PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-21 (21)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
more »
Year of Publication
more »
Document Types
author:("Li, gentian")
1.  Mappability and read length 
Frontiers in Genetics  2014;5:381.
Power-law distributions are the main functional form for the distribution of repeat size and repeat copy number in the human genome. When the genome is broken into fragments for sequencing, the limited size of fragments and reads may prevent an unique alignment of repeat sequences to the reference sequence. Repeats in the human genome can be as long as 104 bases, or 105 − 106 bases when allowing for mismatches between repeat units. Sequence reads from these regions are therefore unmappable when the read length is in the range of 103 bases. With a read length of 1000 bases, slightly more than 1% of the assembled genome, and slightly less than 1% of the 1 kb reads, are unmappable, excluding the unassembled portion of the human genome (8% in GRCh37/hg19). The slow decay (long tail) of the power-law function implies a diminishing return in converting unmappable regions/reads to become mappable with the increase of the read length, with the understanding that increasing read length will always move toward the direction of 100% mappability.
doi:10.3389/fgene.2014.00381
PMCID: PMC4226227  PMID: 25426137
next-generation sequencing; repeats; mappability; power-law distribution; copy number variations
2.  Diminishing return for increased Mappability with longer sequencing reads: implications of the k-mer distributions in the human genome 
BMC Bioinformatics  2014;15:2.
Background
The amount of non-unique sequence (non-singletons) in a genome directly affects the difficulty of read alignment to a reference assembly for high throughput-sequencing data. Although a longer read is more likely to be uniquely mapped to the reference genome, a quantitative analysis of the influence of read lengths on mappability has been lacking. To address this question, we evaluate the k-mer distribution of the human reference genome. The k-mer frequency is determined for k ranging from 20 bp to 1000 bp.
Results
We observe that the proportion of non-singletons k-mers decreases slowly with increasing k, and can be fitted by piecewise power-law functions with different exponents at different ranges of k. A slower decay at greater values for k indicates more limited gains in mappability for read lengths between 200 bp and 1000 bp. The frequency distributions of k-mers exhibit long tails with a power-law-like trend, and rank frequency plots exhibit a concave Zipf’s curve. The most frequent 1000-mers comprise 172 regions, which include four large stretches on chromosomes 1 and X, containing genes of biomedical relevance. Comparison with other databases indicates that the 172 regions can be broadly classified into two types: those containing LINE transposable elements and those containing segmental duplications.
Conclusion
Read mappability as measured by the proportion of singletons increases steadily up to the length scale around 200 bp. When read length increases above 200 bp, smaller gains in mappability are expected. Moreover, the proportion of non-singletons decreases with read lengths much slower than linear. Even a read length of 1000 bp would not allow the unique alignment of reads for many coding regions of human genes. A mix of techniques will be needed for efficiently producing high-quality data that cover the complete human genome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-15-2
PMCID: PMC3927684  PMID: 24386976
Next-generation sequencing; Read alignment; Repeat sequences; Genome redundancy; Long-tail distribution; k-mers
3.  Periodic Distribution of a Putative Nucleosome Positioning Motif in Human, Nonhuman Primates, and Archaea: Mutual Information Analysis 
Recently, Trifonov's group proposed a 10-mer DNA motif YYYYYRRRRR as a solution of the long-standing problem of sequence-based nucleosome positioning. To test whether this generic decamer represents a biological meaningful signal, we compare the distribution of this motif in primates and Archaea, which are known to contain nucleosomes, and in Eubacteria, which do not possess nucleosomes. The distribution of the motif is analyzed by the mutual information function (MIF) with a shifted version of itself (MIF profile). We found common features in the patterns of this generic decamer on MIF profiles among primate species, and interestingly we found conspicuous but dissimilar MIF profiles for each Archaea tested. The overall MIF profiles for each chromosome in each primate species also follow a similar pattern. Trifonov's generic decamer may be a highly conserved motif for the nucleosome positioning, but we argue that this is not the only motif. The distribution of this generic decamer exhibits previously unidentified periodicities, which are associated to highly repetitive sequences in the genome. Alu repetitive elements contribute to the most fundamental structure of nucleosome positioning in higher Eukaryotes. In some regions of primate chromosomes, the distribution of the decamer shows symmetrical patterns including inverted repeats.
doi:10.1155/2013/963956
PMCID: PMC3691935  PMID: 23841049
4.  Increased synovial expression of nuclear receptors correlates with arthritis protection: a possible novel genetically-regulated homeostatic mechanism 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2011;63(10):2918-2929.
