The Genetic Architecture of Liver Enzyme Levels: GGT, ALT and AST

J.H.D.A. van Beek, M.H.M. de Moor, E.J.C. de Geus, G.H. Lubke, J.M. Vink, G. Willemsen, D.I. Boomsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


High levels of liver enzymes GGT, ALT and AST are predictive of disease and all-cause mortality and can reflect liver injury, fatty liver and/or oxidative stress. Variation in GGT, ALT and AST levels is heritable. Moderation of the heritability of these liver enzymes by age and sex has not often been explored, and it is not clear to what extent non-additive genetic and shared environmental factors may play a role. To examine the genetic architecture of GGT, ALT and AST, plasma levels were assessed in a large sample of twins, their siblings, parents and spouses (N = 8,371; age range 18-90). For GGT and ALT, but not for AST, genetic structural equation modeling showed evidence for quantitative sex differences in the genetic architecture. There was no evidence for qualitative sex differences, i.e. the same genes were expressed in males and females. Both additive and non-additive genetic factors were important for GGT in females (total heritability h
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-339
JournalBehavior Genetics
Issue number4
Early online date12 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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