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Meta-Analysis
. 2012 Oct 11;490(7419):267-72.
doi: 10.1038/nature11401. Epub 2012 Sep 16.

FTO Genotype Is Associated With Phenotypic Variability of Body Mass Index

Jian Yang  1 Ruth J F LoosJoseph E PowellSarah E MedlandElizabeth K SpeliotesDaniel I ChasmanLynda M RoseGudmar ThorleifssonValgerdur SteinthorsdottirReedik MägiLindsay WaiteAlbert Vernon SmithLaura M Yerges-ArmstrongKeri L MondaDavid HadleyAnubha MahajanGuo LiKaren KapurVeronique VitartJennifer E HuffmanSophie R WangCameron PalmerTõnu EskoKrista FischerJing Hua ZhaoAyşe DemirkanAaron IsaacsMary F FeitosaJian'an LuanNancy L Heard-CostaCharles WhiteAnne U JacksonMichael PreussAndreas ZieglerJoel ErikssonZoltán KutalikFrancesca FrauIlja M NolteJana V Van Vliet-OstaptchoukJouke-Jan HottengaKevin B JacobsNiek VerweijAnuj GoelCarolina Medina-GomezKarol EstradaJennifer Lynn Bragg-GreshamSerena SannaCarlo SidoreJonathan TyrerAlexander TeumerInga ProkopenkoMassimo ManginoCecilia M LindgrenThemistocles L AssimesAlan R ShuldinerJennie HuiJohn P BeilbyWendy L McArdlePer HallTalin HarituniansLina ZgagaIvana KolcicOzren PolasekTatijana ZemunikBen A OostraM Juhani JunttilaHenrik GrönbergStefan SchreiberAnnette PetersAndrew A HicksJonathan StephensNicola S FoadJaana LaitinenAnneli PoutaMarika KaakinenGonneke WillemsenJacqueline M VinkSarah H WildGerjan NavisFolkert W AsselbergsGeorg HomuthUlrich JohnCarlos IribarrenTamara HarrisLenore LaunerVilmundur GudnasonJeffrey R O'ConnellEric BoerwinkleGemma CadbyLyle J PalmerAlan L JamesArthur W MuskErik IngelssonBruce M PsatyJacques S BeckmannGerard WaeberPeter VollenweiderCaroline HaywardAlan F WrightIgor RudanLeif C GroopAndres MetspaluKay Tee KhawCornelia M van DuijnIngrid B BoreckiMichael A ProvinceNicholas J WarehamJean-Claude TardifHeikki V HuikuriL Adrienne CupplesLarry D AtwoodCaroline S FoxMichael BoehnkeFrancis S CollinsKaren L MohlkeJeanette ErdmannHeribert SchunkertChristian HengstenbergKlaus StarkMattias LorentzonClaes OhlssonDaniele CusiJan A StaessenMelanie M Van der KlauwPeter P PramstallerSekar KathiresanJennifer D JolleySamuli RipattiMarjo-Riitta JarvelinEco J C de GeusDorret I BoomsmaBrenda PenninxJames F WilsonHarry CampbellStephen J ChanockPim van der HarstAnders HamstenHugh WatkinsAlbert HofmanJacqueline C WittemanM Carola ZillikensAndré G UitterlindenFernando RivadeneiraM Carola ZillikensLambertus A KiemeneySita H VermeulenGoncalo R AbecasisDavid SchlessingerSabine SchipfMichael StumvollAnke TönjesTim D SpectorKari E NorthGuillaume LettreMark I McCarthySonja I BerndtAndrew C HeathPamela A F MaddenDale R NyholtGrant W MontgomeryNicholas G MartinBarbara McKnightDavid P StrachanWilliam G HillHarold SniederPaul M RidkerUnnur ThorsteinsdottirKari StefanssonTimothy M FraylingJoel N HirschhornMichael E GoddardPeter M Visscher
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Free PMC article
Meta-Analysis

FTO Genotype Is Associated With Phenotypic Variability of Body Mass Index

Jian Yang et al. Nature. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

There is evidence across several species for genetic control of phenotypic variation of complex traits, such that the variance among phenotypes is genotype dependent. Understanding genetic control of variability is important in evolutionary biology, agricultural selection programmes and human medicine, yet for complex traits, no individual genetic variants associated with variance, as opposed to the mean, have been identified. Here we perform a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of phenotypic variation using ∼170,000 samples on height and body mass index (BMI) in human populations. We report evidence that the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs7202116 at the FTO gene locus, which is known to be associated with obesity (as measured by mean BMI for each rs7202116 genotype), is also associated with phenotypic variability. We show that the results are not due to scale effects or other artefacts, and find no other experiment-wise significant evidence for effects on variability, either at loci other than FTO for BMI or at any locus for height. The difference in variance for BMI among individuals with opposite homozygous genotypes at the FTO locus is approximately 7%, corresponding to a difference of ∼0.5 kilograms in the standard deviation of weight. Our results indicate that genetic variants can be discovered that are associated with variability, and that between-person variability in obesity can partly be explained by the genotype at the FTO locus. The results are consistent with reported FTO by environment interactions for BMI, possibly mediated by DNA methylation. Our BMI results for other SNPs and our height results for all SNPs suggest that most genetic variants, including those that influence mean height or mean BMI, are not associated with phenotypic variance, or that their effects on variability are too small to detect even with samples sizes greater than 100,000.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Test statistics (−log10(P values)) for association with BMI variability in the discovery meta-analysis of SNPs at the FTO locus against their physical location
The SNPs surrounding rs7202116 are colour-coded to reflect their linkage disequilibrium with rs7202116. The recombination rates are plotted in cyan to reflect local linkage disequilibrium structure. Genes, the position of exons and the direction of transcription from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) genome browser are noted. The P value for rs7202116 in the combined set is represented by a purple diamond, and that from the discovery set by a purple circle.

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