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1.  Overview of Admixture Mapping 
Admixture mapping is a powerful method of gene mapping for diseases or traits that show differential risk by ancestry. Admixture mapping has been applied most often to African Americans who trace ancestry to Europeans and West Africans. Recent developments in admixture mapping include improvements in methods to take advantage of higher densities of genetic variants as well as extensions to admixed populations with three or more ancestral populations, such as Latino Americans. In this unit, I outline the key concepts of admixture mapping. I describe several approaches for inferring local ancestry and provide strategies for performing admixture mapping depending on the study design. Finally, I compare and contrast linkage analysis, association analysis, and admixture mapping, with an emphasis on integrating admixture mapping and association testing.
doi:10.1002/0471142905.hg0123s76
PMCID: PMC3556814  PMID: 23315925
admixture; admixture mapping; ancestry
2.  Enhanced Statistical Tests for GWAS in Admixed Populations: Assessment using African Americans from CARe and a Breast Cancer Consortium 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(4):e1001371.
While genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have primarily examined populations of European ancestry, more recent studies often involve additional populations, including admixed populations such as African Americans and Latinos. In admixed populations, linkage disequilibrium (LD) exists both at a fine scale in ancestral populations and at a coarse scale (admixture-LD) due to chromosomal segments of distinct ancestry. Disease association statistics in admixed populations have previously considered SNP association (LD mapping) or admixture association (mapping by admixture-LD), but not both. Here, we introduce a new statistical framework for combining SNP and admixture association in case-control studies, as well as methods for local ancestry-aware imputation. We illustrate the gain in statistical power achieved by these methods by analyzing data of 6,209 unrelated African Americans from the CARe project genotyped on the Affymetrix 6.0 chip, in conjunction with both simulated and real phenotypes, as well as by analyzing the FGFR2 locus using breast cancer GWAS data from 5,761 African-American women. We show that, at typed SNPs, our method yields an 8% increase in statistical power for finding disease risk loci compared to the power achieved by standard methods in case-control studies. At imputed SNPs, we observe an 11% increase in statistical power for mapping disease loci when our local ancestry-aware imputation framework and the new scoring statistic are jointly employed. Finally, we show that our method increases statistical power in regions harboring the causal SNP in the case when the causal SNP is untyped and cannot be imputed. Our methods and our publicly available software are broadly applicable to GWAS in admixed populations.
Author Summary
This paper presents improved methodologies for the analysis of genome-wide association studies in admixed populations, which are populations that came about by the mixing of two or more distant continental populations over a few hundred years (e.g., African Americans or Latinos). Studies of admixed populations offer the promise of capturing additional genetic diversity compared to studies over homogeneous populations such as Europeans. In admixed populations, correlation between genetic variants exists both at a fine scale in the ancestral populations and at a coarse scale due to chromosomal segments of distinct ancestry. Disease association statistics in admixed populations have previously considered either one or the other type of correlation, but not both. In this work we develop novel statistical methods that account for both types of genetic correlation, and we show that the combined approach attains greater statistical power than that achieved by applying either approach separately. We provide analysis of simulated and real data from major studies performed in African-American men and women to show the improvement obtained by our methods over the standard methods for analyzing association studies in admixed populations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001371
PMCID: PMC3080860  PMID: 21541012
3.  Refining the association of MHC with multiple sclerosis in African Americans 
Human Molecular Genetics  2010;19(15):3080-3088.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common demyelinating disease of the central nervous system mediated by autoimmune and neurodegenerative pathogenic mechanisms. Multiple genes account for its moderate heritability, but the only genetic region shown to have a large replicable effect on MS susceptibility is the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) across the MHC has made it difficult to fully characterize individual genetic contributions of this region to MS risk in previous studies. African Americans are at a lower risk for MS when compared with northern Europeans and Americans of European descent, but greater haplotypic diversity and distinct patterns of LD suggest that this population may be particularly informative for fine-mapping efforts. To examine the role of the MHC in African American MS, a case–control association study was performed with 499 African American MS patients and 750 African American controls that were genotyped for 6040 MHC region single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A replication data set consisting of 451 African American patients and 718 African American controls was genotyped for selected SNPs. Two MHC class II SNPs, rs2647040 and rs3135021, were significant in the replication cohort and partially tagged DRB1*15 alleles. Surprisingly, in comparison to similar studies of individuals of European descent, the MHC seems to play a smaller role in MS susceptibility in African Americans, consistent with pervasive genetic heterogeneity across ancestral groups, and may explain the difference in MS susceptibility between African Americans and individuals of European descent.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddq197
PMCID: PMC2901136  PMID: 20466734
4.  Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Region on Chromosome 15q25 and Lung Cancer Risk Among African Americans: A Case–Control Study 
Genome-wide association studies of white persons with lung cancer have identified a region of extensive linkage disequilibrium on chromosome 15q25.1 that appears to be associated with both risk for lung cancer and smoking dependence. Because studying African American persons, who exhibit lower levels of linkage disequilibrium in this region, may identify additional loci that are associated with lung cancer, we genotyped 34 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in this region (including LOC123688, PSMA4, CHRNA5, CHRNA3, and CHRNB4 genes) in 467 African American patients with lung cancer and 388 frequency-matched African American control subjects. Associations of SNPs in LOC123688 (rs10519203; odds ratio [OR] = 1.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.25 to 2.05, P = .00016), CHRNA5 (rs2036527; OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.26 to 2.21, P = .00031), and CHRNA3 (rs1051730; OR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.26 to 2.59, P = .00137) genes with lung cancer risk reached Bonferroni-corrected levels of statistical significance (all statistical tests were two-sided). Joint logistic regression analysis showed that rs684513 (OR = 0.47, 95% CI = 0.31 to 0.71, P = .0003) in CHRNA5 and rs8034191 (OR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.23 to 2.52, P = .002) in LOC123688 were also associated with risk. The functional A variant of rs1696698 in CHRNA5 had the strongest association with lung cancer (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.25 to 3.11, P = .003). These SNPs were primarily associated with increased risk for lung adenocarcinoma histology and were only weakly associated with smoking phenotypes. Thus, among African American persons, multiple loci in the region of chromosome 15q25.1 appear to be strongly associated with lung cancer risk.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djq232
PMCID: PMC2914761  PMID: 20554942
5.  Fine-mapping of the 5p15.33, 6p22.1-p21.31 and 15q25.1 regions identifies functional and histology-specific lung cancer susceptibility loci in African-Americans 
Background
Genome-wide association studies of European and East Asian populations have identified lung cancer susceptibility loci on chromosomes 5p15.33, 6p22.1-p21.31 and 15q25.1. We investigated whether these regions contain lung cancer susceptibly loci in African-Americans refined previous association signals by utilizing the reduced linkage disequilibrium observed in African-Americans.
Methods
1308 African-American cases and 1241 African-American controls from three centers were genotyped for 760 single nucleotide polymorphisms spanning three regions, and additional SNP imputation was performed. Associations between polymorphisms and lung cancer risk were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by tumor histology where appropriate.
Results
The strongest associations were observed on 15q25.1 in/near CHRNA5, including a missense substitution (rs16969968: OR = 1.57, 95% CI = 1.25–1.97, P = 1.1 × 10−4) and variants in the 5′-UTR. Associations on 6p22.1-p21.31 were histology-specific and included a missense variant in BAT2 associated with squamous-cell carcinoma (rs2736158: OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.48–0.85, P = 1.82 × 10−3). Associations on 5p15.33 were detected near TERT, the strongest of which was rs2735940 (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.73–0.93, P = 1.1 × 10−3). This association was stronger among cases with adenocarcinoma (OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.65–0.86, P = 8.1 × 10−5).
Conclusions
Polymorphisms in 5p15.33, 6p22.1-p21.31 and 15q25.1 are associated with lung cancer in African-Americans. Variants on 5p15.33 are stronger risk factors for adenocarcinoma and variants on 6p21.33 associated only with squamous-cell carcinoma.
Impact
Results implicate the BAT2, TERT and CHRNA5 genes in the pathogenesis of specific lung cancer histologies.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1007-T
PMCID: PMC3565099  PMID: 23221128
Lung cancer; adenocarcinoma; squamous-cell carcinoma; fine-mapping; African-American; genetic association
6.  Admixture-Matched Case-Control Study: A Practical Approach for Genetic Association Studies in Admixed Populations 
Human genetics  2005;118(5):626-639.
Case-control genetic association studies in admixed populations are known to be susceptible to genetic confounding due to population stratification. The transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT) approach can avoid this problem. However, the TDT is expensive and impractical for late- onset diseases. Case-control study designs, in which cases and controls are matched by admixture, can be an appealing and suitable alternative for genetic association studies in admixed populations. In this study, we applied this matching strategy when recruiting our African American participants in the Study of African American, Asthma, Genes and Environments (SAGE). Group admixture in this cohort consists of 83% African ancestry and 17% European ancestry, which was consistent with reports from other studies. By carrying out several complementary analyses, our results show that there is substructure in the cohort, but that the admixture distributions are almost identical in cases and controls, and also in cases only. We performed association tests for asthma-related traits with ancestry, and only found that FEV1, a measure for baseline pulmonary function, was associated with ancestry after adjusting for socio-economic and environmental risk factors (P = 0.01). We did not observe an excess of type I error rate in our association tests for ancestry informative markers (AIMs) and asthma-related phenotypes when ancestry was not adjusted in the analyses. Furthermore, using the association tests between genetic variants in a known asthma candidate gene, β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) and ΔFEF25-75, an asthma-related phenotype, as an example, we demonstrated population stratification was not a confounder in our genetic association. Our present work demonstrates that admixture-matched case-control strategies can efficiently control for population stratification confounding in admixed populations.
doi:10.1007/s00439-005-0080-2
PMCID: PMC3478103  PMID: 16273390
7.  Association study of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes identifies a novel lung cancer susceptibility locus near CHRNA1 in African-Americans 
Oncotarget  2012;3(11):1428-1438.
Studies in European and East Asian populations have identified lung cancer susceptibility loci in nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) genes on chromosome 15q25.1 which also appear to influence smoking behaviors. We sought to determine if genetic variation in nAChR genes influences lung cancer susceptibly in African-Americans, and evaluated the association of these cancer susceptibility loci with smoking behavior. A total of 1308 African-Americans with lung cancer and 1241 African-American controls from three centers were genotyped for 378 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the sixteen human nAChR genes. Associations between SNPs and the risk of lung cancer were estimated using logistic regression, adjusted for relevant covariates. Seven SNPs in three nAChR genes were significantly associated with lung cancer at a strict Bonferroni-corrected level, including a novel association on chromosome 2 near the promoter of CHRNA1 (rs3755486: OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.18-1.67, P = 1.0 × 10−4). Association analysis of an additional 305 imputed SNPs on 2q31.1 supported this association. Publicly available expression data demonstrated that the rs3755486 risk allele correlates with increased CHRNA1 gene expression. Additional SNP associations were observed on 15q25.1 in genes previously associated with lung cancer, including a missense variant in CHRNA5 (rs16969968: OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.27-2.01, P = 5.9 × 10−5). Risk alleles on 15q25.1 also correlated with an increased number of cigarettes smoked per day among the controls. These findings identify a novel lung cancer risk locus on 2q31.1 which correlates with CHRNA1 expression and replicate previous associations on 15q25.1 in African-Americans.
PMCID: PMC3717803  PMID: 23232035
Lung cancer; nicotine dependence; African-Americans; genetic association; smoking
8.  An admixture scan in 1,484 African American women with breast cancer 
African American women with breast cancer present more commonly with aggressive tumors that do not express the estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) compared with European American women. Whether this disparity is the result of inherited factors has not been established. We performed an admixture-based genome-wide scan to search for risk alleles for breast cancer that are highly differentiated in frequency between African American and European American women and may contribute to specific breast cancer phenotypes, such as ER negative (ER−) disease. African American women with invasive breast cancer (n=1,484) were pooled from 6 population-based studies and typed at ~1,500 ancestry informative markers (AIMs). We investigated global genetic ancestry and performed a whole genome admixture scan searching for breast cancer predisposing loci in association with disease phenotypes. We found a significant difference in ancestry between ER+PR+ and ER−PR− women, with higher European ancestry among ER+PR+ individuals, after controlling for possible confounders (OR for a 0 to 1 change in European ancestry proportion=2.84, 95% CI: 1.13–7.14, p=0.026). Women with localized tumors had higher European ancestry than women with non-localized tumors (OR=2.65, CI: 1.11–6.35, p=0.029). No genome-wide statistically significant associations were observed between European or African ancestry at any specific locus and breast cancer, or in analyses stratified by ER/PR status, stage or grade. In summary, in African American women genetic ancestry is associated with ER/PR status and disease stage. However, we found little evidence that genetic ancestry at any one region contributes significantly to breast cancer risk or hormone receptor status.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-09-0464
PMCID: PMC2783219  PMID: 19843668
African Americans; breast cancer; admixture mapping; hormone receptor status; genetic ancestry
9.  Genome-Wide Association Study of Coronary Heart Disease and Its Risk Factors in 8,090 African Americans: The NHLBI CARe Project 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(2):e1001300.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of mortality in African Americans. To identify common genetic polymorphisms associated with CHD and its risk factors (LDL- and HDL-cholesterol (LDL-C and HDL-C), hypertension, smoking, and type-2 diabetes) in individuals of African ancestry, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 8,090 African Americans from five population-based cohorts. We replicated 17 loci previously associated with CHD or its risk factors in Caucasians. For five of these regions (CHD: CDKN2A/CDKN2B; HDL-C: FADS1-3, PLTP, LPL, and ABCA1), we could leverage the distinct linkage disequilibrium (LD) patterns in African Americans to identify DNA polymorphisms more strongly associated with the phenotypes than the previously reported index SNPs found in Caucasian populations. We also developed a new approach for association testing in admixed populations that uses allelic and local ancestry variation. Using this method, we discovered several loci that would have been missed using the basic allelic and global ancestry information only. Our conclusions suggest that no major loci uniquely explain the high prevalence of CHD in African Americans. Our project has developed resources and methods that address both admixture- and SNP-association to maximize power for genetic discovery in even larger African-American consortia.
Author Summary
To date, most large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) carried out to identify risk factors for complex human diseases and traits have focused on population of European ancestry. It is currently unknown whether the same loci associated with complex diseases and traits in Caucasians will replicate in population of African ancestry. Here, we conducted a large GWAS to identify common DNA polymorphisms associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) and its risk factors (type-2 diabetes, hypertension, smoking status, and LDL- and HDL-cholesterol) in 8,090 African Americans as part of the NHLBI Candidate gene Association Resource (CARe) Project. We replicated 17 associations previously reported in Caucasians, suggesting that the same loci carry common DNA sequence variants associated with CHD and its risk factors in Caucasians and African Americans. At five of these 17 loci, we used the different patterns of linkage disequilibrium between populations of European and African ancestry to identify DNA sequence variants more strongly associated with phenotypes than the index SNPs found in Caucasians, suggesting smaller genomic intervals to search for causal alleles. We also used the CARe data to develop new statistical methods to perform association studies in admixed populations. The CARe Project data represent an extraordinary resource to expand our understanding of the genetics of complex diseases and traits in non-European-derived populations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001300
PMCID: PMC3037413  PMID: 21347282
10.  Genome-Wide Linkage and Admixture Mapping of Type 2 Diabetes in African American Families From the American Diabetes Association GENNID (Genetics of NIDDM) Study Cohort 
Diabetes  2009;58(1):268-274.
OBJECTIVE—We used a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) map in a large cohort of 580 African American families to identify regions linked to type 2 diabetes, age of type 2 diabetes diagnosis, and BMI.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—After removing outliers and problematic samples, we conducted linkage analysis using 5,914 SNPs in 1,344 individuals from 530 families. Linkage analysis was conducted using variance components for type 2 diabetes, age of type 2 diabetes diagnosis, and BMI and nonparametric linkage analyses. Ordered subset analyses were conducted ranking on age of type 2 diabetes diagnosis, BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and amount of European admixture. Admixture mapping was conducted using 4,486 markers not in linkage disequilibrium.
RESULTS—The strongest signal for type 2 diabetes (logarithm of odds [LOD] 4.53) was a broad peak on chromosome 2, with weaker linkage to age of type 2 diabetes diagnosis (LOD 1.82). Type 2 diabetes and age of type 2 diabetes diagnosis were linked to chromosome 13p (3–22 cM; LOD 2.42 and 2.46, respectively). Age of type 2 diabetes diagnosis was linked to 18p (66 cM; LOD 2.96). We replicated previous reports on chromosome 7p (79 cM; LOD 2.93). Ordered subset analysis did not overlap with linkage of unselected families. The best admixture score was on chromosome 12 (90 cM; P = 0.0003).
CONCLUSIONS—The linkage regions on chromosomes 7 (27–78 cM) and 18p overlap prior reports, whereas regions on 2p and 13p linkage are novel. Among potential candidate genes implicated are TCF7L1, VAMP5, VAMP8, CDK8, INSIG2, IPF1, PAX8, IL18R1, members of the IL1 and IL1 receptor families, and MAP4K4. These studies provide a complementary approach to genome-wide association scans to identify causative genes for African American diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db08-0931
PMCID: PMC2606884  PMID: 18840782
11.  Admixture in Hispanic-Americans: Its impact on ITGAM association and implications for admixture mapping in SLE 
Genes and immunity  2009;10(5):539-545.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) disproportionately affects minorities, such as Hispanic-Americans. Prevalence of SLE is 3–5 times higher in Hispanic Americans (HA) than European derived populations, and have more active disease at the time of diagnosis, with more serious organ system involvement. HA is an admixed population, it is possible that there is an effect of admixture on the relative risk of disease. This admixture can create substantial increase of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in both magnitude and range, which can provide a unique opportunity for admixture mapping. Main objectives of this study are to (a) estimate hidden population structure in HA individuals; (b) estimate individual ancestry proportions and its impact on SLE risk; (c) assess impact of admixture on ITGAM association, a recently identified SLE susceptibility gene; and (d) estimate power of admixture mapping in HA. Our dataset contained 1,125 individuals, of whom 884 (657 SLE cases and 227 controls) were self classified as HA. Using 107 unlinked ancestry informative markers (AIMs) we estimated hidden population structure and individual ancestry in HA. Out of 5,671 possible pair-wise LD, 54% were statistically significant, indicating recent population admixture. The best fitted model for HA was a four population model with average ancestry of European (48%), American-Indian (40%), African (8%) and a fourth population (4%) with unknown ancestry. We also identified significant higher risk associated with American-Indian ancestry (OR=4.84, P=0.0001, 95%CI=2.14—10.95) on overall SLE. We showed that ITGAM is associated as a risk factor for SLE (OR= 2.06, P=8.74×10−5, 95%CI=1.44–2.97). This association is not affected by population substructure or admixture. We have demonstrated that HA have great potential and are an 3 appropriate population for admixture mapping. As expected, the case-only design is more powerful than case-control design, for any given admixture proportion or ancestry risk ratio.
doi:10.1038/gene.2009.30
PMCID: PMC2714406  PMID: 19387459
SLE; Association; Hispanics; Admixture mapping; Hispanic-American; Population structure
12.  Admixture mapping: from paradigms of race and ethnicity to population history 
The HUGO Journal  2010;4(1-4):23-34.
