Genome-wide Study of Atrial Fibrillation Identifies Seven Risk Loci and Highlights Biological Pathways and Regulatory Elements Involved in Cardiac Development.
ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia and a major risk factor for stroke, heart failure, and premature death. The pathogenesis of AF remains poorly understood, which contributes to the current lack of highly effective treatments. To understand the genetic variation and biology underlying AF, we undertook a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 6,337 AF individuals and 61,607 AF-free individuals from Norway, including replication in an additional 30,679 AF individuals and 278,895 AF-free individuals. Through genotyping and dense imputation mapping from whole-genome sequencing, we tested almost nine million genetic variants across the genome and identified seven risk loci, including two novel loci. One novel locus (lead single-nucleotide variant [SNV] rs12614435; p = 6.76 × 10-18) comprised intronic and several highly correlated missense variants situated in the I-, A-, and M-bands of titin, which is the largest protein in humans and responsible for the passive elasticity of heart and skeletal muscle. The other novel locus (lead SNV rs56202902; p = 1.54 × 10-11) covered a large, gene-dense chromosome 1 region that has previously been linked to cardiac conduction. Pathway and functional enrichment analyses suggested that many AF-associated genetic variants act through a mechanism of impaired muscle cell differentiation and tissue formation during fetal heart development.
Project description:Hypertension (HTN) is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Metabolic abnormalities, including adverse cholesterol and triglycerides (TG) profiles, are frequent comorbid findings with HTN and contribute to cardiovascular disease. Diuretics, which are used to treat HTN and heart failure, have been associated with worsening of fasting lipid concentrations. Genome-wide meta-analyses with 39,710 European-ancestry (EA) individuals and 9925 African-ancestry (AA) individuals were performed to identify genetic variants that modify the effect of loop or thiazide diuretic use on blood lipid concentrations. Both longitudinal and cross sectional data were used to compute cohort-specific interaction results, which were then combined through meta-analysis in each ancestry. These ancestry-specific results were further combined through trans-ancestry meta-analysis. Analysis of EA data identified two genome-wide significant (p?<?5?×?10-8) loci with single nucleotide variant (SNV)-loop diuretic interaction on TG concentrations (including COL11A1). Analysis of AA data identified one genome-wide significant locus adjacent to BMP2 with SNV-loop diuretic interaction on TG concentrations. Trans-ancestry analysis strengthened evidence of association for SNV-loop diuretic interaction at two loci (KIAA1217 and BAALC). There were few significant SNV-thiazide diuretic interaction associations on TG concentrations and for either diuretic on cholesterol concentrations. Several promising loci were identified that may implicate biologic pathways that contribute to adverse metabolic side effects from diuretic therapy.
Project description:Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a morbid and heritable arrhythmia. Over 35 genes have been reported to underlie AF, most of which were described in small candidate gene association studies. Replication remains lacking for most, and therefore the contribution of coding variation to AF susceptibility remains poorly understood. We examined whole exome sequencing data in a large community-based sample of 1,734 individuals with and 9,423 without AF from the Framingham Heart Study, Cardiovascular Health Study, Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, and NHLBI-GO Exome Sequencing Project and meta-analyzed the results. We also examined whether genetic variation was enriched in suspected AF genes (N = 37) in AF cases versus controls. The mean age ranged from 59 to 73 years; 8,656 (78%) were of European ancestry. None of the 99,404 common variants evaluated was significantly associated after adjusting for multiple testing. Among the most significantly associated variants was a common (allele frequency = 86%) missense variant in SYNPO2L (rs3812629, p.Pro707Leu, [odds ratio 1.27, 95% confidence interval 1.13-1.43, P = 6.6x10-5]) which lies at a known AF susceptibility locus and is in linkage disequilibrium with a top marker from prior analyses at the locus. We did not observe significant associations between rare variants and AF in gene-based tests. Individuals with AF did not display any statistically significant enrichment for common or rare coding variation in previously implicated AF genes. In conclusion, we did not observe associations between coding genetic variants and AF, suggesting that large-effect coding variation is not the predominant mechanism underlying AF. A coding variant in SYNPO2L requires further evaluation to determine whether it is causally related to AF. Efforts to identify biologically meaningful coding variation underlying AF may require large sample sizes or populations enriched for large genetic effects.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified common genetic variants that predispose to atrial fibrillation (AF). It is unclear whether rare and low-frequency variants in genes implicated by such GWAS confer additional risk of AF. OBJECTIVE:To study the association of genetic variants with AF at GWAS top loci. METHODS:In the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Targeted Sequencing Study, we selected and sequenced 77 target gene regions from GWAS loci of complex diseases or traits, including 4 genes hypothesized to be related to AF (PRRX1, CAV1, CAV2, and ZFHX3). Sequencing was performed in participants with (n = 948) and without (n = 3330) AF from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Framingham Heart Study, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. RESULTS:One common variant (rs11265611; P = 1.70 × 10(-6)) intronic to IL6R (interleukin-6 receptor gene) was significantly associated with AF after Bonferroni correction (odds ratio 0.70; 95% confidence interval 0.58-0.85). The variant was not genotyped or imputed by prior GWAS, but it is in linkage disequilibrium (r(2) = .69) with the single-nucleotide polymorphism, with the strongest association with AF so far at this locus (rs4845625). In the rare variant joint analysis, damaging variants within the PRRX1 region showed significant association with AF after Bonferroni correction (P = .01). CONCLUSIONS:We identified 1 common single-nucleotide polymorphism and 1 gene region that were significantly associated with AF. Future sequencing efforts with larger sample sizes and more comprehensive genome coverage are anticipated to identify additional AF-related variants.
Project description:It is unclear whether genetic markers interact with risk factors to influence atrial fibrillation (AF) risk. We performed genome-wide interaction analyses between genetic variants and age, sex, hypertension, and body mass index in the AFGen Consortium. Study-specific results were combined using meta-analysis (88,383 individuals of European descent, including 7,292 with AF). Variants with nominal interaction associations in the discovery analysis were tested for association in four independent studies (131,441 individuals, including 5,722 with AF). In the discovery analysis, the AF risk associated with the minor rs6817105 allele (at the PITX2 locus) was greater among subjects???65 years of age than among those?>?65 years (interaction p-value?=?4.0?×?10-5). The interaction p-value exceeded genome-wide significance in combined discovery and replication analyses (interaction p-value?=?1.7?×?10-8). We observed one genome-wide significant interaction with body mass index and several suggestive interactions with age, sex, and body mass index in the discovery analysis. However, none was replicated in the independent sample. Our findings suggest that the pathogenesis of AF may differ according to age in individuals of European descent, but we did not observe evidence of statistically significant genetic interactions with sex, body mass index, or hypertension on AF risk.
Project description:Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia. Previous studies have identified several genetic loci associated with typical AF. We sought to identify common genetic variants underlying lone AF. This condition affects a subset of individuals without overt heart disease and with an increased heritability of AF. We report a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies conducted using 1,335 individuals with lone AF (cases) and 12,844 unaffected individuals (referents). Cases were obtained from the German AF Network, Heart and Vascular Health Study, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital. We identified an association on chromosome 1q21 to lone AF (rs13376333, adjusted odds ratio = 1.56; P = 6.3 x 10(-12)), and we replicated this association in two independent cohorts with lone AF (overall combined odds ratio = 1.52, 95% CI 1.40-1.64; P = 1.83 x 10(-21)). rs13376333 is intronic to KCNN3, which encodes a potassium channel protein involved in atrial repolarization.
Project description:Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, and it is associated with an increased risk of heart failure, stroke, dementia, and death. Recently, titin-truncating variants (TTNtv), which are predominantly associated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), were associated with early-onset AF. Furthermore, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) associated AF with other structural genes. In this study, we investigated whether early-onset AF was associated with loss-of-function variants in DCM-associated genes encoding cytoskeletal proteins. Using targeted sequencing, we examined a cohort of 527 Scandinavian individuals with early-onset AF and a control group of individuals free of AF (n = 383). The patients had onset of AF before 50 years of age, normal echocardiogram, and no other cardiovascular disease at onset of AF. We identified six individuals with rare loss-of-function variants in three different genes (dystrophin (DMD), actin-associated LIM protein (PDLIM3), and fukutin (FKTN)), of which two variants were novel. Loss-of-function variants in cytoskeletal genes were significantly associated with early-onset AF when patients were compared with controls (p = 0.044). Using publicly available GWAS data, we performed genetic correlation analyses between AF and 13 other traits, e.g., showing genetic correlation between AF and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (p = 0.0003). Our data suggest that rare loss-of-function variants in cytoskeletal genes previously associated with DCM may have a role in early-onset AF, perhaps through the development of an atrial cardiomyopathy.
Project description:The human left and right atria have different susceptibilities to develop atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the molecular events related to structural and functional changes that enhance AF susceptibility are still poorly understood.The purpose of this study was to characterize gene expression and genetic variation in human atria.We studied the gene expression profiles and genetic variations in 53 left atrial and 52 right atrial tissue samples collected from the Myocardial Applied Genomics Network (MAGNet) repository. The tissues were collected from heart failure patients undergoing transplantation and from unused organ donor hearts with normal ventricular function. Gene expression was profiled using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome U133A Array. Genetic variation was profiled using the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0.We found that 109 genes were differentially expressed between left and right atrial tissues. A total of 187 and 259 significant cis-associations between transcript levels and genetic variants were identified in left and right atrial tissues, respectively. We also found that a single nucleotide polymorphism at a known AF locus, rs3740293, was associated with the expression of MYOZ1 in both left and right atrial tissues.We found a distinct transcriptional profile between the right and left atrium and extensive cis-associations between atrial transcripts and common genetic variants. Our results implicate MYOZ1 as the causative gene at the chromosome 10q22 locus for AF.
