A variant in LIN28B is associated with 2D:4D finger-length ratio, a putative retrospective biomarker of prenatal testosterone exposure

Sarah E Medland, Tetyana Zayats, Beate Glaser, Dale R Nyholt, Scott D Gordon, Margaret J Wright, Grant W Montgomery, Megan J Campbell, Anjali K Henders, Nicholas J Timpson, Leena Peltonen, Dieter Wolke, Susan M Ring, Panos Deloukas, Nicholas G Martin, George Davey Smith, David M Evans

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

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ratio of the lengths of an individual's second to fourth digit (2D:4D) is commonly used as a noninvasive retrospective biomarker for prenatal androgen exposure. In order to identify the genetic determinants of 2D:4D, we applied a genome-wide association approach to 1507 11-year-old children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) in whom 2D:4D ratio had been measured, as well as a sample of 1382 12- to 16-year-olds from the Brisbane Adolescent Twin Study. A meta-analysis of the two scans identified a single variant in the LIN28B gene that was strongly associated with 2D:4D (rs314277: p = 4.1 x 10(-8)) and was subsequently independently replicated in an additional 3659 children from the ALSPAC cohort (p = 1.53 x 10(-6)). The minor allele of the rs314277 variant has previously been linked to increased height and delayed age at menarche, but in our study it was associated with increased 2D:4D in the direction opposite to that of previous reports on the correlation between 2D:4D and age at menarche. Our findings call into question the validity of 2D:4D as a simplistic retrospective biomarker for prenatal testosterone exposure.
Translated title of the contributionA variant in LIN28B is associated with 2D:4D finger-length ratio, a putative retrospective biomarker of prenatal testosterone exposure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519 - 525
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Volume86
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

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