[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reference panels from the 1000 Genomes (1000G) Project Consortium provide near complete coverage of common and low-frequency genetic variation with minor allele frequency ≥0.5% across European ancestry populations. Within the European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology (ENGAGE) Consortium, we have undertaken the first large-scale meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), supplemented by 1000G imputation, for four quantitative glycaemic and obesity-related traits, in up to 87,048 individuals of European ancestry. We identified two loci for body mass index (BMI) at genome-wide significance, and two for fasting glucose (FG), none of which has been previously reported in larger meta-analysis efforts to combine GWAS of European ancestry. Through conditional analysis, we also detected multiple distinct signals of association mapping to established loci for waist-hip ratio adjusted for BMI (RSPO3) and FG (GCK and G6PC2). The index variant for one association signal at the G6PC2 locus is a low-frequency coding allele, H177Y, which has recently been demonstrated to have a functional role in glucose regulation. Fine-mapping analyses revealed that the non-coding variants most likely to drive association signals at established and novel loci were enriched for overlap with enhancer elements, which for FG mapped to promoter and transcription factor binding sites in pancreatic islets, in particular. Our study demonstrates that 1000G imputation and genetic fine-mapping of common and low-frequency variant association signals at GWAS loci, integrated with genomic annotation in relevant tissues, can provide insight into the functional and regulatory mechanisms through which their effects on glycaemic and obesity-related traits are mediated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Body fat distribution is a heritable trait and a well-established predictor of adverse metabolic outcomes, independent of overall adiposity. To increase our understanding of the genetic basis of body fat distribution and its molecular links to cardiometabolic traits, here we conduct genome-wide association meta-analyses of traits related to waist and hip circumferences in up to 224,459 individuals. We identify 49 loci (33 new) associated with waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index (BMI), and an additional 19 loci newly associated with related waist and hip circumference measures (P < 5 x 10(-8)). In total, 20 of the 49 waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI loci show significant sexual dimorphism, 19 of which display a stronger effect in women. The identified loci were enriched for genes expressed in adipose tissue and for putative regulatory elements in adipocytes. Pathway analyses implicated adipogenesis, angiogenesis, transcriptional regulation and insulin resistance as processes affecting fat distribution, providing insight into potential pathophysiological mechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using genome-wide data from 253,288 individuals, we identified 697 variants at genome-wide significance that together explained one-fifth of the heritability for adult height. By testing different numbers of variants in independent studies, we show that the most strongly associated approximately 2,000, approximately 3,700 and approximately 9,500 SNPs explained approximately 21%, approximately 24% and approximately 29% of phenotypic variance. Furthermore, all common variants together captured 60% of heritability. The 697 variants clustered in 423 loci were enriched for genes, pathways and tissue types known to be involved in growth and together implicated genes and pathways not highlighted in earlier efforts, such as signaling by fibroblast growth factors, WNT/beta-catenin and chondroitin sulfate-related genes. We identified several genes and pathways not previously connected with human skeletal growth, including mTOR, osteoglycin and binding of hyaluronic acid. Our results indicate a genetic architecture for human height that is characterized by a very large but finite number (thousands) of causal variants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about genes regulating male puberty. Further, while many identified pubertal timing variants associate with age at menarche, a late manifestation of puberty, and body mass, little is known about these variants' relationship to pubertal initiation or tempo. To address these questions, we performed genome-wide association meta-analysis in over 11,000 European samples with data on early pubertal traits, male genital and female breast development, measured by the Tanner scale. We report the first genome-wide significant locus for male sexual development upstream of MKL2 (P=8.9 x 10(-9)), a menarche locus tagging a developmental pathway linking earlier puberty with reduced pubertal growth (P=4.6 x 10(-5)) and short adult stature (P=1.1 x 10(-11)) in both males and females. Furthermore, our results indicate that a proportion of menarche loci are important for pubertal initiation in both sexes.Consistent with epidemiological correlations between increased prepubertal body mass and earlier pubertal timing in girls, BMI-increasing alleles correlated with earlier breast development. In boys, some BMI-increasing alleles associated with earlier, and others with delayed, sexual development; these genetic results mimic the controversy in epidemiological studies, some of which show opposing correlations between prepubertal BMI and male puberty. Our results contribute to our understanding of the pubertal initiation program in both sexes, and indicate that although mechanisms regulating pubertal onset in males and females may largely be shared, the relationship between body mass and pubertal timing in boys may be complex and requires further genetic studies.
