Genome-wide association analyses identify 39 new susceptibility loci for diverticular disease

Nat Genet. 2018 Oct;50(10):1359-1365. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0203-z. Epub 2018 Sep 3.


Diverticular disease is common and has a high morbidity. Treatments are limited owing to the poor understanding of its pathophysiology. Here, to elucidate its etiology, we performed a genome-wide association study of diverticular disease (27,444 cases; 382,284 controls) from the UK Biobank and tested for replication in the Michigan Genomics Initiative (2,572 cases; 28,649 controls). We identified 42 loci associated with diverticular disease; 39 of these loci are novel. Using data-driven expression-prioritized integration for complex traits (DEPICT), we show that genes in these associated regions are significantly enriched for expression in mesenchymal stem cells and multiple connective tissue cell types and are co-expressed with genes that have a role in vascular and mesenchymal biology. Genes in these associated loci have roles in immunity, extracellular matrix biology, cell adhesion, membrane transport and intestinal motility. Phenome-wide association analysis of the 42 variants shows a common etiology of diverticular disease with obesity and hernia. These analyses shed light on the genomic landscape of diverticular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diverticular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Diverticular Diseases / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study* / methods
  • Genome-Wide Association Study* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology