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.
Type I Interferons (IFNs) are well known cytokines which exert antiviral activity, antitumor activity and immunomodulatory effects. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and deletions in the gene coding for IFNA2 have been shown to influence the level of expression in vitro. The indel polymorphism -305_-300delAACTTT showed the strongest effect in vitro. To analyse the worldwide distribution of this polymorphism we analyzed five different populations (586 Vietnamese, 199 Central Africans, 265 Brazilians, 108 Kaingang and 98 Guarani). To investigate a possible association with susceptibility to infectious diseases we determined the polymorphism in malaria patients suffering either mild or severe malaria and in a cohort of hepatitis C virus infected individuals.
We could detect the indel polymorphism in all populations analysed. There was no association with this polymorphism and the outcome of malaria but we found an increase of this indel polymorphism in hepatitis C virus positive individuals compared to healthy controls (p = 0.014).
Polymorphisms in genes involved in the interferon pathway have been implicated in the resistance or susceptibility against cerebral malaria and HBV. Here we show that an indel polymorphism, which mediates a disadvantageous effect in HBV patients, may also play a disadvantageous role in HCV infections stressing the importance of a fully functional interferon pathway.
Using molecular genetic data on Aggarwals (Vaish/Vysya), an endogamous population group of north India, we provide evidence of its homogeneous unstratified population structure. We found the mean average heterozygosity value of 0.33 for 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms belonging to four genes (TCF7L2-, HHEX-, KCNJ11-, and ADIPOQ-) in the Aggarwal population (sample of 184 individuals) and tried to evaluate the genomic efficiency of endogamy in this population with the help of clan-based stratified analysis. We concluded that the sociocultural identity of the endogamous population groups could act as a robust proxy maker for inferring their homogeneity and population structure in India, which is ideal also for population selection for future genome-wide association studies in the country.
The IL4-590 gene polymorphism has been shown to be associated with elevated levels of anti-Plasmodium falciparum IgG antibodies and parasite intensity in the malaria protected Fulani of West Africa. This study aimed to investigate the possible impact of IL4-590C/T polymorphism on anti-P. falciparum IgG subclasses and IgE antibodies levels and the alteration of malaria severity in complicated and uncomplicated malaria patients with or without previous malaria experiences.
Anti-P.falciparum IgG subclasses and IgE antibodies in plasma of complicated and uncomplicated malaria patients with or without previous malaria experiences were analysed using ELISA. IL4-590 polymorphisms were genotyped using RFLP-PCR. Statistical analyses of the IgG subclass levels were done by Oneway ANOVA. Genotype differences were tested by Chi-squared test.
The IL4-590T allele was significantly associated with anti-P. falciparum IgG3 antibody levels in patients with complicated (P = 0.031), but not with uncomplicated malaria (P = 0.622). Complicated malaria patients with previous malaria experiences carrying IL4-590TT genotype had significantly lower levels of anti-P. falciparum IgG3 (P = 0.0156), while uncomplicated malaria patients with previous malaria experiences carrying the same genotype had significantly higher levels (P = 0.0206) compared to their IL4-590 counterparts. The different anti-P. falciparum IgG1 and IgG3 levels among IL4 genotypes were observed. Complicated malaria patients with previous malaria experiences tended to have lower IgG3 levels in individuals carrying TT when compared to CT genotypes (P = 0.075). In contrast, complicated malaria patients without previous malaria experiences carrying CC genotype had significantly higher anti-P. falciparum IgG1 than those carrying either CT or TT genotypes (P = 0.004, P = 0.002, respectively).
The results suggest that IL4-590C or T alleles participated differently in the regulation of anti-malarial antibody isotype profiles in primary and secondary malaria infection and, therefore, could play an important role in alteration of malaria severity.
Malaria control in Madhya Pradesh is complex because of vast tracts of forest with tribal settlement. Fifty four million individuals of various ethnic origins, accounting for 8% of the total population of India, contributed 30% of total malaria cases, 60% of total falciparum cases and 50% of malaria deaths in the country. Ambitious goals to control tribal malaria by launching "Enhanced Malaria Control Project" (EMCP) by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), with the World Bank assistance, became effective in September 1997 in eight north Indian states. Under EMCP, the programme used a broader mix of new interventions, i.e. insecticide-treated bed nets, spraying houses with effective residual insecticides, use of larvivorous fishes, rapid diagnostic tests for prompt diagnosis, treatment of the sick with effective radical treatment and increased public awareness and IEC. However, the challenge is to scale up these services.
A retrospective analysis of data on malaria morbidity and associated mortality reported under the existing surveillance system of the Madhya Pradesh (Central India) for the years 1996–2007 was carried out to determine the impact of EMCP on malaria morbidity and associated mortality. Analysis revealed that despite the availability of effective intervention tools for the prevention and control of malaria, falciparum malaria remains uncontrolled and deaths due to malaria have increased. Precisely, the aim of this epidemiological analysis is to draw lessons applicable to all international aid efforts, bureaucracy, policy makers and programme managers in assessing its project performance as a new Global Malaria Action Plan is launched with ambitious goal of reducing malaria and its elimination by scaling up the use of existing tools.
Dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) is an important gene having functional significance in the fields of neuropsychiatry and pharmacology and also has importance in evolutionary studies.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
This study was undertaken to find out the haplotype distribution and linkage disequilibrium (LD) pattern for the three TaqI sites (TaqI ‘A’, TaqI ‘B’ and TaqI ‘D’) in the DRD2 gene in 232 unrelated individuals from five ethno-linguistically distinct endogamous tribal populations; Siddis and Gonds of Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka; Varli and Kolgha of Valsad district, Gujarat; and Dangi Konkana of Dang district, Gujarat. The genotype data obtained after molecular analysis of the three DRD2 sites was subjected to statistical analysis such as calculation of allele frequencies, haplotype frequencies among others. Subsequently, a neighbor-joining tree was also constructed from the data obtained.
The three DRD2 sites were found to be polymorphic in all the populations. All the populations showed high levels of heterozygosities. Out of the eight possible haplotypes, most populations shared seven haplotypes. Of all the populations, Siddis showed the highest frequency of the ancestral haplotype B2D2A1 (11.4%). Significant LD was found to exist for TaqI ‘A’ and TaqI ‘B’ sites in both the populations.
The findings are in concurrence with those from other Indian studies, especially from Dravidian-speaking South Indian populations. Similar pattern of diversity observed for ethnically and linguistically diverse populations in the present study is indicative of complex structure of Indian populations.
Ancestral haplotype; ethno-linguistic diversity; haplotype analysis; linkage disequilibrium; population structure
Group I introns are found in the nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA) of some species of the genus Porphyra (Bangiales, Rhodophyta). Size polymorphisms in group I introns has been interpreted as the result of the degeneration of homing endonuclease genes (HEG) inserted in peripheral loops of intron paired elements. In this study, intron size polymorphisms were characterized for different Porphyra spiralis var. amplifolia (PSA) populations on the Southern Brazilian coast, and were used to infer genetic relationships and genetic structure of these PSA populations, in addition to cox2-3 and rbcL-S regions. Introns of different sizes were tested qualitatively for in vitro self-splicing.
Five intron size polymorphisms within 17 haplotypes were obtained from 80 individuals representing eight localities along the distribution of PSA in the Eastern coast of South America. In order to infer genetic structure and genetic relationships of PSA, these polymorphisms and haplotypes were used as markers for pairwise Fst analyses, Mantel's test and median joining network. The five cox2-3 haplotypes and the unique rbcL-S haplotype were used as markers for summary statistics, neutrality tests Tajima's D and Fu's Fs and for median joining network analyses. An event of demographic expansion from a population with low effective number, followed by a pattern of isolation by distance was obtained for PSA populations with the three analyses. In vitro experiments have shown that introns of different lengths were able to self-splice from pre-RNA transcripts.
The findings indicated that degenerated HEGs are reminiscent of the presence of a full-length and functional HEG, once fixed for PSA populations. The cline of HEG degeneration determined the pattern of isolation by distance. Analyses with the other markers indicated an event of demographic expansion from a population with low effective number. The different degrees of degeneration of the HEG do not refrain intron self-splicing. To our knowledge, this was the first study to address intraspecific evolutionary history of a nuclear group I intron; to use nuclear, mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA for population level analyses of Porphyra; and intron size polymorphism as a marker for population genetics.
