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Sniffing out significant "Pee values": genome wide association study of asparagus anosmia
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA.
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA.
Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA.
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA; Department of Statistics, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA.
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2016 (English)In: BMJ. British Medical Journal, E-ISSN 1756-1833, Vol. 355, i6071Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To determine the inherited factors associated with the ability to smell asparagus metabolites in urine.

Design: Genome wide association study.

Sstting: Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study cohorts.

Participants: 6909 men and women of European-American descent with available genetic data from genome wide association studies.

Main outcome measure: Participants were characterized as asparagus smellers if they strongly agreed with the prompt "after eating asparagus, you notice a strong characteristic odor in your urine," and anosmic if otherwise. We calculated per-allele estimates of asparagus anosmia for about nine million single nucleotide polymorphisms using logistic regression. P values <5×10(-8) were considered as genome wide significant.

Results: 58.0% of men (n=1449/2500) and 61.5% of women (n=2712/4409) had anosmia. 871 single nucleotide polymorphisms reached genome wide significance for asparagus anosmia, all in a region on chromosome 1 (1q44: 248139851-248595299) containing multiple genes in the olfactory receptor 2 (OR2) family. Conditional analyses revealed three independent markers associated with asparagus anosmia: rs13373863, rs71538191, and rs6689553.

Conclusion: A large proportion of people have asparagus anosmia. Genetic variation near multiple olfactory receptor genes is associated with the ability of an individual to smell the metabolites of asparagus in urine. Future replication studies are necessary before considering targeted therapies to help anosmic people discover what they are missing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd, 2016. Vol. 355, i6071
National Category
Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54099DOI: 10.1136/bmj.i6071ISI: 000390150800001PubMedID: 27965198Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85006341240OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-54099DiVA: diva2:1058607
Note

Funding Agencies:

National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) UM1 CA167552  R01 HL35464  UM1 CA186107  R01 CA49449  R01 HL034594  R01 HL088521

National Cancer Institute at the NIH NIH T32 CA09001

Prostate Cancer Foundation

Available from: 2016-12-21 Created: 2016-12-20 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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