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1.  A genome-wide association study of marginal zone lymphoma shows association to the HLA region 
Vijai, Joseph | Wang, Zhaoming | Berndt, Sonja I. | Skibola, Christine F. | Slager, Susan L. | de Sanjose, Silvia | Melbye, Mads | Glimelius, Bengt | Bracci, Paige M. | Conde, Lucia | Birmann, Brenda M. | Wang, Sophia S. | Brooks-Wilson, Angela R. | Lan, Qing | de Bakker, Paul I. W. | Vermeulen, Roel C. H. | Portlock, Carol | Ansell, Stephen M. | Link, Brian K. | Riby, Jacques | North, Kari E. | Gu, Jian | Hjalgrim, Henrik | Cozen, Wendy | Becker, Nikolaus | Teras, Lauren R. | Spinelli, John J. | Turner, Jenny | Zhang, Yawei | Purdue, Mark P. | Giles, Graham G. | Kelly, Rachel S. | Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, Anne | Ennas, Maria Grazia | Monnereau, Alain | Bertrand, Kimberly A. | Albanes, Demetrius | Lightfoot, Tracy | Yeager, Meredith | Chung, Charles C. | Burdett, Laurie | Hutchinson, Amy | Lawrence, Charles | Montalvan, Rebecca | Liang, Liming | Huang, Jinyan | Ma, Baoshan | Villano, Danylo J. | Maria, Ann | Corines, Marina | Thomas, Tinu | Novak, Anne J. | Dogan, Ahmet | Liebow, Mark | Thompson, Carrie A. | Witzig, Thomas E. | Habermann, Thomas M. | Weiner, George J. | Smith, Martyn T. | Holly, Elizabeth A. | Jackson, Rebecca D. | Tinker, Lesley F. | Ye, Yuanqing | Adami, Hans-Olov | Smedby, Karin E. | De Roos, Anneclaire J. | Hartge, Patricia | Morton, Lindsay M. | Severson, Richard K. | Benavente, Yolanda | Boffetta, Paolo | Brennan, Paul | Foretova, Lenka | Maynadie, Marc | McKay, James | Staines, Anthony | Diver, W. Ryan | Vajdic, Claire M. | Armstrong, Bruce K. | Kricker, Anne | Zheng, Tongzhang | Holford, Theodore R. | Severi, Gianluca | Vineis, Paolo | Ferri, Giovanni M. | Ricco, Rosalia | Miligi, Lucia | Clavel, Jacqueline | Giovannucci, Edward | Kraft, Peter | Virtamo, Jarmo | Smith, Alex | Kane, Eleanor | Roman, Eve | Chiu, Brian C. H. | Fraumeni, Joseph F. | Wu, Xifeng | Cerhan, James R. | Offit, Kenneth | Chanock, Stephen J. | Rothman, Nathaniel | Nieters, Alexandra
Nature Communications  2015;6:5751.
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is the third most common subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here we perform a two-stage GWAS of 1,281 MZL cases and 7,127 controls of European ancestry and identify two independent loci near BTNL2 (rs9461741, P=3.95 × 10−15) and HLA-B (rs2922994, P=2.43 × 10−9) in the HLA region significantly associated with MZL risk. This is the first evidence that genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex influences MZL susceptibility.
Marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) is a common subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Here the authors carry out a two-stage genome-wide association study in over 8,000 Europeans and identify two new MZL risk loci at chromosome 6p, implicating the major histocompatibility complex in the disease for the first time.
doi:10.1038/ncomms6751
PMCID: PMC4287989  PMID: 25569183
2.  Circadian clock genes and risk of fatal prostate cancer 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2014;26(1):25-33.
Purpose
Circadian genes may be involved in regulating cancer-related pathways, including cell proliferation, DNA damage response and apoptosis. We aimed to assess the role of genetic variation in core circadian rhythm genes with the risk of fatal prostate cancer and morning void urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels.
Methods
We used unconditional logistic regression to evaluate the association of 96 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across twelve circadian-related genes with fatal prostate cancer in the AGES-Reykjavik cohort (n=24 cases), the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) (n=40 cases), and the Physicians’ Health Study (PHS) (n=105 cases). We used linear regression to evaluate the association between SNPs and morning void urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels in AGES-Reykjavik. We used a kernel machine test to evaluate whether multimarker SNP-sets in the pathway (gene based) were associated with our outcomes.
Results
None of the individual SNPs were consistently associated with fatal prostate cancer across the three cohorts. In each cohort, gene-based analyses showed that variation in the CRY1 gene was nominally associated with fatal prostate cancer (p-values = 0.01, 0.01, 0.05 for AGES-Reykjavik, HPFS, and PHS, respectively). In AGES-Reykjavik, SNPS in TIMELESS (4 SNPs), NPAS2 (6 SNPs), PER3 (2 SNPs) and CSNK1E (1 SNP) were nominally associated with 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels.
Conclusion
We did not find a strong and consistent association between variation in core circadian clock genes and fatal prostate cancer risk, but observed nominally significant gene-based associations with fatal prostate cancer and 6-sulfatoxymelatonin levels.
doi:10.1007/s10552-014-0478-z
PMCID: PMC4282953  PMID: 25388799
Circadian genes; prostate cancer; genetic polymorphisms
3.  Aspirin Use, 8q24 Single Nucleotide Polymorphism rs6983267, and Colorectal Cancer According to CTNNB1 Alterations 
Background
Regular aspirin use reduces the risk for colorectal cancer (CRC), possibly through inhibition of WNT/cadherin-associated protein β1 (CTNNB1 or β-catenin) signaling. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs6983267 on chromosome 8q24 is a CRC susceptibility locus that affects binding activity of transcription factor 7 like-2 (TCF7L2) to CTNNB1, thereby altering expression of target oncogenes, including MYC.
Methods
We evaluated regular aspirin use and CRC risk according to genotypes of SNP rs6983267 and CTNNB1 expression status in two prospective case–control studies (840 CRC case patients and 1686 age- and race-matched control subjects) nested within the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using unconditional logistic regression models. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results
A lower risk of CRC was associated with regular aspirin use and the T allele of rs6983267. The effect of aspirin was confined to individuals with protective T allele of rs6983267 (additive matching factors–adjusted OR for T allele = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.74 to 0.94; P trend = .002; P interaction = .01). Additionally, the T allele of rs6983267 was associated with a reduced expression of MYC oncogene (P trend = .03). Moreover, among individuals with protective T allele, the effect of regular aspirin use was limited to those with positive nuclear CTNNB1 expression. In a functional analysis, in vitro treatment of LS174T cells (a cell line heterozygous for rs6983267) with aspirin was statistically significantly associated with higher G/T allelic ratio of TCF7L2 immunoprecipitated DNA (P = .03).
Conclusions
Our results support an influence of aspirin on WNT/CTNNB1 signaling and suggest that aspirin chemoprevention may be tailored according to rs6983267 genotype.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djt331
PMCID: PMC3866156  PMID: 24317174
4.  Genetic modifiers of menopausal hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk: A genome-wide interaction study 
Endocrine-related cancer  2013;20(6):875-887.
Women using menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) are at increased risk to develop breast cancer (BC). To detect genetic modifiers of the association between current use of MHT and BC risk, we conducted a meta-analysis of four genome-wide case-only studies followed by replication in eleven case-control studies. We used a case-only design to assess interactions between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and current MHT use on risk of overall and lobular BC. The discovery stage included 2,920 cases (541 lobular) from four genome-wide association studies. The top 1,391 SNPs showing P-values for interaction (Pint) <3.0×10−03 were selected for replication using pooled case-control data from eleven studies of the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, including 7,689 cases (676 lobular) and 9,266 controls. Fixed effects meta-analysis was used to derive combined Pint. No SNP reached genome-wide significance in either the discovery or combined stage. We observed effect modification of current MHT use on overall BC risk by two SNPs on chr13 near POMP (combined Pint≤8.9×10−06), two SNPs in SLC25A21 (combined Pint≤4.8×10−05), and three SNPs in PLCG2 (combined Pint≤4.5×10−05). The association between lobular BC risk was potentially modified by one SNP in TMEFF2 (combined Pint≤2.7×10−05), one SNP in CD80 (combined Pint≤8.2×10−06), three SNPs on chr17 near TMEM132E (combined Pint≤2.2×10−06), and two SNPs on chr18 near SLC25A52 (combined Pint≤4.6×10−05). In conclusion, polymorphisms in genes related to solute transportation in mitochondria, transmembrane signaling and immune cell activation are potentially modifying BC risk associated with current use of MHT. These findings warrant replication in independent studies.
doi:10.1530/ERC-13-0349
PMCID: PMC3863710  PMID: 24080446
breast cancer; genetic variation; menopausal hormone therapy; genome-wide
5.  Prediagnostic Body Mass Index and Pancreatic Cancer Survival 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2013;31(33):4229-4234.
Purpose
Although obesity is associated with increased incidence of pancreatic cancer, studies have not prospectively evaluated prediagnostic body mass index (BMI) and survival.
Patients and Methods
We analyzed survival by prediagnostic BMI assessed in 1986 among 902 patients from two large prospective cohorts diagnosed from 1988 to 2010. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for death using Cox proportional hazards models, with adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, diagnosis year, and stage. We evaluated the temporal association of BMI with survival by grouping reported BMI by 2-year lag-time intervals before diagnosis.
Results
The multivariable-adjusted HR for death was 1.53 (95% CI, 1.11 to 2.09) comparing patients with BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 with those with BMI < 25 kg/m2 (P trend = .001), which was similar after adjustment for stage. The association of BMI with survival was stronger with longer lag times between reported BMI and cancer diagnosis. Among patients with BMI collected 18 to 20 years before diagnosis, HR for death was 2.31 (95% CI, 1.48 to 3.61; P trend < .001), comparing obese with healthy-weight patients. No statistically significant differences were seen by cohort, smoking status, or stage, although the association was stronger among never-smokers (HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.01 to 2.57; P trend = .002) than ever-smokers (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 0.86 to 2.15; P trend = .63), comparing BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 with BMI < 25 kg/m2. Higher prediagnostic BMI was associated with more advanced stage at diagnosis, with 72.5% of obese patients presenting with metastatic disease versus 59.4% of healthy-weight patients (P = .02).
Conclusion
Higher prediagnostic BMI was associated with statistically significantly decreased survival among patients with pancreatic cancer from two large prospective cohorts.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2013.51.7532
PMCID: PMC3821012  PMID: 24145341
6.  Obesity susceptibility loci and uncontrolled eating, emotional eating and cognitive restraint behaviors in men and women 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2013;22(5):E135-E141.
Objective
Many confirmed genetic loci for obesity are expressed in regions of the brain that regulate energy intake and reward-seeking behavior. Whether these loci contribute to the development of specific eating behaviors has not been investigated. We examined the relationship between a genetic susceptibility to obesity and cognitive restraint, uncontrolled and emotional eating.
Design and Methods
Eating behavior and body mass index (BMI) were determined by questionnaires for 1471 men and 2381 women from two U.S cohorts. Genotypes were extracted from genome-wide scans and a genetic-risk score (GRS) derived from 32 obesity-loci was calculated.
Results
The GRS was positively associated with emotional and uncontrolled eating(P<0.002). In exploratory analysis, BMI-increasing variants of MTCH2, TNNI3K and ZC3H4 were positively associated with emotional eating and those of TNNI3K and ZC3H4 were positively associated with uncontrolled eating. The BMI-increasing variant of FTO was positively and those of LRP1B and TFAP2B were inversely associated with cognitive restraint. These associations for single SNPs were independent of BMI but were not significant after multiple-testing correction.
Conclusions
An overall genetic susceptibility to obesity may also extend to eating behaviors. The link between specific loci and obesity may be mediated by eating behavior but larger studies are warranted to confirm these results.
doi:10.1002/oby.20592
PMCID: PMC3858422  PMID: 23929626
obesity; emotional eating; uncontrolled eating; cognitive restraint; genotype; population
7.  Reproducibility of metabolomic profiles among men and women in two large cohort studies 
Clinical chemistry  2013;59(11):10.1373/clinchem.2012.199133.
Background
Rigorous studies are necessary to demonstrate suitability of metabolomics platforms to profile metabolites in archived plasma within epidemiologic studies of human disease, for which attenuation of effect estimates due to measurement error is a key concern.
Methods
Using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry platform, we quantified 257 metabolites from archived plasma to evaluate metabolite inter-assay reproducibility, reproducibility with delayed processing, and within-person reproducibility over time. Inter-assay reproducibility was assessed with coefficients of variation (CVs) from 60 duplicate plasma samples donated by Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study participants, and 20 quality control pool plasma replicates. Metabolite reproducibility over a 24- to 48-hour processing delay (n=48 samples) and within-person reproducibility over 1-2 years (n=80 samples) were assessed using Spearman and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).
