To elucidate the genetic basis of a novel neurodegenerative disorder in an Old Order Amish pedigree by combining homozygosity mapping with exome sequencing.
Methods and results
We identified four individuals with an autosomal recessive condition affecting the central nervous system (CNS). Neuroimaging studies identified progressive global CNS tissue loss presenting early in life, associated with microcephaly, seizures, and psychomotor retardation; based on this, we named the condition Autosomal Recessive Cerebral Atrophy (ARCA). Using two unbiased genetic approaches, homozygosity mapping and exome sequencing, we narrowed the candidate region to chromosome 11q and identified the c.995C > T (p.Thr332Met) mutation in the TMPRSS4 gene. Sanger sequencing of additional relatives confirmed that the c.995C > T genotype segregates with the ARCA phenotype. Residue Thr332 is conserved across species and among various ethnic groups. The mutation is predicted to be deleterious, most likely due to a protein structure alteration as demonstrated with protein modelling.
This novel disease is the first to demonstrate a neurological role for a transmembrane serine proteases family member. This study demonstrates a proof-of-concept whereby combining exome sequencing with homozygosity mapping can find the genetic cause of a rare disease and acquire better understanding of a poorly described protein in human development.
Autosomal recessive cerebral atrophy (ARCA) syndrome; Neurodegeneration; Trypsin-like serine protease; Homozygosity; Microarray; Exome sequencing; Autosomal recessive inheritance; Old Order Amish
The first aim was to critically evaluate the extent to which familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The second aim was to provide guidance for screening and treatment of FH, in order to prevent coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods and results
Of the theoretical estimated prevalence of 1/500 for heterozygous FH, <1% are diagnosed in most countries. Recently, direct screening in a Northern European general population diagnosed approximately 1/200 with heterozygous FH. All reported studies document failure to achieve recommended LDL cholesterol targets in a large proportion of individuals with FH, and up to 13-fold increased risk of CHD. Based on prevalences between 1/500 and 1/200, between 14 and 34 million individuals worldwide have FH. We recommend that children, adults, and families should be screened for FH if a person or family member presents with FH, a plasma cholesterol level in an adult ≥8 mmol/L(≥310 mg/dL) or a child ≥6 mmol/L(≥230 mg/dL), premature CHD, tendon xanthomas, or sudden premature cardiac death. In FH, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol targets are <3.5 mmol/L(<135 mg/dL) for children, <2.5 mmol/L(<100 mg/dL) for adults, and <1.8 mmol/L(<70 mg/dL) for adults with known CHD or diabetes. In addition to lifestyle and dietary counselling, treatment priorities are (i) in children, statins, ezetimibe, and bile acid binding resins, and (ii) in adults, maximal potent statin dose, ezetimibe, and bile acid binding resins. Lipoprotein apheresis can be offered in homozygotes and in treatment-resistant heterozygotes with CHD.
Owing to severe underdiagnosis and undertreatment of FH, there is an urgent worldwide need for diagnostic screening together with early and aggressive treatment of this extremely high-risk condition.
Cholesterol; Low-density lipoprotein; Atherosclerosis; Coronary heart disease; Cardiovascular disease
Adiponectin, a secretagogue exclusively produced by adipocytes, has been associated with metabolic features, but its role in the development of the metabolic syndrome remains unclear.
We investigated the association between serum adiponectin level and metabolic traits, using both observational and genetic epidemiologic approaches in a multiethnic population assembled in Canada.
Clinical data and serum adiponectin level were collected in 1,157 participants of the SHARE/SHARE-AP studies. Participants were genotyped for the functional rs266729 and rs1260326 SNPs in ADIPOQ and GCKR genes.
