We have studied the impact of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) on the chromosome 19 linkage peak from an analysis of sib-pairs affected by Alzheimer’s disease. We genotyped 417 affected sib-pairs (ASPs) collected in Sweden and Norway (SWE), the UK and the USA for 10 microsatellite markers on chromosome 19. The highest Zlr (3.28, chromosome-wide P-value 0.036) from the multipoint linkage analysis was located approximately 1 Mb from APOE, at marker D19S178. The linkage to chromosome 19 was well explained by APOE in the whole sample as well as in the UK and USA subsamples, as identity by descent (IBD) increased with the number of ε4 alleles in ASPs. There was a suggestion from the SWE subsample that linkage was higher than would be expected from APOE alone, although the test for this did not reach formal statistical significance. There was also a significant age at onset (aao) effect on linkage to chromosome 19q13 in the whole sample, which manifested itself as increased IBD sharing in relative pairs with lower mean aao. This effect was partially, although not completely, explained by APOE. The aao effect varied considerably between the different subsamples, with most of the effect coming from the UK sample. The other samples showed smaller effects in the same direction, but these were not significant.
Alzheimer’s disease; APOE; linkage; age at onset; apolipoprotein E
In previous analyses, we identified a region of chromosome 19 as harboring a susceptibility locus for chronic otitis media with effusion and/or recurrent otitis media (COME/ROM). Our aim was to further localize the linkage signal and ultimately identify the causative variant or variants. We followed up our previous linkage scan with dense SNP genotyping across in a 5 Mb region. A total of 607 individuals from 139 families, including 159 affected sib pairs and 62 second-degree affected relative pairs, were genotyped at 1,091 SNPs. We carried out a nonparametric linkage analysis, modeling marker-to-marker linkage disequilibrium.
The maximum log of the odds (LOD) score increased to 3.75 (P = 1.6 × 10-5) at position 63.4 Mb, with a LOD-1 support interval between 61.6 Mb and 63.8 Mb, providing significant evidence of linkage between this region and COME/ROM. The support interval contains over 90 known genes, including several genes involved in the inflammasome protein complex, a key regulator of the innate immune response to harmful exogenous or endogenous stimuli. Parametric linkage analysis suggests that for a sib of an affected individual, the recurrence risk of COME/ROM due to this linkage region is twice the recurrence risk in the population. We examined potential associations between the SNPs genotyped in this region and COME/ROM, however none provided evidence for association.
This study has refined the 19q region of linkage with COME/ROM, and association results suggest that the linkage signal may be due to rare variants.
Linkage; fine mapping; otolaryngology
The search for susceptibility loci in hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) has proven challenging due to genetic and disease heterogeneity. Multiple risk loci have been identified to date, however few loci have been replicated across independent linkage studies. In addition, most previous analyses have been hampered by the relatively poor information content provided by microsatellite scans. To overcome these issues, we have performed linkage analyses on members of 301 HPC families genotyped using the Illumina SNP linkage panel IVb. The information content for this panel, averaged over all pedigrees and all chromosomes, was 86% (range 83–87% over chromosomes). Analyses were also stratified on families according to disease aggressiveness, age at diagnosis and number of affected individuals to achieve more genetically homogeneous subsets. Suggestive evidence for linkage was identified at 7q21 (HLOD = 1.87), 8q22 (KCLOD = 1.88) and 15q13–q14 (HLOD = 1.99) in 289 Caucasian families, and nominal evidence for linkage was identified at 2q24 (LOD = 1.73) in 12 African American families. Analysis of more aggressive prostate cancer phenotypes provided evidence for linkage to 11q25 (KCLOD = 2.02), 15q26 (HLOD = 1.99) and 17p12 (HLOD = 2.13). Subset analyses according to age at diagnosis and number of affected individuals also identified several regions with suggestive evidence for linkage, including a KCLOD of 2.82 at 15q13–q14 in 128 Caucasian families with younger ages at diagnosis. The results presented here provide further evidence for a prostate cancer susceptibility locus on chromosome 15q and demonstrate the power of utilizing high information content SNP scans in combination with homogenous collections of large prostate cancer pedigrees.
