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1.  A 3’-UTR Polymorphism in Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Gene Is Associated with Acute Rejection in Renal Transplant Recipients 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133563.
Background and Purpose
Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are arachidonic acid metabolites that play a protective role against damaging processes that may occur after re-oxygenation of the graft. We aimed to investigate whether the presence of functional polymorphisms in the gene encoding soluble epoxy hydrolase (EPHX2), which metabolizes EETs to less active compounds, may play a role in the outcome of renal transplantation.
In a group of 259 Caucasian renal transplant recipients and 183 deceased donors, we determined the presence of three common EPHX2 SNPs, namely rs41507953 (K55R), rs751141 (R287Q) and rs1042032 A/G. Associations with parameters of graft function and the incidence of acute rejection were retrospectively investigated throughout the first year after grafting by logistic regression adjusting for clinical and demographic variables.
Carriers of the rs1042032 GG genotype displayed significantly lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (38.15 ± 15.57 vs. 45.99 ± 16.05; p = 0.04) and higher serum creatinine values (1.57 ± 0.58 vs. 1.30 ± 0.47 g/dL; p=0.02) one year after grafting, compared to patients carrying the wildtype A-allele. The same GG genotype was also associated to increased risk of acute rejection. Interestingly, this association was observed for the genotype of both recipients [OR =6.34 (1.35-29.90); p = 0.015] and donors [OR = 5.53 (1.10-27.80); p=0.042]. A statistical model including both genotypes along with other meaningful demographic and clinical variables resulted in an increased significance for the association with the recipients’ genotype [OR=8.28 (1.21-74.27); p=0.031].
Our results suggest that genetic variability in the EETs-metabolizing gene, EPHX2, may have a significant impact on the outcome of deceased-donor renal transplantation.
PMCID: PMC4521874  PMID: 26230946
2.  Soluble Co-Signaling Molecules Predict Long-Term Graft Outcome in Kidney-Transplanted Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e113396.
Co-signaling molecules are responsible for full T-cell activation after solid organ transplantation. Their increased expression can lead to the release of a soluble form that can modulate the immune response post-transplantation. We analyzed the presence of co-signaling molecules (sCD30, sCD40, sCD137, sCTLA-4, sCD80, sCD28, sCD40L, sPD-1, and sPD-L1) in serum from kidney-transplanted patients (n = 59) obtained at different times (before transplantation, and 15 days, 3 months and 1 year post-transplantation) and their contribution to graft outcome was evaluated using principal component analysis. Before transplantation, high levels of soluble co-signaling molecules (mainly sCD30, sCD137 and sCD40) were detected in all patients. These molecules were modulated soon after receiving an allograft but never attained similar levels to those of healthy controls. A signature based on the determination of six soluble co-stimulatory (sCD30, sCD40, sCD137 and sCD40L) and co-inhibitory (sPD-1 and sPD-L1) molecules at 3 months post-transplantation allowed a group of patients to be identified (27.12%) with a worse long-term graft outcome. Patients with high levels of soluble molecules showed a progressive and gradual deterioration of kidney function (increased creatinine and proteinuria levels and decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate) over time and a higher risk of graft loss at 6 years post-transplantation than patients with low levels of these molecules (62.55% versus 5.14%, p<0.001). Thus, our data show an aberrant expression of soluble co-signaling molecules in kidney-transplanted patients whose quantification at 3 months post-transplantation might be a useful biomarker of immune status and help to predict long-term graft evolution.
PMCID: PMC4257538  PMID: 25478957
3.  Evidence of a third ADPKD locus is not supported by reanalysis of designated PKD3 families 
Kidney international  2013;85(2):383-392.
Mutations to PKD1 and PKD2 are associated with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The absence of apparent PKD1/PKD2 linkage in five published European or North American families with ADPKD suggested a third locus, designated PKD3. Here we re-evaluated these families by updating clinical information, re-sampling where possible, and mutation screening for PKD1/PKD2. In the French-Canadian family we identified PKD1: p.D3782_V3783insD, with misdiagnoses in two individuals and sample contamination explaining the lack of linkage. In the Portuguese family, PKD1: p.G3818A segregated with the disease in 10 individuals in three generations with likely misdiagnosis in one individual, sample contamination, and use of distant microsatellite markers explaining the linkage discrepancy. The mutation, PKD2: c.213delC, was found in the Bulgarian family, with linkage failure attributed to false positive diagnoses in two individuals. An affected son but not the mother, in the Italian family had the nonsense mutation, PKD1: p.R4228X, which appeared de novo in the son; with simple cysts probably explaining the mother’s phenotype. No likely mutation was found in the Spanish family, but the phenotype was atypical with kidney atrophy in one case. Thus, re-analysis does not support the existence of a PKD3 in ADPKD. False positive diagnoses by ultrasound in all resolved families shows the value of mutation screening, but not linkage, to understand families with discrepant data.
PMCID: PMC3883953  PMID: 23760289
4.  Pharmacogenetics of tacrolimus: ready for clinical translation? 
Tacrolimus (Tac) exhibits an interindividual pharmacokinetic variability that affects the dose required to reach the target concentration in blood. Tac is metabolized by two enzymes of the cytochrome P450 family, CYP3A5 and CYP3A4. The effect of the CYP3A5 genotype on Tac bioavailability has been demonstrated, and the main determinant of this pharmacogenetic effect is a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in intron 3 of CYP3A5 (6986 A>G; SNP rs776746; also known as CYP3A5*3). The mean dose-adjusted blood Tac concentration was significantly higher among CYP3A5*3 homozygotes than that of carriers of the wild-type allele (CYP3A5*1). In a recent prospective study, a group of kidney transplant patients received a Tac dose either according to the CYP3A5 genotype (the adapted group) or according to the standard regimen (the control group). All patients received induction therapy with mycophenolate mofetil, corticosteroids, and either basiliximab or intravenous anti-thymocyte globulin. Patients in the adapted-dose group required 3–8 days (median 6 days) to reach the target range compared with 3–25 days (median 7 days) in the control group (P=0.001). The total number of dose modifications was also lower in the adapted-dose group. This study also suggested that the CYP3A5 genotype might contribute minimally to the reduction of early acute rejection. However, additional studies are necessary to determine whether the pharmacogenetic approach could help reduce the necessity for induction therapy and co-immunosuppressors.
PMCID: PMC4089617  PMID: 25028625
cytochromes P450; pharmacogenetics; pharmacokinetics; renal transplantation; tacrolimus
5.  NKG2D and its ligands: active factors in the outcome of solid organ transplantation? 
The role of natural killer (NK) cells in solid organ transplantation is not well established, although several recent reports highlight the importance of the activating receptor NKG2D and its ligands in the development of rejection during transplantation. The human NKG2D ligands (MICA and MICB) are induced in allografts during acute and chronic rejection, and the presence of anti-MICA antibodies is correlated with a higher incidence of rejection. The binding of these ligands to its receptor NKG2D activates NK cells, enhances the functions of effectors, and allows NK cells to function as a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity associated with the transplantation. In fact, blockage of NKG2D with the anti-NKG2D monoclonal antibodies prolongs graft survival and prevents CD28-independent rejection in heart and skin allograft mouse models. Furthermore, the current immunosuppressive therapies can modulate the expression of NK cell receptors and consequently the effector functions of NK cells. That is particularly important during the first few months after transplantation, when the susceptibility to opportunistic viral infections is higher and NKG2D has an essential role. In this review, we analyze in detail the potential role of the NKG2D-activating receptor and its ligands in the immune responses during the outcome of solid organ transplantation. These findings open a new pathway for therapeutic intervention that can contribute to tolerance in solid organ transplantation.
PMCID: PMC4089716  PMID: 25018903
MICA; NKG2D; natural killer cells; rejection; solid organ transplantation
6.  Gene-Wide Analysis Detects Two New Susceptibility Genes for Alzheimer's Disease 
Escott-Price, Valentina | Bellenguez, Céline | Wang, Li-San | Choi, Seung-Hoan | Harold, Denise | Jones, Lesley | Holmans, Peter | Gerrish, Amy | Vedernikov, Alexey | Richards, Alexander | DeStefano, Anita L. | Lambert, Jean-Charles | Ibrahim-Verbaas, Carla A. | Naj, Adam C. | Sims, Rebecca | Jun, Gyungah | Bis, Joshua C. | Beecham, Gary W. | Grenier-Boley, Benjamin | Russo, Giancarlo | Thornton-Wells, Tricia A. | Denning, Nicola | Smith, Albert V. | Chouraki, Vincent | Thomas, Charlene | Ikram, M. Arfan | Zelenika, Diana | Vardarajan, Badri N. | Kamatani, Yoichiro | Lin, Chiao-Feng | Schmidt, Helena | Kunkle, Brian | Dunstan, Melanie L. | Vronskaya, Maria | Johnson, Andrew D. | Ruiz, Agustin | Bihoreau, Marie-Thérèse | Reitz, Christiane | Pasquier, Florence | Hollingworth, Paul | Hanon, Olivier | Fitzpatrick, Annette L. | Buxbaum, Joseph D. | Campion, Dominique | Crane, Paul K. | Baldwin, Clinton | Becker, Tim | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Cruchaga, Carlos | Craig, David | Amin, Najaf | Berr, Claudine | Lopez, Oscar L. | De Jager, Philip L. | Deramecourt, Vincent | Johnston, Janet A. | Evans, Denis | Lovestone, Simon | Letenneur, Luc | Hernández, Isabel | Rubinsztein, David C. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Sleegers, Kristel | Goate, Alison M. | Fiévet, Nathalie | Huentelman, Matthew J. | Gill, Michael | Brown, Kristelle | Kamboh, M. Ilyas | Keller, Lina | Barberger-Gateau, Pascale | McGuinness, Bernadette | Larson, Eric B. | Myers, Amanda J. | Dufouil, Carole | Todd, Stephen | Wallon, David | Love, Seth | Rogaeva, Ekaterina | Gallacher, John | George-Hyslop, Peter St | Clarimon, Jordi | Lleo, Alberto | Bayer, Anthony | Tsuang, Debby W. | Yu, Lei | Tsolaki, Magda | Bossù, Paola | Spalletta, Gianfranco | Proitsi, Petra | Collinge, John | Sorbi, Sandro | Garcia, Florentino Sanchez | Fox, Nick C. | Hardy, John | Naranjo, Maria Candida Deniz | Bosco, Paolo | Clarke, Robert | Brayne, Carol | Galimberti, Daniela | Scarpini, Elio | Bonuccelli, Ubaldo | Mancuso, Michelangelo | Siciliano, Gabriele | Moebus, Susanne | Mecocci, Patrizia | Zompo, Maria Del | Maier, Wolfgang | Hampel, Harald | Pilotto, Alberto | Frank-García, Ana | Panza, Francesco | Solfrizzi, Vincenzo | Caffarra, Paolo | Nacmias, Benedetta | Perry, William | Mayhaus, Manuel | Lannfelt, Lars | Hakonarson, Hakon | Pichler, Sabrina | Carrasquillo, Minerva M. | Ingelsson, Martin | Beekly, Duane | Alvarez, Victoria | Zou, Fanggeng | Valladares, Otto | Younkin, Steven G. | Coto, Eliecer | Hamilton-Nelson, Kara L. | Gu, Wei | Razquin, Cristina | Pastor, Pau | Mateo, Ignacio | Owen, Michael J. | Faber, Kelley M. | Jonsson, Palmi V. | Combarros, Onofre | O'Donovan, Michael C. | Cantwell, Laura B. | Soininen, Hilkka | Blacker, Deborah | Mead, Simon | Mosley, Thomas H. | Bennett, David A. | Harris, Tamara B. | Fratiglioni, Laura | Holmes, Clive | de Bruijn, Renee F. A. G. | Passmore, Peter | Montine, Thomas J. | Bettens, Karolien | Rotter, Jerome I. | Brice, Alexis | Morgan, Kevin | Foroud, Tatiana M. | Kukull, Walter A. | Hannequin, Didier | Powell, John F. | Nalls, Michael A. | Ritchie, Karen | Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Kauwe, John S. K. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Riemenschneider, Matthias | Boada, Mercè | Hiltunen, Mikko | Martin, Eden R. | Schmidt, Reinhold | Rujescu, Dan | Dartigues, Jean-François | Mayeux, Richard | Tzourio, Christophe | Hofman, Albert | Nöthen, Markus M. | Graff, Caroline | Psaty, Bruce M. | Haines, Jonathan L. | Lathrop, Mark | Pericak-Vance, Margaret A. | Launer, Lenore J. | Van Broeckhoven, Christine | Farrer, Lindsay A. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Ramirez, Alfredo | Seshadri, Sudha | Schellenberg, Gerard D. | Amouyel, Philippe | Williams, Julie
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e94661.
