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Gut : journal of the British Society of Gastroenterology
OBJECTIVE:Diverticular disease is a common complex disorder characterised by mucosal outpouchings of the colonic wall that manifests through complications such as diverticulitis, perforation and bleeding. We report the to date largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genetic risk factors for diverticular disease. DESIGN:Discovery GWAS analysis was performed on UK Biobank imputed genotypes using 31 964 cases and 419 135 controls of European descent. Associations were replicated in a European sample of 3893 cases and 2829 diverticula-free controls and evaluated for risk contribution to diverticulitis and uncomplicated diverticulosis. Transcripts at top 20 replicating loci were analysed by real-time quatitative PCR in preparations of the mucosal, submucosal and muscular layer of colon. The localisation of expressed protein at selected loci was investigated by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS:We discovered 48 risk loci, of which 12 are novel, with genome-wide significance and consistent OR in the replication sample. Nominal replication (p<0.05) was observed for 27 loci, and additional 8 in meta-analysis with a population-based cohort. The most significant novel risk variant rs9960286 is located near CTAGE1 with a p value of 2.3×10-10 and 0.002 (ORallelic=1.14 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.24)) in the replication analysis. Four loci showed stronger effects for diverticulitis, PHGR1 (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.56), FAM155A-2 (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.42), CALCB (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.33) and S100A10 (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.33). CONCLUSION:In silico analyses point to diverticulosis primarily as a disorder of intestinal neuromuscular function and of impaired connective fibre support, while an additional diverticulitis risk might be conferred by epithelial dysfunction.