The complex genetic architecture of type-2-diabetes (T2D) includes gene-by-environment (G×E) and gene-by-gene (G×G) interactions. To identify G×E and G×G, we screened markers for patterns indicative of interactions (relationship loci [rQTL] and variance heterogeneity loci [vQTL]). rQTL exist when the correlation between multiple traits varies by genotype and vQTL occur when the variance of a trait differs by genotype (potentially flagging G×G and G×E). In the metformin and placebo arms of the DPP (n = 1762) we screened 280,965 exomic and intergenic SNPs, for rQTL and vQTL patterns in association with year one changes from baseline in glycemia and related traits (insulinogenic index [IGI], insulin sensitivity index [ISI], fasting glucose and fasting insulin). Significant (p < 1.8 × 10(-7)) rQTL and vQTL generated a priori hypotheses of individual G×E tests for a SNP × metformin treatment interaction and secondarily for G×G screens. Several rQTL and vQTL identified led to 6 nominally significant (p < 0.05) metformin treatment × SNP interactions (4 for IGI, one insulin, and one glucose) and 12G×G interactions (all IGI) that exceeded experiment-wide significance (p < 4.1 × 10(-9)). Some loci are directly associated with incident diabetes, and others are rQTL and modify a trait's relationship with diabetes (2 diabetes/glucose, 2 diabetes/insulin, 1 diabetes/IGI). rs3197999, an ISI/insulin rQTL, is a possible gene damaging missense mutation in MST1, is associated with ulcerative colitis, sclerosing cholangitis, Crohn's disease, BMI and coronary artery disease. This study demonstrates evidence for context-dependent effects (G×G & G×E) and the complexity of these T2D-related traits.
Journal of human genetics
. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to The Japan Society of Human Genetics
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