpten, John | Leske, Cristina | Wu, Suh-Yuh | Hennis, Anselm | Kibel, Adam S. | Rybicki, Benjamin A. | Neslund-Dudas, Christine | Hsing, Ann W. | Chu, Lisa | Goodman, Phyllis J. | Klein, Eric A | Zheng, S. Lilly | Batra, Jyotsna | Clements, Judith | Spurdle, Amanda | Teixeira, Manuel R. | Paulo, Paula | Maia, Sofia | Slavov, Chavdar | Kaneva, Radka | Mitev, Vanio | Witte, John S. | Casey, Graham | Gillanders, Elizabeth M. | Seminara, Daniella | Riboli, Elio | Hamdy, Freddie C. | Coetzee, Gerhard A. | Li, Qiyuan | Freedman, Matthew L. | Hunter, David J. | Muir, Kenneth | Gronberg, Henrik | Neal, David E. | Southey, Melissa | Giles, Graham G. | Severi, Gianluca | Cook, Michael B. | Nakagawa, Hidewaki | Wiklund, Fredrik | Kraft, Peter | Chanock, Stephen J. | Henderson, Brian E. | Easton, Douglas F. | Eeles, Rosalind A. | Haiman, Christopher A.
Nature genetics  2014;46(10):1103-1109.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 76 variants associated with prostate cancer risk predominantly in populations of European ancestry. To identify additional susceptibility loci for this common cancer, we conducted a meta-analysis of >10 million SNPs in 43,303prostate cancer cases and 43,737 controls from studies in populations of European, African, Japanese and Latino ancestry. Twenty-three novel susceptibility loci were revealed at P<5×10-8; 15 variants were identified among men of European ancestry, 7 from multiethnic analyses and one was associated with early-onset prostate cancer. These 23 variants, in combination with the known prostate cancer risk variants, explain 33% of the familial risk of the disease in European ancestry populations. These findings provide new regions for investigation into the pathogenesis of prostate cancer and demonstrate the utility of combining ancestrally diverse populations to discover risk loci for disease.
PMCID: PMC4383163  PMID: 25217961
24.  Novel Genetic Markers Associate with Atrial Fibrillation Risk in Europeans and Japanese 
To identify non-redundant atrial fibrillation (AF) genetic susceptibility signals and examine their cumulative relations with AF risk.
AF-associated loci span broad genomic regions that may contain multiple susceptibility signals. Whether multiple signals exist at AF loci has not been systematically explored.
We performed association testing conditioned on the most significant, independently associated genetic markers at nine established AF loci using two complementary techniques in 64,683 individuals of European ancestry (3,869 incident and 3,302 prevalent AF cases). Genetic risk scores were created and tested for association with AF in Europeans and an independent sample of 11,309 individuals of Japanese ancestry (7,916 prevalent AF cases).
We observed at least four distinct AF susceptibility signals on chromosome 4q25 upstream of PITX2, but not at the remaining eight AF loci. A multilocus score comprised of 12 genetic markers demonstrated an estimated 5-fold gradient in AF risk. We observed a similar spectrum of risk associated with these markers in Japanese. Regions containing AF signals on chromosome 4q25 displayed a greater degree of evolutionary conservation than the remainder of the locus, suggesting that they may tag regulatory elements.
The chromosome 4q25 AF locus is architecturally complex and harbors at least four AF susceptibility signals in individuals of European ancestry. Similar polygenic AF susceptibility exists between Europeans and Japanese. Future work is necessary to identify causal variants, determine mechanisms by which associated loci predispose to AF, and explore whether AF susceptibility signals classify individuals at risk for AF and related morbidity.