Human Molecular Genetics 04/2014; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu150 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a widening perception that many factors (lifestyle and others e.g., acute/chronic inflammation) may causally lower vitamin D levels. Observationally, smoking tends to be associated with lower vitamin D levels. Smokers also have increased fracture risk and decreased bone mass suggesting a potential causal effect of smoking on vitamin D. It has also been suggested that tobacco smoke chemicals may influence vitamin D metabolism and function. However, determining a causal link between smoking and lower vitamin D is problematic in conventional epidemiological studies due to confounding by other lifestyle factors. We performed a Mendelian randomisation analysis, using data on 32,823 individuals from the Consortium for Causal Analysis Research in Tobacco and Alcohol to investigate the causal nature of the associations of smoking with vitamin D levels. Associations between a smoking related variant (rs1051730/rs16969968) and serum vitamin D (25(OH)D) were assessed by linear regression stratified by smoking status (categorised as never, former, current, ever (former and current), and non (never and former)) and adjusted for age, sex, and geographic region, and additionally for body mass index (BMI). Observational associations between smoking status and vitamin D were assessed by linear regression, adjusted for age, sex, and month of data collection and additionally for geographic region, socio-economic status and BMI. Results from individual studies were meta-analysed. Interactions between smoking status and genotype were assessed using the Cochran Q statistic. We discuss the implications of these results for furthering understanding of the causal effect of smoking on vitamin D. This will inform the development of relevant public health messages and campaigns, and also potentially aid the development of novel treatments for disease outcomes. This is a work in progress and we anticipate that results will be available within a month.
The 20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), Seattle, WA, USA; 02/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Substantial advances have been made in identifying common genetic variants influencing cardiometabolic traits and disease outcomes through genome wide association studies. Nevertheless, gaps in knowledge remain and new questions have arisen regarding the population relevance, mechanisms, and applications for healthcare. Using a new high-resolution custom single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array (Metabochip) incorporating dense coverage of genomic regions linked to cardiometabolic disease, the University College-London School-Edinburgh-Bristol (UCLEB) consortium of highly-phenotyped population-based prospective studies, aims to: (1) fine map functionally relevant SNPs; (2) precisely estimate individual absolute and population attributable risks based on individual SNPs and their combination; (3) investigate mechanisms leading to altered risk factor profiles and CVD events; and (4) use Mendelian randomisation to undertake studies of the causal role in CVD of a range of cardiovascular biomarkers to inform public health policy and help develop new preventative therapies.
PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(8-8):e71345. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071345 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During aging, intracranial volume remains unchanged and represents maximally attained brain size, while various interacting biological phenomena lead to brain volume loss. Consequently, intracranial volume and brain volume in late life reflect different genetic influences. Our genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 8,175 community-dwelling elderly persons did not reveal any associations at genome-wide significance (P < 5 x 10(-8)) for brain volume. In contrast, intracranial volume was significantly associated with two loci: rs4273712 (P = 3.4 x 10(-11)), a known height-associated locus on chromosome 6q22, and rs9915547 (P = 1.5 x 10(-12)), localized to the inversion on chromosome 17q21. We replicated the associations of these loci with intracranial volume in a separate sample of 1,752 elderly persons (P = 1.1 x 10(-3) for 6q22 and 1.2 x 10(-3) for 17q21). Furthermore, we also found suggestive associations of the 17q21 locus with head circumference in 10,768 children (mean age of 14.5 months). Our data identify two loci associated with head size, with the inversion at 17q21 also likely to be involved in attaining maximal brain size.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approaches exploiting trait distribution extremes may be used to identify loci associated with common traits, but it is unknown whether these loci are generalizable to the broader population. In a genome-wide search for loci associated with the upper versus the lower 5th percentiles of body mass index, height and waist-to-hip ratio, as well as clinical classes of obesity, including up to 263,407 individuals of European ancestry, we identified 4 new loci (IGFBP4, H6PD, RSRC1 and PPP2R2A) influencing height detected in the distribution tails and 7 new loci (HNF4G, RPTOR, GNAT2, MRPS33P4, ADCY9, HS6ST3 and ZZZ3) for clinical classes of obesity. Further, we find a large overlap in genetic structure and the distribution of variants between traits based on extremes and the general population and little etiological heterogeneity between obesity subgroups.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight. Common variation at rs1051730 is robustly associated with smoking quantity and was recently shown to influence smoking cessation during pregnancy, but its influence on birth weight is not clear. We aimed to investigate the association between this variant and birth weight of term, singleton offspring in a well-powered meta-analysis. We stratified 26 241 European origin study participants by smoking status (women who smoked during pregnancy versus women who did not smoke during pregnancy) and, in each stratum, analysed the association between maternal rs1051730 genotype and offspring birth weight. There was evidence of interaction between genotype and smoking (P = 0.007). In women who smoked during pregnancy, each additional smoking-related T-allele was associated with a 20 g [95% confidence interval (95% CI): 4-36 g] lower birth weight (P = 0.014). However, in women who did not smoke during pregnancy, the effect size estimate was 5 g per T-allele (95% CI: -4 to 14 g; P = 0.268). To conclude, smoking status during pregnancy modifies the association between maternal rs1051730 genotype and offspring birth weight. This strengthens the evidence that smoking during pregnancy is causally related to lower offspring birth weight and suggests that population interventions that effectively reduce smoking in pregnant women would result in a reduced prevalence of low birth weight.
Human Molecular Genetics 09/2012; 21(24). DOI:10.1093/hmg/dds372 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify genetic variants associated with head circumference in infancy, we performed a meta-analysis of seven genome-wide association studies (GWAS) (N = 10,768 individuals of European ancestry enrolled in pregnancy and/or birth cohorts) and followed up three lead signals in six replication studies (combined N = 19,089). rs7980687 on chromosome 12q24 (P = 8.1 x 10(-9)) and rs1042725 on chromosome 12q15 (P = 2.8 x 10(-10)) were robustly associated with head circumference in infancy. Although these loci have previously been associated with adult height(1), their effects on infant head circumference were largely independent of height (P = 3.8 x 10(-7) for rs7980687 and P = 1.3 x 10(-7) for rs1042725 after adjustment for infant height). A third signal, rs11655470 on chromosome 17q21, showed suggestive evidence of association with head circumference (P = 3.9 x 10(-6)). SNPs correlated to the 17q21 signal have shown genome-wide association with adult intracranial volume(2), Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases(3-5), indicating that a common genetic variant in this region might link early brain growth with neurological disease in later life.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple genetic variants have been associated with adult obesity and a few with severe obesity in childhood; however, less progress has been made in establishing genetic influences on common early-onset obesity. We performed a North American, Australian and European collaborative meta-analysis of 14 studies consisting of 5,530 cases (≥95th percentile of body mass index (BMI)) and 8,318 controls (<50th percentile of BMI) of European ancestry. Taking forward the eight newly discovered signals yielding association with P < 5 × 10(-6) in nine independent data sets (2,818 cases and 4,083 controls), we observed two loci that yielded genome-wide significant combined P values near OLFM4 at 13q14 (rs9568856; P = 1.82 × 10(-9); odds ratio (OR) = 1.22) and within HOXB5 at 17q21 (rs9299; P = 3.54 × 10(-9); OR = 1.14). Both loci continued to show association when two extreme childhood obesity cohorts were included (2,214 cases and 2,674 controls). These two loci also yielded directionally consistent associations in a previous meta-analysis of adult BMI(1).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the associations of emergent genome-wide-association study-derived coronary heart disease (CHD)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with established and emerging risk factors, and the association of genome-wide-association study-derived lipid-associated SNPs with other risk factors and CHD events.
Using two case-control studies, three cross-sectional, and seven prospective studies with up to 25 000 individuals and 5794 CHD events we evaluated associations of 34 genome-wide-association study-identified SNPs with CHD risk and 16 CHD-associated risk factors or biomarkers. The Ch9p21 SNPs rs1333049 (OR 1.17; 95% confidence limits 1.11-1.24) and rs10757274 (OR 1.17; 1.09-1.26), MIA3 rs17465637 (OR 1.10; 1.04-1.15), Ch2q36 rs2943634 (OR 1.08; 1.03-1.14), APC rs383830 (OR 1.10; 1.02, 1.18), MTHFD1L rs6922269 (OR 1.10; 1.03, 1.16), CXCL12 rs501120 (OR 1.12; 1.04, 1.20), and SMAD3 rs17228212 (OR 1.11; 1.05, 1.17) were all associated with CHD risk, but not with the CHD biomarkers and risk factors measured. Among the 20 blood lipid-related SNPs, LPL rs17411031 was associated with a lower risk of CHD (OR 0.91; 0.84-0.97), an increase in Apolipoprotein AI and HDL-cholesterol, and reduced triglycerides. SORT1 rs599839 was associated with CHD risk (OR 1.20; 1.15-1.26) as well as total- and LDL-cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B. ANGPTL3 rs12042319 was associated with CHD risk (OR 1.11; 1.03, 1.19), total- and LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and interleukin-6.
