Identification of potential genetic causal variants for obesity-related traits using statistical fine mapping

Rui Gong, Jonathan Greenbaum, Xu Lin, Yan Du, Kuan Jui Su, Yun Gong, Jie Shen, Hong Wen Deng

Producción científica: Articlerevisión exhaustiva


Background: Obesity is highly influenced by heritability and variant effects. While previous genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have successfully identified numerous genetic loci associated with obesity-related traits [body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)], most causal variants remain unidentified. The high degree of linkage disequilibrium (LD) throughout the genome makes it extremely difficult to distinguish the GWAS-associated SNPs that exert a true biological effect. Objective: This study was to identify the potential causal variants having a biological effect on obesity-related traits. Methods: We used Probabilistic Annotation INTegratOR, a Bayesian fine-mapping method, which incorporated genetic association data (GWAS summary statistics), LD structure, and functional annotations to calculate a posterior probability of causality for SNPs across all loci of interest. Moreover, we performed gene expression analysis using the available public transcriptomic data to validate the corresponding genes of the potential causal SNPs partially. Results: We identified 96 SNPs for BMI and 43 SNPs for WHR with a high posterior probability of causality (> 99%), including 49 BMI SNPs and 24 WHR SNPs which did not reach genome-wide significance in the original GWAS. Finally, we partially validated some genes corresponding to the potential causal SNPs. Conclusion: Using a statistical fine-mapping approach, we identified a set of potential causal variants to be prioritized for future functional validation and also detected some novel trait-associated variants. These results provided novel insight into our understanding of the genetics of obesity and also demonstrated that fine mapping may improve upon the results identified by the original GWASs.

Idioma originalEnglish (US)
Páginas (desde-hasta)1309-1319
Número de páginas11
PublicaciónMolecular Genetics and Genomics
EstadoPublished - nov 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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