Objective
To use microarray analyses of gene expression to characterize the synovial molecular pathways regulated by the arthritis regulatory locus Cia25, and how it operates to control disease severity and joint damage.
Methods
Synovial tissues from DA and DA.ACI(Cia25) rats obtained 21 days post-induction of pristane-induced arthritis were used for RNA extraction and hybridization to Illumina Rat-Ref 12 Beadchips (22,228 genes). A p-value ≤0.01 plus a fold-difference ≥1.5 were considered significant.
Results
IL-1β (7-fold), IL-6 (67-fold), Ccl2, Cxcl10, Mmp3, Mmp14, and innate immunity genes were expressed in increased levels in DA and in significantly lower levels in congenics. DA.ACI(Cia25) had increased expression of ten nuclear receptors (NR) genes, including those known to interfere with NFκB activity and cytokine expression, such as Lxrα, Pparγ, and Rxrγ. DA.ACI(Cia25) also had increased expression of NR targets suggesting increased NR activity. While the Vdr was not differentially expressed, a Vdr expression signature was detected in congenics, along with up-regulation of mediators of vitamin D synthesis.
Conclusions
This is the first description of the association between increased synovial levels of NRs and arthritis protection. The expression of NRs was inversely correlated with the expression of key mediators of arthritis suggesting reciprocally opposing effects either via NFκB or at the genomic level in the synovial tissue. We consider that the NR signature may have an important role in maintaining synovial homeostasis and an inflammation-free tissue. These processes are regulated by the Cia25 gene and suggest a new function for this gene.
doi:10.1002/art.30507
PMCID: PMC3183331  PMID: 21702016
5.  Effective Sample Size: Quick Estimation of the Effect of Related Samples in Genetic Case-Control Association Analyses 
Summary
Affected relatives are essential for pedigree linkage analysis, however, they cause a violation of the independent sample assumption in case-control association studies. To avoid the correlation between samples, a common practice is to take only one affected sample per pedigree in association analysis. Although several methods exist in handling correlated samples, they are still not widely used in part because these are not easily implemented, or because they are not widely known. We advocate the effective sample size method as a simple and accessible approach for case-control association analysis with correlated samples. This method modifies the chi-square test statistic, p-value, and 95% confidence interval of the odds-ratio by replacing the apparent number of allele or genotype counts with the effective ones in the standard formula, without the need for specialized computer programs. We present a simple formula for calculating effective sample size for many types of relative pairs and relative sets. For allele frequency estimation, the effective sample size method captures the variance inflation exactly. For genotype frequency, simulations showed that effective sample size provides a satisfactory approximation. A gene which is previously identified as a type 1 diabetes susceptibility locus, the interferon-induced helicase gene (IFIH1), is shown to be significantly associated with rheumatoid arthritis when the effective sample size method is applied. This significant association is not established if only one affected sib per pedigree were used in the association analysis. Relationship between the effective sample size method and other methods – the generalized estimation equation, variance of eigenvalues for correlation matrices, and genomic controls – are discussed.
doi:10.1016/j.compbiolchem.2010.12.006
PMCID: PMC3119257  PMID: 21333602
6.  Intraclonal Complexity in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Fractions Enriched in Recently Born/Divided and Older/Quiescent Cells 
Molecular Medicine  2011;17(11-12):1374-1382.
The failure of chemotherapeutic regimens to eradicate cancers often results from the outgrowth of minor subclones with more dangerous genomic abnormalities or with self-renewing capacity. To explore such intratumor complexities in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we measured B-cell kinetics in vivo by quantifying deuterium (2H)-labeled cells as an indicator of a cell that had divided. Separating CLL clones on the basis of reciprocal densities of chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) and cluster designation 5 (CD5) revealed that the CXCR4dimCD5bright (proliferative) fraction contained more 2H-labeled DNA and hence divided cells than the CXCR4brightCD5dim (resting) fraction. This enrichment was confirmed by the relative expression of two cell cycle–associated molecules in the same fractions, Ki-67 and minichromosome maintenance protein 6 (MCM6). Comparisons of global gene expression between the CXCR4dimCD5bright and CXCR4brightCD5dim fractions indicated higher levels of pro-proliferation and antiapoptotic genes and genes involved in oxidative injury in the proliferative fraction. An extended immunophenotype was also defined, providing a wider range of surface molecules characteristic of each fraction. These intraclonal analyses suggest a model of CLL cell biology in which the leukemic clone contains a spectrum of cells from the proliferative fraction, enriched in recently divided robust cells that are lymphoid tissue emigrants, to the resting fraction enriched in older, less vital cells that need to immigrate to lymphoid tissue or die. The model also suggests several targets preferentially expressed in the two populations amenable for therapeutic attack. Finally, the study lays the groundwork for future analyses that might provide a more robust understanding of the development and clonal evolution of this currently incurable disease.
doi:10.2119/molmed.2011.00360
PMCID: PMC3321822  PMID: 21968788
7.  Locus category based analysis of a large genome-wide association study of rheumatoid arthritis 
Human Molecular Genetics  2010;19(19):3863-3872.
To pinpoint true positive single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we categorize genetic loci by external knowledge. We test both the ‘enrichment of associated loci’ in a locus category and the ‘combined association’ of a locus category. The former is quantified by the odds ratio for the presence of SNP associations at the loci of a category, whereas the latter is quantified by the number of loci in a category that have SNP associations. These measures are compared with their expected values as obtained from the permutation of the affection status. To account for linkage disequilibrium (LD) among SNPs, we view each LD block as a genetic locus. Positional candidates were defined as loci implicated by earlier GWAS results, whereas functional candidates were defined by annotations regarding the molecular roles of genes, such as gene ontology categories. As expected, immune-related categories show the largest enrichment signal, although it is not very strong. The intersection of positional and functional candidate information predicts novel RA loci near the genes TEC/TXK, MBL2 and PIK3R1/CD180. Notably, a combined association signal is not only produced by immune-related categories, but also by most other categories and even randomly defined categories. The unspecific quality of these signals limits the possible conclusions from combined association tests. It also reduces the magnitude of enrichment test results. These unspecific signals might result from common variants of small effect and hardly concentrated in candidate categories, or an inflated size of associated regions from weak LD with infrequent mutations.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddq304
PMCID: PMC2935861  PMID: 20639398
8.  Blood autoantibody and cytokine profiles predict response to anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy in rheumatoid arthritis 
Introduction
Anti-TNF therapies have revolutionized the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a common systemic autoimmune disease involving destruction of the synovial joints. However, in the practice of rheumatology approximately one-third of patients demonstrate no clinical improvement in response to treatment with anti-TNF therapies, while another third demonstrate a partial response, and one-third an excellent and sustained response. Since no clinical or laboratory tests are available to predict response to anti-TNF therapies, great need exists for predictive biomarkers.
Methods
Here we present a multi-step proteomics approach using arthritis antigen arrays, a multiplex cytokine assay, and conventional ELISA, with the objective to identify a biomarker signature in three ethnically diverse cohorts of RA patients treated with the anti-TNF therapy etanercept.
Results
We identified a 24-biomarker signature that enabled prediction of a positive clinical response to etanercept in all three cohorts (positive predictive values 58 to 72%; negative predictive values 63 to 78%).
Conclusions
We identified a multi-parameter protein biomarker that enables pretreatment classification and prediction of etanercept responders, and tested this biomarker using three independent cohorts of RA patients. Although further validation in prospective and larger cohorts is needed, our observations demonstrate that multiplex characterization of autoantibodies and cytokines provides clinical utility for predicting response to the anti-TNF therapy etanercept in RA patients.
doi:10.1186/ar2706
PMCID: PMC2714123  PMID: 19460157
9.  TRAF1-C5 as a Risk Locus for Rheumatoid Arthritis — A Genomewide Study 
The New England journal of medicine  2007;357(12):1199-1209.