Results
CVs were <20% for 92% of metabolites and generally were similar by plasma anticoagulant type (Heparin or EDTA) and fasting time. Approximately 75% of metabolites were reproducible over delays in processing of blood specimens (Spearman correlation or ICC ≥0.75, comparing immediate and 24-hour delayed processing). Carbohydrates and purine/pyrimidine derivatives were most adversely affected by the processing delay. Ninety percent of metabolites were reproducible over 1-2 years within individuals (Spearman correlation or ICC ≥0.4).
Conclusions
For potential use in epidemiologic studies, the majority of plasma metabolites had low CVs and were reproducible over a 24-hour processing delay and within individuals over 1-2 years. Certain metabolites, such as carbohydrates and purine/pyrimidine derivatives, may be challenging to evaluate if samples have delayed processing.
doi:10.1373/clinchem.2012.199133
PMCID: PMC3812240  PMID: 23897902
Blood sample collection; Cohort studies; Metabolomics; Reproducibility of Results; Tandem mass spectrometry
8.  Genetic Predictors of Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Colorectal Cancer 
Background
Experimental evidence has demonstrated an anti-neoplastic role for vitamin D in the colon and higher circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are consistently associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Genome-wide association studies have identified loci associated with levels of circulating 25(OH)D. The identified SNPs from four gene regions, collectively explain approximately 5% of the variance in circulating 25(OH)D.
Methods
We investigated whether six polymorphisms in GC, CYP2R1, CYP24A1 and DHCR7/NADSYN1, genes previously shown to be associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, were associated with CRC risk in 10,061 cases and 12,768 controls drawn from 13 studies included in the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO) and Colon Cancer Family Registry (CCFR). We performed a meta-analysis of crude and multivariate-adjusted logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios and associated confidence intervals for SNPs individually, SNPs simultaneously, and for a vitamin D additive genetic risk score (GRS).
Results
We did not observe a statistically significant association between the 25(OH)D associated SNPs and CRC marginally, conditionally, or as a GRS, or for colon or rectal cancer separately or combined.
Conclusions
Our findings do not support an association between SNPs associated with circulating 25(OH)D and risk of CRC. Additional work is warranted to investigate the complex relationship between 25(OH)D and CRC risk.
Impact
There was no association observed between genetic markers of circulating 25(OH)D and CRC. These genetic markers account for a small proportion of the variance in 25(OH)D.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0209
PMCID: PMC3818310  PMID: 23983240
9.  Gene-Environment Interactions in Cancer Epidemiology: A National Cancer Institute Think Tank Report 
Genetic epidemiology  2013;37(7):643-657.
Cancer risk is determined by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified hundreds of common (minor allele frequency [MAF]>0.05) and less common (0.01
doi:10.1002/gepi.21756
PMCID: PMC4143122  PMID: 24123198
Gene-environment interactions; complex phenotypes; genetic epidemiology
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(10):e1004722.
Standard statistical approaches for prioritization of variants for functional testing in fine-mapping studies either use marginal association statistics or estimate posterior probabilities for variants to be causal under simplifying assumptions. Here, we present a probabilistic framework that integrates association strength with functional genomic annotation data to improve accuracy in selecting plausible causal variants for functional validation. A key feature of our approach is that it empirically estimates the contribution of each functional annotation to the trait of interest directly from summary association statistics while allowing for multiple causal variants at any risk locus. We devise efficient algorithms that estimate the parameters of our model across all risk loci to further increase performance. Using simulations starting from the 1000 Genomes data, we find that our framework consistently outperforms the current state-of-the-art fine-mapping methods, reducing the number of variants that need to be selected to capture 90% of the causal variants from an average of 13.3 to 10.4 SNPs per locus (as compared to the next-best performing strategy). Furthermore, we introduce a cost-to-benefit optimization framework for determining the number of variants to be followed up in functional assays and assess its performance using real and simulation data. We validate our findings using a large scale meta-analysis of four blood lipids traits and find that the relative probability for causality is increased for variants in exons and transcription start sites and decreased in repressed genomic regions at the risk loci of these traits. Using these highly predictive, trait-specific functional annotations, we estimate causality probabilities across all traits and variants, reducing the size of the 90% confidence set from an average of 17.5 to 13.5 variants per locus in this data.
Author Summary
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have successfully identified numerous regions in the genome that harbor genetic variants that increase risk for various complex traits and diseases. However, it is generally the case that GWAS risk variants are not themselves causally affecting the trait, but rather, are correlated to the true causal variant through linkage disequilibrium (LD). Plausible causal variants are identified in fine-mapping studies through targeted sequencing followed by prioritization of variants for functional validation. In this work, we propose methods that leverage two sources of independent information, the association strength and genomic functional location, to prioritize causal variants. We demonstrate in simulations and empirical data that our approach reduces the number of SNPs that need to be selected for follow-up to identify the true causal variants at GWAS risk loci.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004722
PMCID: PMC4214605  PMID: 25357204
Kote-Jarai, Zsofia | Saunders, Edward J. | Leongamornlert, Daniel A. | Tymrakiewicz, Malgorzata | Dadaev, Tokhir | Jugurnauth-Little, Sarah | Ross-Adams, Helen | Al Olama, Ali Amin | Benlloch, Sara | Halim, Silvia | Russell, Roslin | Dunning, Alison M. | Luccarini, Craig | Dennis, Joe | Neal, David E. | Hamdy, Freddie C. | Donovan, Jenny L. | Muir, Ken | Giles, Graham G. | Severi, Gianluca | Wiklund, Fredrik | Gronberg, Henrik | Haiman, Christopher A. | Schumacher, Fredrick | Henderson, Brian E. | Le Marchand, Loic | Lindstrom, Sara | Kraft, Peter | Hunter, David J. | Gapstur, Susan | Chanock, Stephen | Berndt, Sonja I. | Albanes, Demetrius | Andriole, Gerald | Schleutker, Johanna | Weischer, Maren | Canzian, Federico | Riboli, Elio | Key, Tim J. | Travis, Ruth C. | Campa, Daniele | Ingles, Sue A. | John, Esther M. | Hayes, Richard B. | Pharoah, Paul | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Stanford, Janet L. | Ostrander, Elaine A. | Signorello, Lisa B. | Thibodeau, Stephen N. | Schaid, Dan | Maier, Christiane | Vogel, Walther | Kibel, Adam S. | Cybulski, Cezary | Lubinski, Jan | Cannon-Albright, Lisa | Brenner, Hermann | Park, Jong Y. | Kaneva, Radka | Batra, Jyotsna | Spurdle, Amanda | Clements, Judith A. | Teixeira, Manuel R. | Govindasami, Koveela | Guy, Michelle | Wilkinson, Rosemary A. | Sawyer, Emma J. | Morgan, Angela | Dicks, Ed | Baynes, Caroline | Conroy, Don | Bojensen, Stig E. | Kaaks, Rudolf | Vincent, Daniel | Bacot, François | Tessier, Daniel C. | Easton, Douglas F. | Eeles, Rosalind A.
