267 Spanish exomes reveal population-specific differences in disease-related genetic variation

Joaquín Dopazo, Alicia Amadoz, Marta Bleda, Luz Garcia-Alonso, Alejandro Alemán, Francisco García-García, Juan A Rodriguez, Josephine T Daub, Gerard Muntané, Antonio Rueda, Alicia Vela-Boza, Francisco J López-Domingo, Javier P Florido, Pablo Arce, Macarena Ruiz-Ferrer, Cristina Méndez-Vidal, Todd E Arnold, Olivia Spleiss, Miguel Alvarez-Tejado, Arcadi NavarroShomi S Bhattacharya, Salud Borrego, Javier Santoyo-López, Guillermo Antiñolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Recent results from large-scale genomic projects suggest that allele frequencies, which are highly relevant for medical purposes, differ considerably across different populations. The need for a detailed catalogue of local variability motivated the whole exome sequencing of 267 unrelated individuals, representative of the healthy Spanish population. Like in other studies, a considerable number of rare variants were found (almost one third of the described variants). There were also relevant differences in allelic frequencies in polymorphic variants, including about 10,000 polymorphisms private to the Spanish population. The allelic frequencies of variants conferring susceptibility to complex diseases (including cancer, schizophrenia, Alzheimer disease, type 2 diabetes and other pathologies) were overall similar to those of other populations. However, the trend is the opposite for variants linked to Mendelian and rare diseases (including several retinal degenerative dystrophies and cardiomyopathies) that show marked frequency differences between populations. Interestingly, a correspondence between differences in allelic frequencies and disease prevalence was found, highlighting the relevance of frequency differences in disease risk. These differences are also observed in variants that disrupt known drug binding sites, suggesting an important role for local variability in population-specific drug resistances or adverse effects. We have made the Spanish population variant server web page that contains population frequency information for the complete list of 170,888 variant positions we found publicly available (http://spv.babelomics.org/), We show that it if fundamental to determine population-specific variant frequencies in order to distinguish real disease associations from population-specific polymorphisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2016


Dive into the research topics of '267 Spanish exomes reveal population-specific differences in disease-related genetic variation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this