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

AMP-T2D-GENES, Myocardial Infarction Genetics Consortium, NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Consortium, NHLBI TOPMed Lipids Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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 by 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; some of these genes have not been previously associated with lipid levels when using rare coding variation from population-based samples. We prioritize 32 genes in array-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci based on aggregations of rare coding variants; three (EVI5, SH2B3, and PLIN1) had no prior association of rare coding variants with lipid levels. Most of our associated genes showed evidence of association among multiple ancestries. Finally, 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 (SNPs). 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-96
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Swedish Research Council ( 2016-06830 ) and grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): R01HL142711 and R01HL127564 . Please refer to the supplemental information for the full acknowledgements.

Funding Information:
The authors declare no competing interests for the present work. P.N. reports investigator-initiated grants from Amgen, Apple, and Boston Scientific; is a scientific advisor to Apple, Blackstone Life Sciences, and Novartis; and has spousal employment at Vertex, all unrelated to the present work. A.V.K. has served as a scientific advisor to Sanofi, Medicines Company, Maze Pharmaceuticals, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Verve Therapeutics, Amgen, and Color; received speaking fees from Illumina, MedGenome, Amgen, and the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research; received sponsored research agreements from the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research and IBM Research; and reports a patent related to a genetic risk predictor (20190017119). C.J.W.’s spouse is employed at Regeneron. L.E.S. is currently an employee of Celgene/Bristol Myers Squibb. Celgene/Bristol Myers Squibb had no role in the funding, design, conduct, and interpretation of this study. M.E.M. receives funding from Regeneron unrelated to this work. E.E.K. has received speaker honoraria from Illumina, Inc and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. B.M.P. serves on the Steering Committee of the Yale Open Data Access Project funded by Johnson & Johnson. L.A.C. has consulted with the Dyslipidemia Foundation on lipid projects in the Framingham Heart Study. P.T.E. is supported by a grant from Bayer AG to the Broad Institute focused on the genetics and therapeutics of cardiovascular disease. P.T.E. has consulted for Bayer AG, Novartis, MyoKardia, and Quest Diagnostics. S.A.L. receives sponsored research support from Bristol Myers Squibb/Pfizer, Bayer AG, Boehringer Ingelheim, Fitbit, and IBM and has consulted for Bristol Myers Squibb/Pfizer, Bayer AG, and Blackstone Life Sciences. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health. M.I.M. has served on advisory panels for Pfizer, NovoNordisk, and Zoe Global and has received honoraria from Merck, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly and research funding from Abbvie, Astra Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Merck, NovoNordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi Aventis, Servier, and Takeda. As of June 2019, M.I.M. is an employee of Genentech and a holder of Roche stock. M.E.J. holds shares in Novo Nordisk A/S. H.M.K. is an employee of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; he owns stock and stock options for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. M.E.J. has received research grants form Astra Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Amgen, and Sanofi. S.K. is founder of Verve Therapeutics.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Swedish Research Council (2016-06830) and grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): R01HL142711 and R01HL127564. Please refer to the supplemental information for the full acknowledgements. The authors declare no competing interests for the present work. P.N. reports investigator-initiated grants from Amgen, Apple, and Boston Scientific; is a scientific advisor to Apple, Blackstone Life Sciences, and Novartis; and has spousal employment at Vertex, all unrelated to the present work. A.V.K. has served as a scientific advisor to Sanofi, Medicines Company, Maze Pharmaceuticals, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Verve Therapeutics, Amgen, and Color; received speaking fees from Illumina, MedGenome, Amgen, and the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research; received sponsored research agreements from the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research and IBM Research; and reports a patent related to a genetic risk predictor (20190017119). C.J.W.?s spouse is employed at Regeneron. L.E.S. is currently an employee of Celgene/Bristol Myers Squibb. Celgene/Bristol Myers Squibb had no role in the funding, design, conduct, and interpretation of this study. M.E.M. receives funding from Regeneron unrelated to this work. E.E.K. has received speaker honoraria from Illumina, Inc and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. B.M.P. serves on the Steering Committee of the Yale Open Data Access Project funded by Johnson & Johnson. L.A.C. has consulted with the Dyslipidemia Foundation on lipid projects in the Framingham Heart Study. P.T.E. is supported by a grant from Bayer AG to the Broad Institute focused on the genetics and therapeutics of cardiovascular disease. P.T.E. has consulted for Bayer AG, Novartis, MyoKardia, and Quest Diagnostics. S.A.L. receives sponsored research support from Bristol Myers Squibb/Pfizer, Bayer AG, Boehringer Ingelheim, Fitbit, and IBM and has consulted for Bristol Myers Squibb/Pfizer, Bayer AG, and Blackstone Life Sciences. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health. M.I.M. has served on advisory panels for Pfizer, NovoNordisk, and Zoe Global and has received honoraria from Merck, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly and research funding from Abbvie, Astra Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Merck, NovoNordisk, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi Aventis, Servier, and Takeda. As of June 2019, M.I.M. is an employee of Genentech and a holder of Roche stock. M.E.J. holds shares in Novo Nordisk A/S. H.M.K. is an employee of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; he owns stock and stock options for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. M.E.J. has received research grants form Astra Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Amgen, and Sanofi. S.K. is founder of Verve Therapeutics.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society of Human Genetics

Keywords

  • association
  • cholesterol
  • exome sequencing
  • gene-based association
  • lipid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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