Genetics of 38 blood and urine biomarkers in the UK Biobank
Nina J. Mars,
Hanna M Ollila,
James P. Pirruccello,
Themistocles L. Assimes,
Jonathan K. Pritchard,
Mark J. Daly,
Manuel A Rivas
Posted 05 Jun 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/660506
Posted 05 Jun 2019
Clinical laboratory tests are a critical component of the continuum of care and provide a means for rapid diagnosis and monitoring of chronic disease. In this study, we systematically evaluated the genetic basis of 38 blood and urine laboratory tests measured in 358,072 participants in the UK Biobank and identified 1,857 independent loci associated with at least one laboratory test, including 488 large-effect protein truncating, missense, and copy-number variants. We tested these loci for enrichment in specific single cell types in kidney, liver, and pancreas relevant to disease aetiology. We then causally linked the biomarkers to medically relevant phenotypes through genetic correlation and Mendelian randomization. Finally, we developed polygenic risk scores (PRS) for each biomarker and built multi-PRS models using all 38 PRSs simultaneously. We found substantially improved prediction of incidence in FinnGen (n=135,500) with the multi-PRS relative to single-disease PRSs for renal failure, myocardial infarction, liver fat percentage, and alcoholic cirrhosis. Together, our results show the genetic basis of these biomarkers, which tissues contribute to the biomarker function, the causal influences of the biomarkers, and how we can use this to predict disease.
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