Background Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified multiple susceptibility loci for migraine in European adults. However, no large-scale genetic studies have been performed in children or African Americans with migraine.
Methods We conducted a GWAS of 380 African-American children and 2129 ancestry-matched controls to identify variants associated with migraine. We then attempted to replicate our primary analysis in an independent cohort of 233 African-American patients and 4038 non-migraine control subjects.
Results The results of this study indicate that common variants at 5q33.1 associated with migraine risk in African-American children (rs72793414, p=1.94×10−9). The association was validated in an independent study (p=3.87×10−3) for an overall meta-analysis p value of 3.81×10−10. eQTL (Expression quantitative trait loci) analysis of the Genotype-Tissue Expression data also shows the genotypes of rs72793414 were strongly correlated with the mRNA expression levels of NMUR2 at 5q33.1. NMUR2 encodes a G protein-coupled receptor of neuromedin-U (NMU). NMU, a highly conserved neuropeptide, participates in diverse physiological processes of the central nervous system.
Conclusions This study provides new insights into the genetic basis of childhood migraine and allow for precision therapeutic development strategies targeting migraine patients of African-American ancestry.
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