Magnesium ions are essential to the basic metabolic processes in the human body. Previous genetic studies indicate that serum magnesium levels are highly heritable, and a few genetic loci have been reported involving regulation of serum magnesium in adults. In this study, we examined if additional loci influence serum magnesium levels in children. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 2,267 European-American children genotyped on the Illumina HumanHap550 or Quad610 arrays, sharing over 500,000 markers, as the discovery cohort and 257 European-American children genotyped on the Illumina Human OmniExpress arrays as the replication cohort. After genotype imputation, the strongest associations uncovered were with imputed SNPs residing within the FGFR2 (rs1219515, P = 1.1 × 10-5) and PAPSS2 (rs1969821, P = 7.2 × 10-6) loci in the discovery cohort, both of which were robustly replicated in our independent patient cohort (rs1219515, P = 3.5 × 10-3; rs1969821, P = 1.2 × 10-2). The associations at the FGFR2 locus were also weakly replicated in a dataset from a previous GWAS of serum magnesium in European adults. Our results indicate that FGFR2 and PAPSS2 may play an important role in the regulation of magnesium homeostasis in children of European-American ancestry.
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