Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the most common pediatric skeletal disease. We previously reported a locus on chromosome 10q24.31 associated with AIS susceptibility in Japanese using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) consisting of 1,033 cases and 1,473 controls. To identify additional AIS-associated loci, we expanded the study by adding X-chromosome SNPs in the GWAS and increasing the size of the replication cohorts. Through a stepwise association study including 1,819 cases and 25,939 controls, we identified a new susceptibility locus on chromosome 6q24.1 in Japanese (P = 2.25 × 10 -10; odds ratio (OR) = 1.28). The most significantly associated SNP, rs6570507, was in GPR126 (encoding G protein-coupled receptor 126). Its association was replicated in Han Chinese and European-ancestry populations (combined P = 1.27 × 10-14; OR = 1.27). GPR126 was highly expressed in cartilage, and the knockdown of gpr126 in zebrafish caused delayed ossification of the developing spine. Our results should provide insights into the etiology and pathogenesis of AIS.
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