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Interpretation of genetic association results is difficult because signals often lack biological context. To generate hypotheses of the functional genetic etiology of complex cardiometabolic traits, we estimated the genetically determined component of gene expression from common variants using PrediXcan (1) and determined genes with differential predicted expression by trait. PrediXcan imputes tissue-specific expression levels from genetic variation using variant-level effect on gene expression in transcriptome data. To explore the value of imputed genetically regulated gene expression (GReX) models across different ancestral populations, we evaluated imputed expression levels for predictive accuracy genome-wide in RNA sequence data in samples drawn from European-ancestry and African-ancestry populations and identified substantial predictive power using European-derived models in a non-European target population. We then tested the association of GReX on 15 cardiometabolic traits including blood lipid levels, body mass index, height, blood pressure, fasting glucose and insulin, RR interval, fibrinogen level, factor VII level and white blood cell and platelet counts in 15 755 individuals across three ancestry groups, resulting in 20 novel gene-phenotype associations reaching experiment-wide significance across ancestries. In addition, we identified 18 significant novel gene-phenotype associations in our ancestry-specific analyses. Top associations were assessed for additional support via query of S-PrediXcan (2) results derived from publicly available genome-wide association studies summary data. Collectively, these findings illustrate the utility of transcriptome-based imputation models for discovery of cardiometabolic effect genes in a diverse dataset.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press.
In this trans-ethnic multi-omic study, we reinterpret the genetic architecture of blood pressure to identify genes, tissues, phenomes and medication contexts of blood pressure homeostasis. We discovered 208 novel common blood pressure SNPs and 53 rare variants in genome-wide association studies of systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure in up to 776,078 participants from the Million Veteran Program (MVP) and collaborating studies, with analysis of the blood pressure clinical phenome in MVP. Our transcriptome-wide association study detected 4,043 blood pressure associations with genetically predicted gene expression of 840 genes in 45 tissues, and mouse renal single-cell RNA sequencing identified upregulated blood pressure genes in kidney tubule cells.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS - Most familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) patients remain undertreated, and it is unclear what role health disparities may play for FH patients in the US. We sought to describe sex and racial/ethnic disparities in a national registry of US FH patients.
METHODS - We analyzed data from 3167 adults enrolled in the CAscade SCreening for Awareness and DEtection of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (CASCADE-FH) registry. Logistic regression was used to evaluate for disparities in LDL-C goals and statin use, with adjustments for covariates including age, cardiovascular risk factors, and statin intolerance.
RESULTS - In adjusted analyses, women were less likely than men to achieve treated LDL-C of <100 mg/dL (OR 0.68, 95% CI, 0.57-0.82) or ≥50% reduction from pretreatment LDL-C (OR 0.79, 95% CI, 0.65-0.96). Women were less likely than men to receive statin therapy (OR, 0.60, 95% CI, 0.50-0.73) and less likely to receive a high-intensity statin (OR, 0.60, 95% CI, 0.49-0.72). LDL-C goal achievement also varied by race/ethnicity: compared with whites, Asians and blacks were less likely to achieve LDL-C levels <100 mg/dL (Asians, OR, 0.47, 95% CI, 0.24-0.94; blacks, OR, 0.49, 95% CI, 0.32-0.74) or ≥50% reduction from pretreatment LDL-C (Asians, OR 0.56, 95% CI, 0.32-0.98; blacks, OR 0.62, 95% CI, 0.43-0.90).
