Genome wide association study identifies the HMGCS2 locus to be associated with chlorthalidone induced glucose increase in hypertensive patients

Sonal Singh, Caitrin W. McDonough, Yan Gong, Wael A. Alghamdi, Meghan J. Arwood, Salma A. Bargal, Leanne Dumeny, Wen Yi Li, Mai Mehanna, Bradley Stockard, Guang Yang, Felipe A. de Oliveira, Natalie C. Fredette, Mohamed H. Shahin, Kent R. Bailey, Amber L. Beitelshees, Eric Boerwinkle, Arlene B. Chapman, John G. Gums, Stephen T. TurnerRhonda M. Cooper-DeHoff, Julie A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background--Thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics are first-line medications for treating uncomplicated hypertension. However, their use has been associated with adverse metabolic events, including hyperglycemia and incident diabetes mellitus, with incompletely understood mechanisms. Our goal was to identify genomic variants associated with thiazide-like diuretic/chlorthalidone-induced glucose change. Methods and Results--Genome-wide analysis of glucose change after treatment with chlorthalidone was performed by race among the white (n=175) and black (n=135) participants from the PEAR-2 (Pharmacogenomic Evaluation of Antihypertensive Responses-2). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms with P < 5910 -8 were further prioritized using in silico analysis based on their expression quantitative trait loci function. Among blacks, an intronic single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs9943291) in the HMGCS2 was associated with increase in glucose levels following chlorthalidone treatment (β=12.5; P=4.17910 -8 ). G-allele carriers of HMGCS2 had higher glucose levels (glucose change=+16.29 mg/dL) post chlorthalidone treatment compared with noncarriers of G allele (glucose change=+2.80 mg/dL). This association was successfully replicated in an independent replication cohort of hydrochlorothiazide-treated participants from the PEAR study (β=5.54; P=0.023). A meta-analysis of the 2 studies was performed by race in Meta-Analysis Helper, where this single-nucleotide polymorphism, rs9943291, was genome-wide significant with a metaanalysis P value of 3.71910 -8 . HMGCS2, a part of the HMG-CoA synthase family, is important for ketogenesis and cholesterol synthesis pathways that are essential in glucose homeostasis. Conclusions--These results suggest that HMGCS2 is a promising candidate gene involved in chlorthalidone and Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ)-induced glucose change. This may provide insights into the mechanisms involved in thiazide-induced hyperglycemia that may ultimately facilitate personalized approaches to antihypertensive selection for hypertension treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere007339
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 20 2018


  • Chlorthalidone
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Genome-wide association study
  • Glucose
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Pharmacogenomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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