Journal Articles

Publication Date



Nature Communications


There is a long-standing debate about the magnitude of the contribution of gene-environment interactions to phenotypic variations of complex traits owing to the low statistical power and few reported interactions to date. to address this issue, the Gene-Lifestyle Interactions Working Group within the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genetic Epidemiology Consortium has been spearheading efforts to investigate G × E in large and diverse samples through meta-analysis. Here, we present a powerful new approach to screen for interactions across the genome, an approach that shares substantial similarity to the Mendelian randomization framework. We identify and confirm 5 loci (6 independent signals) interacted with either cigarette smoking or alcohol consumption for serum lipids, and empirically demonstrate that interaction and mediation are the major contributors to genetic effect size heterogeneity across populations. The estimated lower bound of the interaction and environmentally mediated heritability is significant (P < 0.02) for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides in Cross-Population data. Our study improves the understanding of the genetic architecture and environmental contributions to complex traits.


Gene-Environment Interaction, Humans, Genome-Wide Association Study, Multifactorial Inheritance, Male, Triglycerides, Female, Alcohol Drinking, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Phenotype, Cholesterol, LDL, Cigarette Smoking, Quantitative Trait Loci, Middle Aged



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