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  • Graff, Mariaelisa; Scott, Robert A.; Justice, Anne E.; Young, Kristin L.; Feitosa, Mary F.; Barata, Llilda; Winkler, Thomas W.; Chu, Audrey Y.; Mahajan, Anubha; Hadley, David; Xue, Luting; Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie; Heard-Costa, Nancy L.; den Hoed, Marcel; Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S.; Qi, Qibin; Ngwa, Julius S.; Renstrom, Frida; Quaye, Lydia; Eicher, John D.; Hayes, James E.; Cornelis, Marilyn; Kutalik, Zoltan; Lim, Elise; Luan, Jian'an; Huffman, Jennifer E.; Zhang, Weihua; Zhao, Wei; Griffin, Paula J.; Haller, Toomas; Ahmad, Shafqat; Marques-Vidal, Pedro M.; Bien, Stephanie; Yengo, Loic; Teumer, Alexander; Smith, Albert Vernon; Kumari, Meena; Harder, Marie Neergaard; Justesen, Johanne Marie; Kleber, Marcus E.; Hollensted, Mette; Lohman, Kurt; Rivera, Natalia V.; Whitfield, John B.; Kristiansson, Kati; Havulinna, Aki S.; Koistinen, Heikki A.; Perola, Markus; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Kivimaki, Mika; CHARGE Consortium; EPIC-InterAct Consortium; PAGe Consortium (2017)
    Physical activity (PA) may modify the genetic effects that give rise to increased risk of obesity. To identify adiposity loci whose effects are modified by PA, we performed genome-wide interaction meta-analyses of BMI and BMI-adjusted waist circumference and waist-hip ratio from up to 200,452 adults of European (n = 180,423) or other ancestry (n = 20,029). We standardized PA by categorizing it into a dichotomous variable where, on average, 23% of participants were categorized as inactive and 77% as physically active. While we replicate the interaction with PA for the strongest known obesity-risk locus in the FTO gene, of which the effect is attenuated by similar to 30% in physically active individuals compared to inactive individuals, we do not identify additional loci that are sensitive to PA. In additional genome-wide meta-analyses adjusting for PA and interaction with PA, we identify 11 novel adiposity loci, suggesting that accounting for PA or other environmental factors that contribute to variation in adiposity may facilitate gene discovery.
  • Tolkachov, Alexander; Fischer, Cornelius; Ambrosi, Thomas H.; Bothe, Melissa; Han, Chung-Ting; Muenzner, Matthias; Mathia, Susanne; Salminen, Marjo; Seifert, Georg; Thiele, Mario; Duda, Georg N.; Meijsing, Sebastiaan H.; Sauer, Sascha; Schulz, Tim J.; Schupp, Michael (2018)
    The transcription factor GATA2 is required for expansion and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), GATA2 blocks adipogenesis, but its biological relevance and underlying genomic events are unknown. We report a dual function of GATA2 in bone homeostasis. GATA2 in MSCs binds near genes involved in skeletal system development and colocalizes with motifs for FOX and HOX transcription factors, known regulators of skeletal development. Ectopic GATA2 blocks osteoblastogenesis by interfering with SMAD1/5/8 activation. MSC-specific deletion of GATA2 in mice increases the numbers and differentiation capacity of bone-derived precursors, resulting in elevated bone formation. Surprisingly, MSC-specific GATA2 deficiency impairs the trabecularization and mechanical strength of bone, involving reduced MSC expression of the osteoclast inhibitor osteoprotegerin and increased osteoclast numbers. Thus, GATA2 affects bone turnover via MSC-autonomous and indirect effects. By regulating bone trabecularization, GATA2 expression in the osteogenic lineage may contribute to the anatomical and cellular microenvironment of the HSC niche required for hematopoiesis.
  • Kangas, Reeta; Morsiani, Cristina; Pizza, Grazia; Lanzarini, Catia; Aukee, Pauliina; Kaprio, Jaakko; Sipilä, Sarianna; Franceschi, Claudio; Kovanen, Vuokko; Laakkonen, Eija K.; Capri, Miriam (2018)
    Tissue-specific effects of 17 beta-estradiol are delivered via both estrogen receptors and microRNAs (miRs). Menopause is known to affect the whole-body fat distribution in women. This investigation aimed at identifying menopause-and hormone replacement therapy (HRT)-associated miR profiles and miR targets in subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue and serum from the same women. A discovery phase using array technology was performed in 13 women, including monozygotic twin pairs discordant for HRT and premenopausal young controls. Seven miRs, expressed in both adipose tissue and serum, were selected for validation phase in 34 women from a different cohort. An age/menopause-related increase of miRs-16-5p, -451a, -223-3p, -18a-5p, -19a-3p,-486-5p and -363-3p was found in the adipose tissue, but not in serum. MiR-19a-3p, involved in adipocyte development and estrogen signaling, resulted to be higher in HRT users in comparison with non-users. Among the identified targets, AKT1, BCL-2 and BRAF proteins showed lower expression in both HRT and No HRT users in comparison with premenopausal women. Unexpectedly, ESR1 protein expression was not modified although its mRNA was lower in No HRT users compared to premenopausal women and HRT users. Thus, both HRT and menopause appear to affect adipose tissue homeostasis via miR-mediated mechanism.
  • CHD Exome Consortium; Cohorts For Heart Aging Res Genomi; EPIC-CVD Consortium; ExomeBP Consortium; Global Lipids Genetic Consortium; GoT2D Genes Consortium; InterAct; ReproGen Consortium; T2G Genes Consortium; MAGIC Investigators; Justice, Anne E.; Karaderi, Tugce; Highland, Heather M.; Jousilahti, Pekka; Lindström, Jaana; Männistö, Satu; Perola, Markus; Tuomilehto, Jaakko (2019)
    Body-fat distribution is a risk factor for adverse cardiovascular health consequences. We analyzed the association of body-fat distribution, assessed by waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index, with 228,985 predicted coding and splice site variants available on exome arrays in up to 344,369 individuals from five major ancestries (discovery) and 132,177 European-ancestry individuals (validation). We identified 15 common (minor allele frequency, MAF >= 5%) and nine low-frequency or rare (MAF <5%) coding novel variants. Pathway/gene set enrichment analyses identified lipid particle, adiponectin, abnormal white adipose tissue physiology and bone development and morphology as important contributors to fat distribution, while cross-trait associations highlight cardiometabolic traits. In functional follow-up analyses, specifically in Drosophila RNAi-knockdowns, we observed a significant increase in the total body triglyceride levels for two genes (DNAH10 and PLXND1). We implicate novel genes in fat distribution, stressing the importance of interrogating low-frequency and protein-coding variants.