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GWAS Identifies Multiple Genetic Loci for Skin Color in Korean Women

Published:October 10, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2021.08.440
      Human skin color is largely determined by genetic factors. Recent GWASs have reported several genetic variants associated with skin color, mostly in European and African populations. In this study, we performed GWAS in 17,019 Korean women to identify genetic variants associated with facial skin color, quantitatively measured as CIELAB color index. We identified variants in three, one, and six genomic loci associated with facial skin color index L∗, a∗, and b∗ values, respectively, and replicated the associations (combined analysis P-value < 5.0 × 10–8). The significant loci included variants in known genes (OCA2 rs74653330, BNC2 rs16935073, rs72620727 near KITLG, and SLC6A17 rs6689641) and to our knowledge previously unreported genes (SCARB1 rs10846744, SYN2 rs12629034, and LINC00486 rs6543678). This is GWAS to elucidate genetic variants of facial skin color in a Korean female population. Further functional characterizations of the investigated genes are warranted to elucidate their contribution to skin pigmentation-related traits.

      Graphical abstract

      Abbreviations:

      BMI (body mass index), QC (quality control), SE (standard error)
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