The transferability of lipid loci across African, Asian and European cohorts

Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 24;10(1):4330. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12026-7.

Abstract

Most genome-wide association studies are based on samples of European descent. We assess whether the genetic determinants of blood lipids, a major cardiovascular risk factor, are shared across populations. Genetic correlations for lipids between European-ancestry and Asian cohorts are not significantly different from 1. A genetic risk score based on LDL-cholesterol-associated loci has consistent effects on serum levels in samples from the UK, Uganda and Greece (r = 0.23-0.28, p < 1.9 × 10-14). Overall, there is evidence of reproducibility for ~75% of the major lipid loci from European discovery studies, except triglyceride loci in the Ugandan samples (10% of loci). Individual transferable loci are identified using trans-ethnic colocalization. Ten of fourteen loci not transferable to the Ugandan population have pleiotropic associations with BMI in Europeans; none of the transferable loci do. The non-transferable loci might affect lipids by modifying food intake in environments rich in certain nutrients, which suggests a potential role for gene-environment interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipids / genetics
  • Risk Factors

Substances

  • Lipids