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(20):4239.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt334
PMCID: PMC3871151
Introduction
B cells are attracting increasing attention in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). B cell-targeted therapies with monoclonal antibodies or plasmapheresis have been shown to be successful in a subset of patients. Here, patients with either relapsing-remitting (n = 24) or secondary progressive (n = 6) MS presenting with an acute clinical relapse were screened for their B cell reactivity to brain antigens and were re-tested three to nine months later. Enzyme-linked immunospot technique (ELISPOT) was used to identify brain-reactive B cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) directly ex vivo and after 96 h of polyclonal stimulation. Clinical severity of symptoms was determined using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
Results
Nine patients displayed B cells in the blood producing brain-specific antibodies directly ex vivo. Six patients were classified as B cell positive donors only after polyclonal B cell stimulation. In 15 patients a B cell response to brain antigens was absent. Based on the autoreactive B cell response we categorized MS relapses into three different patterns. Patients who displayed brain-reactive B cell responses both directly ex vivo and after polyclonal stimulation (pattern I) were significantly younger than patients in whom only memory B cell responses were detectable or entirely absent (patterns II and III; p = 0.003). In one patient a conversion to a positive B cell response as measured directly ex vivo and subsequently also after polyclonal stimulation was associated with the development of a clinical relapse. The evaluation of the predictive value of a brain antigen-specific B cell response showed that seven of eight patients (87.5%) with a pattern I response encountered a clinical relapse during the observation period of 10 months, compared to two of five patients (40%) with a pattern II and three of 14 patients (21.4%) with a pattern III response (p = 0.0005; hazard ratio 6.08 (95% confidence interval 1.87-19.77).
Conclusions
Our data indicate actively ongoing B cell-mediated immunity against brain antigens in a subset of MS patients that may be causative of clinical relapses and provide new diagnostic and therapeutic options for a subset of patients.
doi:10.1186/s40478-014-0138-2
PMCID: PMC4177072  PMID: 25597707
B cells; ELISPOT; MS; Predictive value; Relapse
Milne, Roger L. | Goode, Ellen L. | García-Closas, Montserrat | Couch, Fergus J. | Severi, Gianluca | Hein, Rebecca | Fredericksen, Zachary | Malats, Núria | Zamora, M. Pilar | Pérez, Jose Ignacio Arias | Benítez, Javier | Dörk, Thilo | Schürmann, Peter | Karstens, Johann H. | Hillemanns, Peter | Cox, Angela | Brock, Ian W. | Elliot, Graeme | Cross, Simon S. | Seal, Sheila | Turnbull, Clare | Renwick, Anthony | Rahman, Nazneen | Shen, Chen-Yang | Yu, Jyh-Cherng | Huang, Chiun-Sheng | Hou, Ming-Feng | Nordestgaard, Børge G. | Bojesen, Stig E. | Lanng, Charlotte | Alnæs, Grethe Grenaker | Kristensen, Vessela | Børrensen-Dale, Anne-Lise | Hopper, John L. | Dite, Gillian S. | Apicella, Carmel | Southey, Melissa C. | Lambrechts, Diether | Yesilyurt, Betül T. | Floris, Giuseppe | Leunen, Karin | Sangrajrang, Suleeporn | Gaborieau, Valerie | Brennan, Paul | McKay, James | Chang-Claude, Jenny | Wang-Gohrke, Shan | Radice, Paolo | Peterlongo, Paolo | Manoukian, Siranoush | Barile, Monica | Giles, Graham G. | Baglietto, Laura | John, Esther M. | Miron, Alexander | Chanock, Stephen J. | Lissowska, Jolanta | Sherman, Mark E. | Figueroa, Jonine D. | Bogdanova, Natalia V. | Antonenkova, Natalia N. | Zalutsky, Iosif V. | Rogov, Yuri I. | Fasching, Peter A. | Bayer, Christian M. | Ekici, Arif B. | Beckmann, Matthias W. | Brenner, Hermann | Müller, Heiko | Arndt, Volker | Stegmaier, Christa | Andrulis, Irene L. | Knight, Julia A. | Glendon, Gord | Mulligan, Anna Marie | Mannermaa, Arto | Kataja, Vesa | Kosma, Veli-Matti | Hartikainen, Jaana M. | Meindl, Alfons | Heil, Joerg | Bartram, Claus R. | Schmutzler, Rita K. | Thomas, Gilles D. | Hoover, Robert N. | Fletcher, Olivia | Gibson, Lorna J. | Silva, Isabel dos Santos | Peto, Julian | Nickels, Stefan | Flesch-Janys, Dieter | Anton-Culver, Hoda | Ziogas, Argyrios | Sawyer, Elinor | Tomlinson, Ian | Kerin, Michael | Miller, Nicola | Schmidt, Marjanka K. | Broeks, Annegien | Van ‘t Veer, Laura J. | Tollenaar, Rob A.E.M. | Pharoah, Paul D.P. | Dunning, Alison M. | Pooley, Karen A. | Marme, Frederik | Schneeweiss, Andreas | Sohn, Christof | Burwinkel, Barbara | Jakubowska, Anna | Lubinski, Jan | Jaworska, Katarzyna | Durda, Katarzyna | Kang, Daehee | Yoo, Keun-Young | Noh, Dong-Young | Ahn, Sei-Hyun | Hunter, David J. | Hankinson, Susan E. | Kraft, Peter | Lindstrom, Sara | Chen, Xiaoqing | Beesley, Jonathan | Hamann, Ute | Harth, Volker | Justenhoven, Christina | Winqvist, Robert | Pylkäs, Katri | Jukkola-Vuorinen, Arja | Grip, Mervi | Hooning, Maartje | Hollestelle, Antoinette | Oldenburg, Rogier A. | Tilanus-Linthorst, Madeleine | Khusnutdinova, Elza | Bermisheva, Marina | Prokofieva, Darya | Farahtdinova, Albina | Olson, Janet E. | Wang, Xianshu | Humphreys, Manjeet K. | Wang, Qin | Chenevix-Trench, Georgia | Easton, Douglas F.
Background
The single nucleotide polymorphism 5p12-rs10941679has been found to be associated with risk of breast cancer, particularly estrogen receptor (ER)-positive disease. We aimed to further explore this association overall, and by tumor histopathology, in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium.
