A number of research studies on the genetics of opiate dependence have focused on the μ-opioid receptor (OPRM1), which is a primary target for opiates. This study aims to identify genetic polymorphisms within the OPRM1 gene involved in response to the biopsychosocial treatment in opiate-dependent individuals of Arab descent.
Unrelated Jordanian Nationals of Arab descent (N = 183) with opiate dependence were selected for this study. These individuals, all males, met the DSM-IV criteria for opiate dependence and were undergoing a voluntary 8-week treatment program at a Jordanian Drug Rehabilitation Centre. All individuals were genotyped for 22 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the OPRM1 gene using the Sequenom MassARRAY® system (iPLEX GOLD). Statistical analyses were carried out using the R package.
Patients receiving biopsychosocial treatment showed that there was a significant difference in their OPRM1 SNPs’ genotyping distribution between good, moderate, and poor responders to the treatment at two sites (rs6912029 [G-172T], and rs12205732 [G-1510A], P < 0.05, Fisher’s exact test).
This study is the first report of an association between the OPRM1 G-172T and G-1510A polymorphisms and treatment response for opiate dependence. Specifically, this study demonstrated that the OPRM1 GG-172 and GG-1510 genotypes were more frequent among patients who were nonresponders to the biopsychosocial treatment. However, further pharmacogenetic studies in a larger cohort of opiate-dependent patients of Arab descent are needed to confirm these findings and identify individuals with increased chance of relapse.
OPRM1; association; opiates; dependence; treatment response; Arab
The major goal of the present study was to investigate the potential use of a novel single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping technology, called iPLEX Gold (Sequenom), for the simultaneous analysis of 16 SNPs that have been previously validated as useful for identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) species and classification of MTBC isolates into distinct genetic lineages, known as principal genetic groups (PGGs) and SNP cluster groups (SCGs). In this context, we developed a 16-plex iPLEX assay based on an allele-specific-primer single-base-extension reaction using the iPLEX Gold kit (Sequenom), followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis on the commercially available Sequenom MassARRAY platform. This assay was tested on a panel of 55 well-characterized MTBC strains that were also genotyped for the same loci using the previously reported SNaPshot assay, as well as 10 non-MTBC mycobacteria and 4 bacteria not belonging to the genus Mycobacterium. All MTBC samples were successfully analyzed with the iPLEX assay, which yielded clear allelic data for 99.9% of the SNPs (879 out of 880). No false-positive results were obtained with the negative controls. Compared to the SNaPshot assay, the newly developed 16-plex iPLEX assay produced fully concordant results that allowed reliable differentiation of MTBC species and recognition of lineages, thus demonstrating its potential value in diagnostic, epidemiological, and evolutionary applications. Compared to the SNaPshot approach, the implementation of the iPLEX technology could offer a higher throughput and could be a more flexible and cost-effective option for microbiology laboratories.
Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) is the most frequent genetic cause of congenital intestinal obstruction with an incidence of 1:5000 live births. In a pathway-based epistasis analysis of data generated by genome-wide association study on HSCR, specific genotype of Patched 1 (PTCH1) has been linked to an increased risk for HSCR. The aim of the present study is to examine the contribution of genetic variants in PTCH1 to the susceptibility to HSCR in Han Chinese. Accordingly, we assessed 8 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within PTCH1 gene in 104 subjects with sporadic HSCR and 151 normal controls of Han Chinese origin by the Sequenom MassArray technology (iPLEX GOLD). Two of the eight genetic markers were found to be significantly associated with Hirschsprung disease (rs357565, allele P = 0.005; rs2236405, allele P = 0.002, genotype P = 0.003). Both the C allele of rs357565 and the A allele of rs2236405 served as risk factors for HSCR. During haplotype analysis, one seven-SNP-based haplotype was the most significant, giving a global P = 0.0036. Our results firstly suggest common variations of PTCH1 may be involved in the altered risk for HSCR in the Han Chinese population, providing potential molecular markers for early diagnosis of Hirschsprung disease.
Anemia and lead exposure remain significant public health issues in many parts of the world, often occurring together. Animal studies suggest that the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) mediates the effects of both lead and iron on cognition and behavior.
We tested the hypothesis that the DRD2 Taq IA polymorphism modifies the effects of lead and hemoglobin on intelligence quotient (IQ) among children.
