Press Release

A cross-population atlas of genetic associations for 220 human phenotypes

Abstract

Current genome-wide association studies do not yet capture sufficient diversity in populations and scope of phenotypes. To expand an atlas of genetic associations in non-European populations, we conducted 220 deep-phenotype genome-wide association studies (diseases, biomarkers and medication usage) in BioBank Japan (n = 179,000), by incorporating past medical history and text-mining of electronic medical records. Meta-analyses with the UK Biobank and FinnGen (ntotal = 628,000) identified ~5,000 new loci, which improved the resolution of the genomic map of human traits. This atlas elucidated the landscape of pleiotropy as represented by the major histocompatibility complex locus, where we conducted HLA fine-mapping. Finally, we performed statistical decomposition of matrices of phenome-wide summary statistics, and identified latent genetic components, which pinpointed responsible variants and biological mechanisms underlying current disease classifications across populations. The decomposed components enabled genetically informed subtyping of similar diseases (for example, allergic diseases). Our study suggests a potential avenue for hypothesis-free re-investigation of human diseases through genetics.

Article

Publication: Nature Genetics

Title: A cross-population atlas of genetic associations for 220 human phenotypes

Author: Saori Sakaue*, Masahiro Kanai, Yosuke Tanigawa, Juha Karjalainen, Mitja Kurki, Seizo Koshiba, Akira Narita, Takahiro Konuma, Kenichi Yamamoto, Masato Akiyama, Kazuyoshi Ishigaki, Akari Suzuki, Ken Suzuki, Wataru Obara, Ken Yamaji, Kazuhisa Takahashi, Satoshi Asai, Yasuo Takahashi, Takao Suzuki, Nobuaki Shinozaki, Hiroki Yamaguchi, Shiro Minami, Shigeo Murayama, Kozo Yoshimori, Satoshi Nagayama, Daisuke Obata, Masahiko Higashiyama, Akihide Masumoto, Yukihiro Koretsune, FinnGen, Kaoru Ito, Chikashi Terao, Toshimasa Yamauchi, Issei Komuro, Takashi Kadowaki, Gen Tamiya, Masayuki Yamamoto, Yusuke Nakamura, Michiaki Kubo, Yoshinori Murakami, Kazuhiko Yamamoto, Yoichiro Kamatani, Aarno Palotie, Manuel A. Rivas, Mark J. Daly, Koichi Matsuda* & Yukinori Okada*

DOI: 10.1038/s41588-021-00931-x