A body mass index (BMI) >22kg/m2 is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Aboriginal Australians. To identify loci associated with BMI... Show More
A body mass index (BMI) >22kg/m2 is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Aboriginal Australians. To identify loci associated with BMI and T2D we undertook a genome-wide association study using 1,355,133 quality-controlled single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped (Illumina 2.5M Duo Beadchip) in 402 individuals in extended pedigrees from a Western Australian Aboriginal community. Imputation using the thousand genomes (1000G) reference panel extended the analysis to 6,724,284 post quality-control autosomal SNPs. No associations achieved genome-wide significance, commonly accepted as P<5x10-8. Nevertheless, genes/pathways in common with other ethnicities were identified despite the arrival of Aboriginal people in Australia >45,000 years ago. The top hit (rs10868204 Pgenotyped=1.50x10-6; rs11140653 Pimputed_1000G=2.90x10-7) for BMI lies 5â€™ of NTRK2, the type 2 neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that regulates energy balance downstream of melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). PIK3C2G (rs12816270 Pgenotyped=8.06x10-6; rs10841048 Pimputed_1000G=6.28x10-7) was associated with BMI, but not with T2D as reported elsewhere. BMI also associated with CNTNAP2 (rs6960319 Pgenotyped=4.65x10-5; rs13225016 Pimputed_1000G=6.57x10-5), previously identified as the strongest gene-by-environment interaction for BMI in African-Americans. The top hit (rs11240074 Pgenotyped=5.59x10-6, Pimputed_1000G=5.73x10-6) for T2D lies 5â€™ of BCL9 that, along with TCFL2, promotes beta-cateninâ€™s transcriptional activity in the WNT signaling pathway. Additional hits occurred in genes affecting pancreatic (KCNJ6, KCNA1) and/or GABA (GABRR1, KCNA1) functions. Notable associations observed for genes previously identified at genome-wide significance in other populations included MC4R (Pgenotyped=4.49x10-4) for BMI and IGF2BP2 Pimputed_1000G=2.55x10-6) for T2D. Our results may provide novel functional leads in understanding disease pathogenesis in this Australian Aboriginal population.
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