BACKGROUND
Rheumatoid arthritis has a complex mode of inheritance. Although HLA-DRB1 and PTPN22 are well-established susceptibility loci, other genes that confer a modest level of risk have been identified recently. We carried out a genomewide association analysis to identify additional genetic loci associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
METHODS
We genotyped 317,503 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a combined case-control study of 1522 case subjects with rheumatoid arthritis and 1850 matched control subjects. The patients were seropositive for autoantibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP). We obtained samples from two data sets, the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) and the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (EIRA). Results from NARAC and EIRA for 297,086 SNPs that passed quality-control filters were combined with the use of Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel stratified analysis. SNPs showing a significant association with disease (P<1×10-8) were genotyped in an independent set of case subjects with anti-CCP-positive rheumatoid arthritis (485 from NARAC and 512 from EIRA) and in control subjects (1282 from NARAC and 495 from EIRA).
RESULTS
We observed associations between disease and variants in the major-histocompatibility-complex locus, in PTPN22, and in a SNP (rs3761847) on chromosome 9 for all samples tested, the latter with an odds ratio of 1.32 (95% confidence interval, 1.23 to 1.42; P = 4×10-14). The SNP is in linkage disequilibrium with two genes relevant to chronic inflammation: TRAF1 (encoding tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 1) and C5 (encoding complement component 5).
CONCLUSIONS
A common genetic variant at the TRAF1-C5 locus on chromosome 9 is associated with an increased risk of anti-CCP-positive rheumatoid arthritis.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa073491
PMCID: PMC2636867  PMID: 17804836
10.  Partial correlation analysis indicates causal relationships between GC-content, exon density and recombination rate in the human genome 
BMC Bioinformatics  2009;10(Suppl 1):S66.
Background
Several features are known to correlate with the GC-content in the human genome, including recombination rate, gene density and distance to telomere. However, by testing for pairwise correlation only, it is impossible to distinguish direct associations from indirect ones and to distinguish between causes and effects.
Results
We use partial correlations to construct partially directed graphs for the following four variables: GC-content, recombination rate, exon density and distance-to-telomere. Recombination rate and exon density are unconditionally uncorrelated, but become inversely correlated by conditioning on GC-content. This pattern indicates a model where recombination rate and exon density are two independent causes of GC-content variation.
Conclusion
Causal inference and graphical models are useful methods to understand genome evolution and the mechanisms of isochore evolution in the human genome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-S1-S66
PMCID: PMC2648766  PMID: 19208170
11.  Copy-number-variation and copy-number-alteration region detection by cumulative plots 
BMC Bioinformatics  2009;10(Suppl 1):S67.
Background
Regions with copy number variations (in germline cells) or copy number alteration (in somatic cells) are of great interest for human disease gene mapping and cancer studies. They represent a new type of mutation and are larger-scaled than the single nucleotide polymorphisms. Using genotyping microarray for copy number variation detection has become standard, and there is a need for improving analysis methods.
Results
We apply the cumulative plot to the detection of regions with copy number variation/alteration, on samples taken from a chronic lymphocytic leukemia patient. Two sets of whole-genome genotyping of 317 k single nucleotide polymorphisms, one from the normal cell and another from the cancer cell, are analyzed. We demonstrate the utility of cumulative plot in detecting a 9 Mb (9 ×106 bases) hemizygous deletion and 1 Mb homozygous deletion on chromosome 13. We also show the possibility to detect smaller copy number variation/alteration regions below the 100 kb range.
Conclusion
As a graphic tool, the cumulative plot is an intuitive and a scale-free (window-less) way for detecting copy number variation/alteration regions, especially when such regions are small.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-S1-S67
PMCID: PMC2648736  PMID: 19208171
12.  STAT4 and the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
The New England journal of medicine  2007;357(10):977-986.
BACKGROUND
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease with a substantial genetic component. Susceptibility to disease has been linked with a region on chromosome 2q.