CONCLUSIONS - In a contemporary US population of FH patients, we identified differences in LDL-C goal attainment and statin usage after stratifying the population by either sex or race/ethnicity. Our findings suggest that health disparities contribute to the undertreatment of US FH patients. Increased efforts are warranted to raise awareness of these disparities.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Natriuretic peptides (NP) are cardiac-derived hormones with favorable cardiometabolic actions. Low NP levels are associated with increased risks of hypertension and diabetes mellitus, conditions with variable prevalence by race and ethnicity. Heritable factors underlie a significant proportion of the interindividual variation in NP concentrations, but the specific influences of race and ancestry are unknown. In 5597 individuals (40% white, 24% black, 23% Hispanic, and 13% Chinese) without prevalent cardiovascular disease at baseline in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, multivariable linear regression and restricted cubic splines were used to estimate differences in serum N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels according to, ethnicity, and ancestry. Ancestry was determined using genetic ancestry informative markers. NT-proBNP concentrations differed significantly by race and ethnicity (black, median 43 pg/ml [interquartile range 17 to 94], Chinese 43 [17 to 90], Hispanic 53 [23 to 107], white 68 [34 to 136]; p = 0.0001). In multivariable models, NT-proBNP was 44% lower (95% confidence interval -48 to -40) in black and 46% lower (-50 to -41) in Chinese, compared with white individuals. Hispanic individuals had intermediate concentrations. Self-identified blacks and Hispanics were the most genetically admixed. Among self-identified black individuals, a 20% increase in genetic European ancestry was associated with 12% higher (1% to 23%) NT-proBNP. Among Hispanic individuals, genetic European and African ancestry were positively and negatively associated with NT-proBNP levels, respectively. In conclusion, NT-proBNP levels differ according to race and ethnicity, with the lowest concentrations in black and Chinese individuals. Racial and ethnic differences in NT-proBNP may have a genetic basis, with European and African ancestry associated with higher and lower NT-proBNP concentrations, respectively.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Helicobacter pylori infection triggers a cascade of inflammatory stages that may lead to the appearance of non-atrophic gastritis, multifocal atrophic, intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia, and cancer. Deleted in malignant brain tumors 1 (DMBT1) belongs to the group of secreted scavenger receptor cysteine-rich proteins and is considered to be involved in host defense by binding to pathogens. Initial studies showed its deletion and loss of expression in a variety of tumors but the role of this gene in tumor development is not completely understood. Here, we examined the role of DMBT1 in gastric precancerous lesions in Caucasian, African American and Hispanic individuals as well as in the development of gastric pathology in a mouse model of H. pylori infection. We found that in 3 different populations, mucosal DMBT1 expression was significantly increased (2.5 fold) in individuals with dysplasia compared to multifocal atrophic gastritis without intestinal metaplasia; the increase was also observed in individuals with advanced gastritis and positive H. pylori infection. In our animal model, H. pylori infection of Dmbt1-/- mice resulted in significantly higher levels of gastritis, more extensive mucous metaplasia and reduced Il33 expression levels in the gastric mucosa compared to H. pylori-infected wild type mice. Our data in the animal model suggest that in response to H. pylori infection DMBT1 may mediate mucosal protection reducing the risk of developing gastric precancerous lesions. However, the increased expression in human gastric precancerous lesions points to a more complex role of DMBT1 in gastric carcinogenesis.
BACKGROUND - The determinants of pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) are not fully understood. It is unknown whether racial differences in PASP exist or if other population characteristics are associated with pulmonary pressure in humans. We examined echocardiographically estimated PASP in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a middle-aged, biracial community-based cohort.
METHODS AND RESULTS - At the CARDIA year-25 examination, 3469 participants underwent echocardiography, including measurement of tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity to estimate PASP. Clinical features, laboratory values, pulmonary function tests, and measurement of adipose depot volume were analyzed for association with PASP. PASP was estimated in 1311 individuals (61% female, 51% white). Older age, higher blood pressure, and higher body mass index were associated with higher PASP. Black race was associated with higher PASP after adjustment for demographics and left and right ventricular function (β 0.94, 95% CI 0.24-1.64; =0.009), but this association was no longer significant after further adjustment for lung volume (β 0.42, 95% CI -0.68 to 0.96; =0.74). Insulin resistance, inflammation (C-reactive protein and interleukin-6), and visceral adipose volume were independently associated with higher PASP after adjustment for relevant covariates. PASP rose with worsening diastolic function (ratio of early transmitral Doppler velocity to average mitral annular tissue Doppler velocity [E/e'] and left atrial volume index).
CONCLUSIONS - In a large biracial cohort of middle-aged adults, we identified associations among black race, insulin resistance, and diastolic dysfunction with higher echocardiographically estimated PASP. Further studies are needed to examine racial differences in PASP and whether insulin resistance directly contributes to pulmonary vascular disease in humans.
© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley Blackwell.
