The objective of this study is to identify and characterize the genetic variants related to the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) linkage on 2q37. Of the positional candidate genes, we selected IRS1 and resequenced its 2-kb promoter region and exons for sequence variants in 32 subjects. A total of 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified. To comprehensively cover the 59-kb-long intron-1, eight additional tagging SNPs were selected from the HapMap. All the 19 SNPs were genotyped by TaqMan Assay in the entire data set (N = 670; 39 families). Association analyses between the SNPs and GFR and type 2 diabetes–related traits were performed using the measured genotype approach. Of the SNPs examined for association, only the Gly(972)Arg variant of IRS1 exhibited a significant association with GFR (P = 0.0006) and serum triglycerides levels (P = 0.003), after accounting for trait-specific covariate effects. Carriers of Arg972 had significantly decreased GFR values. Gly(972)Arg contributed to 26% of the linkage signal on 2q. Expression of IRS1 mutant Arg972 in human mesangial cells significantly reduced the insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of IRS1 and Akt kinase. Taken together, the data provide the first evidence that genetic variation in IRS1 may influence variation in GFR probably through impaired insulin receptor signaling.
In spite of the growing recognition of the specific association of waist circumference (WC) with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and insulin resistance (IR), current guidelines still use body mass index (BMI) as a tool of choice. Our objective was to determine whether WC is a better T2D predictor than BMI in family-based settings.
Research Design and Methods
Using prospectively collected data on 808 individuals from 42 extended Mexican American families representing 7617.92 person-years follow-up, we examined the performance of WC and BMI as predictors of cumulative and incident risk of T2D. We used robust statistical methods that accounted for the kinships and included polygenic models, discrete trait modeling, Akaike information criterion, odds ratio (OR), relative risk (RR) and Kullback-Leibler R2. SOLAR software was used to conduct all the data analyses.
We found that in multivariate polygenic models, WC was an independent predictor of cumulative (OR = 2.76, p = 0.0002) and future risk of T2D (RR = 2.15, p = 3.56×10−9) and outperformed BMI when compared in a head-to-head fashion. High WC (≥94.65 cm after adjusting for age and sex) was also associated with high fasting glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels and low high-density lipoprotein levels indicating a potential association with IR. Moreover, WC was specifically and significantly associated with insulin resistant T2D (OR = 4.83, p = 1.01×10−13).
Our results demonstrate the value of using WC as a screening tool of choice for future risk of T2D in Mexican American families. Also, WC is specifically associated with insulin resistant T2D.
Evidence for linkage of albuminuria to GABRB3 marker region on chromosome 15q12 was previously reported in Mexican Americans. The objective of this study is to scan a positional candidate gene, Transient Receptor Potential cation channel, subfamily M 1 (TRPM1), for genetic variants that may contribute to the variation in albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR).
To identify the sequence variants, the exons and 2 kb putative promoter region of TRPM1 were PCR amplified and sequenced in 32 selected individuals. Identified variants were genotyped in the entire data set (N=670; 39 large families) by TaqMan assays. Association analyses between the sequence variants and ACR, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and related phenotypes were carried out using a measured genotype approach as implemented in the program SOLAR.
Sequencing analysis identified 18 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) including 8 SNPs in the coding regions, 7 SNPs in the promoter region and 3 SNPs in introns. Of the 8 SNPs identified in the coding regions, 3 were non synonymous [Met(1)Thr, Ser(32)Asn, Val(1395)Ile] and one SNP caused stop codon (Glu1375/*). Of the SNPs examined, none of them exhibited statistically significant association with ACR after accounting for the effect of age, sex, diabetes, duration of diabetes, systolic blood pressure and anti-hypertensive medications. However, a SNP (rs11070811) located in the putative promoter region showed a modest association with triglycerides levels (P = 0.039).
The present investigation found no evidence for an association between sequence variation at the TRPM1 gene and ACR in Mexican Americans, although it appears to have modest influence on T2DM risk factors.
TRPM1; Type 2 diabetes; Albumin to creatinine ration; polymorphisms; association analysis; Mexican Americans
Antibodies against infectious pathogens provide information on past or present exposure to infectious agents. While host genetic factors are known to affect the immune response, the influence of genetic factors on antibody levels to common infectious agents is largely unknown. Here we test whether antibody levels for 13 common infections are significantly heritable.
