Family-specific aggregation of lipid GWAS variants confers the susceptibility to familial hypercholesterolemia in a large Austrian family.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Hypercholesterolemia confers susceptibility to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Both serum total cholesterol (TC) and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) exhibit a strong genetic component (heritability estimates 0.41-0.50). However, a large part of this heritability cannot be explained by the variants identified in recent extensive genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on lipids. Our aim was to find genetic causes leading to high LDL-C levels and ultimately CVD in a large Austrian family presenting with what appears to be autosomal dominant inheritance for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).
METHODS: We utilized linkage analysis followed by whole-exome sequencing and genetic risk score analysis using an Austrian multi-generational family with various dyslipidemias, including elevated TC and LDL-C, and one family branch with elevated lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)).
RESULTS: We did not find evidence for genome-wide significant linkage for LDL-C or apparent causative variants in the known FH genes rather, we discovered a particular family-specific combination of nine GWAS LDL-C SNPs (p = 0.02 by permutation), and putative less severe familial hypercholesterolemia mutations in the LDLR and APOB genes in a subset of the affected family members. Separately, high Lp(a) levels observed in one branch of the family were explained primarily by the LPA locus, including short (
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, some forms of FH may be explained by family-specific combinations of LDL-C GWAS SNPs.
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|PubMed Central ID||
F31 HL127921 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
P01 HL028481 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL095056 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States