Genome-wide exploration identifies sex-specific genetic effects of alleles upstream NPY to increase the risk of severe periodontitis in men.

Sandra Freitag-Wolf, Henrik Dommisch, Christian Graetz, Yvonne Jockel-Schneider, Inga Harks, Ingmar Staufenbiel, Joerg Meyle, Peter Eickholz, Barbara Noack, Corinna Bruckmann, Christian Gieger, Søren Jepsen, Wolfgang Lieb, Stefan Schreiber, Inke R König, Arne S Schaefer
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Journal of clinical periodontology
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Periodontitis (PD) is influenced by genetic as well as lifestyle and socio-economic factors. Epidemiological studies show that men are at greater risk of severe forms of PD, suggesting interplay between sex and genetic factors. We aimed to systematically analyse patients with aggressive periodontitis (AgP) for gene-sex interactions.Three hundred and twenty-nine German AgP cases and 983 controls were genotyped with Affymetrix 500K Arrays and were analysed by logistic regression analysis. The most significant gene-sex interaction was replicated in an independent sample of 382 German/Austrian AgP cases and 489 controls.Ten single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in strong linkage disequilibrium (r(2)  > 0.85) upstream the gene neuropeptide Y (NPY) suggested gene-sex interaction (p < 5 × 10(-5) ). SNP rs198712 showed the strongest association in interaction with sex (p = 5.4 × 10(-6) ) with odds ratios in males and females of 1.63 and 0.69 respectively. In the replication, interaction of sex with rs198712 was verified with p = 0.022 (pooled p = 4.03 × 10(-6) ) and similar genetic effects. Analysis of chromatin elements from ENCODE data revealed tissue-specific transcription at the associated non-coding region.This study is the first to observe a sexually dimorphic role of alleles at NPY in humans and support previous genome-wide findings of a role of NPY in severe PD.