Cell stem cell

Large, Diverse Population Cohorts of hiPSCs and Derived Hepatocyte-like Cells Reveal Functional Genetic Variation at Blood Lipid-Associated Loci.

PMID 28388432


Genome-wide association studies have struggled to identify functional genes and variants underlying complex phenotypes. We recruited a multi-ethnic cohort of healthy volunteers (nxa0= 91) and used their tissue to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) for genome-wide mapping of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) and allele-specific expression (ASE). We identified many eQTL genes (eGenes) not observed in the comparably sized Genotype-Tissue Expression project's human liver cohort (nxa0= 96). Focusing on blood lipid-associated loci, we performed massively parallel reporter assays to screen candidate functional variants and used genome-edited stem cells, CRISPR interference,xa0and mouse modeling to establish rs2277862-CPNE1, rs10889356-DOCK7, rs10889356-ANGPTL3, and rs10872142-FRK as functional SNP-gene sets. We demonstrated HLC eGenes CPNE1, VKORC1, UBE2L3, and ANGPTL3 and HLC ASE gene ACAA2 to be lipid-functional genes in mouse models. These findings endorse an iPSC-based experimental framework to discover functional variants and genes contributing to complex human traits.