Adult height is a model polygenic trait, but there has been limited success in identifying the genes underlying its normal variation. To identify genetic variants influencing adult human height, we used genome-wide association data from 13,665 individuals and genotyped 39 variants in an additional 16,482 samples. We identified 20 variants associated with adult height (P < 5 × 10−7, with 10 reaching P < 1 × 10−10). Combined, the 20 SNPs explain ∼3% of height variation, with a ∼5 cm difference between the 6.2% of people with 17 or fewer 'tall' alleles compared to the 5.5% with 27 or more 'tall' alleles. The loci we identified implicate genes in Hedgehog signaling (IHH, HHIP, PTCH1), extracellular matrix (EFEMP1, ADAMTSL3, ACAN) and cancer (CDK6, HMGA2, DLEU7) pathways, and provide new insights into human growth and developmental processes. Finally, our results provide insights into the genetic architecture of a classic quantitative trait.
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M.N.W. is a Vandervell Foundation Research Fellow. C.L. is a Nuffield Department of Medicine Scientific Leadership Fellow. R.M.F. is funded by a Diabetes UK research studentship. S.B. is supported by the Giorgi-Cavaglieri Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant 3100AO-116323/1), which also supports J.S.B. (grant 310000-112552/1). We would like to thank M. Bochud, Z. Kutalik, G. Waeber, K. Song and X. Yuan for their contribution to the Lausanne study. The WTCCC CAD cohort collection was supported by grants from the British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council and National Health Service Research & Development. N.J.S. holds a chair supported by the British Heart Foundation. We thank the Wellcome Trust for funding. C.W. is funded by the British Heart Foundation (grant number FS/05/061/19501). The BRIGHT study is supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number G9521010D) and the British Heart Foundation (grant number PG02/128).
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Weedon, M., Lango, H., Lindgren, C. et al. Genome-wide association analysis identifies 20 loci that influence adult height. Nat Genet 40, 575–583 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.121
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