Studies of alcohol dependence (AD) have consistently found evidence of linkage on chromosome 4q21–q32. A genome-wide linkage scan in the Irish Affected Sib Pair Study of Alcohol Dependence (IASPSAD) sample also provided its strongest evidence of linkage on chromosome 4q22–q32 using an index of AD severity based on the count of DSM-IV AD symptoms (ADSX; LOD = 4.59). We conducted a systematic, gene-centric association study using 518 LD-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 65 known and predicted genes within the 1-LOD interval surrounding the linkage peak. Case-only regression analysis with the quantitative variable of ADSX was performed in the 562 genetically independent cases; nominal support for association was demonstrated by 32 tagging SNPs in 14 genes. We did not observe study-wide significance, but gene-wise correction for multiple testing with the Nyholt procedure yielded empirical evidence of association with two genes, DKK2 (dickkopf homolog 2) (P = 0.007) and EGF (epidermal growth factor) (P = 0.025) in the IASPSAD sample. Three SNPs in DKK2 (rs427983; rs419558; rs399087) demonstrated empirical significance. Assessment of possible replication in 847 cases of European descent from a large independent sample, the Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism, yielded replication for DKK2 but not EGF. We observed genotypic and phenotypic replication for DKK2 with the three SNPs yielding significant association with ADSX in the IASPSAD sample. Haplotype-specific expression measurements in post-mortem tissue samples suggested a functional role for DKK2. This evidence notwithstanding, replication is needed before confidence can be placed in these findings.
Genetic heterogeneity and complex biologic mechanisms of blood pressure regulation pose significant challenges to the identification of susceptibility loci influencing hypertension. Previous linkage studies have reported regions of interest, but lack consistency across studies. Incorporation of covariates, in particular the interaction between two independent risk factors (gender and BMI) greatly improved our ability to detect linkage.
We report a highly significant signal for linkage to chromosome 2p, a region that has been implicated in previous linkage studies, along with several suggestive linkage regions.
We demonstrate the importance of including covariates in the linkage analysis when the phenotype is complex.
Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and a range of different enzyme digests, we have established that both markers of each of the pairs CJ52.208/YNB3.12, NCAM/DRD2, and STMY/CJ52.75, on chromosome 11q22-23, show physical linkage on a single DNA fragment. We have also shown, using genetic linkage and haplotype analyses, that these markers lie within a region of approximately 18cM, which, it has been shown previously, is likely to contain the A-T gene. The relative positions of these marker loci, and the distance between them was determined in order to construct a detailed map which has allowed a more precise localization of the A-T gene. We have shown that in pairwise linkage analysis the strongest support for linkage to the A-T gene was with the STMY/CJ52.75 locus (Z = 5.59, theta = 0.0). A three-point analysis using the results from STMY/CJ52.75 and the closely linked marker phi 2.22 gave Z = 5.55, theta = 0.03. Despite persisting evidence of some linkage to Thy-1 our results are consistent with the existence of a single A-T locus on chromosome 11q22-23 and our best estimate of the position of this locus places it between NCAM/DRD2 and (STMY/CJ52.75, F2.22) (Z = 6.74), a region of approximately 5cM in males.
Using data provided by the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism we studied the genetics of a quantitative trait: the maximum number of drinks consumed in a 24-hour period. A two-stage method was used. First, linkage analysis was performed, followed by association analysis in regions where linkage was detected. Additionally, the extent of linkage disequilibrium among single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with the phenotype was assessed. Linkage to chromosomes 2 and 7 was detected, and follow-up association analysis found multiple trait-associated SNPs in the chromosome 7 linkage region. Chromosome 4, which has been implicated in previous studies of the maximum drinks phenotype, did not pass our threshold for linkage evidence in stage 1, but secondary analyses of this chromosome indicated modest evidence for both linkage and association. The evidence suggests that chromosome 7 may harbor an additional locus influencing the maximum drinks consumption phenotype.
Several genome scans have explored the linkage of chronic kidney disease phenotypes to chromosomic regions with disparate results. Genome scan meta-analysis (GSMA) is a quantitative method to synthesize linkage results from independent studies and assess their concordance.
