Genome-wide association study identifies variants associated with histologic features of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Naga Chalasani, Xiuqing Guo, Rohit Loomba, Mark O. Goodarzi, Talin Haritunians, Soonil Kwon, Jinrui Cui, Kent D. Taylor, Laura Wilson, Oscar W. Cummings, Yii Der Ida Chen, Jerome I. Rotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

215 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Little data are available from genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of liver histology in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We conducted a pilot GWAS in patients with NAFLD, characterized by histology, who were enrolled in the NASH Clinical Research Network (CRN) Database Study. Methods: We studied clinical, laboratory, and histologic data from 236 non-Hispanic white women with NAFLD. We analyzed 324,623 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the 22 autosomal chromosomes. Multivariate-adjusted logistic regression analyses were conducted for binary outcomes, and linear regression analysis was applied for quantitative traits. A P value < 1 × 10-6 was considered to be significant. Results: In multivariate models adjusted for age, body mass index, diabetes, waist/hip ratios, and levels of glycated hemoglobin, the NAFLD activity score was associated with the SNP rs2645424 on chromosome 8 in farnesyl diphosphate farnesyl transferase 1 (FDFT1) (P = 6.8 × 10-7). The degree of fibrosis was associated with the SNP rs343062 on chromosome 7 (P = 2.7 × 10-8). SNPs associated with lobular inflammation included SNP rs1227756 on chromosome 10 in COL13A1 (P = 2.0 × 10 -7), rs6591182 on chromosome 11 (P = 8.6 × 10-7), and rs887304 on chromosome 12 in EFCAB4B (P = 7.7 × 10-7). SNPs associated with serum levels of alanine aminotransferase included rs2499604 on chromosome 1 (P = 2.2 × 10-6), rs6487679 on chromosome 12 in PZP (P = 1.3 × 10-6), rs1421201 on chromosome 18 (P = 1.0 × 10-5), and rs2710833 on chromosome 4 (P = 6.3 × 10 -7). No significant associations were observed between genotypes and steatosis, ballooning degeneration, portal inflammation, or other features of NAFLD. Conclusions: A GWAS significantly associated genetic variants with features of hepatic histology in patients with NAFLD. These findings should be validated in larger and more diverse cohorts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1567-1576.e6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Farnesyl Diphosphate Farnesyl Transferase 1
  • GWAS
  • NASH
  • Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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