Extensive phenotypic variability is commonly observed in individuals with Mendelian disorders, even among those with identical genotypes in the disease-causing gene. To determine whether variants within and surrounding CFTR contribute to phenotypic variability in cystic fibrosis (CF), we performed deep sequencing of CFTR in 762 patients homozygous for the common CF-causing variant, F508del. In phase 1, ∼200 kb encompassing CFTR and extending 10 kb 5′ and 5 kb 3′ of the gene was sequenced in 486 F508del homozygotes selected from the extremes of sweat chloride concentration. In phase 2, a 510 kb region, which included the entire topologically associated domain of CFTR, was sequenced in 276 F508del homozygotes drawn from extremes of lung function. An additional 163 individuals who carried F508del and a different CF-causing variant were sequenced to inform haplotype construction. Region-based burden testing of both common and rare variants revealed seven regions of significance (α=0.01), five of which overlapped known regulatory elements or chromatin interactions. Notably, the -80 kb locus known to interact with the CFTR promoter was associated with variation in both CF traits. Haplotype analysis revealed a single rare recombination event (1.9% frequency) in intron 15 of CFTR bearing the F508del variant. Otherwise, the majority of F508del chromosomes were markedly similar, consistent with a single origin of the F508del allele. Together, these high-resolution variant analyses of the CFTR locus suggest a role for non-coding regulatory motifs in trait variation among individuals carrying the common CF allele.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology