Genetic Analyses of Enamel Hypoplasia in Multiethnic Cohorts.
Enamel hypoplasia causes reduction in the thickness of affected enamel and is one of the most common dental anomalies. This defect is caused by environmental and/or genetic factors that interfere with tooth formation, emphasizing the importance of investigating enamel hypoplasia on an epidemiological and genetic level. A genome-wide association of enamel hypoplasia was performed in multiple cohorts, overall comprising 7,159 individuals ranging in age from 7-82 years. Mixed-models were used to test for genetic association while simultaneously accounting for relatedness and genetic population structure. Meta-analysis was then performed. More than 5 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms were tested in individual cohorts. Analyses of the individual cohorts and meta-analysis identified association signals close to genome-wide significance (P < 510-8), and many suggestive association signals (510-8 < P < 510-6) near genes with plausible roles in tooth/enamel development. The strongest association signal (P = 1.5710-9) was observed near BMP2K in one of the individual cohorts. Additional suggestive signals were observed near genes with plausible roles in tooth development in the meta-analysis, such as SLC4A4 which can influence enamel hypoplasia. Additional human genetic studies are needed to replicate these results and functional studies in model systems are needed to validate our findings.