Admixture mapping is a whole genome association strategy that takes advantage of population history—or genetic ancestry—to map genes for complex diseases. However, because it uses racial/ethnic groupings to examine differential disease risk, admixture mapping raises ethical and social concerns. While there has been much theoretical commentary regarding the ethical and social implications of population-based genetic research, empirical data from stakeholders most closely involved with these studies is limited. One of the first admixture mapping studies carried out was a scan for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) risk factors in an African-American population. Applying qualitative research methods, we used this example to explore developing views, experiences and perceptions of the ethical and social implications of admixture mapping and other population-based research—their value, risks and benefits, and the future prospects of the field. Additionally, we sought to understand how social and ethical risks might be mitigated, and the benefits of this research optimized. We draw on in-depth, one-on-one interviews with leading population geneticists, genome scientists, bioethicists, and African-Americans with MS. Here we present our findings from this unique group of key informants and stakeholders.
doi:10.1007/s11568-010-9145-y
PMCID: PMC3051047  PMID: 21472046
Admixture mapping; African-Americans; Multiple sclerosis; Population-based genetic research; Race; Ancestry
13.  Admixture mapping: from paradigms of race and ethnicity to population history 
The HUGO Journal  2010;4(1-4):23-34.
Admixture mapping is a whole genome association strategy that takes advantage of population history—or genetic ancestry—to map genes for complex diseases. However, because it uses racial/ethnic groupings to examine differential disease risk, admixture mapping raises ethical and social concerns. While there has been much theoretical commentary regarding the ethical and social implications of population-based genetic research, empirical data from stakeholders most closely involved with these studies is limited. One of the first admixture mapping studies carried out was a scan for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) risk factors in an African-American population. Applying qualitative research methods, we used this example to explore developing views, experiences and perceptions of the ethical and social implications of admixture mapping and other population-based research—their value, risks and benefits, and the future prospects of the field. Additionally, we sought to understand how social and ethical risks might be mitigated, and the benefits of this research optimized. We draw on in-depth, one-on-one interviews with leading population geneticists, genome scientists, bioethicists, and African-Americans with MS. Here we present our findings from this unique group of key informants and stakeholders.
doi:10.1007/s11568-010-9145-y
PMCID: PMC3051047  PMID: 21472046
Admixture mapping; African-Americans; Multiple sclerosis; Population-based genetic research; Race; Ancestry
14.  African-American heredity prostate cancer study: a model for genetic research. 
A genome-wide scan of high-risk prostate cancer families in North America has demonstrated linkage of a particular marker to Chromosome 1q (HPC1). An even greater proportion of African-American families have shown linkage to HPC1. Therefore, investigators at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in collaboration with Howard University and a predominantly African-American group of urologists established the African-American Hereditary Prostate Cancer (AAHPC) Study Network to confirm the suggested linkage of HPC in African Americans with a gene on Chromosome 1. Blood samples from recruited families were sent to Howard University for extraction of DNA. The DNA was sent to NHGRI at NIH where the genotyping and genetic sequence analysis was conducted. Genotype data are merged with pedigree information so that statistical analysis can be performed to establish potential linkage. From March 1, 1998, to June 1, 1999, a total of 40 African-American families have been recruited who met the study criteria. Preliminary results suggest that racial/ethnicity grouping may affect the incidence and extent of linkage of prostate cancer to specific loci. The importance of these findings lays in the future treatment of genetic-based diseases.
PMCID: PMC2593987  PMID: 12653398
15.  African-American heredity prostate cancer study: a model for genetic research. 
Journal of the National Medical Association  2001;93(12 Suppl):25S-28S.
A genome-wide scan of high-risk prostate cancer families in North America has demonstrated linkage of a particular marker to Chromosome Iq (HPC11. An even greater proportion of African-American families have shown linkage to HPC 1. Therefore, investigators at the National Human Genome Research Institute [NHGRI] in collaboration with Howard University and a predominantly African-American group of urologists established the African-American Hereditary Prostate Cancer (AAHPC) Study Network to confirm the suggested linkage of HPC in African Americans with a gene on Chromosome 1. Blood samples from recruited families were sent to Howard University for extraction of DNA. The DNA was sent to NHGRI at NIH where the genotyping and genetic sequence analysis was conducted. Genotype data are merged with pedigree information so that statistical analysis can be performed to establish potential linkage. From March 1, 1998, to June 1, 1999, a total of 40 African-American families have been recruited who met the study criteria. Preliminary results suggest that racial/ethnicity grouping may affect the incidence and extent of linkage of prostate cancer to specific loci. The importance of these findings lays in the future treatment of genetic-based diseases.
PMCID: PMC2719991  PMID: 11798061
16.  Familial Lung Cancer 
Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer death, and although most lung cancer is attributable to cigarette smoking, underlying genetic susceptibility is suggested by studies demonstrating familial aggregation. The first family linkage study of lung cancer has identified linkage of lung, laryngeal, and pharyngeal cancer in families to a region on chromosome 6q23–25. Because lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are known to aggregate in families beyond shared risk associated with smoking, the linkage results are compared and contrasted with results from genomewide linkage and association studies and candidate gene studies searching for genes for lung cancer, lung function, and COPD. Linkage on chromosome 6q to both lung cancer and lung function, and on 12 to lung cancer, COPD, and lung function, together with overlap in candidate genes for these outcomes, suggests that future research into underlying genetic mechanisms of lung disease would benefit from broadening the collection of family history data and better defining the “high risk” population. As familial risk of lung disease is better defined, referral into screening programs and prevention trials can be better targeted to reach families with both a history of lung cancer and COPD.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200502-235PP
PMCID: PMC2662980  PMID: 16141445
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetics; linkage; lung cancer
17.  Transferability and Fine Mapping of genome-wide associated loci for lipids in African Americans 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:88.
Background
A recent, large genome-wide association study (GWAS) of European ancestry individuals has identified multiple genetic variants influencing serum lipids. Studies of the transferability of these associations to African Americans remain few, an important limitation given interethnic differences in serum lipids and the disproportionate burden of lipid-associated metabolic diseases among African Americans.
Methods
We attempted to evaluate the transferability of 95 lipid-associated loci recently identified in European ancestry individuals to 887 non-diabetic, unrelated African Americans from a population-based sample in the Washington, DC area. Additionally, we took advantage of the generally reduced linkage disequilibrium among African ancestry populations in comparison to European ancestry populations to fine-map replicated GWAS signals.
Results
We successfully replicated reported associations for 10 loci (CILP2/SF4, STARD3, LPL, CYP7A1, DOCK7/ANGPTL3, APOE, SORT1, IRS1, CETP, and UBASH3B). Through trans-ethnic fine-mapping, we were able to reduce associated regions around 75% of the loci that replicated.
Conclusions
Between this study and previous work in African Americans, 40 of the 95 loci reported in a large GWAS of European ancestry individuals also influence lipid levels in African Americans. While there is now evidence that the lipid-influencing role of a number of genetic variants is observed in both European and African ancestry populations, the still considerable lack of concordance highlights the importance of continued ancestry-specific studies to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of these traits.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-13-88
PMCID: PMC3573912  PMID: 22994408
Lipids; Genetics; African Americans; Genome-wide association study; Ethnicity
18.  Role of Select Genetic Variants in Lung Cancer Risk in African Americans 
Introduction
Black/white disparities in lung cancer incidence and mortality mandate an evaluation of underlying biological differences. We have previously shown higher risks of lung cancer associated with prior emphysema in African American compared with white lung cancer patients.
Methods
We therefore evaluated a panel of 1440 inflammatory gene variants in a two phase analysis (discovery and replication), added top GWAS lung cancer hits from Caucasian populations, and 28 SNPs from a published gene panel. The discovery set (477 self-designated African Americans cases, 366 controls matched on age, ethnicity, and gender) were from Houston, Texas. The external replication set (330 cases, 342 controls) was from the EXHALE study at Wayne State University.
Results
In discovery, 154 inflammation SNPs were significant (P<0.05) on univariate analysis, as was one of the gene panel SNPs (rs308738 in REV1, P=0.0013), and three GWAS hits, rs16969968 P=0.0014 and rs10519203 P=0.0003 in the 15q locus and rs2736100, the HTERT locus, P=0.0002. One inflammation SNP, rs950286, was successfully replicated with a concordant odds ratio of 1.46(1.14-1.87) in discovery, 1.37(1.05-1.77) in replication, and a combined OR of 1.40 (1.17-1.68). This SNP is intergenic between IRF4 and EXOC2 genes. We also constructed and validated epidemiologic and extended risk prediction models. The AUC for the epidemiologic discovery model was 0.77 and 0.80 for the extended model. For the combined datasets, the AUC values were 0.75 and 0.76, respectively.
Conclusion
As has been reported for other cancer sites and populations, incorporating top genetic hits into risk prediction models, provides little improvement in model performance and no clinical relevance.
doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e318283da29
PMCID: PMC3623962  PMID: 23454887
19.  Who is at high risk for lung cancer? Population-level and individual-level perspectives 
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the world. However, there is large geographic variation internationally and within nations. Despite the fact that many causes of lung cancer have been established, cigarette smoking is the principal cause. Accounting for historical prevalence of cigarette smoking is a useful predictor of the lung cancer burden in most populations. The populations at high present risk of lung cancer can usually be predicted based on historical patterns of the prevalence of cigarette smoking, and the high risk populations of the future can be predicted based on the current prevalence of cigarette smoking. Lung cancer rates are consistently higher among men than women, and are particularly high among African American men, and among those of lower socioeconomic status.
At the individual level, some segments of the population (e.g., African Americans, females) have been hypothesized to have greater susceptibility to lung cancer for a given degree of cigarette smoking. Common variants in genes that encode for enzymes involved in carcinogen metabolism and detoxification and in repairing DNA damage are likely to be important determinants of inter-individual susceptibility to smoking-caused lung carcinogenesis.
Many lung cancer risk factors have been identified, but active cigarette smoking is the predominant cause of lung cancer and the principal marker of both high-risk populations and high-risk individuals. In the absence of cigarette smoking, lung cancer would be a rare disease. Strategies that effectively prevent youths from starting to smoke and to promote cessation among dependent smokers can transform populations from high-risk to low-risk.
doi:10.1055/s-2008-1076742
PMCID: PMC3399915  PMID: 18506660
20.  Multiple Loci Associated with Renal Function in African Americans 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45112.
The incidence of chronic kidney disease varies by ethnic group in the USA, with African Americans displaying a two-fold higher rate than European Americans. One of the two defining variables underlying staging of chronic kidney disease is the glomerular filtration rate. Meta-analysis in individuals of European ancestry has identified 23 genetic loci associated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We conducted a follow-up study of these 23 genetic loci using a population-based sample of 1,018 unrelated admixed African Americans. We included in our follow-up study two variants in APOL1 associated with end-stage kidney disease discovered by admixture mapping in admixed African Americans. To address confounding due to admixture, we estimated local ancestry at each marker and global ancestry. We performed regression analysis stratified by local ancestry and combined the resulting regression estimates across ancestry strata using an inverse variance-weighted fixed effects model. We found that 11 of the 24 loci were significantly associated with eGFR in our sample. The effect size estimates were not significantly different between the subgroups of individuals with two copies of African ancestry vs. two copies of European ancestry for any of the 11 loci. In contrast, allele frequencies were significantly different at 10 of the 11 loci. Collectively, the 11 loci, including four secondary signals revealed by conditional analyses, explained 14.2% of the phenotypic variance in eGFR, in contrast to the 1.4% explained by the 24 loci in individuals of European ancestry. Our findings provide insight into the genetic basis of variation in renal function among admixed African Americans.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045112
PMCID: PMC3441677  PMID: 23028791
21.  Racial Differences in the Association Between SNPs on 15q25.1, Smoking Behavior, and Risk of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer 
Introduction
Three genome-wide association studies identified a region on chromosome 15q25.1 associated with lung cancer and measures of nicotine addiction. This region includes nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes CHRNA3 and CHRNA5. These studies were conducted in European or European American populations and do not provide risk estimates for African Americans. The goal of this study was to determine whether recently identified genetic variation in 3 SNPs (rs1051730, rs931794, rs8034191) on chromosome 15q25.1 contributes to risk of lung cancer in African Americans.
Methods
Data were derived from three case-control studies. Participants included 1058 population-based non-small cell lung cancer cases selected from the Detroit area SEER registry and 1314 controls matched within study by age, race, and sex. Thirty-nine percent of participants were African American.
Results
Risk associated with rs1051730 (odds ratio 1.59; 95% confidence interval 1.16–2.19) and rs931794 (odds ratio 1.39; 95% confidence interval 1.09–1.78) increased in ever smoking African Americans adjusting for cigarettes smoked per day. Among white cases, the number of cigarettes smoked varied by genotype at all three SNPs, and when smoking quantity was included in the models, risk was not significantly associated with any of the three SNPs.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that SNPs in the CHRNA3 and CHRNA5 region contribute to lung cancer risk, and while variant alleles are less frequent in African Americans, risk in this group may be greater than in whites and less likely to reflect an indirect effect on lung cancer risk through nicotine dependence.
doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181b244ef
PMCID: PMC3768000  PMID: 19641473
Non-small cell lung cancer; Smoking; SNPs
22.  Development and Validation of a Lung Cancer Risk Prediction Model for African-Americans 
Because existing risk prediction models for lung cancer were developed in white populations, they may not be appropriate for predicting risk among African-Americans. Therefore, a need exists to construct and validate a risk prediction model for lung cancer that is specific to African-Americans. We analyzed data from 491 African-Americans with lung cancer and 497 matched African-American controls to identify specific risks and incorporate them into a multivariable risk model for lung cancer and estimate the 5-year absolute risk of lung cancer. We performed internal and external validations of the risk model using data on additional cases and controls from the same ongoing multiracial/ethnic lung cancer case-control study from which the model-building data were obtained as well as data from two different lung cancer studies in metropolitan Detroit, respectively. We also compared our African-American model with our previously developed risk prediction model for whites. The final risk model included smoking-related variables [smoking status, pack-years smoked, age at smoking cessation (former smokers), and number of years since smoking cessation (former smokers)], self- reported physician diagnoses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or hay fever, and exposures to asbestos or wood dusts. Our risk prediction model for African-Americans exhibited good discrimination [75% (95% confidence interval, 0.67−0.82)] for our internal data and moderate discrimination [63% (95% confidence interval, 0.57−0.69)] for the external data group, which is an improvement over the Spitz model for white subjects. Existing lung cancer prediction models may not be appropriate for predicting risk for African-Americans because (a) they were developed using white populations, (b) level of risk is different for risk factors that African-American share with whites, and (c) unique group-specific risk factors exist for African-Americans. This study developed and validated a risk prediction model for lung cancer that is specific to African-Americans and thus more precise in predicting their risks. These findings highlight the importance of conducting further ethnic-specific analyses of disease risk.
doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-08-0082
PMCID: PMC2854402  PMID: 19138969
23.  Variants in CXADR and F2RL1 are associated with blood pressure and obesity in African-Americans in regions identified through admixture mapping 
Journal of hypertension  2012;30(10):1970-1976.
Objective
Genetic variants in 296 genes in regions identified through admixture mapping of hypertension, BMI, and lipids were assessed for association with hypertension, blood pressure, BMI, and HDL-C.
Methods
This study identified coding SNPs identified from HapMap2 data that were located in genes on chromosomes 5, 6, 8, and 21, where ancestry association evidence for hypertension, BMI or HDL-C was identified in previous admixture mapping studies. Genotyping was performed in 1,733 unrelated African-Americans from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Family Blood Pressure Project, and gene-based association analyses were conducted for hypertension, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), BMI, and HDL-C. A gene score based on the number of minor alleles of each SNP in a gene was created and used for gene-based regression analyses, adjusting for age, age2, sex, local marker ancestry, and BMI, as applicable. An individual’s African ancestry estimated from 2,507 ancestry-informative markers was also adjusted for to eliminate any confounding due to population stratification.
Results
CXADR (rs437470) on chromosome 21 was associated with SBP and DBP with or without adjusting for local ancestry (p < 0.0006). F2RL1 (rs631465) on chromosome 5 was associated with BMI (p = 0.0005). Local ancestry in these regions was associated with the respective traits as well.
Conclusions
This study suggests that CXADR and F2RL1 likely play important roles in blood pressure and obesity variation, respectively; and these findings are consistent with other studies, so replication and functional analyses are necessary.
doi:10.1097/HJH.0b013e3283578c80
PMCID: PMC3575678  PMID: 22914544
Blood pressure; Obesity; African Americans; Genetic Association Studies
24.  A High-Density Admixture Scan in 1,670 African Americans with Hypertension 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(11):e196.
Hypertension (HTN) is a devastating disease with a higher incidence in African Americans than European Americans, inspiring searches for genetic variants that contribute to this difference. We report the results of a large-scale admixture scan for genes contributing HTN risk, in which we screened 1,670 African Americans with HTN and 387 control individuals for regions of the genome with elevated proportion of African or European ancestry. No loci were identified that were significantly associated with HTN. We also searched for evidence of an admixture signal at 40 candidate genes and eight previously reported linkage peaks, but none appears to contribute substantially to the differential HTN risk between African and European Americans. Finally, we observed nominal association at one of the loci detected in the admixture scan of Zhu et al. 2005 (p = 0.016 at 6q24.3 correcting for four hypotheses tested), although we caution that the significance is marginal and the estimated odds ratio of 1.19 per African allele is less than what would be expected from the original report; thus, further work is needed to follow up this locus.
Author Summary
High blood pressure is more frequent and severe among African Americans than European Americans. To explore whether there are genetic underpinnings to this pattern, we screened the genomes of 1,670 African Americans, searching for loci at which people with hypertension (HTN) have more than the average proportion of African ancestry (eighty percent). We do not detect any region of clearly significant association. In a previous, smaller admixture scan for HTN genes, Zhu and colleagues (2005) reported two regions of association, which we would have expected to replicate if they were as strong as they initially appeared. While we detect marginal evidence of association at one, the signal is very weak, and much weaker than would have been expected from the previous report, so further work is necessary to understand this region. Our results are consistent with there being no common variants with a strong effect accounting for differences in HTN prevalence between African and European Americans. This increases the weight of evidence that non-genetic causes explain most of the difference in rates across populations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030196
PMCID: PMC2077893  PMID: 18020707
25.  A High-Density Admixture Scan in 1,670 African Americans with Hypertension 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(11):e196.
Hypertension (HTN) is a devastating disease with a higher incidence in African Americans than European Americans, inspiring searches for genetic variants that contribute to this difference. We report the results of a large-scale admixture scan for genes contributing HTN risk, in which we screened 1,670 African Americans with HTN and 387 control individuals for regions of the genome with elevated proportion of African or European ancestry. No loci were identified that were significantly associated with HTN. We also searched for evidence of an admixture signal at 40 candidate genes and eight previously reported linkage peaks, but none appears to contribute substantially to the differential HTN risk between African and European Americans. Finally, we observed nominal association at one of the loci detected in the admixture scan of Zhu et al. 2005 (p = 0.016 at 6q24.3 correcting for four hypotheses tested), although we caution that the significance is marginal and the estimated odds ratio of 1.19 per African allele is less than what would be expected from the original report; thus, further work is needed to follow up this locus.
Author Summary
High blood pressure is more frequent and severe among African Americans than European Americans. To explore whether there are genetic underpinnings to this pattern, we screened the genomes of 1,670 African Americans, searching for loci at which people with hypertension (HTN) have more than the average proportion of African ancestry (eighty percent). We do not detect any region of clearly significant association. In a previous, smaller admixture scan for HTN genes, Zhu and colleagues (2005) reported two regions of association, which we would have expected to replicate if they were as strong as they initially appeared. While we detect marginal evidence of association at one, the signal is very weak, and much weaker than would have been expected from the previous report, so further work is necessary to understand this region. Our results are consistent with there being no common variants with a strong effect accounting for differences in HTN prevalence between African and European Americans. This increases the weight of evidence that non-genetic causes explain most of the difference in rates across populations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030196
PMCID: PMC2077893  PMID: 18020707

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