Identification of a novel proinsulin-associated SNP and demonstration that proinsulin is unlikely to be a causal factor in subclinical vascular remodelling using Mendelian randomisation

Rona J. Strawbridge, Angela Silveira, Marcel den Hoed, Stefan Gustafsson, Jian'an Luan, Denis Rybin, Josée Dupuis, Ruifang Li-Gao, Maryam Kavousi, Abbas Dehghan, Kadri Haljas, Jari Lahti, Jesper R. Gådin, Alexandra Bäcklund, Ulf de Faire, Karl Gertow, Phillipe Giral, Anuj Goel, Steve E. Humphries, Sudhir KurlClaudia Langenberg, Lars L. Lannfelt, Lars Lind, Cecilia C.M. Lindgren, Elmo Mannarino, Dennis O. Mook-Kanamori, Andrew P. Morris, Renée de Mutsert, Rainer Rauramaa, Peter Saliba-Gustafsson, Bengt Sennblad, Andries J. Smit, Ann Christine Syvänen, Elena Tremoli, Fabrizio Veglia, Björn Zethelius, Hanna M. Björck, Johan G. Eriksson, Albert Hofman, Oscar H. Franco, Hugh Watkins, J. Wouter Jukema, Jose C. Florez, Nicholas J. Wareham, James B. Meigs, Erik Ingelsson, Damiano Baldassarre, Anders Hamsten, the IMPROVE study group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and aims Increased proinsulin relative to insulin levels have been associated with subclinical atherosclerosis (measured by carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT)) and are predictive of future cardiovascular disease (CVD), independently of established risk factors. The mechanisms linking proinsulin to atherosclerosis and CVD are unclear. A genome-wide meta-analysis has identified nine loci associated with circulating proinsulin levels. Using proinsulin-associated SNPs, we set out to use a Mendelian randomisation approach to test the hypothesis that proinsulin plays a causal role in subclinical vascular remodelling. Methods We studied the high CVD-risk IMPROVE cohort (n = 3345), which has detailed biochemical phenotyping and repeated, state-of-the-art, high-resolution carotid ultrasound examinations. Genotyping was performed using Illumina Cardio-Metabo and Immuno arrays, which include reported proinsulin-associated loci. Participants with type 2 diabetes (n = 904) were omitted from the analysis. Linear regression was used to identify proinsulin-associated genetic variants. Results We identified a proinsulin locus on chromosome 15 (rs8029765) and replicated it in data from 20,003 additional individuals. An 11-SNP score, including the previously identified and the chromosome 15 proinsulin-associated loci, was significantly and negatively associated with baseline IMTmean and IMTmax (the primary cIMT phenotypes) but not with progression measures. However, MR-Eggers refuted any significant effect of the proinsulin-associated 11-SNP score, and a non-pleiotropic SNP score of three variants (including rs8029765) demonstrated no effect on baseline or progression cIMT measures. Conclusions We identified a novel proinsulin-associated locus and demonstrated that whilst proinsulin levels are associated with cIMT measures, proinsulin per se is unlikely to have a causative effect on cIMT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
JournalAtherosclerosis
Volume266
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2017

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Genetic variants
  • Intima-media-thickness
  • Mendelian randomisation
  • Proinsulin
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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