Adiponectin level was positively associated with HDL cholesterol and negatively associated with body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, triglycerides, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, systolic and diastolic pressure (all P<0.002). The rs266729 minor G allele was associated with lower adiponectin and higher HOMA-IR (P = 0.004 and 0.003, respectively). The association between rs266729 SNP and HOMA-IR was no longer significant after adjustment for adiponectin concentration (P = 0.10). The rs266729 SNP was associated with HOMA-IR to an extent that exceeded its effect on adiponectin level (0.15 SD 95% C.I. [0.06, 0.24], P<0.001). There was no significant interaction between rs266729 SNP and ethnicity on adiponectin or HOMA-IR. In contrast, the SNP rs1260326 in GCKR was associated with HOMA-IR (P<0.001), but not with adiponectin level (P = 0.67).
The association of the functional promoter polymorphism rs266729 with lower serum adiponectin and increased insulin resistance in diverse ethnic groups may suggest a causal relationship between adiponectin level and insulin resistance.
Hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) is commonly encountered in lipid and cardiology clinics. Severe HTG warrants treatment because of the associated increased risk of acute pancreatitis. However, the need to treat, and the correct treatment approach for patients with mild to moderate HTG are issues for ongoing evaluation. In the past, it was felt that triglyceride does not directly contribute to development of atherosclerotic plaques. However, this view is evolving, especially for triglyceride-related fractions and variables measured in the non-fasting state. Our understanding of the etiology, genetics and classification of HTG states is also evolving. Previously, HTG was considered to be a dominant disorder associated with variation within a single gene. The old nomenclature includes the term “familial” in the names of several hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP) phenotypes that included HTG as part of their profile, including combined hyperlipidemia (HLP type 2B), dysbetalipoproteinemia (HLP type 3), simple HTG (HLP type 4) and mixed hyperlipidemia (HLP type 5). This old thinking has given way to the idea that genetic susceptibility to HTG results from cumulative effects of multiple genetic variants acting in concert. HTG most is often a “polygenic” or “multigenic” trait. However, a few rare autosomal recessive forms of severe HTG have been defined. Treatment depends on the overall clinical context, including severity of HTG, concomitant presence of other lipid disturbances, and the patient's global risk of cardiovascular disease. Therapeutic strategies include dietary counselling, lifestyle management, control of secondary factors, use of omega-3 preparations and selective use of pharmaceutical agents.
dyslipidemia; polygenic; complex trait; mutation; single nucleotide polymorphism
Earlier studies have suggested that a common genetic architecture underlies the clinically heterogeneous polygenic Fredrickson hyperlipoproteinemia (HLP) phenotypes defined by hypertriglyceridemia (HTG). Here, we comprehensively analyzed 504 HLP-HTG patients and 1213 normotriglyceridemic controls and confirmed that a spectrum of common and rare lipid-associated variants underlies this heterogeneity.
Methods and Results
First, we demonstrated that genetic determinants of plasma lipids and lipoproteins, including common variants associated with plasma triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) from the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium were associated with multiple HLP-HTG phenotypes. Second, we demonstrated that weighted risk scores composed of common TG-associated variants were distinctly increased across all HLP-HTG phenotypes compared with controls; weighted HDL-C and LDL-C risk scores were also increased, although to a less pronounced degree with some HLP-HTG phenotypes. Interestingly, decomposition of HDL-C and LDL-C risk scores revealed that pleiotropic variants (those jointly associated with TG) accounted for the greatest difference in HDL-C and LDL-C risk scores. The APOE E2/E2 genotype was significantly overrepresented in HLP type 3 versus other phenotypes. Finally, rare variants in 4 genes accumulated equally across HLP-HTG phenotypes.
HTG susceptibility and phenotypic heterogeneity are both influenced by accumulation of common and rare TG-associated variants.
lipoproteins; genetic risk scores; genetic variation; hypertriglyceridemia; pleiotropy
Rare variant accumulation studies can implicate genes in disease susceptibility when a significant burden is observed in patients versus controls. Such analyses might be particularly useful for candidate genes that are selected based on experiments other than genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We sought to determine whether rare variants in non-GWAS candidate genes identified from mouse models and human Mendelian syndromes of hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) accumulate in patients with polygenic adult-onset HTG.
