Shared heritability of face and brain shape distinct from cognitive traits [article]

Sahin Naqvi, Yoeri Sleyp, Hanne Hoskens, Karlijne Indencleef, Jeffrey P Spence, Rose Bruffaerts, Ahmed Radwan, Ryan Joseph Eller, Stephen Richmond, Mark D Shriver, John D. Shaffer, Seth M Weinberg (+7 others)
2020 biorxiv/medrxiv   pre-print
Evidence from both model organisms and clinical genetics suggests close coordination between the developing brain and face, but it remains unknown whether this developmental link extends to genetic variation that drives normal-range diversity of face and brain shape. Here, we performed a multivariate genome-wide association study of cortical surface morphology in 19,644 European-ancestry individuals and identified 472 genomic loci influencing brain shape at multiple levels. We discovered a
more » ... antial overlap of these brain shape association signals with those linked to facial shape variation, with 76 common to both. These shared loci include transcription factors with cell-intrinsic roles in craniofacial development, as well as members of signaling pathways involved in brain-face crosstalk. Brain shape heritability is equivalently enriched near regulatory regions active in either brain organoids or in facial progenitor cells. However, brain shape association signals shared with face shape are distinct from those shared with behavioral-cognitive traits or neuropsychiatric disorder risk. Together, we uncover common genetic variants and candidate molecular players underlying brain-face interactions. We propose that early in embryogenesis, the face and the brain mutually shape each other through a combination of structural effects and paracrine signaling, but this interplay may have little impact on later brain development associated with cognitive function.
doi:10.1101/2020.08.29.269258 fatcat:qoocqjv7snblnd3s3gjlym2u54