Several SNPs predicting CHD events appear to involve pathways not currently indexed by the established or emerging risk factors; others involved changes in blood lipids including triglycerides or HDL-cholesterol as well as LDL-cholesterol. The overlapping association of SNPs with multiple risk factors and biomarkers supports the existence of shared points of regulation for these phenotypes.
European Heart Journal 07/2011; 33(3):393-407. DOI:10.1093/eurheartj/ehr225 · 15.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have used the gene-centric Illumina HumanCVD BeadChip to identify common genetic determinants of Von Willebrand factor (vWF) levels in healthy men and women.
The Whitehall II (WHII) study (n= 5592) and the British Women's Heart and Health Study (BWHHS) (n= 3445) were genotyped using the HumanCVD BeadChip. Replication was conducted in the British Regional Heart Study (n= 3897) and 1958 Birth Cohort (n= 5048).
We identified 48 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four genes/regions associated with vWF at P < 10−4. These included 19 SNPs at the ABO blood group locus with the lead variant being rs657152 (P= 9.7 × 10−233). The lead variant in the 24 VWF SNPs was rs1063856 (P= 2.3 × 10−20). SNPs at ESR1 (rs6909023) and NRG1(rs1685103) showed modest associations with vWF, but these were not confirmed in a meta-analysis. Using variable selection, five SNPs at the locus for ABO and two for VWF were found to have independent associations with vWF levels. After adjustment for age and gender, the selected ABO SNPs explained 15% and the VWF SNPs an additional 2% of the variance in vWF levels. Individuals at opposite tails of the additive seven SNP allele score exhibited substantial differences in vWF levels. These data demonstrate that multiple common alleles with small effects make, in combination, important contributions to individual differences in vWF levels.
Annals of Human Genetics 07/2011; 75(4):456-67. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-1809.2011.00654.x · 2.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using genome-wide association, we identify common variants at 2p12-p13, 6q26, 17q23 and 19q13 associated with serum creatinine, a marker of kidney function (P = 10(-10) to 10(-15)). Of these, rs10206899 (near NAT8, 2p12-p13) and rs4805834 (near SLC7A9, 19q13) were also associated with chronic kidney disease (P = 5.0 x 10(-5) and P = 3.6 x 10(-4), respectively). Our findings provide insight into metabolic, solute and drug-transport pathways underlying susceptibility to chronic kidney disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of genes in normal birth-weight variation is poorly understood, and it has been suggested that the genetic component of fetal growth is small. Type 2 diabetes genes may influence birth weight through maternal genotype, by increasing maternal glycemia in pregnancy, or through fetal genotype, by altering fetal insulin secretion. We aimed to assess the role of the recently described type 2 diabetes gene TCF7L2 in birth weight. We genotyped the polymorphism rs7903146 in 15,709 individuals whose birth weight was available from six studies and in 8,344 mothers from three studies. Each fetal copy of the predisposing allele was associated with an 18-g (95% confidence interval [CI] 7-29 g) increase in birth weight (P=.001) and each maternal copy with a 30-g (95% CI 15-45 g) increase in offspring birth weight (P=2.8x10-5). Stratification by fetal genotype suggested that the association was driven by maternal genotype (31-g [95% CI 9-48 g] increase per allele; corrected P=.003). Analysis of diabetes-related traits in 10,314 nondiabetic individuals suggested the most likely mechanism is that the risk allele reduces maternal insulin secretion (disposition index reduced by ~0.15 standard deviation; P=1x10-4), which results in increased maternal glycemia in pregnancy and hence increased offspring birth weight. We combined information with the other common variant known to alter fetal growth, the -30G-->A polymorphism of glucokinase (rs1799884). The 4% of offspring born to mothers carrying three or four risk alleles were 119 g (95% CI 62-172 g) heavier than were the 32% born to mothers with none (for overall trend, P=2x10-7), comparable to the impact of maternal smoking during pregnancy. In conclusion, we have identified the first type 2 diabetes-susceptibility allele to be reproducibly associated with birth weight. Common gene variants can substantially influence normal birth-weight variation.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 07/2007; 80(6):1150-61. DOI:10.1086/518517 · 10.93 Impact Factor