Bone mineral density (BMD) is a measure of osteoporosis and is useful in evaluating the risk of fracture. In a genome-wide association study of BMD among 20,100 Icelanders, with follow-up in 10,091 subjects of European and East-Asian descent, we found a new BMD locus that harbours the PTCH1 gene, represented by rs28377268 (freq. 11.4-22.6%) that associates with reduced spine BMD (P=1.0 × 10(-11), ß=-0.09). We also identified a new spine BMD signal in RSPO3, rs577721086 (freq. 6.8%), that associates with increased spine BMD (P=6.6 × 10(-10), ß=0.14). Importantly, both variants associate with osteoporotic fractures and affect expression of the PTCH1 and RSPO3 genes that is in line with their influence on BMD and known biological function of these genes. Additional new BMD signals were also found at the AXIN1 and SOST loci and a new lead SNP at the EN1 locus.
We conducted a genome-wide association study of low bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip and spine utilizing sequence variants found through whole-genome sequencing of 2636 Icelanders. We found two rare missense mutations, p.Gly496Ala and p.Gly703Ser, in the COL1A2 gene that associate with measures of osteoporosis in Icelanders. Mutations in COL1A2 are known to cause the autosomal dominant disorder osteogenesis imperfecta. Both variants associate with low BMD and with osteoporotic fractures. p.Gly496Ala (frequency of 0.105%) shows the strongest association with low BMD at the spine (p?=?1.8?×?10(-7) , odds ratio [OR]?=?4.61 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.59, 8.18]), whereas p.Gly703Ser (frequency of 0.050%) is most strongly associated with low BMD at the hip (p?=?1.9?×?10(-8) , OR?=?9.34 [95% CI 4.28, 20.3]). Association with fractures was p?=?2.2?×?10(-5) , OR?=?3.75 (95% CI 2.03, 6.93) and p?=?0.0023, OR?=?4.32 (95% CI 1.69, 11.1), respectively. The carriers of these variants do not have signs of osteogenesis imperfecta other than low BMD, demonstrating that similar mutations in COL1A2 can affect skeletal phenotypes in more than one way.