Multiple genetic variants have been associated with adult obesity and a few with severe obesity in childhood; however, less progress has been made to establish genetic influences on common early-onset obesity. We performed a North American-Australian-European collaborative meta-analysis of fourteen studies consisting of 5,530 cases (≥95th percentile of body mass index (BMI)) and 8,318 controls (<50th percentile of BMI) of European ancestry. Taking forward the eight novel signals yielding association with P < 5×10−6 in to nine independent datasets (n = 2,818 cases and 4,083 controls) we observed two loci that yielded a genome wide significant combined P-value, namely near OLFM4 on 13q14 (rs9568856; P=1.82×10−9; OR=1.22) and within HOXB5 on 17q21 (rs9299; P=3.54×10−9; OR=1.14). Both loci continued to show association when including two extreme childhood obesity cohorts (n = 2,214 cases and 2,674 controls). Finally, these two loci yielded directionally consistent associations in the GIANT meta-analysis of adult BMI1.
It has been recently hypothesized that many of the signals detected in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to T2D and other diseases, despite being observed to common variants, might in fact result from causal mutations that are rare. One prediction of this hypothesis is that the allelic associations should be population-specific, as the causal mutations arose after the migrations that established different populations around the world. We selected 19 common variants found to be reproducibly associated to T2D risk in European populations and studied them in a large multiethnic case-control study (6,142 cases and 7,403 controls) among men and women from 5 racial/ethnic groups (European Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Japanese Americans, and Native Hawaiians). In analysis pooled across ethnic groups, the allelic associations were in the same direction as the original report for all 19 variants, and 14 of the 19 were significantly associated with risk. In summing the number of risk alleles for each individual, the per-allele associations were highly statistically significant (P<10−4) and similar in all populations (odds ratios 1.09–1.12) except in Japanese Americans the estimated effect per allele was larger than in the other populations (1.20; Phet = 3.8×10−4). We did not observe ethnic differences in the distribution of risk that would explain the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes in these groups as compared to European Americans. The consistency of allelic associations in diverse racial/ethnic groups is not predicted under the hypothesis of Goldstein regarding “synthetic associations” of rare mutations in T2D.
Genome-wide association studies have identified many common genetic variants that are associated with polygenic traits, and have typically been performed with individuals of recent European ancestry. In these populations, many common variants are tightly correlated, with the perfect or near-perfect proxies for the functional or true variant showing equivalent evidence of association, considerably limiting the resolution of fine mapping. Populations with recent African ancestry often have less extensive and/or different patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD), and have been proposed to be useful in fine-mapping studies. Here, we strongly replicate and fine map in populations of predominantly African ancestry the association between variation at the FTO locus and body mass index (BMI) that is well established in populations of European ancestry. We genotyped single nucleotide polymorphisms that are correlated with the signal of association in individuals of European ancestry but that have varying degrees of correlation in African-derived individuals. Most of the variants, including one previously proposed as functionally important, have no significant association with BMI, but two variants, rs3751812 and rs9941349, show strong evidence of association (P = 2.58 x 10(-6) and 3.61 x 10(-6) in a meta-analysis of 9881 individuals). Thus, we have both strongly replicated this association in African-ancestry populations and narrowed the list of potentially causal variants to those that are correlated with rs3751812 and rs9941349 in African-derived populations. This study illustrates the potential of using populations with different LD patterns to fine map associations and helps pave the way for genetically guided functional studies at the FTO locus.
Myeloid cell and hepatocyte IKKβ may mediate the genesis of obesity and insulin resistance in mice fed high fat diet. However, their gender-specific roles in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are not known. Here we demonstrate myeloid IKKβ deficiency prevents Western diet-induced obesity and visceral adiposity in females but not in males, and attenuates hyperglycemia, global IR, and NASH in both genders. In contrast, all metabolic sequela including NASH are aggravated by hepatocyte IKKβ deficiency (IkbkbΔhep) in male but not female mice. Gene profiling identifies sulfotransferase family 1E (Sult1e1), which encodes a sulfotransferase E1 responsible for inactivation of estrogen, as a gene upregulated in NASH in both genders and most conspicuously in male IkbkbΔhep mice having worst NASH and lowest plasma estradiol levels. LXRα is enriched to LXRE on Sult1e1 promoter in male WT and IkbkbΔhep mice with NASH, and a Sult1e1 promoter activity is increased by LXRα and its ligand and augmented by expression of a S32A mutant of IκBα. These results demonstrate striking gender differences in regulation by IKKβ of high cholesterol saturated fat diet-induced metabolic changes including NASH and suggest hepatocyte IKKβ is protective in male due at least in part to its ability to repress LXR-induced Sult1e1. Our findings also raise a caution for systemic IKK inhibition for the treatment of NASH as it may exacerbate the disease in male patients.
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