Blood lead and hemoglobin were assessed in 717 children 3–7 years of age attending 12 schools in Chennai, India. IQ was determined using the Binet-Kamat scales of intelligence. Genotyping for the DRD2 polymorphism was carried out using a MassARRAY iPLEX platform. Stratified analyses and interaction models, using generalized estimating equations (GEEs), were used to explore interactions between lead and hemoglobin, and DRD2 Taq IA categories [homozygous variant (A1) vs. presence of wild-type allele (A2)].
After we controlled for potential confounders, a one-unit increase in log blood lead was associated with a decrease of 9 IQ points [95% confidence interval (CI), −18.08 to −0.16] in the homozygous-variant children (n = 73) compared with a decrease of 4 IQ points (95% CI, −7.21 to −0.69) among those with the wild-type allele (n = 644). Higher hemoglobin levels were associated with higher IQ in the children who carried the wild-type allele DRD2, but in children homozygous for the variant allele, an increase of 1 g/dL hemoglobin was associated with a decrease in 1.82 points of IQ (95% CI, −5.28 to 1.64; interaction term p-value = 0.02).
The results of this study suggest that the DRD2 Taq IA polymorphism disrupts the protective effect of hemoglobin on cognition and may increase the susceptibility to the deficits in IQ due to lead exposure.
blood lead; children; dopamine; hemoglobin; India; intelligence quotient
In addition to tumor invasion and angiogenesis, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)9 also contributes to carcinogenesis and tumor growth. Genetic variation that may influence MMP9 expression was evaluated among participants of the Shanghai Breast Cancer Genetics Study (SBCGS) for associations with breast cancer susceptibility.
In stage 1, 11 MMP9 SNPs were genotyped by the Affymetrix Targeted Genotyping System and/or the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 among 4,227 SBCGS participants. One SNP was further genotyped using the Sequenom iPLEX MassARRAY platform among an additional 6,270 SBCGS participants. Associations with breast cancer risk were evaluated by odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from logistic regression models that included adjustment for age, education, and genotyping stage when appropriate.
In Stage 1, rare allele homozygotes for a promoter SNP (rs3918241) or a non-synonymous SNP (rs2274756, R668Q) tended to occur more frequently among breast cancer cases (p-value = 0.116 and 0.056, respectively). Given their high linkage disequilibrium (D′=1.0, r2=0.97), one (rs3918241) was selected for additional analysis. An association with breast cancer risk was not supported by additional Stage 2 genotyping. In combined analysis, no elevated risk of breast cancer among homozygotes was found (OR: 1.2, 95% CI: 0.8–1.8).
Common genetic variation in MMP9 was not found to be significantly associated with altered breast cancer susceptibility among participants of the Shanghai Breast Cancer Genetics Study.
matrix metalloproteinase 9; polymorphisms; breast cancer; susceptibility
Associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 5p15 and multiple cancer types have been reported. We have previously shown evidence for a strong association between prostate cancer (PrCa) risk and rs2242652 at 5p15, intronic in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene that encodes TERT. To comprehensively evaluate the association between genetic variation across this region and PrCa, we performed a fine-mapping analysis by genotyping 134 SNPs using a custom Illumina iSelect array or Sequenom MassArray iPlex, followed by imputation of 1094 SNPs in 22 301 PrCa cases and 22 320 controls in The PRACTICAL consortium. Multiple stepwise logistic regression analysis identified four signals in the promoter or intronic regions of TERT that independently associated with PrCa risk. Gene expression analysis of normal prostate tissue showed evidence that SNPs within one of these regions also associated with TERT expression, providing a potential mechanism for predisposition to disease.
In colorectal cancer (CRC), an inherited susceptibility risk affects about 35% of patients, whereas high-penetrance germline mutations account for <6% of cases. A considerable proportion of sporadic tumors could be explained by the coinheritance of multiple low-penetrance variants, some of which are common. We assessed the susceptibility to CRC conferred by genetic variants at the TGFBR1 locus. We analyzed 14 polymorphisms and the allele-specific expression (ASE) of TGFBR1 in 1025 individuals from the Spanish population. A case-control study was undertaken with 504 controls and 521 patients with sporadic CRC. Fourteen polymorphisms located at the TGFBR1 locus were genotyped with the iPLEX Gold (MassARRAY-Sequenom) technology. Descriptive analyses of the polymorphisms and haplotypes and association studies were performed with the SNPator workpackage. No relevant associations were detected between individual polymorphisms or haplotypes and the risk of CRC. The TGFBR1*9A/6A polymorphism was used for the ASE analysis. Heterozygous individuals were analyzed for ASE by fragment analysis using cDNA from normal tissue. The relative level of allelic expression was extrapolated from a standard curve. The cutoff value was calculated with Youden's index. ASE was found in 25.4% of patients and 16.4% of controls. Considering both bimodal and continuous types of distribution, no significant differences between the ASE values of patients and controls were identified. Interestingly, a combined analysis of the polymorphisms and ASE for the association with CRC occurrence revealed that ASE-positive individuals carrying one of the most common haplotypes (H2: 20.7%) showed remarkable susceptibility to CRC (RR: 5.25; 95% CI: 2.547–5.250; p<0.001) with a synergy factor of 3.7. In our study, 54.1% of sporadic CRC cases were attributable to the coinheritance of the H2 haplotype and TGFBR1 ASE. These results support the hypothesis that the allelic architecture of cancer genes, rather than individual polymorphisms, more accurately defines the CRC risk.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) play a prominent role in modern genetics. Current genotyping technologies such as Sequenom iPLEX, ABI TaqMan and KBioscience KASPar made the genotyping of huge SNP sets in large populations straightforward and allow the generation of hundreds of thousands of genotypes even in medium sized labs. While data generation is straightforward, the subsequent data conversion, storage and quality control steps are time-consuming, error-prone and require extensive bioinformatic support. In order to ease this tedious process, we developed SNPflow. SNPflow is a lightweight, intuitive and easily deployable application, which processes genotype data from Sequenom MassARRAY (iPLEX) and ABI 7900HT (TaqMan, KASPar) systems and is extendible to other genotyping methods as well. SNPflow automatically converts the raw output files to ready-to-use genotype lists, calculates all standard quality control values such as call rate, expected and real amount of replicates, minor allele frequency, absolute number of discordant replicates, discordance rate and the p-value of the HWE test, checks the plausibility of the observed genotype frequencies by comparing them to HapMap/1000-Genomes, provides a module for the processing of SNPs, which allow sex determination for DNA quality control purposes and, finally, stores all data in a relational database. SNPflow runs on all common operating systems and comes as both stand-alone version and multi-user version for laboratory-wide use. The software, a user manual, screenshots and a screencast illustrating the main features are available at http://genepi-snpflow.i-med.ac.at.
Although many proinflammatory cytokines have been identified in nasal polyp tissue, the initial trigger that causes this inflammation characterized by edema, lymphocytosis, and eosinophilia, is still unknown. The purpose of the present study is to identify the presence of genetic polymorphisms in proinflammatory, anti-inflammatory, and chemokine genes that might contribute to genetic susceptibility to chronic hyperplastic sinusitis with nasal polyposis (CHSwNP).
Case control study.
Buccal swabs were taken from the left and right oral mucosal surfaces from 179 patients with CHSwNP and 153 nonpolyposis controls with the Purgene DNA purification protocol (Gentra). Genotyping assays for cytokine gene loci were performed on 14 cytokine genes using the iPlex Gold and the Mass Array Compact system (Sequenom, San Diego, CA). Tests of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium proportions were performed separately in the cases and controls. Tests for evidence of association between alleles at each single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and case-control status were performed using unconditional logistic regression.
The frequency of the A allele in a SNP located in tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α (rs1800629) is significantly different in patients with nasal polyposis versus controls without nasal polyposis, 18.6% and 11.5%, respectively with an individuals’ odds of susceptibility to nasal polyps increasing almost twofold (odds ratio, 1.86; confidence interval, 1.4–3.09) given at least one copy of the A allele at this SNP. All other cytokine gene polymorphisms of both inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, and chemokine genes were not statistically different between the two groups.
TNF-α-308, a SNP in the promoter region of this cytokine gene is associated with increased odds of developing nasal polyposis. TNF-α is a potent immuno-mediator and proinflammatory cytokine that has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a large number of human diseases. The location of this gene on the short arm of chromosome 6, with the major histocompatibility complex genes and complement, has raised the probability that polymorphism within this locus may contribute to a genetic association of this region of the genome with a wide variety of infectious and autoimmune diseases.
Nasal polyps; genes; single-nucleotide polymorphism; tumor necrosis factor-α-308; chronic inflammation
Premature ovarian failure (POF) is a complex and heterogeneous disorder that is influenced by multiple genetic components. Numerous candidate gene studies designed to identify POF susceptibility loci have been published, but most positive findings have not been confirmed in follow up studies. We sought to determine if sequence variants previously associated with age at natural menopause (AANM) or early menopause (EM) contribute as well to genetic susceptibility to POF.
Our study was performed on 371 unrelated idiopathic women with POF and 800 women controls, all Chinese Han. Thirty six SNPs from previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) responsible for AANM or EM and 3 additional SNPs in ESR1, and 2 additional SNPs in PTHB1 were tested using the Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX platform for genotyping.
Three SNPs - rs2278493 in HK3, rs2234693 in ESR1 and rs12611091 in BRSK1 - showed nominally significant association with POF. Thus, a plausible relationship could exist between ESR1, BRSK1, HK3 and POF.
This largest association study undertaken to determine correlation between POF and AANM/EM revealed three significant SNPs (rs2278493, rs2234693, and rs12611091). All are associated with not only AAWM and EM but also POF. Insights into shared genetic susceptibility between POF and AANM/EM will provide novel entry points for unraveling genetic mechanism involved in ovarian reserve and oocyte aging processes.
Premature ovarian failure (POF); Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI); Age at natural menopause (AANM); HK3; ESR1; BRSK1; Premature menopause; Hypergonadotropic hypogonadism
The Brazilian Amazon is a hypo-endemic malaria region with nearly 300,000 cases each year. A variety of genetic polymorphisms, particularly in erythrocyte receptors and immune response related genes, have been described to be associated with susceptibility and resistance to malaria. In order to identify polymorphisms that might be associated with malaria clinical outcomes in a Brazilian Amazonian population, sixty-four human single nucleotide polymorphisms in 37 genes were analyzed using a Sequenom massARRAY iPLEX platform. A total of 648 individuals from two malaria endemic areas were studied, including 535 malaria cases (113 individuals with clinical mild malaria, 122 individuals with asymptomatic infection and 300 individuals with history of previous mild malaria) and 113 health controls with no history of malaria. The data revealed significant associations (p<0.003) between one SNP in the IL10 gene (rs1800896) and one SNP in the TLR4 gene (rs4986790) with reduced risk for clinical malaria, one SNP in the IRF1 gene (rs2706384) with increased risk for clinical malaria, one SNP in the LTA gene (rs909253) with protection from clinical malaria and one SNP in the TNF gene (RS1800750) associated with susceptibility to clinical malaria. Also, a new association was found between a SNP in the CTL4 gene (rs2242665), located at the major histocompatibility complex III region, and reduced risk for clinical malaria. This study represents the first association study from an Amazonian population involving a large number of host genetic polymorphisms with susceptibility or resistance to Plasmodium infection and malaria outcomes. Further studies should include a larger number of individuals, refined parameters and a fine-scale map obtained through DNA sequencing to increase the knowledge of the Amazonian population genetic diversity.
The VNTR polymorphism in the Dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) has been associated with differential urge for substances across multiple methodologies ranging from neuroimaging to assessment in the natural environment. It is unclear whether the DRD4 gene is a marker for an underlying propensity for greater urge or whether the DRD4 gene differentially moderates the neuroadaptive effects of extended substance use on urge. Examination of the DRD4 in an adolescent sample may provide evidence of a mechanism of this putative relationship.
Data from a subset of 77 participants in a larger assessment study characterized adolescents for substance-related behaviors by DRD4 genotype. The psychiatrically admitted adolescents were genotyped for the variable number of tandem repeats polymorphism in the DRD4 gene (L ≥ 7 [n = 25], S = < 7 [n = 52]). Associations of the DRD4 with scores on the SASSI, and ADI were examined as well as selected individual items thought to be most related to the intermediate phenotype of urge.
The DRD4 gene was not associated with any DSM-IV substance misuse diagnostic classification. Individual items related to urge were also nonsignificantly related to DRD4 status. Carriers of the long variant of the DRD4 polymorphism were more likely to have used hard drugs within the previous 6 months and scored higher on the self-medication subscale of the ADI compared to short variant homozygotes.
Preliminary results provide little evidence for the DRD4 VNTR polymorphism to be related to urge-related phenomena in hospitalized adolescents on a psychiatric inpatient unit. The association of the DRD4 gene with hard drug use may support literature linking this gene to impulsivity. Subscale findings may suggest a role of negative affect in previous DRD4 urge findings.
DRD4; adolescents; substance misuse
Smoking behavior is a multifactorial phenotype with significant heritability. Identifying the specific loci that influence smoking behavior could provide important etiological insights and facilitate the development of treatments to further reduce smoking related mortality. Although several studies pointed to different candidate genes for smoking, there is still a need for replication especially in samples from different countries. In the present study, we investigated whether 21 positive signals for smoking behavior from these studies are replicated in a sample of 531 blood donors from the Brazilian population. The polymorphisms were chosen based on their representativeness of different candidate biologic systems, strength of previous evidence, location and allele frequencies. By genotyping with the Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX platform and subsequent statistical analysis using Plink software, we show that two of the SNPs studied, in the SLC1A2 (rs1083658) and ACTN1 (rs2268983) genes, were associated with smoking behavior in our study population. These genes are involved in crucial aspects of nicotine dependence, glutamate system and synaptic plasticity, and as such, are biologically plausible candidates that merit further molecular analyses so as to clarify their potential role in smoking behavior.
Whole genome amplification can faithfully amplify genomic DNA (gDNA) with minimal bias and substantial genome coverage. Whole genome amplified DNA (wgaDNA) has been tested to be workable for high-throughput genotyping arrays. However, issues about whether wgaDNA would decrease genotyping performance at increasing multiplexing levels and whether the storage period of wgaDNA would reduce genotyping performance have not been examined. Using the Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX Gold assays, we investigated 174 single nucleotide polymorphisms for 3 groups of matched samples: group 1 of 20 gDNA samples, group 2 of 20 freshly prepared wgaDNA samples, and group 3 of 20 stored wgaDNA samples that had been kept frozen at −70°C for 18 months. MassARRAY is a medium-throughput genotyping platform with reaction chemistry different from those of high-throughput genotyping arrays. The results showed that genotyping performance (efficiency and accuracy) of freshly prepared wgaDNA was similar to that of gDNA at various multiplexing levels (17-plex, 21-plex, 28-plex and 36-plex) of the MassARRAY assays. However, compared with gDNA or freshly prepared wgaDNA, stored wgaDNA was found to give diminished genotyping performance (efficiency and accuracy) due to potentially inferior quality. Consequently, no matter whether gDNA or wgaDNA was used, better genotyping efficiency would tend to have better genotyping accuracy.
Waterpipe smoking is increasingly a worldwide phenomenpn. Few studies have been conducted on the epidemiology of waterpipe smoking behavior and its genetic determinants. A polymorphism (TaqI) in the 3′ untranslated region of the dopamine receptor gene (DRD2), later localized to the neighboring ANKK1 gene, has been previously linked to cigarette smoking. Since all tobacco products' share the ability of stimulating the dopaminergic reward system, variation in the DRD2 genotype might be associated with waterpipe smoking addiction.
This study aims to explore genetic variations in DRD2 gene and waterpipe smoking, motives and addiction in Egyptian rural males.
Material and Methods
The subjects (N=154) were selected from participants in a household smoking prevalence survey if they were adults, males, currently smoking waterpipe and not smoking cigarettes. Participants were interviewed about their smoking behaviors. Blood samples were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Subjects were subsequently classified as either the A1 (presence of at least one A1 allele) or A2 group (A2 homozygotes).
The prevalence of Al genotype was 34.4 % in current waterpipe users, and was associated with the maximum duration before smokers experienced craving to smoke: after adjusting for age of smoking initiation, smoking for addictive motives, and average daily tobacco consumption, the A1 carriers were more likely to experience craving within a shorter duration after abstinence (the first 24 hours) compared to subjects with A2/A2 genotype (Odds ratio [OR] 2.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.18 – 6.23). In addition, the frequent visitors of shisha cafes were more likely to be younger, heavy smokers and carriers of A1 allele (OR, 2.52, 95% CI: 1.06-6.02).
Conclusion and Recommendations
This study revealed that the maximum duration before experiencing craving to smoke waterpipe and frequency of visiting cafes to smoke may be influenced by an inherited variations in the DRD2 genotype.
DRD2 gene; genetic; smoking; tobacco addiction; waterpipe
A recent meta-analysis of published genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in populations of European descent reported novel associations of markers mapping to the CD40, CCL21 and CDK6 genes with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility while a large-scale, case-control association study in a Japanese population identified association with multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CD244 gene. The aim of the current study was to validate these potential RA susceptibility markers in a UK population.
A total of 4 SNPs (rs4810485 in CD40, rs2812378 in CCL21, rs42041 in CDK6 and rs6682654 in CD244) were genotyped in a UK cohort comprising 3962 UK patients with RA and 3531 healthy controls using the Sequenom iPlex platform. Genotype counts in patients and controls were analysed with the χ2 test using Stata.
Association to the CD40 gene was robustly replicated (p=2×10−4, OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.79 to 0.93) and modest evidence was found for association with the CCL21 locus (p=0.04, OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.16). However, there was no evidence for association of rs42041 (CDK6) and rs6682654 (CD244) with RA susceptibility in this UK population. Following a meta-analysis including the original data, association to CD40 was confirmed (p=7.8×10−8, OR 0.87 (95% CI 0.83 to 0.92).
In this large UK cohort, strong association of the CD40 gene with susceptibility to RA was found, and weaker evidence for association with RA in the CCL21 locus.
Obesity is a multifactorial disease caused by the interaction between genotype and environment, and it is considered to be a type of addictive alteration. The A1 allele of the DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIA gene has been associated with addictive disorders, with obesity and with the performance in executive functions. The 7 repeat allele of the DRD4 gene has likewise been associated with the performance in executive functions, as well as with addictive behaviors and impulsivity. Participants were included in the obesity group (N = 42) if their body mass index (BMI) was equal to or above 30, and in the lean group (N = 42) if their BMI was below 25. The DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIA and DRD4 VNTR polymorphisms were obtained. All subjects underwent neuropsychological assessment. Eating behavior traits were evaluated. The ‘DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIA A1-allele status’ had a significant effect on almost all the executive variables, but no significant ‘DRD4 7R-allele status’ effects were observed for any of the executive variables analyzed. There was a significant ‘group’ x ‘DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIA A1-allele status’ interaction effect on LN and ‘group’ x ‘DRD4 7R-allele status’ interaction effect on TMT B-A score. Being obese and a carrier of the A1 allele of DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIA or the 7R allele of DRD4 VNTR polymorphisms could confer a weakness as regards the performance of executive functions.
The glutamate receptor, N-methyl D-aspartate 2A (GRIN2A) gene that encodes the 2A subunit of the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor was recently shown to be involved in the development of opiate addiction. Genetic polymorphisms in GRIN2A have a plausible role in modulating the risk of heroin addiction. An association of GRIN2A single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with heroin addiction was found earlier in African Americans. To identify markers that contribute to the genetic susceptibility to heroin addiction, we examined the potential association between heroin addiction and forty polymorphisms of the GRIN2A gene using the MassARRAY system and GeneScan in this study. The frequency of the (GT)26 repeats (rs3219790) in the heroin addiction group was significantly higher than that in the control group (χ2 = 5.360, P = 0.021). The allele frequencies of three polymorphisms (rs1102972, rs1650420, and rs3104703 in intron 3) were strongly associated with heroin addiction (P<0.001, 0.0002, and <0.001, after Bonferroni correction). Three additional SNPs from the same intron (rs1071502, rs6497730, and rs1070487) had nominally significant P values for association (P<0.05), but did not pass the threshold value. Haplotype analysis revealed that the G-C-T-C-C-T-A (block 6) and T-T (block 10) haplotypes of the GRIN2A gene displayed a protective effect (P = <0.001 and 0.003). These findings point to a role for GRIN2A polymorphisms in heroin addiction among the Han Chinese from Shaanxi province, and may be informative for future genetic or neurobiological studies on heroin addiction.
To investigate the autoinflammatory hereditary periodic fever syndrome genes MVK and TNFRSF1A, and the NLRP1 and IL1 genes, for association with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
For MVK, TNFRSF1A and NLRP1 pair-wise tagging SNPs across each gene were selected and for IL1A SNPs from a prior meta-analysis were included. 1054 UK Caucasian JIA patients were genotyped by Sequenom iPlex MassARRAY and allele and genotype frequencies compared with 5380 unrelated healthy UK Caucasian controls.
Four SNPs were significantly associated with UK JIA: rs2071374 within intron 4 of IL1A (ptrend=0.006), rs2228576 3’ of TNFRSF1A (ptrend=0.009) and 2 SNPs, rs11836136 and rs7957619, within MVK (ptrend=0.006, ptrend=0.005 respectively). In all cases the association appeared to be driven by the systemic-onset JIA (SoJIA) subtype. Genotype data for the two MVK SNPs was available in a validation cohort of 814 JIA (oligoarticular and RF negative polyarticular) cases and 3058 controls from the US. Replication was not confirmed, however, further suggesting that this association is specific to SoJIA.
