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Rare coding variants in 35 genes associate with circulating lipid levels: a multi-ancestry analysis of 170,000 exomes

By George Hindy, Peter Dornbos, Mark D. Chaffin, Dajiang J Liu, Minxian Wang, Carlos A Aguilar-Salinas, Lucinda Antonacci-Fulton, Diego Ardissino, Donna K. Arnett, Stella Aslibekyan, Gil Atzmon, Christie M. Ballantyne, Francisco Barajas-Olmos, Nir Barzilai, Lewis C. Becker, Lawrence F Bielak, Joshua C Bis, John Blangero, Eric Boerwinkle, Lori L Bonnycastle, Erwin Bottinger, Donald W Bowden, Matthew J Bown, Jennifer A. Brody, Jai G Broome, Noël P Burtt, Brian E Cade, Federico Centeno-Cruz, Edmund Chan, Yi-Cheng Chang, Yii-Der I Chen, Ching-Yu Cheng, Won Jung Choi, Rajiv Chowdhury, Cecilia Contreras-Cubas, Emilio J. Córdova, Adolfo Correa, L. Adrienne Cupples, Joanne E. Curran, John Danesh, Paul S. de Vries, Ralph A DeFronzo, Harsha Doddapaneni, Ravindranath Duggirala, Susan K. Dutcher, Patrick T. Ellinor, Leslie S Emery, Jose C. Florez, Myriam Fornage, Barry I Freedman, Valentin Fuster, Ma. Eugenia Garay-Sevilla, Humberto García-Ortiz, Soren Germer, Richard A. Gibbs, Christian Gieger, Benjamin Glaser, Clicerio Gonzalez, Maria Elena Gonzalez-Villalpando, Mariaelisa Graff, Sarah E Graham, Niels Grarup, Leif C Groop, Xiuqing Guo, Namrata Gupta, Sohee Han, Craig L Hanis, Torben Hansen, Jiang He, Nancy L. Heard-Costa, Yi-Jen Hung, Mi Yeong Hwang, Marguerite R Irvin, Sergio Islas-Andrade, Gail P Jarvik, Hyun Min Kang, Sharon LR Kardia, Tanika Kelly, Eimear Kenny, Alyna T Khan, Bong-Jo Kim, Ryan W Kim, Young Jin Kim, Heikki A Koistinen, Charles Kooperberg, Johanna Kuusisto, Soo Heon Kwak, Markku Laakso, Leslie A Lange, Jiwon Lee, Juyoung Lee, Seonwook Lee, Donna M. Lehman, Rozenn N. Lemaitre, Allan Linneberg, Jianjun Liu, Ruth J.F. Loos, Steven A. Lubitz, Valeriya Lyssenko, Ronald CW Ma, Lisa Warsinger Martin, Angélica Martínez-Hernández, Rasika A. Mathias, Stephen T McGarvey, Ruth McPherson, James B Meigs, Thomas Meitinger, Olle Melander, Elvia Mendoza-Caamal, Ginger A. Metcalf, Xuenan Mi, Karen L. Mohlke, May E Montasser, Jee-Young Moon, Hortensia Moreno-Macías, Alanna C. Morrison, Donna M. Muzny, Sarah C. Nelson, Peter M Nilsson, Jeffrey R O’Connell, Marju Orho-Melander, Lorena Orozco, Colin N.A. Palmer, Nicholette D Palmer, Cheol Joo Park, Kyong Soo Park, Oluf Pedersen, Juan M. Peralta, Patricia A. Peyser, Wendy S. Post, Michael Preuss, Bruce M Psaty, Qibin Qi, DC Rao, Susan Redline, Alexander P Reiner, Cristina Revilla-Monsalve, Stephen S Rich, Nilesh Samani, Heribert Schunkert, Claudia Schurmann, Daekwan Seo, Jeong-Sun Seo, Xueling Sim, Rob Sladek, Kerrin S. Small, Wing Yee So, Adrienne M. Stilp, S. Margaret Sunitha, E Shyong Tai, Claudia HT Tam, Kent D Taylor, Yik Ying Teo, Farook Thameem, Brian Tomlinson, Michael Y Tsai, Tiinamaija Tuomi, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Teresa Tusié-Luna, Rob M van Dam, Ramachandran S Vasan, Karine A. Viaud Martinez, Fei Fei Wang, Xuzhi Wang, Hugh Watkins, Daniel E Weeks, James G Wilson, Daniel R Witte, Tien-Yin Wong, Lisa R Yanek, AMP-T2D-GENES, Myocardial Infarction Genetics Consortium, NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Consortium, NHLBI TOPMed Lipids Working Group, Sekar Kathiresan, Jerome I. Rotter, Michael Boehnke, Mark I. McCarthy, Cristen J. Willer, Pradeep Natarajan, Jason A. Flannick, Amit V Khera, Gina M Peloso

Posted 23 Dec 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.22.423783

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<1%) predicted damaging coding variation using sequence data from >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. Ten of these: ALB, SRSF2, JAK2, CREB3L3, TMEM136, VARS, NR1H3, PLA2G12A, PPARG and STAB1 have not been implicated for lipid levels using rare coding variation in population-based samples. We prioritize 32 genes identified in array-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci based on gene-based associations, of which three: EVI5, SH2B3, and PLIN1, had no prior evidence of rare coding variant associations. Most of the associated genes showed evidence of association in multiple ancestries. Also, 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 (SNP). 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.

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