Twin registries around the globe have collected DNA samples from large numbers of monozygotic and dizygotic twins. The twin sample collections are frequently used as controls in disease-specific studies together with non-twins. This approach is unbiased under the hypothesis that twins and singletons are comparable in terms of allele frequencies; i.e. there are no genetic variants associated with being a twin per se. To test this hypothesis we performed a genome-wide association study comparing the allele frequency of 572,352 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 1,413 monozygotic (MZ) and 5,451 dizygotic (DZ) twins with 3,720 healthy singletons. Twins and singletons have been genotyped using the same platform. SNPs showing association with being a twin at P-value < 1 × 10-5 were selected for replication analysis in 1,492 twins (463 MZ and 1,029 DZ) and 1,880 singletons from Finland. No SNPs reached genome-wide significance (P-value < 5 × 10-8) in the main analysis combining MZ and DZ twins. In a secondary analysis including only DZ twins two SNPs (rs2033541 close to ADAMTSL1 and rs4149283 close to ABCA1) were genome-wide significant after meta-analysis with the Finnish population. The estimated proportion of variance on the liability scale explained by all SNPs was 0.08 (P-value=0.003) when MZ and DZ were considered together and smaller for MZ (0.06, P-value=0.10) compared to DZ (0.09, P-value=0.003) when analyzed separately. In conclusion, twins and singletons can be used in genetic studies together with general population samples without introducing large bias. Further research is needed to explore genetic variances associated with DZ twinning.
Most of the previously reported loci for total immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels are related to Th2 cell-dependent pathways. We undertook a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genetic loci responsible for IgE regulation. A total of 479,940 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were tested for association with total serum IgE levels in 1180 Japanese adults. Fine-mapping with SNP imputation demonstrated 6 candidate regions: the PYHIN1/IFI16, MHC classes I and II, LEMD2, GRAMD1B, and chr13∶60576338 regions. Replication of these candidate loci in each region was assessed in 2 independent Japanese cohorts (n = 1110 and 1364, respectively). SNP rs3130941 in the HLA-C region was consistently associated with total IgE levels in 3 independent populations, and the meta-analysis yielded genome-wide significance (P = 1.07×10−10). Using our GWAS results, we also assessed the reproducibility of previously reported gene associations with total IgE levels. Nine of 32 candidate genes identified by a literature search were associated with total IgE levels after correction for multiple testing. Our findings demonstrate that SNPs in the HLA-C region are strongly associated with total serum IgE levels in the Japanese population and that some of the previously reported genetic associations are replicated across ethnic groups.
A recent meta-analysis suggested an association between exposure to paternal smoking during pregnancy and childhood brain tumor risk, but no studies have evaluated whether this association differs by polymorphisms in genes that metabolize tobacco-smoke chemicals.
We assessed 9 functional polymorphisms in 6 genes that affect the metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) to evaluate potential interactions with parental smoking during pregnancy in a population-based case-control study of childhood brain tumors. Cases (N = 202) were ≤10 years old, diagnosed from 1984–1991 and identified in three Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries in the western U.S. Controls in the same regions (N = 286) were frequency matched by age, sex, and study center. DNA for genotyping was obtained from archived newborn dried blood spots.
We found positive interaction odds ratios (ORs) for both maternal and paternal smoking during pregnancy, EPHX1 H139R, and childhood brain tumors (Pinteraction = 0.02; 0.10), such that children with the high-risk (greater PAH activation) genotype were at a higher risk of brain tumors relative to children with the low-risk genotype when exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy. A dose-response pattern for paternal smoking was observed among children with the EPHX1 H139R high-risk genotype only (ORno exposure = 1.0; OR≤3
hours/day = 1.32, 95% CI: 0.52–3.34; OR>3hours/day = 3.18, 95% CI: 0.92–11.0; Ptrend = 0.07).
Parental smoking during pregnancy may be a risk factor for childhood brain tumors among genetically susceptible children who more rapidly activate PAH in tobacco smoke.
Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. We performed RNA-sequencing in primary human hepatocytes activated with synthetic dsRNA to mimic HCV infection. Upstream of IFNL3 (IL28B) on chromosome 19q13.13, we discovered a novel, transiently induced region that harbors dinucleotide variant ss469415590 (TT/ΔG), which is in high linkage disequilibrium with rs12979860, a genetic marker strongly associated with HCV clearance. ss469415590-ΔG is a frame-shift variant that creates a novel primate-specific gene, designated interferon lambda 4 (IFNL4), which encodes a protein of moderate similarity with IFNL3. Compared to rs12979860, ss469415590 is more strongly associated with HCV clearance in individuals of African ancestry, whereas it provides comparable information in Europeans and Asians. Transient over-expression of IFNL4 in a hepatoma cell line induced STAT1/STAT2 phosphorylation and expression of interferon-stimulated genes. Our findings provide new insights into the genetic regulation of HCV clearance and its clinical management.
Migraine is a common neurological episodic disorder with a female-to-male prevalence 3- to 4-fold higher, suggesting a possible X-linked genetic component. Our aims were to assess the role of common variants of gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor (GABAAR) genes, located in the X-chromosome, in migraine susceptibility and the possible interaction between them. An association study with 188 unrelated cases and 286 migraine-free controls age- and ethnic matched was performed. Twenty-three tagging SNPs were selected in three genes (GABRE, GABRA3 and GABRQ). Allelic, genotypic and haplotypic frequencies were compared between cases and controls. We also focused on gene-gene interactions. The AT genotype of rs3810651 of GABRQ gene was associated with an increased risk for migraine (OR: 4.07; 95% CI: 1.71-9.73, p=0.002), while the CT genotype of rs3902802 (OR: 0.41; 95% CI: 0.21-0.78, p=0.006) and GA genotype of rs2131190 of GABRA3 gene (OR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.32-0.88, p=0.013) seem to be protective factors. All associations were found in the female group and maintained significance after Bonferroni correction. We also found three nominal associations in the allelic analyses although there were no significant results in the haplotypic analyses. Strikingly, we found strong interactions between six SNPs encoding for different subunits of GABAAR, all significant after permutation correction. To our knowledge, we show for the first time, the putative involvement of polymorphisms in GABAAR genes in migraine susceptibility and more importantly we unraveled a role for novel gene-gene interactions opening new perspectives for the development of more effective treatments.
SNPs in the Prostate Stem Cell Antigen (PSCA) gene have been found associated with gastric cancer (GC) risk in a genome-wide association study. This association has been replicated in several populations. In this study we assessed the impact of PSCA genotype on the risk of advanced gastric precancerous lesions and GC. We used baseline gastric histopathology data and DNA from frozen gastric biopsies of 2045 subjects enrolled in a chemoprevention trial for gastric precancerous lesions in Venezuela, and 180 cases of GC from the same area. We analyzed 3 SNPs in the PSCA gene (rs2294008, rs9297976 and rs12155758) which were previously found to be associated with GC risk in Europeans. The T allele of rs2294008 was found to be associated with a higher prevalence of atrophic gastritis (OR = 1.44; 95% CI 1.03–2.01 for the dominant model) and intestinal metaplasia (OR = 1.50; 95% CI 1.13–1.98 for the dominant model). We also confirmed the association with higher risk of gastric cancer (OR = 2.34; 95% CI 1.36–4.01 for the allele carriers). SNP rs12155758 was not associated with risk of gastric preneoplastic lesions, but we confirmed its association with higher GC risk (OR 1.95; 95% CI 1.29–2.97 for dominant model). We tested the relevance of the presence of the Helicobacter pylori cagA gene, which is known to increase the risk of more severe gastric lesions, but we did not find any clearcut interaction with PSCA SNPs in defining risk of gastric precancerous lesions or cancer.
Genomic deletion at tumor suppressor loci is a common genetic aberration in human cancers. The study aimed to explore candidate tumor suppressor genes at chromosome 4q25-q28.2 and to delineate novel prognostic biomarkers associated with colorectal cancer (CRC).