METHODS
We tested single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in and around 13 candidate genes within the previously linked chromosome 2q region for association with rheumatoid arthritis. We then performed fine mapping of the STAT1-STAT4 region in a total of 1620 case patients with established rheumatoid arthritis and 2635 controls, all from North America. Implicated SNPs were further tested in an independent case-control series of 1529 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis and 881 controls, all from Sweden, and in a total of 1039 case patients and 1248 controls from three series of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
RESULTS
A SNP haplotype in the third intron of STAT4 was associated with susceptibility to both rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. The minor alleles of the haplotype-defining SNPs were present in 27% of chromosomes of patients with established rheumatoid arthritis, as compared with 22% of those of controls (for the SNP rs7574865, P = 2.81×10-7; odds ratio for having the risk allele in chromosomes of patients vs. those of controls, 1.32). The association was replicated in Swedish patients with recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis (P = 0.02) and matched controls. The haplotype marked by rs7574865 was strongly associated with lupus, being present on 31% of chromosomes of case patients and 22% of those of controls (P = 1.87×10-9; odds ratio for having the risk allele in chromosomes of patients vs. those of controls, 1.55). Homozygosity of the risk allele, as compared with absence of the allele, was associated with a more than doubled risk for lupus and a 60% increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
CONCLUSIONS
A haplotype of STAT4 is associated with increased risk for both rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, suggesting a shared pathway for these illnesses.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa073003
PMCID: PMC2630215  PMID: 17804842
13.  Genome-Wide Association Scan Identifies Candidate Polymorphisms Associated with Differential Response to Anti-TNF Treatment in Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Molecular Medicine  2008;14(9-10):575-581.
The prediction of response (or non-response) to anti-TNF treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a pressing clinical problem. We conducted a genome-wide association study using the Illumina HapMap300 SNP chip on 89 RA patients prospectively followed after beginning anti-TNF therapy as part of Autoimmune Biomarkers Collaborative Network (ABCoN [Autoimmune Bio-markers Collaborative Network]) patient cohort. Response to therapy was determined by the change in Disease Activity Score (DAS28) observed after 14 wks. We used a two-part analysis that treated the change in DAS28 as a continuous trait and then incorporated it into a dichotomous trait of “good responder” and “nonresponder” by European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria. We corrected for multiple tests by permutation, and adjusted for potential population stratification using EIGENSTRAT. Multiple single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers showed significant associations near or within loci including: the v-maf musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog B (MAFB) gene on chromosome 20; the type I interferon gene IFNk on chromosome 9; and in a locus on chromosome 7 that includes the paraoxonase I (PON1) gene. An SNP in the IL10 promoter (rs1800896) that was previously reported as associated with anti-TNF response was weakly associated with response in this cohort. Replications of these results in independent and larger data sets clearly are required. We provide a reference list of candidate SNPs (P < 0.01) that can be investigated in future pharmacogenomic studies.
doi:10.2119/2008-00056.Liu
PMCID: PMC2443997  PMID: 18615156
14.  Cia5d regulates a new fibroblast-like synoviocyte invasion-associated gene expression signature 
Introduction
The in vitro invasive properties of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) have been shown to correlate with disease severity and radiographic damage. We recently determined that FLSs obtained from pristane-induced arthritis (PIA)-susceptible DA rats are also highly invasive in the same in vitro assay through Matrigel. The transfer of alleles derived from the arthritis-resistant F344 strain at the arthritis severity locus Cia5d (RNO10), as in DA.F344(Cia5d) congenics, was enough to significantly and specifically reduce the invasive properties of FLSs. This genetically controlled difference in FLS invasion involves increased production of soluble membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) by DA, and is dependent on increased activation of MMP-2. In the present study we aimed to characterize the pattern of gene expression that correlates with differences in invasion in order to identify pathways regulated by the Cia5d locus.
Methods
Synovial tissues were collected from DA and DA.F344(Cia5d) rats 21 days after the induction of PIA. Tissues were digested and FLSs isolated. After a minimum of four passages, FLSs were plated on Matrigel-covered dishes at similar densities, followed by RNA extraction. Illumina RatRef-12 expression BeadChip arrays were used. Expression data were normalized, followed by t-test, logistic regression, and cluster analysis. Real-time PCR was used to validate the microarray data.