These findings extend the observations of the relevance of studying monogenic loci as candidates for complex diseases. We provide novel evidence of association of MVK and TNFRSF1A with UK JIA, specifically driven by association with SoJIA and further confirm that the IL1A SNP association with SoJIA is subtype specific. Replication is required in independent cohorts.
Autoinflammatory genes; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; MVK; TNFRSF1A; IL1A
Mindful of the new evolutionary ideas related to an emerging scientific focus known as omics, we propose that spiritual, social, and political behaviors may be tied in part to inheritable reward gene polymorphisms, as has been demonstrated for the addictions. If so, analyses of gene polymorphisms may assist in predicting liberalism or conservatism in partisan attachments. For example, both drinking (alcohol) and obesity seem to cluster in large social networks and are influenced by friends having the same genotype, in particular the DRD2 A1 allele. Likewise, voting, voting turnout and attachment to a particular political ideology is differentially related to various reward genes (e.g., 5HTT, MOA, DRD2, and DRD4), possibly predicting liberalism or conservatism. Moreover, voters’ genetic information may predict presidential outcomes more than the actual issues at hand or the presidential candidates themselves. Thus, political discussions on TV, radio, or other media may be morphed by one’s reward gene polymorphisms and as such, may explain the prevalence of generations of die-hard republicans and equally entrenched democratic legacies. Indeed, even in politics, birds of a feather (homophily) flock together. We caution that our proposal should be viewed mindfully awaiting additional research before definitive statements or conclusions can be derived from the studies to date, and we encourage large scale studies to confirm these earlier reports.
Liberalism; Conservatism; Politics; Friendships; Happiness; Reward Gene Polymorphisms
In a further contribution to recent investigations of the relevance of genetic processes for demographic outcomes, we investigate genetic associations with whether adolescents use contraception. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we find that variants in the dopamine transporter gene DAT1, the dopamine receptor gene DRD2, and the monoamine oxidase gene MAOA are associated with unprotected sexual intercourse. Consistent with previous analyses of these data, the genotypes DRD2*A1/A2, DRD2*A2/A2, DAT1*9R/10R, and MAOA*2R/ are associated with higher odds of unprotected sexual intercourse than other genotypes at these loci. The DRD2 associations apply to both men and women, whereas the other associations apply to women only. These results are robust to controls for population stratification by continental ancestry, do not vary by contraceptive type, and are consistent with previous research showing that these genetic variants are associated with higher rates of impulsivity.
adolescents; contraception; genetics; DRD2; DAT1; MAOA
Abnormal behaviors involving dopaminergic gene polymorphisms often reflect an insufficiency of usual feelings of satisfaction, or Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS). RDS results from a dysfunction in the “brain reward cascade,” a complex interaction among neurotransmitters (primarily dopaminergic and opioidergic). Individuals with a family history of alcoholism or other addictions may be born with a deficiency in the ability to produce or use these neurotransmitters. Exposure to prolonged periods of stress and alcohol or other substances also can lead to a corruption of the brain reward cascade function. We evaluated the potential association of four variants of dopaminergic candidate genes in RDS (dopamine D1 receptor gene [DRD1]; dopamine D2 receptor gene [DRD2]; dopamine transporter gene [DAT1]; dopamine beta-hydroxylase gene [DBH]). Methodology: We genotyped an experimental group of 55 subjects derived from up to five generations of two independent multiple-affected families compared to rigorously screened control subjects (e.g., N = 30 super controls for DRD2 gene polymorphisms). Data related to RDS behaviors were collected on these subjects plus 13 deceased family members. Results: Among the genotyped family members, the DRD2 Taq1 and the DAT1 10/10 alleles were significantly (at least p < 0.015) more often found in the RDS families vs. controls. The TaqA1 allele occurred in 100% of Family A individuals (N = 32) and 47.8% of Family B subjects (11 of 23). No significant differences were found between the experimental and control positive rates for the other variants. Conclusions: Although our sample size was limited, and linkage analysis is necessary, the results support the putative role of dopaminergic polymorphisms in RDS behaviors. This study shows the importance of a nonspecific RDS phenotype and informs an understanding of how evaluating single subset behaviors of RDS may lead to spurious results. Utilization of a nonspecific “reward” phenotype may be a paradigm shift in future association and linkage studies involving dopaminergic polymorphisms and other neurotransmitter gene candidates.
dopamine; gene polymorphisms; generational association studies; phenotype; “super normal” controls; Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)
The PTPN22 gene has been widely confirmed as a susceptibility gene for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in populations of Northern European descent. The aim of the current study was to explore the role of variants spanning the PTPN22 gene in determining susceptibility to and outcome of inflammatory polyarthritis (IP).
Patients and methods:
Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variants spanning the gene were genotyped using the Sequenom MassArray platform and tested, firstly for their association with susceptibility to IP. Genotype frequencies were compared between new onset IP cases (n = 843) and population controls (n = 471). Secondly, a within-cohort analysis was performed testing each variant for association with a number of clinical outcome measures reflecting disease severity including radiological erosions, physical function, measured using the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score, and disease activity at defined time-points following disease presentation.
A significant association between carriage of the PTPN22*1858T allele and IP (odds ratio (OR) = 1.4 (95% CI 1.1–1.9), p = 0.02) was observed. The strength of the effect was similar in the RA subgroup (OR = 1.4 (95% CI 1.0–1.9), p = 0.05). No association between IP susceptibility and any of the other SNPs was detected. No association was detected for any of the SNPs tested, including the PTPN22*C1858T polymorphism, for either erosive status, Larsen score by 5 years or other markers of clinical outcome.
The PTPN22*C1858T polymorphism is associated with susceptibility to IP, but we have found no evidence for association of this or other variants spanning the gene with clinical outcome measures.
To explore the association of the DRD4 exon 3 7-repeat allele with clinically significant levels of autistic symptoms among children and adolescents with DSM-IV Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Subjects included in the main analysis were 954 Missouri-born twins from a study of the genetic epidemiology of ADHD with complete data on DSM-IV ADHD diagnosis, DRD4 genotype and the parent-rated Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Logistic regression was used to investigate the association of the DRD4 7-repeat allele with clinically elevated SRS score.
Among individuals with DSM-IV ADHD (any subtype), the DRD4 7-repeat allele was associated with high SRS score. The distribution of raw SRS scores appeared bimodal among subjects with at least one copy of the DRD4 7-repeat allele, suggesting a possible interaction between this DRD4 genotype and other, unmeasured variables.
The DRD4 7-repeat allele may increase the risk for clinically elevated autistic symptoms in children and adolescents with ADHD. Further studies are needed to confirm this finding and explore the role of specific gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in the development of autistic symptoms and other co-occurring psychopathology among individuals with ADHD.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; Autism Spectrum Disorder; DRD4; genetic association; comorbidity; trouble du déficit d’attention avec hyperactivité; trouble envahissant du développement; gène DRD4; corrélation génétique; comorbidité
Vulnerabilities to dependence on addictive substances are substantially heritable complex disorders whose underlying genetic architecture is likely to be polygenic, with modest contributions from variants in many individual genes. “Nontemplate” genome wide association (GWA) approaches can identity groups of chromosomal regions and genes that, taken together, are much more likely to contain allelic variants that alter vulnerability to substance dependence than expected by chance.
We report pooled “nontemplate” genome-wide association studies of two independent samples of substance dependent vs control research volunteers (n = 1620), one European-American and the other African-American using 1 million SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) Affymetrix genotyping arrays. We assess convergence between results from these two samples using two related methods that seek clustering of nominally-positive results and assess significance levels with Monte Carlo and permutation approaches. Both “converge then cluster” and “cluster then converge” analyses document convergence between the results obtained from these two independent datasets in ways that are virtually never found by chance. The genes identified in this fashion are also identified by individually-genotyped dbGAP data that compare allele frequencies in cocaine dependent vs control individuals.
These overlapping results identify small chromosomal regions that are also identified by genome wide data from studies of other relevant samples to extents much greater than chance. These chromosomal regions contain more genes related to “cell adhesion” processes than expected by chance. They also contain a number of genes that encode potential targets for anti-addiction pharmacotherapeutics. “Nontemplate” GWA approaches that seek chromosomal regions in which nominally-positive associations are found in multiple independent samples are likely to complement classical, “template” GWA approaches in which “genome wide” levels of significance are sought for SNP data from single case vs control comparisons.