M.P. Zumaraga, P. J. Medina, J. M. Recto, L. Abrahan, E. Azurin, C. Tanchoco, C. Jimeno, C. P. Saloma


This study aimed to discover genetic variants in the entire 101 kB vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene for vitamin D deficiency in a group of postmenopausal Filipino women using targeted next generation sequencing (TNGS) approach in a case–control study design. A total of 50 women with and without osteoporotic fracture seen at the Philippine Orthopedic Center were included. Blood samples were collected for determination of serum vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and as primary source for targeted VDR gene sequencing using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine. The variant calling was based on the GATK best practice workflow and annotated using Annovar tool. A total of 1496 unique variants in the whole 101-kb VDR gene were identified. Novel sequence variations not registered in the dbSNP database were found among cases and controls at a rate of 23.1% and 16.6% of total discovered variants, respectively. One disease-associated enhancer showed statistically significant association to low serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels (Pearson chi-square P-value=0.009). The transcription factor binding site prediction program PROMO predicted the disruption of three transcription factor binding sites in this enhancer region. These findings show the power of TNGS in identifying sequence variations in a very large gene and the surprising results obtained in this study greatly expand the catalog of known VDR sequence variants that may represent an important clue in the emergence of vitamin D deficiency. Such information will also provide the additional guidance necessary toward a personalized nutritional advice to reach sufficient vitamin D status.

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