Results
Out of the 22,523 RefSeq gene probes present in the array, 7,665 genes were expressed by the FLSs. The expression of 66 genes was significantly different between the DA and DA.F344(Cia5d) FLSs (P < 0.01). Nineteen of the 66 differentially expressed genes (28.7%) are involved in the regulation of cell cycle progression or cancer-associated phenotypes, such as invasion and contact inhibition. These included Cxcl10, Vil2 and Nras, three genes that are upregulated in DA and known to regulate MMP-2 expression and activation. Nine of the 66 genes (13.6%) are involved in the regulation of estrogen receptor signaling or transcription. Five candidate genes located within the Cia5d interval were also differentially expressed.
Conclusions
We have identified a novel FLS invasion associated gene expression signature that is regulated by Cia5d. Many of the genes found to be differentially expressed were previously implicated in cancer cell phenotypes, including invasion. This suggests a parallel in the behavior of arthritis FLSs and cancer cells, and identifies novel pathways and genes for therapeutic intervention and prognostication.
doi:10.1186/ar2476
PMCID: PMC2575606  PMID: 18706093
15.  Several Regions in the Major Histocompatibility Complex Confer Risk for Anti-CCP-Antibody Positive Rheumatoid Arthritis, Independent of the DRB1 Locus 
Molecular Medicine  2008;14(5-6):293-300.
Recent evidence suggests that additional risk loci for RA are present in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), independent of the class II HLA-DRB1 locus. We have now tested a total of 1,769 SNPs across 7.5Mb of the MHC located from 6p22.2 (26.03 Mb) to 6p21.32 (33.59 Mb) derived from the Illumina 550K Beadchip (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA). For an initial analysis in the whole dataset (869 RA CCP + cases, 1,193 controls), the strongest association signal was observed in markers near the HLA-DRB1 locus, with additional evidence for association extending out into the Class I HLA region. To avoid confounding that may arise due to linkage disequilibrium with DRB1 alleles, we analyzed a subset of the data by matching cases and controls by DRB1 genotype (both alleles matched 1:1), yielding a set of 372 cases with 372 controls. This analysis revealed the presence of at least two regions of association with RA in the Class I region, independent of DRB1 genotype. SNP alleles found on the conserved A1-B8-DR3 (8.1) haplotype show the strongest evidence of positive association (P ~ 0.00005) clustered in the region around the HLA-C locus. In addition, we identified risk alleles that are not present on the 8.1 haplotype, with maximal association signals (P ~ 0.001–0.0027) located near the ZNF311 locus. This latter association is enriched in DRB1*0404 individuals. Finally, several additional association signals were found in the extreme centromeric portion of the MHC, in regions containing the DOB1, TAP2, DPB1, and COL11A2 genes. These data emphasize that further analysis of the MHC is likely to reveal genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis that are independent of the DRB1 shared epitope alleles.
doi:10.2119/2007-00123.Lee
PMCID: PMC2255558  PMID: 18309376
16.  A comparison of founder-only and all-pedigree-members genotype-expression association by regression analysis 
BMC Proceedings  2007;1(Suppl 1):S8.
Genotype-expression association analysis using linear regression may produce different test results depending on whether founders only or all pedigreed members are used. This difference is not due to the correlation of samples within a pedigree, because linear mixed models have been applied to account for that correlation. We investigated the possibility that the difference is due to a dependence of expression levels on, among other things, the generation number in the pedigree. Indeed, of the 30 or so studied expression quantitative traits, several of them show significant dependence on the generation number. We propose to use all pedigree members in genotype-expression association analyses whenever the complete genotyping information is available.
PMCID: PMC2367500  PMID: 18466582
17.  Elevated Serum Levels of Interferon-Regulated Chemokines Are Biomarkers for Active Human Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(12):e491.
Background
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a serious systemic autoimmune disorder that affects multiple organ systems and is characterized by unpredictable flares of disease. Recent evidence indicates a role for type I interferon (IFN) in SLE pathogenesis; however, the downstream effects of IFN pathway activation are not well understood. Here we test the hypothesis that type I IFN-regulated proteins are present in the serum of SLE patients and correlate with disease activity.
Methods and Findings
We performed a comprehensive survey of the serologic proteome in human SLE and identified dysregulated levels of 30 cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, and soluble receptors. Particularly striking was the highly coordinated up-regulation of 12 inflammatory and/or homeostatic chemokines, molecules that direct the movement of leukocytes in the body. Most of the identified chemokines were inducible by type I IFN, and their levels correlated strongly with clinical and laboratory measures of disease activity.
