Genome-wide association study of primary tooth eruption identifies pleiotropic loci associated with height and craniofacial distances

Ghazaleh Fatemifar, Clive J Hoggart, Lavinia Paternoster, John P Kemp, Inga Prokopenko, Momoko Horikoshi, Victoria J Wright, Jon H Tobias, Stephen Richmond, Alexei I Zhurov, Arshed M Toma, Anneli Pouta, Anja Taanila, Kirsi Sipila, Raija Lähdesmäki, Demetris Pillas, Frank Geller, Bjarke Feenstra, Mads Melbye, Ellen A NohrSusan M Ring, Beate St Pourcain, Nicholas J Timpson, George Davey Smith, Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin, David M Evans

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

62 Citations (Scopus)


Twin and family studies indicate that the timing of primary tooth eruption is highly heritable, with estimates typically exceeding 80%. To identify variants involved in primary tooth eruption, we performed a population-based genome-wide association study of 'age at first tooth' and 'number of teeth' using 5998 and 6609 individuals, respectively, from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and 5403 individuals from the 1966 Northern Finland Birth Cohort (NFBC1966). We tested 2 446 724 SNPs imputed in both studies. Analyses were controlled for the effect of gestational age, sex and age of measurement. Results from the two studies were combined using fixed effects inverse variance meta-analysis. We identified a total of 15 independent loci, with 10 loci reaching genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10(-8)) for 'age at first tooth' and 11 loci for 'number of teeth'. Together, these associations explain 6.06% of the variation in 'age of first tooth' and 4.76% of the variation in 'number of teeth'. The identified loci included eight previously unidentified loci, some containing genes known to play a role in tooth and other developmental pathways, including an SNP in the protein-coding region of BMP4 (rs17563, P = 9.080 × 10(-17)). Three of these loci, containing the genes HMGA2, AJUBA and ADK, also showed evidence of association with craniofacial distances, particularly those indexing facial width. Our results suggest that the genome-wide association approach is a powerful strategy for detecting variants involved in tooth eruption, and potentially craniofacial growth and more generally organ development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3807-17
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2013


  • Body Height
  • Chromosomes, Human
  • Dentition
  • Face
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetic Pleiotropy
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Tooth Eruption


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