Genome-wide approach identifies a novel gene-maternal pre-pregnancy BMI interaction on preterm birth

Xiumei Hong, Ke Hao, Hongkai Ji, Shouneng Peng, Ben Sherwood, Antonio Di Narzo, Hui Ju Tsai, Xin Liu, Irina Burd, Guoying Wang, Yuelong Ji, Deanna Caruso, Guangyun Mao, Tami R. Bartell, Zhongyang Zhang, Colleen Pearson, Linda Heffner, Sandra Cerda, Terri H. Beaty, M. Daniele FallinAviva Lee-Parritz, Barry Zuckerman, Daniel E. Weeks, Xiaobin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Preterm birth (PTB) contributes significantly to infant mortality and morbidity with lifelong impact. Few robust genetic factors of PTB have been identified. Such 'missing heritability' may be partly due to gene × environment interactions (G × E), which is largely unexplored. Here we conduct genome-wide G × E analyses of PTB in 1,733 African-American women (698 mothers of PTB; 1,035 of term birth) from the Boston Birth Cohort. We show that maternal COL24A1 variants have a significant genome-wide interaction with maternal pre-pregnancy overweight/obesity on PTB risk, with rs11161721 (PG × E=1.8 × 10-8; empirical PG × E=1.2 × 10-8) as the top hit. This interaction is replicated in African-American mothers (PG × E=0.01) from an independent cohort and in meta-analysis (PG × E=3.6 × 10-9), but is not replicated in Caucasians. In adipose tissue, rs11161721 is significantly associated with altered COL24A1 expression. Our findings may provide new insight into the aetiology of PTB and improve our ability to predict and prevent PTB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15608
Pages (from-to)15608
Number of pages1
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jun 9 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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