Conclusions
These data suggest that severely disrupted chemokine gradients may contribute to the systemic autoimmunity observed in human SLE. Furthermore, the levels of serum chemokines may serve as convenient biomarkers for disease activity in lupus.
A comprehensive survey of the serologic proteome in human SLE suggests that severely disrupted chemokine gradients may contribute to the systemic autoimmunity observed.
Editors' Summary
Background.
The term “lupus,” meaning wolf in Latin, is often used as an abbreviation for the disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The name may have been given because some people with SLE have a rash that slightly resembles a wolf's face. The condition affects around 50 to 100 people per 100,000, and is much more common in women than men. SLE is a complicated disease that comes about when antibodies inappropriately attack the body's own connective tissues, although it is not known why this happens. Symptoms vary between different people; the disease may get better and then worse, without explanation; and can affect many different organs including the skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, and brain and nervous system. SLE is difficult for doctors to diagnose. Although the disease cannot be cured, patients who are diagnosed with SLE can be treated for their symptoms, and the right management can slow progress of the disease. One area of SLE research focuses on finding “molecular markers” (e.g., proteins or other compounds) that could be tested for in the blood. Researchers hope this would help doctors to more accurately diagnose SLE initially, and then also help to track progress in a patient's condition.
Why Was This Study Done?
“Gene expression” is a term meaning the process by which a gene's DNA sequence is converted into the structures and functions of a cell. These investigators had found in previous studies that certain genes were more “highly expressed” in the blood cells of patients with SLE. Some of these genes were already known to be regulated by interferons (a group of proteins, produced by certain blood cells, that are important in helping to defend against viral infections). The investigators performing this study wanted to understand more clearly the role of interferon in SLE and to see whether the genes that are more highly expressed in patients with SLE go on to produce higher levels of protein, which might then provide useful markers for monitoring the condition.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
This research project was a “case-control” study, in which the researchers compared the levels of certain proteins in the blood of people who had SLE with the levels in people who did not have the condition. Thirty people were recruited as cases, from a group of patients with SLE who have been under evaluation at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine since 1987. Fifteen controls were recruited from a group of healthy people of similar age and sex as the patients with SLE; everyone involved in the study gave their consent to take part. Blood samples were taken from each individual, and the serum (liquid component of blood) was separated out. The serum levels of 160 different blood proteins were then measured. When comparing levels of blood proteins between the groups, the researchers found that 30 specific proteins were present at higher or lower levels in the SLE-affected patients. Many of these proteins are cytokines, which are regulated by interferons and are involved in the process of “signaling” within the immune system. A few proteins were found at lower levels. Levels of the interferon-regulated proteins were, on average, seen at higher levels in people whose condition was more severe.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results suggest that patients with SLE are likely to have a very different pattern of regulation of certain proteins within the blood, particularly the proteins involved in signaling within the immune system. The authors propose that these proteins may be involved in the progression of the disease. There is also the possibility that some of these proteins may prove useful in diagnostic tests, or in tests for monitoring how the disease progresses. However, before any such tests could be used in clinical practice, they would need to be further developed and then thoroughly tested in clinical trials.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030491
Patient information from the UK National Health Service on systemic lupus erythematosus
Patient handout from the US National Institutes of Health
MedlinePLUS encyclopedia entry on lupus
Information on lupus from the UK Arthritis Research Campaign
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030491
PMCID: PMC1702557  PMID: 17177599
18.  Comparing single-nucleotide polymorphism marker-based and microsatellite marker-based linkage analyses 
BMC Genetics  2005;6(Suppl 1):S13.
