• 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.
    • Mendelian randomization supports bidirectional causality between telomere length and clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential

      Nakao, Tetsushi; Bick, Alexander G; Taub, Margaret A; Zekavat, Seyedeh M; Uddin, Md M; Niroula, Abhishek; Carty, Cara L; Lane, John; Honigberg, Michael C; Weinstock, Joshua S; et al. (2022-04-06)
      Human genetic studies support an inverse causal relationship between leukocyte telomere length (LTL) and coronary artery disease (CAD), but directionally mixed effects for LTL and diverse malignancies. Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP), characterized by expansion of hematopoietic cells bearing leukemogenic mutations, predisposes both hematologic malignancy and CAD. TERT (which encodes telomerase reverse transcriptase) is the most significantly associated germline locus for CHIP in genome-wide association studies. Here, we investigated the relationship between CHIP, LTL, and CAD in the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program (n = 63,302) and UK Biobank (n = 47,080). Bidirectional Mendelian randomization studies were consistent with longer genetically imputed LTL increasing propensity to develop CHIP, but CHIP then, in turn, hastens to shorten measured LTL (mLTL). We also demonstrated evidence of modest mediation between CHIP and CAD by mLTL. Our data promote an understanding of potential causal relationships across CHIP and LTL toward prevention of CAD.
    • 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.