Genetic regulatory mechanisms in human osteoclasts suggest a role for the STMP1 and DCSTAMP genes in Paget’s disease of bone

Benjamin H. Mullin, Kun Zhu, Suzanne J. Brown, Shelby Mullin, Jennifer Tickner, Nathan J. Pavlos, Frank Dudbridge, Jiake Xu, John P. Walsh, Scott G. Wilson

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Paget’s disease of bone (PDB) is characterised by focal abnormalities of bone remodelling, with increased osteoclastic resorption the primary feature of the disease. Genetic factors have been shown to play an important role in PDB, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 7 genetic loci as associated with PDB at the genome-wide level. Expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) studies using cell types that are directly relevant to the disease of interest are increasingly being used to identify putative effector genes for GWAS loci. We have recently constructed a unique osteoclast-specific eQTL resource using cells differentiated in vitro from 158 subjects for study of the genetics of bone disease. Considering the major role osteoclasts have in PDB, we used this resource to investigate potential genetic regulatory effects for the 7 PDB genome-wide significant loci on genes located within 500 kb of each locus. After correction for multiple testing, we observed statistically significant associations for rs4294134 with expression of the gene STMP1, and rs2458413 with expression of the genes DPYS and DCSTAMP. The eQTL associations observed for rs4294134 with STMP1, and rs2458413 with DCSTAMP were further supported by eQTL data from other tissue types. The product of the STMP1 gene has not been extensively studied, however the DCSTAMP gene has an established role in osteoclast differentiation and the associations seen between rs2458413 and PDB are likely mediated through regulatory effects on this gene. This study highlights the value of eQTL data in determining which genes are relevant to GWAS loci.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1052
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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