We compared linkage analysis results for an alcoholism trait, ALDX1 (DSM-III-R and Feigner criteria) using a nonparametric linkage analysis method, which takes into account allele sharing among several affected persons, for both microsatellite and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers (Affymetrix and Illumina) in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) dataset provided to participants at the Genetic Analysis Workshop 14 (GAW14). The two sets of linkage results from the dense Affymetrix SNP markers and less densely spaced Illumina SNP markers are very similar. The linkage analysis results from microsatellite and SNP markers are generally similar, but the match is not perfect. Strong linkage peaks were found on chromosome 7 in three sets of linkage analyses using both SNP and microsatellite marker data. We also observed that for SNP markers, using the given genetic map and using the map by converting 1 megabase pair (1 Mb) to 1 centimorgan (cM), did not change the linkage results. We recommend the use of the 1 Mb-to-1 cM converted map in a first round of linkage analysis with SNP markers in which map integration is an issue.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-6-S1-S13
PMCID: PMC1866807  PMID: 16451588
19.  Microarray Analyses of Peripheral Blood Cells Identifies Unique Gene Expression Signature in Psoriatic Arthritis 
Molecular Medicine  2005;11(1-12):21-29.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic and erosive form of arthritis of unknown cause. We aimed to characterize the PsA phenotype using gene expression profiling and comparing it with healthy control subjects and patients rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Peripheral blood cells (PBCs) of 19 patients with active PsA and 19 age- and sex-matched control subjects were used in the analyses of PsA, with blood samples collected in PaxGene tubes. A significant alteration in the pattern of expression of 313 genes was noted in the PBCs of PsA patients on Affymetrix U133A arrays: 257 genes were expressed at reduced levels in PsA, and 56 genes were expressed at increased levels, compared with controls. Downregulated genes tended to cluster to certain chromosomal regions, including those containing the psoriasis susceptibility loci PSORS1 and PSORS2. Among the genes with the most significantly reduced expression were those involved in downregulation or suppression of innate and acquired immune responses, such as SIGIRR, STAT3, SHP1, IKBKB, IL-11RA, and TCF7, suggesting inappropriate control that favors proin-flammatory responses. Several members of the MAPK signaling pathway and tumor suppressor genes showed reduced expression. Three proinflammatory genes—S100A8, S100A12, and thioredoxin—showed increased expression. Logistic regression and recursive partitioning analysis determined that one gene, nucleoporin 62 kDa, could correctly classify all controls and 94.7% of the PsA patients. Using a dataset of 48 RA samples for comparison, the combination of two genes, MAP3K3 followed by CACNA1S, was enough to correctly classify all RA and PsA patients. Thus, PBC gene expression profiling identified a gene expression signature that differentiated PsA from RA, and PsA from controls. Several novel genes were differentially expressed in PsA and may prove to be diagnostic biomarkers or serve as new targets for the development of therapies.
doi:10.2119/2006-00003.Gulko
PMCID: PMC1449519  PMID: 16622521
20.  Correlation between quantitative traits and correlation between corresponding LOD scores: detection of pleiotropic effects 
BMC Genetics  2003;4(Suppl 1):S60.
Background
We address the question of whether statistical correlations among quantitative traits lead to correlation of linkage results of these traits. Five measured quantitative traits (total cholesterol, fasting glucose, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides), and one derived quantitative trait (total cholesterol divided by the HDL cholesterol) are used for phenotype correlation studies. Four of them are used for linkage analysis.
Results
We show that although correlation among phenotypes partially reflects the correlation among linkage analysis results, the LOD-score correlations are on average low. The most significant peaks found by using different traits do not often overlap.
Conclusion
Studying covariances at specific locations in LOD scores may provide clues for further bivariate linkage analyses.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-4-S1-S60
PMCID: PMC1866498  PMID: 14975128
21.  Isochores Merit the Prefix 'Iso' 
Genome Biology  2002;3(11):preprint0009.1-preprint0009.15.
We propose that analysis of variance (ANOVA) is more suitable than the binomial test to detect isochores and show that human isochores do exist in the human genome.
The isochore concept in human genome sequence was challenged in an analysis by the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (IHGSC). We argue here that a statement in IGHSC analysis concerning the existence of isochore is incorrect, because it had applied an inappropriate statistical test. To test the existence of isochores should be equivalent to a test of homogeneity of windowed GC%. The statistical test applied in the IHGSC's analysis, the binomial test, is however a test of a sequence being random on the base level. For testing the existence of isochore, or homogeneity in GC%, we propose to use another statistical test: the analysis of variance (ANOVA). It can be shown that DNA sequences that are rejected by binomial test may not be rejected by the ANOVA test.
doi:10.1186/gb-2002-3-11-preprint0009
PMCID: PMC4071271

Results 1-21 (21)