We searched PubMed to identify genome linkage analyses of renal function traits in humans, such as estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR), albuminuria, serum creatinine concentration and creatinine clearance. We contacted authors for numerical data and extracted information from individual studies. We applied the GSMA nonparametric approach to combine results across 14 linkage studies for GFR, 11 linkage studies for albumin creatinine ratio, 11 linkage studies for serum creatinine and 4 linkage studies for creatinine clearance.
No chromosomal region reached genome-wide statistical significance in the main analysis which included all scans under each phenotype; however, regions on Chromosomes 7, 10 and 16 reached suggestive significance for linkage to two or more phenotypes. Subgroup analyses by disease status or ethnicity did not yield additional information.
While heterogeneity across populations, methodologies and study designs likely explain this lack of agreement, it is possible that linkage scan methodologies lack the resolution for investigating complex traits. Combining family-based linkage studies with genome-wide association studies may be a powerful approach to detect private mutations contributing to complex renal phenotypes.
albuminuria; chronic kidney disease; glomerular filtration rate; linkage scans; meta-analysis
Many dichotomous traits for complex diseases are often involved more than one locus and/or associated with quantitative biomarkers or environmental factors. Incorporating these quantitative variables into linkage analysis as well as localizing two linked disease loci simultaneously could therefore improve the efficiency in mapping genes. We extended the robust multipoint Identity-by-Descent (IBD) approach with incorporation of covariates developed previously to simultaneously estimate two linked loci using different types of affected relative pairs (ARPs).
We showed that the efficiency was enhanced by incorporating a quantitative covariate parametrically or non-parametrically while localizing two disease loci using ARPs. In addition to its help in identifying factors associated with the disease and in improving the efficiency in estimating disease loci, this extension also allows investigators to account for heterogeneity in risk-ratios for different ARPs. Data released from the collaborative study on the genetics of alcoholism (COGA) for Genetic Analysis Workshop 14 (GAW 14) were used to illustrate the application of this extended method.
The simulation studies and example illustrated that the efficiency in estimating disease loci was demonstratively enhanced by incorporating a quantitative covariate and by using all relative pairs while mapping two linked loci simultaneously.
Previously we reported the results of Wave One of a genome-wide search for heroin dependence susceptibility loci in Han Chinese families from Yunnan Province, China, near Asia’s “Golden Triangle”. Our initial analysis of 194 independent affected sibling-pairs from 192 families identified two regions with nonparametric linkage (NPL) Z-scores greater than 2.0, which were suggestive of linkage. Presently we have supplemented our sample with additional individuals and families, bringing the total number of genotyped individuals to 1513 and the number of independent sibling-pairs to 397. Upon repeating our analyses with this larger sample, we found that the evidence for linkage at our most strongly implicated locus from Wave One (marker D17S1880; 53.4 cM on 17q11.2; NPL Z = 2.36; uncorrected p = 0.009) was completely abolished (Z = -1.13; p = 0.900). In contrast, the evidence for linkage at the second-most strongly implicated locus from Wave One (D4S1644; 143.3 cM on 4q31.21; NPL Z = 2.19; uncorrected p = 0.014) increased in its magnitude and significance (Z = 2.64; uncorrected p = 0.004), becoming the most strongly implicated locus overall in our full sample. Other loci on chromosomes 1, 2, 4, 12, 16, and X also displayed nominally significant evidence for linkage (p ≤ 0.05). These loci appear to be entirely distinct from opioid-linked loci reported by other groups; however, meta-analyses of all available linkage data may reveal common sites of interest and promising candidate genes that can be further evaluated as risk factors for the illness.
Affected sibling-pairs; Chromosome 4; Genome-wide linkage analysis; Heroin dependence; Opioid dependence
Although many years of genetic epidemiological studies have demonstrated that genetics plays a significant role in determining smoking behavior, little information is available on genomic loci or genes affecting nicotine dependence. Several susceptibility chromosomal regions for nicotine dependence have been reported, but few have received independent confirmation. To identify susceptibility loci for nicotine dependence, 313 extended pedigrees selected from the Framingham Heart Study population were analyzed by both the GENEHUNTER and S.A.G.E. programs.
