• Differential and shared genetic effects on kidney function between diabetic and non-diabetic individuals.

      Winkler, Thomas W; Rasheed, Humaira; Teumer, Alexander; Gorski, Mathias; Rowan, Bryce X; Stanzick, Kira J; Thomas, Laurent F; Tin, Adrienne; Hoppmann, Anselm; Chu, Audrey Y; et al. (Springer Nature, 2022-06-13)
      Reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) can progress to kidney failure. Risk factors include genetics and diabetes mellitus (DM), but little is known about their interaction. We conducted genome-wide association meta-analyses for estimated GFR based on serum creatinine (eGFR), separately for individuals with or without DM (nDM = 178,691, nnoDM = 1,296,113). Our genome-wide searches identified (i) seven eGFR loci with significant DM/noDM-difference, (ii) four additional novel loci with suggestive difference and (iii) 28 further novel loci (including CUBN) by allowing for potential difference. GWAS on eGFR among DM individuals identified 2 known and 27 potentially responsible loci for diabetic kidney disease. Gene prioritization highlighted 18 genes that may inform reno-protective drug development. We highlight the existence of DM-only and noDM-only effects, which can inform about the target group, if respective genes are advanced as drug targets. Largely shared effects suggest that most drug interventions to alter eGFR should be effective in DM and noDM.
    • Genetic loci and prioritization of genes for kidney function decline derived from a meta-analysis of 62 longitudinal genome-wide association studies.

      Gorski, Mathias; Rasheed, Humaira; Teumer, Alexander; Thomas, Laurent F; Graham, Sarah E; Sveinbjornsson, Gardar; Winkler, Thomas W; Günther, Felix; Stark, Klaus J; Chai, Jin-Fang; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-06-16)
      Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) reflects kidney function. Progressive eGFR-decline can lead to kidney failure, necessitating dialysis or transplantation. Hundreds of loci from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for eGFR help explain population cross section variability. Since the contribution of these or other loci to eGFR-decline remains largely unknown, we derived GWAS for annual eGFR-decline and meta-analyzed 62 longitudinal studies with eGFR assessed twice over time in all 343,339 individuals and in high-risk groups. We also explored different covariate adjustment. Twelve genome-wide significant independent variants for eGFR-decline unadjusted or adjusted for eGFR-baseline (11 novel, one known for this phenotype), including nine variants robustly associated across models were identified. All loci for eGFR-decline were known for cross-sectional eGFR and thus distinguished a subgroup of eGFR loci. Seven of the nine variants showed variant-by-age interaction on eGFR cross section (further about 350,000 individuals), which linked genetic associations for eGFR-decline with age-dependency of genetic cross-section associations. Clinically important were two to four-fold greater genetic effects on eGFR-decline in high-risk subgroups. Five variants associated also with chronic kidney disease progression mapped to genes with functional in-silico evidence (UMOD, SPATA7, GALNTL5, TPPP). An unfavorable versus favorable nine-variant genetic profile showed increased risk odds ratios of 1.35 for kidney failure (95% confidence intervals 1.03-1.77) and 1.27 for acute kidney injury (95% confidence intervals 1.08-1.50) in over 2000 cases each, with matched controls). Thus, we provide a large data resource, genetic loci, and prioritized genes for kidney function decline, which help inform drug development pipelines revealing important insights into the age-dependency of kidney function genetics.
    • Multi-Ancestry Genome-wide Association Study Accounting for Gene-Psychosocial Factor Interactions Identifies Novel Loci for Blood Pressure Traits

      Sun, Daokun; Richard, Melissa; Musani, Solomon K; Sung, Yun Ju; Winkler, Thomas W; Schwander, Karen; Chai, Jin Fang; Guo, Xiuqing; Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O; Vojinovic, Dina; et al. (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-10-31)
      Psychological and social factors are known to influence blood pressure (BP) and risk of hypertension and associated cardiovascular diseases. To identify novel BP loci, we carried out genome-wide association meta-analyses of systolic, diastolic, pulse, and mean arterial BP taking into account the interaction effects of genetic variants with three psychosocial factors: depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and social support. Analyses were performed using a two-stage design in a sample of up to 128,894 adults from 5 ancestry groups. In the combined meta-analyses of Stages 1 and 2, we identified 59 loci (p value <5e-8), including nine novel BP loci. The novel associations were observed mostly with pulse pressure, with fewer observed with mean arterial pressure. Five novel loci were identified in African ancestry, and all but one showed patterns of interaction with at least one psychosocial factor. Functional annotation of the novel loci supports a major role for genes implicated in the immune response (PLCL2), synaptic function and neurotransmission (LIN7A, PFIA2), as well as genes previously implicated in neuropsychiatric or stress-related disorders (FSTL5, CHODL). These findings underscore the importance of considering psychological and social factors in gene discovery for BP, especially in non-European populations.