Methods and Results
We resequenced protein coding regions of 3 genes with established roles (APOC2, GPIHBP1, LMF1) and 2 genes recently implicated (CREB3L3 and ZHX3) in TG metabolism. We identified 41 distinct heterozygous rare variants, including 29 singleton variants, in the combined sample; in total, we observed 47 rare variants in 413 HTG patients versus 16 in 324 controls (OR=2.3; P=0.0050). Post hoc assessment of genetic burden in individual genes using three different tests suggested that the genetic burden was most prominent in the established genes LMF1 and APOC2, and also in the recently identified CREB3L3 gene.
These extensive resequencing studies show a significant accumulation of rare genetic variants in non-GWAS candidate genes among patients with polygenic HTG, and indicate the importance of testing specific hypotheses in large-scale resequencing studies.
hyperlipoproteinemia; genetics; apolipoproteins; lipoproteins; cardiovascular diseases
Hepatic lipase (HL) deficiency is a rare genetic disorder that has been associated with premature atherosclerosis despite high plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations in the affected individuals. The authors describe the clinical and biochemical features of HL deficiency in a young male of Middle-Eastern-Arabic origin. This is the first report of cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) activity and mass in HL deficiency in a patient from this ethnic group. While the CETP mass was high, its activity was low, a discrepancy likely due to the abnormal composition of patient's HDL particles.
Among the noteworthy recent stories in the management and prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the saga of the development of pharmacological inhibitors of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). Inhibiting CETP significantly raises plasma concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which has long been considered a marker of reduced CVD risk. However, the first CETP inhibitor, torcetrapib, showed a surprising increase in CVD events, despite a dramatic increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. This paradox was explained by putative off-target effects not related to CETP inhibition that were specific to torcetrapib. Subsequently, three newer CETP inhibitors, namely dalcetrapib, anacetrapib, and evacetrapib, were at various phases of clinical development in 2012. Each of these had encouraging biochemical efficacy and safety profiles. Dalcetrapib even had human arterial imaging results that tended to look favorable. However, the dalcetrapib development program was recently terminated, presumably because interim analysis of a large CVD outcome trial indicated no benefit. These events raise important questions regarding the validity of the mechanism of CETP inhibition and the broader issue of whether pharmacological raising of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol itself is a useful strategy for CVD risk reduction.
dalcetrapib; CETP inhbitor; HDL; cardiovascular disease
Germline mutations of BRCA1/2 are associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Recent data suggests excess mortality in mutation carriers beyond that conferred by neoplasia, and recent in vivo and in vitro studies suggest a modulatory role for BRCA proteins in endothelial and cardiomyocyte function. We therefore tested the association of BRCA2 variants with clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Using data from 1,170 individuals included in two multi-ethnic population-based studies (SHARE and SHARE-AP), the association between BRCA2 variants and CVD was evaluated. 15 SNPs in BRCA2 with minor allele frequencies (MAF) > 0.01 had been previously genotyped using the cardiovascular gene-centric 50 k SNP array. 115 individuals (9.8%) reported a CVD event, defined as myocardial infarction (MI), angina, silent MI, stroke, and angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery. Analyses were adjusted for age and sex. The SNPs rs11571836 and rs1799943 were subsequently genotyped using the MassARRAY platform in 1,045 cases of incident MI and 1,135 controls from the South Asian subset of an international case-control study of acute MI (INTERHEART), and rs11571836 was imputed in 4,686 cases and 4500 controls from the Pakistan Risk of Myocardial Infarction Study (PROMIS).
Two BRCA2 SNPs, rs11571836 and rs1799943, both located in untranslated regions, were associated with lower risk of CVD (OR 0.47 p = 0.01 and OR 0.56 p = 0.03 respectively) in the SHARE studies. Analysis by specific ethnicities demonstrated an association with CVD for both SNPs in Aboriginal People, and for rs11571836 only in South Asians. No association was observed in the European and Chinese subgroups. A non-significant trend towards an association between rs11571836 and lower risk of MI was observed in South Asians from INTERHEART [OR = 0.87 (95% CI: 0.75-1.01) p = 0.068], but was not evident in PROMIS [OR = 0.96 (95% CI: 0.90-1.03) p = 0.230]. Meta-analysis of both case-control studies resulted in a combined OR of 0.94 (95% CI: 0.89-1.004, p = 0.06).
Although there was an association between two SNPs in BRCA2 and CVD in a multi-ethnic population, these results were not replicated in two South Asian case-control studies of incident MI. Future studies exploring the association between BRCA variants and cardiovascular disorders are needed to clarify the role, if any, for BRCA variants in CVD pathogenesis.
Familial hypobetalipoproteinemia (FHBL) is a rare genetic disorder of lipid metabolism that is associated with abnormally low serum levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. It is an autosomal co-dominant disorder, and depending on zygosity, the clinical manifestations may vary from none to neurological, endocrine, hematological or liver dysfunction. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is common in persons with FHBL, however progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is unusual. We describe here a patient with a novel APOB mutation, V703I, which appears to contribute to the severity of the FHBL phenotype. He had liver enzyme abnormalities, increased echogenicity of the liver consistent with steatosis, very low LDL cholesterol at 0.24 mmol/l (normal 1.8–3.5 mmol/l) and an extremely low apolipoprotein B level of 0.16 g/l (normal 0.6–1.2 g/l). APOB gene sequencing revealed him to be a compound heterozygote with two mutations (R463W and V703I). APOB R463W has previously been reported to cause FHBL. Genetic sequencing of his first-degree relatives identified the APOB V703I mutation in his normolipidemic brother and father and the APOB R463W mutation in his mother and sister, both of whom have very low LDL cholesterol levels. These results suggest that the APOB V703I mutation alone does not cause the FHBL phenotype. However, it is possible that it has a contributory role to a more aggressive phenotype in the presence of APOB R463W.
Familial hypobetalipoproteinemia; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; APOB
Here we report that the transcription factor CREB-H is required for the maintenance of normal plasma triglyceride (TG) levels. CREB-H deficient mice displayed hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) secondary to inefficient TG clearance catalyzed by lipoprotein lipase (Lpl), partly due to defective expression of the Lpl coactivators, Apoc2, Apoa4, and Apoa5 and concurrent augmentation of the Lpl inhibitor, Apoc3. Multiple nonsynonymous mutations in CREB3L3 that produced hypomorphic or nonfunctional CREB-H protein were identified in patients with extreme HTG, implicating a critical role for CREB-H in human TG metabolism.
lipid metabolism; dyslipidemia; CREB-H; transcription factor
Foam cell formation by intimal smooth muscle cells (SMCs) inhibits the elaboration of extracellular matrix, which is detrimental to plaque stabilization. In the present study, we examined the lipoproteins and receptors involved in human SMC foam cell formation and investigated the ability of 24(S),25-epoxycholesterol [24(S),25-EC], an oxysterol agonist of the liver X receptor, to attenuate SMC foam cell formation.
Methods and Results
Incubation of human internal thoracic SMCs with atherogenic lipoproteins demonstrated that low-density lipoprotein (LDL), but not oxidized or acetylated LDL, was the primary lipoprotein taken up, resulting in marked cholesteryl ester deposition (6-fold vs 1.8-fold; P<0.05; n=4). Exposure of SMCs to exogenous or endogenously synthesized 24(S),25-EC attenuated LDL uptake (−90% and −47% respectively; P<0.05; n=3) through decreased sterol regulatory element–binding protein-2 expression (−30% and −17%, respectively; P<0.001; n=3), decreased LDL receptor expression (−75% and −40%, respectively; P<0.05; n=3) and increased liver X receptor–mediated myosin regulatory light chain interacting protein expression (7- and 3-fold, respectively; P<0.05; n=4). Furthermore, exogenous 24(S),25-EC increased adenosine triphosphate–binding cassettes A1– and G1–mediated cholesterol efflux to apolipoprotein AI (1.9-fold; P<0.001; n=5) and high-density lipoprotein3 (1.3-fold; P<0.05; n=5). 24(S),25-EC, unlike a nonsteroidal liver X receptor agonist, T0901317, did not stimulate sterol regulatory element–binding protein-1c–mediated fatty acid synthesis or triglyceride accumulation. 24(S),25-EC preserved the assembly of fibronectin and type I collagen by SMCs.
