Depression is a heritable trait that exists on a continuum of varying severity and duration. Yet, the search for genetic variants associated with depression has had few successes. We exploit the entire continuum of depression to find common variants for depressive symptoms.
In this genome-wide association study, we combined the results of 17 population-based studies assessing depressive symptoms with the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Replication of the independent top hits (p < 1 × 10−5) was performed in five studies assessing depressive symptoms with other instruments. In addition, we performed a combined meta-analysis of all 22 discovery and replication studies.
The discovery sample comprised 34,549 individuals (mean age of 66.5) and no loci reached genome-wide significance (lowest p = 1.05 × 10−7). Seven independent single nucleotide polymorphisms were considered for replication. In the replication set (n = 16,709), we found suggestive association of one single nucleotide polymorphism with depressive symptoms (rs161645, 5q21, p = 9.19 × 10−3). This 5q21 region reached genome-wide significance (p = 4.78 × 10−8) in the overall meta-analysis combining discovery and replication studies (n = 51,258).
The results suggest that only a large sample comprising more than 50,000 subjects may be sufficiently powered to detect genes for depressive symptoms.
Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; CHARGE consortium; depression; depressive symptoms; genetics; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis
Whether loci that influence fasting glucose (FG) and fasting insulin (FI) levels, as identified by genome-wide association studies, modify associations of diet with FG or FI is unknown. We utilized data from 15 US and European cohort studies comprising 51,289 persons without diabetes to test whether genotype and diet interact to influence FG or FI concentration. We constructed a diet score using study-specific quartile rankings for intakes of whole grains, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts/seeds (favorable) and red/processed meats, sweets, sugared beverages, and fried potatoes (unfavorable). We used linear regression within studies, followed by inverse-variance-weighted meta-analysis, to quantify 1) associations of diet score with FG and FI levels and 2) interactions of diet score with 16 FG-associated loci and 2 FI-associated loci. Diet score (per unit increase) was inversely associated with FG (β = −0.004 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval: −0.005, −0.003) and FI (β = −0.008 ln-pmol/L, 95% confidence interval: −0.009, −0.007) levels after adjustment for demographic factors, lifestyle, and body mass index. Genotype variation at the studied loci did not modify these associations. Healthier diets were associated with lower FG and FI concentrations regardless of genotype at previously replicated FG- and FI-associated loci. Studies focusing on genomic regions that do not yield highly statistically significant associations from main-effect genome-wide association studies may be more fruitful in identifying diet-gene interactions.
diabetes; dietary pattern; gene-environment interaction; glucose; insulin
Ethnic differences in cardiac arrhythmia incidence have been reported, with a particularly high incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and low incidence of atrial fibrillation in individuals of African ancestry. We tested the hypotheses that African ancestry and common genetic variants are associated with prolonged duration of cardiac repolarization, a central pathophysiological determinant of arrhythmia, as measured by the electrocardiographic QT interval.
Methods and Results
First, individual estimates of African and European ancestry were inferred from genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data in seven population-based cohorts of African Americans (n=12 097) and regressed on measured QT interval from electrocardiograms. Second, imputation was performed for 2.8 million SNPs and a genome-wide association (GWA) study of QT interval performed in ten cohorts (n=13 105). There was no evidence of association between genetic ancestry and QT interval (p=0.94). Genome-wide significant associations (p<2.5×10−8) were identified with SNPs at two loci, upstream of the genes NOS1AP (rs12143842, p=2×10−15) and ATP1B1 (rs1320976, p=2×10−10). The most significant SNP in NOS1AP was the same as the strongest SNP previously associated with QT interval in individuals of European ancestry. Low p-values (p<10−5) were observed for SNPs at several other loci previously identified in GWA studies in individuals of European ancestry, including KCNQ1, KCNH2, LITAF and PLN.
We observed no difference in duration of cardiac repolarization with global genetic indices of African ancestry. In addition, our GWA study extends the association of polymorphisms at several loci associated with repolarization in individuals of European ancestry to include African Americans.
electrocardiography; electrophysiology; genome-wide association studies; ion channels; repolarization
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified 36 loci associated with body mass index (BMI), predominantly in populations of European ancestry. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine the association of >3.2 million SNPs with BMI in 39,144 men and women of African ancestry, and followed up the most significant associations in an additional 32,268 individuals of African ancestry. We identified one novel locus at 5q33 (GALNT10, rs7708584, p=3.4×10−11) and another at 7p15 when combined with data from the Giant consortium (MIR148A/NFE2L3, rs10261878, p=1.2×10−10). We also found suggestive evidence of an association at a third locus at 6q16 in the African ancestry sample (KLHL32, rs974417, p=6.9×10−8). Thirty-two of the 36 previously established BMI variants displayed directionally consistent effect estimates in our GWAS (binomial p=9.7×10−7), of which five reached genome-wide significance. These findings provide strong support for shared BMI loci across populations as well as for the utility of studying ancestrally diverse populations.
The PR interval (PR) as measured by the resting, standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) reflects the duration of atrial/atrioventricular nodal depolarization. Substantial evidence exists for a genetic contribution to PR, including genome-wide association studies that have identified common genetic variants at nine loci influencing PR in populations of European and Asian descent. However, few studies have examined loci associated with PR in African Americans.
Methods and Results
We present results from the largest genome-wide association study to date of PR in 13,415 adults of African descent from ten cohorts. We tested for association between PR (ms) and approximately 2.8 million genotyped and imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms. Imputation was performed using HapMap 2 YRI and CEU panels. Study-specific results, adjusted for global ancestry and clinical correlates of PR, were meta-analyzed using the inverse variance method. Variation in genome-wide test statistic distributions was noted within studies (lambda range: 0.9–1.1), although not after genomic control correction was applied to the overall meta-analysis (lambda: 1.008). In addition to generalizing previously reported associations with MEIS1, SCN5A, ARHGAP24, CAV1, and TBX5 to African American populations at the genome-wide significance level (P<5.0×10−8), we also identified a novel locus: ITGA9, located in a region previously implicated in SCN5A expression. The 3p21 region harboring SCN5A also contained two additional independent secondary signals influencing PR (P<5.0×10−8).
This study demonstrates the ability to map novel loci in African Americans as well as the generalizability of loci associated with PR across populations of African, European and Asian descent.
electrocardiography; epidemiology; GWAS; single nucleotide polymorphism genetics; PR interval
Vitamin D is associated with lung health in epidemiologic studies, but mechanisms mediating observed associations are poorly understood. This study explores mechanisms for an effect of vitamin D in lung through an in vivo gene expression study, an expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis in lung tissue, and a population-based cohort study of sequence variants.
Microarray analysis investigated the association of gene expression in small airway epithelial cells with serum 25(OH)D in adult non-smokers. Sequence variants in candidate genes identified by the microarray were investigated in a lung tissue eQTL database, and also in relation to cross-sectional pulmonary function in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) study, stratified by race, with replication in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS).
13 candidate genes had significant differences in expression by serum 25(OH)D (nominal p < 0.05), and a genome-wide significant eQTL association was detected for SGPP2. In Health ABC, SGPP2 SNPs were associated with FEV1 in both European- and African-Americans, and the gene-level association was replicated in European-American FHS participants. SNPs in 5 additional candidate genes (DAPK1, FSTL1, KAL1, KCNS3, and RSAD2) were associated with FEV1 in Health ABC participants.
SGPP2, a sphingosine-1-phosphate phosphatase, is a novel vitamin D-responsive gene associated with lung function. The identified associations will need to be followed up in further studies.
Vitamin D; Airflow obstruction; FEV1; SGPP2; FEV1/FVC
Resistin is a polypeptide hormone that was reported to be associated with insulin resistance, inflammation and risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We conducted a genome-wide association (GWA) study on circulating resistin levels in individuals of European ancestry drawn from the two independent studies: the Nurses' Health Study (n = 1590) and the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study (n = 1658). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in the GWA analysis were replicated in an independent cohort of Europeans: the Gargano Family Study (n = 659). We confirmed the association with a previously known locus, the RETN gene (19p13.2), and identified two novel loci near the TYW3/CRYZ gene (1p31) and the NDST4 gene (4q25), associated with resistin levels at a genome-wide significant level, best represented by SNP rs3931020 (P = 6.37 × 10–12) and SNP rs13144478 (P = 6.19 × 10−18), respectively. Gene expression quantitative trait loci analyses showed a significant cis association between the SNP rs3931020 and CRYZ gene expression levels (P = 3.68 × 10−7). We also found that both of these two SNPs were significantly associated with resistin gene (RETN) mRNA levels in white blood cells from 68 subjects with type 2 diabetes (both P = 0.02). In addition, the resistin-rising allele of the TYW3/CRYZ SNP rs3931020, but not the NDST4 SNP rs13144478, showed a consistent association with increased coronary heart disease risk [odds ratio = 1.18 (95% CI, 1.03–1.34); P = 0.01]. Our results suggest that genetic variants in TYW3/CRYZ and NDST4 loci may be involved in the regulation of circulating resistin levels. More studies are needed to verify the associations of the SNP rs13144478 with NDST4 gene expression and resistin-related disease.
Limited information is available regarding genetic contributions to valvular calcification, which is an important precursor of clinical valve disease.
We determined genomewide associations with the presence of aorticvalve calcification (among 6942 participants) and mitral annular calcification (among 3795 participants), as detected by computed tomographic (CT) scanning; the study population for this analysis included persons of white European ancestry from three cohorts participating in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium (discovery population). Findings were replicated in independent cohorts of persons with either CT-detected valvular calcification or clinical aortic stenosis.
One SNP in the lipoprotein(a) (LPA) locus (rs10455872) reached genomewide significance for the presence of aorticvalve calcification (odds ratio per allele, 2.05; P = 9.0×10−10), a finding that was replicated in additional white European, African-American, and Hispanic-American cohorts (P<0.05 for all comparisons). Genetically determined Lp(a) levels, as predicted by LPA genotype, were also associated with aorticvalve calcification, supporting a causal role for Lp(a). In prospective analyses, LPA genotype was associated with incident aortic stenosis (hazard ratio per allele, 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32 to 2.15) and aortic-valve replacement (hazard ratio, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.05 to 2.27) in a large Swedish cohort; the association with incident aortic stenosis was also replicated in an independent Danish cohort. Two SNPs (rs17659543 and rs13415097) near the proinflammatory gene IL1F9 achieved genomewide significance for mitral annular calcification (P = 1.5×10−8 and P = 1.8×10−8, respectively), but the findings were not replicated consistently.
Genetic variation in the LPA locus, mediated by Lp(a) levels, is associated with aorticvalve calcification across multiple ethnic groups and with incident clinical aortic stenosis. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others.)
Genotyping arrays are a cost effective approach when typing previously-identified genetic polymorphisms in large numbers of samples. One limitation of genotyping arrays with rare variants (e.g., minor allele frequency [MAF] <0.01) is the difficulty that automated clustering algorithms have to accurately detect and assign genotype calls. Combining intensity data from large numbers of samples may increase the ability to accurately call the genotypes of rare variants. Approximately 62,000 ethnically diverse samples from eleven Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium cohorts were genotyped with the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip across seven genotyping centers. The raw data files for the samples were assembled into a single project for joint calling. To assess the quality of the joint calling, concordance of genotypes in a subset of individuals having both exome chip and exome sequence data was analyzed. After exclusion of low performing SNPs on the exome chip and non-overlap of SNPs derived from sequence data, genotypes of 185,119 variants (11,356 were monomorphic) were compared in 530 individuals that had whole exome sequence data. A total of 98,113,070 pairs of genotypes were tested and 99.77% were concordant, 0.14% had missing data, and 0.09% were discordant. We report that joint calling allows the ability to accurately genotype rare variation using array technology when large sample sizes are available and best practices are followed. The cluster file from this experiment is available at www.chargeconsortium.com/main/exomechip.
