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1.
Genetics ; 2021 Mar 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33720349

RESUMO

Traditional Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) tests (the χ2 test and the exact test) have long been used as a metric for evaluating genotype quality, as technical artifacts leading to incorrect genotype calls often can be identified as deviations from HWE. However, in datasets comprised of individuals from diverse ancestries, HWE can be violated even without genotyping error, complicating the use of HWE testing to assess genotype data quality. In this manuscript, we present the Robust Unified Test for HWE (RUTH) to test for HWE while accounting for population structure and genotype uncertainty, and evaluate the impact of population heterogeneity and genotype uncertainty on the standard HWE tests and alternative methods using simulated and real sequence datasets. Our results demonstrate that ignoring population structure or genotype uncertainty in HWE tests can inflate false positive rates by many orders of magnitude. Our evaluations demonstrate different tradeoffs between false positives and statistical power across the methods, with RUTH consistently amongst the best across all evaluations. RUTH is implemented as a practical and scalable software tool to rapidly perform HWE tests across millions of markers and hundreds of thousands of individuals while supporting standard VCF/BCF formats. RUTH is publicly available at https://www.github.com/statgen/ruth.

3.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33706416

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Some children with asthma experience exacerbations despite long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) treatment. While this variability is partly caused by genetic variation, no genome-wide study until now has investigated which genetic factors associated with risk of exacerbations despite LABA use in children with asthma. We aimed to assess whether genetic variation was associated with exacerbations in children treated with LABA from a global consortium. METHODS: A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (meta-GWAS) was performed in 1,425 children and young adults with asthma (age 6-21 years) with reported regular use of LABA from six studies within the PiCA consortium using a random effects model. The primary outcome of each study was defined as any exacerbation within the past 6 or 12 months, including at least one of the following: 1) hospital admissions for asthma, 2) a course of oral corticosteroids or 3) emergency room visits because of asthma. RESULTS: Genome-wide association results for a total of 82 996 common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, MAF ≥1%) with high imputation quality were meta-analysed. Eight independent variants were suggestively (P-value threshold ≤5 × 10-6 ) associated with exacerbations despite LABA use. CONCLUSION: No strong effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on exacerbations during LABA use were identified. We identified two loci (TBX3 and EPHA7) that were previously implicated in the response to short-acting beta2-agonists (SABA). These loci merit further investigation in response to LABA and SABA use.

4.
Ethn Dis ; 31(1): 77-88, 2021.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33519158

RESUMO

Objective: Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children. Short-acting bronchodilator medications are the most commonly prescribed asthma treatment worldwide, regardless of disease severity. Puerto Rican children display the highest asthma morbidity and mortality of any US population. Alarmingly, Puerto Rican children with asthma display poor bronchodilator drug response (BDR). Reduced BDR may explain, in part, the increased asthma morbidity and mortality observed in Puerto Rican children with asthma. Gene-environment interactions may explain a portion of the heritability of BDR. We aimed to identify gene-environment interactions associated with BDR in Puerto Rican children with asthma. Setting: Genetic, environmental, and psycho-social data from the Genes-environments and Admixture in Latino Americans (GALA II) case-control study. Participants: Our discovery dataset consisted of 658 Puerto Rican children with asthma; our replication dataset consisted of 514 Mexican American children with asthma. Main Outcome Measures: We assessed the association of pairwise interaction models with BDR using ViSEN (Visualization of Statistical Epistasis Networks). Results: We identified a non-linear interaction between Native American genetic ancestry and air pollution significantly associated with BDR in Puerto Rican children with asthma. This interaction was robust to adjustment for age and sex but was not significantly associated with BDR in our replication population. Conclusions: Decreased Native American ancestry coupled with increased air pollution exposure was associated with increased BDR in Puerto Rican children with asthma. Our study acknowledges BDR's phenotypic complexity, and emphasizes the importance of integrating social, environmental, and biological data to further our understanding of complex disease.

