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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 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 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 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, Vasan Ramachandran, 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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