Identification of common non-coding variants at 1p22 that are functional for non-syndromic orofacial clefting. uri icon

abstract

  • Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) do not distinguish between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are causal and those that are merely in linkage-disequilibrium with causal mutations. Here we describe a versatile, functional pipeline and apply it to SNPs at 1p22, a locus identified in several GWAS for non-syndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NS CL/P). First we amplified DNA elements containing the ten most-highly risk-associated SNPs and tested their enhancer activity in vitro, identifying three SNPs with allele-dependent effects on such activity. We then used in vivo reporter assays to test the tissue-specificity of these enhancers, chromatin configuration capture to test enhancer-promoter interactions, and genome editing in vitro to show allele-specific effects on ARHGAP29 expression and cell migration. Our results further indicate that two SNPs affect binding of CL/P-associated transcription factors, and one affects chromatin configuration. These results translate risk into potential mechanisms of pathogenesis.

publication date

  • March 13, 2017