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Genome-wide association study in European patients with congenital heart disease identifies risk loci for transposition of the great arteries and anomalies of the thoracic arteries and veins and expression of discovered candidate genes in the developing heart

By Harald Lahm, Meiwen Jia, Martina Dreßen, Felix Wirth, Nazan Puluca, Ralf Gilsbach, Bernard D Keavney, Julie Cleuziou, Nicole Beck, Olga Bondareva, Elda Dzilic, Melchior Burri, Karl C. König, Johannes A. Ziegelmüller, Claudia Abou-Ajram, Irina Neb, Zhong Zhang, Stefanie A Doppler, Elisa Mastantuono, Peter Lichtner, Gertrud Eckstein, Jürgen Hörer, Peter Ewert, James Priest, Lutz Hein, Rüdiger Lange, Thomas Meitinger, Heather J. Cordell, Bertram Muller-Myhsok, Markus Krane

Posted 20 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.19.161067

Rationale: Genetic factors undoubtedly contribute to the development of congenital heart disease (CHD), but still remain mostly ill-defined. Objective: Identification of genetic risk factors associated with CHD and functional analysis of SNP-carrying genes. Methods and Results: Genetic association study of 1,440 Caucasian CHD patients from the German Heart Center Munich collected from March 2009 to June 2016, 2,594 patients of previous studies provided by the Newcastle University and 8,486 controls underwent meta-analysis to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with CHD. Results: 4,034 Caucasian CHD patients strictly classified according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons nomenclature and 8,486 controls were included. One SNP on chromosome 5 reached genome-wide significance across all CHD phenotypes (rs185531658,OR:2.16, p=5.28x10-9) and was also indicative for septal defects (OR:2.16, p=6.15x10-8). One region on chromosome 20 pointing to the MACROD2 locus, identified four SNPs (rs150246290,OR:3.78, p=1.27x10-10; rs149890280,OR:3.74, p=1.8x10-10; rs149467721,OR:3.53; p=1.39x10-9, rs77094733,OR:3.53, p=1.73x10-9) in patients with transposition of the great arteries (TGA). A second region was detected on chromosome 8 located at ZBTB10 (rs148563140,OR:3.42, p=3.28x10-8; rs143638934,OR:3.42, p=3.51x10-8) in the same subgroup. Three highly significant risk variants on chromosome 17 (rs76774446,OR:1.60, p=9.95x10-8; rs11874,OR:1.60, p=6.64x10-8; rs17677363,OR:1.60, p=9.81x10-8) within the GOSR2 locus were identified in patients with anomalies of thoracic arteries and veins (ATAV). Genetic variants associated with ATAV are suggested to influence expression of WNT3, and variant rs870142 related to septal defects is proposed to influence expression of MSX1. Cardiac differentiation of human and murine induced pluripotent stem cells and single cell RNAseq analyses of developing murine and human hearts show essential functional roles for MACROD2, GOSR2, WNT3 and MSX1 at all developmental stages. Conclusions: For the first time genetic risk factors in CHD patients with TGA and ATAV were identified. Several candidate genes play an essential functional role in heart development at the embryonic, newborn and adult stage. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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