The Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium identified 14 loci in European Ancestry (EA) individuals associated with waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) adjusted for body mass index. These loci are wide and narrowing the signals remains necessary. Twelve of 14 loci identified in GIANT EA samples retained strong associations with WHR in our joint EA/individuals of African Ancestry (AA) analysis (log-Bayes factor >6.1). Trans-ethnic analyses at five loci (TBX15-WARS2, LYPLAL1, ADAMTS9, LY86 and ITPR2-SSPN) substantially narrowed the signals to smaller sets of variants, some of which are in regions that have evidence of regulatory activity. By leveraging varying linkage disequilibrium structures across different populations, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with strong signals and narrower credible sets from trans-ethnic meta-analysis of central obesity provide more precise localizations of potential functional variants and suggest a possible regulatory role. Meta-analysis results for WHR were obtained from 77 167 EA participants from GIANT and 23 564 AA participants from the African Ancestry Anthropometry Genetics Consortium. For fine mapping we interrogated SNPs within ± 250 kb flanking regions of 14 previously reported index SNPs from loci discovered in EA populations by performing trans-ethnic meta-analysis of results from the EA and AA meta-analyses. We applied a Bayesian approach that leverages allelic heterogeneity across populations to combine meta-analysis results and aids in fine-mapping shared variants at these locations. We annotated variants using information from the ENCODE Consortium and Roadmap Epigenomics Project to prioritize variants for possible functionality.
Published by Oxford University Press 2014. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.