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Although numerous genes are known to regulate serum lipid traits, identified variants explain only a small proportion of the expected heritability. We intended to identify further genetic variants associated with lipid phenotypes in a self-contained population of Sorbs in Germany. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglyceride (TG) levels in 839 Sorbs. All single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a P value <0.01 were subjected to a meta-analysis, including an independent Swedish cohort (Diabetes Genetics Initiative; n = ∼3,100). Novel association signals with the strongest effects were subjected to replication studies in an additional German cohort (Berlin, n = 2,031). In the initial GWAS in the Sorbs, we identified 14 loci associated with lipid phenotypes reaching P values <10⁻⁵ and confirmed significant effects for 18 previously reported loci. The combined meta-analysis of the three study cohorts (n(HDL) = 6041; n(LDL) = 5,995; n(TG) = 6,087) revealed a novel association for a variant in THOC5 (rs8135828) with serum HDL-C levels (P = 1.78 × 10⁻⁷; Z-score = -5.221). Consistently, the variant was also associated with circulating APOA1 levels in Sorbs. The small interfering RNA-mediated mRNA silencing of THOC5 in HepG2 cells resulted in lower mRNA levels of APOA1, SCARB1, and ABCG8 (all P < 0.05). We propose THOC5 to be a novel gene involved in the regulation of serum HDL-C levels.

Original publication

DOI

10.1194/jlr.M039420

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Lipid Res

Publication Date

11/2013

Volume

54

Pages

3170 - 3176

Keywords

genome-wide-association study, mRNA silencing, single nucleotide polymorphism, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cholesterol, HDL, Cohort Studies, Female, Genome-Wide Association Study, Germany, Hep G2 Cells, Humans, Male, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Middle Aged, Nuclear Proteins, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, RNA, Messenger, Young Adult