Subtype-specific gout susceptibility loci and enrichment of selection pressure on ABCG2 and ALDH2 identified by subtype genome-wide meta-analyses of clinically defined gout patients

Ann Rheum Dis. 2020 May;79(5):657-665. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-216644. Epub 2020 Apr 1.


Objectives: Genome-wide meta-analyses of clinically defined gout were performed to identify subtype-specific susceptibility loci. Evaluation using selection pressure analysis with these loci was also conducted to investigate genetic risks characteristic of the Japanese population over the last 2000-3000 years.

Methods: Two genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of 3053 clinically defined gout cases and 4554 controls from Japanese males were performed using the Japonica Array and Illumina Array platforms. About 7.2 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms were meta-analysed after imputation. Patients were then divided into four clinical subtypes (the renal underexcretion type, renal overload type, combined type and normal type), and meta-analyses were conducted in the same manner. Selection pressure analyses using singleton density score were also performed on each subtype.

Results: In addition to the eight loci we reported previously, two novel loci, PIBF1 and ACSM2B, were identified at a genome-wide significance level (p<5.0×10-8) from a GWAS meta-analysis of all gout patients, and other two novel intergenic loci, CD2-PTGFRN and SLC28A3-NTRK2, from normal type gout patients. Subtype-dependent patterns of Manhattan plots were observed with subtype GWASs of gout patients, indicating that these subtype-specific loci suggest differences in pathophysiology along patients' gout subtypes. Selection pressure analysis revealed significant enrichment of selection pressure on ABCG2 in addition to ALDH2 loci for all subtypes except for normal type gout.

Conclusions: Our findings on subtype GWAS meta-analyses and selection pressure analysis of gout will assist elucidation of the subtype-dependent molecular targets and evolutionary involvement among genotype, phenotype and subtype-specific tailor-made medicine/prevention of gout and hyperuricaemia.

Keywords: Japanese; genome-wide association study (GWAS); gout/hyperuricaemia; selection pressure analysis; subtype specific locus.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2 / genetics*
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / ethnology*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Genotype
  • Gout / epidemiology
  • Gout / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Prognosis
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • ABCG2 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • ALDH2 protein, human
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial