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We have studied the largely unknown genetic underpinnings of height growth by using a unique resource of longitudinal childhood height data available in Finnish population cohorts. After applying GWAS mapping of potential genes influencing pubertal height growth followed by further characterization of the genetic effects on complete postnatal growth trajectories, we have identified strong association between variants near LIN28B and pubertal growth (rs7759938; female p = 4.0 x 10(-9), male p = 1.5 x 10(-4), combined p = 5.0 x 10(-11), n = 5038). Analysis of growth during early puberty confirmed an effect on the timing of the growth spurt. Correlated SNPs have previously been implicated as influencing both adult stature and age at menarche, the same alleles associating with taller height and later age of menarche in other studies as with later pubertal growth here. Additionally, a partially correlated LIN28B SNP, rs314277, has been associated previously with final height. Testing both rs7759938 and rs314277 (pairwise r(2) = 0.29) for independent effects on postnatal growth in 8903 subjects indicated that the pubertal timing-associated marker rs7759938 affects prepubertal growth in females (p = 7 x 10(-5)) and final height in males (p = 5 x 10(-4)), whereas rs314277 has sex-specific effects on growth (p for interaction = 0.005) that were distinct from those observed at rs7759938. In conclusion, partially correlated variants at LIN28B tag distinctive, complex, and sex-specific height-growth-regulating effects, influencing the entire period of postnatal growth. These findings imply a critical role for LIN28B in the regulation of human growth.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.03.010

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Hum Genet

Publication Date

14/05/2010

Volume

86

Pages

773 - 782

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Body Height, DNA-Binding Proteins, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Growth, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Male, Menarche, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, RNA-Binding Proteins