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Prioritization of Osteoporosis-Associated Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) Using Epigenomics and Transcriptomics.

ABSTRACT: Genetic risk factors for osteoporosis, a prevalent disease associated with aging, have been examined in many genome-wide association studies (GWASs). A major challenge is to prioritize transcription-regulatory GWAS-derived variants that are likely to be functional. Given the critical role of epigenetics in gene regulation, we have used an unusual epigenetics-based and transcription-based approach to identify some of the credible regulatory single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) relevant to osteoporosis from 38 reported bone mineral density (BMD) GWASs. Using Roadmap databases, we prioritized SNPs based upon their overlap with strong enhancer or promoter chromatin preferentially in osteoblasts relative to 12 heterologous cell culture types. We also required that these SNPs overlap open chromatin (Deoxyribonuclease I [DNaseI]-hypersensitive sites) and DNA sequences predicted to bind to osteoblast-relevant transcription factors in an allele-specific manner. From >50,000 GWAS-derived SNPs, we identified 14 novel and credible regulatory SNPs (Tier-1 SNPs) for osteoporosis risk. Their associated genes, BICC1, LGR4, DAAM2, NPR3, or HMGA2, are involved in osteoblastogenesis or bone homeostasis and regulate cell signaling or enhancer function. Four of these genes are preferentially expressed in osteoblasts. BICC1, LGR4, and DAAM2 play important roles in canonical Wnt signaling, a pathway critical for bone formation and repair. The transcription factors predicted to bind to the Tier-1 SNP-containing DNA sequences also have bone-related functions. We present evidence that some of the Tier-1 SNPs exert their effects on BMD risk indirectly through little-studied long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) genes, which may, in turn, control the nearby bone-related protein-encoding gene. Our study illustrates a method to identify novel BMD-related causal regulatory SNPs for future study and to prioritize candidate regulatory GWAS-derived SNPs, in general. © 2021 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC8101624 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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