Large-scale meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified >175 loci associated with fasting cholesterol levels, including total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglycerides (TG). With differences in linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure and allele frequencies between ancestry groups, studies in additional large samples may detect new associations. We conducted staged GWAS meta-analyses in up to 69,414 East Asian individuals from 24 studies with participants from Japan, the Philippines, Korea, China, Singapore, and Taiwan. These meta-analyses identified (P < 5 × 10-8) three novel loci associated with HDL-C near CD163-APOBEC1 (P = 7.4 × 10-9), NCOA2 (P = 1.6 × 10-8), and NID2-PTGDR (P = 4.2 × 10-8), and one novel locus associated with TG near WDR11-FGFR2 (P = 2.7 × 10-10). Conditional analyses identified a second signal near CD163-APOBEC1. We then combined results from the East Asian meta-analysis with association results from up to 187,365 European individuals from the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium in a trans-ancestry meta-analysis. This analysis identified (log10Bayes Factor ≥6.1) eight additional novel lipid loci. Among the twelve total loci identified, the index variants at eight loci have demonstrated at least nominal significance with other metabolic traits in prior studies, and two loci exhibited coincident eQTLs (P < 1 × 10-5) in subcutaneous adipose tissue for BPTF and PDGFC. Taken together, these analyses identified multiple novel lipid loci, providing new potential therapeutic targets.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resistant hypertension is defined as high blood pressure that remains above treatment goals in spite of the concurrent use of three antihypertensive agents from different classes. Despite the important health consequences of resistant hypertension, few studies of resistant hypertension have been conducted. To perform a genome-wide association study for resistant hypertension, we defined and identified cases of resistant hypertension and hypertensives with treated, controlled hypertension among >47,500 adults residing in the US linked to electronic health records (EHRs) and genotyped as part of the electronic MEdical Records & GEnomics (eMERGE) Network. Electronic selection logic using billing codes, laboratory values, text queries, and medication records was used to identify resistant hypertension cases and controls at each site, and a total of 3,006 cases of resistant hypertension and 876 controlled hypertensives were identified among eMERGE Phase I and II sites. After imputation and quality control, a total of 2,530,150 SNPs were tested for an association among 2,830 multi-ethnic cases of resistant hypertension and 876 controlled hypertensives. No test of association was genome-wide significant in the full dataset or in the dataset limited to European American cases (n = 1,719) and controls (n = 708). The most significant finding was CLNK rs13144136 at p = 1.00x10-6 (odds ratio = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.58-0.80) in the full dataset with similar results in the European American only dataset. We also examined whether SNPs known to influence blood pressure or hypertension also influenced resistant hypertension. None was significant after correction for multiple testing. These data highlight both the difficulties and the potential utility of EHR-linked genomic data to study clinically-relevant traits such as resistant hypertension.
Variation in body fat distribution contributes to the metabolic sequelae of obesity. The genetic determinants of body fat distribution are poorly understood. The goal of this study was to gain new insights into the underlying genetics of body fat distribution by conducting sample-size-weighted fixed-effects genome-wide association meta-analyses in up to 9,594 women and 8,738 men of European, African, Hispanic and Chinese ancestry, with and without sex stratification, for six traits associated with ectopic fat (hereinafter referred to as ectopic-fat traits). In total, we identified seven new loci associated with ectopic-fat traits (ATXN1, UBE2E2, EBF1, RREB1, GSDMB, GRAMD3 and ENSA; P < 5 × 10; false discovery rate < 1%). Functional analysis of these genes showed that loss of function of either Atxn1 or Ube2e2 in primary mouse adipose progenitor cells impaired adipocyte differentiation, suggesting physiological roles for ATXN1 and UBE2E2 in adipogenesis. Future studies are necessary to further explore the mechanisms by which these genes affect adipocyte biology and how their perturbations contribute to systemic metabolic disease.
The importance of epistasis-or statistical interactions between genetic variants-to the development of complex disease in humans has been controversial. Genome-wide association studies of statistical interactions influencing human traits have recently become computationally feasible and have identified many putative interactions. However, statistical models used to detect interactions can be confounded, which makes it difficult to be certain that observed statistical interactions are evidence for true molecular epistasis. In this study, we investigate whether there is evidence for epistatic interactions between genetic variants within the cis-regulatory region that influence gene expression after accounting for technical, statistical, and biological confounding factors. We identified 1,119 (FDR = 5%) interactions that appear to regulate gene expression in human lymphoblastoid cell lines, a tightly controlled, largely genetically determined phenotype. Many of these interactions replicated in an independent dataset (90 of 803 tested, Bonferroni threshold). We then performed an exhaustive analysis of both known and novel confounders, including ceiling/floor effects, missing genotype combinations, haplotype effects, single variants tagged through linkage disequilibrium, and population stratification. Every interaction could be explained by at least one of these confounders, and replication in independent datasets did not protect against some confounders. Assuming that the confounding factors provide a more parsimonious explanation for each interaction, we find it unlikely that cis-regulatory interactions contribute strongly to human gene expression, which calls into question the relevance of cis-regulatory interactions for other human phenotypes. We additionally propose several best practices for epistasis testing to protect future studies from confounding.
Copyright © 2016 American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.