Whole genome sequencing in the Middle Eastern Qatari population identifies genetic associations with 45 clinically relevant traits

Qatar Genome Program Research (QGPR) Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Clinical laboratory tests play a pivotal role in medical decision making, but little is known about their genetic variability between populations. We report a genome-wide association study with 45 clinically relevant traits from the population of Qatar using a whole genome sequencing approach in a discovery set of 6218 individuals and replication in 7768 subjects. Trait heritability is more similar between Qatari and European populations (r = 0.81) than with Africans (r = 0.44). We identify 281 distinct variant-trait-associations at genome wide significance that replicate known associations. Allele frequencies for replicated loci show higher correlations with European (r = 0.94) than with African (r = 0.85) or Japanese (r = 0.80) populations. We find differences in linkage disequilibrium patterns and in effect sizes of the replicated loci compared to previous reports. We also report 17 novel and Qatari-predominate signals providing insights into the biological pathways regulating these traits. We observe that European-derived polygenic scores (PGS) have reduced predictive performance in the Qatari population which could have implications for the translation of PGS between populations and their future application in precision medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1250
JournalNature Communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Biological Specimen Banks
  • Gene Frequency/genetics
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genome, Human
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Linkage Disequilibrium/genetics
  • Multifactorial Inheritance/genetics
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Qatar
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA

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