IgG antibodies to Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, Toxoplasma gondii, adenovirus 36 (Ad36), hepatitis A virus, influenza A and B, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 and −2, human herpesvirus-6, and varicella zoster virus were determined for 1,227 Mexican Americans. Both quantitative and dichotomous (seropositive/seronegative) traits were analyzed. Influences of genetic and shared environmental factors were estimated using variance components pedigree analysis, and sharing of underlying genetic factors among traits was investigated using bivariate analyses.
Serological phenotypes were significantly heritable for most pathogens (h2 = 0.17–0.39), except for Ad36 and HSV-2. Shared environment was significant for several pathogens (c2 = 0.10–0.32). The underlying genetic etiology appears to be largely different for most pathogens.
Our results demonstrate, for the first time for many of these pathogens, that individual genetic differences of the human host contribute substantially to antibody levels to many common infectious agents, providing impetus for the identification of underlying genetic variants, which may be of clinical importance.
Pathogen; Infection; Antibody; Serology; Genetics; Heritability; Mexican Americans
We studied 706 participants of the San Antonio Family Diabetes Study (SAFDS) and 586 male samples from the San Antonio Center for Biomarkers of Risk of Prostate Cancer (SABOR) and used 64 ancestry informative markers to compare admixture proportions in the two groups. Existence of population substructure was demonstrated by the excess association of unlinked markers. Further, the ancestral proportions differed significantly between the two study groups. In the SAFDS sample, the proportions were estimated at 50.2± 0.6% European, 46.4 ± 0.6% Native American, and 3.1 ± 0.2% West African. For the SABOR study sample, the proportions were 58.9 ± 0.7%, 38.2 ± 0.7% and 2.9 ± 0.2%, respectively. Additionally, in the SAFDS subjects a highly significant negative correlation was found between individual Native American ancestry and skin reflectance (R2=0.07, p=0.00006). The correlation was stronger in males than in females but clearly show that ancestry only accounts for a small percentage of the variation in skin color and, conversely, that skin reflectance is not a robust surrogate for genetic admixture. Furthermore, a substantial difference in substructure is present in the two cohorts of Mexican American subjects from the San Antonio area in Texas, which emphasizes that genetic admixture estimates should be accounted for in association studies, even for geographically related subjects.
admixture; skin reflectance; Mexican Americans
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The multicenter FIND consortium aims to identify genes for DN and its associated quantitative traits, e.g. the urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR). Herein, the results of whole-genome linkage analysis and a sparse association scan for ACR and a dichotomous DN phenotype are reported in diabetic individuals.
A genomewide scan comprising more than 5,500 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphism markers (average spacing of 0.6 cM) was performed on 1,235 nuclear and extended pedigrees (3,972 diabetic participants) ascertained for DN from African-American (AA), American-Indian (AI), European-American (EA) and Mexican-American (MA) populations.
Strong evidence for linkage to DN was detected on chromosome 6p (p = 8.0 × 10−5, LOD = 3.09) in EA families as well as suggestive evidence for linkage to chromosome 7p in AI families. Regions on chromosomes 3p in AA, 7q in EA, 16q in AA and 22q in MA displayed suggestive evidence of linkage for urine ACR. The linkage peak on chromosome 22q overlaps the MYH9/APOL1 gene region, previously implicated in AA diabetic and nondiabetic nephropathies.
These results strengthen the evidence for previously identified genomic regions and implicate several novel loci potentially involved in the pathogenesis of DN.
Albuminuria; Diabetes mellitus; Renal failure; End-stage renal disease; Linkage; Allelic association
Genetic variants of the eNOS gene such as T-786C, Glu298Asp, and 27bp-VNTR have been examined for their association with type 2 diabetes (T2DM)-related traits in different populations but not in Mexican Americans. However, the results from such studies have been controversial. This study investigated whether these three polymorphisms are associated with T2DM and its related traits in Mexican Americans, a population at high risk for T2DM and its complications. The study participants (N = 670; 39 families) were genotyped for the three polymorphisms using polymerase chain reaction followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism assay. Association analyses between these polymorphisms and T2DM and its related phenotypes were carried out using a measured genotype approach as implemented in the computer program SOLAR. Of the variants examined, only the 27bp-VNTR variant exhibited significant association with high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (P = 0.04) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) levels (P = 0.02) after accounting for trait-specific covariates. The carriers of the rare allele (27bp-VNTR-4a) are associated with decreased HDL-C and increased DBP levels. In conclusion, of the genetic polymorphisms examined at the eNOS locus, only 27bp-VNTR appears to be a minor contributor to the variation in T2DM-related traits in Mexican Americans.