5.
Nature ; 590(7845): 290-299, 2021 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33568819

RESUMO

The Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme seeks to elucidate the genetic architecture and biology of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. The initial phases of the programme focused on whole-genome sequencing of individuals with rich phenotypic data and diverse backgrounds. Here we describe the TOPMed goals and design as well as the available resources and early insights obtained from the sequence data. The resources include a variant browser, a genotype imputation server, and genomic and phenotypic data that are available through dbGaP (Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes)1. In the first 53,831 TOPMed samples, we detected more than 400 million single-nucleotide and insertion or deletion variants after alignment with the reference genome. Additional previously undescribed variants were detected through assembly of unmapped reads and customized analysis in highly variable loci. Among the more than 400 million detected variants, 97% have frequencies of less than 1% and 46% are singletons that are present in only one individual (53% among unrelated individuals). These rare variants provide insights into mutational processes and recent human evolutionary history. The extensive catalogue of genetic variation in TOPMed studies provides unique opportunities for exploring the contributions of rare and noncoding sequence variants to phenotypic variation. Furthermore, combining TOPMed haplotypes with modern imputation methods improves the power and reach of genome-wide association studies to include variants down to a frequency of approximately 0.01%.


Assuntos
Variação Genética/genética , Genoma Humano/genética , Genômica , National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U.S.) , Medicina de Precisão , Citocromo P-450 CYP2D6/genética , Haplótipos/genética , Heterozigoto , Humanos , Mutação INDEL , Mutação com Perda de Função , Mutagênese , Fenótipo , Polimorfismo de Nucleotídeo Único , Densidade Demográfica , Medicina de Precisão/normas , Controle de Qualidade , Tamanho da Amostra , Estados Unidos , Sequenciamento Completo do Genoma/normas
7.
Eur Respir J ; 2020 Dec 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33303529

RESUMO

RATIONALE: Substantial variability in response to asthma treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) has been described among individuals and populations, suggesting the contribution of genetic factors. Nonetheless, only a few genes have been identified to date. We aimed to identify genetic variants associated with asthma exacerbations despite ICS use in European children and young adults and to validate the findings in non-Europeans. Moreover, we explored whether a gene-set enrichment analysis could suggest potential novel asthma therapies. METHODS: A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of asthma exacerbations was tested in 2681 European-descent children treated with ICS from eight studies. Suggestive association signals were followed up for replication in 538 European asthma patients. Further evaluation was performed in 1773 non-Europeans. Variants revealed by published GWAS were assessed for replication. Additionally, gene-set enrichment analysis focused on drugs was performed. RESULTS: Ten independent variants were associated with asthma exacerbations despite ICS treatment in the discovery phase (p≤5×10-6). Of those, one variant at the CACNA2D3-WNT5A locus was nominally replicated in Europeans (rs67026078, p=0.010), but this was not validated in non-European populations. Five other genes associated with ICS response in previous studies were replicated. Additionally, an enrichment of associations in genes regulated by trichostatin A treatment was found. CONCLUSIONS: The intergenic region of CACNA2D3 and WNT5A was revealed as a novel locus for asthma exacerbations despite ICS treatment in European populations. Genes associated were related to trichostatin A, suggesting that this drug could regulate the molecular mechanisms involved in treatment response.

8.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33378691

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: NLRP1 is an innate immune sensor that can form cytoplasmic inflammasome complexes. Polymorphisms in NLRP1 are linked to asthma; however, there is currently no functional or mechanistic explanation for this. OBJECTIVE: We sought to clarify the role of NLRP1 in asthma pathogenesis. METHODS: Results from the GALA II cohort study were used to identify a link between NLRP1 and asthma in Mexican Americans. In vitro and in vivo models for NLRP1 activation were applied to investigate the role of this inflammasome in asthma at the molecular level. RESULTS: We document the association of an NLRP1 haplotype with asthma for which the single nucleotide polymorphism rs11651270 (M1184V) individually is the most significant. Surprisingly, M1184V increases NLRP1 activation in the context of N-terminal destabilization, but decreases NLRP1 activation on dipeptidyl peptidase 9 inhibition. In vitro studies demonstrate that M1184V increases binding to dipeptidyl peptidase 9, which can account for its inhibitory role in this context. In addition, in vivo data from a mouse model of airway inflammation reveal a protective role for NLRP1 inflammasome activation reducing eosinophilia in this setting. CONCLUSIONS: Linking our in vitro and in vivo results, we found that the NLRP1 variant M1184V reduces inflammasome activation in the context of dipeptidyl peptidase 9 inhibition and could thereby increase asthma severity. Our studies may have implications for the treatment of asthma in patients carrying this variant of NLRP1.

