Overlap of genetic risk between interstitial lung abnormalities and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

COPDGene Investigators, ECLIPSE Investigators, SPIROMICS Research Group, UK ILD Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Rationale: Interstitial lung abnormalities (ILAs) are associated with the highest genetic risk locus for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF); however, the extent to which there are unique associationsamong individuals with ILAs or additional overlap with IPF is not known. Objectives: To perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of ILAs. Methods: ILAs and a subpleural-predominant subtype were assessed on chest computed tomography (CT) scans in the AGES (Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility), COPDGene (Genetic Epidemiology of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [COPD]), Framingham Heart, ECLIPSE (Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate End-points), MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), and SPIROMICS (Subpopulations and Intermediate Outcome Measures in COPD Study) studies. We performed a GWAS of ILAs in each cohort and combined the results using a meta-analysis. We assessed for overlapping associations in independent GWASs of IPF. Measurements and Main Results: Genome-wide genotyping data were available for 1,699 individuals with ILAs and 10,274 control subjects. The MUC5B (mucin 5B) promoter variant rs35705950 was significantly associated with both ILAs (P = 2.6310227) and subpleural ILAs (P = 1.6310229). We discovered novel genomewide associations near IPO11 (rs6886640, P = 3.831028) and FCF1P3 (rs73199442, P = 4.831028) with ILAs, and near HTRE1 (rs7744971, P = 4.231028) with subpleural-predominant ILAs. These novel associations were not associated with IPF. Among 12 previously reported IPFGWASloci, five (DPP9, DSP, FAM13A, IVD, and MUC5B) were significantly associated (P,0.05/12) with ILAs. Conclusions: In a GWAS of ILAs in six studies, we confirmed the association with a MUC5B promoter variant and found strong evidence for an effect of previously described IPF loci; however, novel ILA associations were not associated with IPF. These findings highlight common genetically driven biologic pathways between ILAs and IPF, and also suggest distinct ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1402-1413
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2021


  • Genetics
  • Genome-wide association study
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Interstitial lung abnormalities
  • SNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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