Genetic, anatomic, and clinical determinants of human serum sterol and vitamin D levels.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

An unknown fraction of the genome participates in the metabolism of sterols and vitamin D, two classes of lipids with diverse physiological and pathophysiological roles. Here, we used mass spectrometry to measure the abundance of >60 sterol and vitamin D derivatives in 3,230 serum samples from a well-phenotyped patient population. Twenty-nine of these lipids were detected in a majority of samples at levels that varied over thousands of fold in different individuals. Pairwise correlations between sterol and vitamin D levels revealed evidence for shared metabolic pathways, additional substrates for known enzymes, and transcriptional regulatory networks. Serum levels of multiple sterols and vitamin D metabolites varied significantly by sex, ethnicity, and age. A genome-wide association study identified 16 loci that were associated with levels of 19 sterols and 25-hydroxylated derivatives of vitamin D (P < 10(-7)). Resequencing, expression analysis, and biochemical experiments focused on one such locus (CYP39A1), revealed multiple loss-of-function alleles with additive effects on serum levels of the oxysterol, 24S-hydroxycholesterol, a substrate of the encoded enzyme. Body mass index, serum lipid levels, and hematocrit were strong phenotypic correlates of interindividual variation in multiple sterols and vitamin D metabolites. We conclude that correlating population-based analytical measurements with genotype and phenotype provides productive insight into human intermediary metabolism.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stiles, AR; Kozlitina, J; Thompson, BM; McDonald, JG; King, KS; Russell, DW

Published Date

  • September 23, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 111 / 38

Start / End Page

  • E4006 - E4014

PubMed ID

  • 25201972

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4183318

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1413561111


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States