Association of protein function-altering variants with cardiometabolic traits: the strong heart study

Yue Shan, Shelley A Cole, Karin Haack, Phillip E Melton, Lyle G Best, Christopher Bizon, Sayuko Kobes, Çiğdem Köroğlu, Leslie J Baier, Robert L Hanson, Serena Sanna, Yun Li, Nora Franceschini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical and biomarker phenotypic associations for carriers of protein function-altering variants may help to elucidate gene function and health effects in populations. We genotyped 1127 Strong Heart Family Study participants for protein function-altering single nucleotide variants (SNV) and indels selected from a low coverage whole exome sequencing of American Indians. We tested the association of each SNV/indel with 35 cardiometabolic traits. Among 1206 variants (average minor allele count = 20, range of 1 to 1064), ~ 43% were not present in publicly available repositories. We identified seven SNV-trait significant associations including a missense SNV at ABCA10 (rs779392624, p = 8 × 10 -9) associated with fasting triglycerides, which gene product is involved in macrophage lipid homeostasis. Among non-diabetic individuals, missense SNVs at four genes were associated with fasting insulin adjusted for BMI (PHIL, chr6:79,650,711, p = 2.1 × 10 -6; TRPM3, rs760461668, p = 5 × 10 -8; SPTY2D1, rs756851199, p = 1.6 × 10 -8; and TSPO, rs566547284, p = 2.4 × 10 -6). PHIL encoded protein is involved in pancreatic β-cell proliferation and survival, and TRPM3 protein mediates calcium signaling in pancreatic β-cells in response to glucose. A genetic risk score combining increasing insulin risk alleles of these four genes was associated with 53% (95% confidence interval 1.09, 2.15) increased odds of incident diabetes and 83% (95% confidence interval 1.35, 2.48) increased odds of impaired fasting glucose at follow-up. Our study uncovered novel gene-trait associations through the study of protein-coding variants and demonstrates the advantages of association screenings targeting diverse and high-risk populations to study variants absent in publicly available repositories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9317
Pages (from-to)9317
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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