• Chromosome Xq23 is associated with lower atherogenic lipid concentrations and favorable cardiometabolic indices

      Natarajan, Pradeep; Pampana, Akhil; Graham, Sarah E; Ruotsalainen, Sanni E; Perry, James A; de Vries, Paul S; Broome, Jai G; Pirruccello, James P; Honigberg, Michael C; Aragam, Krishna; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-04-12)
      Autosomal genetic analyses of blood lipids have yielded key insights for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, X chromosome genetic variation is understudied for blood lipids in large sample sizes. We now analyze genetic and blood lipid data in a high-coverage whole X chromosome sequencing study of 65,322 multi-ancestry participants and perform replication among 456,893 European participants. Common alleles on chromosome Xq23 are strongly associated with reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (min P = 8.5 × 10-72), with similar effects for males and females. Chromosome Xq23 lipid-lowering alleles are associated with reduced odds for CHD among 42,545 cases and 591,247 controls (P = 1.7 × 10-4), and reduced odds for diabetes mellitus type 2 among 54,095 cases and 573,885 controls (P = 1.4 × 10-5). Although we observe an association with increased BMI, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI is reduced, bioimpedance analyses indicate increased gluteofemoral fat, and abdominal MRI analyses indicate reduced visceral adiposity. Co-localization analyses strongly correlate increased CHRDL1 gene expression, particularly in adipose tissue, with reduced concentrations of blood lipids.
    • Rare coding variants in 35 genes associate with circulating lipid levels-A multi-ancestry analysis of 170,000 exomes.

      Hindy, George; Dornbos, Peter; Chaffin, Mark D; Liu, Dajiang J; Wang, Minxian; Selvaraj, Margaret Sunitha; Zhang, David; Park, Joseph; Aguilar-Salinas, Carlos A; Antonacci-Fulton, Lucinda; et al. (Cell Press, 2021-12-16)
      Large-scale gene sequencing studies for complex traits have the potential to identify causal genes with therapeutic implications. We performed gene-based association testing of blood lipid levels with rare (minor allele frequency [removed]170,000 individuals from multiple ancestries: 97,493 European, 30,025 South Asian, 16,507 African, 16,440 Hispanic/Latino, 10,420 East Asian, and 1,182 Samoan. We identified 35 genes associated with circulating lipid levels; some of these genes have not been previously associated with lipid levels when using rare coding variation from population-based samples. We prioritize 32 genes in array-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci based on aggregations of rare coding variants; three (EVI5, SH2B3, and PLIN1) had no prior association of rare coding variants with lipid levels. Most of our associated genes showed evidence of association among multiple ancestries. Finally, we observed an enrichment of gene-based associations for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol drug target genes and for genes closest to GWAS index single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Our results demonstrate that gene-based associations can be beneficial for drug target development and provide evidence that the gene closest to the array-based GWAS index SNP is often the functional gene for blood lipid levels.
    • Rare coding variants in RCN3 are associated with blood pressure.

      He, Karen Y; Kelly, Tanika N; Wang, Heming; Liang, Jingjing; Zhu, Luke; Cade, Brian E; Assimes, Themistocles L; Becker, Lewis C; Beitelshees, Amber L; Bielak, Lawrence F; et al. (Springer Nature, 2022-02-19)
      Background: While large genome-wide association studies have identified nearly one thousand loci associated with variation in blood pressure, rare variant identification is still a challenge. In family-based cohorts, genome-wide linkage scans have been successful in identifying rare genetic variants for blood pressure. This study aims to identify low frequency and rare genetic variants within previously reported linkage regions on chromosomes 1 and 19 in African American families from the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program. Genetic association analyses weighted by linkage evidence were completed with whole genome sequencing data within and across TOPMed ancestral groups consisting of 60,388 individuals of European, African, East Asian, Hispanic, and Samoan ancestries. Results: Associations of low frequency and rare variants in RCN3 and multiple other genes were observed for blood pressure traits in TOPMed samples. The association of low frequency and rare coding variants in RCN3 was further replicated in UK Biobank samples (N = 403,522), and reached genome-wide significance for diastolic blood pressure (p = 2.01 × 10- 7). Conclusions: Low frequency and rare variants in RCN3 contributes blood pressure variation. This study demonstrates that focusing association analyses in linkage regions greatly reduces multiple-testing burden and improves power to identify novel rare variants associated with blood pressure traits.
    • Whole genome sequence analysis of pulmonary function and COPD in 19,996 multi-ethnic participants

      Zhao, Xutong; Qiao, Dandi; Yang, Chaojie; Kasela, Silva; Kim, Wonji; Ma, Yanlin; Shrine, Nick; Batini, Chiara; Sofer, Tamar; Taliun, Sarah A Gagliano; et al. (Springer Nature, 2020-10-14)
      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diagnosed by reduced lung function, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. We performed whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis of lung function and COPD in a multi-ethnic sample of 11,497 participants from population- and family-based studies, and 8499 individuals from COPD-enriched studies in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program. We identify at genome-wide significance 10 known GWAS loci and 22 distinct, previously unreported loci, including two common variant signals from stratified analysis of African Americans. Four novel common variants within the regions of PIAS1, RGN (two variants) and FTO show evidence of replication in the UK Biobank (European ancestry n ~ 320,000), while colocalization analyses leveraging multi-omic data from GTEx and TOPMed identify potential molecular mechanisms underlying four of the 22 novel loci. Our study demonstrates the value of performing WGS analyses and multi-omic follow-up in cohorts of diverse ancestry.
    • Whole-genome association analyses of sleep-disordered breathing phenotypes in the NHLBI TOPMed program

      Cade, Brian E; Lee, Jiwon; Sofer, Tamar; Wang, Heming; Zhang, Man; Chen, Han; Gharib, Sina A; Gottlieb, Daniel J; Guo, Xiuqing; Lane, Jacqueline M; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-08-26)
      Background: Sleep-disordered breathing is a common disorder associated with significant morbidity. The genetic architecture of sleep-disordered breathing remains poorly understood. Through the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program, we performed the first whole-genome sequence analysis of sleep-disordered breathing. Methods: The study sample was comprised of 7988 individuals of diverse ancestry. Common-variant and pathway analyses included an additional 13,257 individuals. We examined five complementary traits describing different aspects of sleep-disordered breathing: the apnea-hypopnea index, average oxyhemoglobin desaturation per event, average and minimum oxyhemoglobin saturation across the sleep episode, and the percentage of sleep with oxyhemoglobin saturation < 90%. We adjusted for age, sex, BMI, study, and family structure using MMSKAT and EMMAX mixed linear model approaches. Additional bioinformatics analyses were performed with MetaXcan, GIGSEA, and ReMap. Results: We identified a multi-ethnic set-based rare-variant association (p = 3.48 × 10−8) on chromosome X with ARMCX3. Additional rare-variant associations include ARMCX3-AS1, MRPS33, and C16orf90. Novel common-variant loci were identified in the NRG1 and SLC45A2 regions, and previously associated loci in the IL18RAP and ATP2B4 regions were associated with novel phenotypes. Transcription factor binding site enrichment identified associations with genes implicated with respiratory and craniofacial traits. Additional analyses identified significantly associated pathways. Conclusions: We have identified the first gene-based rare-variant associations with objectively measured sleep-disordered breathing traits. Our results increase the understanding of the genetic architecture of sleep-disordered breathing and highlight associations in genes that modulate lung development, inflammation, respiratory rhythmogenesis, and HIF1A-mediated hypoxic response.