A genome-wide association study reveals variants in ARL15 that influence adiponectin levels

J Brent Richards, Dawn Waterworth, Stephen O'Rahilly, Marie-France Hivert, Ruth J F Loos, John R B Perry, Toshiko Tanaka, Nicholas John Timpson, Robert K Semple, Nicole Soranzo, Kijoung Song, Nuno Rocha, Elin Grundberg, Josée Dupuis, Jose C Florez, Claudia Langenberg, Inga Prokopenko, Richa Saxena, Robert Sladek, Yurii AulchenkoDavid Evans, Gerard Waeber, Jeanette Erdmann, Mary-Susan Burnett, Naveed Sattar, Joseph Devaney, Christina Willenborg, Aroon Hingorani, Jaquelin C M Witteman, Peter Vollenweider, Beate Glaser, Christian Hengstenberg, Luigi Ferrucci, David Melzer, Klaus Stark, John Deanfield, Janina Winogradow, Martina Grassl, Alistair S Hall, Josephine M Egan, John R Thompson, Sally L Ricketts, Inke R König, Wibke Reinhard, Scott Grundy, H-Erich Wichmann, Phil Barter, Robert Mahley, Y Antero Kesaniemi, George Davey Smith, GIANT Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


The adipocyte-derived protein adiponectin is highly heritable and inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) and coronary heart disease (CHD). We meta-analyzed 3 genome-wide association studies for circulating adiponectin levels (n = 8,531) and sought validation of the lead single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 5 additional cohorts (n = 6,202). Five SNPs were genome-wide significant in their relationship with adiponectin (P<or =5x10(-8)). We then tested whether these 5 SNPs were associated with risk of T2D and CHD using a Bonferroni-corrected threshold of P<or =0.011 to declare statistical significance for these disease associations. SNPs at the adiponectin-encoding ADIPOQ locus demonstrated the strongest associations with adiponectin levels (P-combined = 9.2x10(-19) for lead SNP, rs266717, n = 14,733). A novel variant in the ARL15 (ADP-ribosylation factor-like 15) gene was associated with lower circulating levels of adiponectin (rs4311394-G, P-combined = 2.9x10(-8), n = 14,733). This same risk allele at ARL15 was also associated with a higher risk of CHD (odds ratio [OR] = 1.12, P = 8.5x10(-6), n = 22,421) more nominally, an increased risk of T2D (OR = 1.11, P = 3.2x10(-3), n = 10,128), and several metabolic traits. Expression studies in humans indicated that ARL15 is well-expressed in skeletal muscle. These findings identify a novel protein, ARL15, which influences circulating adiponectin levels and may impact upon CHD risk.
Translated title of the contributionA genome-wide association study reveals variants in ARL15 that influence adiponectin levels
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1000768
Number of pages1
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


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