Methods
Data were combined from 37 studies, including 40,972 invasive cases, 1,398 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and 46,334 controls, all of white European ancestry, as well as 3,007 invasive cases and 2,337 controls of Asian ancestry. Associations overall and by tumor invasiveness and histopathology were assessed using logistic regression.
Results
For white Europeans, the per-allele odds ratio (OR) associated with 5p12-rs10941679 was 1.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] =1.08–1.14, P=7×10−18) for invasive breast cancer and 1.10 (95%CI=1.01–1.21, P=0.03) for DCIS. For Asian women, the estimated OR for invasive disease was similar (OR=1.07, 95%CI=0.99–1.15, P=0.09). Further analyses suggested that the association in white Europeans was largely limited to progesterone receptor (PR)-positive disease (per-allele OR=1.16, 95%CI=1.12–1.20, P=1×10−18 versus OR=1.03, 95%CI=0.99–1.07, P=0.2 for PR-negative disease; P-heterogeneity=2×10−7); heterogeneity by estrogen receptor status was not observed (P=0.2) once PR status was accounted for. The association was also stronger for lower-grade tumors (per-allele OR [95%CI]=1.20 [1.14–1.25], 1.13 [1.09–1.16] and 1.04 [0.99–1.08] for grade 1, 2 and 3/4, respectively; P–trend=5×10−7).
Conclusion
5p12 is a breast cancer susceptibility locus for PR-positive, lower gradebreast cancer.
Impact
Multi-centre fine-mapping studies of this region are needed as a first step to identifying the causal variant or variants.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0569
PMCID: PMC4164116  PMID: 21795498
Breast cancer; SNP; susceptibility; disease subtypes
Human genetics  2011;131(3):479-490.
In the National Cancer Institute Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) genome-wide association study of breast cancer, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker, rs999737, in the 14q24.1 interval, was associated with breast cancer risk. In order to fine map this region, we imputed a 3.93MB region flanking rs999737 for Stages 1 and 2 of the CGEMS study (5,692 cases, 5,576 controls) using the combined reference panels of the HapMap 3 and the 1000 Genomes Project. Single-marker association testing and variable-sized sliding-window haplotype analysis were performed, and for both analyses the initial tagging SNP rs999737 retained the strongest association with breast cancer risk. Investigation of contiguous regions did not reveal evidence for an additional independent signal. Therefore, we conclude that rs999737 is an optimal tag SNP for common variants in the 14q24.1 region and thus narrow the candidate variants that should be investigated in follow-up laboratory evaluation.
doi:10.1007/s00439-011-1088-4
PMCID: PMC4159746  PMID: 21959381
RAD51L1; breast cancer; genome-wide association study; fine-mapping; imputation
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2013;24(3):595-602.
Purpose
The evidence of a relation between folate intake and one-carbon metabolism (OCM) with pancreatic cancer (PanCa) is inconsistent. In this study, the association between genes and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to OCM and PanCa was assessed.
Methods
Using biochemical knowledge of the OCM pathway, we identified thirty-seven genes and 834 SNPs to examine in association with PanCa. Our study included 1,408 cases and 1,463 controls nested within twelve cohorts (PanScan). The ten SNPs and five genes with lowest p values (<0.02) were followed up in 2,323 cases and 2,340 controls from eight case-control studies (PanC4) that participated in PanScan2. The correlation of SNPs with metabolite levels was assessed for 649 controls from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.
Results
When both stages were combined, we observed suggestive associations with PanCa for rs10887710 (MAT1A) (OR 1.13, 95%CI 1.04-1.23), rs1552462 (SYT9) (OR 1.27, 95%CI 1.02-1.59), and rs7074891 (CUBN) (OR 1.91, 95%CI 1.12-3.26). After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant associations were observed in either the first or second stage. The three suggested SNPs showed no correlations with one-carbon biomarkers.
Conclusions
This is the largest genetic study to date to examine the relation between germline variations in OCM-related genes polymorphisms and the risk of PanCa. Suggestive evidence for an association between polymorphisms and PanCa was observed among the cohort-nested studies, but this did not replicate in the case-control studies. Our results do not strongly support the hypothesis that genes related to OCM play a role in pancreatic carcinogenesis.
doi:10.1007/s10552-012-0138-0
PMCID: PMC4127987  PMID: 23334854
Pancreatic cancer; One-carbon metabolism; Polymorphisms; Biomarkers; Epidemiology
Fernández-Rhodes, Lindsay | Demerath, Ellen W. | Cousminer, Diana L. | Tao, Ran | Dreyfus, Jill G. | Esko, Tõnu | Smith, Albert V. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Harris, Tamara B. | Launer, Lenore | McArdle, Patrick F. | Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M. | Elks, Cathy E. | Strachan, David P. | Kutalik, Zoltán | Vollenweider, Peter | Feenstra, Bjarke | Boyd, Heather A. | Metspalu, Andres | Mihailov, Evelin | Broer, Linda | Zillikens, M. Carola | Oostra, Ben | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Perry, John R. B. | Murray, Anna | Koller, Daniel L. | Lai, Dongbing | Corre, Tanguy | Toniolo, Daniela | Albrecht, Eva | Stöckl, Doris | Grallert, Harald | Gieger, Christian | Hayward, Caroline | Polasek, Ozren | Rudan, Igor | Wilson, James F. | He, Chunyan | Kraft, Peter | Hu, Frank B. | Hunter, David J. | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Willemsen, Gonneke | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Byrne, Enda M. | Martin, Nicholas G. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Warrington, Nicole M. | Pennell, Craig E. | Stolk, Lisette | Visser, Jenny A. | Hofman, Albert | Uitterlinden, André G. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Lin, Peng | Fisher, Sherri L. | Bierut, Laura J. | Crisponi, Laura | Porcu, Eleonora | Mangino, Massimo | Zhai, Guangju | Spector, Tim D. | Buring, Julie E. | Rose, Lynda M. | Ridker, Paul M. | Poole, Charles | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Murabito, Joanne M. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Widen, Elisabeth | North, Kari E. | Ong, Ken K. | Franceschini, Nora
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;178(3):451-460.