The oxysterol 24(S),25-EC prevented foam cell formation in human SMCs by attenuation of LDL receptor–mediated LDL uptake and stimulation of cholesterol efflux, restoring the elaboration of extracellular matrix. In contrast to T0901317, 24(S),25-EC prevented the development of a triglyceride-rich foam cell phenotype. (J Am Heart Assoc. 2012;1:e000810 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.000810.)
vascular smooth muscle cell; lipoproteins; oxysterol; liver X receptor; cholesterol efflux
Transcriptome profiling of patterns of RNA expression is a powerful approach to identify networks of genes that play a role in disease. To date, most mRNA profiling of tissues has been accomplished using microarrays, but next-generation sequencing can offer a richer and more comprehensive picture.
ECO is a rare multi-system developmental disorder caused by a homozygous mutation in ICK encoding intestinal cell kinase. We performed gene expression profiling using both cDNA microarrays and next-generation mRNA sequencing (mRNA-seq) of skin fibroblasts from ECO-affected subjects. We then validated a subset of differentially expressed transcripts identified by each method using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Finally, we used gene ontology (GO) to identify critical pathways and processes that were abnormal according to each technical platform. Methodologically, mRNA-seq identifies a much larger number of differentially expressed genes with much better correlation to qRT-PCR results than the microarray (r2 = 0.794 and 0.137, respectively). Biologically, cDNA microarray identified functional pathways focused on anatomical structure and development, while the mRNA-seq platform identified a higher proportion of genes involved in cell division and DNA replication pathways.
Transcriptome profiling with mRNA-seq had greater sensitivity, range and accuracy than the microarray. The two platforms generated different but complementary hypotheses for further evaluation.
genetics; cardiovascular disease; genome-wide association studies; ultrasound; statistical methods; genetic epidemiology
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have replicably identified multiple loci associated with population-based plasma lipid concentrations1-5. Common genetic variants at these loci together explain <10% of the total variation of each lipid trait4,5. Rare variants of individually large effect may contribute additionally to the “missing heritability” of lipid traits6,7, however it remains to be shown to what extent rare variants will affect lipid phenotypes. Here, we demonstrate a significant accumulation of rare variants in GWAS-identified genes in patients with an extreme phenotype of abnormal plasma triglyceride (TG) metabolism. A GWAS of hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) patients revealed that common variants in APOA5, GCKR, LPL and APOB genes were associated with the HTG phenotype at genome-wide significance. We subsequently resequenced protein coding regions of these genes and found a significant burden of 154 rare missense or nonsense variants in 438 HTG patients, in contrast to 53 variants in 327 controls (P=6.2X10-8); this corresponds to a carrier frequency of 28.1% of HTG patients and 15.3% of controls (P=2.6X10-5). Many rare variants were predicted in silico to have compromised function; additionally some had previously demonstrated dysfunctionality in vitro. Rare variants in these 4 genes explained 1.1% of total variation in HTG diagnoses. Our study demonstrates a marked mutation skew that likely contributes to disease pathophysiology in patients with HTG.
In a recent report of large-scale association analysis, a type 2 diabetes susceptibility locus near HNF1A was identified in predominantly European descent populations. A population-specific G319S polymorphism in HNF1A was previously identified in Aboriginal Canadians who have a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes. We aimed to investigate the association of the HNF1A G319S polymorphism with incident type 2 diabetes and to assess whether clinical risk variables for type 2 diabetes influence the association in an Aboriginal population.
