RRC ID 78481
Author Mohammed J, Arora N, Matthews HS, Hansen K, Bader M, Walsh S, Shaffer JR, Weinberg SM, Swigut T, Claes P, Selleri L, Wysocka J.
Title A common cis-regulatory variant impacts normal-range and disease-associated human facial shape through regulation of PKDCC during chondrogenesis.
Journal Elife
Abstract Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified thousands of genetic variants linked to phenotypic traits and disease risk. However, mechanistic understanding of how GWAS variants influence complex morphological traits and can, in certain cases, simultaneously confer normal-range phenotypic variation and disease predisposition, is still largely lacking. Here, we focus on rs6740960, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at the 2p21 locus, which in GWAS studies has been associated both with normal-range variation in jaw shape and with an increased risk of non-syndromic orofacial clefting. Using in vitro derived embryonic cell types relevant for human facial morphogenesis, we show that this SNP resides in an enhancer that regulates chondrocytic expression of PKDCC - a gene encoding a tyrosine kinase involved in chondrogenesis and skeletal development. In agreement, we demonstrate that the rs6740960 SNP is sufficient to confer chondrocyte-specific differences in PKDCC expression. By deploying dense landmark morphometric analysis of skull elements in mice, we show that changes in Pkdcc dosage are associated with quantitative changes in the maxilla, mandible, and palatine bone shape that are concordant with the facial phenotypes and disease predisposition seen in humans. We further demonstrate that the frequency of the rs6740960 variant strongly deviated among different human populations, and that the activity of its cognate enhancer diverged in hominids. Our study provides a mechanistic explanation of how a common SNP can mediate normal-range and disease-associated morphological variation, with implications for the evolution of human facial features.
Volume 13
Published 2024-3-14
DOI 10.7554/eLife.82564
PII 82564
PMID 38483448
PMC PMC10939500
MeSH Animals Chondrogenesis* / genetics Face Genome-Wide Association Study* Head Humans Mice Skull
Mice RBRC05275