Obesity is of global health concern. There are well-described inverse relationships between female pubertal timing and obesity. Recent genome-wide association studies of age at menarche identified several obesity-related variants. Using data from the ReproGen Consortium, we employed meta-analytical techniques to estimate the associations of 95 a priori and recently identified obesity-related (body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)2), waist circumference, and waist:hip ratio) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with age at menarche in 92,116 women of European descent from 38 studies (1970–2010), in order to estimate associations between genetic variants associated with central or overall adiposity and pubertal timing in girls. Investigators in each study performed a separate analysis of associations between the selected SNPs and age at menarche (ages 9–17 years) using linear regression models and adjusting for birth year, site (as appropriate), and population stratification. Heterogeneity of effect-measure estimates was investigated using meta-regression. Six novel associations of body mass index loci with age at menarche were identified, and 11 adiposity loci previously reported to be associated with age at menarche were confirmed, but none of the central adiposity variants individually showed significant associations. These findings suggest complex genetic relationships between menarche and overall obesity, and to a lesser extent central obesity, in normal processes of growth and development.
doi:10.1093/aje/kws473
PMCID: PMC3816344  PMID: 23558354
adiposity; body mass index; genetic association studies; menarche; obesity; waist circumference; waist:hip ratio; women's health
Background
Obesity and diabetes mellitus are associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. These associations may be secondary to consequences of peripheral insulin resistance, pancreatic β-cell dysfunction, or hyperglycemia itself. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a measure of hyperglycemia, whereas plasma insulin and proinsulin are markers of peripheral insulin resistance, and the proinsulin to insulin ratio marks pancreatic β-cell dysfunction.
Methods
This was a prospective, nested case-control study of 449 case patients and 982 control subjects with prediagnostic blood samples and no diabetes history from five prospective US cohorts followed through 2008. Two or three control subjects were matched to each case patient by year of birth, cohort, smoking, and fasting status. Pancreatic cancer risk was assessed by prediagnostic HbA1c, insulin, proinsulin, and proinsulin to insulin ratio with multivariable-adjusted logistic regression. All P values were two-sided.
Results
The highest vs lowest quintiles of HbA1c, insulin, and proinsulin were associated with with an increased risk for pancreatic cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.17 to 2.72, P trend = .04 for HbA1c; OR = 1.57; 95% CI = 1.08 to 2.30; Ptrend = .002 for insulin; and OR = 2.22; 95% CI = 1.50 to 3.29; P trend < .001 for proinsulin). Proinsulin to insulin ratio was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Results were similar across studies (all P heterogeneity > .29). In cancers developing 10 or more years after blood collection, the associations with insulin and proinsulin became stronger (highest vs lowest quintile, OR = 2.77; 95% CI = 1.28 to 5.99 for insulin and OR = 3.60; 95% CI = 1.68 to 7.72 for proinsulin). In mutually adjusted models including HbA1c, insulin, and proinsulin, only proinsulin remained statistically significant ( highest vs lowest quintile, OR = 2.55; 95% CI = 1.54 to 4.21; Ptrend < .001).
Conclusions
Among participants from five large prospective cohorts, circulating markers of peripheral insulin resistance, rather than hyperglycemia or pancreatic β-cell dysfunction, were independently associated with pancreatic cancer risk.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djt123
PMCID: PMC3714020  PMID: 23847240
It has been hypothesized that a high intake of dairy protein may increase prostate cancer risk by increasing the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been weakly associated with circulating concentrations of IGF-1 and IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), but none of these SNPs was associated with risk of prostate cancer. We examined whether an association between 16 SNPs associated with circulating IGF-1 or IGFBP-3 concentrations and prostate cancer exists within subgroups defined by dietary protein intake in 5,253 cases and 4,963 controls of European ancestry within the NCI Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3). The BPC3 includes nested case-control studies within large North-American and European cohorts. Per allele odds ratios for prostate cancer for the SNPs were compared across tertiles of protein intake, which was expressed as the percentage of energy derived from total, animal, dairy or plant protein sources, using conditional logistic regression models. Total, animal, dairy and plant protein intakes were significantly positively associated with blood IGF-1 (P<0.01), but not with IGFBP-3 concentrations (P>0.10) or with risk of prostate cancer (P>0.20). After adjusting for multiple testing, the SNP-prostate cancer associations did not differ by intakes of protein, although two interactions by intake of plant protein were of marginal statistical significance (SSTR5 (somatostatin receptor 5) -rs197056 [uncorrected P for interaction, 0.001]; SSTR5-rs197057 [uncorrected P for interaction, 0.002]). We found no strong evidence that the associations between 16 IGF pathway SNPs and prostate cancer differed by intakes of dietary protein.
doi:10.1002/ijc.28042
PMCID: PMC3656134  PMID: 23341348
gene*environment interaction; genetic epidemiology; insulin-like growth factor; diet; prostate cancer
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(14):2948-2959.
Aiming to identify novel genetic loci for pigmentation and skin cancer, we conducted a series of genome-wide association studies on hair color, eye color, number of sunburns, tanning ability and number of non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) among 10 183 European Americans in the discovery stage and 4504 European Americans in the replication stage (for eye color, 3871 males in the discovery stage and 2496 males in the replication stage). We targeted novel chromosome regions besides the known ones for replication. As a result, we identified a new region downstream of the EDNRB gene on 13q22 associated with hair color and the strongest association was the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs975739 (P = 2.4 × 10−14; P = 5.4 × 10−9 in the discovery set and P = 1.2 × 10−6 in the replication set). Using blue, intermediate (including green) and brown eye colors as co-dominant outcomes, we identified the SNP rs3002288 in VASH2 on 1q32.3 associated with brown eye (P = 7.0 × 10−8; P = 5.3 × 10−5 in the discovery set and P = 0.02 in the replication set). Additionally, we identified a significant interaction between the SNPs rs7173419 and rs12913832 in the OCA2 gene region on brown eye color (P-value for interaction = 3.8 × 10−3). As for the number of NMSCs, we identified two independent SNPs on chr6 and one SNP on chromosome 14: rs12203592 in IRF4 (P = 7.2 × 10−14; P = 1.8 × 10−8 in the discovery set and P = 6.7 × 10−7 in the replication set), rs12202284 between IRF4 and EXOC2 (P = 5.0 × 10−8; P = 6.6 × 10−7 in the discovery set and P = 3.0 × 10−3 in the replication set) and rs8015138 upstream of GNG2 (P = 6.6 × 10−8; P = 5.3 × 10−7 in the discovery set and P = 0.01 in the replication set).
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt142
PMCID: PMC3690971  PMID: 23548203
Genetic epidemiology  2013;37(4):323-333.
