Genome-Wide and Gene-Based Meta-Analyses Identify Novel Loci Influencing Blood Pressure Response to Hydrochlorothiazide

Erika Salvi, Zhiying Wang, Federica Rizzi, Yan Gong, Caitrin W. McDonough, Sandosh Padmanabhan, Timo P. Hiltunen, Chiara Lanzani, Roberta Zaninello, Martina Chittani, Kent R. Bailey, Antti Pekka Sarin, Matteo Barcella, Olle Melander, Arlene B. Chapman, Paolo Manunta, Kimmo K. Kontula, Nicola Glorioso, Daniele Cusi, Anna F. DominiczakJulie A. Johnson, Cristina Barlassina, Eric Boerwinkle, Rhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, Stephen T. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study aimed to identify novel loci influencing the antihypertensive response to hydrochlorothiazide monotherapy. A genome-wide meta-analysis of blood pressure (BP) response to hydrochlorothiazide was performed in 1739 white hypertensives from 6 clinical trials within the International Consortium for Antihypertensive Pharmacogenomics Studies, making it the largest study to date of its kind. No signals reached genome-wide significance (P<5×10 - 8), and the suggestive regions (P<10 -5) were cross-validated in 2 black cohorts treated with hydrochlorothiazide. In addition, a gene-based analysis was performed on candidate genes with previous evidence of involvement in diuretic response, in BP regulation, or in hypertension susceptibility. Using the genome-wide meta-analysis approach, with validation in blacks, we identified 2 suggestive regulatory regions linked to gap junction protein α1 gene (GJA1) and forkhead box A1 gene (FOXA1), relevant for cardiovascular and kidney function. With the gene-based approach, we identified hydroxy-delta-5-steroid dehydrogenase, 3 β- and steroid δ-isomerase 1 gene (HSD3B1) as significantly associated with BP response (P<2.28×10 - 4). HSD3B1 encodes the 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzyme and plays a crucial role in the biosynthesis of aldosterone and endogenous ouabain. By amassing all of the available pharmacogenomic studies of BP response to hydrochlorothiazide, and using 2 different analytic approaches, we identified 3 novel loci influencing BP response to hydrochlorothiazide. The gene-based analysis, never before applied to pharmacogenomics of antihypertensive drugs to our knowledge, provided a powerful strategy to identify a locus of interest, which was not identified in the genome-wide meta-analysis because of high allelic heterogeneity. These data pave the way for future investigations on new pathways and drug targets to enhance the current understanding of personalized antihypertensive treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • blood pressure response
  • diuretics
  • genome-wide association study
  • hydrochlorothiazide
  • hypertension
  • meta-analysis
  • pharmacogenomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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