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A Genome-Wide Association Study Confirms VKORC1, CYP2C9, and CYP4F2 as Principal Genetic Determinants of Warfarin Dose

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      Abstract

      We report the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) whose sample size (1,053 Swedish subjects) is sufficiently powered to detect genome-wide significance ( p<1.5×10 −7) for polymorphisms that modestly alter therapeutic warfarin dose. The anticoagulant drug warfarin is widely prescribed for reducing the risk of stroke, thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and coronary malfunction. However, Caucasians vary widely (20-fold) in the dose needed for therapeutic anticoagulation, and hence prescribed doses may be too low (risking serious illness) or too high (risking severe bleeding). Prior work established that ∼30% of the dose variance is explained by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the warfarin drug target VKORC1 and another ∼12% by two non-synonymous SNPs ( *2, *3) in the cytochrome P450 warfarin-metabolizing gene CYP2C9. We initially tested each of 325,997 GWAS SNPs for association with warfarin dose by univariate regression and found the strongest statistical signals ( p<10 −78) at SNPs clustering near VKORC1 and the second lowest p-values ( p<10 −31) emanating from CYP2C9. No other SNPs approached genome-wide significance. To enhance detection of weaker effects, we conducted multiple regression adjusting for known influences on warfarin dose ( VKORC1, CYP2C9, age, gender) and identified a single SNP (rs2108622) with genome-wide significance ( p = 8.3×10 −10) that alters protein coding of the CYP4F2 gene. We confirmed this result in 588 additional Swedish patients ( p<0.0029) and, during our investigation, a second group provided independent confirmation from a scan of warfarin-metabolizing genes. We also thoroughly investigated copy number variations, haplotypes, and imputed SNPs, but found no additional highly significant warfarin associations. We present power analysis of our GWAS that is generalizable to other studies, and conclude we had 80% power to detect genome-wide significance for common causative variants or markers explaining at least 1.5% of dose variance. These GWAS results provide further impetus for conducting large-scale trials assessing patient benefit from genotype-based forecasting of warfarin dose.

      Author Summary

      Recently, geneticists have begun assaying hundreds of thousands of genetic markers covering the entire human genome to systematically search for and identify genes that cause disease. We have extended this “genome-wide association study” (GWAS) method by assaying ∼326,000 markers in 1,053 Swedish patients in order to identify genes that alter response to the anticoagulant drug warfarin. Warfarin is widely prescribed to reduce blood clotting in order to protect high-risk patients from stroke, thrombosis, and heart attack. But patients vary widely (20-fold) in the warfarin dose needed for proper blood thinning, which means that initial doses in some patients are too high (risking severe bleeding) or too low (risking serious illness). Our GWAS detected two genes ( VKORC1, CYP2C9) already known to cause ∼40% of the variability in warfarin dose and discovered a new gene ( CYP4F2) contributing 1%–2% of the variability. Since our GWAS searched the entire genome, additional genes having a major influence on warfarin dose might not exist or be found in the near-term. Hence, clinical trials assessing patient benefit from individualized dose forecasting based on a patient's genetic makeup at VKORC1, CYP2C9 and possibly CYP4F2 could provide state-of-the-art clinical benchmarks for warfarin use during the foreseeable future.

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      Most cited references 47