After performing linkage analyses on the 313 extended Framingham Heart Study families, the EM Haseman-Elston method implemented in GENEHUNTER provided evidence for significant linkage of smoking rate to chromosome 11 and suggestive linkage to chromosomes 9, 14, and 17. Multipoint sib-pair regression analysis using the SIBPAL program of S.A.G.E. on 1389 sib pairs that were split from the 313 extended families identified suggestive linkage of smoking rate to chromosomes 4, 7, and 17. Of these identified positive regions for nicotine dependence, loci on chromosomes 7, 11, and 17 were identified by both GENEHUNTER and S.A.G.E. programs.
Our genome-wide scan results on the Framingham Heart Study data provide evidence for significant linkage of smoking rate to chromosome 11 and suggestive linkage to chromosomes 4, 7, 9, 14, and 17. These findings suggest that some of these regions may harbor susceptibility loci for nicotine dependence, and warrant further investigation in this and other populations.
Genetic contribution to the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is well established. Seven independent genome-wide linkage scans have been performed to map loci that increase the risk for ADHD. Although significant linkage signals were identified in some of the studies, there has been limited replications between the various independent datasets. The current study gathered the results from all seven of the ADHD linkage scans and performed a Genome Scan Meta Analysis (GSMA) to identify the genomic region with most consistent linkage evidence across the studies. Genome-wide significant linkage (PSR=0.00034, POR=0.04) was identified on chromosome 16 between 64 and 83 Mb. In addition there are nine other genomic regions from the GSMA showing nominal or suggestive evidence of linkage. All these linkage results may be informative and focus the search for novel ADHD susceptibility genes.
ADHD; GSMA; linkage
Genome-wide scan data from a community-based sample was used to identify the genetic factors that affect body mass index (BMI). BMI was defined as weight (kg) over the square of height (m), where weight and height were obtained from the first measurement available between the ages of 40 and 50 years.
Significant familial correlations were observed in mother:father (spouse) relative pairs and in all relative pairs examined except parent:daughter pairs. Single-point sib-pair regression analysis provided nominal evidence for linkage (p < 0.05) of loci to BMI at 23 markers. Multi-point sib-pair regression analysis provided nominal evidence for linkage to BMI at 42 loci on 12 chromosomes. Empirical p-values showed results consistent with the multi-point results; all but three of the loci identified by multi-point analysis were also significant.
The largest regions of nominally significant linkage were found on chromosomes 2, 3, and 11. The most significant evidence for linkage was obtained with markers D2S1788, D2S1356, D2S1352, D3S1744, and D11S912 from multi-point sib-pair single-trait regression analysis. Our results are in agreement with some of the recently published reports on BMI using various data sets including the Framingham Heart Study data.
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a frequent neuropsychiatric disorder of unknown etiology. A number of chromosomal regions have been nominated as TS loci in linkage studies, but confirmation has met with limited success and causative mutations have not yet been definitely identified. Furthermore, TS, chronic tics, and obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) occur at increased frequencies among TS relatives, supporting the view that these phenotypes represent parts of the same genetically determined spectrum. We ascertained a four-generation Italian kindred segregating TS, chronic multiple motor tics (CMT), and OCD, and we performed a ten-centimorgan (cM) genome-wide linkage scan in order to map the underlying genetic defect. Suggestive linkage to chromosome 14q31.1 (multipoint LOD = 2.4) was detected by affected-only analysis under an autosomal dominant model and a narrower phenotype definition (only the subjects with TS and CMT were considered as affected). The linkage peak increased and it approached genome-wide significance (LOD = 3.29) when a broader phenotype definition was adopted (subjects with TS, CMT, and OCD considered as affected). Haplotype analysis defined a ∼2.3 cM critical region, shared by all the relatives with TS, CMT, or OCD. In conclusion, we provide strong evidence for linkage of TS spectrum to chromosome 14q31.1. Suggestive linkage to an overlapping region of chromosome 14q was reported in a recent scan of TS sibling pairs. This region might therefore contain an important gene for TS, and it should be prioritized for further study.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10048-010-0244-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Tourette syndrome; Tics; Movement disorders; Linkage mapping; Locus
BACKGROUND—Two genome scans for susceptibility loci for type 1 diabetes using large collections of families have recently been reported. Apart from strong linkage in both studies of the HLA region on chromosome 6p, clear consistent evidence for linkage was not observed at any other loci. One possible explanation for this is a high degree of locus heterogeneity in type 1 diabetes, and we hypothesised that the sex of affected offspring, age of diagnosis, and parental origin of shared alleles may be the bases of heterogeneity at some loci.
METHODS—Using data from a genome wide linkage study of 356 affected sib pairs with type 1 diabetes, we performed linkage analyses using parental origin of shared alleles in subgroups based on (1) sex of affected sibs and (2) age of diagnosis.
RESULTS—Among the results obtained, we observed that evidence for linkage to IDDM4 on chromosome 11q13 occurred predominantly from opposite sex, rather than same sex sib pairs. At a locus on chromosome 4q, evidence for linkage was observed in sibs where one was diagnosed above the age of 10 years and the other diagnosed below 10 years of age.
CONCLUSIONS—We show that heterogeneity tests based on age of diagnosis, sex of affected subject, and parental origin of shared alleles may be helpful in reducing locus heterogeneity in type 1 diabetes. If repeated in other samples, these findings may assist in the mapping of susceptibility loci for type 1 diabetes. Similar analyses can be recommended in other complex diseases.
Keywords: type 1 diabetes; age of diagnosis; sex; parental origin of alleles
In the first reported positive result from a genome scan for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), Hanis et al. found significant evidence of linkage for NIDDM on chromosome 2q37 and named the putative disease locus NIDDM1 (Hanis et al. 1996. Nat. Genet. 13:161-166). Their total sample was comprised of 440 Mexican-American affected sib-pairs from 246 sibships. The strongest evidence for linkage was at marker D2S125 and best estimates of lambdas (risk to siblings of probands/population prevalence) using this marker were 1.37 under an additive model and 1.36 under a multiplicative model. We examined this chromosomal region using linkage analysis in a Finnish sample comprised of 709 affected sib-pairs from 472 sibships. We excluded this region in our sample (multipoint logarithm of odds score = -2) for lambdas >/= 1.37. We discuss possible reasons why linkage to 2q37 was not found and conclude that this region is unlikely to be playing a major role in NIDDM susceptibility in the Finnish Caucasian population.
Despite many years of research, most of the genetic factors contributing to myopia development remain unknown. Genetic studies have pointed to a strong inherited component, but although many candidate regions have been implicated, few genes have been positively identified.
We have previously reported 2 genomewide linkage scans in a population of 63 highly aggregated Ashkenazi Jewish families that identified a locus on chromosome 22. Here we used ordered subset analysis (OSA), conditioned on non-parametric linkage to chromosome 22 to detect other chromosomal regions which had evidence of linkage to myopia in subsets of the families, but not the overall sample.
Strong evidence of linkage to a 19-cM linkage interval with a peak OSA nonparametric allele-sharing logarithm-of-odds (LOD) score of 3.14 on 20p12-q11.1 (ΔLOD=2.39, empirical p=0.029) was identified in a subset of 20 families that also exhibited strong evidence of linkage to chromosome 22. One other locus also presented with suggestive LOD scores >2.0 on chromosome 11p14-q14 and one locus on chromosome 6q22-q24 had an OSA LOD score=1.76 (ΔLOD=1.65, empirical p=0.02).
The chromosome 6 and 20 loci are entirely novel and appear linked in a subset of families whose myopia is known to be linked to chromosome 22. The chromosome 11 locus overlaps with the known Myopia-7 (MYP7, OMIM 609256) locus. Using ordered subset analysis allows us to find additional loci linked to myopia in subsets of families, and underlines the complex genetic heterogeneity of myopia even in highly aggregated families and genetically isolated populations such as the Ashkenazi Jews.