eNOS gene; type 2 diabetes; genetic polymorphisms; association analyses; Mexican Americans
The synthetic association hypothesis proposes that common genetic variants detectable in genome-wide association studies may reflect the net phenotypic effect of multiple rare polymorphisms distributed broadly within the focal gene rather than, as often assumed, the effect of common functional variants in high linkage disequilibrium with the focal marker. In a recent study, Dickson and colleagues demonstrated synthetic association in simulations and in two well-characterized, highly polymorphic human disease genes. The converse of this hypothesis is that rare variant genotypes must be correlated with common variant genotypes often enough to make the phenomenon of synthetic association possible. Here we used the exome genotype data provided for Genetic Analysis Workshop 17 to ask how often, how well, and under what conditions rare variant genotypes predict the genotypes of common variants within the same gene. We found nominal evidence of correlation between rare and common variants in 21-30% of cases examined for unrelated individuals; this rate increased to 38-44% for related individuals, underscoring the segregation that underlies synthetic association.
Choosing the appropriate neuroimaging phenotype is critical to successfully identify genes that influence brain structure or function. While neuroimaging methods provide numerous potential phenotypes, their role for imaging genetics studies are unclear. Here we examine the relationship between brain volume, grey matter volume, cortical thickness and surface area, from a genetic standpoint. Four hundred and eighty-six individuals from randomly ascertained extended pedigrees with high-quality T1-weighted neuroanatomic MRI images participated in the study. Surface-based and voxel-based representations of brain structure were derived, using automated methods, and these measurements were analysed using a variance-components method to identify the heritability of these traits and their genetic correlations. All neuroanatomic traits were significantly influenced by genetic factors. Cortical thickness and surface area measurements were found to be genetically and phenotypically independent. While both thickness and area influenced volume measurements of cortical grey matter, volume was more closely related to surface area than cortical thickness. This trend was observed for both the volume-based and surface-based techniques. The results suggest that surface area and cortical thickness measurements should be considered separately and preferred over gray matter volumes for imaging genetic studies.
brain cortical thickness; brain surface area; heritability
Understanding the evolutionary forces that produced the human brain is a central problem in neuroscience and human biology. Comparisons across primate species show that both brain volume and gyrification (the degree of folding in the cerebral cortex) have progressively increased during primate evolution and there is a strong positive correlation between these two traits across primate species. The human brain is exceptional among primates in both total volume and gyrification, and therefore understanding the genetic mechanisms influencing variation in these traits will improve our understanding of a landmark feature of our species. Here we show that individual variation in gyrification is significantly heritable in both humans and an Old World monkey (baboons, Papio hamadryas). Furthermore, contrary to expectations based on the positive phenotypic correlation across species, the genetic correlation between cerebral volume and gyrification within both humans and baboons is estimated as negative. These results suggest that the positive relationship between cerebral volume and cortical folding across species cannot be explained by one set of selective pressures or genetic changes. Our data suggest that one set of selective pressures favored the progressive increase in brain volume documented in the primate fossil record, and that a second independent selective process, possibly related to parturition and neonatal brain size, may have favored brains with progressively greater cortical folding. Without a second separate selective pressure, natural selection favoring increased brain volume would be expected to produce less folded, more lissencephalic brains. These results provide initial evidence for the heritability of gyrification, and possibly a new perspective on the evolutionary mechanisms underlying long-term changes in the nonhuman primate and human brain.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a strong correlate of diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. We conducted a genome-wide linkage screen to identify susceptibility genes influencing systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in Mexican-Americans from the Veterans Administration Genetic Epidemiology Study (VAGES).
