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1.  Urinary bladder cancer in Wegener's granulomatosis: risks and relation to cyclophosphamide 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2004;63(10):1307-1311.
Objective: To assess and characterise the risk of bladder cancer, and its relation to cyclophosphamide, in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis.
Methods: In the population based, nationwide Swedish Inpatient Register a cohort of 1065 patients with Wegener's granulomatosis, 1969–95, was identified. Through linkage with the Swedish Cancer Register, all subjects in this cohort diagnosed with bladder cancer were identified. Nested within the cohort, a matched case-control study was performed to estimate the association between cyclophosphamide and bladder cancer using odds ratios (ORs) as relative risk. In the cohort the cumulative risk of bladder cancer after Wegener's granulomatosis, and the relative prevalence of a history of bladder cancer at the time of diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis, were also estimated.
Results: The median cumulative doses of cyclophosphamide among cases (n = 11) and controls (n = 25) were 113 g and 25 g, respectively. The risk of bladder cancer doubled for every 10 g increment in cyclophosphamide (OR = 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8 to 4.9). Treatment duration longer than 1 year was associated with an eightfold increased risk (OR = 7.7, 95% CI 0.9 to 69). The absolute risk for bladder cancer in the cohort reached 10% 16 years after diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis, and a history of bladder cancer was (non-significantly) twice as common as expected at the time of diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis.
Conclusion: The results indicate a dose-response relationship between cyclophosphamide and the risk of bladder cancer, high cumulative risks in the entire cohort, and also the possibility of risk factors operating even before Wegener's granulomatosis.
PMCID: PMC1754772  PMID: 15130900
2.  Genetically Distinct Subsets within ANCA-Associated Vasculitis 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(3):214-223.
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)–associated vasculitis is a severe condition encompassing two major syndromes: granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener’s granulomatosis) and microscopic polyangiitis. Its cause is unknown, and there is debate about whether it is a single disease entity and what role ANCA plays in its pathogenesis. We investigated its genetic basis.
A genomewide association study was performed in a discovery cohort of 1233 U.K. patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis and 5884 controls and was replicated in 1454 Northern European case patients and 1666 controls. Quality control, population stratification, and statistical analyses were performed according to standard criteria.
We found both major-histocompatibility-complex (MHC) and non-MHC associations with ANCA-associated vasculitis and also that granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis were genetically distinct. The strongest genetic associations were with the antigenic specificity of ANCA, not with the clinical syndrome. Anti–proteinase 3 ANCA was associated with HLA-DP and the genes encoding α1-antitrypsin (SERPINA1) and proteinase 3 (PRTN3) (P = 6.2×10−89, P = 5.6×10−12, and P = 2.6×10−7, respectively). Anti–myeloperoxidase ANCA was associated with HLA-DQ (P = 2.1×10−8).
This study confirms that the pathogenesis of ANCA-associated vasculitis has a genetic component, shows genetic distinctions between granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis that are associated with ANCA specificity, and suggests that the response against the autoantigen proteinase 3 is a central pathogenic feature of proteinase 3 ANCA–associated vasculitis. These data provide preliminary support for the concept that proteinase 3 ANCA–associated vasculitis and myeloperoxidase ANCA–associated vasculitis are distinct autoimmune syndromes. (Funded by the British Heart Foundation and others.)
PMCID: PMC3773907  PMID: 22808956
3.  Association of colorectal cancer susceptibility variants with esophageal cancer in a Chinese population 
AIM: To investigate the association between colorectal cancer (CRC) genetic susceptibility variants and esophageal cancer in a Chinese Han population.
METHODS: A case-control study was conducted including 360 esophageal cancer patients and 310 healthy controls. Thirty-one single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with CRC risk from previous genome-wide association studies were analyzed. SNPs were genotyped using Sequenom Mass-ARRAY technology, and genotypic frequencies in controls were tested for departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium using a Fisher’s exact test. The allelic frequencies were compared between cases and controls using a χ2 test. Associations between the SNPs and the risk of esophageal cancer were tested using various genetic models (codominant, dominant, recessive, overdominant, and additive). ORs and 95%CIs were calculated by unconditional logistic regression with adjustments for age and sex.
RESULTS: The minor alleles of rs1321311 and rs4444235 were associated with a 1.53-fold (95%CI: 1.15-2.06; P = 0.004) and 1.28-fold (95%CI: 1.03-1.60; P = 0.028) increased risk of esophageal cancer in the allelic model analysis, respectively. In the genetic model analysis, the C/C genotype of rs3802842 was associated with a reduced risk of esophageal cancer in the codominant model (OR = 0.52, 95%CI: 0.31-0.88; P = 0.033) and recessive model (OR = 0.55, 95%CI: 0.34-0.87; P = 0.010). The rs4939827 C/T-T/T genotype was associated with a 0.67-fold (95%CI: 0.46-0.98; P = 0.038) decreased esophageal cancer risk under the dominant model. In addition, rs6687758, rs1321311, and rs4444235 were associated with an increased risk. In particular, the T/T genotype of rs1321311 was associated with an 8.06-fold (95%CI: 1.96-33.07; P = 0.004) increased risk in the codominant model.
CONCLUSION: These results provide evidence that known genetic variants associated with CRC risk confer risk for esophageal cancer, and may bring risk for other digestive system tumors.
PMCID: PMC4462730  PMID: 26078566
Colorectal cancer; Esophageal cancer; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; Susceptibility
4.  The Impact of Phenotypic and Genotypic G6PD Deficiency on Risk of Plasmodium vivax Infection: A Case-Control Study amongst Afghan Refugees in Pakistan 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000283.
Analyses of a case-control study among Afghan refugees in Pakistan find that a G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) “Mediterranean” type deficiency confers substantial protection against Plasmodium vivax malaria.
The most common form of malaria outside Africa, Plasmodium vivax, is more difficult to control than P. falciparum because of the latent liver hypnozoite stage, which causes multiple relapses and provides an infectious reservoir. The African (A−) G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency confers partial protection against severe P. falciparum. Recent evidence suggests that the deficiency also confers protection against P. vivax, which could explain its wide geographical distribution in human populations. The deficiency has a potentially serious interaction with antirelapse therapies (8-aminoquinolines such as primaquine). If the level of protection was sufficient, antirelapse therapy could become more widely available. We therefore tested the hypothesis that G6PD deficiency is protective against vivax malaria infection.
Methods and Findings
A case-control study design was used amongst Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The frequency of phenotypic and genotypic G6PD deficiency in individuals with vivax malaria was compared against controls who had not had malaria in the previous two years. Phenotypic G6PD deficiency was less common amongst cases than controls (cases: 4/372 [1.1%] versus controls 42/743 [5.7%]; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.18 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06–0.52], p = 0.001). Genetic analysis demonstrated that the G6PD deficiency allele identified (Mediterranean type) was associated with protection in hemizygous deficient males (AOR = 0.12 [95% CI 0.02–0.92], p = 0.041). The deficiency was also protective in females carrying the deficiency gene as heterozygotes or homozygotes (pooled AOR = 0.37 [95% CI 0.15–0.94], p = 0.037).
G6PD deficiency (Mediterranean type) conferred significant protection against vivax malaria infection in this population whether measured by phenotype or genotype, indicating a possible evolutionary role for vivax malaria in the selective retention of the G6PD deficiency trait in human populations. Further work is required on the genotypic protection associated with other types of G6PD deficiency and on developing simple point-of-care technologies to detect it before administering antirelapse therapy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Malaria is a parasitic infection transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Although Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for most malaria deaths, P. vivax is the commonest, most widespread cause of malaria outside sub-Saharan Africa. Like other malaria parasites, P. vivax has a complex life cycle. Infected mosquitoes inject a parasitic form known as sporozoites into people where they replicate inside liver cells without causing symptoms. About 8–9 days later, merozoites (another parasitic form) are released from the liver cells and invade red blood cells. Here, they replicate rapidly before bursting out and infecting more red blood cells. This increase in the parasitic burden causes malaria's characteristic symptoms (debilitating and recurring chills and fevers). P. vivax infections are usually treated with chloroquine (although resistance to this drug is now emerging) but patients must also take primaquine, a drug that kills hypnozoites, a form of P. vivax that hibernates in the liver. Hypnozoites can cause a relapse months after the initial bout of malaria and make P. vivax malaria harder to control than P. faciparum malaria.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some mutations (DNA changes) protect their human carriers against specific disease-causing organisms. These mutations occur at high frequencies in populations where these organisms are common. For example, the widespread distribution of mutations that cause a deficiency in an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) mirrors the distribution of malaria and the African (A−) form of G6PD deficiency, a type of G6PD deficiency that is common in people of African origin, is known to provide partial protection against severe P. falciparum malaria—P. falciparum does not thrive in G6PD-deficient red blood cells. In areas where P. vivax malaria is common, Mediterranean and Asian variants of G6PD deficiency are more widespread than A− G6PD, so the question is, do these variants protect against P. vivax malaria? In this case-control study (a study in which the characteristics of people with and without a specific condition are compared), the researchers investigate whether G6PD deficiency protects against P. vivax infection in a population of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers enrolled 372 Afghan refugees who had had P. vivax malaria during the previous two years and 743 refugees who had not had malaria over the same period. They measured G6PD activity in the participants' blood to detect “phenotypic” G6PD deficiency (reduced enzyme activity) and looked for the Mediterranean variant of the G6PD gene in the participants (“genotypic” G6PD deficiency). 5.7% of the controls but only 1.1% of the cases had phenotypic G6PD deficiency. Statistical analyses indicated that participants with reduced G6PD levels were about one-fifth as likely to develop P. vivax malaria as those with normal G6PD levels after allowing for other factors that might affect their susceptibility to malaria, an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 0.18. The genetic analysis indicated that the Mediterranean G6PD gene variant provided protection against P. vivax infection in men (AOR 0.12) and in women carrying either one or two defective copies of the G6PD gene (AOR 0.37); because the G6PD gene is on the X chromosome, men have only one copy of the gene but women have two copies.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that Mediterranean-type G6PD deficiency protects against P. vivax malaria infection in this population of Afghan refugees. Although further studies are needed to determine whether other G6PD variants protect against P. vivax malaria, these findings suggest that P. vivax malaria might be responsible for the retention of the G6PD deficiency trait in some human populations. In addition, these findings may have implications for the treatment of P. vivax malaria. Currently, in most places where P. vivax malaria is common, primaquine is not given routinely because primaquine can trigger red blood cell death (hemolytic anemia) in G6PD-deficient people and tests for G6PD deficiency are rarely available. These findings suggest that the risk of exposure to primaquine among people infected with P. vivax might be lower than previously assumed, because G6PD deficiency is less common among P. vivax-infected patients than among the general population. Nevertheless, these findings are unlikely to increase the use of primaquine immediately. Such an increase, the researchers suggest, will only occur if a simple test for G6PD deficiency is developed.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
Information is available from the World Health Organization on malaria (in several languages)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on malaria (in English and Spanish)
Information is available from the Wellcome Trust on all aspects of malaria, including a news item about G6PD deficiency protecting against severe P. falciparum malaria
MedlinePlus provides links to additional information on malaria (in English and Spanish)
The Malaria Vaccine Initiative has a fact sheet on Plasmodium vivax malaria
Vivaxmalaria provides information about P. vivax
More about G6PD deficiency can be found on KidsHealth from the Nemours Children's Health System
PMCID: PMC2876136  PMID: 20520804
5.  On the Wegener granulomatosis associated region on chromosome 6p21.3 
BMC Medical Genetics  2006;7:21.
Wegener granulomatosis (WG) belongs to the heterogeneous group of systemic vasculitides. The multifactorial pathophysiology of WG is supposedly caused by yet unknown environmental influence(s) on the basis of genetic predisposition. The presence of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) in the plasma of patients and genetic involvement of the human leukocyte antigen system reflect an autoimmune background of the disease. Strong associations were revealed with WG by markers located in the major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) region in the vicinity of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DPB1 and the retinoid X receptor B (RXRB) loci. In order to define the involvement of the 6p21.3 region in WG in more detail this previous population-based association study was expanded here to the respective 3.6 megabase encompassing this region on chromosome 6. The RXRB gene was analysed as well as a splice-site variation of the butyrophilin-like (BTNL2) gene which is also located within the respective region. The latter polymorphism has been evaluated here as it appears as a HLA independent susceptibility factor in another granulomatous disorder, sarcoidosis.
150–180 German WG patients and a corresponding cohort of healthy controls (n = 100–261) were used in a two-step study. A panel of 94 microsatellites was designed for the initial step using a DNA pooling approach. Markers with significantly differing allele frequencies between patient and control pools were individually genotyped. The RXRB gene was analysed for single strand conformation polymorphisms (SSCP) and restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP). The splice-site polymorphism in the BTNL2 gene was also investigated by RFLP analysis.
A previously investigated microsatellite (#, Santa Cruz genome browser (UCSC) May 2004 Freeze localisation: chr6:31257596-34999883), which was used as a positive control, remained associated throughout the whole two-step approach. Yet, no additional evidence for association of other microsatellite markers was found in the entire investigated region. Analysis of the RXRB gene located in the WG associated region revealed associations of two variations (rs10548957 pallelic = 0.02 and rs6531 pallelic = 5.20 × 10-5, OR = 1.88). Several alleles of markers located between HLA-DPB1, SNP rs6531 and microsatellite showed linkage disequilibrium with r2 values exceeding 0.10. Significant differences were not demonstrable for the sarcoidosis associated splice-site variation (rs2076530 pallelic = 0.80) in our WG cohort.
Since a microsatellite flanking the RXRB gene and two intragenic polymorphisms are associated significantly with WG on chromosome 6p21.3, further investigations should be focussed on extensive fine-mapping in this region by densely mapping with additional markers such as SNPs. This strategy may reveal even deeper insights into the genetic contributions of the respective region for the pathogenesis of WG.
PMCID: PMC1431512  PMID: 16526951
6.  Meta-analysis in granulomatosis with polyangiitis reveals shared susceptibility loci with rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2012;64(10):3463-3471.
To examine the association of previously identified autoimmune disease susceptibility loci with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA, formerly known as Wegener’s granulomatosis), and determine whether genetic susceptibility profiles of other autoimmune diseases are associated with GPA
Genetic data from two cohorts were meta-analyzed. Genotypes for 168 previously identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with susceptibility to different autoimmune diseases were ascertained for a total of 880 GPA cases and 1969 controls of European descent. Single marker associations were identified using additive logistic regression models. Multi-SNP associations with GPA were assessed using genetic risk scores based on susceptibility loci for Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis. Adjustment for population substructure was performed in all analyses using ancestry informative markers and principal components analysis.
Genetic polymorphisms in CTLA4 were significantly associated with GPA in the single-marker meta-analysis (OR 0.79. 95% CI 0.70–0.89, p=9.8×10−5). A genetic risk score based on rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility markers was significantly associated with GPA (OR 1.05 per 1-unit increase in genetic risk score, 95% CI 1.02–1.08, p=5.1×10−5).
Rheumatoid arthritis and GPA may arise from a similar genetic predisposition. Aside from CTLA4, other loci previously found to be associated with common autoimmune diseases were not statistically associated with GPA in this study.
PMCID: PMC3425721  PMID: 22508400
genetics; vasculitis; granulomatosis with polyangiitis; rheumatoid arthritis; CTLA4
7.  Association study with Wegener granulomatosis of the human phospholipase Cγ2 gene 
Wegener Granulomatosis (WG) is a multifactorial disease of yet unknown aetiology characterized by granulomata of the respiratory tract and systemic necrotizing vasculitis. Analyses of candidate genes revealed several associations, e.g. with α(1)-antitrypsin, proteinase 3 and with the HLA-DPB1 locus. A mutation in the abnormal limb mutant 5 (ALI5) mouse in the region coding for the hydrophobic ridge loop 3 (HRL3) of the phospholipaseCγ2 (PLCγ-2) gene, corresponding to human PLCγ-2 exon 27, leads to acute and chronic inflammation and granulomatosis. For that reason, we screened exons 11, 12 and 13 coding for the hydrophobic ridge loop 1 and 2 (HRL1 and 2, respectively) and exon 27 of the PLCγ-2 protein by single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP), sequencing and PCR/ restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses. In addition, we screened indirectly for disease association via 4 microsatellites with pooled DNA in the PLCγ-2 gene.
Although a few polymorphisms in these distinct exons were observed, significant differences in allele frequencies were not identified between WG patients and respective controls. In addition, the microsatellite analyses did not reveal a significant difference between our patient and control cohort.
This report does not reveal any hints for an involvement of the PLCγ-2 gene in the pathogenesis of WG in our case-control study.
PMCID: PMC549077  PMID: 15703080
8.  Association of Granulomatosis With Polyangiitis (Wegener’s) With HLA–DPB1*04 and SEMA6A Gene Variants Evidence From Genome-Wide Analysis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2013;65(9):2457-2468.
To identify genetic determinants of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s) (GPA).
We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 492 GPA cases and 1,506 healthy controls (white subjects of European descent), followed by replication analysis of the most strongly associated signals in an independent cohort of 528 GPA cases and 1,228 controls.
Genome-wide significant associations were identified in 32 single-nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers across the HLA region, the majority of which were located in the HLA–DPB1 and HLA–DPA1 genes encoding the class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) DPβ chain 1 and DPα chain 1 proteins, respectively. Peak association signals in these 2 genes, emanating from SNPs rs9277554 (for DPβ chain 1) and rs9277341 (DPα chain 1) were strongly replicated in an independent cohort (in the combined analysis of the initial cohort and the replication cohort, P = 1.92 × 10−50 and 2.18 × 10−39, respectively). Imputation of classic HLA alleles and conditional analyses revealed that the SNP association signal was fully accounted for by the classic HLA–DPB1*04 allele. An independent single SNP, rs26595, near SEMA6A (the gene for semaphorin 6A) on chromosome 5, was also associated with GPA, reaching genome-wide significance in a combined analysis of the GWAS and replication cohorts (P = 2.09 × 10−8).
We identified the SEMA6A and HLA–DP loci as significant contributors to risk for GPA, with the HLA–DPB1*04 allele almost completely accounting for the MHC association. These two associations confirm the critical role of immunogenetic factors in the development of GPA.
PMCID: PMC4471994  PMID: 23740775
9.  Combining Information from Common Type 2 Diabetes Risk Polymorphisms Improves Disease Prediction 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e374.
A limited number of studies have assessed the risk of common diseases when combining information from several predisposing polymorphisms. In most cases, individual polymorphisms only moderately increase risk (~20%), and they are thought to be unhelpful in assessing individuals' risk clinically. The value of analyzing multiple alleles simultaneously is not well studied. This is often because, for any given disease, very few common risk alleles have been confirmed.
Methods and Findings
Three common variants (Lys23 of KCNJ11, Pro12 of PPARG, and the T allele at rs7903146 of TCF7L2) have been shown to predispose to type 2 diabetes mellitus across many large studies. Risk allele frequencies ranged from 0.30 to 0.88 in controls. To assess the combined effect of multiple susceptibility alleles, we genotyped these variants in a large case-control study (3,668 controls versus 2,409 cases). Individual allele odds ratios (ORs) ranged from 1.14 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 1.23) to 1.48 (95% CI, 1.36 to 1.60). We found no evidence of gene-gene interaction, and the risks of multiple alleles were consistent with a multiplicative model. Each additional risk allele increased the odds of type 2 diabetes by 1.28 (95% CI, 1.21 to 1.35) times. Participants with all six risk alleles had an OR of 5.71 (95% CI, 1.15 to 28.3) compared to those with no risk alleles. The 8.1% of participants that were double-homozygous for the risk alleles at TCF7L2 and Pro12Ala had an OR of 3.16 (95% CI, 2.22 to 4.50), compared to 4.3% with no TCF7L2 risk alleles and either no or one Glu23Lys or Pro12Ala risk alleles.
Combining information from several known common risk polymorphisms allows the identification of population subgroups with markedly differing risks of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those obtained using single polymorphisms. This approach may have a role in future preventative measures for common, polygenic diseases.
Combining information from several known common risk polymorphisms allows the identification of subgroups of the population with markedly differing risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
Editors' Summary
Diabetes is an important and increasingly common global health problem; the World Health Organization has estimated that about 170 million people currently have diabetes worldwide. One particular form, type 2 diabetes, develops when cells in the body become unable to respond to a hormone called insulin. Insulin is normally released by the pancreas and controls the ability of body cells to take in glucose (sugar). Therefore, when cells become insensitive to insulin as in people with type 2 diabetes, glucose levels in the body are not well controlled and may become dangerously high in the blood. These high levels can have long-term damaging effects on various organs in the body, particularly the eyes, nerves, heart, and kidneys. There are many different factors that affect whether someone is likely to develop type 2 diabetes. These factors can be broadly grouped into two categories: environmental and genetic. Environmental factors such as obesity, a diet high in sugar, and a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes in later life. Genetically, a number of variants in many different genes may affect the risk of developing the disease. Generally, these gene variants are common in human populations but each gene variant only mildly increases the risk that a person possessing it will get type 2 diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
The investigators performing this study wanted to understand how different gene variants combine to affect an individual's risk of getting type 2 diabetes. That is, if a person carries many different variants, does their overall risk increase a lot or only a little?
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
First, the researchers surveyed the published reports to identify those gene variants for which there was strong evidence of an association with type 2 diabetes. They found mutations in three genes that had been shown reproducibly to be associated with type 2 diabetes in different studies: PPARG (whose product is involved in regulation of fat tissue), KCNJ11 (whose product is involved in insulin production), and TCF7L2 (whose product is thought to be involved in controlling sugar levels). Then, they compared two groups of white people in the UK: 2,409 people with type 2 diabetes (“cases”), and 3,668 people from the general population (“controls”). The researchers compared the two groups to see which individuals possessed which gene variants, and did statistical testing to work out to what extent having particular combinations of the gene variants affected an individual's chance of being a “case” versus a “control.” Their results showed that in the groups studied, having an ever-increasing number of gene variants increased the risk of developing diabetes. The risk that someone with none of the gene variants would develop type 2 diabetes was about 2%, while the chance for someone with all gene variants was about10%.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results show that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is greater if an individual possesses all of the gene variants that were examined in this study. The analysis also suggests that using information on all three variants, rather than just one, is likely to be more accurate in predicting future risk. How this genetic information should be used alongside other well-known preventative measures such as altered lifestyle requires further study.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
NHS Direct patient information on diabetes
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse information on type 2 diabetes
World Health Organization Diabetes Programme
Centers for Disease ControlDiabetes Public Health Resource
PMCID: PMC1584415  PMID: 17020404
10.  A Prospective Study of Plasma Vitamin D Metabolites, Vitamin D Receptor Polymorphisms, and Prostate Cancer 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(3):e103.
Vitamin D insufficiency is a common public health problem nationwide. Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D), the most commonly used index of vitamin D status, is converted to the active hormone 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]2D), which, operating through the vitamin D receptor (VDR), inhibits in vitro cell proliferation, induces differentiation and apoptosis, and may protect against prostate cancer. Despite intriguing results from laboratory studies, previous epidemiological studies showed inconsistent associations of circulating levels of 25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)2D, and several VDR polymorphisms with prostate cancer risk. Few studies have explored the joint association of circulating vitamin D levels with VDR polymorphisms.
Methods and Findings
During 18 y of follow-up of 14,916 men initially free of diagnosed cancer, we identified 1,066 men with incident prostate cancer (including 496 with aggressive disease, defined as stage C or D, Gleason 7–10, metastatic, and fatal prostate cancer) and 1,618 cancer-free, age- and smoking-matched control participants in the Physicians' Health Study. We examined the associations of prediagnostic plasma levels of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D, individually and jointly, with total and aggressive disease, and explored whether relations between vitamin D metabolites and prostate cancer were modified by the functional VDR FokI polymorphism, using conditional logistic regression. Among these US physicians, the median plasma 25(OH)D levels were 25 ng/ml in the blood samples collected during the winter or spring and 32 ng/ml in samples collected during the summer or fall. Nearly 13% (summer/fall) to 36% (winter/spring) of the control participants were deficient in 25(OH)D (<20 ng/ml) and 51% (summer/fall) and 77% (winter/spring) had insufficient plasma 25(OH)D levels (<32 ng/ml). Plasma levels of 1,25(OH)2D did not vary by season. Men whose levels for both 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D were below (versus above) the median had a significantly increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 2.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–3.4), although the interaction between the two vitamin D metabolites was not statistically significant (pinteraction = 0.23). We observed a significant interaction between circulating 25(OH)D levels and the VDR FokI genotype (pinteraction < 0.05). Compared with those with plasma 25(OH)D levels above the median and with the FokI FF or Ff genotype, men who had low 25(OH)D levels and the less functional FokI ff genotype had increased risks of total (OR = 1.9, 95% CI 1.1–3.3) and aggressive prostate cancer (OR = 2.5, 95% CI 1.1–5.8). Among men with plasma 25(OH)D levels above the median, the ff genotype was no longer associated with risk. Conversely, among men with the ff genotype, high plasma 25(OH)D level (above versus below the median) was related to significant 60%∼70% lower risks of total and aggressive prostate cancer.
Our data suggest that a large proportion of the US men had suboptimal vitamin D status (especially during the winter/spring season), and both 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D may play an important role in preventing prostate cancer progression. Moreover, vitamin D status, measured by 25(OH)D in plasma, interacts with the VDR FokI polymorphism and modifies prostate cancer risk. Men with the less functional FokI ff genotype (14% in the European-descent population of this cohort) are more susceptible to this cancer in the presence of low 25(OH)D status.
Results of this study by Haojie Li and colleagues suggest that vitamin D deficiency is common among men in the US, and that vitamin D status and genetic variation in theVDR gene affect prostate cancer risk.
Editors' Summary
Prostate cancer occurs when cells in the prostate gland (part of the male reproductive system) accumulate genetic changes that allow them to grow into a disorganized mass of cells. Patients whose disease is diagnosed when these cells are still relatively normal can survive for many years, but for patients with aggressive cancers—ones containing fast-growing cells that can migrate around the body—the outlook is poor. Factors that increase prostate cancer risk include increasing age, having a family history of prostate cancer, and being African American. Also, there are hints that some environmental or dietary factors affect prostate cancer risk. One of these factors is vitamin D, of which high levels are found in seafood and dairy products, but which can also be made naturally by the body—more specifically, by sunlight-exposed skin. One reason researchers think vitamin D might protect against prostate cancer is that this cancer is more common in sun-starved northern countries (where people often have a vitamin D deficiency) than in sunny regions. Prostate cancer is also more common in African American men than in those of European descent (when exposed to the same amount of sunlight, individuals with darker skin make less vitamin D than those with lighter skin). Once in the human body, vitamin D is converted into the vitamin D metabolite 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D) and then into the active hormone 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]2D). This binds to vitamin D receptors (VDRs) and inhibits cell proliferation and migration.
Why Was This Study Done?
The effect of 1,25(OH)2D on cells and the observation that related chemicals slow prostate cancer growth in rodents suggest that vitamin D protects against prostate cancer. But circulating levels of vitamin D metabolites in human male populations do not always reflect how many men develop prostate cancer. This lack of correlation may partly be because different forms of the VDR gene exist. One area of variation in the VDR gene is called the FokI polymorphism. Because everyone carries two copies of the VDR gene, individuals may have a FokI FF, FokI Ff, or FokI ff genotype. The f variant (or allele) codes for a receptor that is less responsive to 1,25(OH)2D than the receptor encoded by the FokI F allele. So levels of vitamin D sufficient to prevent cancer in one person may be insufficient in someone with a different FokI genotype. In this study, the researchers have investigated how levels of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D in combination with different VDR FokI alleles are influencing prostate cancer risk.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 1,066 men who developed prostate cancer between enrollment into the US Physicians' Health Study in 1982 and 2000, and 1,618 cancer-free men of the same ages and smoking levels as “controls.” They measured vitamin D metabolite levels in many of the blood samples taken from these men in 1982 and determined their FokI genotype. Two-thirds of the men had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the winter/spring; almost one-third had a vitamin D deficiency. Men whose blood levels of both metabolites were below average were twice as likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer as those in whom both levels were above average. Compared with men with high blood levels of 25(OH)D and the FokI FF or Ff genotype, men with low 25(OH)D levels and the FokI ff genotype were 2.5 times as likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. However, men with the ff genotype were not at higher risk if they had sufficient 25(OH)D levels. Among men with the ff genotype, sufficient 25(OH)D levels might therefore protect against prostate cancer, especially against the clinically aggressive form.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings confirm that many US men have suboptimal levels of circulating vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for healthy bones, so irrespective of its effects on prostate cancer, vitamin D supplements might improve overall health. In addition, this large and lengthy study reveals an association between low levels of the two vitamin D metabolites and aggressive prostate cancer that is consistent with vitamin D helping to prevent the progression of prostate cancer. It also indicates that the VDR FokI genotype modifies the prostate cancer risk associated with different blood levels of vitamin D. Together, these results suggest that improving vitamin D status through increased exposure to sun and vitamin D supplements might reduce prostate cancer risk, particularly in men with the FokI ff genotype. Because the study participants were mainly of European descent, the researchers caution that these results may not apply to other ethnic groups and note that further detailed studies are needed to understand fully how vitamin D affects prostate cancer risk across the population.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on prostate cancer and on vitamin D
Information for patients and physicians is available from the US National Cancer Institute on prostate cancer and on cancer prevention
The Prostate Cancer Foundation's information on prostate cancer discusses the effects of nutrition on the disease
Patient information on prostate cancer is available from Cancer Research UK
Cancerbackup also has patient information on prostate cancer
PMCID: PMC1831738  PMID: 17388667
11.  PTPN22 R620W Polymorphism and ANCA Disease Risk in White Populations: A Metaanalysis 
The Journal of rheumatology  2014;42(2):292-299.
No clear consensus has been reached on the PTPN22 R620W polymorphism and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) disease, especially when stratified by ANCA specificity and disease phenotypes.
A metaanalysis was conducted on the PTPN22 R620W polymorphism across 4 studies in 1399 white patients with ANCA disease and 9934 normal control subjects.
Overall, metaanalysis showed a statistically significant association between the A allele and ANCA disease in all subjects (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.26–1.64, p < 0.00001), and stratification by disease category indicated the A allele was associated with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s; GPA; OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.35–2.20, p < 0.0001) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA; OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.08–2.15, p = 0.02) as compared to controls. However, when stratified by ANCA specificity, the association of the A allele was statistically evident among those with proteinase 3 (PR3) ANCA disease (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.25–2.430, p = 0.001), with the same trend but not statistically associated with myeloperoxidase ANCA disease (OR 1.94, 95% CI 0.64–5.85, p = 0.24). The marked associations were also demonstrated between this allele with lung (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.21–2.36, p = 0.002), ENT (OR 2.03, 95% CI 1.45–2.84, p < 0.0001), skin (OR 2.55, 95% CI 1.69–3.84, p < 0.0001), and peripheral neuropathy involvement (OR 2.12, 95% CI 1.39–3.22, p = 0.0005).
The PTPN22 620W allele confers susceptibility to the occurrence and development of ANCA disease in whites, with specific evidence among subsets with GPA, MPA, and PR3 ANCA. (J Rheumatol First Release Dec 1 2014; doi:10.3899/jrheum.131430)
PMCID: PMC4314360  PMID: 25448792
12.  Distinct tumour necrosis factor α, interferon γ, interleukin 10, and cytotoxic T cell antigen 4 gene polymorphisms in disease occurrence and end stage renal disease in Wegener's granulomatosis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2005;64(3):457-461.
Background: Cytokines and T cell regulatory proteins play an important role in the pathogenesis of Wegener's granulomatosis (WG).
Objective: To investigate cytokine and cytotoxic T cell antigen-4 (CTLA4) gene polymorphisms and HLA class II alleles in generalised WG.
Methods: The distribution of cytokine and cytotoxic T cell antigen 4 (CTLA4) gene polymorphisms and HLA class II alleles was analysed in 32 patients with generalised WG and 91 healthy controls. Genotyping was carried out for HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 and for polymorphism of the genes encoding TNFα (–238, –308, –376), TGFß (codon 10 and 25), IFNγ (+874), IL6 (–174), IL10 (–592, –819, –1082), CTLA4 (–318, +49), and the (AT)n repeats of the CTLA4 gene. In addition, stratification analysis was carried out according to the presence (n = 15) or absence (n = 17) of end stage renal disease.
Results: An increase in the IFNγ +874 T/T (odds ratio (OR) = 3.14) and TNFα –238 G/A (OR = 5.01) genotypes was found in WG patients. When ESRD positive and negative patients were compared, the IFNγ +874 A/A and the CTLA4 –318 C/C genotypes were found more often in the ESRD subgroup (OR = 10.6 and OR = 2.25). WG patients without ESRD had a higher frequency of the IL10 GCC/ACC promotor genotype (OR = 0.13) and long CTLA4 (AT)n repeats (OR = 0.4). No effect was seen for HLA-DR and –DQ markers.
Conclusions: Disease susceptibility and clinical course in WG may be associated with distinct polymorphisms of cytokine and CTLA4 genes.
PMCID: PMC1755422  PMID: 15708894
13.  The BARD1 Cys557Ser Variant and Breast Cancer Risk in Iceland 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(7):e217.
Most, if not all, of the cellular functions of the BRCA1 protein are mediated through heterodimeric complexes composed of BRCA1 and a related protein, BARD1. Some breast-cancer-associated BRCA1 missense mutations disrupt the function of the BRCA1/BARD1 complex. It is therefore pertinent to determine whether variants of BARD1 confer susceptibility to breast cancer. Recently, a missense BARD1 variant, Cys557Ser, was reported to be at increased frequencies in breast cancer families. We investigated the role of the BARD1 Cys557Ser variant in a population-based cohort of 1,090 Icelandic patients with invasive breast cancer and 703 controls. We then used a computerized genealogy of the Icelandic population to study the relationships between the Cys557Ser variant and familial clustering of breast cancer.
Methods and Findings
The Cys557Ser allele was present at a frequency of 0.028 in patients with invasive breast cancer and 0.016 in controls (odds ratio [OR] = 1.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11–3.01, p = 0.014). The alleleic frequency was 0.037 in a high-predisposition group of cases defined by having a family history of breast cancer, early onset of breast cancer, or multiple primary breast cancers (OR = 2.41, 95% CI 1.22–4.75, p = 0.015). Carriers of the common Icelandic BRCA2 999del5 mutation were found to have their risk of breast cancer further increased if they also carried the BARD1 variant: the frequency of the BARD1 variant allele was 0.047 (OR = 3.11, 95% CI 1.16–8.40, p = 0.046) in 999del5 carriers with breast cancer. This suggests that the lifetime probability of a BARD1 Cys557Ser/BRCA2 999del5 double carrier developing breast cancer could approach certainty. Cys557Ser carriers, with or without the BRCA2 mutation, had an increased risk of subsequent primary breast tumors after the first breast cancer diagnosis compared to non-carriers. Lobular and medullary breast carcinomas were overrepresented amongst Cys557Ser carriers. We found that an excess of ancestors of contemporary carriers lived in a single county in the southeast of Iceland and that all carriers shared a SNP haplotype, which is suggestive of a founder event. Cys557Ser was found on the same SNP haplotype background in the HapMap Project CEPH sample of Utah residents.
Our findings suggest that BARD1 Cys557Ser is an ancient variant that confers risk of single and multiple primary breast cancers, and this risk extends to carriers of the BRCA2 999del5 mutation.
Editors' Summary
About 13% of women (one in eight women) will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, but many factors affect the likelihood of any individual woman developing this disease, for example, whether she has had children and at what age, when she started and stopped her periods, and her exposure to certain chemicals or radiation. She may also have inherited a defective gene that affects her risk of developing breast cancer. Some 5%–10% of all breast cancers are familial, or inherited. In 20% of these cases, the gene that is defective is BRCA1 or BRCA2. Inheriting a defective copy of one of these genes greatly increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, while researchers think that the other inherited genes that predispose to breast cancer—most of which have not been identified yet—have a much weaker effect. These are described as low-penetrance genes. Inheriting one such gene only slightly increases breast cancer risk; a woman has to inherit several to increase her lifetime risk of cancer significantly.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is important to identify these additional predisposing gene variants because they might provide insights into why breast cancer develops, how to prevent it, and how to treat it. To find low-penetrance genes, researchers do case–control association studies. They find a large group of women with breast cancer (cases) and a similar group of women without cancer (controls), and examine how often a specific gene variant occurs in the two groups. If the variant is found more often in the cases than in the controls, it might be a variant that increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers involved in this study recruited Icelandic women who had had breast cancer and unaffected women, and looked for a specific variant—the Cys557Ser allele—of a gene called BARD1. They chose BARD1 because the protein it encodes interacts with the protein encoded by BRCA1. Because defects in BRCA1 increase the risk of breast cancer, defects in an interacting protein might have a similar effect. In addition, the Cys557Ser allele has been implicated in breast cancer in other studies. The researchers found that the Cys557Ser allele was nearly twice as common in women with breast cancer as in control women. It was also more common (but not by much) in women who had a family history of breast cancer or who had developed breast cancer more than once. And having the Cys557Ser allele seemed to increase the already high risk of breast cancer in women who had a BRCA2 variant (known as BRCA2 999del5) that accounts for 40% of inherited breast cancer risk in Iceland.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results indicate that inheriting the BARD1 Cys557Ser allele increases a woman's breast cancer risk but that she is unlikely to have a family history of the disease. Because carrying the Cys557Ser allele only slightly increases a woman's risk of breast cancer, for most women there is no clinical reason to test for this variant. Eventually, when all the low-penetrance genes that contribute to breast cancer risk have been identified, it might be helpful to screen women for the full set to determine whether they are at high risk of developing breast cancer. This will not happen for many years, however, since there might be tens or hundreds of these genes. For women who carry BRCA2 999del5, the situation might be different. It might be worth testing these women for the BARD1 Cys557Ser allele, the researchers explain, because the lifetime probability of developing breast cancer in women carrying both variants might approach 100%. This finding has clinical implications in terms of counseling and monitoring, as does the observation that Cys557Ser carriers have an increased risk of a second, independent breast cancer compared to non-carriers. However, all these findings need to be confirmed in other groups of patients before anyone is routinely tested for the BARD1 Cys557Ser allele.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
• MedlinePlus pages about breast cancer
• Information on breast cancer from the United States National Cancer Institute
• Information on inherited breast cancer from the United States National Human Genome Research Institute
• United States National Cancer Institute information on genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants
• GeneTests pages on the involvement of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
• Cancer Research UK's page on breast cancer statistics
In a population-based cohort of 1090 Icelandic patients, a Cys557Ser missense variant of the BARD1 gene, which interacts with BRCA1, increased the risk of single and multiple primary breast cancers.
PMCID: PMC1479388  PMID: 16768547
14.  A coronary artery disease-associated SNP rs6903956 contributed to asymptomatic hyperuricemia susceptibility in Han Chinese 
To investigate the association of a coronary artery disease (CAD) risk SNP rs6903956 with asymptomatic hyperuricemia (aHU) susceptibility in Han Chinese.
Two hundred and twenty one patients with aHU and 447 healthy controls were recruited for this study. SNP rs6903956 were genotyped using TaqMan probe.
The overall genotype and allele frequency distribution of the rs6903956 showed significant difference between aHU cases and controls (p <0.001 for genotype and allele, respectively). AA genotype of rs6903956 was significantly associated with aHU (OR = 8.672, 95% CI 2.811-26.753, p <0.001) in our Han Chinese aHU cohort. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that rs6903956 might be an independent risk factor for aHU susceptibility (OR = 10.642 [2.671- 42.400], p = 0.001 for codominant model and OR = 9.205 [2.336-36.280], p = 0.002 for recessive model) after adjustment for some well- known CAD risk factors including age, gender, body mass index, smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, abnormal glycometabolism, lipid abnormality and alcohol intake. No significant genotype-specific difference in uric acid levels was observed in aHU patients and controls.
Our findings are the first to establish a genetic link of a CAD-associated rs6903956 with aHU in a Han Chinese population, providing the genetic evidence to support the close relationship between hyperuricemia and CAD.
PMCID: PMC4436167  PMID: 25928384
Asymptomatic hyperuricemia; Coronary artery disease; SNP rs6903956
15.  Case-control study for colorectal cancer genetic susceptibility in EPICOLON: previously identified variants and mucins 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:339.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in developed countries. Familial aggregation in CRC is also important outside syndromic forms and, in this case, a polygenic model with several common low-penetrance alleles contributing to CRC genetic predisposition could be hypothesized. Mucins and GALNTs (N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase) are interesting candidates for CRC genetic susceptibility and have not been previously evaluated. We present results for ten genetic variants linked to CRC risk in previous studies (previously identified category) and 18 selected variants from the mucin gene family in a case-control association study from the Spanish EPICOLON consortium.
CRC cases and matched controls were from EPICOLON, a prospective, multicenter, nationwide Spanish initiative, comprised of two independent stages. Stage 1 corresponded to 515 CRC cases and 515 controls, whereas stage 2 consisted of 901 CRC cases and 909 controls. Also, an independent cohort of 549 CRC cases and 599 controls outside EPICOLON was available for additional replication. Genotyping was performed for ten previously identified SNPs in ADH1C, APC, CCDN1, IL6, IL8, IRS1, MTHFR, PPARG, VDR and ARL11, and 18 selected variants in the mucin gene family.
None of the 28 SNPs analyzed in our study was found to be associated with CRC risk. Although four SNPs were significant with a P-value < 0.05 in EPICOLON stage 1 [rs698 in ADH1C (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.06-2.50, P-value = 0.02, recessive), rs1800795 in IL6 (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.10-2.37, P-value = 0.01, recessive), rs3803185 in ARL11 (OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.17-2.15, P-value = 0.007, codominant), and rs2102302 in GALNTL2 (OR = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.00-1.44, P-value = 0.04, log-additive 0, 1, 2 alleles], only rs3803185 achieved statistical significance in EPICOLON stage 2 (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.06-1.69, P-value = 0.01, recessive). In the joint analysis for both stages, results were only significant for rs3803185 (OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.00-1.25, P-value = 0.04, log-additive 0, 1, 2 alleles) and borderline significant for rs698 and rs2102302. The rs3803185 variant was not significantly associated with CRC risk in an external cohort (MCC-Spain), but it still showed some borderline significance in the pooled analysis of both cohorts (OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 0.98-1.18, P-value = 0.09, log-additive 0, 1, 2 alleles).
ARL11, ADH1C, GALNTL2 and IL6 genetic variants may have an effect on CRC risk. Further validation and meta-analyses should be undertaken in larger CRC studies.
PMCID: PMC3176240  PMID: 21819567
Colorectal Neoplasms; Genetic Predisposition to Disease; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism; Mucins; Genetic Association Studies
16.  Association of MMP-9 gene polymorphisms with acute coronary syndrome in the Uygur population of China 
Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) plays a pivotal role in early atherosclerosis, vascular remodeling and development of atherosclerotic lesion. The potentially functional MMP-9 gene polymorphism may contribute to the susceptibility of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). This study aimed to investigate the association between two single nucleotide polymorphisms (−1562C>T, R279Q) of the MMP-9 gene in patients with ACS in the Uygur population of China.
This case-control study was composed of 361 ACS patients and 432 control subjects, who had undergone coronary angiography. Among the ACS patients, 162 (44.9%) had single-vessel disease, 145 (40.2%) had two-vessel disease, and 54 (14.9%) had three-vessel disease. The genotypes of the two selected SNPs were determined by the method of polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP-PCR). The relationship between the polymorphism of the MMP-9 gene and the severity of coronary arterial stenosis was analyzed.
Analysis of the two SNPs showed that the frequency of CT and TT genotypes in patients with ACS was significantly higher than that in the control group (ACS vs. controls; CT+TT: 25.5% vs. 15.8%, P=0.001). And the –1562 gene allele (C/T) was significantly associated with acute coronary syndrome (ACS vs. controls; C allele: 85.7% vs. 91.5%, T allele: 14.3% vs. 8.5%, P<0.001). But the frequencies of CT+TT and CC genotypes were not statistically different among ACS patients with one, two and three or more significantly diseased vessels (P=0.55). The R279Q polymorphism site with regard to the association with ACS was not significant (P>0.05). The presence of CT or TT genotypes, assuming codominant effect of the T allele, was independently associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease when adjustment was made for age, body mass index, smoking, hypertension and diabetes mellitus [odds ratio=1.737 (95% confidence interval, 1.337-2.257), P=0.018].
MMP-9–1562C>T polymorphism is associated with the susceptibility to ACS in the Uygur population of China. However, this mutation apparently is not related to the severity of coronary arterial stenosis. Another SNP (R279Q) polymorphism of MMP-9 is not significantly associated with the risk of ACS.
PMCID: PMC4129690  PMID: 25214993
Matrix metalloproteinase-9; Acute coronary syndrome; Uygur; Gene polymorphism
17.  Association of the miR-146a, miR-149, miR-196a2 and miR-499 polymorphisms with susceptibility to pulmonary tuberculosis in the Chinese Uygur, Kazak and Southern Han populations 
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within precursor microRNAs (miRNAs) can affect miRNAs expression, and may be involved in the pathogenesis of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). This study aimed to investigate potential associations between the four precursor miRNA SNPs (miR-146a C > G, miR-149 T > C, miR-196a2 T > C, and miR-499 T > C) and susceptibility to pulmonary TB in the Chinese Uygur, Kazak, and Southern Han populations.
A case-control study was performed on Chinese Uygur (n = 662), Kazak (n = 612), and Southern Han (n = 654) populations using the PCR-PFLR method. The allele and genotype frequencies for all populations were analyzed. Linkage disequilibrium was performed, and different models of inheritance were tested.
The allele and genotype frequencies of the miR-499 SNP were significantly different between the TB patients group and the healthy control group in the Uygur population, and were found to be codominant, dominant, recessive and additive models in association with pulmonary TB. The haplotype CTCC showed significant correlation with pulmonary TB. The allele and genotype frequencies of miR-146a and miR-196a2 SNPs were significantly different between the two groups in the Kazak population. The miR-146a SNP was found to be codominant, recessive and additive models, whereas, the miR-196a2 SNP was found to be codominant, dominant, and additive models in association with pulmonary TB. The haplotypes TCCC and CCCT showed significant correlation with pulmonary TB.
The results suggested that susceptibility to pulmonary TB may be closely related to individual differences caused by genetic factors among different ethnic groups in China.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-015-0771-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4326450  PMID: 25650003
MicroRNAs; Pulmonary tuberculosis; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; Kazak; Uygur; Southern Han
18.  The TGFBR1*6A allele is not associated with susceptibility to colorectal cancer in a Spanish population: a case-control study 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:193.
TGF-β receptor type I is a mediator of growth inhibitory signals. TGFBR1*6A (rs11466445) is a common polymorphic variant of the TGF-β receptor I gene and has been associated with tumour susceptibility. Nevertheless, the role of this polymorphism as a risk factor for colorectal cancer is controversial. The aim of this study was to assess the association between TGFBR1*6A and colorectal cancer, age, sex, tumour location and tumour stage in a Spanish population.
The case-control study involved 800 Spanish subjects: 400 sporadic colorectal cancer patients and 400 age-, sex-, and ethnic-matched controls. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the TGFBR1*6A polymorphism were calculated using unconditional logistic regression adjusted for age and sex. Analysis of somatic mutations at the GCG repeat of TGFBR1 exon 1 and germline allele-specific expression were also conducted to obtain further information on the contribution of the TGFBR1*6A allele to CRC susceptibility.
There was no statistically significant association between the TGFBR1*6A allele and CRC (p > 0.05). The OR was 1.147 (95% CI: 0.799–1.647) for carriers of the TGFBR1*6A allele and 0.878 (95% CI: 0.306–2.520) for homozygous TGFBR1*6A individuals compared with the reference. The frequency of the polymorphism was not affected by age, sex or tumour stage. The TGFBR1*6A allele was more prevalent among colon tumour patients than among rectal tumour patients. Tumour somatic mutations were found in only two of 69 cases (2.9%). Both cases involved a GCG deletion that changed genotype 9A/9A in normal DNA to genotype 9A/8A. Interestingly, these two tumours were positive for microsatellite instability, suggesting that these mutations originated because of a deficient DNA mismatch repair system.
Allele-specific expression of the 9A allele was detected in seven of the 14 heterozygous 9A/6A tumour cases. This could have been caused by linkage disequilibrium of the TGFBR1*6A allele with mutations that cause allele-specific expression, as was recently suggested.
Our results suggest that the TGFBR1*6A allele does not confer an increased risk of colorectal cancer in the Spanish population.
PMCID: PMC2708189  PMID: 19538729
19.  Genetic polymorphisms of estrogen receptor alpha and catechol-O-methyltransferase genes in Turkish patients with familial prostate carcinoma 
Indian Journal of Human Genetics  2013;19(4):408-411.
Estrogen is one of the most crucial hormones participating in the proliferation and carcinogenesis of the prostate glands. Genetic polymorphisms in the estrogen metabolism pathway might be involved in the risk of prostate carcinoma development. We evaluated the association between genetic polymorphisms in estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genes and the risk of developing familial prostate carcinoma.
In this study, 34 cases with prostate carcinoma whose first-degree relatives had prostate carcinoma and 30 healthy age-matched male controls were enrolled. The genotypes of ESR1 and COMT genes were analyzed employing polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. 34 cases with prostate carcinoma, whose first degree relatives had prostate carcinoma and 14 age-matched male controls were enrolled to analyze the genotype of these two genes.
Among control patients, the ESR1 PvuII genotypes of C/C, C/T and T/T were observed in 37%, 26% and 37%, respectively, whereas the C/C, C/T and T/T genotypes were observed in 18%, 41% and 41% of case patients, respectively. Among controls, the ESR1 PvuII allele frequencies of C and T were equally observed, whereas the C and T allele frequencies were observed in 38% and 62% of patients, respectively. Among ESR1 PvuII genotypes there were not any significant difference in terms of genotype (P = 0.199) and allele (P = 0.181) frequencies. Among controls, the ESR1 XbaI genotypes of G/G, G/A and A/A were observed in 33%, 37% and 33%, respectively, whereas the G/G, G/A and A/A genotypes were observed in 12%, 47% and 41% of patients, respectively. Among controls, the ESR1 XbaI allele frequencies of A and G were observed equally, respectively, whereas the A and G frequencies were observed in 65% and 35% of patients, respectively. Among ESR1 Χ baI, there was not any significant difference in terms of genotype (P = 0.111) and allele (P = 0.093) frequencies. But the C/C genotype of the PvuII site and G/G genotype of the XbaI site in the ESR1 gene were associated significantly with the risk of developing prostate carcinoma. The G/G, G/A and A/A genotypes of the COMT gene were observed in 50%, 29% and 21% of control patients and in 53%, 21% and 26% of case patients, respectively. The A and G allele frequencies of the COMT gene were observed in 36.7%, 63.3% of control patients and in 36.8%, 63.2% of case patients, respectively. In COMT gene, there was not any significant difference in terms of genotype (P = 0.843) and allele (P = 0.991) frequencies. But the G/A genotype of the COMT gene had a weak tendency toward increased risk.
Polymorphisms of ESR1 gene in the estrogen metabolism pathway were associated significantly with familial prostate carcinoma risk. Single nucleotide polymorphisms of low-penetrance genes are targets for understanding the genetic susceptibility of familial prostate carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3897134  PMID: 24497704
Catechol-O-methyltransferase; estrogen receptor alpha; familial prostate carcinoma; genetic polymorphism
20.  Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Non-receptor 22 Gene C1858T Polymorphism in Patients with Coexistent Type 2 Diabetes and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis 
Balkan medical journal  2014;31(1):37-42.
A protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22) C1858T gene polymorphism has been reported to be associated with both Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) separately. However, no study has been conducted to explore the C1858T polymorphism in T2DM and HT coexistent cases up to now.
The study aimed to determine whether a relationship exists or not between the PTPN22 C1858T polymorphism and this coexistent patient group.
Study Design:
Case-control study.
Peripheral blood samples from 135 T2DM patients, 102 patients with coexistent T2DM+HT, 71 HT patients and 135 healthy controls were collected into ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) anticoagulant tubes and genomic DNA was extracted. The PTPN22 C1858T polymorphism was analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) methods.
Statistically significant differences were not observed between the patient and control groups. This study demonstrated a statistically significant association between both the CT genotype and the T allele in the female patient group with coexistent T2DM+HT (CT genotype: p=0.04; T allele: p=0.045) with a statistically significant association between the CT genotype and the mean values of body mass index (BMI) and free T3 levels (FT3) (BMI: p=0.044 and FT3: p=0.021) that was detected in the patient group with coexistent T2DM+HT. The minor genotype TT was observed in none of the groups in this study. The CT genotype frequency was [number (frequency): 5 (3.8%), 7 (6.86%), 5 (7.04%), 3 (2.22%), while the T allele frequency was 5 (1.86%), 7 (3.44%), 5 (3.53%) and 3 (1.12%)] in the T2DM, T2DM+HT, HT and control groups, respectively.
Our data suggest that the PTPN22 1858T allele and the CT genotype are associated with increased risk in female patients for coexistent T2DM+HT. The CT genotype was associated with high mean BMI and free T3 values in the patient group with coexistent T2DM+HT. These results demonstrate that T allele carriers were more often in the T2DM+HT group than in the T2DM group. Therefore, the combination of T2DM and HT with female gender may have higher T allele carriage in comparison to the T2DM only and male groups.
PMCID: PMC4115990  PMID: 25207165
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; polymorphism; protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22; type 2 diabetes
21.  Effect of TNF-α genetic variants and CCR5Δ32 on the vulnerability to HIV-1 infection and disease progression in Caucasian Spaniards 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:63.
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is thought to be involved in the various immunogenetic events that influence HIV-1 infection.
We aimed to determine whether carriage of the TNF-α-238G>A, -308G>A and -863 C>A gene promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and the CCR5Δ32 variant allele influence the risk of HIV-1 infection and disease progression in Caucasian Spaniards. The study group consisted of 423 individuals. Of these, 239 were uninfected (36 heavily exposed but uninfected [EU] and 203 healthy controls [HC]) and 184 were HIV-1-infected (109 typical progressors [TP] and 75 long-term nonprogressors [LTNP] of over 16 years' duration). TNF-α SNP and the CCR5Δ32 allele were assessed using PCR-RFLP and automatic sequencing analysis methods on white blood cell DNA. Genotype and allele frequencies were compared using the χ 2 test and the Fisher exact test. Haplotypes were compared by logistic regression analysis.
The distribution of TNF-α-238G>A, -308G>A and -863 C>A genetic variants was non-significantly different in HIV-1-infected patients compared with uninfected individuals: -238G>A, p = 0.7 and p = 0.3; -308G>A, p = 0.05 and p = 0.07; -863 C>A, p = 0.7 and p = 0.4, for genotype and allele comparisons, respectively. Haplotype analyses, however, indicated that carriers of the haplotype H3 were significantly more common among uninfected subjects (p = 0.04). Among the infected patients, the distribution of the three TNF-α genetic variants assessed was non-significantly different between TP and LTNP: -238G>A, p = 0.35 and p = 0.7; -308G>A, p = 0.7 and p = 0.6: -863 C>A, p = 0.2 and p = 0.2, for genotype and allele comparisons, respectively. Haplotype analyses also indicated non-significant associations. Subanalyses in the LTNP subset indicated that the TNF-α-238A variant allele was significantly overrepresented in patients who spontaneously controlled plasma viremia compared with those who had a detectable plasma viral load (genotype comparisons, p = 0.02; allele comparisons, p = 0.03). The CCR5Δ32 distribution was non-significantly different in HIV-1-infected patients with respect to the uninfected population (p = 0.15 and p = 0.2 for genotype and allele comparisons, respectively) and in LTNP vs TP (p = 0.4 and p = 0.5 for genotype and allele comparisons, respectively).
In our cohort of Caucasian Spaniards, TNF-α genetic variants could be involved in the vulnerability to HIV-1 infection. TNF-α genetic variants were unrelated to disease progression in infected subjects. The -238G>A SNP may modulate the control of viremia in LTNP. Carriage of the CCR5Δ32 variant allele had no effect on the risk of infection and disease progression.
PMCID: PMC2877017  PMID: 20420684
22.  Wegener’s granulomatosis mimicking inflammatory bowel disease and presenting with chronic enteritis 
Wegener’s granulomatosis, also known as anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, is a small vessel vasculitis with primarily pulmonary, renal, and sinus disease manifestations. The prevalence of Wegener’s granulomatosis is three cases per 100,000 patients. Cardiovascular, neurologic, cutaneous, and joint manifestations have been reported in many case reports and case series. Gastrointestinal manifestations are less noted in Wegener’s granulomatosis, although they have been previously reported in the form of intestinal perforation and intestinal ischemia. Additionally, there are characteristic findings of vasculitis that are noted with active Wegener’s granulomatosis of the small bowel. We report a case of an elderly patient who presented with weight loss, diarrhea, and hematochezia. His symptoms were chronic and had lasted for more than 1 year before diagnosis. Inflammatory bowel disease or chronic enteritis due to Salmonella arizonae because of reptile exposure originally were suspected as etiologies of his presentation. The findings of proteinuria, renal failure, and pauci-immune glomerulonephritis on renal biopsy, in conjunction with an elevated c-ANCA titer, confirmed the diagnosis of Wegener’s granulomatosis with associated intestinal vasculitis. This case demonstrates an atypical presentation of chronic duodenitis and jejunitis secondary to Wegener’s granulomatosis, which mimicked inflammatory bowel disease.
PMCID: PMC3794984  PMID: 24124396
ANCA-associated vasculitis; Wegener’s syndrome; pauci-immune glomerulonephritis; Salmonella arizonae; inflammatory bowel disease
23.  Multiple Pulmonary Nodules: A Complex Case of Wegener’s Granulomatosis 
Clinics and Practice  2013;3(1):e14.
Wegener’s granulomatosis is a granulomatous vasculitis that can present with a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. This disease entity predominantly affects the respiratory tract and the kidneys. Two forms of Wegener’s granulomatosis have been recognized: systemic and limited. It has not been established if the two forms represent separate disease entities or different stages of the same condition. In the limited form of Wegener’s granulomatosis there is no immediate threat to the function of vital organs and there is no evidence of glomerulonephritis. Environmental factors that could serve as triggers for the activation of Wegener’s granulomatosis have not been clearly defined. We report a case of a 78-year old male who was found to have bilateral pulmonary nodules on pre-operative chest X-ray and was diagnosed with the limited form of Wegener’s granulomatosis. The patient developed Clostridium difficile infection, and shortly after that active glomerulonephritis, a manifestation of systemic Wegener’s granulomatosis.
PMCID: PMC3981232  PMID: 24765494
Wegener’s granulomatosis; vasculitis; pulmonary nodules; renal failure
24.  Low-density lipoprotein receptor genetic polymorphism in chronic hepatitis C virus Egyptian patients affects treatment response 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2015;21(39):11141-11151.
AIM: To correlate a genetic polymorphism of the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor with antiviral responses in Egyptian chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients.
METHODS: Our study included 657 HCV-infected patients with genotype 4 who received interferon-based combination therapy. Patients were divided into two groups based on their response to therapy: 356 were responders, and 301 were non-responders. Patients were compared to 160 healthy controls. All patients and controls underwent a thorough physical examination, measurement of body mass index (BMI) and the following laboratory tests: serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, albumin, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, prothrombin time, prothrombin concentration, INR, complete blood count, serum creatinine, fasting blood sugar, HCV antibody, and hepatitis B surface antigen. All HCV patients were further subjected to the following laboratory tests: HCV-RNA using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), antinuclear antibodies, thyroid-stimulating hormone, an LDL receptor (LDLR) genotype study of LDLR exon8c.1171G>A and exon10c.1413G>A using real-time PCR-based assays, abdominal ultrasonography, ultrasonographic-guided liver biopsy, and histopathological examination of liver biopsies. Correlations of LDL receptor polymorphisms with HAI, METAVIR score, presence of steatosis, and BMI were performed in all cases.
RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in response rates between the different types of interferon used or LDLR exon10c.1413G>A. However, there was a significant difference in the frequency of the LDL receptor exon8c.1171G>A genotype between cases (AA: 25.9%, GA: 22.2%, GG: 51.9%) and controls (AA: 3.8%, GA: 53.1% and GG: 43.1%) (P < 0.001). There was a statistically significant difference in the frequency of the LDLR exon 8C:1171 G>A polymorphism between responders (AA: 3.6%, GA: 15.2%, GG: 81.2%) and non-responders (AA: 52.2%, GA: 30.6%, GG: 17.2%) (P < 0.001). The G allele of LDL receptor exon8c.1171G>A predominated in cases and controls over the A allele, and a statistically significant association with response to interferon was observed. The frequency of the LDLR exon8c.1171G>A allele in non-responders was: A: 67.4% and G: 32.6 vs A: 11.2% and G: 88.8% in responders (P < 0.001). Therefore, carriers of the A allele exhibited a 16.4 times greater risk for non-response. There was a significant association between LDL receptors exon8 c.1171G>A and HAI (P < 0.011). There was a significant association between LDL receptors exon8c.1171G>A and BMI. The mean BMI level was highest in patients carrying the AA genotype (28.7 ± 4.7 kg/m2) followed by the GA genotype (28.1 ± 4.8 kg/m2). The lowest BMI was the GG genotype (26.6 ± 4.3 kg/m2) (P < 0.001). The only significant associations were found between LDL receptors exon8 c.1171G>A and METAVIR score or steatosis (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: LDL receptor gene polymorphisms play a role in the treatment response of HCV and the modulation of disease progression in Egyptians infected with chronic HCV.
PMCID: PMC4607911  PMID: 26494968
Hepatitis C virus; Genetic polymorphisms; Low-density lipoprotein receptor; Egypt; Hepatitis C virus response to treatment
25.  Association of beta2-adrenergic receptor gene polymorphisms and nocturnal asthma in Saudi patients 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2011;6(2):66-69.
Two polymorphisms of beta2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) gene, namely the substitution from arginine (Arg) to glycine (Gly) at codon 16 and from glutamine (Gln) to glutamic (Glu) at codon 27, are linked with functional changes in the β2-AR in the respiratory system even though they are not deemed to be susceptibility genes for asthma per se. The objective of this study was to investigate this association in a subset of asthmatic patients, namely those with nocturnal asthma.
The β2-AR gene polymorphisms at codon 16 and 27 were assessed in 40 patients clinically diagnosed with nocturnal asthma and 96 normal controls. Genomic DNA was obtained from whole blood and genotyping was carried out by a PCR based restriction fragment length polymorphism technique.
There was a statistically significant difference in genotype frequencies at codon 16 (Arg/Gly) between nocturnal asthmatic patients and normal control subjects (P < 0.05). However, there was no statistically significant difference in allele frequencies between the two groups. In addition, there was a significant association between Arg16-Gly genotype with nocturnal asthma compared to homozygous Gly16 (codominant model P = 0.0033, OR = 3.69: 95% CI: 1.49-9.12). However, there were no statistically significant differences in genotype and allele frequencies at codon 27 (Gln/Glu) between the normal control and nocturnal asthmatic groups (χ2 = 1.81, P = 0.41). The results also indicate that linkage disequilibrium existed between the β2-AR codon 16 and β2-AR codon 27 polymorphism (|D´| = 0.577). The data for all haplotypes did not show a statistically significant association.
We present the genotype and allele frequencies of β2-AR gene polymorphisms in normal Saudi subjects and nocturnal asthmatic patients. There was a significant difference in genotype frequencies at codon 16 (Arg/Gly). However, our study indicates a poor association of individual single nuceotide polymorphisms with nocturnal asthma.
PMCID: PMC3081558  PMID: 21572694
Asthma; β2-adrenergic receptor; frequency; polymorphism; Saudi Arabia

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