Searching for genetic variants involved in gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in large scale data raises multiple methodological issues. Many existing methods have focused on the problem of dimensionality, trying to explore the largest number of combinations between risk factors while considering simple interaction models. Despite evidence demonstrating the efficacy of these methods in simulated data, their application in real data has been unsuccessful so far. The classical test of a linear marginal genetic effect has been widely used for agnostic genome-wide association studies, with the underlying idea that most variants involved in interactions might display marginal effect on the phenotypic mean. While this approach may allow for the identification of genetic variants involved in interactions in many scenarios, the linear marginal effects of some causal alleles on the phenotypic mean might not be always detectable at genome-wide significance level. We introduce in this study a general association test for quantitative trait loci that compare the distributions of phenotypic values by genotypic classes as opposed to most standard tests that compare phenotypic means by genotypic classes. Using simulation we show that in presence of an interaction, this approach can be more powerful than the standard test of the linear marginal exposures. We demonstrate the potential utility of our method on real data by analyzing mammographic density genome-wide data from the Nurses’ Health Study.
doi:10.1002/gepi.21716
PMCID: PMC4088942  PMID: 23512279
Non-parametric test; gene-gene and gene-environment interactions; quantitative traits; genome-wide association studies; quantitative trait
Genetic epidemiology  2011;35(6):506-514.
Recently, polygenic risk scores have been shown to be associated with certain complex diseases. The approach has been based on the contribution of counting multiple alleles associated with disease across independent loci, without requiring compelling evidence that every locus had already achieved definitive genome-wide statistical significance. Whether polygenic risk scores assist in the prediction of risk of common cancers is unknown. We built polygenic risk scores from lists of genetic markers prioritized by their association with breast or prostate cancer in a training data set and evaluated whether these scores could improve current genetic prediction of these specific cancers in independent test samples. We used genome-wide association data on 1,145 breast cancer cases and 1,142 controls from the Nurses’ Health Study and 1,164 prostate cancer cases and 1,113 controls from the Prostate Lung Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Ten-fold cross validation was used to build and evaluate polygenic risk scores with 10 to 60,000 independent single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). For both breast and prostate cancer, the models that included only published risk alleles maximized the cross-validation estimate of the area under the ROC curve (0.53 for breast and 0.57 for prostate). We found no significant evidence that polygenic risk scores using common variants improved risk prediction for breast and prostate cancer over replicated SNP scores.
doi:10.1002/gepi.20600
PMCID: PMC4089860  PMID: 21618606
single nucleotide polymorphisms; genome-wide association study; human genetics
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99851.
Background and Purpose
In animal models, von Willebrand factor (VWF) is involved in thrombus formation and propagation of ischemic stroke. However, the pathophysiological relevance of this molecule in humans, and its potential use as a biomarker for the risk and severity of ischemic stroke remains unclear. This study had two aims: to identify predictors of altered VWF levels and to examine whether VWF levels differ between acute cerebrovascular events and chronic cerebrovascular disease (CCD).
Methods
A case–control study was undertaken between 2010 and 2013 at our University clinic. In total, 116 patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) or transitory ischemic attack (TIA), 117 patients with CCD, and 104 healthy volunteers (HV) were included. Blood was taken at days 0, 1, and 3 in patients with AIS or TIA, and once in CCD patients and HV. VWF serum levels were measured and correlated with demographic and clinical parameters by multivariate linear regression and ANOVA.
Results
Patients with CCD (158±46%) had significantly higher VWF levels than HV (113±36%, P<0.001), but lower levels than AIS/TIA patients (200±95%, P<0.001). Age, sex, and stroke severity influenced VWF levels (P<0.05).
Conclusions
VWF levels differed across disease subtypes and patient characteristics. Our study confirms increased VWF levels as a risk factor for cerebrovascular disease and, moreover, suggests that it may represent a potential biomarker for stroke severity, warranting further investigation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099851
PMCID: PMC4061052  PMID: 24937073
den Hoed, Marcel | Eijgelsheim, Mark | Esko, Tõnu | Brundel, Bianca J J M | Peal, David S | Evans, David M | Nolte, Ilja M | Segrè, Ayellet V | Holm, Hilma | Handsaker, Robert E | Westra, Harm-Jan | Johnson, Toby | Isaacs, Aaron | Yang, Jian | Lundby, Alicia | Zhao, Jing Hua | Kim, Young Jin | Go, Min Jin | Almgren, Peter | Bochud, Murielle | Boucher, Gabrielle | Cornelis, Marilyn C | Gudbjartsson, Daniel | Hadley, David | Van Der Harst, Pim | Hayward, Caroline | Heijer, Martin Den | Igl, Wilmar | Jackson, Anne U | Kutalik, Zoltán | Luan, Jian’an | Kemp, John P | Kristiansson, Kati | Ladenvall, Claes | Lorentzon, Mattias | Montasser, May E | Njajou, Omer T | O’Reilly, Paul F | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Pourcain, Beate St. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Salo, Perttu | Tanaka, Toshiko | Timpson, Nicholas J | Vitart, Veronique | Waite, Lindsay | Wheeler, William | Zhang, Weihua | Draisma, Harmen H M | Feitosa, Mary F | Kerr, Kathleen F | Lind, Penelope A | Mihailov, Evelin | Onland-Moret, N Charlotte | Song, Ci | Weedon, Michael N | Xie, Weijia | Yengo, Loic | Absher, Devin | Albert, Christine M | Alonso, Alvaro | Arking, Dan E | de Bakker, Paul I W | Balkau, Beverley | Barlassina, Cristina | Benaglio, Paola | Bis, Joshua C | Bouatia-Naji, Nabila | Brage, Søren | Chanock, Stephen J | Chines, Peter S | Chung, Mina | Darbar, Dawood | Dina, Christian | Dörr, Marcus | Elliott, Paul | Felix, Stephan B | Fischer, Krista | Fuchsberger, Christian | de Geus, Eco J C | Goyette, Philippe | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Harris, Tamara B | Hartikainen, Anna-liisa | Havulinna, Aki S | Heckbert, Susan R | Hicks, Andrew A | Hofman, Albert | Holewijn, Suzanne | Hoogstra-Berends, Femke | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Jensen, Majken K | Johansson, Åsa | Junttila, Juhani | Kääb, Stefan | Kanon, Bart | Ketkar, Shamika | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Knowles, Joshua W | Kooner, Angrad S | Kors, Jan A | Kumari, Meena | Milani, Lili | Laiho, Päivi | Lakatta, Edward G | Langenberg, Claudia | Leusink, Maarten | Liu, Yongmei | Luben, Robert N | Lunetta, Kathryn L | Lynch, Stacey N | Markus, Marcello R P | Marques-Vidal, Pedro | Leach, Irene Mateo | McArdle, Wendy L | McCarroll, Steven A | Medland, Sarah E | Miller, Kathryn A | Montgomery, Grant W | Morrison, Alanna C | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Navarro, Pau | Nelis, Mari | O’Connell, Jeffrey R | O’Donnell, Christopher J | Ong, Ken K | Newman, Anne B | Peters, Annette | Polasek, Ozren | Pouta, Anneli | Pramstaller, Peter P | Psaty, Bruce M | Rao, Dabeeru C | Ring, Susan M | Rossin, Elizabeth J | Rudan, Diana | Sanna, Serena | Scott, Robert A | Sehmi, Jaban S | Sharp, Stephen | Shin, Jordan T | Singleton, Andrew B | Smith, Albert V | Soranzo, Nicole | Spector, Tim D | Stewart, Chip | Stringham, Heather M | Tarasov, Kirill V | Uitterlinden, André G | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Hwang, Shih-Jen | Whitfield, John B | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wild, Sarah H | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilson, James F | Witteman, Jacqueline C M | Wong, Andrew | Wong, Quenna | Jamshidi, Yalda | Zitting, Paavo | Boer, Jolanda M A | Boomsma, Dorret I | Borecki, Ingrid B | Van Duijn, Cornelia M | Ekelund, Ulf | Forouhi, Nita G | Froguel, Philippe | Hingorani, Aroon | Ingelsson, Erik | Kivimaki, Mika | Kronmal, Richard A | Kuh, Diana | Lind, Lars | Martin, Nicholas G | Oostra, Ben A | Pedersen, Nancy L | Quertermous, Thomas | Rotter, Jerome I | van der Schouw, Yvonne T | Verschuren, W M Monique | Walker, Mark | Albanes, Demetrius | Arnar, David O | Assimes, Themistocles L | Bandinelli, Stefania | Boehnke, Michael | de Boer, Rudolf A | Bouchard, Claude | Caulfield, W L Mark | Chambers, John C | Curhan, Gary | Cusi, Daniele | Eriksson, Johan | Ferrucci, Luigi | van Gilst, Wiek H | Glorioso, Nicola | de Graaf, Jacqueline | Groop, Leif | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hsueh, Wen-Chi | Hu, Frank B | Huikuri, Heikki V | Hunter, David J | Iribarren, Carlos | Isomaa, Bo | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kiemeney, Lambertus A | van der Klauw, Melanie M | Kooner, Jaspal S | Kraft, Peter | Iacoviello, Licia | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lokki, Marja-Liisa L | Mitchell, Braxton D | Navis, Gerjan | Nieminen, Markku S | Ohlsson, Claes | Poulter, Neil R | Qi, Lu | Raitakari, Olli T | Rimm, Eric B | Rioux, John D | Rizzi, Federica | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Sever, Peter S | Shields, Denis C | Shuldiner, Alan R | Sinisalo, Juha | Stanton, Alice V | Stolk, Ronald P | Strachan, David P | Tardif, Jean-Claude | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Tuomilehto, Jaako | van Veldhuisen, Dirk J | Virtamo, Jarmo | Viikari, Jorma | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gérard | Widen, Elisabeth | Cho, Yoon Shin | Olsen, Jesper V | Visscher, Peter M | Willer, Cristen | Franke, Lude | Erdmann, Jeanette | Thompson, John R | Pfeufer, Arne | Sotoodehnia, Nona | Newton-Cheh, Christopher | Ellinor, Patrick T | Stricker, Bruno H Ch | Metspalu, Andres | Perola, Markus | Beckmann, Jacques S | Smith, George Davey | Stefansson, Kari | Wareham, Nicholas J | Munroe, Patricia B | Sibon, Ody C M | Milan, David J | Snieder, Harold | Samani, Nilesh J | Loos, Ruth J F
Nature genetics  2013;45(6):621-631.
Elevated resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 181,171 individuals, we identified 14 new loci associated with heart rate and confirmed associations with all 7 previously established loci. Experimental downregulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio identified 20 genes at 11 loci that are relevant for heart rate regulation and highlight a role for genes involved in signal transmission, embryonic cardiac development and the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death. In addition, genetic susceptibility to increased heart rate is associated with altered cardiac conduction and reduced risk of sick sinus syndrome, and both heart rate–increasing and heart rate–decreasing variants associate with risk of atrial fibrillation. Our findings provide fresh insights into the mechanisms regulating heart rate and identify new therapeutic targets.
doi:10.1038/ng.2610
PMCID: PMC3696959  PMID: 23583979
Bioinformatics  2013;29(11):1399-1406.
Motivation: Inference of ancestry using genetic data is motivated by applications in genetic association studies, population genetics and personal genomics. Here, we provide methods and software for improved ancestry inference using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) weights from external reference panels. This approach makes it possible to leverage the rich ancestry information that is available from large external reference panels, without the administrative and computational complexities of re-analyzing the raw genotype data from the reference panel in subsequent studies.
Results: We extensively validate our approach in multiple African American, Latino American and European American datasets, making use of genome-wide SNP weights derived from large reference panels, including HapMap 3 populations and 6546 European Americans from the Framingham Heart Study. We show empirically that our approach provides much greater accuracy than either the prevailing ancestry-informative marker (AIM) approach or the analysis of genome-wide target genotypes without a reference panel. For example, in an independent set of 1636 European American genome-wide association study samples, we attained prediction accuracy (R2) of 1.000 and 0.994 for the first two principal components using our method, compared with 0.418 and 0.407 using 150 published AIMs or 0.955 and 0.003 by applying principal component analysis directly to the target samples. We finally show that the higher accuracy in inferring ancestry using our method leads to more effective correction for population stratification in association studies.
Availability: The SNPweights software is available online at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/faculty/alkes-price/software/.
Contact: aprice@hsph.harvard.edu or cychen@mail.harvard.edu.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btt144
PMCID: PMC3661048  PMID: 23539302
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97045.
Endometrial cancer (EC) contributes substantially to total burden of cancer morbidity and mortality in the United States. Family history is a known risk factor for EC, thus genetic factors may play a role in EC pathogenesis. Three previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have found only one locus associated with EC, suggesting that common variants with large effects may not contribute greatly to EC risk. Alternatively, we hypothesize that rare variants may contribute to EC risk. We conducted an exome-wide association study (EXWAS) of EC using the Infinium HumanExome BeadChip in order to identify rare variants associated with EC risk. We successfully genotyped 177,139 variants in a multiethnic population of 1,055 cases and 1,778 controls from four studies that were part of the Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium (E2C2). No variants reached global significance in the study, suggesting that more power is needed to detect modest associations between rare genetic variants and risk of EC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097045
PMCID: PMC4014590  PMID: 24810602

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