PMCID: PMC4009240  PMID: 24486271
Atrial fibrillation; atrial flutter; genetic; risk; prognosis
25.  Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology 
Locke, Adam E. | Kahali, Bratati | Berndt, Sonja I. | Justice, Anne E. | Pers, Tune H. | Day, Felix R. | Powell, Corey | Vedantam, Sailaja | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Yang, Jian | Croteau-Chonka, Damien C. | Esko, Tonu | Fall, Tove | Ferreira, Teresa | Gustafsson, Stefan | Kutalik, Zoltán | Luan, Jian’an | Mägi, Reedik | Randall, Joshua C. | Winkler, Thomas W. | Wood, Andrew R. | Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie | Faul, Jessica D. | Smith, Jennifer A. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Zhao, Wei | Chen, Jin | Fehrmann, Rudolf | Hedman, Åsa K. | Karjalainen, Juha | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Absher, Devin | Amin, Najaf | Anderson, Denise | Beekman, Marian | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Buyske, Steven | Demirkan, Ayse | Deng, Guohong | Ehret, Georg B. | Feenstra, Bjarke | Feitosa, Mary F. | Fischer, Krista | Goel, Anuj | Gong, Jian | Jackson, Anne U. | Kanoni, Stavroula | Kleber, Marcus E. | Kristiansson, Kati | Lim, Unhee | Lotay, Vaneet | Mangino, Massimo | Leach, Irene Mateo | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Medland, Sarah E. | Nalls, Michael A. | Palmer, Cameron D. | Pasko, Dorota | Pechlivanis, Sonali | Peters, Marjolein J. | Prokopenko, Inga | Shungin, Dmitry | Stančáková, Alena | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Sung, Yun Ju | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teumer, Alexander | Trompet, Stella | van der Laan, Sander W. | van Setten, Jessica | Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V. | Wang, Zhaoming | Yengo, Loïc | Zhang, Weihua | Isaacs, Aaron | Albrecht, Eva | Ärnlöv, Johan | Arscott, Gillian M. | Attwood, Antony P. | Bandinelli, Stefania | Barrett, Amy | Bas, Isabelita N. | Bellis, Claire | Bennett, Amanda J. | Berne, Christian | Blagieva, Roza | Blüher, Matthias | Böhringer, Stefan | Bonnycastle, Lori L. | Böttcher, Yvonne | Boyd, Heather A. | Bruinenberg, Marcel | Caspersen, Ida H. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Clarke, Robert | Daw, E. Warwick | de Craen, Anton J. M. | Delgado, Graciela | Dimitriou, Maria | Doney, Alex S. F. | Eklund, Niina | Estrada, Karol | Eury, Elodie | Folkersen, Lasse | Fraser, Ross M. | Garcia, Melissa E. | Geller, Frank | Giedraitis, Vilmantas | Gigante, Bruna | Go, Alan S. | Golay, Alain | Goodall, Alison H. | Gordon, Scott D. | Gorski, Mathias | Grabe, Hans-Jörgen | Grallert, Harald | Grammer, Tanja B. | Gräßler, Jürgen | Grönberg, Henrik | Groves, Christopher J. | Gusto, Gaëlle | Haessler, Jeffrey | Hall, Per | Haller, Toomas | Hallmans, Goran | Hartman, Catharina A. | Hassinen, Maija | Hayward, Caroline | Heard-Costa, Nancy L. | Helmer, Quinta | Hengstenberg, Christian | Holmen, Oddgeir | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | James, Alan L. | Jeff, Janina M. | Johansson, Åsa | Jolley, Jennifer | Juliusdottir, Thorhildur | Kinnunen, Leena | Koenig, Wolfgang | Koskenvuo, Markku | Kratzer, Wolfgang | Laitinen, Jaana | Lamina, Claudia | Leander, Karin | Lee, Nanette R. | Lichtner, Peter | Lind, Lars | Lindström, Jaana | Lo, Ken Sin | Lobbens, Stéphane | Lorbeer, Roberto | Lu, Yingchang | Mach, François | Magnusson, Patrik K. E. | Mahajan, Anubha | McArdle, Wendy L. | McLachlan, Stela | Menni, Cristina | Merger, Sigrun | Mihailov, Evelin | Milani, Lili | Moayyeri, Alireza | Monda, Keri L. | Morken, Mario A. | Mulas, Antonella | Müller, Gabriele | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Musk, Arthur W. | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Nöthen, Markus M. | Nolte, Ilja M. | Pilz, Stefan | Rayner, Nigel W. | Renstrom, Frida | Rettig, Rainer | Ried, Janina S. | Ripke, Stephan | Robertson, Neil R. | Rose, Lynda M. | Sanna, Serena | Scharnagl, Hubert | Scholtens, Salome | Schumacher, Fredrick R. | Scott, William R. | Seufferlein, Thomas | Shi, Jianxin | Smith, Albert Vernon | Smolonska, Joanna | Stanton, Alice V. | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Stirrups, Kathleen | Stringham, Heather M. | Sundström, Johan | Swertz, Morris A. | Swift, Amy J. | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Tan, Sian-Tsung | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Thorand, Barbara | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Tyrer, Jonathan P. | Uh, Hae-Won | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Verhulst, Frank C. | Vermeulen, Sita H. | Verweij, Niek | Vonk, Judith M. | Waite, Lindsay L. | Warren, Helen R. | Waterworth, Dawn | Weedon, Michael N. | Wilkens, Lynne R. | Willenborg, Christina | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wojczynski, Mary K. | Wong, Andrew | Wright, Alan F. | Zhang, Qunyuan | Brennan, Eoin P. | Choi, Murim | Dastani, Zari | Drong, Alexander W. | Eriksson, Per | Franco-Cereceda, Anders | Gådin, Jesper R. | Gharavi, Ali G. | Goddard, Michael E. | Handsaker, Robert E. | Huang, Jinyan | Karpe, Fredrik | Kathiresan, Sekar | Keildson, Sarah | Kiryluk, Krzysztof | Kubo, Michiaki | Lee, Jong-Young | Liang, Liming | Lifton, Richard P. | Ma, Baoshan | McCarroll, Steven A. | McKnight, Amy J. | Min, Josine L. | Moffatt, Miriam F. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Murabito, Joanne M. | Nicholson, George | Nyholt, Dale R. | Okada, Yukinori | Perry, John R. B. | Dorajoo, Rajkumar | Reinmaa, Eva | Salem, Rany M. | Sandholm, Niina | Scott, Robert A. | Stolk, Lisette | Takahashi, Atsushi | Tanaka, Toshihiro | van ’t Hooft, Ferdinand M. | Vinkhuyzen, Anna A. E. | Westra, Harm-Jan | Zheng, Wei | Zondervan, Krina T. | Heath, Andrew C. | Arveiler, Dominique | Bakker, Stephan J. L. | Beilby, John | Bergman, Richard N. | Blangero, John | Bovet, Pascal | Campbell, Harry | Caulfield, Mark J. | Cesana, Giancarlo | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chasman, Daniel I. | Chines, Peter S. | Collins, Francis S. | Crawford, Dana C. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Cusi, Daniele | Danesh, John | de Faire, Ulf | den Ruijter, Hester M. | Dominiczak, Anna F. | Erbel, Raimund | Erdmann, Jeanette | Eriksson, Johan G. | Farrall, Martin | Felix, Stephan B. | Ferrannini, Ele | Ferrières, Jean | Ford, Ian | Forouhi, Nita G. | Forrester, Terrence | Franco, Oscar H. | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Gejman, Pablo V. | Gieger, Christian | Gottesman, Omri | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hall, Alistair S. | Harris, Tamara B. | Hattersley, Andrew T. | Hicks, Andrew A. | Hindorff, Lucia A. | Hingorani, Aroon D. | Hofman, Albert | Homuth, Georg | Hovingh, G. Kees | Humphries, Steve E. | Hunt, Steven C. | Hyppönen, Elina | Illig, Thomas | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jöckel, Karl-Heinz | Johansen, Berit | Jousilahti, Pekka | Jukema, J. Wouter | Jula, Antti M. | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kastelein, John J. P. | Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka M. | Kiemeney, Lambertus A. | Knekt, Paul | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Kooperberg, Charles | Kovacs, Peter | Kraja, Aldi T. | Kumari, Meena | Kuusisto, Johanna | Lakka, Timo A. | Langenberg, Claudia | Marchand, Loic Le | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Männistö, Satu | Marette, André | Matise, Tara C. | McKenzie, Colin A. | McKnight, Barbara | Moll, Frans L. | Morris, Andrew D. | Morris, Andrew P. | Murray, Jeffrey C. | Nelis, Mari | Ohlsson, Claes | Oldehinkel, Albertine J. | Ong, Ken K. | Madden, Pamela A. F. | Pasterkamp, Gerard | Peden, John F. | Peters, Annette | Postma, Dirkje S. | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Price, Jackie F. | Qi, Lu | Raitakari, Olli T. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rao, D. C. | Rice, Treva K. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rioux, John D. | Ritchie, Marylyn D. | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Samani, Nilesh J. | Saramies, Jouko | Sarzynski, Mark A. | Schunkert, Heribert | Schwarz, Peter E. H. | Sever, Peter | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Sinisalo, Juha | Stolk, Ronald P. | Strauch, Konstantin | Tönjes, Anke | Trégouët, David-Alexandre | Tremblay, Angelo | Tremoli, Elena | Virtamo, Jarmo | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Völker, Uwe | Waeber, Gérard | Willemsen, Gonneke | Witteman, Jacqueline C. | Zillikens, M. Carola | Adair, Linda S. | Amouyel, Philippe | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Bouchard, Claude | Cauchi, Stéphane | Chambers, John C. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Cooper, Richard S. | de Bakker, Paul I. 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Nature  2015;518(7538):197-206.
Obesity is heritable and predisposes to many diseases. To understand the genetic basis of obesity better, here we conduct a genome-wide association study and Metabochip meta-analysis of body mass index (BMI), a measure commonly used to define obesity and assess adiposity, in up to 339,224 individuals. This analysis identifies 97 BMI-associated loci (P < 5 × 10−8), 56 of which are novel. Five loci demonstrate clear evidence of several independent association signals, and many loci have significant effects on other metabolic phenotypes. The 97 loci account for ~2.7% of BMI variation, and genome-wide estimates suggest that common variation accounts for >20% of BMI variation. Pathway analyses provide strong support for a role of the central nervous system in obesity susceptibility and implicate new genes and pathways, including those related to synaptic function, glutamate signalling, insulin secretion/action, energy metabolism, lipid biology and adipogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4382211  PMID: 25673413

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