rs641738C>T near MBOAT7 is associated with liver fat, ALT, and fibrosis in NAFLD: a meta-analysis
Background & aims: A common genetic variant near MBOAT7 (rs641738C>T) has been previously associated with hepatic fat and advanced histology in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), however, these findings have not been consistently replicated in the literature. We aimed to establish whether rs641738C>T is a risk factor across the spectrum of NAFLD and characterize its role in the regulation of related metabolic phenotypes through meta-analysis.
Methods: We performed meta-analysis of studies with data on the association between rs641738C>T genotype and: liver fat, NAFLD histology, and serum ALT, lipids, or insulin. These included directly genotyped studies and population-level data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We performed random effects meta-analysis using recessive, additive, and dominant genetic models.
Results: Data from 1,066,175 participants (9,688 with liver biopsies) across 42 studies were included in the meta-analysis. rs641738C>T was associated with higher liver fat on CT/MRI (+0.03 standard deviations [95% CI: 0.02 - 0.05], pz=4.8x10-5) and diagnosis of NAFLD (OR 1.17 [95% CI 1.05 - 1.3], pz=0.003) in Caucasian adults. The variant was also positively associated with presence of advanced fibrosis (OR 1.22 [95% CI: 1.03 - 1.45], pz=0.021) in Caucasian adults using a recessive model of inheritance (CC+CT vs. TT). Meta-analysis of data from previous GWAS found the variant to be associated with higher ALT (pz=0.002) and lower serum triglycerides (pz=1.5x10-4). rs641738C>T was not associated with fasting insulin and no effect was observed in children with NAFLD.
Conclusion: Our study validates rs641738C>T near MBOAT7 as a risk factor for the presence and severity of NAFLD in individuals of European descent.
Publication titleJournal of Hepatology
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
Place of publicationPo Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae
Rights statementCopyright 2020 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license