Using data from 1,089 individuals distributed across 266 families, we performed a multipoint linkage analysis to localize susceptibility loci for SBP and DBP by applying two models. In model 1, we added a sensible constant to the observed BP values in treated subjects [Tobin et al.; Stat Med 2005;24:2911–2935] to account for antihypertensive use (i.e. 15 and 10 mm Hg to SBP and DBP values, respectively). In model 2, we fixed values of 140 mm Hg for SBP and 90 mm Hg for DBP, if the treated values were less than the standard referenced treatment thresholds of 140/90 mm Hg for hypertensive status. However, if the observed treated BP values were found to be above these standard treatment thresholds, the actual observed treated BP values were retained in order not to reduce them by substitution of the treatment threshold values.
The multipoint linkage analysis revealed strong linkage signals for SBP compared with DBP. The strongest evidence for linkage of SBP (model 1, LOD = 5.0; model 2, LOD = 3.6) was found on chromosome 6q14.1 near the marker D6S1031 (89 cM) in both models. In addition, some evidence for SBP linkage occurred on chromosomes 1q, 4p, and 16p. Most importantly, our major SBP linkage finding on chromosome 6q near marker D6S1031 was independently confirmed in a Caucasian population (LOD = 3.3). In summary, our study found evidence for a major locus on chromosome 6q influencing SBP levels in Mexican-Americans.
Hypertension; Linkage; Antihypertensive medication; Genetic location; Heritability
Previous studies have shown that, in addition to environmental influences, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has a strong genetic component. The goal of the current study is to identify regions of linkage for T2DM in ethnically diverse populations.
Phenotypic and genotypic data were obtained from African American (AA; total number of individuals (N)=1004), American Indian (AI; N=883), European American (EA; N=537), and Mexican American (MA; N=1634) individuals from the Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes. Nonparametric linkage analysis, using an average of 4,404 SNPs, was performed in relative pairs affected with T2DM in each ethnic group. In addition, family-based tests were performed to detect association with T2DM.
Statistically significant evidence for linkage was observed on chromosomes 4q21.1 (LOD=3.13; genome-wide p=0.04) in AA. In addition, a total of eleven regions showed suggestive evidence for linkage (estimated at LOD>1.71), with the highest LOD scores on chromosomes 12q21.31 (LOD=2.02) and 22q12.3 (LOD=2.38) in AA, 2p11.1 (LOD=2.23) in AI, 6p12.3 (LOD=2.77) in EA, and 13q21.1 (LOD=2.24) in MA. While no region overlapped across all ethnic groups, at least five loci showing LOD>1.71 have been identified in previously published studies.
The results from this study provide evidence for the presence of genes affecting T2DM on chromosomes 4q, 12q, and 22q in AA, 6p in EA, 2p in AI, and 13q in MA. The strong evidence for linkage on chromosome 4q in AA provides important information given the paucity of diabetes genetic studies in this population.
FIND; Type 2 Diabetes; linkage analysis; ethnicity
Several novel genes that are up regulated in the kidney in diabetes have been identified including GREM1, which encodes gremlin 1. GREM1 maps to human chromosome 15q12, a region previously found to be linked to albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) in Mexican Americans. The objective of this study is to investigate whether genetic variants in GREM1, a positional candidate gene, contribute to variation in ACR. By sequencing 32 individuals for both exons and 2 kb putative promoter region of GREM1, we identified 19 genetic variants including 5 in the promoter region and 13 in the 3′UTR. Of 19 polymorphisms identified, 13 polymorphisms were genotyped in the entire cohort (N=670; 39 large families) either by restriction fragment length polymorphism or by TaqMan Assays. Association analyses between the genotypes and ACR, type 2 diabetes and related phenotypes were carried out using a measured genotype approach as implemented in the variance component analytical tools (SOLAR). Of the variants examined for association, none exhibited statistically significant association with ACR after accounting for the effects of covariates such as age, sex, diabetes, duration of diabetes, systolic blood pressure and anti-hypertensive medications. However, two novel variants at the 3′ UTR showed significant association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (P = 0.010 and P = 0.049) and body mass index (P = 0.013 and P = 0.019) after accounting for trait-specific covariate influences. Also, a novel variant located in the promoter exhibited a significant association with systolic (P = 0.038) and diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.005) after adjusting for the effects of age, sex, diabetes, and antihypertensive medications. In conclusion, the variants examined at GREM1 are not significant contributors to variation in ACR in Mexican Americans, although they appear to minimally influence risk factors related to ACR.
