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Systematic Evaluation of Pleiotropy Identifies 6 Further Loci Associated With Coronary Artery Disease

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Webb, TR 
Erdmann, J 
Stirrups, KE 
Stitziel, NO 
Masca, NGD 


BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies have so far identified 56 loci associated with risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). Many CAD loci show pleiotropy; that is, they are also associated with other diseases or traits. OBJECTIVES: This study sought to systematically test if genetic variants identified for non-CAD diseases/traits also associate with CAD and to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the extent of pleiotropy of all CAD loci. METHODS: In discovery analyses involving 42,335 CAD cases and 78,240 control subjects we tested the association of 29,383 common (minor allele frequency >5%) single nucleotide polymorphisms available on the exome array, which included a substantial proportion of known or suspected single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with common diseases or traits as of 2011. Suggestive association signals were replicated in an additional 30,533 cases and 42,530 control subjects. To evaluate pleiotropy, we tested CAD loci for association with cardiovascular risk factors (lipid traits, blood pressure phenotypes, body mass index, diabetes, and smoking behavior), as well as with other diseases/traits through interrogation of currently available genome-wide association study catalogs. RESULTS: We identified 6 new loci associated with CAD at genome-wide significance: on 2q37 (KCNJ13-GIGYF2), 6p21 (C2), 11p15 (MRVI1-CTR9), 12q13 (LRP1), 12q24 (SCARB1), and 16q13 (CETP). Risk allele frequencies ranged from 0.15 to 0.86, and odds ratio per copy of the risk allele ranged from 1.04 to 1.09. Of 62 new and known CAD loci, 24 (38.7%) showed statistical association with a traditional cardiovascular risk factor, with some showing multiple associations, and 29 (47%) showed associations at p < 1 × 10(-4) with a range of other diseases/traits. CONCLUSIONS: We identified 6 loci associated with CAD at genome-wide significance. Several CAD loci show substantial pleiotropy, which may help us understand the mechanisms by which these loci affect CAD risk.



cholesteryl ester transfer protein, expression quantitative trait loci, genetics, genome-wide association, single nucleotide polymorphism

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Journal of the American College of Cardiology

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Medical Research Council (MR/L003120/1)
British Heart Foundation (None)
Drs. Akinsanya, Wu, Yin, and Reilly are employees of Merck Sharp & Dohme; and Dr. Vogt was an employee of Merck when aspects of this research was conducted, but is now retired from Merck. A cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitor, Anacetrapib (MK-0859), is currently undergoing clinical investigation in the REVEAL outcome trial sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme. Dr. Schick is an employee of Recombine. Dr. Dube has equity in DalCor Pharmaceuticals. Dr. McCarthy is a member of advisory boards for Pfizer and Novo Nordisk; has received honoraria from Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly; and has received research funding provided by Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Servier, Sanofi-Aventis, Janssen, Roche, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Takeda, Merck, and AstraZeneca. Dr. Ferrieres has received grants from Merck Sharp & Dohme, Amgen, and Sanofi. Dr. Sattar has served as a consultant for Amgen and Sanofi. Dr. Butterworth has received grants from Pfizer and Merck. Dr. Danesh has served as a consultant for Takeda; has served on the Novartis Cardiovascular & Metabolic Advisory Board and International Cardiovascular and Metabolism Research and Development Portfolio Committee of Novartis; has served on the UK Atherosclerosis Advisory Board of Merck Sharp & Dohme; has served on the advisory board of Sanofi; has served on the Pfizer Population Research Advisory Panel; and has financial relationships with the British Heart Foundation, BUPA Foundation, diaDexus, European Research Council, European Union, Evelyn Trust, Fogarty International Centre, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Health Service Blood and Transplant, National Institute for Health Research, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Takeda, The Wellcome Trust, UK Biobank, University of British Columbia, and UK Medical Research Council. Dr. Tardif has received research grants from Amarin, AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Servier, and DalCor; has received honoraria from Pfizer (to his institution), Servier, DalCor, and Sanofi (to his institution); and has received modest equity interest from DalCor. Dr. Kathiresan has financial/other relationships with Regeneron, Bayer, Catabasis, Merck, Celera, Genomics PLC, San Therapeutics, Novartis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Alnylam, Eli Lilly, Leerink Partners, and Noble Insights. All other authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose. A full list of acknowledgments and funding sources is included in the Online Appendix.