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Genome-wide association study of circulating interleukin 6 levels identifies novel loci

Ahluwalia, T.S., Prins, B.P., Abdollahi, M., Armstrong, N.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-4477-293X, Aslibekyan, S., Bain, L., Jefferis, B., Baumert, J., Beekman, M., Ben-Shlomo, Y., Bis, J.C., Mitchell, B.D., de Geus, E., Delgado, G.E., Marek, D., Eriksson, J., Kajantie, E., Kanoni, S., Kemp, J.P., Lu, C., Marioni, R.E., McLachlan, S., Milaneschi, Y., Nolte, I.M., Petrelis, A.M., Porcu, E., Sabater-Lleal, M., Naderi, E., Seppälä, I., Shah, T., Singhal, G., Standl, M., Teumer, A., Thalamuthu, A., Thiering, E., Trompet, S., Ballantyne, C.M., Benjamin, E.J., Casas, J.P., Toben, C., Dedoussis, G., Deelen, J., Durda, P., Engmann, J., Feitosa, M.F., Grallert, H., Hammarstedt, A., Harris, S.E., Homuth, G., Hottenga, J-J, Jalkanen, S., Jamshidi, Y., Jawahar, M.C., Jess, T., Kivimäki, M., Kleber, M.E., Lahti, J., Liu, Y., Marques-Vidal, P., Mellström, D., Mooijaart, S.P., Müller-Nurasyid, M., Penninx, B., Revez, J.A., Rossing, P., Räikkönen, K., Sattar, N., Scharnagl, H., Sennblad, B., Silveira, A., Pourcain, B.S., Timpson, N.J., Trollor, J., van Dongen, J., Van Heemst, D., Visvikis-Siest, S., Vollenweider, P., Völker, U., Waldenberger, M., Willemsen, G., Zabaneh, D., Morris, R.W., Arnett, D.K., Baune, B.T., Boomsma, D.I., Chang, Y-P.C., Deary, I.J., Deloukas, P., Eriksson, J.G., Evans, D.M., Ferreira, M.A., Gaunt, T., Gudnason, V., Hamsten, A., Heinrich, J., Hingorani, A., Humphries, S.E., Jukema, J.W., Koenig, W., Kumari, M., Kutalik, Z., Lawlor, D.A., Lehtimäki, T., März, W., Mather, K.A., Naitza, S., Nauck, M., Ohlsson, C., Price, J.F., Raitakari, O., Rice, K., Sachdev, P.S., Slagboom, E., Sørensen, T.I.A., Spector, T., Stacey, D., Stathopoulou, M.G., Tanaka, T., Wannamethee, S.G., Whincup, P., Rotter, J.I., Dehghan, A., Boerwinkle, E., Psaty, B.M., Snieder, H. and Alizadeh, B.Z. (2021) Genome-wide association study of circulating interleukin 6 levels identifies novel loci. Human Molecular Genetics, 30 (5). pp. 393-409.

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Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties with a heritability estimate of up to 61%. The circulating levels of IL-6 in blood have been associated with an increased risk of complex disease pathogenesis. We conducted a two-staged, discovery and replication meta genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating serum IL-6 levels comprising up to 67 428 (ndiscovery = 52 654 and nreplication = 14 774) individuals of European ancestry. The inverse variance fixed effects based discovery meta-analysis, followed by replication led to the identification of two independent loci, IL1F10/IL1RN rs6734238 on chromosome (Chr) 2q14, (Pcombined = 1.8 × 10−11), HLA-DRB1/DRB5 rs660895 on Chr6p21 (Pcombined = 1.5 × 10−10) in the combined meta-analyses of all samples. We also replicated the IL6R rs4537545 locus on Chr1q21 (Pcombined = 1.2 × 10−122). Our study identifies novel loci for circulating IL-6 levels uncovering new immunological and inflammatory pathways that may influence IL-6 pathobiology.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Mathematics, Statistics, Chemistry and Physics
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors.
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