Background. Chinese herbs are potentially effective for hypertension. Qi Ju Di Huang Wan (QJDHW) is a commonly used Chinese herbal medicine as a monotherapy or in combination with other antihypertensive agents for the treatment of essential hypertension (EH). However, there is no critically appraised evidence such as systematic reviews or meta-analyses on the effectiveness and safety of QJDHW for EH. Methods and Findings. CENTRAL, PubMed, CBM, CNKI, VIP, and online clinical trial registry websites were searched for published and unpublished randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of QJDHW for essential hypertension up to January 2013 with no language restrictions. A total of 10 randomized trials involving 1024 patients were included. Meta-analysis showed that QJDHW combined with antihypertensive drugs was more effective in lowering blood pressure and improving TCM syndrome for the treatment of essential hypertension than antihypertensive drugs used alone. No trials reported severe adverse events related to QJDHW. Conclusions. Our review suggests that QJDHW combined with antihypertensive drugs might be an effective treatment for lowering blood pressure and improving symptoms in patients with essential hypertension. However, the finding should be interpreted with caution because of the poor methodological quality of included trials. There is an urgent need for well-designed, long-term studies to assess the effectiveness of QJDHW in the treatment of essential hypertension.
Background. Tianma Gouteng Yin (TGY) is widely used for essential hypertension (EH) as adjunctive treatment. Many randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of TGY for EH have been published. However, it has not been evaluated to justify their clinical use and recommendation based on TCM zheng classification. Objectives. To assess the current clinical evidence of TGY as adjunctive treatment for EH with liver yang hyperactivity syndrome (LYHS) and liver-kidney yin deficiency syndrome (LKYDS). Search Strategy. 7 electronic databases were searched until November 20, 2012. Inclusion Criteria. RCTs testing TGY combined with antihypertensive drugs versus antihypertensive drugs were included. Data Extraction and Analyses. Study selection, data extraction, quality assessment, and data analyses were conducted according to the Cochrane standards. Results. 22 RCTs were included. Methodological quality was generally low. Except diuretics treatment group, blood pressure was improved in the other 5 subgroups; zheng was improved in angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), calcium channel blockers (CCBs), and “CCB + ACEI” treatment groups. The safety of TGY is still uncertain. Conclusions. No confirmed conclusion about the effectiveness and safety of TGY as adjunctive treatment for EH with LYHS and LKYDS could be made. More rigorous trials are needed to confirm the results.
Recent genome-wide association studies have described many loci implicated in type 2 diabetes (T2D) pathophysiology and beta-cell dysfunction, but contributed little to our understanding of the genetic basis of insulin resistance. We hypothesized that genes implicated in insulin resistance pathways may be uncovered by accounting for differences in body mass index (BMI) and potential interaction between BMI and genetic variants. We applied a novel joint meta-analytical approach to test associations with fasting insulin (FI) and glucose (FG) on a genome-wide scale. We present six previously unknown FI loci at P<5×10−8 in combined discovery and follow-up analyses of 52 studies comprising up to 96,496non-diabetic individuals. Risk variants were associated with higher triglyceride and lower HDL cholesterol levels, suggestive of a role for these FI loci in insulin resistance pathways. The localization of these additional loci will aid further characterization of the role of insulin resistance in T2D pathophysiology.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and concurrent paclitaxel plus cisplatin (TP regimen) for upper esophageal carcinoma.
36 patients of upper esophageal carcinoma were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were treated with IMRT (median 60 Gy) combined with concurrent TP regimen chemotherapy. The Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed in statistical analysis. Toxicities were recorded according to the NCI CTC version 3.0.
