Genome-wide association studies identify genetic loci for low von Willebrand factor levels

Janine van Loon, Abbas Dehghan, Tang Weihong, Stella Trompet, Wendy L McArdle, Folkert F W Asselbergs, Ming-Huei Chen, Lorna M Lopez, Jennifer E Huffman, Frank W G Leebeek, Saonli Basu, David J Stott, Ann Rumley, Ron T Gansevoort, Gail Davies, Jacqueline C M Witteman, Xiting Cao, Anton J M de Craen, Stephan J L Bakker, Bruce M PsatyJohn M Starr, Albert Hofman, J Wouter Jukema, Ian J Deary, Caroline Hayward, Pim van der Harst, Gordon D O Lowe, Aaron R Folsom, David P Strachan, Nicolas Smith, Moniek P M de Maat, Christopher O'Donnell

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

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Abstract

Low von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels are associated with bleeding symptoms and are a diagnostic criterion for von Willebrand disease, the most common inherited bleeding disorder. To date, it is unclear which genetic loci are associated with reduced VWF levels. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies to identify genetic loci associated with low VWF levels. For this meta-analysis, we included 31 149 participants of European ancestry from 11 community-based studies. From all participants, VWF antigen (VWF:Ag) measurements and genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) scans were available. Each study conducted analyses using logistic regression of SNPs on dichotomized VWF:Ag measures (lowest 5% for blood group O and non-O) with an additive genetic model adjusted for age and sex. An inverse-variance weighted meta-analysis was performed for VWF:Ag levels. A total of 97 SNPs exceeded the genome-wide significance threshold of 5 × 10(-8) and comprised five loci on four different chromosomes: 6q24 (smallest P-value 5.8 × 10(-10)), 9q34 (2.4 × 10(-64)), 12p13 (5.3 × 10(-22)), 12q23 (1.2 × 10(-8)) and 13q13 (2.6 × 10(-8)). All loci were within or close to genes, including STXBP5 (Syntaxin Binding Protein 5) (6q24), STAB5 (stabilin-5) (12q23), ABO (9q34), VWF (12p13) and UFM1 (ubiquitin-fold modifier 1) (13q13). Of these, UFM1 has not been previously associated with VWF:Ag levels. Four genes that were previously associated with VWF levels (VWF, ABO, STXBP5 and STAB2) were also associated with low VWF levels, and, in addition, we identified a new gene, UFM1, that is associated with low VWF levels. These findings point to novel mechanisms for the occurrence of low VWF levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1040
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Volume24
Issue number7
Early online date21 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Von Willebrand factor
  • Genome wide association study
  • Von Willebrand disease

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