Ancestry-driven metabolite variation provides insights into disease states in admixed populations

Kaylia M. Reynolds, Andrea R.V.R. Horimoto, Bridget M. Lin, Ying Zhang, Nuzulul Kurniansyah, Bing Yu, Eric Boerwinkle, Qibin Qi, Robert Kaplan, Martha Daviglus, Lifang Hou, Laura Y. Zhou, Jianwen Cai, Saame Raza Shaikh, Tamar Sofer, Sharon R. Browning, Nora Franceschini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Metabolic pathways are related to physiological functions and disease states and are influenced by genetic variation and environmental factors. Hispanics/Latino individuals have ancestry-derived genomic regions (local ancestry) from their recent admixture that have been less characterized for associations with metabolite abundance and disease risk. Methods: We performed admixture mapping of 640 circulating metabolites in 3887 Hispanic/Latino individuals from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Metabolites were quantified in fasting serum through non-targeted mass spectrometry (MS) analysis using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-MS/MS. Replication was performed in 1856 nonoverlapping HCHS/SOL participants with metabolomic data. Results: By leveraging local ancestry, this study identified significant ancestry-enriched associations for 78 circulating metabolites at 484 independent regions, including 116 novel metabolite-genomic region associations that replicated in an independent sample. Among the main findings, we identified Native American enriched genomic regions at chromosomes 11 and 15, mapping to FADS1/FADS2 and LIPC, respectively, associated with reduced long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolites implicated in metabolic and inflammatory pathways. An African-derived genomic region at chromosome 2 was associated with N-acetylated amino acid metabolites. This region, mapped to ALMS1, is associated with chronic kidney disease, a disease that disproportionately burdens individuals of African descent. Conclusions: Our findings provide important insights into differences in metabolite quantities related to ancestry in admixed populations including metabolites related to regulation of lipid polyunsaturated fatty acids and N-acetylated amino acids, which may have implications for common diseases in populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalGenome Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Admixture mapping
  • Hispanics/Latino populations
  • Local ancestry
  • Metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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