9.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0242364, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33237978

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Mitochondria support critical cellular functions, such as energy production through oxidative phosphorylation, regulation of reactive oxygen species, apoptosis, and calcium homeostasis. OBJECTIVE: Given the heightened level of cellular activity in patients with asthma, we sought to determine whether mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number measured in peripheral blood differed between individuals with and without asthma. METHODS: Whole genome sequence data was generated as part of the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program on participants from the Study of Asthma Phenotypes and Pharmacogenomic Interactions by Race-ethnicity (SAPPHIRE) and the Study of African Americans, Asthma, Genes, & Environment II (SAGE II). We restricted our analysis to individuals who self-identified as African American (3,651 asthma cases and 1,344 controls). Mitochondrial copy number was estimated using the sequencing read depth ratio for the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Respiratory complex expression was assessed using RNA-sequencing. RESULTS: Average mitochondrial copy number was significantly higher among individuals with asthma when compared with controls (SAPPHIRE: 218.60 vs. 200.47, P<0.001; SAGE II: 235.99 vs. 223.07, P<0.001). Asthma status was significantly associated with mitochondrial copy number after accounting for potential explanatory variables, such as participant age, sex, leukocyte counts, and mitochondrial haplogroup. Despite the consistent relationship between asthma status and mitochondrial copy number, the latter was not associated with time-to-exacerbation or patient-reported asthma control. Mitochondrial respiratory complex gene expression was disproportionately lower in individuals with asthma when compared with individuals without asthma and other protein-encoding genes. CONCLUSIONS: We observed a robust association between asthma and higher mitochondrial copy number. Asthma having an effect on mitochondria function was also supported by lower respiratory complex gene expression in this group.

11.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5139, 2020 10 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33046696

RESUMO

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by SARS-CoV-2, an emerging virus that utilizes host proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2 as entry factors. Understanding the factors affecting the pattern and levels of expression of these genes is important for deeper understanding of SARS-CoV-2 tropism and pathogenesis. Here we explore the role of genetics and co-expression networks in regulating these genes in the airway, through the analysis of nasal airway transcriptome data from 695 children. We identify expression quantitative trait loci for both ACE2 and TMPRSS2, that vary in frequency across world populations. We find TMPRSS2 is part of a mucus secretory network, highly upregulated by type 2 (T2) inflammation through the action of interleukin-13, and that the interferon response to respiratory viruses highly upregulates ACE2 expression. IL-13 and virus infection mediated effects on ACE2 expression were also observed at the protein level in the airway epithelium. Finally, we define airway responses to common coronavirus infections in children, finding that these infections generate host responses similar to other viral species, including upregulation of IL6 and ACE2. Our results reveal possible mechanisms influencing SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and COVID-19 clinical outcomes.


Assuntos
Betacoronavirus/fisiologia , Infecções por Coronavirus/virologia , Interferons/metabolismo , Interleucina-13/metabolismo , Mucosa Nasal/patologia , Peptidil Dipeptidase A/genética , Pneumonia Viral/virologia , Serina Endopeptidases/genética , Criança , Infecções por Coronavirus/metabolismo , Infecções por Coronavirus/patologia , Células Epiteliais/metabolismo , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica , Regulação da Expressão Gênica , Variação Genética , Interações Hospedeiro-Patógeno , Humanos , Inflamação , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Mucosa Nasal/metabolismo , Pandemias , Peptidil Dipeptidase A/metabolismo , Pneumonia Viral/metabolismo , Pneumonia Viral/patologia , Serina Endopeptidases/metabolismo , Internalização do Vírus
12.
Eur Respir J ; 2020 Oct 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33093117

RESUMO

Severe asthma exacerbations are a major cause of school absences and healthcare costs in children, particularly those in high-risk racial/ethnic groups. To identify susceptibility genes for severe asthma exacerbations in Latino children and adolescents, we conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in 4010 Latino youth with asthma in four independent cohorts, including 1693 Puerto Ricans, 1019 Costa Ricans, 640 Mexicans, 256 Brazilians, and 402 members of other Latino subgroups. We then conducted methylation quantitative trait locus (mQTL), expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL), and expression quantitative trait methylation (eQTM) analyses to assess whether the top SNP in the meta-analysis is linked to DNA methylation and gene expression in nasal (airway) epithelium in separate cohorts of Puerto Rican and Dutch children and adolescents. In the meta-analysis of GWAS, a SNP in FLJ22447 (rs2253681) was significantly associated with 1.55 increased odds of severe asthma exacerbations (95% confidence interval=1.34 to 1.79, p=6.3×10-9). This SNP was significantly associated with DNA methylation of a CpG site (cg25024579) at the FLJ22447 locus, which was in turn associated with increased expression of KCNJ2-AS1 in nasal airway epithelium from Puerto Rican children and adolescents (ß=0.10, p=2.18×10-7). Thus, SNP rs2253681 was significantly associated with both DNA methylation of a cis-CpG in FLJ22447 and severe asthma exacerbations in Latino youth. This may be partly explained by changes in airway epithelial expression of a gene recently implicated in atopic asthma in Puerto Rican children and adolescents (KCNJ2-AS1).

13.
Nature ; 586(7831): 763-768, 2020 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33057201

RESUMO

Age is the dominant risk factor for most chronic human diseases, but the mechanisms through which ageing confers this risk are largely unknown1. The age-related acquisition of somatic mutations that lead to clonal expansion in regenerating haematopoietic stem cell populations has recently been associated with both haematological cancer2-4 and coronary heart disease5-this phenomenon is termed clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP)6. Simultaneous analyses of germline and somatic whole-genome sequences provide the opportunity to identify root causes of CHIP. Here we analyse high-coverage whole-genome sequences from 97,691 participants of diverse ancestries in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Trans-omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme, and identify 4,229 individuals with CHIP. We identify associations with blood cell, lipid and inflammatory traits that are specific to different CHIP driver genes. Association of a genome-wide set of germline genetic variants enabled the identification of three genetic loci associated with CHIP status, including one locus at TET2 that was specific to individuals of African ancestry. In silico-informed in vitro evaluation of the TET2 germline locus enabled the identification of a causal variant that disrupts a TET2 distal enhancer, resulting in increased self-renewal of haematopoietic stem cells. Overall, we observe that germline genetic variation shapes haematopoietic stem cell function, leading to CHIP through mechanisms that are specific to clonal haematopoiesis as well as shared mechanisms that lead to somatic mutations across tissues.

14.
Genet Epidemiol ; 2020 Sep 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32989782

RESUMO

Bronchodilator (BD) drugs are commonly prescribed for treatment and management of obstructive lung function present with diseases such as asthma. Administration of BD medication can partially or fully restore lung function as measured by pulmonary function tests. The genetics of baseline lung function measures taken before BD medication have been extensively studied, and the genetics of the BD response itself have received some attention. However, few studies have focused on the genetics of post-BD lung function. To address this gap, we analyzed lung function phenotypes in 1103 subjects from the Study of African Americans, Asthma, Genes, and Environment, a pediatric asthma case-control cohort, using an integrative genomic analysis approach that combined genotype, locus-specific genetic ancestry, and functional annotation information. We integrated genome-wide association study (GWAS) results with an admixture mapping scan of three pulmonary function tests (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1 ], forced vital capacity [FVC], and FEV1 /FVC) taken before and after albuterol BD administration on the same subjects, yielding six traits. We identified 18 GWAS loci, and five additional loci from admixture mapping, spanning several known and novel lung function candidate genes. Most loci identified via admixture mapping exhibited wide variation in minor allele frequency across genotyped global populations. Functional fine-mapping revealed an enrichment of epigenetic annotations from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, fetal lung tissue, and lung fibroblasts. Our results point to three novel potential genetic drivers of pre- and post-BD lung function: ADAMTS1, RAD54B, and EGLN3.

