Identifying a Deletion Affecting Total Lung Capacity Among Subjects in the COPDGene Study Cohort

Ferdouse Begum, Ingo Ruczinski, Shengchao Li, Edwin K. Silverman, Michael H. Cho, David A. Lynch, Douglas Curran-Everett, James Crapo, Robert B. Scharpf, Margaret M. Parker, Jacqueline B. Hetmanski, Terri H. Beaty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive disease with both environmental and genetic risk factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple genomic regions influencing risk of COPD. To thoroughly investigate the genetic etiology of COPD, however, it is also important to explore the role of copy number variants (CNVs) because the presence of structural variants can alter gene expression and can be causal for some diseases. Here, we investigated effects of polymorphic CNVs on quantitative measures of pulmonary function and chest computed tomography (CT) phenotypes among subjects enrolled in COPDGene, a multisite study. COPDGene subjects consist of roughly one-third African American (AA) and two-thirds non-Hispanic white adult smokers (with or without COPD). We estimated CNVs using PennCNV on 9,076 COPDGene subjects using Illumina's Omni-Express genome-wide marker array. We tested for association between polymorphic CNV components (defined as disjoint intervals of copy number regions) for several quantitative phenotypes associated with COPD within each racial group. Among the AAs, we identified a polymorphic CNV on chromosome 5q35.2 located between two genes (FAM153B and SIMK1, but also harboring several pseudo-genes) giving genome-wide significance in tests of association with total lung capacity (TLCCT) as measured by chest CT scans. This is the first study of genome-wide association tests of polymorphic CNVs and TLCCT. Although the ARIC cohort did not have the phenotype of TLCCT, we found similar counts of CNV deletions and amplifications among AA and European subjects in this second cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalGenetic epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • COPD
  • Copy number variant (CNV)
  • Genome-wide association study (GWAS)
  • Lung hyperinflation
  • Pulmonary function
  • Total lung capacity (TLC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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  • Cite this

    Begum, F., Ruczinski, I., Li, S., Silverman, E. K., Cho, M. H., Lynch, D. A., Curran-Everett, D., Crapo, J., Scharpf, R. B., Parker, M. M., Hetmanski, J. B., & Beaty, T. H. (2016). Identifying a Deletion Affecting Total Lung Capacity Among Subjects in the COPDGene Study Cohort. Genetic epidemiology, 40(1), 81-88.