36 patients aged 43–73 years (median 57 years). The median follow-up period was 14.0 months. The 1-year and 2-year survival rates were 83.3% and 42.8% respectively. The median progression-free survival (PFS) time and overall survival (OS) time were 12.0 (95% CI: 7.8–16.2 months) and 18.0 months (95% CI: 9.9–26.1 months), respectively. Grade 3 neutropenia, radiation-induced esophagitis and radiodermatitis were observed in 5 (13.9%), 3 (8.3%) and 8 (22.2%) patients respectively. There were two treatment-related deaths due to esophageal perforation and hemorrhea.
For those patients with upper esophageal carcinoma, IMRT combined with concurrent TP regimen chemotherapy was an effective treatment. However, more attention should be paid to the occurrence of perforation and hemorrhea.
Upper esophageal carcinoma; Paclitaxel; Cisplatin; Intensity-modulated radiotherapy
Chronic periodontitis (CP) is a common oral disease that confers substantial systemic inflammatory and microbial burden and is a major cause of tooth loss. Here, we present the results of a genome-wide association study of CP that was carried out in a cohort of 4504 European Americans (EA) participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study (mean age—62 years, moderate CP—43% and severe CP—17%). We detected no genome-wide significant association signals for CP; however, we found suggestive evidence of association (P < 5 × 10−6) for six loci, including NIN, NPY, WNT5A for severe CP and NCR2, EMR1, 10p15 for moderate CP. Three of these loci had concordant effect size and direction in an independent sample of 656 adult EA participants of the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study. Meta-analysis pooled estimates were severe CP (n = 958 versus health: n = 1909)—NPY, rs2521634 [G]: odds ratio [OR = 1.49 (95% confidence interval (CI = 1.28–1.73, P = 3.5 × 10−7))]; moderate CP (n = 2293)—NCR2, rs7762544 [G]: OR = 1.40 (95% CI = 1.24–1.59, P = 7.5 × 10−8), EMR1, rs3826782 [A]: OR = 2.01 (95% CI = 1.52–2.65, P = 8.2 × 10−7). Canonical pathway analysis indicated significant enrichment of nervous system signaling, cellular immune response and cytokine signaling pathways. A significant interaction of NUAK1 (rs11112872, interaction P = 2.9 × 10−9) with smoking in ARIC was not replicated in Health ABC, although estimates of heritable variance in severe CP explained by all single nucleotide polymorphisms increased from 18 to 52% with the inclusion of a genome-wide interaction term with smoking. These genome-wide association results provide information on multiple candidate regions and pathways for interrogation in future genetic studies of CP.
Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CFPWV) is a heritable measure of aortic stiffness that is strongly associated with increased risk for major cardiovascular disease events.
Methods and Results
We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association data in 9 community-based European ancestry cohorts consisting of 20,634 participants. Results were replicated in 2 additional European ancestry cohorts involving 5,306 participants. Based on a preliminary analysis of 6 cohorts, we identified a locus on chromosome 14 in the 3′-BCL11B gene desert that is associated with CFPWV (rs7152623, minor allele frequency = 0.42, beta=−0.075±0.012 SD/allele, P = 2.8 x 10−10; replication beta=−0.086±0.020 SD/allele, P = 1.4 x 10−6). Combined results for rs7152623 from 11 cohorts gave beta=−0.076±0.010 SD/allele, P=3.1x10−15. The association persisted when adjusted for mean arterial pressure (beta=−0.060±0.009 SD/allele, P = 1.0 x 10−11). Results were consistent in younger (<55 years, 6 cohorts, N=13,914, beta=−0.081±0.014 SD/allele, P = 2.3 x 10−9) and older (9 cohorts, N=12,026, beta=−0.061±0.014 SD/allele, P=9.4x10−6) participants. In separate meta-analyses, the locus was associated with increased risk for coronary artery disease (hazard ratio [HR]=1.05, confidence interval [CI]=1.02 to 1.08, P=0.0013) and heart failure (HR=1.10, CI=1.03 to 1.16, P=0.004).