Project description:Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia, and a recent genome-wide association study identified the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 4 (HCN4) as a novel AF susceptibility locus. HCN4 encodes for the cardiac pacemaker channel, and HCN4 mutations are associated with familial sinus bradycardia and AF.The purpose of this study was to determine whether novel variants in the coding region of HCN4 contribute to the susceptibility for AF.We sequenced the coding region of HCN4 for novel variants from 527 cases with early-onset AF from the Massachusetts General Hospital AF Study and 443 referents from the Framingham Heart Study. We used site-directed mutagenesis, cellular electrophysiology, immunocytochemistry, and confocal microscopy to functionally characterize novel variants.We found the frequency of novel coding HCN4 variants was 2-fold greater for individuals with AF (7 variants) compared to the referents (3 variants). We determined that of the 7 novel HCN4 variants in our AF cases, 1 (p.Pro257Ser, located in the amino-terminus adjacent to the first transmembrane spanning domain) did not traffic to cell membrane, whereas the remaining 6 were not functionally different from wild type. In addition, the 3 novel variants in our referents did not alter function compared to wild-type. Coexpression studies showed that the p.Pro257Ser mutant channel failed to colocalize with the wild-type HCN4 channel on the cell membrane.Our findings are consistent with HCN4 haploinsufficiency as the likely mechanism for early-onset AF in the p.Pro257Ser carrier.
Project description:Importance:Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia affecting 1% of the population. Young individuals with AF have a strong genetic association with the disease, but the mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Objective:To perform large-scale whole-genome sequencing to identify genetic variants related to AF. Design, Setting, and Participants:The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program includes longitudinal and cohort studies that underwent high-depth whole-genome sequencing between 2014 and 2017 in 18?526 individuals from the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Barbados, and Samoa. This case-control study included 2781 patients with early-onset AF from 9 studies and identified 4959 controls of European ancestry from the remaining participants. Results were replicated in the UK Biobank (346?546 participants) and the MyCode Study (42?782 participants). Exposures:Loss-of-function (LOF) variants in genes at AF loci and common genetic variation across the whole genome. Main Outcomes and Measures:Early-onset AF (defined as AF onset in persons <66 years of age). Due to multiple testing, the significance threshold for the rare variant analysis was P?=?4.55?×?10-3. Results:Among 2781 participants with early-onset AF (the case group), 72.1% were men, and the mean (SD) age of AF onset was 48.7 (10.2) years. Participants underwent whole-genome sequencing at a mean depth of 37.8 fold and mean genome coverage of 99.1%. At least 1 LOF variant in TTN, the gene encoding the sarcomeric protein titin, was present in 2.1% of case participants compared with 1.1% in control participants (odds ratio [OR], 1.76 [95% CI, 1.04-2.97]). The proportion of individuals with early-onset AF who carried a LOF variant in TTN increased with an earlier age of AF onset (P value for trend, 4.92?×?10-4), and 6.5% of individuals with AF onset prior to age 30 carried a TTN LOF variant (OR, 5.94 [95% CI, 2.64-13.35]; P?=?1.65?×?10-5). The association between TTN LOF variants and AF was replicated in an independent study of 1582 patients with early-onset AF (cases) and 41?200 control participants (OR, 2.16 [95% CI, 1.19-3.92]; P?=?.01). Conclusions and Relevance:In a case-control study, there was a statistically significant association between an LOF variant in the TTN gene and early-onset AF, with the variant present in a small percentage of participants with early-onset AF (the case group). Further research is necessary to understand whether this is a causal relationship.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Atrial fibrillation (AF) affects over 33 million individuals worldwide. Genome-wide association studies have identified at least 30 AF loci, but the mechanisms through which individual variants lead to altered disease risk have remained unclear for the majority of these loci. At the 1q24 locus, we hypothesized that the transcription factor PRRX1 could be a strong candidate gene as it is expressed in the pulmonary veins, a source of AF in many individuals. We sought to identify the molecular mechanism, whereby variation at 1q24 may lead to AF susceptibility. METHODS AND RESULTS:We sequenced a ?158 kb region encompassing PRRX1 in 962 individuals with and without AF. We identified a broad region of association with AF at the 1q24 locus. Using in silico prediction and functional validation, we identified an enhancer that interacts with the promoter of PRRX1 in cells of cardiac lineage. Within this enhancer, we identified a single-nucleotide polymorphism, rs577676, which alters enhancer activity in a mouse atrial cell line and in embryonic zebrafish and differentially regulates PRRX1 expression in human left atria. We found that suppression of PRRX1 in human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and embryonic zebrafish resulted in shortening of the atrial action potential duration, a hallmark of AF. CONCLUSIONS:We have identified a functional genetic variant that alters PRRX1 expression, ultimately resulting in electrophysiological alterations in atrial myocytes that may promote AF.