Genome-wide association study meta-analysis identifies three novel loci for circulating anti-Müllerian hormone levels in women
Renée MG Verdiesen,
Yvonne T. van der Schouw,
Carla H van Gils,
WM Monique Verschuren,
Frank JM Broekmans,
Maria C. Borges,
Ana LG Soares,
Deborah A. Lawlor,
Heather A Eliassen,
Dale P Sandler,
Sioban D Harlow,
Jennifer A. Smith,
Minouk J. Schoemaker,
Anthony J. Swerdlow,
Katherine S. Ruth,
N. Charlotte Onland-Moret
Posted 03 Nov 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.29.20221390
Posted 03 Nov 2020
Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is expressed by antral stage ovarian follicles in women. Consequently, circulating AMH levels are detectable until menopause. Variation in age-specific AMH levels has been associated with breast cancer and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), amongst other diseases. Identification of genetic variants underlying variation in AMH levels could provide clues about the physiological mechanisms that explain these AMH-disease associations. To date, only one variant in MCM8 has been identified to be associated with circulating AMH levels in women. We aimed to identify additional variants for AMH through a GWAS meta-analysis including data from 7049 premenopausal women of European ancestry, which more than doubles the sample size of the largest previous GWAS. We identified four loci associated with AMH levels at p < 5x10-8: the previously reported MCM8 locus and three novel signals in or near AMH, TEX41, and CDCA7. The strongest signal was a missense variant in the AMH gene (rs10417628). Most prioritized genes at the other three identified loci were involved in cell cycle regulation. Genetic correlation analyses indicated a strong positive correlation among SNPs for AMH levels and for age at menopause (rg= 0.82, FDR=0.003). Exploratory Mendelian randomization analyses did not support a causal effect of AMH on breast cancer or PCOS risk, but should be interpreted with caution as they may be underpowered and the validity of genetic instruments could not be extensively explored. In conclusion, we identified a variant in the AMH gene and three other loci that may affect circulating AMH levels in women.
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