Common genetic variation in a locus in the BCL11B gene desert that is thought to harbor one or more gene enhancers is associated with higher CFPWV and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Elucidation of the role this novel locus plays in aortic stiffness may facilitate development of therapeutic interventions that limit aortic stiffening and related cardiovascular disease events.
aorta; arterial stiffness; pulse wave velocity; genetics; cardiovascular disease
Epigenetic changes are a potential mechanism contributing to race/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health. However, there is scant evidence of the race/ethnic and socioeconomic patterning of epigenetic marks. We used data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Stress Study (N = 988) to describe age- and gender- independent associations of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) with methylation of Alu and LINE-1 repetitive elements in leukocyte DNA. Mean Alu and Line 1 methylation in the full sample were 24% and 81% respectively. In multivariable linear regression models, African-Americans had 0.27% (p<0.01) and Hispanics 0.20% (p<0.05) lower Alu methylation than whites. In contrast, African-Americans had 0.41% (p<0.01) and Hispanics 0.39% (p<0.01) higher LINE-1 methylation than whites. These associations remained after adjustment for SES. In addition, a one standard deviation higher wealth was associated with 0.09% (p<0.01) higher Alu and 0.15% (p<0.01) lower LINE-1 methylation in age- and gender- adjusted models. Additional adjustment for race/ethnicity did not alter this pattern. No associations were observed with income, education or childhood SES. Our findings, from a large community-based sample, suggest that DNA methylation is socially patterned. Future research, including studies of gene-specific methylation, is needed to understand better the opposing associations of Alu and LINE-1 methylation with race/ethnicity and wealth as well as the extent to which small methylation changes in these sequences may influence disparities in health.
Coronary artery calcification (CAC) detected by computed tomography is a non-invasive measure of coronary atherosclerosis, that underlies most cases of myocardial infarction (MI). We aimed to identify common genetic variants associated with CAC and further investigate their associations with MI.
Methods and Results
Computed tomography was used to assess quantity of CAC. A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for CAC was carried out in 9,961 men and women from five independent community-based cohorts, with replication in three additional independent cohorts (n=6,032). We examined the top single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with CAC quantity for association with MI in multiple large genome-wide association studies of MI. Genome-wide significant associations with CAC for SNPs on chromosome 9p21 near CDKN2A and CDKN2B (top SNP: rs1333049, P=7.58×10−19) and 6p24 (top SNP: rs9349379, within the PHACTR1 gene, P=2.65×10−11) replicated for CAC and for MI. Additionally, there is evidence for concordance of SNP associations with both CAC and with MI at a number of other loci, including 3q22 (MRAS gene), 13q34 (COL4A1/COL4A2 genes), and 1p13 (SORT1 gene).
SNPs in the 9p21 and PHACTR1 gene loci were strongly associated with CAC and MI, and there are suggestive associations with both CAC and MI of SNPs in additional loci. Multiple genetic loci are associated with development of both underlying coronary atherosclerosis and clinical events.
cardiac computed tomography; coronary artery calcification; coronary atherosclerosis; genome-wide association studies; myocardial infarction
Meta-analyses of European populations has successfully identified genetic variants in over 100 loci associated with lipid levels, but our knowledge in other ethnicities remains limited. To address this, we performed dense genotyping of ∼2,000 candidate genes in 7,657 African Americans, 1,315 Hispanics and 841 East Asians, using the IBC array, a custom ∼50,000 SNP genotyping array. Meta-analyses confirmed 16 lipid loci previously established in European populations at genome-wide significance level, and found multiple independent association signals within these lipid loci. Initial discovery and in silico follow-up in 7,000 additional African American samples, confirmed two novel loci: rs5030359 within ICAM1 is associated with total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (p = 8.8×10−7 and p = 1.5×10−6 respectively) and a nonsense mutation rs3211938 within CD36 is associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels (p = 13.5×10−12). The rs3211938-G allele, which is nearly absent in European and Asian populations, has been previously found to be associated with CD36 deficiency and shows a signature of selection in Africans and African Americans. Finally, we have evaluated the effect of SNPs established in European populations on lipid levels in multi-ethnic populations and show that most known lipid association signals span across ethnicities. However, differences between populations, especially differences in allele frequency, can be leveraged to identify novel signals, as shown by the discovery of ICAM1 and CD36 in the current report.
Domestic ducks in southern China act as an important reservoir for influenza viruses and have also facilitated the establishment of multiple H6 influenza virus lineages. To understand the continuing evolution of these established lineages, 297 H6 viruses isolated from domestic ducks during 2006 and 2007 were genetically and antigenically analyzed. Phylogenetic analyses showed that group II duck H6 viruses had replaced the previously predominant group I lineage and extended their geographic distribution from coastal to inland regions. Group II H6 virus showed that the genesis and development of multiple types of deletions in the neuraminidase (NA) stalk region could occur in the influenza viruses from domestic ducks. A gradual replacement of the N2 NA subtype with N6 was observed. Significant antigenic changes occurred within group II H6 viruses so that they became antigenically distinguishable from group I and gene pool viruses. Gene exchange between group II H6 viruses and the established H5N1, H9N2, or H6N1 virus lineages in poultry in the region was very limited. These findings suggest that domestic ducks can facilitate significant genetic and antigenic changes in viruses established in this host and highlight gaps in our knowledge of influenza virus ecology and even the evolutionary behavior of this virus family in its aquatic avian reservoirs.
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with a number of common age-related diseases and is a heritable trait. Previous genome-wide association studies (GWASs) identified two loci on chromosomes 3q26.2 (TERC) and 10q24.33 (OBFC1) that are associated with the inter-individual LTL variation. We performed a meta-analysis of 9190 individuals from six independent GWAS and validated our findings in 2226 individuals from four additional studies. We confirmed previously reported associations with OBFC1 (rs9419958 P = 9.1 × 10−11) and with the telomerase RNA component TERC (rs1317082, P = 1.1 × 10−8). We also identified two novel genomic regions associated with LTL variation that map near a conserved telomere maintenance complex component 1 (CTC1; rs3027234, P = 3.6 × 10−8) on chromosome17p13.1 and zinc finger protein 676 (ZNF676; rs412658, P = 3.3 × 10−8) on 19p12. The minor allele of rs3027234 was associated with both shorter LTL and lower expression of CTC1. Our findings are consistent with the recent observations that point mutations in CTC1 cause short telomeres in both Arabidopsis and humans affected by a rare Mendelian syndrome. Overall, our results provide novel insights into the genetic architecture of inter-individual LTL variation in the general population.
Many genetic variants have been associated with glucose homeostasis and type 2 diabetes in genome-wide association studies. Zinc is an essential micronutrient that is important for β-cell function and glucose homeostasis. We tested the hypothesis that zinc intake could influence the glucose-raising effect of specific variants.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We conducted a 14-cohort meta-analysis to assess the interaction of 20 genetic variants known to be related to glycemic traits and zinc metabolism with dietary zinc intake (food sources) and a 5-cohort meta-analysis to assess the interaction with total zinc intake (food sources and supplements) on fasting glucose levels among individuals of European ancestry without diabetes.
We observed a significant association of total zinc intake with lower fasting glucose levels (β-coefficient ± SE per 1 mg/day of zinc intake: −0.0012 ± 0.0003 mmol/L, summary P value = 0.0003), while the association of dietary zinc intake was not significant. We identified a nominally significant interaction between total zinc intake and the SLC30A8 rs11558471 variant on fasting glucose levels (β-coefficient ± SE per A allele for 1 mg/day of greater total zinc intake: −0.0017 ± 0.0006 mmol/L, summary interaction P value = 0.005); this result suggests a stronger inverse association between total zinc intake and fasting glucose in individuals carrying the glucose-raising A allele compared with individuals who do not carry it. None of the other interaction tests were statistically significant.
Our results suggest that higher total zinc intake may attenuate the glucose-raising effect of the rs11558471 SLC30A8 (zinc transporter) variant. Our findings also support evidence for the association of higher total zinc intake with lower fasting glucose levels.
We investigated the influence of genetic variants (rare and common) in the gene encoding periostin (POSTN) on atherosclerosis as measured in arterial specimens from the “Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth” study (PDAY).
METHODS AND RESULTS
A comprehensive survey of common POSTN variants (87 SNPs) in PDAY subjects (n=2,527) identified numerous SNPs associated with raised lesions in abdominal aorta, and with fatty streaks in thoracic aorta. These SNPs belonged to a small number of correlation bins that spanned the entire locus. To examine effects of rare variants, we resequenced POSTN functional regions in PDAY cases with raised lesions (n=291) and controls with no raised lesions (n=294). However, we found no significant associations with case-control status for carriers of POSTN rare variants using the Weighted Sum Method for rare variant analysis.
We identified common variants in POSTN that are associated with arterial lesions in young persons from the PDAY study. This finding strongly supports a role for periostin in atherogenesis, as suggested by recent proteomics analysis that found abundant expression of periostin in atherosclerotic lesions. Genetic variation may influence atherosclerosis via periostin’s known involvement in multiple relevant pathways including angiogenesis, vascular remodeling, and stimulation of migration and differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells.
Smoking tobacco reduces lung function. African Americans have both lower lung function and decreased metabolism of tobacco smoke compared to European Americans. African ancestry is also associated with lower pulmonary function in African Americans. We aimed to determine whether African ancestry modifies the association between smoking and lung function and its rate of decline in African Americans.
We evaluated a prospective ongoing cohort of 1,281 African Americans participating in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study initiated in 1997. We also examined an ongoing prospective cohort initiated in 1985 of 1,223 African Americans in the Coronary Artery Disease in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Pulmonary function and tobacco smoking exposure were measured at baseline and repeatedly over the follow-up period. Individual genetic ancestry proportions were estimated using ancestry informative markers selected to distinguish European and West African ancestry. African Americans with a high proportion of African ancestry had lower baseline forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) per pack-year of smoking (−5.7 ml FEV1/ smoking pack-year) compared with smokers with lower African ancestry (−4.6 ml in FEV1/ smoking pack-year) (interaction P value = 0.17). Longitudinal analyses revealed a suggestive interaction between smoking, and African ancestry on the rate of FEV1 decline in Health ABC and independently replicated in CARDIA.
African American individuals with a high proportion of African ancestry are at greater risk for losing lung function while smoking.
To evaluate the treatment outcome of salvage concurrent radio-chemotherapy for patients with loco-recurrent esophageal cancer after surgery.
50 patients with loco-recurrent squamous-cell cancer after curative esophagectomy were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were treated with radiotherapy (median 60 Gy) combined with chemotherapy consisting of either 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) plus cisplatin (DDP) (R-FP group) or paclitaxel plus DDP (R-TP group).
The median follow-up period was 16.0 months. The 1-year and 3-year survival rates were 56% and 14%, respectively. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) time was 9.8 and 13.3 months respectively. There was no statistical significance of the PFS of the two groups. The OS (median 16.3 months) in the R-TP group was superior to that in the R-FP group (median: 9.8 months) (p = 0.012). Among the patients who had received ≥60 Gy irradiation dose, the median PFS (10.6 months) and OS (16.3 months) were significantly superior to the PFS (8.7 months) and OS (11.3 months) among those patients did not (all p < 0.05). Grade 3 treatment-related gastritis were observed in 6 (27.3%) and 7 (25%) patients in the R-FP and R-TP group respectively. By univariate survival analysis, the age (<60 years), TP regimen and higher irradiation dose might improve the OS of such patients in present study.
For those patients with post-operative loco-recurrent squamous-cell esophageal carcinoma, radiotherapy combined with either FP or TP regimen chemotherapy was an effective salvage treatment. Younger age, treatment with the TP regimen and an irradiation dose ≥60 Gy might improve the patients’ treatment outcome.
Squamous-cell esophageal cancer; Post-operative local recurrence; Salvage radio-chemotherapy; Treatment outcomes; Toxicity