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Am J Hum Genet. 2007 Apr;80(4):716-26. Epub 2007 Mar 8.

Admixture mapping of an allele affecting interleukin 6 soluble receptor and interleukin 6 levels.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, New Research Building, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Circulating levels of inflammatory markers can predict cardiovascular disease risk. To identify genes influencing the levels of these markers, we genotyped 1,343 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 1,184 African Americans from the Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study. Using admixture mapping, we found a significant association of interleukin 6 soluble receptor (IL-6 SR) with European ancestry on chromosome 1 (LOD 4.59), in a region that includes the gene for this receptor (IL-6R). Genotyping 19 SNPs showed that the effect is largely explained by an allele at 4% frequency in West Africans and at 35% frequency in European Americans, first described as associated with IL-6 SR in a Japanese cohort. We replicate this association (P<<1.0x10-12) and also demonstrate a new association with circulating levels of a different molecule, IL-6 (P<3.4x10-5). After replication in 1,674 European Americans from Health ABC, the combined result is even more significant: P<<1.0x10-12 for IL-6 SR, and P<2.0x10-9 for IL-6. These results also serve as an important proof of principle, showing that admixture mapping can not only coarsely localize but can also fine map a phenotypically important variant.

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