A large number of microsatellites have been extensively used to comprehend the genetic diversity of different global groups. This paper entails polymorphism at 15 STR in four predominant and endogamous populations representing Karnataka, located on the southwest coast of India. The populations residing in this region are believed to have received gene flow from south Indian populations and world migrants, hence, we carried out a detailed study on populations inhabiting this region to understand their genetic structure, diversity related to geography and linguistic affiliation and relatedness to other Indian and global migrant populations.
Various statistical analyses were performed on the microsatellite data to accomplish the objectives of the paper. The heretozygosity was moderately high and similar across the loci, with low average GST value. Iyengar and Lyngayat were placed above the regression line in the R-matrix analysis as opposed to the Gowda and Muslim. AMOVA indicated that majority of variation was confined to individuals within a population, with geographic grouping demonstrating lesser genetic differentiation as compared to linguistic clustering. DA distances show the genetic affinity among the southern populations, with Iyengar, Lyngayat and Vanniyar displaying some affinity with northern Brahmins and global migrant groups from East Asia and Europe.
The microsatellite study divulges a common ancestry for the four diverse populations of Karnataka, with the overall genetic differentiation among them being largely confined to intra-population variation. The practice of consanguineous marriages might have attributed to the relatively lower gene flow displayed by Gowda and Muslim as compared to Iyengar and Lyngayat. The various statistical analyses strongly suggest that the studied populations could not be differentiated on the basis of caste or spatial location, although, linguistic affinity was reflected among the southern populations, distinguishing them from the northern groups. Our study also indicates a heterogeneous origin for Lyngayat and Iyengar owing to their genetic proximity with southern populations and northern Brahmins. The high-ranking communities, in particular, Iyengar, Lyngayat, Vanniyar and northern Brahmins might have experienced genetic admixture from East Asian and European ethnic groups.
Two distinct variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) within the human serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) have been implicated as predisposing factors for CNS disorders. The linked polymorphic region in the 5′-promoter exists as short (s) and long (l) alleles of a 22 or 23 bp elements. The second within intron 2 (Stin2) exists as three variants containing 9, 10 or 12 copies of a 16 or 17 bp element. These VNTRs, individually or in combination, supported differential reporter gene expression in rat neonate prefrontal cortical cultures. The level of reporter gene activity from the dual VNTR constructs indicated combinatorial action between the two domains. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that both these VNTR domains can bind the CCCTC-binding factor and this correlated with the ability of exogenously supplied CCCTC-binding factor to modulate the expression supported by these reporter gene constructs. We suggest that the potential for interaction between multiple polymorphic domains should be incorporated into genetic association studies.
J. Neurochem. (2010) 112, 296–306.
behaviour; CCCTC-binding factor; human serotonin transporter; polymorphism; variable number tandem repeat
The antibody response generated during malaria infections is of particular interest, since the production of specific IgG antibodies is required for acquisition of clinical immunity. However, variations in antibody responses could result from genetic polymorphism of the HLA class II genes. Given the increasing focus on the development of subunit vaccines, studies of the influence of class II alleles on the immune response in ethnically diverse populations is important, prior to the implementation of vaccine trials.
Methods and Findings
In this study, we evaluated the influence of HLA-DRB1* and -DQB1* allelic groups on the naturally acquired humoral response from Brazilian Amazon individuals (n = 276) against P. vivax Merozoite Surface Protein-1 (MSP-1), MSP-3α and MSP-9 recombinant proteins. Our results provide information concerning these three P. vivax antigens, relevant for their role as immunogenic surface proteins and vaccine candidates. Firstly, the studied population was heterogeneous presenting 13 HLA-DRB1* and 5 DQB1* allelic groups with a higher frequency of HLA-DRB1*04 and HLA-DQB1*03. The proteins studied were broadly immunogenic in a naturally exposed population with high frequency of IgG antibodies against PvMSP1-19 (86.7%), PvMSP-3 (77%) and PvMSP-9 (76%). Moreover, HLA-DRB1*04 and HLA-DQB1*03 alleles were associated with a higher frequency of IgG immune responses against five out of nine antigens tested, while HLA-DRB1*01 was associated with a high frequency of non-responders to repetitive regions of PvMSP-9, and the DRB1*16 allelic group with the low frequency of responders to PvMSP3 full length recombinant protein.