Of 606 participants who were free of diabetes at baseline in 1993-1995, 540 (89.1%) participated in 10-year follow-up assessments in 2003-2005. Fasting glucose and a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test were obtained to determine incident type 2 diabetes. Participants were genotyped for the HNF1A G319S polymorphism. Interviewers administered questionnaires on smoking behavior.
The incidence rates of type 2 diabetes were 14.2% (55/388) in major allele homozygotes and 31.2% (29/93) in minor allele carriers (p < 0.001). The HNF1A G319S carrier status was associated with incident type 2 diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 3.78 [95% CI 2.13-6.69]) after adjustment for age, sex, hypertension, triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, and waist circumference. A statistical interaction was observed between HNF1A G319S and baseline active cigarette smoking on the development of type 2 diabetes with similar adjustment (p = 0.006). When participants were stratified by baseline smoking status, HNF1A G319S carriers who were active smokers had increased risk of developing diabetes (OR 6.91 [95% CI 3.38-14.12]), while the association was attenuated to non-significance among non-smokers (1.11 [0.40-3.08]).
The HNF1A G319S variant is associated with incident type 2 diabetes in Aboriginal Canadians. Furthermore, cigarette smoking appears to amplify incident diabetes risk in carriers of HNF1A G319S.
The global epidemic of metabolic syndrome and its complications demands rapid evaluation of new and accessible interventions. Insulin resistance is the central biochemical disturbance in the metabolic syndrome. The citrus-derived flavonoid, naringenin, has lipid-lowering properties and inhibits VLDL secretion from cultured hepatocytes in a manner resembling insulin. We evaluated whether naringenin regulates lipoprotein production and insulin sensitivity in the context of insulin resistance in vivo.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
LDL receptor–null (Ldlr−/−) mice fed a high-fat (Western) diet (42% calories from fat and 0.05% cholesterol) become dyslipidemic, insulin and glucose intolerant, and obese. Four groups of mice (standard diet, Western, and Western plus 1% or 3% wt/wt naringenin) were fed ad libitum for 4 weeks. VLDL production and parameters of insulin and glucose tolerance were determined.
We report that naringenin treatment of Ldlr−/− mice fed a Western diet corrected VLDL overproduction, ameliorated hepatic steatosis, and attenuated dyslipidemia without affecting caloric intake or fat absorption. Naringenin 1) increased hepatic fatty acid oxidation through a peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR) γ coactivator 1α/PPARα-mediated transcription program; 2) prevented sterol regulatory element–binding protein 1c–mediated lipogenesis in both liver and muscle by reducing fasting hyperinsulinemia; 3) decreased hepatic cholesterol and cholesterol ester synthesis; 4) reduced both VLDL-derived and endogenously synthesized fatty acids, preventing muscle triglyceride accumulation; and 5) improved overall insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
Thus, naringenin, through its correction of many of the metabolic disturbances linked to insulin resistance, represents a promising therapeutic approach for metabolic syndrome.
The present article represents the 2009 update of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of dyslipidemia and prevention of cardiovascular disease in the adult.
Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular risk factors; Cholesterol; Coronary artery disease; Dyslipidemia; Lipids; Secondary prevention
C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation, has been associated with increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Common variants of the hepatocyte nuclear factor 1A (HNF1A) gene encoding HNF-1α have been associated with plasma CRP in predominantly European Caucasian samples. HNF1A might therefore have an impact on vascular disease and diabetes risk that is mediated by CRP. In an Aboriginal Canadian population, a private polymorphism, HNF1A G319S, was associated with increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes. However, it has not been investigated whether this association is mediated by CRP. We aimed to investigate whether CRP was mediating the association between HNF1A G319S and type 2 diabetes in an Aboriginal Canadian population with a high prevalence of diabetes.
A total of 718 individuals who participated in a diabetes prevalence and risk factor survey were included in the current analysis. Participants were genotyped for HNF1A G319S. Fasting plasma samples were analyzed for CRP. Fasting plasma glucose and a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test were obtained to determine type 2 diabetes.
The prevalence rate of type 2 diabetes was 17.4% (125/718) using the 1999 World Health Organization definition and was higher among S319 allele carriers compared to G/G homozygotes (p < 0.0001). Among participants without type 2 diabetes, CRP levels were higher among G/G homozygotes (1.64 [95% confidence interval 1.35-2.00] mg/l) than in S319 carriers (1.26 [1.04-1.54] mg/l) (p = 0.009) after adjustment for age, sex, 2-h post-load glucose, waist circumference, and serum amyloid A. CRP levels were elevated among those with diabetes after similar adjustment (4.39 [95% confidence interval 3.09-6.23] and 4.44 [3.13-6.30] mg/L, respectively), and no significant difference in CRP was observed between S319 carriers and non-carriers (p = 0.95).
CRP levels were lower in S319 allele carriers of the HNF1A gene compared to non-carriers among individuals without diabetes, but this difference was not present among those with diabetes, who uniformly had elevated CRP levels. Therefore, while HNF1A appears to influence CRP concentrations in the non-diabetic state, chronic elevation of CRP is unlikely mediating the association between the HNF1A polymorphism and the high prevalence of type 2 diabetes in this Aboriginal population.
Stroke; Genetics; Genomewide association studies
We report studies of six individuals with marked elevations of cystathionine in plasma and/or urine. Studies of CTH, the gene that encodes cystathionine γ-lyase, revealed the presence among these individuals of either homozygous or compound heterozygous forms of a novel large deletion, p.Gly57_Gln196del, two novel missense mutations, c.589C>T (p.Arg197Cys) and c.932C>T (p.Thr311Ile), and one previously reported alteration, c.200C>T (p.Thr67Ile). Another novel missense mutation, c.185G>T (p.Arg62His), was found in heterozygous form in three mildly hypercystathioninemic members of a Taiwanese family. In one severely hypercystathioninemic individual no CTH mutation was found. Brief clinical histories of the cystathioninemic/cystathioninuric patients are presented. Most of the novel mutations were expressed and the CTH activities of the mutant proteins determined. The crystal structure of the human enzyme, hCTH, and the evidence available as to the effects of the mutations in question, as well as those of the previously reported p.Gln240Glu, on protein structure, enzymatic activity, and responsiveness to vitamin B6 administration are discussed. Among healthy Czech controls, 9.3% were homozygous for CTH c.1208G>T (p.Ser403Ile), previously found homozygously in 7.5% of Canadians for whom plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) had been measured. Compared to wild-type homozygotes, among the 55 Czech c.1208G>T (p.Ser403Ile) homozygotes a greater level of plasma cystathionine was found only after methionine loading. Three of the four individuals homozygous or compound heterozygous for inactivating CTH mutations had mild plasma tHcy elevations, perhaps indicating a cause-and-effect relationship. The experience with the present patients provides no evidence that severe loss of CTH activity is accompanied by adverse clinical effects.
Abetalipoproteinemia (ABL) is a rare Mendelian disorder of lipid metabolism due to genetic deficiency in microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP). It is associated with defects in MTP-mediated lipid transfer onto apolipoprotein B (APOB) and impaired secretion of APOB-containing lipoproteins. Recently, MTP was shown to regulate the CD1 family of lipid antigen-presenting molecules, but little is known about immune function in ABL patients. Here, we have shown that ABL is characterized by immune defects affecting presentation of self and microbial lipid antigens by group 1 (CD1a, CD1b, CD1c) and group 2 (CD1d) CD1 molecules. In dendritic cells isolated from ABL patients, MTP deficiency was associated with increased proteasomal degradation of group 1 CD1 molecules. Although CD1d escaped degradation, it was unable to load antigens and exhibited functional defects similar to those affecting the group 1 CD1 molecules. The reduction in CD1 function resulted in impaired activation of CD1-restricted T and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and reduced numbers and phenotypic alterations of iNKT cells consistent with central and peripheral CD1 defects in vivo. These data highlight MTP as a unique regulator of human metabolic and immune pathways and reveal that ABL is not only a disorder of lipid metabolism but also an immune disease involving CD1.