Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia affecting 1-2% of the general population. A number of studies have demonstrated that AF, and in particular lone AF, has a substantial genetic component. Monogenic mutations in lone and familial AF, although rare, have been recognized for many years. Presently, mutations in 25 genes have been associated with AF. However, the complexity of monogenic AF is illustrated by the recent finding that both gain- and loss-of-function mutations in the same gene can cause AF. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have indicated that common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have a role in the development of AF. Following the first GWAS discovering the association between PITX2 and AF, several new GWAS reports have identified SNPs associated with susceptibility of AF. To date, nine SNPs have been associated with AF. The exact biological pathways involving these SNPs and the development of AF are now starting to be elucidated. Since the first GWAS, the number of papers concerning the genetic basis of AF has increased drastically and the majority of these papers are for the first time included in a review. In this review, we discuss the genetic basis of AF and the role of both common and rare genetic variants in the susceptibility of developing AF. Furthermore, all rare variants reported to be associated with AF were systematically searched for in the Exome Sequencing Project Exome Variant Server.
European Journal of Human Genetics, 2014, Vol 22, Issue 3, p. 297-306
Atrial Fibrillation; Genetic Loci; Homeodomain Proteins; Humans; Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide; Transcription Factors; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review