Human 8-oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (OGG1) excises oxidatively damaged promutagenic base 8-oxoguanine, a lesion previously observed in a rat model of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). The objective of the present study is to determine whether genetic variation in OGG1 is associated with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in a Mexican American cohort.
Ten SNPs including two tagging SNPs (rs1052133, rs2072668) across the OGG1 gene region were selected from the Hapmap database and genotyped in the entire cohort (n = 670; 29% diabetes; 39 families) by TaqMan assay. Association analyses between the SNPs and T2DM were performed using the measured genotype approach as implemented in the program SOLAR.
Of the ten SNPs genotyped, only five were polymorphic. The minor allele frequencies of these 5 SNPs ranged from 1–38%. Of the SNPs examined for association, the Ser(326)Cys (rs1052133) exhibited significant association with T2DM (p = 0.016) after accounting for age and sex effects. Another intronic variant (rs2072668), which was in strong linkage disequilibrium (r2 = 0.96) with Ser(326)Cys also exhibited significant association with T2DM (p = 0.031).
These results suggest for the first time that the variants in OGG1 could influence diabetes risk in these Mexican American families and support a role for alterations of OGG1 in the pathogenesis of T2DM.
Mexican Americans; OGG1; Type 2 diabetes; Ser326Cys polymorphism; Association; Tagging SNPs; rs1052133
OBJECTIVE—Elevated plasma triglyceride concentration is a component of the insulin resistance syndrome and is commonly associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity, and coronary heart disease. The goal of our study was to perform a genome-wide linkage scan to identify genetic regions that influence variation in plasma triglyceride levels in families that are enriched with individuals with type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We used phenotypic and genotypic data from 1,026 individuals distributed across 294 Mexican-American families, who were ascertained for type 2 diabetes, from the Veterans Administration Genetic Epidemiology Study (VAGES). Plasma triglyceride values were transformed, and a variance-components technique was used to conduct multipoint linkage analysis.
RESULTS—After adjusting for the significant effects of sex and BMI, heritability for plasma triglycerides was estimated as 46 ± 7% (P < 0.0001). Multipoint linkage analysis yielded the strongest evidence for linkage of plasma triglycerides near marker D12S391 on chromosome 12p (logarithm of odds [LOD] = 2.4). Our linkage signal on chromosome 12p provides independent replication of a similar finding in another Mexican-American sample from the San Antonio Family Diabetes Study (SAFDS). Combined multipoint linkage analysis of the VAGES and SAFDS data yielded significant evidence for linkage of plasma triglycerides to a genetic location between markers GATA49D12 and D12S391 on 12p (LOD = 3.8, empirical P value = 2.0 × 10−5). This region on 12p harbors the gene-encoding adiponectin receptor 2 (AdipoR2), where we previously have shown that multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms are associated with plasma triglyceride concentrations in the SAFDS. In the present study, we provided suggestive evidence in favor of association for rs929434 with triglyceride concentrations in the VAGES.
CONCLUSIONS—Collectively, these results provide strong evidence for a major locus on chromosome 12p that influences plasma triglyceride levels in Mexican Americans.
While genetic and environmental factors and their interactions influence susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), causative genetic variants have not been identified. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of covariates and genotype × sex interactions on the genome-wide association analysis (GWAA) of RA using Genetic Analysis Workshop 16 Problem 1 data and a logistic regression approach as implemented in PLINK. After accounting for the effects of population stratification, effects of covariates and genotype × sex interactions on the GWAA of RA were assessed by conducting association and interaction analyses. We found significant allelic associations, covariate, and genotype × sex interaction effects on RA. Several top single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (~22 SNPs) showed significant associations with strong p-values (p < 1 × 10-4 - p < 1 × 10-24). Only three SNPs on chromosomes 4, 13, and 20 were significant after Bonferroni correction, and none of these three SNPs showed significant genotype × sex interactions. Of the 30 top SNPs with significant (p < 1 × 10-4 - p < 1 × 10-6) interactions, ~23 SNPs showed additive interactions and ~5 SNPs showed only dominance interactions. Those SNPs showing significant associations in the regular logistic regression failed to show significant interactions. In contrast, the SNPs that showed significant interactions failed to show significant associations in models that did not incorporate interactions. It is important to consider interactions of genotype × sex in addition to associations in a GWAA of RA. Furthermore, the association between SNPs and RA susceptibility varies significantly between men and women.
