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1.  Expansive marker analysis replicating the association of glaucoma susceptibility with human chromosome loci 1q43 and 10p12.31 
Three human chromosome loci (1q43, 10p12.31, and 12q21.31) were recently associated with the susceptibility to primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in a Japanese population; however, this was not replicated in three subsequent studies using South Indian, Afro-Caribbean, and Chinese populations. To identify genetic markers that are robustly associated across ethnic populations, numerous markers in addition to the six in the three reported loci were examined in this study. A total of 31 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were genotyped for 1115 Korean participants, and many neighboring SNPs were imputed using the Korean HapMap Project genotype data. Each SNP was statistically tested for association with POAG susceptibility by comparisons among 211 POAG patients with 904 unaffected controls. A strong and statistically significant association was found with a previously unreported SNP, rs7098387 (odds ratio, OR=2.0 (1.4–3.0), P=0.00038) at the 10p12.31 locus (where 11 SNPs were typed and 38 imputed) in contrast to the reported rs7081455, which was too poorly correlated with newly associated rs7098387 (r2=0.003, D′=0.40) to show association. Additionally, a modest association was observed with the reported rs693421 (OR=1.4 (1.1–1.7), P=0.0082) and several other SNPs located within and around ZP4 at the 1q43 locus (10 SNPs typed and 14 imputed). However, no association was observed with the reported rs7961953 SNP or any other SNPs at the 12q21.31 locus, upstream of TMTC2 (10 SNPs typed and 29 imputed). Accordingly, POAG susceptibility association was replicated using rs7098387 (C) rather than rs7081455 (T) at the 10p12.31 locus and additionally with rs693421 (T) at the 1q43 locus.
PMCID: PMC3925277  PMID: 23838595
primary open-angle glaucoma; single-nucleotide polymorphism; replicative association study; 1q43; 10p12.31
2.  Expression-associated polymorphisms of CAV1-CAV2 affect intraocular pressure and high-tension glaucoma risk 
Molecular Vision  2015;21:548-554.
The human CAV1-CAV2 locus has been associated with susceptibility to primary open-angle glaucoma in four studies of Caucasian, Chinese, and Pakistani populations, although not in several other studies of non-Korean populations. In this study with Korean participants, the CAV1-CAV2 locus was investigated for associations with susceptibility to primary open-angle glaucoma accompanied by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), namely, high-tension glaucoma (HTG), as well as with IOP elevation, which is a strong risk factor for glaucoma.
Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 1,161 Korean participants including 229 patients with HTG and 932 healthy controls and statistically examined for association with HTG susceptibility and IOP. One SNP was rs4236601 G>A, which had been reported in the original study, and the other SNP was rs17588172 T>G, which was perfectly correlated (r2=1) with another reported SNP rs1052990. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis was performed using GENe Expression VARiation (Genevar) data.
Both SNPs were associated with HTG susceptibility, but the rs4236601 association disappeared when adjusted for the rs17588172 genotype and not vice versa. The minor allele G of rs17588172 was associated significantly with 1.5-fold increased susceptibility to HTG (p=0.0069) and marginally with IOP elevation (p=0.043) versus the major allele T. This minor allele was also associated with decreased CAV1 and CAV2 mRNA in skin and adipose according to the Genevar eQTL analysis.
The minor allele G of rs17588172 in the CAV1-CAV2 locus is associated with decreased expression of CAV1 and CAV2 in some tissues, marginally with IOP elevation, and consequently with increased susceptibility to HTG.
PMCID: PMC4431411  PMID: 26015768
3.  Lysis Delay and Burst Shrinkage of Coliphage T7 by Deletion of Terminator Tφ Reversed by Deletion of Early Genes 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(4):2107-2115.
Bacteriophage T7 terminator Tφ is a class I intrinsic terminator coding for an RNA hairpin structure immediately followed by oligo(U), which has been extensively studied in terms of its transcription termination mechanism, but little is known about its physiological or regulatory functions. In this study, using a T7 mutant phage, where a 31-bp segment of Tφ was deleted from the genome, we discovered that deletion of Tφ from T7 reduces the phage burst size but delays lysis timing, both of which are disadvantageous for the phage. The burst downsizing could directly result from Tφ deletion-caused upregulation of gene 17.5, coding for holin, among other Tφ downstream genes, because infection of gp17.5-overproducing Escherichia coli by wild-type T7 phage showed similar burst downsizing. However, the lysis delay was not associated with cellular levels of holin or lysozyme or with rates of phage adsorption. Instead, when allowed to evolve spontaneously in five independent adaptation experiments, the Tφ-lacking mutant phage, after 27 or 29 passages, recovered both burst size and lysis time reproducibly by deleting early genes 0.5, 0.6, and 0.7 of class I, among other mutations. Deletion of genes 0.5 to 0.7 from the Tφ-lacking mutant phage decreased expression of several Tφ downstream genes to levels similar to that of the wild-type phage. Accordingly, phage T7 lysis timing is associated with cellular levels of Tφ downstream gene products. This suggests the involvement of unknown factor(s) besides the known lysis proteins, lysozyme and holin, and that Tφ plays a role of optimizing burst size and lysis time during T7 infection.
