Objectives To identify genetic determinants of susceptibility to clinical vertebral fractures, which is an important complication of osteoporosis.
Methods Here we conduct a genome-wide association study in 1553 postmenopausal women with clinical vertebral fractures and 4340 controls, with a two-stage replication involving 1028 cases and 3762 controls. Potentially causal variants were identified using expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) data from transiliac bone biopsies and bioinformatic studies.
Results A locus tagged by rs10190845 was identified on chromosome 2q13, which was significantly associated with clinical vertebral fracture (P=1.04×10−9) with a large effect size (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.06 to 2.6). Bioinformatic analysis of this locus identified several potentially functional SNPs that are associated with expression of the positional candidate genes TTL (tubulin tyrosine ligase) and SLC20A1 (solute carrier family 20 member 1). Three other suggestive loci were identified on chromosomes 1p31, 11q12 and 15q11. All these loci were novel and had not previously been associated with bone mineral density or clinical fractures.
Conclusion We have identified a novel genetic variant that is associated with clinical vertebral fractures by mechanisms that are independent of BMD. Further studies are now in progress to validate this association and evaluate the underlying mechanism.
- gene polymorphism
- bone mineral density
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Handling editor Tore K Kvien
Contributors Study conception: SHR, NA, AGU and FR; data collection: NA, OMEA, LM, MLB, PR, AD, JMO, CV, JC, JAR, LBH, BLL, MAB, ELD, SK, K-TK, RU-M, JdP-M, RG-S, JRL, RLP, PD, NG-G, XN, SM-B, JM, OW, JAE, BF, MM, KES, PN, JFW, GD, JS, ID, TT, LF, FG, LG, GL and RE; genotyping: AGU and FR; data analysis: NA, OMEA, SR, OKO, KMG, NMR, KLE, CMN, Y-HH, DPK, GM, EEN, EE, XL, BF, MM, KES, LH, LO and CMG; drafting of the manuscript: NA and SHR; all authors contributed to critically review the article and approved the final manuscript. NA, SR, CMN, EEN and NMR takes responsibility for the data analysis.
Funding ORCADES was supported by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government (CZB/4/276, CZB/4/710), the Royal Society, the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Arthritis Research UK and the European Union framework programme 6 EUROSPAN project (contract no. LSHG-CT-2006-018947). DNA extractions were performed at the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility in Edinburgh. We would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Lorraine Anderson and the research nurses in Orkney, the administrative team in Edinburgh and the people of Orkney. CABRIO was supported by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and Fondos FEDER from the EU (PI 11/1092 and PI12/615). The AOGC study was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (Project grant 511132). Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 phenotype collection was supported by the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), The Royal Society and The Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government. Phenotype collection in the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 was supported by Age UK (The Disconnected Mind project). Genotyping of the cohorts was funded by the BBSRC. The work was undertaken by the University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, part of the cross council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Initiative (MR/K026992/1). Funding from the BBSRC and Medical Research Council (MRC) is gratefully acknowledged. Research work on Slovenian case and control samples was funded by Slovenian Research Agency (project no. P3-0298 and J3-2330). The Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) is a result of major grants from the Danish National Research Foundation, the Danish Pharmacists’ Fund, the Egmont Foundation, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation and the Health Fund of the Danish Health Insurance Societies. The DNBC biobank is a part of the Danish National Biobank resource, which is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Dr Bjarke Feenstra is supported by an Oak Foundation Fellowship. The Framingham Study was funded by grants from the US National Institute for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and National Institute on Aging (R01 AR 41398 and R01 AR061162; DPK and R01 AR 050066; DK). The Framingham Heart Study of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health and Boston University School of Medicine were supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study (N01-HC-25195) and its contract with Affymetrix, Inc. for genotyping services (N02-HL-6-4278). Analyses reflect intellectual input and resource development from the Framingham Heart Study investigators participating in the SNP Health Association Resource (SHARe) project. A portion of this research was conducted using the Linux Cluster for Genetic Analysis (LinGA‐II) funded by the Robert Dawson Evans Endowment of the Department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. This research was performed within the Genetic Factors for Osteoporosis (GEFOS) consortium, funded by the European Commission (HEALTH-F2-2008-201865-GEFOS).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Detail has been removed from this case description/these case descriptions to ensure anonymity. The editors and reviewers have seen the detailed information available and are satisfied that the information backs up the case the authors are making.
Ethics approval Each study received local ethical approval by the relevant ethics committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement There is not any additional unpublished data from the study.