Individual propensity to chronic, low–grade inflammation – a determinant of atherosclerosis – is in part under the control of genetic factors. To identify genes involved in this modulation, we performed a 10 cM genome screen for linkage with plasma C-reactive protein in 38 extended families including 317 non-diabetic and 177 type 2 diabetic family members (2,547 relative pairs).
Methods and results:
In a variance component analysis, heritability of CRP values was significant (h2=0.39, p<0.0001). This effect was independent of BMI and was present in both diabetic (h2=0.42, p=0.003) and non-diabetic (h2=0.34, p=0.0015) relatives. The strongest evidence of linkage with CRP was on chromosome 5p15, where the LOD score reached genome-wide significance (LOD=3.41, genome-wide p=0.013). Both diabetic and non-diabetic family members contributed to linkage at this location. Smaller linkage peaks were detected on chromosomes 5q35 (LOD=1.35) and 17p11 (LOD=1.33). When the analysis was restricted to diabetic family members, another peak of moderate intensity (LOD=2.17) was evident at 3p21.
A major gene influencing CRP levels appears to be located on chromosome 5p15, with an effect that is independent of diabetes. Another gene on 3p21 may control CRP variation but only in the presence of a diabetic or insulin-resistant environment.
CRP; genome-wide scan; diabetes; insulin-resistance; linkage
Studies have shown that genetic and environmental factors and their interactions affect several alcoholism phenotypes. Genotype × alcoholism (G×A) interaction refers to the environmental (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) influences on the autosomal genes contributing to variation in an alcoholism-related quantitative phenotype. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of G×A interaction on the detection of linkage for alcoholism-related phenotypes.
We used phenotypic and genotypic data from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism relating to 1,388 subjects as part of Genetic Analysis Workshop 14 problem 1. We analyzed the MXDRNK phenotype to detect G×A interaction using SOLAR. Upon detecting significant interaction, we conducted variance-component linkage analyses using microsatellite marker data. For maximum number of drinks per a 24 hour period, the highest LODs were observed on chromosomes 1, 4, and 13 without G×A interaction. Interaction analysis yielded four regions on chromosomes 1, 4, 13, and 15. On chromosome 4, a maximum LOD of 1.5 at the same location as the initial analysis was obtained after incorporating G×A interaction effects. However, after correcting for extra parameters, the LOD score was reduced to a corrected LOD of 1.1, which is similar to the LOD observed in the non-interaction analysis. Thus, we see little differences in LOD scores, while some linkage regions showed large differences in the magnitudes of estimated quantitative trait loci heritabilities between the alcoholic and non-alcoholic groups. These potential hints of differences in genetic effect may influence future analyses of variants under these linkage peaks.
Epidemiological studies have indicated that obesity and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels are strong cardiovascular risk factors, and that these traits are inversely correlated. Despite the belief that these traits are correlated in part due to pleiotropy, knowledge on specific genes commonly affecting obesity and dyslipidemia is very limited. To address this issue, we first conducted univariate multipoint linkage analysis for body mass index (BMI) and HDL-C to identify loci influencing variation in these phenotypes using Framingham Heart Study data relating to 1702 subjects distributed across 330 pedigrees. Subsequently, we performed bivariate multipoint linkage analysis to detect common loci influencing covariation between these two traits.
We scanned the genome and identified a major locus near marker D6S1009 influencing variation in BMI (LOD = 3.9) using the program SOLAR. We also identified a major locus for HDL-C near marker D2S1334 on chromosome 2 (LOD = 3.5) and another region near marker D6S1009 on chromosome 6 with suggestive evidence for linkage (LOD = 2.7). Since these two phenotypes have been independently mapped to the same region on chromosome 6q, we used the bivariate multipoint linkage approach using SOLAR. The bivariate linkage analysis of BMI and HDL-C implicated the genetic region near marker D6S1009 as harboring a major gene commonly influencing these phenotypes (bivariate LOD = 6.2; LODeq = 5.5) and appears to improve power to map the correlated traits to a region, precisely.
We found substantial evidence for a quantitative trait locus with pleiotropic effects, which appears to influence both BMI and HDL-C phenotypes in the Framingham data.