PMCID: PMC3911561  PMID: 24335287
4.  Epigenetics: An emerging player in gastric cancer 
Cancers, like other diseases, arise from gene mutations and/or altered gene expression, which eventually cause dysregulation of numerous proteins and noncoding RNAs. Changes in gene expression, i.e., upregulation of oncogenes and/or downregulation of tumor suppressor genes, can be generated not only by genetic and environmental factors but also by epigenetic factors, which are inheritable but nongenetic modifications of cellular chromosome components. Identification of the factors that contribute to individual cancers is a prerequisite to a full understanding of cancer mechanisms and the development of customized cancer therapies. The search for genetic and environmental factors has a long history in cancer research, but epigenetic factors only recently began to be associated with cancer formation, progression, and metastasis. Epigenetic alterations of chromatin include DNA methylation and histone modifications, which can affect gene-expression profiles. Recent studies have revealed diverse mechanisms by which chromatin modifiers, including writers, erasers and readers of the aforementioned modifications, contribute to the formation and progression of cancer. Furthermore, functional RNAs, such as microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, have also been identified as key players in these processes. This review highlights recent findings concerning the epigenetic alterations associated with cancers, especially gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC4047329  PMID: 24914365
Gastric cancer; Epigenetics; DNA methylation; Histone modification; Gene expression
5.  Evaluation of TRAF6 in a Large Multi-Ancestral Lupus Cohort 
Arthritis and Rheumatism  2012;64(6):1960-1969.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disease with significant immune system aberrations resulting from complex heritable genetics as well as environmental factors. TRAF6 is a candidate gene for SLE, which has a major role in several signaling pathways that are important for immunity and organ development.
Fifteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), across TRAF6 were evaluated in 7,490 SLE and 6,780 control subjects from different ancestries. Population-based case-control association analyses and meta-analyses were performed. P values, false discovery rate q values, and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Evidence of associations in multiple SNPs was detected. The best overall p values were obtained for SNPs rs5030437 and rs4755453 (p=7.85×10−5 and p=4.73×10−5, respectively) without significant heterogeneity among populations (p=0.67 and p=0.50 in Q-statistic). In addition, rs540386 previously reported to be associated with RA was found to be in LD with these two SNPs (r2= 0.95) and demonstrated evidence of association with SLE in the same direction (meta-analysis p=9.15×10−4, OR=0.89, 95%CI=0.83–0.95). Thrombocytopenia improved the overall results in different populations (meta-analysis p=1.99×10−6, OR=0.57, 95%CI=0.45–0.72, for rs5030470). Finally evidence of family based association in 34 African-American pedigrees with the presence of thrombocytopenia were detected in one available SNP rs5030437 with Z score magnitude of 2.28 (p=0.02) under a dominant model.
Our data indicate the presence of association of TRAF6 with SLE in agreement with the previous report of association with RA. These data provide further support for the involvement of TRAF6 in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity.
PMCID: PMC3380425  PMID: 22231568
TRAF6; polymorphism; systemic lupus erythematosus
6.  Variation in the ICAM1–ICAM4–ICAM5 locus is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus susceptibility in multiple ancestries 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2012;71(11):1809-1814.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; OMIM 152700) is a chronic autoimmune disease for which the aetiology includes genetic and environmental factors. ITGAM, integrin αΜ (complement component 3 receptor 3 subunit) encoding a ligand for intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) proteins, is an established SLE susceptibility locus. This study aimed to evaluate the independent and joint effects of genetic variations in the genes that encode ITGAM and ICAM.
The authors examined several markers in the ICAM1–ICAM4–ICAM5 locus on chromosome 19p13 and the single ITGAM polymorphism (rs1143679) using a large-scale case–control study of 17 481 unrelated participants from four ancestry populations. The single marker association and gene–gene interaction were analysed for each ancestry, and a meta-analysis across the four ancestries was performed.
The A-allele of ICAM1–ICAM4–ICAM5 rs3093030, associated with elevated plasma levels of soluble ICAM1, and the A-allele of ITGAM rs1143679 showed the strongest association with increased SLE susceptibility in each of the ancestry populations and the trans-ancestry meta-analysis (ORmeta=1.16, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.22; p=4.88×10−10 and ORmeta=1.67, 95% CI 1.55 to 1.79; p=3.32×10−46, respectively). The effect of the ICAM single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was independent of the effect of the ITGAM SNP rs1143679, and carriers of both ICAM rs3093030-AA and ITGAM rs1143679-AA had an OR of 4.08 compared with those with no risk allele in either SNP (95% CI 2.09 to 7.98; p=3.91×10−5).
These findings are the first to suggest that an ICAM–integrin-mediated pathway contributes to susceptibility to SLE.
PMCID: PMC3466387  PMID: 22523428
7.  Analysis of an extended chromosome locus 2p14–21 for replication of the 2p16.3 association with glaucoma susceptibility 
Molecular Vision  2011;17:1136-1143.
Susceptibility to primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) has recently associated with three intergenic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on human chromosome 2p16.3, just outside of the POAG-linkage locus GLC1H (2p15–16.2), in an Afro-Caribbean population. Especially, association of one SNP (rs12994401) was very strong (odds ratio 35) and later replicated in Afro-Americans but not in Ghanaians or Japanese. An extended region was examined in this study to look for SNPs of cross-population association.
The three reported SNPs and all 63 SNPs considerably correlating with rs12994401 (r2≥0.3) in the African-descendent Yoruba were examined for POAG susceptibility association in a Korean population of 1,159 unrelated participants including 226 cases with glaucoma. As these 66 SNPs were spread from 2p14 to 2p21, all SNPs in this extended region were imputed for susceptibility association tests.
No susceptibility association was detected with rs12994401 in comparisons between 933 controls and 188 POAG (or 175 high-tension glaucoma) cases (statistical power of 100%), as well as with all 19 other typed SNPs, using logistic regression with adjustment for age and gender. The other 46 SNPs were deemed non-polymorphic in Koreans. Among 21,201 SNPs located in 2p14–21, only 4,260 were imputed to be non-monomorphic, but none of them passed a significance level of multiple testing. No association was observed when the samples were stratified by age or gender.
No typed or imputed SNPs within 2p14–21 showed association with susceptibility to POAG, suggesting that the population inconsistency in 2p16.3 association was unlikely due to linkage disequilibrium differences.
PMCID: PMC3087448  PMID: 21552472
8.  Accurate quantification of transcriptome from RNA-Seq data by effective length normalization 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;39(2):e9.
We propose a novel, efficient and intuitive approach of estimating mRNA abundances from the whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing (RNA-Seq) data. Our method, NEUMA (Normalization by Expected Uniquely Mappable Area), is based on effective length normalization using uniquely mappable areas of gene and mRNA isoform models. Using the known transcriptome sequence model such as RefSeq, NEUMA pre-computes the numbers of all possible gene-wise and isoform-wise informative reads: the former being sequences mapped to all mRNA isoforms of a single gene exclusively and the latter uniquely mapped to a single mRNA isoform. The results are used to estimate the effective length of genes and transcripts, taking experimental distributions of fragment size into consideration. Quantitative RT–PCR based on 27 randomly selected genes in two human cell lines and computer simulation experiments demonstrated superior accuracy of NEUMA over other recently developed methods. NEUMA covers a large proportion of genes and mRNA isoforms and offers a measure of consistency (‘consistency coefficient’) for each gene between an independently measured gene-wise level and the sum of the isoform levels. NEUMA is applicable to both paired-end and single-end RNA-Seq data. We propose that NEUMA could make a standard method in quantifying gene transcript levels from RNA-Seq data.
PMCID: PMC3025570  PMID: 21059678
9.  Peptidyl arginine deiminase type IV (PADI4) haplotypes interact with shared epitope regardless of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody or erosive joint status in rheumatoid arthritis: a case control study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(3):R115.
Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide autoantibodies (anti-CCP) are the most specific serologic marker for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Genetic polymorphisms in a citrullinating (or deiminating) enzyme, peptidyl arginine deiminase type IV (PADI4) have been reproducibly associated with RA susceptibility in several populations. We investigated whether PADI4 polymorphisms contribute to anti-CCP-negative as well as -positive RA, whether they influence disease severity (erosive joint status), and whether they interact with two major risk factors for RA, Human Leukocyte Antigen-DRB1 (HLA-DRB1) shared epitope (SE) alleles and smoking, depending on anti-CCP and erosive joint status.
All 2,317 unrelated Korean subjects including 1,313 patients with RA and 1,004 unaffected controls were genotyped for three nonsynonymous (padi4_89, padi4_90, and padi4_92) and one synonymous (padi4_104) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PADI4 and for HLA-DRB1 by direct DNA sequence analysis. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated by multivariate logistic regression. Interaction was evaluated by attributable proportions (AP), with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
A functional haplotype of the three fully correlated nonsynonymous SNPs in PADI4 was significantly associated with susceptibility to not only anti-CCP-positive (adjusted OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.34 to 2.23) but also -negative RA (adjusted OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.68). A strong association with both non-erosive (adjusted OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.29 to 2.05) and erosive RA (adjusted OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.31) was observed for PADI4 haplotype. Gene-gene interactions between the homozygous RA-risk PADI4 haplotype and SE alleles were significant in both anti-CCP-positive (AP 0.45, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.71) and -negative RA (AP 0.61, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.92). Theses interactions were also observed for both non-erosive (AP 0.48, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.72) and erosive RA (AP 0.46, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.78). In contrast, no interaction was observed between smoking and PADI4 polymorphisms.
A haplotype of nonsynonymous SNPs in PADI4 contributes to development of RA regardless of anti-CCP or erosive joint status. The homozygous PADI4 haplotype contribution is affected by gene-gene interactions with HLA-DRB1 SE alleles.
PMCID: PMC2911908  PMID: 20537173
10.  Tiny abortive initiation transcripts exert antitermination activity on an RNA hairpin-dependent intrinsic terminator 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(18):6045-6053.
No biological function has been identified for tiny RNA transcripts that are abortively and repetitiously released from initiation complexes of RNA polymerase in vitro and in vivo to date. In this study, we show that abortive initiation affects termination in transcription of bacteriophage T7 gene 10. Specifically, abortive transcripts produced from promoter ϕ10 exert trans-acting antitermination activity on terminator Tϕ both in vitro and in vivo. Following abortive initiation cycling of T7 RNA polymerase at ϕ10, short G-rich and oligo(G) RNAs were produced and both specifically sequestered 5- and 6-nt C + U stretch sequences, consequently interfering with terminator hairpin formation. This antitermination activity depended on sequence-specific hybridization of abortive transcripts with the 5′ but not 3′ half of Tϕ RNA. Antitermination was abolished when Tϕ was mutated to lack a C + U stretch, but restored when abortive transcript sequence was additionally modified to complement the mutation in Tϕ, both in vitro and in vivo. Antitermination was enhanced in vivo when the abortive transcript concentration was increased via overproduction of RNA polymerase or ribonuclease deficiency. Accordingly, antitermination activity exerted on Tϕ by abortive transcripts should facilitate expression of Tϕ-downstream promoter-less genes 11 and 12 in T7 infection of Escherichia coli.
PMCID: PMC2952870  PMID: 20507918
11.  Relative Codon Adaptation Index, a Sensitive Measure of Codon Usage Bias 
We propose a simple, sensitive measure of synonymous codon usage bias, the Relative Codon Adaptation Index (rCAI), as a way to discriminate better between highly biased and unbiased regions, compared with the widely used Codon Adaptation Index (CAI). CAI is a geometric mean of the relative usage of codons in a gene, and is calculated using the codon usage table trained with a set of highly expressed genes. In contrast, rCAI is computed by subtracting the background codon usage trained with two noncoding frames of highly expressed genes from the codon usage in the coding frame. rCAI has higher signal-to-noise ratio than CAI, considering that noncoding frames would not show codon bias. Translation efficiency and protein abundance correlates comparably or better with rCAI than CAI or other measures such as ‘effective number of codons’ and ‘SCUMBLE offsets’. Within overlapping coding regions, one of the two coding frames dominates in codon usage bias according to rCAI. Presumably, rCAI could substitute CAI in diverse applications.
PMCID: PMC2880845  PMID: 20535230
codon usage bias; codon adaptation index; translation efficiency; overlapping genes
12.  A Regulatory Polymorphism at Position -309 in PTPRCAP Is Associated with Susceptibility to Diffuse-type Gastric Cancer and Gene Expression1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2009;11(12):1340-1347.
PTPRCAP (CD45-AP) is a positive regulator of protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPRC (CD45), which activates Src family kinases implicated in tumorigenesis. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs869736 located at position -309 of the PTPRCAP promoter was associated with susceptibility to diffuse-type gastric cancer in the current case-control study. The minor-allele homozygote was significantly associated with a 2.5-fold increased susceptibility to diffuse-type gastric cancer (P = .0021, n = 252), but not to intestinal-type (P = .30, n = 178), versus the major-allele homozygote, when comparing unrelated Korean patients with healthy controls (n = 406). Nine other SNPs were in nearly perfect linkage disequilibrium (r2 ≥ 0.97) with this SNP, exhibiting the same association, and spread out for 26 kb on chromosome 11q13.1 covering RPS6KB2, PTPRCAP, CORO1B, and GPR152. Among the four genes, however, only PTPRCAP expression was affected by haplotypes of the 10 SNPs. Endogenous transcript levels of PTPRCAP were linearly correlated with copy numbers (0, 1, and 2) of the risk-haplotype (P = .0060) in 12 lymphoblastoid cells derived from blood samples, but those of the other three genes were not. Furthermore, the cancer-risk, minor-allele T of rs869736 increased both promoter activity and specific nuclear protein-binding affinity than the nonrisk, major-allele G in luciferase reporter and electrophoretic mobility shift assays, respectively. Accordingly, the minor allele of rs869736 in the PTPRCAP promoter is associated with increased susceptibility to diffuse-type gastric cancer by increasing PTPRCAP expression, possibly leading to activation of the oncogenic Src family kinases.
PMCID: PMC2794515  PMID: 20019842
13.  A functional variant in FcRH3, encoding Fc Receptor Homolog 3, is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and several autoimmunities 
Nature genetics  2005;37(5):478-485.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease with a complex genetic etiology. Herein we identify a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter region of FcRH3, a member of the Fc receptor homolog family, that is associated with RA susceptibility (OR=2.15, P=0.00000085). This polymorphism alters the binding affinity of nuclear factor-κB and regulates FcRH3 expression. High FcRH3 expression on B-cells and augmented autoantibody production were observed in individuals with the disease-susceptible genotype. Associations were also found between the SNP and susceptibility to autoimmune thyroid disease and systemic lupus erythematosus. FcRH3 may thus play a pivotal role in autoimmunity.
PMCID: PMC1362949  PMID: 15838509
14.  Drosophila Med6 Is Required for Elevated Expression of a Large but Distinct Set of Developmentally Regulated Genes 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(15):5242-5255.
Mediator is the evolutionarily conserved coactivator required for the integration and recruitment of diverse regulatory signals to basal transcription machinery. To elucidate the functions of metazoan Mediator, we isolated Drosophila melanogaster Med6 mutants. dMed6 is essential for viability and/or proliferation of most cells. dMed6 mutants failed to pupate and died in the third larval instar with severe proliferation defects in imaginal discs and other larval mitotic cells. cDNA microarray, quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, and in situ expression analyses of developmentally regulated genes in dMed6 mutants showed that transcriptional activation of many, but not all, genes was affected. Among the genes found to be affected were some that play a role in cell proliferation and metabolism. Therefore, dMed6 is required in most cells for transcriptional regulation of many genes important for diverse aspects of Drosophila development.
PMCID: PMC87248  PMID: 11438678
15.  DNA sequencing and genotyping by transcriptional synthesis of chain-terminated RNA ladders and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(3):e11.
Sets of RNA ladders can be synthesized by transcription of a bacteriophage-encoded RNA polymerase using 3′-deoxynucleotides as chain terminators. These ladders can be used for sequencing of DNA. Using a nicked form of phage SP6 RNA polymerase in this study substantially enhanced yields of transcriptional sequencing ladders. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) of chain-terminated RNA ladders allowed DNA sequence determination of up to 56 nt. It is also demonstrated that A→G and C→T variations in heterozygous and homozygous samples can be unambiguously identified by the mass spectrometric analysis. As a step towards single-tube sequencing reactions, α-thiotriphosphate nucleotide analogs were used to overcome problems caused by chain terminator-independent, premature termination and by the small mass difference between natural pyrimidine nucleotides.
PMCID: PMC30412  PMID: 11160913

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