Alzheimer's disease is a common debilitating dementia with known heritability, for which 20 late onset susceptibility loci have been identified, but more remain to be discovered. This study sought to identify new susceptibility genes, using an alternative gene-wide analytical approach which tests for patterns of association within genes, in the powerful genome-wide association dataset of the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project Consortium, comprising over 7 m genotypes from 25,580 Alzheimer's cases and 48,466 controls.
Principal Findings
In addition to earlier reported genes, we detected genome-wide significant loci on chromosomes 8 (TP53INP1, p = 1.4×10−6) and 14 (IGHV1-67 p = 7.9×10−8) which indexed novel susceptibility loci.
The additional genes identified in this study, have an array of functions previously implicated in Alzheimer's disease, including aspects of energy metabolism, protein degradation and the immune system and add further weight to these pathways as potential therapeutic targets in Alzheimer's disease.
PMCID: PMC4055488  PMID: 24922517
7.  Meta-analysis of 74,046 individuals identifies 11 new susceptibility loci for Alzheimer’s disease 
Lambert, Jean-Charles | Ibrahim-Verbaas, Carla A | Harold, Denise | Naj, Adam C | Sims, Rebecca | Bellenguez, Céline | Jun, Gyungah | DeStefano, Anita L | Bis, Joshua C | Beecham, Gary W | Grenier-Boley, Benjamin | Russo, Giancarlo | Thornton-Wells, Tricia A | Jones, Nicola | Smith, Albert V | Chouraki, Vincent | Thomas, Charlene | Ikram, M Arfan | Zelenika, Diana | Vardarajan, Badri N | Kamatani, Yoichiro | Lin, Chiao-Feng | Gerrish, Amy | Schmidt, Helena | Kunkle, Brian | Dunstan, Melanie L | Ruiz, Agustin | Bihoreau, Marie-Thérèse | Choi, Seung-Hoan | Reitz, Christiane | Pasquier, Florence | Hollingworth, Paul | Ramirez, Alfredo | Hanon, Olivier | Fitzpatrick, Annette L | Buxbaum, Joseph D | Campion, Dominique | Crane, Paul K | Baldwin, Clinton | Becker, Tim | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Cruchaga, Carlos | Craig, David | Amin, Najaf | Berr, Claudine | Lopez, Oscar L | De Jager, Philip L | Deramecourt, Vincent | Johnston, Janet A | Evans, Denis | Lovestone, Simon | Letenneur, Luc | Morón, Francisco J | Rubinsztein, David C | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Sleegers, Kristel | Goate, Alison M | Fiévet, Nathalie | Huentelman, Matthew J | Gill, Michael | Brown, Kristelle | Kamboh, M Ilyas | Keller, Lina | Barberger-Gateau, Pascale | McGuinness, Bernadette | Larson, Eric B | Green, Robert | Myers, Amanda J | Dufouil, Carole | Todd, Stephen | Wallon, David | Love, Seth | Rogaeva, Ekaterina | Gallacher, John | St George-Hyslop, Peter | Clarimon, Jordi | Lleo, Alberto | Bayer, Anthony | Tsuang, Debby W | Yu, Lei | Tsolaki, Magda | Bossù, Paola | Spalletta, Gianfranco | Proitsi, Petroula | Collinge, John | Sorbi, Sandro | Sanchez-Garcia, Florentino | Fox, Nick C | Hardy, John | Deniz Naranjo, Maria Candida | Bosco, Paolo | Clarke, Robert | Brayne, Carol | Galimberti, Daniela | Mancuso, Michelangelo | Matthews, Fiona | Moebus, Susanne | Mecocci, Patrizia | Zompo, Maria Del | Maier, Wolfgang | Hampel, Harald | Pilotto, Alberto | Bullido, Maria | Panza, Francesco | Caffarra, Paolo | Nacmias, Benedetta | Gilbert, John R | Mayhaus, Manuel | Lannfelt, Lars | Hakonarson, Hakon | Pichler, Sabrina | Carrasquillo, Minerva M | Ingelsson, Martin | Beekly, Duane | Alvarez, Victoria | Zou, Fanggeng | Valladares, Otto | Younkin, Steven G | Coto, Eliecer | Hamilton-Nelson, Kara L | Gu, Wei | Razquin, Cristina | Pastor, Pau | Mateo, Ignacio | Owen, Michael J | Faber, Kelley M | Jonsson, Palmi V | Combarros, Onofre | O’Donovan, Michael C | Cantwell, Laura B | Soininen, Hilkka | Blacker, Deborah | Mead, Simon | Mosley, Thomas H | Bennett, David A | Harris, Tamara B | Fratiglioni, Laura | Holmes, Clive | de Bruijn, Renee F A G | Passmore, Peter | Montine, Thomas J | Bettens, Karolien | Rotter, Jerome I | Brice, Alexis | Morgan, Kevin | Foroud, Tatiana M | Kukull, Walter A | Hannequin, Didier | Powell, John F | Nalls, Michael A | Ritchie, Karen | Lunetta, Kathryn L | Kauwe, John S K | Boerwinkle, Eric | Riemenschneider, Matthias | Boada, Mercè | Hiltunen, Mikko | Martin, Eden R | Schmidt, Reinhold | Rujescu, Dan | Wang, Li-san | Dartigues, Jean-François | Mayeux, Richard | Tzourio, Christophe | Hofman, Albert | Nöthen, Markus M | Graff, Caroline | Psaty, Bruce M | Jones, Lesley | Haines, Jonathan L | Holmans, Peter A | Lathrop, Mark | Pericak-Vance, Margaret A | Launer, Lenore J | Farrer, Lindsay A | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Van Broeckhoven, Christine | Moskvina, Valentina | Seshadri, Sudha | Williams, Julie | Schellenberg, Gerard D | Amouyel, Philippe
Nature genetics  2013;45(12):1452-1458.
Eleven susceptibility loci for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) were identified by previous studies; however, a large portion of the genetic risk for this disease remains unexplained. We conducted a large, two-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry. In stage 1, we used genotyped and imputed data (7,055,881 SNPs) to perform meta-analysis on 4 previously published GWAS data sets consisting of 17,008 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 37,154 controls. In stage 2,11,632 SNPs were genotyped and tested for association in an independent set of 8,572 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 11,312 controls. In addition to the APOE locus (encoding apolipoprotein E), 19 loci reached genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) in the combined stage 1 and stage 2 analysis, of which 11 are newly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
PMCID: PMC3896259  PMID: 24162737
8.  Effect of the FTO rs9930506 Polymorphism on the Main Comorbidities of the Cardiorenal Metabolic Syndrome in an Elderly Spanish Cohort 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2014;4(2):82-87.
Fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene polymorphisms have been linked to the risk of obesity and diabetes, two well-recognized risk factors for renal disease. Our aim was to determine whether a common FTO polymorphism was associated with a reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) independently of body mass index (BMI) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in a cohort of elderly individuals from the region of Asturias (Northern Spain; RENASTUR cohort).
A total of 544 Spanish Caucasians aged 55-85 years were genotyped for the FTO rs9930506 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). Individuals with a previous diagnosis of renal disease were not eligible for the study. The eGFR was calculated with the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula, and individuals with an eGFR of <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (n = 91) were considered as having impaired renal function. The effect of alleles and genotypes on BMI, hypertension, diabetes, eGFR and blood lipid values was statistically determined.
The rs9930506 GG genotype was significantly more common in the group with a BMI of >25 (p = 0.03; odds ratio = 2.43; 95% CI: 1.09-5.43). Age and T2DM were significant risk factors for a reduced eGFR, but neither obesity nor the FTO genotypes were associated with a reduced eGFR.
The common FTO rs9930506 polymorphism was a risk factor for overweight and obesity in the RENASTUR cohort. However, this SNP was not associated with other comorbidities of the cardiorenal metabolic syndrome in this population.
PMCID: PMC4164085  PMID: 25254029
FTO polymorphisms; Body mass index; Obesity; Glomerular filtration; Renal function
9.  A Common APOE Polymorphism Is an Independent Risk Factor for Reduced Glomerular Filtration Rate in the Spanish RENASTUR Cohort 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2013;3(2):113-119.
APOE gene variants may contribute to the risk of chronic kidney disease. Our aim was to determine whether the common APOE-ε2/ε3/ε4 polymorphism is associated with a reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in the RENASTUR population, a cohort of elderly individuals from the region Asturias (northern Spain).
A total of 743 Spanish Caucasians aged 55-85 years were genotyped for the APOE-ε2/ε3/ε4 polymorphism. Individuals with a previous diagnosis of renal disease were not eligible for the study. Participants with a documented history of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or hypertension or who were receiving antidiabetic or antihypertensive drugs were classified as diabetics and hypertensives. The eGFR was calculated using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula, and those with an eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (n = 91) were considered as having impaired renal function. The effect of alleles and genotypes on clinical (hypertension, T2DM) and analytical findings was statistically determined.
In addition to age and T2DM, APOE-ε2 was significantly associated with an eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (p = 0.002; OR = 2.30). This association remained statistically significant after correction for multiple variables. Although the effect of the APOE-ε2 allele on the eGFR was observed both among diabetics and nondiabetics, the significance was stronger in the T2DM group.
The APOE-ε2 allele is a genetic risk factor for impaired renal function among healthy elderly Spanish individuals.
PMCID: PMC3721126  PMID: 23922551
APOE polymorphisms; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Glomerular filtration rate; Renal function

Molecular psychiatry  2011;16(9):903-907.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) dependent lifetime risks (LTRs) for Alzheimer Disease (AD) are currently not accurately known and odds ratios (ORs) alone are insufficient to assess these risks. We calculated AD lifetime risk in 7,351 cases and 10,132 controls from Caucasian ancestry using Rochester (USA) incidence data. At the age of 85 the LTR of AD without reference to APOE genotype was 11% in males and 14% in females. At the same age, this risk ranged from 51% for APOE44 male carriers to 60% for APOE44 female carriers, and from 23% for APOE34 male carriers to 30% for APOE34 female carriers, consistent with semi-dominant inheritance of a moderately penetrant gene. Using PAQUID (France) incidence data, estimates were globally similar except that at age 85 the LTRs reached 68% and 35 % for APOE 44 and APOE 34 female carriers, respectively. These risks are more similar to those of major genes in Mendelian diseases, such as BRCA1 in breast cancer, than those of low-risk common alleles identified by recent GWAS in complex diseases. In addition, stratification of our data by age- groups clearly demonstrates that APOE4 is a risk factor not only for late- onset but for early- onset AD as well. Together, these results urge a reappraisal of the impact of APOE in Alzheimer disease.
PMCID: PMC3162068  PMID: 21556001
11.  Replication of MAPT and SNCA, but not PARK16-18, as Susceptibility Genes for Parkinson’s Disease 
Recent genome-wide association studies of Parkinson’s disease have nominated three new susceptibility loci (PARK16-18) and confirmed two known risk genes (MAPT and SNCA) in populations of European ancestry. We sought to replicate these findings.
We genotyped single nucleotide polymorphisms in each of these genes/loci in 1,445 Parkinson’s disease patients and 1,161 controls from Northern Spain. Logistic regression was used to test for association between genotype and Parkinson’s disease under an additive model, adjusting for sex, age, and site. We also performed analyses stratified by age at onset.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms in MAPT (rs1800547; p = 3.1 × 10−4) and SNCA (rs356219; p = 5.5 × 10−4) were significantly associated with Parkinson’s disease. However, none of the markers in PARK16-18 associated with Parkinson’s disease in the overall sample, or in any age stratum, with p values ranging from 0.09–0.88.
While our data further validate MAPT and SNCA as Parkinson’s disease susceptibility genes, we failed to replicate PARK16, 17, and 18. Potential reasons for the discordance between our study and previous genome-wide association studies include effects of population structure, power, and population-specific environmental interactions. Our findings suggest that additional studies of PARK16-18 are necessary to establish the role of these loci in modifying risk for Parkinson’s disease in European-derived populations.
PMCID: PMC3082603  PMID: 21425343
Parkinsons Disease; Genome-Wide; replication
12.  Interactions between PPAR-α and inflammation-related cytokine genes on the development of Alzheimer’s disease, observed by the Epistasis Project 
Neuroinflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Variations in genes relevant to inflammation may be candidate genes for AD risk. Whole-genome association studies have identified relevant new and known genes. Their combined effects do not explain 100% of the risk, genetic interactions may contribute. We investigated whether genes involved in inflammation, i.e. PPAR-α, interleukins (IL) IL- 1α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 may interact to increase AD risk.
The Epistasis Project identifies interactions that affect the risk of AD. Genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PPARA, IL1A, IL1B, IL6 and IL10 was performed. Possible associations were analyzed by fitting logistic regression models with AD as outcome, controlling for centre, age, sex and presence of apolipoprotein ε4 allele (APOEε4). Adjusted synergy factors were derived from interaction terms (p<0.05 two-sided).
We observed four significant interactions between different SNPs in PPARA and in interleukins IL1A, IL1B, IL10 that may affect AD risk. There were no significant interactions between PPARA and IL6.
In addition to an association of the PPARA L162V polymorphism with the AD risk, we observed four significant interactions between SNPs in PPARA and SNPs in IL1A, IL1B and IL10 affecting AD risk. We prove that gene-gene interactions explain part of the heritability of AD and are to be considered when assessing the genetic risk. Necessary replications will require between 1450 and 2950 of both cases and controls, depending on the prevalence of the SNP, to have 80% power to detect the observed synergy factors.
PMCID: PMC3316448  PMID: 22493750
AD; genetics; epistasis; inflammation; interleukin; steroid receptors; PPAR-alpha; sporadic; genetic interaction
13.  Common variants in ABCA7, MS4A6A/MS4A4E, EPHA1, CD33 and CD2AP are associated with Alzheimer’s disease 
Hollingworth, Paul | Harold, Denise | Sims, Rebecca | Gerrish, Amy | Lambert, Jean-Charles | Carrasquillo, Minerva M | Abraham, Richard | Hamshere, Marian L | Pahwa, Jaspreet Singh | Moskvina, Valentina | Dowzell, Kimberley | Jones, Nicola | Stretton, Alexandra | Thomas, Charlene | Richards, Alex | Ivanov, Dobril | Widdowson, Caroline | Chapman, Jade | Lovestone, Simon | Powell, John | Proitsi, Petroula | Lupton, Michelle K | Brayne, Carol | Rubinsztein, David C | Gill, Michael | Lawlor, Brian | Lynch, Aoibhinn | Brown, Kristelle S | Passmore, Peter A | Craig, David | McGuinness, Bernadette | Todd, Stephen | Holmes, Clive | Mann, David | Smith, A David | Beaumont, Helen | Warden, Donald | Wilcock, Gordon | Love, Seth | Kehoe, Patrick G | Hooper, Nigel M | Vardy, Emma R. L. C. | Hardy, John | Mead, Simon | Fox, Nick C | Rossor, Martin | Collinge, John | Maier, Wolfgang | Jessen, Frank | Schürmann, Britta | Rüther, Eckart | Heun, Reiner | Kölsch, Heike | van den Bussche, Hendrik | Heuser, Isabella | Kornhuber, Johannes | Wiltfang, Jens | Dichgans, Martin | Frölich, Lutz | Hampel, Harald | Hüll, Michael | Gallacher, John | Rujescu, Dan | Giegling, Ina | Goate, Alison M | Kauwe, John S K | Cruchaga, Carlos | Nowotny, Petra | Morris, John C | Mayo, Kevin | Sleegers, Kristel | Bettens, Karolien | Engelborghs, Sebastiaan | De Deyn, Peter P | Van Broeckhoven, Christine | Livingston, Gill | Bass, Nicholas J | Gurling, Hugh | McQuillin, Andrew | Gwilliam, Rhian | Deloukas, Panagiotis | Al-Chalabi, Ammar | Shaw, Christopher E | Tsolaki, Magda | Singleton, Andrew B | Guerreiro, Rita | Mühleisen, Thomas W | Nöthen, Markus M | Moebus, Susanne | Jöckel, Karl-Heinz | Klopp, Norman | Wichmann, H-Erich | Pankratz, V Shane | Sando, Sigrid B | Aasly, Jan O | Barcikowska, Maria | Wszolek, Zbigniew K | Dickson, Dennis W | Graff-Radford, Neill R | Petersen, Ronald C | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Breteler, Monique MB | Ikram, M Arfan | DeStefano, Anita L | Fitzpatrick, Annette L | Lopez, Oscar | Launer, Lenore J | Seshadri, Sudha | Berr, Claudine | Campion, Dominique | Epelbaum, Jacques | Dartigues, Jean-François | Tzourio, Christophe | Alpérovitch, Annick | Lathrop, Mark | Feulner, Thomas M | Friedrich, Patricia | Riehle, Caterina | Krawczak, Michael | Schreiber, Stefan | Mayhaus, Manuel | Nicolhaus, S | Wagenpfeil, Stefan | Steinberg, Stacy | Stefansson, Hreinn | Stefansson, Kari | Snædal, Jon | Björnsson, Sigurbjörn | Jonsson, Palmi V. | Chouraki, Vincent | Genier-Boley, Benjamin | Hiltunen, Mikko | Soininen, Hilkka | Combarros, Onofre | Zelenika, Diana | Delepine, Marc | Bullido, Maria J | Pasquier, Florence | Mateo, Ignacio | Frank-Garcia, Ana | Porcellini, Elisa | Hanon, Olivier | Coto, Eliecer | Alvarez, Victoria | Bosco, Paolo | Siciliano, Gabriele | Mancuso, Michelangelo | Panza, Francesco | Solfrizzi, Vincenzo | Nacmias, Benedetta | Sorbi, Sandro | Bossù, Paola | Piccardi, Paola | Arosio, Beatrice | Annoni, Giorgio | Seripa, Davide | Pilotto, Alberto | Scarpini, Elio | Galimberti, Daniela | Brice, Alexis | Hannequin, Didier | Licastro, Federico | Jones, Lesley | Holmans, Peter A | Jonsson, Thorlakur | Riemenschneider, Matthias | Morgan, Kevin | Younkin, Steven G | Owen, Michael J | O’Donovan, Michael | Amouyel, Philippe | Williams, Julie
Nature genetics  2011;43(5):429-435.
We sought to identify new susceptibility loci for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) through a staged association study (GERAD+) and by testing suggestive loci reported by the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Consortium (ADGC). First, we undertook a combined analysis of four genome-wide association datasets (Stage 1) and identified 10 novel variants with P≤1×10−5. These were tested for association in an independent sample (Stage 2). Three SNPs at two loci replicated and showed evidence for association in a further sample (Stage 3). Meta-analyses of all data provide compelling evidence that ABCA7 (meta-P 4.5×10−17; including ADGC meta-P=5.0×10−21) and the MS4A gene cluster (rs610932, meta-P=1.8×10−14; including ADGC meta-P=1.2×10−16; rs670139, meta-P=1.4×10−9; including ADGC meta-P=1.1×10−10) are novel susceptibility loci for AD. Second, we observed independent evidence for association for three suggestive loci reported by the ADGC GWAS, which when combined shows genome-wide significance: CD2AP (GERAD+ P=8.0×10−4; including ADGC meta-P=8.6×10−9), CD33 (GERAD+ P=2.2×10−4; including ADGC meta-P=1.6×10−9) and EPHA1 (GERAD+ P=3.4×10−4; including ADGC meta-P=6.0×10−10). These findings support five novel susceptibility genes for AD.
PMCID: PMC3084173  PMID: 21460840
14.  The dopamine β-hydroxylase -1021C/T polymorphism is associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease in the Epistasis Project 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:162.
The loss of noradrenergic neurones of the locus coeruleus is a major feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) catalyses the conversion of dopamine to noradrenaline. Interactions have been reported between the low-activity -1021T allele (rs1611115) of DBH and polymorphisms of the pro-inflammatory cytokine genes, IL1A and IL6, contributing to the risk of AD. We therefore examined the associations with AD of the DBH -1021T allele and of the above interactions in the Epistasis Project, with 1757 cases of AD and 6294 elderly controls.
We genotyped eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the three genes, DBH, IL1A and IL6. We used logistic regression models and synergy factor analysis to examine potential interactions and associations with AD.
We found that the presence of the -1021T allele was associated with AD: odds ratio = 1.2 (95% confidence interval: 1.06-1.4, p = 0.005). This association was nearly restricted to men < 75 years old: odds ratio = 2.2 (1.4-3.3, 0.0004). We also found an interaction between the presence of DBH -1021T and the -889TT genotype (rs1800587) of IL1A: synergy factor = 1.9 (1.2-3.1, 0.005). All these results were consistent between North Europe and North Spain.
Extensive, previous evidence (reviewed here) indicates an important role for noradrenaline in the control of inflammation in the brain. Thus, the -1021T allele with presumed low activity may be associated with misregulation of inflammation, which could contribute to the onset of AD. We suggest that such misregulation is the predominant mechanism of the association we report here.
PMCID: PMC2994840  PMID: 21070631
15.  Mutational spectrum of the SPG4 (SPAST) and SPG3A (ATL1) genes in Spanish patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:89.
Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias (HSP) are characterized by progressive spasticity and weakness of the lower limbs. At least 45 loci have been identified in families with autosomal dominant (AD), autosomal recessive (AR), or X-linked hereditary patterns. Mutations in the SPAST (SPG4) and ATL1 (SPG3A) genes would account for about 50% of the ADHSP cases.
We defined the SPAST and ATL1 mutational spectrum in a total of 370 unrelated HSP index cases from Spain (83% with a pure phenotype).
