MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical post-transcriptional regulators. Based on a previous genome-wide association (GWA) scan, we conducted a polymorphism in microRNAs' Target Sites (poly-miRTS)-centric multistage meta-analysis for lumbar spine (LS)-, total hip (HIP)-, and femoral neck (FN)-bone mineral density (BMD). In stage I, 41,102 poly-miRTSs were meta-analyzed in 7 cohorts with a genome-wide significance (GWS) α=0.05/41,102=1.22×10<sup>-6</sup>. By applying α=5×10<sup>-5</sup> (suggestive significance), 11 poly-miRTSs were selected, with FGFRL1 rs4647940 and PRR5 rs3213550 as top signals for FN-BMD (P-value=7.67×10<sup>-6</sup> and 1.58×10<sup>-5</sup>) in gender-combined sample. In stage II in silico replication (two cohorts), FGFRL1 rs4647940 was the only signal marginally replicated for FN-BMD (P-value=5.08×10<sup>-3</sup>) at α=0.10/11=9.09×10<sup>-3</sup>. PRR5 rs3213550 was also selected based on biological significance. In stage III de novo genotyping replication (two cohorts), FGFRL1 rs4647940 was the only signal significantly replicated for FN-BMD (P-value=7.55×10<sup>-6</sup>) at α=0.05/2=0.025 in gender-combined sample. Aggregating three stages, FGFRL1 rs4647940 was the single stage I-discovered and stages II- and III-replicated signal attaining GWS for FN-BMD (P-value=8.87×10<sup>-12</sup>). Dual-luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that FGFRL1 3' untranslated region harboring rs4647940 appears to be hsa-miR-140-5p's target site. In a zebrafish microinjection experiment, dre-miR-140-5p is shown to exert a dramatic impact on craniofacial skeleton formation. Taken together, we provided functional evidence for a novel FGFRL1 poly-miRTS rs4647940 in a previously known 4p16.3 locus, and experimental and clinical genetics studies have shown both FGFRL1 and hsa-miR-140-5p are important for bone formation.

dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddv144, hdl.handle.net/1765/87187
Human Molecular Genetics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Niu, T, Liu, N, Zhao, M, Xie, G, Zhang, L, Li, J, … Deng, H.-W. (2015). Identification of a novel FGFRL1 MicroRNA target site polymorphism for bone mineral density in meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies. Human Molecular Genetics, 24(16), 4710–4727. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddv144