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Osteoporos Int. 2010 Apr;21(4):579-87. doi: 10.1007/s00198-009-0998-7. Epub 2009 Aug 13.

Genome-wide copy number variation association study suggested VPS13B gene for osteoporosis in Caucasians.

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School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA.

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  • Osteoporos Int. 2010 Aug;21(8):1455.


Osteoporotic fracture (OF) is a serious outcome of osteoporosis. Important risk factors for OF include reduced bone mineral density and unstable bone structure. This genome-wide copy number variation association study suggested VPS13B gene for osteoporosis in Caucasians.


Bone mineral density (BMD) and femoral neck cross-sectional geometric parameters (FNCSGPs) are under strong genetic control. DNA copy number variation (CNV) is an important source of genetic diversity for human diseases. This study aims to identify CNVs associated with BMD and FNCSGPs.


Genome-wide CNV association analyses were conducted in 1,000 unrelated Caucasian subjects for BMD at the spine, hip, femoral neck, and for three FNCSGPs -cortical thickness (CT), cross-section area (CSA), and buckling ratio (BR). BMD was measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). CT, CSA, and BR were estimated using DEXA measurements. Affymetrix 500K arrays and copy number analysis tool was used to identify CNVs.


A CNV in VPS13B gene was significantly associated with spine, hip and FN BMDs, and CT, CSA, and BR (p < 0.05). Compared to subjects with two copies of the CNV, carriers of one copy had an average of 14.6%, 12.4%, and 13.6% higher spine, hip, and FN BMD, 20.0% thicker CT, 10.6% larger CSA, and 12.4% lower BR. Thus, a decrease of the CNV consistently produced stronger bone, thereby reducing osteoporotic fracture risk.


VPS13B gene, via affecting BMD and FNCSGPs, is a novel osteoporosis risk gene.

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