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A genome-wide association study identifies novel alleles associated with hair color and skin pigmentation.

Han J, Kraft P, Nan H, Guo Q, Chen C, Qureshi A, Hankinson SE, Hu FB, Duffy DL, Zhao ZZ, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Hayward NK, Thomas G, Hoover RN, Chanock S, Hunter DJ - PLoS Genet. (2008)

Bottom Line: A multivariable analysis pooling data from the initial GWAS and an additional 1,440 individuals suggested that the association between rs12203592 and hair color was independent of rs1540771, a SNP between the IRF4 and EXOC2 genes previously found to be associated with hair color.One variant in the MATP gene was associated with hair color.Our results suggest that the IRF4 and SLC24A4 loci are associated with human hair color and skin pigmentation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
We conducted a multi-stage genome-wide association study of natural hair color in more than 10,000 men and women of European ancestry from the United States and Australia. An initial analysis of 528,173 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped on 2,287 women identified IRF4 and SLC24A4 as loci highly associated with hair color, along with three other regions encompassing known pigmentation genes. We confirmed these associations in 7,028 individuals from three additional studies. Across these four studies, SLC24A4 rs12896399 and IRF4 rs12203592 showed strong associations with hair color, with p = 6.0x10(-62) and p = 7.46x10(-127), respectively. The IRF4 SNP was also associated with skin color (p = 6.2x10(-14)), eye color (p = 6.1x10(-13)), and skin tanning response to sunlight (p = 3.9x10(-89)). A multivariable analysis pooling data from the initial GWAS and an additional 1,440 individuals suggested that the association between rs12203592 and hair color was independent of rs1540771, a SNP between the IRF4 and EXOC2 genes previously found to be associated with hair color. After adjustment for rs12203592, the association between rs1540771 and hair color was not significant (p = 0.52). One variant in the MATP gene was associated with hair color. A variant in the HERC2 gene upstream of the OCA2 gene showed the strongest and independent association with hair color compared with other SNPs in this region, including three previously reported SNPs. The signals detected in a region around the MC1R gene were explained by MC1R red hair color alleles. Our results suggest that the IRF4 and SLC24A4 loci are associated with human hair color and skin pigmentation.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Quantile-quantile plot of the -log10 p-values from an analysis of the initial GWAS that did not adjust for principal components of genetic variation (black dots) and an analysis that did adjust for the four largest principal components (red dots).p-values smaller than 10−8 are not plotted.
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pgen-1000074-g001: Quantile-quantile plot of the -log10 p-values from an analysis of the initial GWAS that did not adjust for principal components of genetic variation (black dots) and an analysis that did adjust for the four largest principal components (red dots).p-values smaller than 10−8 are not plotted.

Mentions: We compared the distribution of observed p-values from each of the 528,173 SNPs in the GWAS with those expected under the global hypothesis that none of the tested SNPs is associated with natural hair color (Figure 1). The distribution of the observed p-values for the crude analyses that restricted analysis to women of self-reported European ancestry but did not further adjust for potential population stratification shows evidence for systematic bias: the genomic control inflation factor for the crude analyses (the ratio of the median observed test statistic to the theoretical median) is λGC = 1.24. This systematic bias is most likely due to confounding by latent population stratification. Hair color varies along a light-dark gradient from northern to southern Europe, so it will be associated with any SNP marker whose minor allele frequency also varies along a North-South gradient, even if that marker is not in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with a causal hair-color locus [10]. Adjusting for the top four principal components of genetic variance [11] eliminated most of the apparent residual confounding due to population stratification (λGC = 1.02 for the adjusted analyses); further control for up to 50 principal components did not alter the λGC. All of the association results from the initial GWAS reported below are from analyses that adjusted for the top four principal components of genetic variation.


A genome-wide association study identifies novel alleles associated with hair color and skin pigmentation.

Han J, Kraft P, Nan H, Guo Q, Chen C, Qureshi A, Hankinson SE, Hu FB, Duffy DL, Zhao ZZ, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Hayward NK, Thomas G, Hoover RN, Chanock S, Hunter DJ - PLoS Genet. (2008)

Quantile-quantile plot of the -log10 p-values from an analysis of the initial GWAS that did not adjust for principal components of genetic variation (black dots) and an analysis that did adjust for the four largest principal components (red dots).p-values smaller than 10−8 are not plotted.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2367449&req=5

pgen-1000074-g001: Quantile-quantile plot of the -log10 p-values from an analysis of the initial GWAS that did not adjust for principal components of genetic variation (black dots) and an analysis that did adjust for the four largest principal components (red dots).p-values smaller than 10−8 are not plotted.
Mentions: We compared the distribution of observed p-values from each of the 528,173 SNPs in the GWAS with those expected under the global hypothesis that none of the tested SNPs is associated with natural hair color (Figure 1). The distribution of the observed p-values for the crude analyses that restricted analysis to women of self-reported European ancestry but did not further adjust for potential population stratification shows evidence for systematic bias: the genomic control inflation factor for the crude analyses (the ratio of the median observed test statistic to the theoretical median) is λGC = 1.24. This systematic bias is most likely due to confounding by latent population stratification. Hair color varies along a light-dark gradient from northern to southern Europe, so it will be associated with any SNP marker whose minor allele frequency also varies along a North-South gradient, even if that marker is not in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with a causal hair-color locus [10]. Adjusting for the top four principal components of genetic variance [11] eliminated most of the apparent residual confounding due to population stratification (λGC = 1.02 for the adjusted analyses); further control for up to 50 principal components did not alter the λGC. All of the association results from the initial GWAS reported below are from analyses that adjusted for the top four principal components of genetic variation.

Bottom Line: A multivariable analysis pooling data from the initial GWAS and an additional 1,440 individuals suggested that the association between rs12203592 and hair color was independent of rs1540771, a SNP between the IRF4 and EXOC2 genes previously found to be associated with hair color.One variant in the MATP gene was associated with hair color.Our results suggest that the IRF4 and SLC24A4 loci are associated with human hair color and skin pigmentation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
We conducted a multi-stage genome-wide association study of natural hair color in more than 10,000 men and women of European ancestry from the United States and Australia. An initial analysis of 528,173 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped on 2,287 women identified IRF4 and SLC24A4 as loci highly associated with hair color, along with three other regions encompassing known pigmentation genes. We confirmed these associations in 7,028 individuals from three additional studies. Across these four studies, SLC24A4 rs12896399 and IRF4 rs12203592 showed strong associations with hair color, with p = 6.0x10(-62) and p = 7.46x10(-127), respectively. The IRF4 SNP was also associated with skin color (p = 6.2x10(-14)), eye color (p = 6.1x10(-13)), and skin tanning response to sunlight (p = 3.9x10(-89)). A multivariable analysis pooling data from the initial GWAS and an additional 1,440 individuals suggested that the association between rs12203592 and hair color was independent of rs1540771, a SNP between the IRF4 and EXOC2 genes previously found to be associated with hair color. After adjustment for rs12203592, the association between rs1540771 and hair color was not significant (p = 0.52). One variant in the MATP gene was associated with hair color. A variant in the HERC2 gene upstream of the OCA2 gene showed the strongest and independent association with hair color compared with other SNPs in this region, including three previously reported SNPs. The signals detected in a region around the MC1R gene were explained by MC1R red hair color alleles. Our results suggest that the IRF4 and SLC24A4 loci are associated with human hair color and skin pigmentation.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus