Genome-wide association studies suggest that APOL1-environment interactions more likely trigger kidney disease in African Americans with nondiabetic nephropathy than strong APOL1–second gene interactions

Academic Article


  • African Americans carrying two apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) renal risk variants have a high risk for nephropathy. However, only a minority develops end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Hence, modifying factors likely contribute to initiation of kidney disease such as endogenous (HIV infection) or exogenous (interferon treatment) environmental modifiers. In this report, genome-wide association studies and a meta-analysis were performed to identify novel loci for nondiabetic ESRD in African Americans and to detect genetic modifiers in APOL1-associated nephropathy. Two African American cohorts were analyzed, 1749 nondiabetic ESRD cases and 1136 controls from Wake Forest and 901 lupus nephritis (LN)–ESRD cases and 520 controls with systemic lupus erythematosus but lacking nephropathy from the LN-ESRD Consortium. Association analyses adjusting for APOL1 G1/G2 renal-risk variants were completed and stratified by APOL1 risk genotype status. Individual genome-wide association studies and meta-analysis results of all 2650 ESRD cases and 1656 controls did not detect significant genome-wide associations with ESRD beyond APOL1. Similarly, no single nucleotide polymorphism showed significant genome-wide evidence of an interaction with APOL1 risk variants. Thus, although variants with small individual effects cannot be ruled out and are likely to exist, our results suggest that APOL1-environment interactions may be of greater clinical importance in triggering nephropathy in African Americans than APOL1 interactions with other single nucleotide polymorphisms.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 18403172
  • Author List

  • Langefeld CD; Comeau ME; Ng MCY; Guan M; Dimitrov L; Mudgal P; Spainhour MH; Julian BA; Edberg JC; Croker JA
  • Start Page

  • 599
  • End Page

  • 607
  • Volume

  • 94
  • Issue

  • 3