We found 50 SPAST mutations (including two large deletions) in 54 patients and 7 ATL1 mutations in 11 patients. A total of 33 of the SPAST and 3 of the ATL1 were new mutations. A total of 141 (31%) were familial cases, and we found a higher frequency of mutation carriers among these compared to apparently sporadic cases (38% vs. 5%). Five of the SPAST mutations were predicted to affect the pre-mRNA splicing, and in 4 of them we demonstrated this effect at the cDNA level. In addition to large deletions, splicing, frameshifting, and missense mutations, we also found a nucleotide change in the stop codon that would result in a larger ORF.
In a large cohort of Spanish patients with spastic paraplegia, SPAST and ATL1 mutations were found in 15% of the cases. These mutations were more frequent in familial cases (compared to sporadic), and were associated with heterogeneous clinical manifestations.
PMCID: PMC2964648  PMID: 20932283
16.  Functional polymorphisms in genes of the Angiotensin and Serotonin systems and risk of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: AT1R as a potential modifier 
Angiotensin and serotonin have been identified as inducers of cardiac hypertrophy. DNA polymorphisms at the genes encoding components of the angiotensin and serotonin systems have been associated with the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).
We genotyped five polymorphisms of the AGT, ACE, AT1R, 5-HT2A, and 5-HTT genes in 245 patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM; 205 without an identified sarcomeric gene mutation), in 145 patients with LVH secondary to hypertension, and 300 healthy controls.
We found a significantly higher frequency of AT1R 1166 C carriers (CC+AC) among the HCM patients without sarcomeric mutations compared to controls (p = 0.015; OR = 1.56; 95%CI = 1.09-2.23). The AT1R 1166 C was also more frequent among patients who had at least one affected relative, compared to sporadic cases. This allele was also associated with higher left ventricular wall thickness in both, HCM patients with and without sarcomeric mutations.
The 1166 C AT1R allele could be a risk factor for cardiac hypertrophy in patients without sarcomeric mutations. Other variants at the AGT, ACE, 5-HT2A and 5-HTT did not contribute to the risk of cardiac hypertrophy.
PMCID: PMC2907326  PMID: 20594303
17.  Mutation analysis of the LCE3B/LCE3C genes in Psoriasis 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:45.
An association between a common deletion comprising the late cornified envelope LCE3B and LCE3C genes (LCE3C_LCE3B-del) and Psoriasis (Ps) has been reported. The expression of these LCE genes was induced after skin barrier disruption and was also strong in psoriatic lesions. The damage to the skin barrier could trigger an epidermal response that includes the expression of genes involved in the formation of skin barrier.
We determined the LCE3C_LCE3B-del genotype in 405 Ps patients and 400 healthy controls from a Northern Spain region (Asturias). These patients and controls were also genotyped for the rs4112788 single nucleotide polymorphism, in strong linkage disequilibrium with the LCE3C_B cluster. The LCE3B and LCE3C gene variant was determined in the patients through SSCA, DHPLC, and direct sequencing.
Allele and genotype frequencies did not differ between patients and controls for the rs4112788 and LCE3C_LCE3B-del polymorphisms. However, del/del homozygotes were significantly higher among patients with chronic plaque type Ps who did not develop arthritis (p = 0.03; OR = 1.4; 95%CI = 1.03-1.92). The analysis of the coding sequence of LCE3B and LCE3C in the patients who had at least one copy of this showed that only one patient has a no previously reported LCE3B variant (R68C).
Our work suggested that homozygosity for a common LCE3C_LCE3B deletion contributes to the risk of developing chronic plaque type Ps without psoriatic arthritis. Our work confirmed previous reports that described an association of this marker with only skin manifestations, and supported the concept of different genetic risk factors contributing to skin and joint disease.
PMCID: PMC2859809  PMID: 20331852
18.  Genetic and clinical peculiarities in a new family with hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets with hypercalciuria: a case report 
Hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets with hypercalciuria is a rare autosomal recessive disorder (OMIM #241530), characterized by decreased renal phosphate reabsorption that leads to hypophosphatemia, rickets, and bone pain; hypophosphatemia is believed to stimulate 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D synthesis which, in turn, results in hypercalciuria. Hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets with hypercalciuria is caused by loss-of-function in the type 2c sodium phosphate cotransporter encoded by the SLC34A3 gene. This report shows a family with a non-previously identified mutation in the SLC34A3 gene and exhibiting mild and different manifestations of HHRH. The probandus had hypophosphatemia, elevated serum 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D concentrations, high serum alkaline phosphatase levels, hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis. The other members of the family presented some of these alterations: the mother, hypercalciuria and high 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D concentrations; the son, hypercalciuria, high 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D values and elevated alkaline phosphatases; the father, high alkaline phosphatases. The genetic analysis revealed the existence of a single mutation (G78R) in heterozygosis in the SLC34A3 gene in the probandus, her mother and her brother, but not in the father. These findings suggest that he mutation in heterozygosis likely gave rise to a mild phenotype with different penetrance in the three relatives and also indicates that the elevation of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D does not result from hypophosphatemia. Thus, this family raises some issues on the transmission and pathophysiology of hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets with hypercalciuria.
PMCID: PMC2821378  PMID: 20074341
19.  Replication by the Epistasis Project of the interaction between the genes for IL-6 and IL-10 in the risk of Alzheimer's disease 
Chronic inflammation is a characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD). An interaction associated with the risk of AD has been reported between polymorphisms in the regulatory regions of the genes for the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-6 (IL-6, gene: IL6), and the anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10 (IL-10, gene: IL10).
We examined this interaction in the Epistasis Project, a collaboration of 7 AD research groups, contributing DNA samples from 1,757 cases of AD and 6,295 controls.
We replicated the interaction. For IL6 rs2069837 AA × IL10 rs1800871 CC, the synergy factor (SF) was 1.63 (95% confidence interval: 1.10–2.41, p = 0.01), controlling for centre, age, gender and apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOEε4) genotype. Our results are consistent between North Europe (SF = 1.7, p = 0.03) and North Spain (SF = 2.0, p = 0.09). Further replication may require a meta-analysis. However, association due to linkage disequilibrium with other polymorphisms in the regulatory regions of these genes cannot be excluded.
We suggest that dysregulation of both IL-6 and IL-10 in some elderly people, due in part to genetic variations in the two genes, contributes to the development of AD. Thus, inflammation facilitates the onset of sporadic AD.
PMCID: PMC2744667  PMID: 19698145
20.  Mitochondrial Transcription Factors TFA, TFB1 and TFB2: A Search for DNA Variants/Haplotypes and the Risk of Cardiac Hypertrophy 
Disease markers  2008;25(3):131-139.
Mitochondrial transcription factors mtTFA, mtTFB1 and mtTFB2 are required for the replication of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), regulating the number of mtDNA copies. Mice with a mtTFA deletion showed a reduced number of mtDNA copies, a reduction in respiratory chain activity, and a characteristic dilated cardiomyopathy. DNA variants in these genes could be involved in the risk for cardiac hypertrophy (HCM).
We determined the variation in the TFAM, TFB1M, and TFB2M genes (using SSCA, DHPLC, and direct sequencing) in a total of 200 HCM-patients from Spain and Germany, and in 250 healthy controls. We found several common polymorphisms that defined haplotype blocks in these genes, with frequencies that did not differ between patients and controls. We also found four novel variants in patients which were absent in the controls: -91 C > A (5'-UTR) and Ala105 > Thr in TFAM, and Thr211 > Ala and Arg256 > Lys in TFB1M. The three missense changes were in highly conserved amino acids, and could be involved in HCM-risk.
In conclusion, common variants in the mitochondrial transcription factors were not associated with the risk for HCM. However, rare DNA variants (putative mutations) could be involved in the pathogenesis of HCM in a reduced number of cases.
PMCID: PMC3827797  PMID: 19096125
Cardiac hypertrophy; mitochondria DNA; transcription factors; mutations
21.  Bilineal inheritance of type 1 autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) and recurrent fetal loss 
NDT Plus  2008;1(5):289-291.
We report for the first time a family with type 1 ADPKD in which the marriage between affected non-consanguinous individuals resulted in two live-born heterozygous offspring and two fetuses lost in mid-pregnancy. Given a 25% chance for mutant compound heterozygosity in the offspring of this family, our findings suggest that compound heterozygosity of PKD1 mutations in humans may be embryonically lethal.
PMCID: PMC4421290  PMID: 25983914
autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD); bilineal disease; compound heterozygous; PKD1
22.  In Vivo Interleukin-6 Protects Neutrophils from Apoptosis in Osteomyelitis  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(7):3823-3828.
Polymorphonuclear neutrophils are critical for resolution of bacterial infections. In tissues, most of the neutrophils quickly die through apoptosis. Using propidium iodide DNA staining and DNA gel electrophoresis, we found that spontaneous apoptosis of neutrophils from patients suffering osteomyelitis (n = 52) was significantly decreased in relation to control neutrophils (n = 20) (40.2% ± 25.2% versus 54.5% ± 23.5%; P < 0.03). Incubation of neutrophils from normal volunteers with sera from patients with osteomyelitis reduced apoptosis from 79.1% ± 14.8% in control sera to 62.2% ± 18.7% in osteomyelitis sera. A significant increase of serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-1α was found in osteomyelitis (IL-6, 8.8 ± 11.9 pg/ml versus 1.8 ± 1.2 pg/ml in controls [P < 0.004]; IL-1α, 3.8 ± 6.4 pg/ml versus 1.0 ± 2.2 pg/ml in controls [P < 0.02]). No differences in the levels of other cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha, were found. There was an inverse correlation between IL-6 levels and neutrophil apoptosis (r = −0.855; P < 0.007), but this was not the case for other cytokines. The antiapoptotic effect of the osteomyelitis sera was reversed with anti-IL-6 antibodies (P < 0.03) and was reproduced with recombinant human IL-6 (P < 0.001). The longer life span of neutrophils in osteomyelitis induced by IL-6 could contribute to the tissue damage that occurs in these chronic bone infections.
PMCID: PMC427428  PMID: 15213123
23.  A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the human p27kip1 gene (-838C>A) affects basal promoter activity and the risk of myocardial infarction 
BMC Biology  2004;2:5.
Excessive proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and leukocytes within the artery wall is a major event in the development of atherosclerosis. The growth suppressor p27kip1 associates with several cyclin-dependent kinase/cyclin complexes, thereby abrogating their capacity to induce progression through the cell cycle. Recent studies have implicated p27kip1 in the control of neointimal hyperplasia. For instance, p27kip1 ablation in apolipoprotein-E-null mice enhanced arterial cell proliferation and accelerated atherogenesis induced by dietary cholesterol. Therefore, p27kip1 is a candidate gene to modify the risk of developing atherosclerosis and associated ischaemic events (i.e., myocardial infarction and stroke).
In this study we found three common single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the human p27kip1 gene (+326T>G [V109G], -79C>T, and -838C>A). The frequency of -838A carriers was significantly increased in myocardial infarction patients compared to healthy controls (odds ratio [OR] = 1.73, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 1.12–2.70). In addition, luciferase reporter constructs driven by the human p27kip1 gene promoter containing A at position -838 had decreased basal transcriptional activity when transiently transfected in Jurkat cells, compared with constructs bearing C in -838 (P = 0.04).
These data suggest that -838A is associated with reduced p27kip1 promoter activity and increased risk of myocardial infarction.
PMCID: PMC400507  PMID: 15061869
myocardial infarction; p27kip1; single-nucleotide polymorphisms

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