Admixture Mapping Identifies an Amerindian Ancestry Locus Associated with Albuminuria in Hispanics in the United States

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Jul;28(7):2211-2220. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2016091010. Epub 2017 Jan 30.


Increased urine albumin excretion is highly prevalent in Hispanics/Latinos. Previous studies have found an association between urine albumin excretion and Amerindian ancestry in Hispanic/Latino populations. Admixture between racial/ethnic groups creates long-range linkage disequilibrium between variants with different allelic frequencies in the founding populations and it can be used to localize genes. Hispanic/Latino genomes are an admixture of European, African, and Amerindian ancestries. We leveraged this admixture to identify associations between urine albumin excretion (urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio [UACR]) and genomic regions harboring variants with highly differentiated allele frequencies among the ancestral populations. Admixture mapping analysis of 12,212 Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos participants, using a linear mixed model, identified three novel genome-wide significant signals on chromosomes 2, 11, and 16. The admixture mapping signal identified on chromosome 2, spanning q11.2-14.1 and not previously reported for UACR, is driven by a difference between Amerindian ancestry and the other two ancestries (P<5.7 × 10-5). Within this locus, two common variants located at the proapoptotic BCL2L11 gene associated with UACR: rs116907128 (allele frequency =0.14; P=1.5 × 10-7) and rs586283 (C allele frequency =0.35; P=4.2 × 10-7). In a secondary analysis, rs116907128 accounted for most of the admixture mapping signal observed in the region. The rs116907128 variant is common among full-heritage Pima Indians (A allele frequency =0.54) but is monomorphic in the 1000 Genomes European and African populations. In a replication analysis using a sample of full-heritage Pima Indians, rs116907128 significantly associated with UACR (P=0.01; n=1568). Our findings provide evidence for the presence of Amerindian-specific variants influencing the variation of urine albumin excretion in Hispanics/Latinos.

Keywords: albumins; albuminuria; ethnic groups; ethnic minority; genomics; human genetics.

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / genetics*
  • Black People / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Hispanic or Latino / genetics
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / genetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Racial Groups / genetics*
  • United States
  • White People