Common variation in cytoskeletal genes is associated with conotruncal heart defects

Fadi I. Musfee, A. J. Agopian, Elizabeth Goldmuntz, Hakon Hakonarson, Bernice E. Morrow, Deanne M. Taylor, Martin Tristani-Firouzi, W. Scott Watkins, Mark Yandell, Laura E. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There is strong evidence for a genetic contribution to non-syndromic congenital heart defects (CHDs). However, exome-and genome-wide studies conducted at the variant and genelevel have identified few genome-wide significant CHD-related genes. Gene-set analyses are a useful complement to such studies and candidate gene-set analyses of rare variants have provided insight into the genetics of CHDs. However, similar analyses have not been conducted using data on common genetic variants. Consequently, we conducted common variant analyses of 15 CHD candidate gene-sets, using data from two common types of CHDs: conotruncal heart defects (1431 cases) and left ventricular outflow tract defects (509 cases). After Bonferroni correction for evaluation of multiple gene-sets, the cytoskeletal gene-set was significantly associated with conotruncal heart defects (βS = 0.09; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.03–0.15). This association was stronger when analyses were restricted to the sub-set of cytoskeletal genes that have been observed to harbor rare damaging genotypes in at least two CHD cases (βS = 0.32, 95% CI 0.08–0.56). These findings add to the evidence linking cytoskeletal genes to CHDs and suggest that, for cytoskeletal genes, common variation may contribute to the risk of CHDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number655
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • Association
  • Case-control
  • Case-parent trios
  • Congenital
  • Conotruncal
  • Gene
  • Genetics
  • Genome-wide
  • Heart
  • Malformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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