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1.  Genome-wide analysis of copy number variants in age-related macular degeneration 
Human genetics  2010;129(1):91-100.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex genetic disease, with many loci demonstrating appreciable attributable disease risk. Despite significant progress toward understanding the genetic and environmental etiology of AMD, identification of additional risk factors is necessary to fully appreciate and treat AMD pathology. In this study, we investigated copy number variants (CNVs) as potential AMD risk variants in a cohort of 400 AMD patients and 500 AMD-free controls ascertained at the University of Iowa. We used three publicly available copy number programs to analyze signal intensity data from Affymetrix® GeneChip SNP Microarrays. CNVs were ranked based on prevalence in the disease cohort and absence from the control group; high interest CNVs were subsequently confirmed by qPCR. While we did not observe a single-locus “risk CNV” that could account for a major fraction of AMD, we identified several rare and overlapping CNVs containing or flanking compelling candidate genes such as NPHP1 and EFEMP1. These and other candidate genes highlighted by this study deserve further scrutiny as sources of genetic risk for AMD.
doi:10.1007/s00439-010-0904-6
PMCID: PMC3613489  PMID: 20981449
2.  Germline mosaic transmission of a novel duplication of PXDN and MYT1L to two male half-siblings with autism 
Psychiatric Genetics  2012;22(3):137-140.
Objective
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a strong genetic component to susceptibility. Here, we report the molecular characterization of an apparent de novo 281 kb duplication of Chromosome 2p25.3 in two male half-siblings with autism.
Methods
The 2p25.3 duplication was first identified through a low-density microarray, validated with FISH, and duplication breakpoints were delineated using an Affymetrix 6.0 SNP microarray.
Results
FISH results validated the novel copy number variant and revealed the mother to be mosaic, with ~33% of her lymphoblast cells carrying the duplication. Therefore, the duplication was transmitted through the mechanism of germline mosaicism. Additionally, duplication breakpoints were refined and show that PXDN is fully duplicated, while seven exons of the terminal portion of the 25 exon gene MYT1L are within the duplicated region.
Conclusions
MYT1L, a gene predominately expressed in the brain, has recently been linked to other neuropsychiatric illness such as schizophrenia and depression. Results from this study indicate that the 2p25.3 duplication disrupting PXDN and MYT1L is a potential autism-causing variant in the pedigree reported here and should receive further consideration as a candidate gene for autism.
doi:10.1097/YPG.0b013e32834dc3f5
PMCID: PMC3309069  PMID: 22157634
MYT1L; autistic disorder; DNA copy number variations; mosaicism; genetics
3.  Copy Number Variations and Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma 
This study has identified rare and recurrent deletions and duplications in POAG patients in the first large-scale, whole-genome study of structural variation performed in a sample of POAG patients and POAG-free subjects.
Purpose.
This study sought to investigate the role of rare copy number variation (CNV) in age-related disorders of blindness, with a focus on primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Data are reported from a whole-genome copy number screen in a large cohort of 400 individuals with POAG and 500 age-matched glaucoma-free subjects.
Methods.
DNA samples from patients and controls were tested for CNVs using a combination of two microarray platforms. The signal intensity data generated from these arrays were then analyzed with multiple CNV detection programs including CNAG version 2.0, PennCNV, and dChip.
Results.
A total of 11 validated CNVs were identified as recurrent in the POAG set and absent in the age-matched control set. This set included CNVs on 5q23.1 (DMXL1, DTWD2), 20p12 (PAK7), 12q14 (C12orf56, XPOT, TBK1, and RASSF3), 12p13.33 (TULP3), and 10q34.21 (PAX2), among others. The CNVs presented here are exceedingly rare and are not found in the Database of Genomic Variants. Moreover, expression data from ocular tissue support the role of these CNV-implicated genes in vision-related processes. In addition, CNV locations of DMXL1 and PAK7 overlap previously identified linkage signals for glaucoma on 5p23.1 and 20p12, respectively.
Conclusions.
The data are consistent with the hypothesis that rare CNV plays a role in the development of POAG.
doi:10.1167/iovs.10-5606
PMCID: PMC3207715  PMID: 21310917
4.  Autism genome-wide copy number variation reveals ubiquitin and neuronal genes 
Nature  2009;459(7246):569-573.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are childhood neurodevelopmental disorders with complex genetic origins1–4. Previous studies focusing on candidate genes or genomic regions have identified several copy number variations (CNVs) that are associated with an increased risk of ASDs5–9. Here we present the results from a whole-genome CNV study on a cohort of 859 ASD cases and 1,409 healthy children of European ancestry who were genotyped with ~550,000 single nucleotide polymorphism markers, in an attempt to comprehensively identify CNVs conferring susceptibility to ASDs. Positive findings were evaluated in an independent cohort of 1,336 ASD cases and 1,110 controls of European ancestry. Besides previously reported ASD candidate genes, such as NRXN1 (ref. 10) and CNTN4 (refs 11, 12), several new susceptibility genes encoding neuronal cell-adhesion molecules, including NLGN1 and ASTN2, were enriched with CNVs in ASD cases compared to controls (P = 9.5 × 10−3). Furthermore, CNVs within or surrounding genes involved in the ubiquitin pathways, including UBE3A, PARK2, RFWD2 and FBXO40, were affected by CNVs not observed in controls (P = 3.3 × 10−3). We also identified duplications 55 kilobases upstream of complementary DNA AK123120 (P = 3.6 × 10−6). Although these variants may be individually rare, they target genes involved in neuronal cell-adhesion or ubiquitin degradation, indicating that these two important gene networks expressed within the central nervous system may contribute to the genetic susceptibility of ASD.
doi:10.1038/nature07953
PMCID: PMC2925224  PMID: 19404257

Results 1-4 (4)