Replication and fine-mapping of genetic predictors of lipid traits in African-Americans

J Hum Genet. 2017 Oct;62(10):895-901. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2017.55. Epub 2017 May 25.


Circulating lipid concentrations are among the strongest modifiable risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). Most genetic studies have focused on Caucasian populations with little information available for populations of African ancestry. Using a cohort of ~2800 African-Americans (AAs) from a biobank at Vanderbilt University (BioVU), we sought to trans-ethnically replicate genetic variants reported by the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium to be associated with lipid traits in Caucasians, followed by fine-mapping those loci using all available variants on the MetaboChip. In AAs, we replicated one of 56 SNPs for total cholesterol (TC) (rs6511720 in LDLR, P=2.15 × 10-8), one of 63 SNPs for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (rs3764261 in CETP, P=1.13 × 10-5), two of 46 SNPs for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (rs629301 in CELSR2/SORT1, P=1.11 × 10-5 and rs6511720 in LDLR, P=2.47 × 10-5) and one of 34 SNPs for TG (rs645040 in MSL2L1, P=4.29 × 10-4). Using all available variants on MetaboChip for fine mapping, we identified additional variants associated with TC (APOE), HDL-C (LPL and CETP) and LDL-C (APOE). Furthermore, we identified two loci significantly associated with non-HDL-C: APOE/APOC1/TOMM40 and PCSK9. In conclusion, the genetic architecture of lipid traits in AAs differs substantially from that in Caucasians and it remains poorly characterized.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Biomarkers
  • Black or African American / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genotype
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Inheritance Patterns
  • Lipids*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Biomarkers
  • Lipids