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Congenital heart disease risk loci identified by genome-wide association study in European patients.

Clin Invest. 2020 Nov 17:141837. doi: 10.1172/JCI141837. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33201861.10.1212/WNL.0000000000009290. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Lahm H, Jia M, Dreßen M, Wirth FFM, Puluca N, Gilsbach R, Keavney B, Cleuziou J, Beck N, Bondareva O, Dzilic E, Burri M, König KC, Ziegelmüller JA, Abou-Ajram C, Neb I, Zhang Z, Doppler SA, Mastantuono E, Lichtner P, Eckstein G, Hörer J, Ewert P, Priest JR, Hein L, Lange R, Meitinger T, Cordell HJ, Müller-Myhsok B, Krane M.
Publication Date: 2020


Genetic factors undoubtedly affect the development of congenital heart disease (CHD), but still remain ill-defined. We sought to identify genetic risk factors associated with CHD and to accomplish functional analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP)-carrying genes. We performed a genome-wide association study of 4,034 Caucasian CHD patients and 8,486 healthy controls. One SNP on chromosome 5q22.2 reached genome-wide significance across all CHD phenotypes and was also indicative for septal defects. One region on chromosome 20p12.1 pointing to the MACROD2 locus identified four highly significant SNPs in patients with transposition of the great arteries (TGA). Three highly significant risk variants on chromosome 17q21.32 within the GOSR2 locus were detected in patients with anomalies of thoracic arteries and veins (ATAV). Genetic variants associated with ATAV are suggested to influence expression of WNT3, and variant rs870142 related to septal defects is proposed to influence expression of MSX1. The expression of all four genes was analyzed during cardiac differentiation of human and murine induced pluripotent stem cells in vitro and by single-cell RNAseq analyses of developing murine and human hearts. Our data show that MACROD2, GOSR2, WNT3 and MSX1 play an essential functional role in heart development at the embryonic and newborn stage.

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