Deletion mapping of chromosome 4q25-q28.2 was conducted in 114 sporadic CRC by loss of heterozygosity study with 11 microsatellite markers. A novel candidate tumor suppressor gene, namely NDST4, was identified at 4q26. Gene expression of NDST4 was investigated in 52 pairs of primary CRC tissues by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Allelic loss of NDST4 gene was further determined in 174 colorectal carcinomas by loss of heterozygosity analysis, and then was assessed for clinical relevance.
One minimal deletion region was delineated between D4S2297 and D4S2303 loci at 4q26, where NDST4 was the only gene that had markedly been downregulated in CRC tumors. By laser capture microdissection, NDST4 RNA expression was demonstrated in colonic epithelial cells, but was undetectable in tumor cells. In total, 30 (57.7%) of 52 colorectal carcinomas showed a dramatic reduction in NDST4 gene expression compared with matched normal mucosae. The genetic loss of NDST4 was significantly associated with advanced pathological stage (P = 0.039) and poorer overall survival of patients (P = 0.036).
NDST4 gene is a novel candidate tumor suppressor gene in human cancer, and the loss of its function might be involved in CRC progression. In addition, the loss of heterozygosity assay, which was established to determine the allelic loss of NDST4 gene, could be a cost-effective tool for providing a useful biomarker of adverse prognosis in CRC.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a number of loci/SNPs associated with plasma total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglyceride (TG) levels. The purpose of this study was to replicate 40 recent GWAS-identified HDL-C-related new loci in 3 epidemiological samples comprising U.S. non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs), U.S. Hispanics, and African Blacks. In each sample, the association analyses were performed with all 4 major lipid traits regardless of previously reported specific associations with selected SNPs. A total of 22 SNPs showed nominally significant association (p<0.05) with at least one lipid trait in at least one ethnic group, although not always with the same lipid traits reported as genome-wide significant in the original GWAS. The total number of significant loci was 10 for TC, 12 for LDL-C, 10 for HDL-C, and 6 for TG levels. Ten SNPs were significantly associated with more than one lipid trait in at least one ethnic group. Six SNPs were significantly associated with at least one lipid trait in more than one ethnic group, although not always with the same trait across various ethnic groups. For 25 SNPs, the associations were replicated with the same genome-wide significant lipid traits in the same direction in at least one ethnic group; at nominal significance for 13 SNPs and with a trend for association for 12 SNPs. However, the associations were not consistently present in all ethnic groups. This observation was consistent with mixed results obtained in other studies that also examined various ethnic groups.
Pathogenic germline mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 are detected in less than one third of families with a strong history of breast cancer. It is therefore expected that mutations still remain undetected by currently used screening methods. In addition, a growing number of BRCA1/2 sequence variants of unclear pathogen significance are found in the families, constituting an increasing clinical challenge. New methods are therefore needed to improve the detection rate and aid the interpretation of the clinically uncertain variants. In this study we analyzed a series of 33 BRCA1, 22 BRCA2, and 128 sporadic tumors by RNA profiling to investigate the classification potential of RNA profiles to predict BRCA1/2 mutation status. We found that breast tumors from BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers display characteristic RNA expression patterns, allowing them to be distinguished from sporadic tumors. The majority of BRCA1 tumors were basal-like while BRCA2 tumors were mainly luminal B. Using RNA profiles, we were able to distinguish BRCA1 tumors from sporadic tumors among basal-like tumors with 83% accuracy and BRCA2 from sporadic tumors among luminal B tumors with 89% accuracy. Furthermore, subtype-specific BRCA1/2 gene signatures were successfully validated in two independent data sets with high accuracies. Although additional validation studies are required, indication of BRCA1/2 involvement (“BRCAness”) by RNA profiling could potentially be valuable as a tool for distinguishing pathogenic mutations from benign variants, for identification of undetected mutation carriers, and for selecting patients sensitive to new therapeutics such as PARP inhibitors.
A recent genome-wide association study of bladder cancer identified the UGT1A gene cluster on chromosome 2q37.1 as a novel susceptibility locus. The UGT1A cluster encodes a family of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs), which facilitate cellular detoxification and removal of aromatic amines. Bioactivated forms of aromatic amines found in tobacco smoke and industrial chemicals are the main risk factors for bladder cancer. The association within the UGT1A locus was detected by a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs11892031. Now, we performed detailed resequencing, imputation and genotyping in this region. We clarified the original genetic association detected by rs11892031 and identified an uncommon SNP rs17863783 that explained and strengthened the association in this region (allele frequency 0.014 in 4035 cases and 0.025 in 5284 controls, OR = 0.55, 95%CI = 0.44–0.69, P = 3.3 × 10−7). Rs17863783 is a synonymous coding variant Val209Val within the functional UGT1A6.1 splicing form, strongly expressed in the liver, kidney and bladder. We found the protective T allele of rs17863783 to be associated with increased mRNA expression of UGT1A6.1 in in-vitro exontrap assays and in human liver tissue samples. We suggest that rs17863783 may protect from bladder cancer by increasing the removal of carcinogens from bladder epithelium by the UGT1A6.1 protein. Our study shows an example of genetic and functional role of an uncommon protective genetic variant in a complex human disease, such as bladder cancer.
A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified susceptibility loci for dengue shock syndrome (DSS) at MICB rs3132468 and PLCE1 rs3740360. The aim of this study was to define the extent to which MICB (rs3132468) and PLCE1 (rs3740360) were associated with less severe clinical phenotypes of pediatric and adult dengue.
3961 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases and 5968 controls were genotyped at MICB rs3132468 and PLCE1 rs3740360. Per-allele odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for each patient cohort. Pooled analyses were performed for adults and paediatrics respectively using a fixed effects model.
Pooled analysis of the paediatric and adult cohorts indicated a significant association between MICB rs3132468 and dengue cases without shock (OR = 1.15; 95%CI: 1.07 – 1.24; P = 0.0012). Similarly, pooled analysis of pediatric and adult cohorts indicated a significant association between dengue cases without shock and PLCE1 rs3740360 (OR = 0.92; 95%CI: 0.85 – 0.99; P = 0.018). We also note significant association between both SNPs (OR = 1.48; P = 0.0075 for MICB rs3132468 and OR = 0.75, P = 0.041 for PLCE1 rs3740360) and dengue in infants.
This study confirms that the MICB rs3132468 and PLCE1 rs3740360 risk genotypes are not only associated with DSS, but are also associated with less severe clinical phenotypes of dengue, as well as with dengue in infants. These findings have implications for our understanding of dengue pathogenesis.
Early, vigorous intrahepatic induction of interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene (ISG) induction is a feature of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, even though HCV inhibits the induction of type I IFNs in vitro. To identify the cytokines and cells that drive ISG induction and mediate antiviral activity during acute HCV infection, type I and III IFN responses were studied in (1) serial liver biopsies and plasma samples obtained from 6 chimpanzees throughout acute HCV infection and (2) primary human hepatocyte (PHH) cultures upon HCV infection. Type I IFNs were minimally induced at the messenger RNA (mRNA) level in the liver and were undetectable at the protein level in plasma during acute HCV infection of chimpanzees. In contrast, type III IFNs, in particular, interleukin (IL)-29 mRNA and protein, were strongly induced and these levels correlated with ISG expression and viremia. However, there was no association between intrahepatic or peripheral type III IFN levels and the outcome of acute HCV infection. Infection of PHH with HCV recapitulated strong type III and weak type I IFN responses. Supernatants from HCV-infected PHH cultures mediated antiviral activity upon transfer to HCV-replicon–containing cells. This effect was significantly reduced by neutralization of type III IFNs and less by neutralization of type I IFNs. Furthermore, IL-29 production by HCV-infected PHH occurred independently from type I IFN signaling and was not enhanced by the presence of plasmacytoid dendritic cells.
Hepatocyte-derived type III IFNs contribute to ISG induction and antiviral activity, but are not the principal determinant of the outcome of HCV infection.
MicroRNA155 plays an important role in many solid malignancies. Expression and function of miR-155 in laryngeal carcinoma have not been fully understood. This study aims to investigate the expression and function of miR-155 in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC), the relationship between miR-155 and its downstream target suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1)-STAT3 pathway, and the related clinicopathological factors. Sixty-three samples of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma and twenty-one samples of control mucosa obtained from total laryngectomy cases were analyzed using Western blot analysis and real-time PCR. Hep-2 cells were cultured and transfected with miR-155 mimic and ASO. Cell proliferation, migration and invasion assays were used to determine the role of miR-155 in regulation of LSCC growth, migration, and invasion, respectively. The expression levels of miR-155 in LSCC were significantly higher than those in the control mucosa tissues. Downregulation of SOCS1 expression and elevated expression of STAT3 were also observed in LSCC. The relevance of the three factors were statistically significant. Moreover, knockdown of miR-155 elevated SOCS1expression level, suppressed STAT3 expression, and inhibited hep-2 cells growth, migration and invasion. Whereas overexpression of miR-155 inhibited SOCS1expression, elevated STAT3 expression, and promoted hep-2 cells growth, migration and invasion. Furthermore, the miR-155 levels in T3 T4 stages, and poor/moderate cell differentiation were significantly higher than those in T2 stage and higher degree of cell differentiation. The STAT3 protein in poor/moderate cell differentiation was significantly higher than those in higher degree of cell differentiation. We firstly demonstrated the aberrant expression and function of miR-155 and itsdownstream targets in LSCC. The current findings suggest that miR-155 play promotingrole during the development of LSCC, and miR-155 may be a useful marker for the prognosis and assessment of therapeutic effects.
PBOV1 is a known human protein-coding gene with an uncharacterized function. We have previously found that PBOV1 lacks orthologs in non-primate genomes and is expressed in a wide range of tumor types. Here we report that PBOV1 protein-coding sequence is human-specific and has originated de novo in the primate evolution through a series of frame-shift and stop codon mutations. We profiled PBOV1 expression in multiple cancer and normal tissue samples and found that it was expressed in 19 out of 34 tumors of various origins but completely lacked expression in any of the normal adult or fetal human tissues. We found that, unlike the cancer/testis antigens that are typically controlled by CpG island-containing promoters, PBOV1 was expressed from a GC-poor TATA-containing promoter which was not influenced by CpG demethylation and was inactive in testis. Our analysis of public microarray data suggests that PBOV1 activation in tumors could be dependent on the Hedgehog signaling pathway. Despite the recent de novo origin and the lack of identifiable functional signatures, a missense SNP in the PBOV1 coding sequence has been previously associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Using publicly available microarray datasets, we found that high levels of PBOV1 expression in breast cancer and glioma samples were significantly associated with a positive outcome of the cancer disease. We also found that PBOV1 was highly expressed in primary but not in recurrent high-grade gliomas, suggesting the presence of a negative selection against PBOV1-expressing cancer cells. Our findings could contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms behind de novo gene origin and the possible role of tumors in this process.
Measles virus (MV) causes T cell suppression by interference with phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) activation. We previously found that this interference affected the activity of splice regulatory proteins and a T cell inhibitory protein isoform was produced from an alternatively spliced pre-mRNA.
Differentially regulated and alternatively splice variant transcripts accumulating in response to PI3K abrogation in T cells potentially encode proteins involved in T cell silencing.
To test this hypothesis at the cellular level, we performed a Human Exon 1.0 ST Array on RNAs isolated from T cells stimulated only or stimulated after PI3K inhibition. We developed a simple algorithm based on a splicing index to detect genes that undergo alternative splicing (AS) or are differentially regulated (RG) upon T cell suppression.
Applying our algorithm to the data, 9% of the genes were assigned as AS, while only 3% were attributed to RG. Though there are overlaps, AS and RG genes differed with regard to functional regulation, and were found to be enriched in different functional groups. AS genes targeted extracellular matrix (ECM)-receptor interaction and focal adhesion pathways, while RG genes were mainly enriched in cytokine-receptor interaction and Jak-STAT. When combined, AS/RG dependent alterations targeted pathways essential for T cell receptor signaling, cytoskeletal dynamics and cell cycle entry.
PI3K abrogation interferes with key T cell activation processes through both differential expression and alternative splicing, which together actively contribute to T cell suppression.
Common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 with modest effects on PC1/3 in vitro have been associated with obesity in five genome-wide association studies and with diabetes in one genome-wide association study. We here present a novel SNP and compare its biosynthesis, secretion and catalytic activity to wild-type enzyme and to SNPs that have been linked to obesity.
A novel PC1/3 variant introducing an Arg to Gln amino acid substitution at residue 80 (within the secondary cleavage site of the prodomain) (rs1799904) was studied. This novel variant was selected for analysis from the 1000 Genomes sequencing project based on its predicted deleterious effect on enzyme function and its comparatively more frequent allele frequency. The actual existence of the R80Q (rs1799904) variant was verified by Sanger sequencing. The effects of this novel variant on the biosynthesis, secretion, and catalytic activity were determined; the previously-described obesity risk SNPs N221D (rs6232), Q665E/S690T (rs6234/rs6235), and the Q665E and S690T SNPs (analyzed separately) were included for comparative purposes. The novel R80Q (rs1799904) variant described in this study resulted in significantly detrimental effects on both the maturation and in vitro catalytic activity of PC1/3.
Our findings that this novel R80Q (rs1799904) variant both exhibits adverse effects on PC1/3 activity and is prevalent in the population suggests that further biochemical and genetic analysis to assess its contribution to the risk of metabolic disease within the general population is warranted.
A monoclonal antibody against prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) has emerged as a novel cancer therapy currently being tested in clinical trials for prostate and pancreatic cancers, but this treatment is likely to be efficient only in patients with PSCA-expressing tumors. The present study demonstrates that a genetic variant (rs2294008) discovered by bladder cancer genome-wide association studies is a strong predictor of PSCA protein expression in bladder tumors, as measured by two-sided multivariable linear regression (P = 6.46×10−11; n = 278). The association pattern is similar in non-muscle-invasive tumors, stages Ta (P = 3.10×10−5; n = 173) and T1 (P = 2.64×10−5; n = 60), and muscle-invasive tumors, stages T2 (P =.01; n = 23) and T3/4 (P =.03; n = 22). The study suggests that anti-PSCA immunotherapy might be beneficial for bladder cancer patients with high tumor PSCA expression, which is statistically significantly associated with the presence of CT and TT genotypes of a common genetic variant, rs2294008. Future clinical studies will be needed to validate PSCA as a therapeutic target for bladder cancer.
Among 1369 Urban Health Study participants, we evaluated genetic models for the association of IL28B genotype (rs12979860 and rs8099917) with hepatitis C virus (HCV) clearance. For rs12979860, adjusted odds ratios for spontaneous HCV clearance were as follows: IL28B-CC, 3.88 (P < .001); IL28B-CT, 1.48 (P = .08). On the basis of Akaike information criteria values and χ2 tests, a supra-additive (quadratic) model fit these data best. Models based on rs8099917 provided poorer fit. Evidence that a supra-additive rs12979860-based model best fits the association of IL28B-genotype with HCV clearance may improve clinical prediction models and foster a better understanding of functional mechanisms underlying this association.
Prostate cancer is the most frequent and second most lethal cancer in men in the United States. Innate immunity and inflammation may increase the risk of prostate cancer. To determine the role of innate immunity and inflammation in advanced prostate cancer, we investigated the association of 320 single nucleotide polymorphisms, located in 46 genes involved in this pathway, with disease risk using 494 cases with advanced disease and 536 controls from Cleveland, Ohio. Taken together, the whole pathway was associated with advanced prostate cancer risk (P = 0.02). Two sub-pathways (intracellular antiviral molecules and extracellular pattern recognition) and four genes in these sub-pathways (TLR1, TLR6, OAS1, and OAS2) were nominally associated with advanced prostate cancer risk and harbor several SNPs nominally associated with advanced prostate cancer risk. Our results suggest that the innate immunity and inflammation pathway may play a modest role in the etiology of advanced prostate cancer through multiple small effects.
More than 400 cancer genes have been identified in the human genome. The list is not yet complete. Statistical models predicting cancer genes may help with identification of novel cancer gene candidates. We used known prostate cancer (PCa) genes (identified through KnowledgeNet) as a training set to build a binary logistic regression model identifying PCa genes. Internal and external validation of the model was conducted using a validation set (also from KnowledgeNet), permutations, and external data on genes with recurrent prostate tumor mutations. We evaluated a set of 33 gene characteristics as predictors. Sixteen of the original 33 predictors were significant in the model. We found that a typical PCa gene is a prostate-specific transcription factor, kinase, or phosphatase with high interindividual variance of the expression level in adjacent normal prostate tissue and differential expression between normal prostate tissue and primary tumor. PCa genes are likely to have an antiapoptotic effect and to play a role in cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and cell adhesion. Their proteins are likely to be ubiquitinated or sumoylated but not acetylated. A number of novel PCa candidates have been proposed. Functional annotations of novel candidates identified antiapoptosis, regulation of cell proliferation, positive regulation of kinase activity, positive regulation of transferase activity, angiogenesis, positive regulation of cell division, and cell adhesion as top functions. We provide the list of the top 200 predicted PCa genes, which can be used as candidates for experimental validation. The model may be modified to predict genes for other cancer sites.
Genome-wide and candidate-gene association studies of bladder cancer have identified 10 susceptibility loci thus far. We conducted a meta-analysis of two previously published genome-wide scans (4501 cases and 6076 controls of European background) and followed up the most significant association signals [17 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 10 genomic regions] in 1382 cases and 2201 controls from four studies. A combined analysis adjusted for study center, age, sex, and smoking status identified a novel susceptibility locus that mapped to a region of 18q12.3, marked by rs7238033 (P = 8.7 × 10–9; allelic odds ratio 1.20 with 95% CI: 1.13–1.28) and two highly correlated SNPs, rs10775480/rs10853535 (r2= 1.00; P = 8.9 × 10–9; allelic odds ratio 1.16 with 95% CI: 1.10–1.22). The signal localizes to the solute carrier family 14 member 1 gene, SLC14A1, a urea transporter that regulates cellular osmotic pressure. In the kidney, SLC14A1 regulates urine volume and concentration whereas in erythrocytes it determines the Kidd blood groups. Our findings suggest that genetic variation in SLC14A1 could provide new etiological insights into bladder carcinogenesis.
Many differentially methylated genes have been identified in prostate cancer (PCa), primarily using candidate gene-based assays. Recently, several global DNA methylation profiles have been reported in PCa, however, each of these has weaknesses in terms of ability to observe global DNA methylation alterations in PCa. We hypothesize that there remains unidentified aberrant DNA methylation in PCa, which may be identified using higher resolution assay methods. We used the newly developed Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip in PCa (n = 19) and adjacent normal tissues (n = 4) and combined these with gene expression data for identifying new DNA methylation that may have functional consequences in PCa development and progression. We also confirmed our methylation results in an independent data set. Two aberrant DNA methylation genes were validated among an additional 56 PCa samples and 55 adjacent normal tissues. A total 28,735 CpG sites showed significant differences in DNA methylation (FDR adjusted P<0.05), defined as a mean methylation difference of at least 20% between PCa and normal samples. Furthermore, a total of 122 genes had more than one differentially methylated CpG site in their promoter region and a gene expression pattern that was inverse to the direction of change in DNA methylation (e.g. decreased expression with increased methylation, and vice-versa). Aberrant DNA methylation of two genes, AOX1 and SPON2, were confirmed via bisulfate sequencing, with most of the respective CpG sites showing significant differences between tumor samples and normal tissues. The AOX1 promoter region showed hypermethylation in 92.6% of 54 tested PCa samples in contrast to only three out of 53 tested normal tissues. This study used a new BeadChip combined with gene expression data in PCa to identify novel differentially methylated CpG sites located within genes. The newly identified differentially methylated genes may be used as biomarkers for PCa diagnosis.
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), resulting from the inhalation of silica-containing coal mine dust, is characterized by fibrosing nodular lesions that eventually develop into progressive pulmonary fibrosis. Recently, it has been hypothesized that inflammasomes could have a crucial role in the host response to silica and recent studies show that the inflammasome contributes to inflammation and pulmonary fibrosis. NLRP3, CARD8 are components of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which triggers caspase 1-mediated IL-1β and IL-18 release. In the present study, we investigated whether common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in inflammasome genes are associated with CWP.
We performed an association study analyzing 3 NLRP3, 1 CARD8, 1 IL-1β, 2 IL-18 SNPs in a case-control study of 697 CWP and 694 controls. Genotyping was carried out by the TaqMan method.
The NLRP3 rs1539019 TT genotype was associated with a significantly increased risk of CWP (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.07–1.81), compared with the GG/GT genotype, in particular among smokers (adjusted OR = 1.67, 95%CI = 1.15–2.42). In addition, the polymorphism was significantly associated with risk of CWP patients with stage I.
This is the first report showing an association between the NLRP3 rs1539019 polymorphism and CWP, and suggests that this polymorphism may confer increased risk for the development of the disease. Further studies are warranted to confirm our findings.
Cancer genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many common genetic markers located in non-coding regions of the genome. Two notable examples are the multi-cancer susceptibility regions, 8q24.2 and 11q13.3. Since these GWAS signals localize to gene-poor regions, we investigated genetic variants within pre-microRNA (pre-miRNA) transcripts as a possible link between the GWAS findings and the associated molecular phenotypes. Across the two regions, which contain 37 miRNAs genes, we explored genetic variants by surveying public databases and conducting targeted resequencing. Specifically, we investigated one common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within miR-1206 on 8q24.2 and two SNPs within miR-612 on 11q13.3. Though these variants are not correlated with known GWAS signals, we conjectured that they might be important for function of corresponding miRNAs. To test the functional significance of these genetic variants, we cloned both allelic forms of miR-1206 and miR-612 pre-miRNA into expression vectors and assessed biogenesis of mature miRNA-forms. The two SNPs within miR-612 significantly affected expression of mature miR-612 in a cell-type specific manner; enhancement in prostate cancer cell lines, reduction in colon cancer cells, and no effect in breast cancer cell lines. The SNP within miR-1206 also affected expression of mature miR-1206, but not in a cell-type specific manner. Future studies should identify targets of miR-1206 and miR-612 and help understand the biological roles of these miRNAs and their possible role in carcinogenesis.
The DUSP9 locus on chromosome X was identified as a susceptibility locus for type 2 diabetes in a meta-analysis of European genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and GWAS in South Asian populations identified 6 additional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci for type 2 diabetes. However, the association of these loci with type 2 diabetes have not been examined in the Japanese. We performed a replication study to investigate the association of these 7 susceptibility loci with type 2 diabetes in the Japanese population.
We genotyped 11,319 Japanese participants (8,318 with type 2 diabetes and 3,001 controls) for each of the 7 SNPs–rs5945326 near DUSP9, rs3923113 near GRB14, rs16861329 in ST6GAL1, rs1802295 in VPS26A, rs7178572 in HMG20A, rs2028299 near AP3S2, and rs4812829 in HNF4A–and examined the association of each of these 7 SNPs with type 2 diabetes by using logistic regression analysis.
All SNPs had the same direction of effect (odds ratio [OR]>1.0) as in the original reports. One SNP, rs5945326 near DUSP9, was significantly associated with type 2 diabetes at a genome-wide significance level (p = 2.21×10−8; OR 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.24−1.56). The 6 SNPs derived from South Asian GWAS were not significantly associated with type 2 diabetes in the Japanese population by themselves (p≥0.007). However, a genetic risk score constructed from 6 South Asian GWAS derived SNPs was significantly associated with Japanese type 2 diabetes (p = 8.69×10−4, OR = 1.06. 95% CI; 1.03−1.10).
These results indicate that the DUSP9 locus is a common susceptibility locus for type 2 diabetes across different ethnicities, and 6 loci identified in South Asian GWAS also have significant effect on susceptibility to Japanese type 2 diabetes.