Familial combined hyperlipidemia (FCHL) is a complex trait leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Elevated levels and size of apolipoprotein B (apoB) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) are associated with FCHL, which is genetically heterogeneous and is likely caused by rare variants. We carried out a linkage-based genome scan of four large FCHL pedigrees for apoB level that is independent of LDL: apoB level that is adjusted for LDL level and size. Follow-up included SNP genotyping in the region with the strongest evidence of linkage. Several regions with the evidence of linkage in individual pedigrees support the rare variant model. Evidence of linkage was strongest on chromosome 4q, with multipoint analysis in one pedigree giving LOD = 3.1 with a parametric model, and a log Bayes Factor = 1.5 from a Bayesian oligogenic approach. Of the 293 SNPs spanning the implicated region on 4q, rs6829588 completely explained the evidence of linkage. This SNP accounted for 39% of the apoB phenotypic variance, with heterozygotes for this SNP having a trait value that was ~30% higher than that of the high-frequency homozygote, thus identifying and considerably refining a strong candidate region. These results illustrate the advantage of using large pedigrees in the search for rare variants: reduced genetic heterogeneity within single pedigrees coupled with the large number of individuals segregating otherwise-rare single variants leads to high power to implicate such variants.
Background and aim
Known colorectal cancer syndromes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary non‐polyposis colorectal cancer, have been identified in only a small proportion of cases with a family history of disease. In an attempt to identify loci harbouring novel predisposing genes, we have performed a genome wide linkage analysis in 18 colorectal cancer families recruited from the Department of Clinical Genetics at Karolinska Hospital, Sweden.
Multipoint parametric and non‐parametric linkage analyses were performed using two affected status criteria, stringent and less stringent. Parametric analysis was performed under the assumption of locus homogeneity and locus heterogeneity.
The initial scan performed using the less stringent affected status criteria revealed regions of interest on chromosome 11 (marker D11S1314: heterogeneity logarithm of odds (HLOD) score 1.96, non‐parametric LOD (NPL) score 1.28; and marker D11S908: HLOD score 2.10, NPL score 2.16) and chromosome 14 (marker D14S258: HLOD score 2.61, NPL score 2.88). Using the stringent affected status criteria, a locus on chromosome 22 was suggested in the parametric analysis (marker D22S315: HLOD score 1.26). After finemapping of the regions on chromosomes 11 and 14, HLOD and NPL scores were reduced but still within the range of suggestive linkage. Haplotype analysis revealed overlapping regions between D11S987 and D11S4207 (proximal region), D11S4120 and D11S4090 (distal region), on chromosome 11, and between D14S1038 and D14S1069 on chromosome 14.
Our study provides evidence of genetic heterogeneity among Swedish colorectal cancer families. Three novel regions were suggested to be of interest in a proportion of families analysed. Further studies are needed to confirm this result.
linkage analysis; hereditary non‐polyposis colorectal cancer; familial adenomatous polyposis; colorectal cancer; chromosome 11; chromosome 14; chromosome 22
Alcohol dependence (AD) is costly to societies worldwide, moderately heritable, and genetically complex. Risk loci in several populations have been identified using genetic linkage analysis. To date, there has been no published linkage study of AD focused on African-Americans (AAs).
We completed a genomewide linkage scan using ~6000 SNP markers to map loci increasing risk for DSM-IV AD in a set of 238 small nuclear families ascertained based on multiple individuals affected with cocaine or opioid dependence. Model free linkage analysis was completed using MERLIN software. A modified marker set was used to avoid bias due to markers in strong linkage disequilibrium.
We identified a genomewide-significant linkage to markers near 117.2 cM on chromosome 10q23.3–24.1 (lod score 3.32; p = 5.0E-05; empirical genome wide p=0.033).
These data add to the growing evidence for locations for AD risk loci, and provide the first linkage evidence for such a locus in the AA population.
Alcohol dependence; African American population; genomewide linkage; substance dependence genetics
In this report, we present results of a genome-wide linkage scan using as a phenotype the number of externalizing symptoms associated with alcohol use disorders. Subjects were collected by the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism project from families in which at least three first degree relatives were affected by alcohol dependence. We use a novel non-parametric regression method based on kernel smoothing for our analysis. We report a statistically significant linkage close to the ADH gene cluster on Chromosome 4. We also obtain evidence for epistatic interaction between a region on Chromosome 1 and one on Chromosome 15. Although alcoholism as a covariate does not have any effect on the linkage scan, it has an effect on the epistatic interaction.
non-parametric regression; linkage; externalizing symptoms
Previously, we reported evidence of genetic heterogeneity in late-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease, based on sex of affected parent, demonstrating linkage to chromosome 10q, a region identified by other groups and implicated as a quantitative trait loci for Aβ levels, in families with an affected mother. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and a memory encoding task, we now show differential brain activation patterns among asymptomatic offspring which correspond to the previous linkage finding. These results suggest the possibility that activation patterns may prove useful as a preclinical quantitative trait related to the putative familial late-onset AD gene in this chromosome 10 region.
