PR interval genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies 50 loci associated with atrial and atrioventricular electrical activity

Jessica van Setten*, Jennifer A. Brody, Yalda Jamshidi, Brenton R. Swenson, Anne M. Butler, Harry Campbell, Fabiola M. Del Greco, Daniel S. Evans, Quince Gibson, Daniel F. Gudbjartsson, Kathleen F. Kerr, Bouwe P. Krijthe, Leo-Pekka Lyytikainen, Christian Mueller, Martina Mueller-Nurasyid, Ilja M. Nolte, Sandosh Padmanabhan, Marylyn D. Ritchie, Antonietta Robino, Albert V. SmithMaristella Steri, Toshiko Tanaka, Alexander Teumer, Stella Trompet, Sheila Ulivi, Niek Verweij, Xiaoyan Yin, David O. Arnar, Folkert W. Asselbergs, Joel S. Bader, John Barnard, Josh Bis, Stefan Blankenberg, Eric Boerwinkle, Yuki Bradford, Brendan M. Buckley, Mina K. Chung, Dana Crawford, Marcel den Hoed, Josh C. Denny, Anna F. Dominiczak, Georg B. Ehret, Mark Eijgelsheim, Patrick T. Ellinor, Stephan B. Felix, Oscar H. Franco, Lude Franke, Tamara B. Harris, Harm Jan Westra, Pim van der Harst, Harmen Snieder

*Corresponding author for this work

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Electrocardiographic PR interval measures atrio-ventricular depolarization and conduction, and abnormal PR interval is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation and heart block. Our genome-wide association study of over 92,000 European-descent individuals identifies 44 PR interval loci (34 novel). Examination of these loci reveals known and previously not-yet-reported biological processes involved in cardiac atrial electrical activity. Genes in these loci are over-represented in cardiac disease processes including heart block and atrial fibrillation. Variants in over half of the 44 loci were associated with atrial or blood transcript expression levels, or were in high linkage disequilibrium with missense variants. Six additional loci were identified either by meta-analysis of ~105,000 African and European-descent individuals and/or by pleiotropic analyses combining PR interval with heart rate, QRS interval, and atrial fibrillation. These findings implicate developmental pathways, and identify transcription factors, ion-channel genes, and cell-junction/cell-signaling proteins in atrio-ventricular conduction, identifying potential targets for drug development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2904
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25-Jul-2018


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