Human height is a complex trait under the control of both genetic and environment factors. In order to identify genomic regions underlying the variation of stature, we performed a whole-genome linkage analysis on a sample of 53 human pedigrees containing 1,249 sib pairs, 1,098 grandparent-grandchildren pairs, 1,993 avuncular pairs, and 1,172 first-cousin pairs. Several genomic regions were suggested by our study to be linked with human height variation. These regions include 5q31 at 144 cM from pter on chromosome 5 (with a maximum LOD score of 2.14 in multipoint linkage analyses), Xp22 at the marker DXS1060, and Xq25 at DXS1001 on the X chromosome (with LOD scores of 1.95 and 1.91, respectively, in two-point linkage analyses). Noticeably, Xp22 happens to be the very region where a newly identified gene underlying idiopathic short stature, SHOX, maps. Based on our findings, further confirmation and fine-mapping studies are to be pursued on expanded samples and/or with denser markers for eventual identification of major functional genes involved in human height variation.
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