Variants on a genetic locus related to osteoarthritis also affect the height of an individual according to research in Nature Genetics. The genome-wide association analysis indicates that there may be a link between height and osteoarthritis, which could be mediated by alterations in bone growth and development.
Genes related to height in the general population have previously been identified, along with several rare genetic variants associated with height and genetic disease. Karen Mohlke and colleagues report genome wide genetic markers of around 6,500 individuals and complete a follow-up analysis of almost 30,000 people. They describe how common variants on GDF5-UQCC can affect height by around half a centimeter. This region, coupled with the previously identified HMGA2, account for a small percentage of height variant, with more than 80% still unexplained.
It seems likely that many of the variants influencing height will have similarly small effects but follow up research could be relevant not just to height but to musculoskeletal or other diseases.
Karen Mohlke (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Genetics press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza