Genome-wide association study in the Taiwan Biobank identifies four novel genes for human height: NABP2, RASA2, RNF41 and SLC39A5

Eugene Lin*, Shih Jen Tsai, Po Hsiu Kuo, Yu Li Liu, Albert C. Yang, Matthew P. Conomos, Timothy A. Thornton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Numerous genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have been conducted for the identification of genetic variants involved with human height. The vast majority of these studies, however, have been conducted in populations of European ancestry. Here, we report the first GWAS of adult height in the Taiwan Biobank using a discovery sample of 14 571 individuals and an independent replication sample of 20 506 individuals. From our analysis, we generalize to the Taiwanese population genome-wide significant associations with height and 18 previously identified genes in European and non-Taiwanese East Asian populations. We also identify and replicate, at the genome-wide significance level, associated variants for height in four novel genes at two loci that have not previously been reported: RASA2 on chromosome 3 and NABP2, RNF41 and SLC39A5 at 12q13.3 on chromosome 12. RASA2 and RNF41 are strong candidates for having a role in height with copy number and loss of function variants in RASA2 previously found to be associated with short stature disorders, and decreased expression of the RNF41 gene resulting in insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. The results from our analysis of the Taiwan Biobank underscore the potential for the identification of novel genetic discoveries in underrepresented worldwide populations, even for traits, such as height, that have been extensively investigated in large-scale studies of European ancestry populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2362-2369
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Volume30
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

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