HLA-DRB1*04 alleles were associated with high frequency of antibody responses to five out of nine recombinant proteins tested in Rondonia State, Brazil. These features could increase the success rate of future clinical trials based on these vaccine candidates.
Indian populations endowed with unparalleled genetic complexity have received a great deal of attention from scientists world over. However, the fundamental question over their ancestry, whether they are all genetically similar or do exhibit differences attributable to ethnicity, language, geography or socio-cultural affiliation is still unresolved. In order to decipher their underlying genetic structure, we undertook a study on 3522 individuals belonging to 54 endogamous Indian populations representing all major ethnic, linguistic and geographic groups and assessed the genetic variation using autosomal microsatellite markers.
The distribution of the most frequent allele was uniform across populations, revealing an underlying genetic similarity. Patterns of allele distribution suggestive of ethnic or geographic propinquity were discernible only in a few of the populations and was not applicable to the entire dataset while a number of the populations exhibited distinct identities evident from the occurrence of unique alleles in them. Genetic substructuring was detected among populations originating from northeastern and southern India reflective of their migrational histories and genetic isolation respectively.
Our analyses based on autosomal microsatellite markers detected no evidence of general clustering of population groups based on ethnic, linguistic, geographic or socio-cultural affiliations. The existence of substructuring in populations from northeastern and southern India has notable implications for population genetic studies and forensic databases where broad grouping of populations based on such affiliations are frequently employed.
The IL4 gene is located on chromosome 5q23.3-31.2. Polymorphisms within this cytokine gene, like the derivative allele T of IL4-590, have been reported as being associated to elevated IgE serum levels and asthma. In the present work, the allelic and genotypic frequency of the IL4-590 and IL4 RP2 polymorphisms was carried out in 599 individuals from Madeira, Azores, Portugal mainland, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau and in a sample of 101 asthmatics from Madeira population. In all populations the polymorphisms were in LD and presented a significant dissimilar allelic and genotypic distribution (p<0.05) except between mainland Portugal and Madeira when compared to Azores. Significant differences regarding both loci were found between Madeira population and the group of asthmatics. Genotype 183183TT frequency is higher for African populations while 253253CC prevails in Caucasian populations. The existence of a Hardy-Weinberg Disequilibrium in Guinea-Bissau population not observed in neutral markers leads to the hypothesis of natural selection occurring in these loci probably associated to a rapid population growth an hypothesis strengthened by neutral STRs D5S818 and CSF1PO gene diversity.
IL4-590; IL4 RP2; D5S818; CSF1PO; Asthma; Madeira; Azores; Portugal mainland; Cape Verde; Guinea-Bissau
New tools for malaria control, artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) and long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were recently introduced across India. We estimated the impact of universal coverage of ACT and ACT plus LLINs in a setting of hyperendemic, forest malaria transmission.
We reviewed data collected through active and passive case detection in a vaccine trial cohort of 2,204 tribal people residing in Sundargarh district, Odisha between 2006 and 2011. We compared measures of transmission at the village and individual level in 2006–2009 versus 2010–2011 after ACT (in all villages) and LLINs (in three villages) were implemented.
During 2006–2009 malaria incidence per village ranged from 156–512 per 1000 persons per year and slide prevalence ranged from 28–53%. Routine indoor residual spray did not prevent seasonal peaks of malaria. Post-intervention impact in 2010–2011 was dramatic with ranges of 14–71 per 1000 persons per year and 6–16% respectively. When adjusted for village, ACT alone decreased the incidence of malaria by 83% (IRR 0.17, 95%CI: 0.10, 0.27) and areas using ACT and LLINs decreased the incidence of malaria by 86% (IRR 0.14, 95%CI: 0.05, 0.38). After intervention, the age of malaria cases, their parasite density, and proportion with fever at the time of screening increased.