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      Whole-genome association studies (WGAS) bring new computational, as well as analytic, challenges to researchers. Many existing genetic-analysis tools are not designed to handle such large data sets in a convenient manner and do not necessarily exploit the new opportunities that whole-genome data bring. To address these issues, we developed PLINK, an open-source C/C++ WGAS tool set. With PLINK, large data sets comprising hundreds of thousands of markers genotyped for thousands of individuals can be rapidly manipulated and analyzed in their entirety. As well as providing tools to make the basic analytic steps computationally efficient, PLINK also supports some novel approaches to whole-genome data that take advantage of whole-genome coverage. We introduce PLINK and describe the five main domains of function: data management, summary statistics, population stratification, association analysis, and identity-by-descent estimation. In particular, we focus on the estimation and use of identity-by-state and identity-by-descent information in the context of population-based whole-genome studies. This information can be used to detect and correct for population stratification and to identify extended chromosomal segments that are shared identical by descent between very distantly related individuals. Analysis of the patterns of segmental sharing has the potential to map disease loci that contain multiple rare variants in a population-based linkage analysis.
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        There is increasing evidence that genome-wide association (GWA) studies represent a powerful approach to the identification of genes involved in common human diseases. We describe a joint GWA study (using the Affymetrix GeneChip 500K Mapping Array Set) undertaken in the British population, which has examined approximately 2,000 individuals for each of 7 major diseases and a shared set of approximately 3,000 controls. Case-control comparisons identified 24 independent association signals at P < 5 x 10(-7): 1 in bipolar disorder, 1 in coronary artery disease, 9 in Crohn's disease, 3 in rheumatoid arthritis, 7 in type 1 diabetes and 3 in type 2 diabetes. On the basis of prior findings and replication studies thus-far completed, almost all of these signals reflect genuine susceptibility effects. We observed association at many previously identified loci, and found compelling evidence that some loci confer risk for more than one of the diseases studied. Across all diseases, we identified a large number of further signals (including 58 loci with single-point P values between 10(-5) and 5 x 10(-7)) likely to yield additional susceptibility loci. The importance of appropriately large samples was confirmed by the modest effect sizes observed at most loci identified. This study thus represents a thorough validation of the GWA approach. It has also demonstrated that careful use of a shared control group represents a safe and effective approach to GWA analyses of multiple disease phenotypes; has generated a genome-wide genotype database for future studies of common diseases in the British population; and shown that, provided individuals with non-European ancestry are excluded, the extent of population stratification in the British population is generally modest. Our findings offer new avenues for exploring the pathophysiology of these important disorders. We anticipate that our data, results and software, which will be widely available to other investigators, will provide a powerful resource for human genetics research.
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          A second generation human haplotype map of over 3.1 million SNPs.

          We describe the Phase II HapMap, which characterizes over 3.1 million human single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 270 individuals from four geographically diverse populations and includes 25-35% of common SNP variation in the populations surveyed. The map is estimated to capture untyped common variation with an average maximum r2 of between 0.9 and 0.96 depending on population. We demonstrate that the current generation of commercial genome-wide genotyping products captures common Phase II SNPs with an average maximum r2 of up to 0.8 in African and up to 0.95 in non-African populations, and that potential gains in power in association studies can be obtained through imputation. These data also reveal novel aspects of the structure of linkage disequilibrium. We show that 10-30% of pairs of individuals within a population share at least one region of extended genetic identity arising from recent ancestry and that up to 1% of all common variants are untaggable, primarily because they lie within recombination hotspots. We show that recombination rates vary systematically around genes and between genes of different function. Finally, we demonstrate increased differentiation at non-synonymous, compared to synonymous, SNPs, resulting from systematic differences in the strength or efficacy of natural selection between populations.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, United Kingdom
            [2 ]Uppsala Clinical Research Centre, Uppsala, Sweden
            [3 ]Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
            [4 ]Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
            Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Australia
            Author notes

            Conceived and designed the experiments: MW PD. Performed the experiments: SB CB NE NS PW VR VK. Analyzed the data: FT RM. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: WM AR MW PD. Wrote the paper: FT RM. Assembled clinical data: NE LH JL AR MW.

            Contributors
            Role: Editor
            Journal
            PLoS Genet
            plos
            plosgen
            PLoS Genetics
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            1553-7390
            1553-7404
            March 2009
            March 2009
            20 March 2009
            : 5
            : 3
            2652833
            19300499
            08-PLGE-RA-1538R2
            10.1371/journal.pgen.1000433
            (Editor)
            Takeuchi et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
            Counts
            Pages: 9
            Categories
            Research Article
            Genetics and Genomics/Pharmacogenomics
            Mathematics/Statistics
            Pharmacology/Personalized Medicine

            Genetics

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