The tendency to conceive dizygotic (DZ) twins is a complex trait influenced by genetic and environmental factors. To search for new candidate loci for twinning, we conducted a genome-wide linkage scan in 525 families using microsatellite and single nucleotide polymorphism marker panels.
METHODS AND RESULTS
Non-parametric linkage analyses, including 523 families containing a total of 1115 mothers of DZ twins (MODZT) from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and The Netherlands (NL), produced four linkage peaks above the threshold for suggestive linkage, including a highly suggestive peak at the extreme telomeric end of chromosome 6 with an exponential logarithm of odds [(exp)LOD] score of 2.813 (P = 0.0002). Since the DZ twinning rate increases steeply with maternal age independent of genetic effects, we also investigated linkage including only families where at least one MODZT gave birth to her first set of twins before the age of 30. These analyses produced a maximum expLOD score of 2.718 (P = 0.0002), largely due to linkage signal from the ANZ cohort, however, ordered subset analyses indicated this result is most likely a chance finding in the combined dataset. Linkage analyses were also performed for two large DZ twinning families from the USA, one of which produced a peak on chromosome 2 in the region of two potential candidate genes. Sequencing of FSHR and FIGLA, along with INHBB in MODZTs from two large NL families with family specific linkage peaks directly over this gene, revealed a potentially functional variant in the 5′ untranslated region of FSHR that segregated with the DZ twinning phenotype in the Utah family.
Our data provide further evidence for complex inheritance of familial DZ twinning.
dizygotic twinning; linkage
A cluster of three nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes on chromosome 15 (CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4) has been shown to be associated with nicotine dependence and smoking quantity. The aim of this study was to clarify whether the variation at this locus regulates nicotine intake among smokers by using the level of a metabolite of nicotine, cotinine, as an outcome. The number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) and immune-reactive serum cotinine level were determined in 516 daily smokers (age 30–75 years, 303 males) from the population-based Health2000 study. Association of 21 SNPs from a 100 kb region of chromosome 15 with cotinine and CPD was examined. SNP rs1051730 showed the strongest association to both measures. However, this SNP accounted for nearly a five-fold larger proportion of variance in cotinine levels than in CPD (R2 4.3% versus 0.9%). The effect size of the SNP was 0.30 for cotinine level, whereas it was 0.13 for CPD. Variation at CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4 cluster influences nicotine level, measured as cotinine, more strongly than smoking quantity, measured by CPD, and appears thus to be involved in regulation of nicotine levels among smokers.
Background: Results of a Scandinavian genome scan in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) have recently been reported. Among the novel, not previously reported chromosomal regions showing linkage to T1D was a region on chromosome 21.
Objective: To fine map this region on chromosome 21.
Methods and results: The linked region was initially narrowed by linkage analysis typing microsatellite markers. Linkage was significantly increased, with a peak NPL score of 3.61 (p = 0.0002), suggesting the presence of one or several T1D linked genes in the region. The support interval for linkage of 6.3 Mb was then studied by linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping with gene based single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Thirty two candidate genes were identified in this narrowed region, and LD mapping was carried out with SNPs in coding regions (cSNPs) of all these genes. However, none of the SNPs showed association to T1D in the complete material, whereas some evidence for association to T1D of variants of the TTC3, OLIG2, KCNE1, and CBR1 genes was observed in conditioned analyses. The disease related LD was further assessed by a haplotype based association study, in which several haplotypes showed distorted transmission to diabetic offspring, substantiating a possible T1D association of the region.
Conclusions: Although a single gene variant responsible for the observed linkage could not be identified, there was evidence for several combinations of markers, and for association of markers in conditioned analyses, supporting the existence of T1D susceptibility genes in the region.
We previously identified a 40 Mb region of linkage on chromosome 1q in our early onset coronary artery disease (CAD) genome-wide linkage scan (GENECARD) with modest evidence for linkage (n = 420, LOD 0.95). When the data are stratified by acute coronary syndrome (ACS), this modest maximum in the overall group became a well-defined LOD peak (maximum LOD of 2.17, D1S1589/D1S518). This peak overlaps a recently identified inflammatory biomarker (MCP-1) linkage region from the Framingham Heart Study (maximum LOD of 4.27, D1S1589) and a region of linkage to metabolic syndrome from the IRAS study (maximum LOD of 2.59, D1S1589/D1S518). The overlap of genetic screens in independent data sets provides evidence for the existence of a gene or genes for CAD in this region.
A peak-wide association screen (457 SNPs) was conducted of a region 1 LOD score down from the peak marker (168–198 Mb) in a linkage peak for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) on chromosome 1, within a family-based early onset coronary artery disease (CAD) sample (GENECARD).
Polymorphisms were identified within the 'family with sequence similarity 5, member C' gene (FAM5C) that show genetic linkage to and are associated with myocardial infarction (MI) in GENECARD. The association was confirmed in an independent CAD case-control sample (CATHGEN) and strong association with MI was identified with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 3' end of FAM5C. FAM5C genotypes were also correlated with expression of the gene in human aorta. Expression levels of FAM5C decreased with increasing passage of proliferating aortic smooth muscle cells (SMC) suggesting a role for this molecule in smooth muscle cell proliferation and senescence.
These data implicate FAM5C alleles in the risk of myocardial infarction and suggest further functional studies of FAM5C are required to identify the gene's contribution to atherosclerosis.
The molecular basis of genetic predisposition to pulmonary tuberculosis in adults remains largely elusive. Few candidate genes have consistently been implicated in tuberculosis susceptibility, and no conclusive linkage was found in two previous genome-wide screens. We report here a genome-wide linkage study in a total sample of 96 Moroccan multiplex families, including 227 siblings with microbiologically and radiologically proven pulmonary tuberculosis. A genome-wide scan conducted in half the sample (48 families) identified five regions providing suggestive evidence (logarithm of the odds [LOD] score >1.17; P < 0.01) for linkage. These regions were then fine-mapped in the total sample of 96 families. A single region of chromosome 8q12-q13 was significantly linked to tuberculosis (LOD score = 3.49; P = 3 × 10−5), indicating the presence of a major tuberculosis susceptibility gene. Linkage was stronger (LOD score = 3.94; P = 10−5) in the subsample of 39 families in which one parent was also affected by tuberculosis, whereas it was much lower (LOD score = 0.79) in the 57 remaining families without affected parents, supporting a dominant mode of inheritance of the major susceptibility locus. These results provide direct molecular evidence that human pulmonary tuberculosis has a strong genetic basis, and indicate that the genetic component involves at least one major locus with a dominant susceptibility allele.
Familial Alzheimer’s disease (AD [MIM 104300]) has been a focus of intense investigation, primarily in Caucasian families from Europe and North America families. Although the late-onset form of familial AD, beginning after age 65 years, has been linked to regions on chromosomes 10q and 12p, the specific genetic variants have not yet been consistently identified. Using a unique cohort of families of Caribbean Hispanics ancestry, we screened the genome using 340 markers on 490 family members from 96 families with predominantly late-onset AD. We observed the strongest support for linkage on 18q (LOD=3.14). However, 17 additional markers (chromosomes 1-6, 8, 10, 12, and 14) exceeded a two-point LOD score of 1.0 under the affecteds-only autosomal dominant model or affected sibpair model. As we previously reported the fine-mapping effort on 12p showing modest evidence of linkage, we focused our fine-mapping efforts on two other candidate regions in the current report, namely 10q and 18q. We added 31 family members and eight additional Caribbean Hispanic families to fine map 10q and 18q. With additional microsatellite markers, the evidence for linkage for 18q strengthened near 112 cM, where the two-point LOD score for D18S541 was 3.37 and the highest NPL score in that region was 3.65 (P=0.000177). This narrow region contains a small number of genes expressed in the brain. However, at 10q (134-138 cM), the NPL score decreased from 3.15 (P=0.000486) to 2.1 (P=0.0218), but two broad peaks remained overlapping with previously reported peaks. Our results provide modest support for linkage on 10q and 12p in this cohort of Caribbean Hispanic families with familial Alzheimer’s disease, and strong evidence for a new locus on 18q.
Alzheimer’s disease; genome scan; linkage analysis
Our objective was to investigate the influence of gene by smoking (GxS) interaction on hypertension (HT) and blood pressure (BP) using genome-wide linkage analysis in Mexican Americans, followed by SNP fine mapping of candidate genes in the linked chromosomal region.
We used nonparametric methods to test for linkage of microsatellites with HT and BP measures in smokers, non-smokers, and the combined group. To begin fine-mapping of a major QTL for SBP on chromosome 15q that showed strong evidence for GxS interaction, we genotyped 55 SNPs in 9 candidate genes for association studies using two population-based statistical methods.
The strongest evidence for GxS interaction (p = 0.0004) was found for SBP on chromosome 15q, where a major QTL (LOD = 3.36) was identified only in non-smokers. Follow-up studies identified three SNPs in three genes (ANPEP, IGF1R, and SLCO3A1) that showed associations with SBP only in non-smokers, cumulatively accounting for a 7 mmHg increase in SBP. However, conditional linkage analyses that accounted for phenotypic effects of these SNPs only slightly reduced the original LOD score.
The detection of a major QTL on chromosome 15q for SBP in non-smokers indicates the presence of loci that influence BP via GxS interactions. However, identification of the genes that underlie such QTL effects remains a challenge. Although we found three candidate genes that showed significant associations with SBP in non-smokers, further studies are required to identify the gene(s) that underlie the chromosome 15q QTL that influences SBP via GxS interactions.
genome wide scan; gene by environment interaction; hypertension; blood pressure; smoking; linkage analysis; association analysis; fine mapping
We report analyses of a Brazilian study of early onset schizophrenia (BEOS) families. We genotyped 22 members of 4 families on a linkage SNP array and report here non-parametric linkage analyses using MERLIN® software. We found suggestive evidence for linkage on two chromosomal regions, 13q32 and 11p15.4. A LOD score of 2.71 was observed at 13q32 with a one LOD interval extending from 60.63–92.35 cM. From simulations, this LOD score gave a genome-wide empirical corrected p = 0.33, after accounting for all markers tested. Similarly 11p15.4 showed the same maximum LOD of 2.71 and a narrower one LOD interval of 4–14 cM. Of these, 13q32 has been reported to be linked to schizophrenia by multiple different studies. Thus, our study provides additional supporting evidence for an aetiological role of variants at 13q32 in schizophrenia.
Familial isolated hyperparathyroidism (FIHP) is an autosomal dominantly inherited form of primary hyperparathyroidism. Although comprising only about 1% of cases of primary hyperparathyroidism, identification and functional analysis of a causative gene for FIHP is likely to advance our understanding of parathyroid physiology and pathophysiology.
A genome‐wide screen of DNA from seven pedigrees with FIHP was undertaken in order to identify a region of genetic linkage with the disorder.
Multipoint linkage analysis identified a region of suggestive linkage (LOD score 2.68) on chromosome 2. Fine mapping with the addition of three other families revealed significant linkage adjacent to D2S2368 (maximum multipoint LOD score 3.43). Recombination events defined a 1.7 Mb region of linkage between D2S2368 and D2S358 in nine pedigrees. Sequencing of the two most likely candidate genes in this region, however, did not identify a gene for FIHP.
We conclude that a causative gene for FIHP lies within this interval on chromosome 2. This is a major step towards eventual precise identification of a gene for FIHP, likely to be a key component in the genetic regulation of calcium homeostasis.
chromosome 2p13.3–14; familial isolated hyperparathyroidism; linkage
The present study defined a simplified physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for nicotine and its primary metabolite cotinine in humans, based on metabolic parameters determined in vitro using relevant liver microsomes, coefficients derived in silico, physiological parameters derived from the literature, and an established rat PBPK model. The model consists of an absorption compartment, a metabolizing compartment, and a central compartment for nicotine and three equivalent compartments for cotinine. Evaluation of a rat model was performed by making comparisons with predicted concentrations in blood and in vivo experimental pharmacokinetic values obtained from rats after oral treatment with nicotine (1.0 mg/kg, a no-observed-adverseeffect level) for 14 days. Elimination rates of nicotine in vitro were established from data from rat liver microsomes and from human pooled liver microsomes. Human biomonitoring data (17 ng nicotine and 150 ng cotinine per mL plasma 1 h after smoking) from pooled five male Japanese smokers (daily intake of 43 mg nicotine by smoking) revealed that these blood concentrations could be calculated using a human PBPK model. These results indicate that a simplified PBPK model for nicotine/cotinine is useful for a forward dosimetry approach in humans and for estimating blood concentrations of other related compounds resulting from exposure to low chemical doses.
physiologically based biokinetic modeling; cytochrome P450; simulation; no-observed-adverse-effect level; biomonitoring; human liver microsomes
The Tabby markings of the domestic cat are unique coat patterns for which no causative candidate gene has been inferred from other mammals. In this study, a genome scan was performed on a large pedigree of cats that segregated for Tabby coat markings, specifically for the Abyssinian (Ta-) and blotched (tbtb) phenotypes. There was linkage between the Tabby locus and eight markers on cat chromosome B1. The most significant linkage was between marker FCA700 and Tabby (Z = 7.56, θ = 0.03). Two additional markers in the region supported linkage, although not with significant LOD scores. Pairwise analysis of the markers supported the published genetic map of the cat, although additional meioses are required to refine the region. The linked markers cover a 17-cM region and flank an evolutionary breakpoint, suggesting that the Tabby gene has a homologue on either human chromosome 4 or 8. Alternatively, Tabby could be a unique locus in cats.
Abyssinian; blotched; cat; classic; Felis catus; mackerel; Tabby
Glucuronidation is an important pathway in the metabolism of nicotine, with previous studies suggesting that ~22% of urinary nicotine metabolites are in the form of glucuronidated compounds. Recent in vitro studies have suggested that the UGTs 2B10 and 2B17 play major roles in nicotine glucuronidation with polymorphisms in both enzymes shown to significantly alter the levels of nicotine-, cotinine-, and trans-3′-hydroxy-cotinine (3HC)-glucuronides in human liver microsomes in vitro. In the present study, the relationship between the levels of urinary nicotine metabolites and functional polymorphisms in UGTs 2B10 and 2B17 were analyzed in urine specimens from 104 Caucasian smokers. Based on their percentage of total urinary nicotine metabolites, the levels of nicotine-glucuronide and cotinine-glucuronide were 42% (p<0.0005) and 48% (p<0.0001), respectively, lower in the urine from smokers exhibiting the UGT2B10 (*1/*2) genotype and 95% (p<0.05) and 98% (p<0.05), respectively, lower in the urine from smokers with the UGT2B10 (*2/*2) genotype as compared to the urinary levels in smokers having the wild-type UGT2B10 (*1/*1) genotype. The levels of 3HC-glucuronide was 42% (p<0.001) lower in the urine from smokers exhibiting the homozygous UGT2B17 (*2/*2) deletion genotype as compared to the levels in urine from wild-type UGT2B17 subjects. These data are consistent with previous in vitro studies and demonstrate that UGTs 2B10 and 2B17 play important roles in the glucuronidation of nicotine, cotinine and 3HC and suggest that the UGT2B10 codon 67 SNP and the UGT2B17 deletion significantly reduce overall glucuronidation rates of nicotine and its major metabolites in smokers.
High blood pressure is a well established risk factor for morbidity and mortality acting through heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Genome wide scans have linked regions of nearly every human chromosome to blood pressure related traits. We have capitalized on beneficial qualities of the Old Order Amish of Lancaster, PA, a closed founder population with a relatively small number of founders, to perform a genome wide homozygosity by descent mapping scan. Each individual in the study has a non zero probability of consanguinity. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures are shown to have appreciable dominance variance components.
Areas of two chromosomes were identified as suggestive of linkage to SBP and 5 areas to DBP in either the overall or sex specific analyses. The strongest evidence for linkage in the overall sample was to Chromosome 18q12 (LOD = 2.6 DBP). Sex specific analyses identified a linkage on Chromosome 4p12-14 (LOD in men only = 3.4 SBP). At Chromosome 2q32-33, an area where we previously reported significant evidence for linkage to DBP using a conventional identity by descent approach, the LOD was 1.4; however an appreciable sex effect was observed with men accounting for most of the linkage (LOD in men only = 2.6).
These results add evidence to a sex specific genetic architecture to blood pressure related traits, particularly in regions of linkage on chromosome 2, 4 and 18.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a strong candidate gene for coronary artery disease (CAD). We have previously identified genetic linkage to familial CAD in the genomic region of NPY. We performed follow-up genetic, biostatistical, and functional analysis of NPY in early-onset CAD. In familial CAD (GENECARD, N = 420 families), we found increased microsatellite linkage to chromosome 7p14 (OSA LOD = 4.2, p = 0.004) in 97 earliest age-of-onset families. Tagged NPY SNPs demonstrated linkage to CAD of a 6-SNP block (LOD = 1.58–2.72), family-based association of this block with CAD (p = 0.02), and stronger linkage to CAD in the earliest age-of-onset families. Association of this 6-SNP block with CAD was validated in: (a) 556 non-familial early-onset CAD cases and 256 controls (OR 1.46–1.65, p = 0.01–0.05), showing stronger association in youngest cases (OR 1.84–2.20, p = 0.0004–0.09); and (b) GENECARD probands versus non-familial controls (OR 1.79–2.06, p = 0.003–0.02). A promoter SNP (rs16147) within this 6-SNP block was associated with higher plasma NPY levels (p = 0.04). To assess a causal role of NPY in atherosclerosis, we applied the NPY1-receptor–antagonist BIBP-3226 adventitially to endothelium-denuded carotid arteries of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice; treatment reduced atherosclerotic neointimal area by 50% (p = 0.03). Thus, NPY variants associate with atherosclerosis in two independent datasets (with strong age-of-onset effects) and show allele-specific expression with NPY levels, while NPY receptor antagonism reduces atherosclerosis in mice. We conclude that NPY contributes to atherosclerosis pathogenesis.
Early-onset coronary artery disease (CAD) has a very strong genetic component as evidenced by the heritable nature of this disease. However, little is known about the actual genes underlying disease risk. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is an abundant protein in humans that has been implicated in cardiovascular disease pathophysiology, but comprehensive evaluation of the gene coding for this protein has never been pursued in cardiovascular disease. Therefore, using gene-wide evaluation of variants within the NPY gene in a family-based as well as a non-familial study, we have shown that a cluster of six related NPY genetic variants is associated with early-onset CAD risk. We then show that one of these variants, which resides within the promoter region of this gene, is associated with higher NPY levels. Finally, to further support the functional role of this gene in CAD, we find that antagonism of the primary receptor of this gene results in marked attenuation of atherosclerosis in a mouse model. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the role of the NPY gene in cardiovascular disease risk and add important additional information about the genetic architecture of this complex disease.
Multiple linkage regions have been reported in schizophrenia, and some appear to harbor susceptibility genes that are differentially expressed in postmortem brain tissue derived from unrelated individuals. We combined traditional genome-wide linkage analysis in a multiplex family with lymphocytic genome-wide expression analysis. A genome scan suggested linkage to a chromosome 4q marker (D4S1530, LOD 2.17, θ=0) using a dominant model. Haplotype analysis using flanking microsatellite markers delineated a 14 Mb region that cosegregated with all those affected. Subsequent genome-wide scan with SNP genotypes supported the evidence of linkage to 4q33−35.1 (LOD=2.39) using a dominant model. Genome-wide microarray analysis of five affected and five unaffected family members identified two differentially expressed genes within the haplotype AGA and GALNT7 (aspartylglucosaminidase and UDP-N-acetyl-alpha-d-galactosamine: polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 7) with nominal significance; however, these genes did not remain significant following analysis of covariance. We carried out genome-wide linkage analyses between the quantitative expression phenotype and genetic markers. AGA expression levels showed suggestive linkage to multiple markers in the haplotype (maximum LOD=2.37) but to no other genomic region. GALNT7 expression levels showed linkage to regulatory loci at 4q28.1 (maximum LOD=3.15) and in the haplotype region at 4q33−35.1 (maximum LOD=2.37). ADH1B (alcohol dehydrogenase IB) was linked to loci at 4q21–q23 (maximum LOD=3.08) and haplotype region at 4q33−35.1 (maximum LOD=2.27). Seven differentially expressed genes were validated with RT-PCR. Three genes in the 4q33−35.1 haplotype region were also differentially expressed in schizophrenia in postmortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: AGA, HMGB2, and SCRG1. These results indicate that combining differential gene expression with linkage analysis may help in identifying candidate genes and potential regulatory sites. Moreover, they also replicate recent findings of complex trans- and cis- regulation of genes.
Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in developed and in developing nations. Twin studies have highlighted the role of genetic influences on early stages of cannabis use, such as a lifetime history of use, early-onset use and frequent use, however, we are not aware of any genomic studies that have examined these phenotypes. Using data on 2,314 families consisting of 5,600 adult Australian offspring and their parents, all of whom were scanned using 1,399 unique autosomal markers, we conducted autosomal linkage analyses for lifetime history of cannabis initiation, early-onset cannabis use and frequency of use, using a variance components approach in the linkage package MERLIN. Suggestive evidence for linkage was found on chromosome 18 (LOD 2.14 for frequency of use, LOD 1.97 for initiation, at 90–97 cM) and also on chromosome 19 (LOD 1.92 for early onset at 17 cM). These LOD scores did not meet genomewide significance. Further replication of these linkage regions in other samples will be required, although these initial results suggest further targeted efforts on chromosome 18 may yield interesting candidate genes for early stages of cannabis-related behaviors.
Cannabis use; linkage; Australian; MERLIN
Nicotine dependence has been shown to represent a heritable condition, and several research groups have performed linkage analysis to identify genomic regions influencing this disorder though only a limited number of the findings have been replicated.
In the present study, a genome-wide linkage scan for nicotine dependence was conducted in a community sample of 950 probands and 1204 relatives recruited through the UCSF Family Alcoholism Study. A modified version of the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA) with additional questions that probe nicotine use was used to derive DSM-IV nicotine dependence diagnoses.
A locus on chromosome 2q31.1 at 184 centimorgans nearest to marker D2S2188 yielded a LOD score of 3.54 (point-wise empirical p-value = .000012). Additional peaks of interest were identified on chromosomes 2q13, 4p15.33-31, 11q25, and 12p11.23-21. Follow-up analyses were conducted examining the contributions of individual nicotine dependence symptoms to the chromosome 2q31.1 linkage peak as well as examining the relation of this chromosomal region to alcohol dependence.
The present report suggests that chromosome 2q31.1 confers risk to the development of nicotine dependence and that this region influences a broad range of nicotine dependence symptoms rather than a specific facet of the disorder. Further, the results show this region is not linked to alcohol dependence in this population, and thus may influence nicotine dependence specifically.
Genetics; genome scan; linkage; nicotine dependence; smoking
It is well established that major depressive disorder (MDD) is partly heritable. We present a genome-wide linkage study aiming to find regions on the genome that influence the vulnerability for MDD. Our sample consists of 110 Australian and 23 Dutch pedigrees with two or more siblings affected with MDD (total N = 278). Linkage analysis was carried out in MERLIN. Three regions showed suggestive linkage signals. The highest LOD-score of 2.1 was found on chromosome 17 at 52.6 cM along with LOD scores of 1.9 and 1.7 on chromosome 8 at 2.7 cM and chromosome 2 at 90.6 cM, respectively. The result on chromosome 8 seems most promising as two previous studies also found linkage in this region, once suggestive and once significant. The linkage peak on chromosome 17 harbors the serotonin transporter gene. In the Australian and Dutch sample, the serotonin transporter length polymorphism did not show evidence for association, thus other genes in this region or other polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter gene might be associated with MDD. Further replication is needed to establish the relevance of our linkage finding on chromosome 2.
genome-wide linkage; depression; genetics; family study; serotonin transporter gene
A genome-wide scan was conducted for visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil. Initially, 405 markers were typed in 22 multicase pedigrees (28 nuclear families; 174 individuals; 66 affected. Nonparametric multipoint analysis detected 9 chromosomal regions with provisional evidence (LOD scores 0.95 to 1.66; 0.003<P<0.018) for linkage. To confirm linkage 132 individuals (43 affected) from 19 independently ascertained families were genotyped across these regions. Three regions (6q27, 7q11.22, and 17q11.2-q21.3) retained evidence (LOD scores 1.08, 1.34, 1.14; P=0.013, 0.007, 0.011) for linkage. To determine which genes contribute to linkage at 17q11.2-q21.3, 80 single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in 98 nuclear families with 183 affected individuals. FBAT analysis indicated associations at two chemokine genes, CCL1 and CCL16, that lie 1.6 Mb apart, show some extended linkage disequilibrium with each other, but each lie within different clusters of candidate CCL genes. Multiple genes may therefore contribute to the linkage peak for visceral leishmaniasis at 17q12.
Prostate cancer linkage studies have been used to localize rare and presumably highly penetrant cancer susceptibility genes. Underlying genetic heterogeneity, as well as the high sporadic background of the disease, has resulted in many signals that are often not reproducible between research studies.
We conducted a SNP-based genome wide linkage scan on 131 Caucasian prostate cancer families participating in the University of Michigan Prostate Cancer Genetics Project (PCGP).
The strongest evidence for linkage was detected at 16q23 (LOD = 2.70 at rs1079635). Prostate cancer linkage to the same region of 16q23 has been observed by others and the region contains several strong candidate genes including the known prostate cancer tumor suppressor genes ATBF1 and WWOX. This linkage signal was not detected in our prior linkage study on 175 PCGP families, illustrating the genetic heterogeneity underlying prostate cancer susceptibility.
Further linkage studies in combination with tumor analyses from linked families are in progress to identify the putative hereditary prostate cancer gene at 16q23.
familial; gene; epidemiology; aggressive disease
Cotinine concentration in various body fluids is considered to be among the most useful markers of nicotine exposure currently available. Despite the prevailing consensus concerning cotinine's usefulness, cotinine's large intrasubject variability has led some to question the value of a single-point measurement. Several individual differences (for example, age, race, sex, and so forth) may affect cotinine excretion, and a peculiar nonlinearity between the number of cigarettes smoked and cotinine concentration has been reported previously in the literature. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the nature of the association between cotinine and reported number of cigarettes smoked after adjustment for the relationship between cotinine and age, a key individual difference known to affect drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and tissue sensitivity. The authors examined the relationship between saliva cotinine and daily cigarette consumption in 116 smokers (mean age = 37.4 years; average number of cigarettes smoked daily = 20.1) who logged each cigarette into a hand-held computer as part of a study on the accuracy of recall. The Pearson correlation between saliva cotinine and the logged number of cigarettes smoked in the previous 17 hours (the time window corresponding to the half-life of cotinine) accounted for significantly more of the variance in cotinine than did the average logged number of cigarettes smoked daily during 5 days. Age was also significantly associated with cotinine levels. Further examination of the relationship between cotinine and amount smoked in the previous 17 hours revealed evidence for a significant nonlinear component.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Autism is characterized as one of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs), a spectrum of often severe behavioral and cognitive disturbances of early development. The high heritability of autism has driven multiple efforts to identify genetic variation that increases autism susceptibility. Numerous studies have suggested that variation in peripheral and central metabolism of serotonin (5-HT) may play a role in the pathophysiology of autism. We screened 403 autism families for 45 SNPs in 10 serotonin pathway candidate genes. Although genome-wide linkage scans in autism have provided support for linkage to various loci located within the serotonin pathway, our study does not provide strong evidence for linkage to any specific gene within the pathway. The most significant association (p=0.0002; p=0.02 after correcting for multiple comparisons) was found at rs1150220 (HTR3A) located on Chromosome 11 (~113 Mb). To test specifically for multilocus effects, Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (MDR) was employed, and a significant 2-way interaction (p-value = 0.01) was found between rs10830962, near MTNR1B (Chromosome11; 92,338,075 bp) and rs1007631, near SLC7A5 (Chromosome16; 86,413,596 bp). These data suggest that variation within genes on the serotonin pathway, particularly HTR3A, may have modest effects on autism risk.
Autism; Serotonin; SNPs; linkage; association
A strong hereditary influence on smoking has been demonstrated. As one of the candidate genes in relation to smoking, the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has been suggested, however with conflicting results. In recent studies, it has been shown that genotypic and environmental (G*E) factors interact in the shaping of a variety of phenotypic expressions. The objective of the present study was to investigate the interaction between a variation in the 5-HTTLPR and family environment in relation to smoking habits, nicotine dependence, and nicotine and cotinine levels in hair samples.
A random Swedish adolescent population sample (n = 785), from which 200 individuals were stratified regarding behaviour, was genotyped for 5-HTTLPR and assessed with semi-structured interviews, a questionnaire, and hair analyses of nicotine and cotinine.
The 5-HTTLPR gene interacted with a poor family environment to predict smoking habits, as well as nicotine and cotinine levels. The risk of being a smoker was increased 13 times for an individual with a combination of the 5-HTTLPR LS genotype and a poor family environment in comparison with the Homozygous Long-Long (LL) genotype and a good family environment.
Adolescents; cotinine; environment; gene; nicotine; serotonin; smoking
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.
Generally, SNPs are abundant in the genome; however, they display low power in linkage analysis because of their limited heterozygosity. Haplotype markers, on the other hand, which are composed of many SNPs, greatly increase heterozygosity and have superiority in linkage statistics.
Here we developed Haplo2Ped to automatically transform SNP data into haplotype markers and then to compute the logarithm (base 10) of odds (LOD) scores of regional haplotypes that are homozygous within the disease co-segregation haploid group. The results are reported as a hypertext file and a 3D figure to help users to obtain the candidate linkage regions. The hypertext file contains parameters of the disease linked regions, candidate genes, and their links to public databases. The 3D figure clearly displays the linkage signals in each chromosome. We tested Haplo2Ped in a simulated SNP dataset and also applied it to data from a real study. It successfully and accurately located the causative genomic regions. Comparison of Haplo2Ped with other existing software for linkage analysis further indicated the high effectiveness of this software.
Haplo2Ped uses haplotype fragments as mapping markers in whole genome linkage analysis. The advantages of Haplo2Ped over other existing software include straightforward output files, increased accuracy and superior ability to deal with pedigrees showing incomplete penetrance. Haplo2Ped is freely available at: http://bighapmap.big.ac.cn/software.html.