Four Susceptibility Loci for Gallstone Disease Identified in a Meta-analysis of Genome-wide Association Studies.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Gastroenterology, Volume 151, Issue 2, p.351-363 (2016)


BACKGROUND & AIMS: A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 280 cases identified the hepatic cholesterol transporter ABCG8 as a locus associated with risk for gallstone disease, but findings have not been reported from any other GWAS of this phenotype. We performed a large-scale, meta-analysis of GWASs of individuals of European ancestry with available prior genotype data, to identify additional genetic risk factors for gallstone disease. METHODS: We obtained per-allele odds ratio (OR) and standard error estimates using age- and sex-adjusted logistic regression models within each of the 10 discovery studies (8720 cases and 55,152 controls). We performed an inverse variance weighted, fixed-effects meta-analysis of studyspecific estimates to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms that were associated independently with gallstone disease. Associations were replicated in 6489 cases and 62,797 controls. RESULTS: We observed independent associations for 2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms at the ABCG8 locus: rs11887534 (OR, 1.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.54–1.86; P = 2.44 x 10^-60) and rs4245791 (OR, 1.27; P = 1.90 x 10^-34). We also identified and/or replicated associations for rs9843304 in TM4SF4 (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.08–1.16; P = 6.09 x 10^-11), rs2547231 in SULT2A1 (encodes a sulfoconjugation enzyme that acts on hydroxysteroids and cholesterol-derived sterol bile acids) (OR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.12–1.21; P = 2.24 x 10^-10), rs1260326 in glucokinase regulatory protein (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.07–1.17; P = 2.55 x 10^-10), and rs6471717 near CYP7A1 (encodes an enzyme that catalyzes conversion of cholesterol to primary bile acids) (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.08–1.15; P = 8.84 x 10^-9). Among individuals of African American and Hispanic American ancestry, rs11887534 and rs4245791 were associated positively with gallstone disease risk, whereas the association for the rs1260326 variant was inverse. CONCLUSIONS: In this large-scale GWAS of gallstone disease, we identified 4 loci in genes that have putative functions in cholesterol metabolism and transport, and sulfonylation of bile acids or hydroxysteroids.