15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32966749

RESUMO

RATIONALE: The 17q12-21.1 locus is one of the most highly replicated genetic associations with asthma. Individuals of African descent have lower LD in this region, which could facilitate identifying causal variants. OBJECTIVE: To identify functional variants at 17q12-21.1 associated with early-onset asthma among African American individuals. METHODS AND MEASUREMENTS: We evaluated African American participants from the Study of Asthma Phenotypes and Pharmacogenomic Interactions by Race-ethnicity (SAPPHIRE) (n=1,940), the Study of African Americans, Asthma, Genes & Environment (SAGE II) (n=885), and Study of the Genetic Causes of Complex Pediatric Disorders - Asthma (GCPD-A) (n=2,805). Associations with asthma onset at age <5 years were meta-analyzed across cohorts. The lead signal was reevaluated considering haplotypes informed by genetic ancestry (i.e., African vs. European). Both an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analysis and phenome-wide association study (PheWAS) were performed on the lead variant. MAIN RESULTS: The meta-analyzed results from SAPPHIRE, SAGE II, and GCPD-A identified rs11078928 as the top association for early-onset asthma. A haplotype analysis suggested that the asthma association partitioned most closely with rs11078928 genotype. Genetic ancestry did not appear to influence the effect of this variant. In the eQTL analysis, rs11078928 was related to alternative splicing of gasdermin-B (GSDMB) transcripts. The PheWAS of rs11078928 suggested that this variant was predominantly associated with asthma and asthma-associated symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: A splice acceptor polymorphism appears to be a causal variant for asthma at the 17q12-21.1 locus. This variant appears to have the same magnitude of effect in individuals of African and European descent.

16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32890573

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the genetic determinants of severe asthma exacerbations. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to identify genetic variants associated with asthma hospitalizations. METHODS: We conducted a genome-wide association study of asthma hospitalizations in 34,167 white British adults with asthma, 1,658 of whom had at least 1 asthma-related hospitalization. This analysis was conducted by using logistic regression under an additive genetic model with adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, smoking status, and the first 5 principal components derived from genotypic data. We then analyzed data from 2 cohorts of Latino children and adolescents for replication and conducted quantitative trait locus and functional annotation analyses. RESULTS: At the chromosome 6p21.3 locus, the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs56151658 (8 kb from the promoter of HLA-DQB1) was most significantly associated with asthma hospitalizations (for test allele A, odds ratio = 1.36 [95% CI = 1.22-1.52]; P = 3.11 × 10-8); 21 additional SNPs in this locus were associated with asthma hospitalizations at a P value less than 1 × 10-6. In the replication cohorts, multiple SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium with rs56151658 were associated with severe asthma exacerbations at a P value of .01 or less in the same direction of association as in the discovery cohort. Three HLA genes (HLA-DQA2, HLA-DRB6, and HLA-DOB) were also shown to mediate the estimated effects of the SNPs associated with asthma hospitalizations through effects on gene expression in lung tissue. CONCLUSIONS: We identified strong candidate genes for asthma hospitalizations in adults in the region for class II HLA genes through genomic, quantitative trait locus, and summary data-based mendelian randomization analyses.

17.
Epigenetics ; : 1-9, 2020 Aug 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32799603

RESUMO

Latinos are heavily affected with childhood asthma. Little is known about epigenetic mechanisms of asthma in Latino youth. We conducted a meta-analysis of two epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) of asthma, using DNA from white blood cells (WBCs) from 1,136 Latino children and youth aged 6 to 20 years. Genes near the top CpG sites in this EWAS were examined in a pathway enrichment analysis, and we then assessed whether our results replicated those from publicly available data from three independent EWAS conducted in non-Latino populations. We found that DNA methylation profiles differed between subjects with and without asthma. After adjustment for covariates and multiple testing, two CpGs were differentially methylated at a false discovery rate (FDR)-adjusted P < 0.1, and 193 CpG sites were differentially methylated at FDR-adjusted P < 0.2. The two top CpGs are near genes relevant to inflammatory signalling, including CAMK1D (Calcium/Calmodulin Dependent Protein Kinase ID) and TIGIT (T Cell Immunoreceptor With Ig And ITIM Domains). Moreover, 25 genomic regions were differentially methylated between subjects with and without asthma, at Sidák-corrected P < 0.10. An enrichment analysis then identified the TGF-beta pathway as most relevant to asthma in our analysis, and we replicated some of the top signals from publicly available EWAS datasets in non-Hispanic populations. In conclusion, we have identified novel epigenetic markers of asthma in WBCs from Latino children and youth, while also replicating previous results from studies conducted in non-Latinos.

19.
PLoS Genet ; 16(8): e1008927, 2020 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32797036

RESUMO

The genetic control of gene expression is a core component of human physiology. For the past several years, transcriptome-wide association studies have leveraged large datasets of linked genotype and RNA sequencing information to create a powerful gene-based test of association that has been used in dozens of studies. While numerous discoveries have been made, the populations in the training data are overwhelmingly of European descent, and little is known about the generalizability of these models to other populations. Here, we test for cross-population generalizability of gene expression prediction models using a dataset of African American individuals with RNA-Seq data in whole blood. We find that the default models trained in large datasets such as GTEx and DGN fare poorly in African Americans, with a notable reduction in prediction accuracy when compared to European Americans. We replicate these limitations in cross-population generalizability using the five populations in the GEUVADIS dataset. Via realistic simulations of both populations and gene expression, we show that accurate cross-population generalizability of transcriptome prediction only arises when eQTL architecture is substantially shared across populations. In contrast, models with non-identical eQTLs showed patterns similar to real-world data. Therefore, generating RNA-Seq data in diverse populations is a critical step towards multi-ethnic utility of gene expression prediction.


Assuntos
Afro-Americanos/genética , Estudo de Associação Genômica Ampla/métodos , Modelos Genéticos , Transcriptoma , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica/métodos , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica/normas , Estudo de Associação Genômica Ampla/normas , Humanos , Locos de Características Quantitativas , RNA-Seq/métodos , RNA-Seq/normas , Padrões de Referência
20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32841424

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Severe asthma exacerbations are a major cause of asthma morbidity and increased healthcare costs. Several studies have shown racial and ethnic differences in asthma exacerbation rates. We aimed to identify genetic variants associated with severe exacerbations in two high-risk populations for asthma. METHODS: A genome-wide association study of asthma in children and youth with severe exacerbations was performed in 1283 exacerbators and 2027 controls without asthma of Latino ancestry. Independent suggestive variants (P ≤ 5 × 10-6 ) were selected for replication in 448 African Americans exacerbators and 595 controls. Case-only analyses were performed comparing the exacerbators with additional 898 Latinos and 524 African Americans asthma patients without exacerbations, while adjusting by treatment category as a proxy of asthma severity. We analyzed the functionality of associated variants with in silico methods and by correlating genotypes with methylation levels in whole blood in a subset of 473 Latinos. RESULTS: We identified two genome-wide significant associations for susceptibility to asthma with severe exacerbations, including a novel locus located at chromosome 2p21 (rs4952375, odds ratio = 1.39, P = 3.8 × 10-8 ), which was also associated with asthma exacerbations in a case-only analysis (odds ratio = 1.25, P = 1.95 × 10-3 ). This polymorphism is an expression quantitative trait locus of the long intergenic non-protein coding RNA 1913 (LINC01913) in lung tissues (P = 1.3 × 10-7 ) and influences methylation levels of the protein kinase domain-containing cytoplasmic (PKDCC) gene in whole-blood cells (P = 9.8 × 10-5 ). CONCLUSION: We identified a novel susceptibility locus for severe asthma exacerbations in Hispanic/Latino and African American youths with functional effects in gene expression and methylation status of neighboring genes.

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