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      The role of height-associated loci identified in genome wide association studies in the determination of pediatric stature

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          Abstract

          Background

          Human height is considered highly heritable and correlated with certain disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. Despite environmental influences, genetic factors are known to play an important role in stature determination. A number of genetic determinants of adult height have already been established through genome wide association studies.

          Methods

          To examine 51 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) corresponding to the 46 previously reported genomic loci for height in 8,184 European American children with height measurements. We leveraged genotyping data from our ongoing GWA study of height variation in children in order to query the 51 SNPs in this pediatric cohort.

          Results

          Sixteen of these SNPs yielded at least nominally significant association to height, representing fifteen different loci including EFEMP1-PNPT1, GPR126, C6orf173, SPAG17, Histone class 1, HLA class III and GDF5-UQCC. Other loci revealed no evidence for association, including HMGA1 and HMGA2. For the 16 associated variants, the genotype score explained 1.64% of the total variation for height z-score.

          Conclusion

          Among 46 loci that have been reported to associate with adult height to date, at least 15 also contribute to the determination of height in childhood.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Many sequence variants affecting diversity of adult human height.

          Adult human height is one of the classical complex human traits. We searched for sequence variants that affect height by scanning the genomes of 25,174 Icelanders, 2,876 Dutch, 1,770 European Americans and 1,148 African Americans. We then combined these results with previously published results from the Diabetes Genetics Initiative on 3,024 Scandinavians and tested a selected subset of SNPs in 5,517 Danes. We identified 27 regions of the genome with one or more sequence variants showing significant association with height. The estimated effects per allele of these variants ranged between 0.3 and 0.6 cm and, taken together, they explain around 3.7% of the population variation in height. The genes neighboring the identified loci cluster in biological processes related to skeletal development and mitosis. Association to three previously reported loci are replicated in our analyses, and the strongest association was with SNPs in the ZBTB38 gene.
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            A common variant of HMGA2 is associated with adult and childhood height in the general population.

            Human height is a classic, highly heritable quantitative trait. To begin to identify genetic variants influencing height, we examined genome-wide association data from 4,921 individuals. Common variants in the HMGA2 oncogene, exemplified by rs1042725, were associated with height (P = 4 x 10(-8)). HMGA2 is also a strong biological candidate for height, as rare, severe mutations in this gene alter body size in mice and humans, so we tested rs1042725 in additional samples. We confirmed the association in 19,064 adults from four further studies (P = 3 x 10(-11), overall P = 4 x 10(-16), including the genome-wide association data). We also observed the association in children (P = 1 x 10(-6), N = 6,827) and a tall/short case-control study (P = 4 x 10(-6), N = 3,207). We estimate that rs1042725 explains approximately 0.3% of population variation in height (approximately 0.4 cm increased adult height per C allele). There are few examples of common genetic variants reproducibly associated with human quantitativetraits; these results represent, to our knowledge, the first consistently replicated association with adult and childhood height.
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              Common variants in the GDF5-UQCC region are associated with variation in human height.

              Identifying genetic variants that influence human height will advance our understanding of skeletal growth and development. Several rare genetic variants have been convincingly and reproducibly associated with height in mendelian syndromes, and common variants in the transcription factor gene HMGA2 are associated with variation in height in the general population. Here we report genome-wide association analyses, using genotyped and imputed markers, of 6,669 individuals from Finland and Sardinia, and follow-up analyses in an additional 28,801 individuals. We show that common variants in the osteoarthritis-associated locus GDF5-UQCC contribute to variation in height with an estimated additive effect of 0.44 cm (overall P < 10(-15)). Our results indicate that there may be a link between the genetic basis of height and osteoarthritis, potentially mediated through alterations in bone growth and development.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Med Genet
                BMC Medical Genetics
                BioMed Central
                1471-2350
                2010
                14 June 2010
                : 11
                : 96
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Human Genetics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
                [2 ]Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
                [3 ]Center for Applied Genomics, Abramson Research Center, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
                [4 ]Behavioral Health Center and Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA 19104, USA
                [5 ]Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104, USA
                [6 ]Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104, USA
                Article
                1471-2350-11-96
                10.1186/1471-2350-11-96
                2894790
                20546612
                Copyright ©2010 Zhao et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Genetics

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