Family history is one of the most consistent risk factors for dementia. Therefore, analysis of families with a distinct inheritance pattern of disease can be a powerful approach for the identification of previously unknown disease genes.
To map susceptibility regions for Alzheimer's disease.
A complete genome scan with 369 microsatellite markers was carried out in 12 extended families collected in Sweden. Age at disease onset ranged from 53 to 78 years, but in 10 of the families there was at least one member with age at onset of ⩽65 years. Mutations in known early‐onset Alzheimer's disease susceptibility genes have been excluded. All people were genotyped for APOE, but no clear linkage with the ε4 allele was observed.
Although no common disease locus could be found in all families, in two families an extended haplotype was identified on chromosome 8q shared by all affected members. In one of the families, a non‐parametric multimarker logarithm of the odds (LOD) score of 4.2 (p = 0.004) was obtained and analysis based on a dominant model showed a parametric LOD score of 2.4 for this region. All six affected members of this family shared a haplotype of 10 markers spanning about 40 cM. Three affected members in another family also shared a haplotype in the same region.
On the basis of our data, we propose the existence of a dominantly acting Alzheimer's disease susceptibility locus on chromosome 8.
In spite of intensive efforts, understanding of the genetic aspects of familial prostate cancer remains largely incomplete. In a previous microsatellite-based linkage scan of 1233 prostate cancer (PC) families, we identified suggestive evidence for linkage (i.e. LOD≥1.86) at 5q12, 15q11, 17q21, 22q12, and two loci on 8p, with additional regions implicated in subsets of families defined by age at diagnosis, disease aggressiveness, or number of affected members.
In an attempt to replicate these findings and increase linkage resolution, we used the Illumina 6000 SNP linkage panel to perform a genome-wide linkage scan of an independent set of 762 multiplex PC families, collected by 11 ICPCG groups.
Of the regions identified previously, modest evidence of replication was observed only on the short arm of chromosome 8, where HLOD scores of 1.63 and 3.60 were observed in the complete set of families and families with young average age at diagnosis, respectively. The most significant linkage signals found in the complete set of families were observed across a broad, 37 cM interval on 4q13-25, with LOD scores ranging from 2.02 to 2.62, increasing to 4.50 in families with older average age at diagnosis. In families with multiple cases presenting with more aggressive disease, LOD scores over 3.0 were observed at 8q24 in the vicinity of previously identified common PC risk variants, as well as MYC, an important gene in PC biology.
These results will be useful in prioritizing future susceptibility gene discovery efforts in this common cancer.
Non-parametric linkage methods have had limited success in detecting gene by gene interactions. Using affected sibling-pair (ASP) data from all replicates of the simulated data from Problem 3, we assessed the statistical power of three approaches to identify the gene × gene interaction between two loci on different chromosomes. The first method conditioned on linkage at the primary disease susceptibility locus (DR), to find linkage to a simulated effect modifier at Locus A with a mean allele sharing test. The second approach used a regression-based mean test to identify either the presence of interaction between the two loci or linkage to the A locus in the presence of linkage to DR. The third method applied a conditional logistic model designed to test for the presence of interacting loci. The first approach had decreased power over an unconditional linkage analysis, supporting the idea that gene × gene interaction cannot be detected with ASP data. The regression-based mean test and the conditional logistic model had the lowest power to detect gene × gene interaction, possibly because of the complex recoding of the tri-allelic DR locus for use as a covariate. We conclude that the ASP approaches tested have low power to successfully identify the interaction between the DR and A loci despite the large sample size, which may be due to the low prevalence of the high-risk DR genotypes. Additionally, the lack of data on discordant sibships may have decreased the power to identify gene × gene interactions.