ACT, and LLINs along with ACT, effectively reduced malaria incidence in a closely monitored population living in a forest ecotype. It is unclear whether LLINs were impactful when prompt and quality antimalarial treatment was available. In spite of universal coverage, substantial malaria burden remained.
Primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is one of the most common blood diseases as well as the commonest acquired bleeding disorder in childhood. Although the etiology of ITP is unclear, in the pathogenesis of the disease, both environmental and genetic factors including polymorphisms of TNF-a, IL-10, and IL-4 genes have been suggested to be involved. In this study, we investigated the rs2424913 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (C46359T) in DNA methyltransferase 3B (DNMT3B) gene promoter and the VNTR polymorphism of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1 Ra) intron-2 in 32 children (17 boys) with the diagnosis of ITP and 64 healthy individuals. No significant differences were found in the genotype distribution of DNMT3B polymorphism between the children with ITP and the control group, whereas the frequency of allele T appeared significantly increased in children with ITP (P = 0.03, OR = 2, 95% CI: 1.06–3.94). In case of IL-1 Ra polymorphism, children with ITP had a significantly higher frequency of genotype I/II, compared to control group (P = 0.043, OR = 2.60, 95% CI: 1.02–6.50). Moreover, genotype I/I as well as allele I was overrepresented in the control group, suggesting that allele I may have a decreased risk for development of ITP. Our findings suggest that rs2424913 DNMT3B SNP as well as IL-1 Ra VNTR polymorphism may contribute to the susceptibility to ITP.
Cytokines play a key role in immune responses and inflammation. IL-1Ra is a naturally occurring structural variant of IL-1 that competitively inhibits receptor binding of IL-1. We have investigated the polymorphism in intron-2 of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene in North Indian population. This genetic variation has been of great interest due to its possible association with a variety of human diseases primarily of epithelial and endothelial cell origin such as urolithiasis etc. Allele frequencies of the IL-1Ra polymorphism vary among different populations but there is no data till date reported from India. The present study was carried out to determine the IL-1Ra gene Polymorphism in 165 normal unrelated individuals from North India. We obtained an allelic frequency of 63.94, 30.61, 4.55, 0.90 for A, B, C and D allele and percentage of genotypes AA, BB, CC, DD, A/B, A/C, A/D and B/C were 49.7, 18.2, 2.42, 0.60, 24.2, 3.63, 0.60, 0.60 respectively. Our results suggested that the frequency and distribution of this polymorphism in India is substantially different from other populations and ethnic groups.
IL-1 Ra Polymorphism; VNTR; Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
Elevated IgE levels in individuals with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis represents a situation in that increased IL4 production seems to occur because of the genetic component of the disease. In this study, one-hundred two matched-pairs of allergic and non-allergic individuals were phenotyped for total serum IgE level using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Atopic status was defined by serum IgE concentration ≥100 IU/mL The -590C/T IL4 (rs2243250) was screened by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis. An association between the IL4 -590 TT genotype and levels of IgE was confirmed in the study population (ANOVA p=0.017). Furthermore, the IL4 T allele was significantly increased in allergic (0.299) compared with non-allergic subjects (0.172) (OR=2.060, 95% 01 = 1.285-3.301, χ2 uncorrected p=0.002) at total serum IgE cut-off of 100 IU/mL. A significant relationship between IL4 -590 TT genotype and very high IgE levels (>1000 IU/mL) (OR=3.968, 95% CI = 1.499-10.5, χ2 uncorrected p=0.01624) was also established. The -590C/T IL4 polymorphism is a potential risk factor to and correlates with atopic allergy.
Atopy; allergy; IL-4; single-nucleotide polymorphism; SNP; total IgE
Erythrocyte-associated antigenic polymorphisms or their absence have perhaps evolved in the human population to protect against malarial infection. Studies in various populations consistently demonstrate that blood group 'O' confers resistance against severe falciparum infection. In India, Odisha state has one of the highest incidences of Plasmodium falciparum infection and contributes to the highest number of deaths by falciparum malaria. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between ABO blood group and severe malaria in an adult population at the tertiary care centre in Odisha.
A total of 353 P. falciparum infected subjects and 174 healthy controls were screened for ABO blood group. Falciparum-infected individuals were categorized as severe malaria and uncomplicated malaria. Severe malaria was further clinically phenotyped into cerebral malaria, non-cerebral severe malaria and multi-organ dysfunction. A meta-analysis was performed to assess the role of ABO blood group in severe malaria.
Frequency of blood group 'B' was significantly higher in patients with severe malaria compared to the uncomplicated cases (P < 0.0001; OR = 4.09) and healthy controls (P < 0.0001; OR = 2.79). Irrespective of the level of clinical severity, blood group 'B' was significantly associated with cerebral malaria (P < 0.0001; OR = 5.95), multi-organ dysfunction (P < 0.0001; OR = 4.81) and non-cerebral severe malaria patients (P = 0.001; OR = 3.02) compared to the uncomplicated category. Prevalence of 'O' group in uncomplicated malaria (P < 0.0001; OR = 2.81) and healthy controls (P = 0.0003; OR = 2.16) was significantly high compared to severe malaria. Meta-analysis of previous studies, including the current one, highlighted the protective nature of blood group 'O' to severe malaria (P = 0.01). On the other hand, carriers of blood group 'A' (P = 0.04) and 'AB' (P = 0.04) were susceptible to malaria severity.
Results of the current study indicate that blood group 'O' is associated with reduced and 'B' blood group with increased risk of development of severe malaria in Odisha, India. Meta-analysis also supports the protective nature of blood group 'O' from severe falciparum infection.
ABO blood group; severe malaria; cerebral malaria; multi-organ dysfunction; non-cerebral severe malaria; uncomplicated malaria; meta-analysis
Low dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) levels in the striatum are consistently reported in cocaine abusers; inter-individual variations in the degree of the decrease suggest a modulating effect of genetic makeup on vulnerability to addiction. The PER2 (Period 2) gene belongs to the clock genes family of circadian regulators; circadian oscillations of PER2 expression in the striatum was modulated by dopamine through D2Rs. Aberrant periodicity of PER2 contributes to the incidence and severity of various brain disorders, including drug addiction. Here we report a newly identified variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism in the human PER2 gene (VNTR in the third intron). We found significant differences in the VNTR alleles prevalence across ethnic groups so that the major allele (4 repeats (4R)) is over-represented in non-African population (4R homozygosity is 88%), but not in African Americans (homozygosity 51%). We also detected a biased PER2 genotype distribution among healthy controls and cocaine-addicted individuals. In African Americans, the proportion of 4R/three repeat (3R) carriers in healthy controls is much lower than that in cocaine abusers (23% vs 39%, P=0.004), whereas among non-Africans most 3R/4R heterozygotes are healthy controls (10.5% vs 2.5%, P=0.04). Analysis of striatal D2R availability measured with positron emission tomography and [11C]raclopride revealed higher levels of D2R in carriers of 4R/4R genotype (P<0.01). Taken together, these results provide preliminary evidence for the role of the PER2 gene in regulating striatal D2R availability in the human brain and in vulnerability for cocaine addiction.
cocaine addiction; dopaminergic signaling; human brain; human brain imaging; Period 2 gene
Based on pre-DNA racial/color methodology, clinical and pharmacological trials have traditionally considered the different geographical regions of Brazil as being very heterogeneous. We wished to ascertain how such diversity of regional color categories correlated with ancestry. Using a panel of 40 validated ancestry-informative insertion-deletion DNA polymorphisms we estimated individually the European, African and Amerindian ancestry components of 934 self-categorized White, Brown or Black Brazilians from the four most populous regions of the Country. We unraveled great ancestral diversity between and within the different regions. Especially, color categories in the northern part of Brazil diverged significantly in their ancestry proportions from their counterparts in the southern part of the Country, indicating that diverse regional semantics were being used in the self-classification as White, Brown or Black. To circumvent these regional subjective differences in color perception, we estimated the general ancestry proportions of each of the four regions in a form independent of color considerations. For that, we multiplied the proportions of a given ancestry in a given color category by the official census information about the proportion of that color category in the specific region, to arrive at a “total ancestry” estimate. Once such a calculation was performed, there emerged a much higher level of uniformity than previously expected. In all regions studied, the European ancestry was predominant, with proportions ranging from 60.6% in the Northeast to 77.7% in the South. We propose that the immigration of six million Europeans to Brazil in the 19th and 20th centuries - a phenomenon described and intended as the “whitening of Brazil” - is in large part responsible for dissipating previous ancestry dissimilarities that reflected region-specific population histories. These findings, of both clinical and sociological importance for Brazil, should also be relevant to other countries with ancestrally admixed populations.
Previous studies that pooled Indian populations from a wide variety of geographical locations, have obtained contradictory conclusions about the processes of the establishment of the Varna caste system and its genetic impact on the origins and demographic histories of Indian populations. To further investigate these questions we took advantage that both Y chromosome and caste designation are paternally inherited, and genotyped 1,680 Y chromosomes representing 12 tribal and 19 non-tribal (caste) endogamous populations from the predominantly Dravidian-speaking Tamil Nadu state in the southernmost part of India. Tribes and castes were both characterized by an overwhelming proportion of putatively Indian autochthonous Y-chromosomal haplogroups (H-M69, F-M89, R1a1-M17, L1-M27, R2-M124, and C5-M356; 81% combined) with a shared genetic heritage dating back to the late Pleistocene (10–30 Kya), suggesting that more recent Holocene migrations from western Eurasia contributed <20% of the male lineages. We found strong evidence for genetic structure, associated primarily with the current mode of subsistence. Coalescence analysis suggested that the social stratification was established 4–6 Kya and there was little admixture during the last 3 Kya, implying a minimal genetic impact of the Varna (caste) system from the historically-documented Brahmin migrations into the area. In contrast, the overall Y-chromosomal patterns, the time depth of population diversifications and the period of differentiation were best explained by the emergence of agricultural technology in South Asia. These results highlight the utility of detailed local genetic studies within India, without prior assumptions about the importance of Varna rank status for population grouping, to obtain new insights into the relative influences of past demographic events for the population structure of the whole of modern India.
IL-1β and IL-1RA levels are higher in the serum of cerebral malaria patients than in patients with mild malaria. Recently, the level of IL1B expression was reported to be influenced by a polymorphism in the promoter of IL1, IL1B -31C>T.
To examine whether polymorphisms in IL1B and IL1RA influence the susceptibility to cerebral malaria, IL1B -31C>T, IL1B 3953C>T, and IL1RA variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) were analysed in 312 Thai patients with malaria (109 cerebral malaria and 203 mild malaria patients).
In this population, IL1B -31C>T and IL1RA VNTRwere detected, while IL1B 3953C>T (i.e., IL1B 3953T) was not observed in the polymorphism screening for 32 patients. Further analyses for IL1B -31C>T and IL1RA VNTR in 110 cerebral malaria and 206 mild malaria patients showed no significant association of these polymorphisms with cerebral malaria.
The present results suggest that IL1B -31C>T and IL1RA VNTR polymorphisms do not play a crucial role in susceptibility or resistance to cerebral malaria.
Conserved and variant regions of two blood stage vaccine candidate antigens of Plasmodium falciparum, merozoite surface antigen (MSA-1) and ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (Pf155/RESA), have been shown to be immunogenic. However, the relative immunogenicity of these immunogens in different populations has not been studied. The conserved N-terminal region of MSA-1 was investigated for its immunogenicity by studying cellular (T cell) and humoral (B cell) immune responses in P. falciparum-primed individuals, living in malaria-hyperendemic areas (Orissa State, India), where malaria presents an alarming situation. MSA-1-derived synthetic peptides contained sequences that activated T cells to proliferate and release gamma interferon in vitro. There was considerable variation in the responses to different peptides. However, the highest responses (51% [18 of 35] by proliferation and 34% [12 of 35] by gamma interferon release) were obtained with a synthetic hybrid peptide containing sequences from conserved N- and C-terminal repeat regions of MSA-1 and Pf155/RESA, respectively. Antibody reactivities in an enzyme immunoassay of plasma samples from these donors to different peptides used for T-cell activation were heterogeneous. In general, there was poor correlation between DNA synthesis and either gamma interferon release or antibody responses in individual donors, underlining the importance of examining several parameters of T-cell activation to assess the total T-cell responsiveness of a study population to a given antigen. However, the results from our studies suggest that synthetic constructs containing sequences from the N- and C-terminal regions of MSA-1 and Pf155/RESA representing different erythrocytic stages of the P. falciparum parasite are more immunogenic in humans living in malaria-hyperendemic areas of India who have been primed by natural infection.
In Plasmodium falciparum infection, complement receptor-1 (CR1) on erythrocyte’s surface and ABO blood group play important roles in formation of rosettes which are presumed to be contributory in the pathogenesis of severe malaria. Although several studies have attempted to determine the association of CR1 polymorphisms with severe malaria, observations remain inconsistent. Therefore, a case control study and meta-analysis was performed to address this issue.
Common CR1 polymorphisms (intron 27 and exon 22) and blood group were typed in 353 cases of severe malaria (SM) [97 cerebral malaria (CM), 129 multi-organ dysfunction (MOD), 127 non-cerebral severe malaria (NCSM)], 141 un-complicated malaria and 100 healthy controls from an endemic region of Odisha, India. Relevant publications for meta-analysis were searched from the database.
The homozygous polymorphisms of CR1 intron 27 and exon 22 (TT and GG) and alleles (T and G) that are associated with low expression of CR1 on red blood cells, conferred significant protection against CM, MOD and malaria deaths. Combined analysis showed significant association of blood group B/intron 27-AA/exon 22-AA with susceptibility to SM (CM and MOD). Meta-analysis revealed that the CR1 exon 22 low expression polymorphism is significantly associated with protection against severe malaria.
The results of the present study demonstrate that common CR1 variants significantly protect against severe malaria in an endemic area.
Associations have been reported between the variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphisms in the exon 3 of dopamine D4 receptor gene gene and multiple psychiatric illnesses/traits. We examined the distribution of VNTR alleles of different length in a Japanese cohort and found that, as reported earlier, the size of allele ‘7R' was much rarer (0.5%) in Japanese than in Caucasian populations (∼20%). This presents a challenge to an earlier proposed hypothesis that positive selection favoring the allele 7R has contributed to its high frequency. To further address the issue of selection, we carried out sequencing of the VNTR region not only from human but also from chimpanzee samples, and made inference on the ancestral repeat motif and haplotype by use of a phylogenetic analysis program. The most common 4R variant was considered to be the ancestral haplotype as earlier proposed. However, in a gene tree of VNTR constructed on the basis of this inferred ancestral haplotype, the allele 7R had five descendent haplotypes in relatively long lineage, where genetic drift can have major influence. We also tested this length polymorphism for association with schizophrenia, studying two Japanese sample sets (one with 570 cases and 570 controls, and the other with 124 pedigrees). No evidence of association between the allele 7R and schizophrenia was found in any of the two data sets. Collectively, this study suggests that the VNTR variation does not have an effect large enough to cause either selection or a detectable association with schizophrenia in a study of samples of moderate size.
DRD4; VNTR; selection; phylogenetic network; schizophrenia
The standard 15- and 24-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) genotyping methods have demonstrated adequate discriminatory power and a small homoplasy effect for tracing tuberculosis (TB) transmission and predicting Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineages in European and North American countries. However, its validity for the definition of transmission in homogenous M. tuberculosis populations in settings with high TB burdens has been questioned. Here, we genotyped a population-based collection of 191 Beijing strains based on standard 15-locus VNTR (VNTR-15) and 8 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Shanghai, China. Limited discriminatory power and high rates of VNTR homoplasy were observed in the homogenous population of evolutionarily “modern” Beijing strains. Additional typing of three hypervariable loci (VNTR3820, VNTR4120, and VNTR3232) was performed for VNTR-15-based clusters. High variations of hypervariable alleles were observed in clusters with inconsistent SNP sublineages. We concluded that SNPs and hypervariable VNTR loci are helpful to enhance the discriminatory power and decrease the VNTR homoplasy effect for defining clusters. We recommend the combination of standard VNTR-15 and SNPs as first-line typing methods and the hypervariable loci for second-line typing of clustered strains for molecular epidemiology studies of homogenous M. tuberculosis populations.