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Two novel pleiotropic loci associated with osteoporosis and abdominal obesity

Liu L1,2,3Yang XL1,2Zhang H1,2Zhang ZJ4Wei XT2,5Feng GJ2,5Liu J3Peng HP3Hai R6Shen H7Tian Q7Deng HW8Pei YF9,10Zhang L11,12.

Hum Genet. 2020 Apr 1. doi: 10.1007/s00439-020-02155-1. [Epub ahead of print]

 

Abstract

Aiming to uncover a shared genetic basis of abdominal obesity and osteoporosis, we performed a bivariate GWAS meta-analysis of femoral neck BMD (FNK-BMD) and trunk fat mass adjusted by trunk lean mass (TFMadj) in 11,496 subjects from 6 samples, followed by in silico replication in the large-scale UK Biobank (UKB) cohort. A series of functional investigations were conducted on the identified variants. Bivariate GWAS meta-analysis identified two novel pleiotropic loci 12q15 (lead SNP rs73134637, p = 3.45 × 10-7) and 10p14 (lead SNP rs2892347, p = 2.63 × 10-7) that were suggestively associated and that were replicated in the analyses of related traits in the UKB sample (osteoporosis p = 0.06 and 0.02, BMI p = 0.03 and 4.61 × 10-3, N up to 499,520). Cis-eQTL analysis demonstrated that allele C at rs73134637 was positively associated with IFNG expression in whole blood (N = 369, p = 0.04), and allele A at rs11254759 (10p14, p = 9.49 × 10-7) was negatively associated with PRKCQ expression in visceral adipose tissue (N = 313, p = 0.04) and in lymphocytes (N = 117, p = 0.03). As a proof-of-principle experiment, the function of rs11254759, which is 235 kb 5′-upstream from PRKCQ gene, was investigated by the dual-luciferase reporter assay, which clearly showed that the haplotype carrying rs11254759 regulated PRKCQ expression by upregulating PRKCQ promoter activity (p = 4.60 × 10-7) in an allelic specific manner. Mouse model analysis showed that heterozygous PRKCQ deficient mice presented decreased fat mass compared to wild-type control mice (p = 3.30 × 10-3). Mendelian randomization analysis demonstrated that both FNK-BMD and TFMadj were causally associated with fracture risk (p = 1.26 × 10-23 and 1.18 × 10-11). Our findings may provide useful insights into the genetic association between osteoporosis and abdominal obesity.