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1.  F8 haplotype and inhibitor risk: results from the Hemophilia Inhibitor Genetics Study (HIGS) Combined Cohort 
Ancestral background, specifically African descent, confers higher risk for development of inhibitory antibodies to factor VIII (FVIII) in hemophilia A. It has been suggested that differences in the distribution of factor VIII gene (F8) haplotypes, and mismatch between endogenous F8 haplotypes and those comprising products used for treatment could contribute to risk.
Design and Methods
Data from the HIGS Combined Cohort were used to determine the association between F8 haplotype 3 (H3) vs. haplotypes 1 and 2 (H1+H2) and inhibitor risk among individuals of genetically-determined African descent. Other variables known to affect inhibitor risk including type of F8 mutation and HLA were included in the analysis. A second research question regarding risk related to mismatch in endogenous F8 haplotype and recombinant FVIII products used for treatment was addressed.
H3 was associated with higher inhibitor risk among those genetically-identified (N=49) as of African ancestry, but the association did not remain significant after adjustment for F8 mutation type and the HLA variables. Among subjects of all racial ancestries enrolled in HIGS who reported early use of recombinant products (N=223), mismatch in endogenous haplotype and the FVIII proteins constituting the products used did not confer greater risk for inhibitor development.
H3 was not an independent predictor of inhibitor risk. Further, our findings did not support a higher risk of inhibitors in the presence of a haplotype mismatch between the FVIII molecule infused and that of the individual.
PMCID: PMC3521089  PMID: 22958194
F8 haplotype; FVIII inhibitors; haplotype mismatch
2.  Apolipoprotein L1 gene variants associate with hypertension-attributed nephropathy and the rate of kidney function decline in African Americans 
Kidney international  2012;83(1):114-120.
Despite intensive anti-hypertensive therapy there was a high incidence of renal end-points in participants of the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK) cohort. To better understand this, coding variants in the apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) and the non-muscle myosin heavy chain 9 (MYH9) genes were evaluated for an association with hypertension-attributed nephropathy and clinical outcomes in a case-control study. Clinical data and DNA were available for 675 AASK participant cases and 618 African American non-nephropathy control individuals. APOL1 G1 and G2, and MYH9 E1 variants along with 44 ancestry informative markers were genotyped with allele frequency differences between cases and controls analyzed by logistic regression multivariable models adjusting for ancestry, age, and gender. In recessive models, APOL1 risk variants were significantly associated with kidney disease in all cases compared to controls with an odds ratio of 2.57. In AASK cases with more advanced disease, such as a baseline urine protein to creatinine ratio over 0.6 g/g or a serum creatinine over 3 mg/dL during follow-up, the association was strengthened with odds ratios of 6.29 and 4.61, respectively. APOL1 risk variants were consistently associated with renal disease progression across medication classes and blood pressure targets. Thus, kidney disease in AASK participants was strongly associated with APOL1 renal risk variants.
PMCID: PMC3484228  PMID: 22832513
3.  HIV-associated nephropathy patients with and without apolipoprotein L1 gene variants have similar clinical and pathologic characteristics 
Kidney international  2012;82(3):338-343.
Recently, an association was found between non-diabetic kidney disease in African Americans and two independent sequence variants in the APOL1 gene, encoding apolipoprotein L1. In this study we determined the frequency of APOL1 risk variants in patients with biopsy-proven HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) and distinctive pathological characteristics potentially driven by those risk variants. Among 76 patients with HIVAN, 60 were successfully genotyped for APOL1 G1 and G2 polymorphisms. In this cohort, 37 had two risk alleles, 18 were heterozygous and 5 had neither risk variant. There were no differences in the pathological findings of HIVAN and the number of APOL1 risk alleles. Further, the progression to end stage kidney disease or death did not differ by the number of risk alleles. Median renal survival was 9.3 months in patients with none or one risk allele compared to 11.7 months in patients with two APOL1 risk alleles. Thus, our study suggests that although the majority of African American patients with HIVAN have two APOL1 risk alleles, other as yet unknown factors in the host including genetic risk variants and environmental or viral factors may influence the development of this disorder in those with none or one APOL1 risk allele.
PMCID: PMC3463138  PMID: 22495294
4.  Genome-wide Association Study Implicates PARD3B-based AIDS Restriction 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;203(10):1491-1502.
Background. Host genetic variation influences human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and progression to AIDS. Here we used clinically well-characterized subjects from 5 pretreatment HIV/AIDS cohorts for a genome-wide association study to identify gene associations with rate of AIDS progression.
Methods.  European American HIV seroconverters (n = 755) were interrogated for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (n = 700,022) associated with progression to AIDS 1987 (Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, co-dominant model).
Results.  Association with slower progression was observed for SNPs in the gene PARD3B. One of these, rs11884476, reached genome-wide significance (relative hazard = 0.3; P =3. 370 × 10−9) after statistical correction for 700,022 SNPs and contributes 4.52% of the overall variance in AIDS progression in this study. Nine of the top-ranked SNPs define a PARD3B haplotype that also displays significant association with progression to AIDS (hazard ratio, 0.3; P = 3.220 × 10−8). One of these SNPs, rs10185378, is a predicted exonic splicing enhancer; significant alteration in the expression profile of PARD3B splicing transcripts was observed in B cell lines with alternate rs10185378 genotypes. This SNP was typed in European cohorts of rapid progressors and was found to be protective for AIDS 1993 definition (odds ratio, 0.43, P = .025).
Conclusions. These observations suggest a potential unsuspected pathway of host genetic influence on the dynamics of AIDS progression.
PMCID: PMC3080910  PMID: 21502085
5.  Role of Exonic Variation in Chemokine Receptor Genes on AIDS: CCRL2 F167Y Association with Pneumocystis Pneumonia 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(10):e1002328.
Chromosome 3p21–22 harbors two clusters of chemokine receptor genes, several of which serve as major or minor coreceptors of HIV-1. Although the genetic association of CCR5 and CCR2 variants with HIV-1 pathogenesis is well known, the role of variation in other nearby chemokine receptor genes remain unresolved. We genotyped exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in chemokine receptor genes: CCR3, CCRL2, and CXCR6 (at 3p21) and CCR8 and CX3CR1 (at 3p22), the majority of which were non-synonymous. The individual SNPs were tested for their effects on disease progression and outcomes in five treatment-naïve HIV-1/AIDS natural history cohorts. In addition to the known CCR5 and CCR2 associations, significant associations were identified for CCR3, CCR8, and CCRL2 on progression to AIDS. A multivariate survival analysis pointed to a previously undetected association of a non-conservative amino acid change F167Y in CCRL2 with AIDS progression: 167F is associated with accelerated progression to AIDS (RH = 1.90, P = 0.002, corrected). Further analysis indicated that CCRL2-167F was specifically associated with more rapid development of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) (RH = 2.84, 95% CI 1.28–6.31) among four major AIDS–defining conditions. Considering the newly defined role of CCRL2 in lung dendritic cell trafficking, this atypical chemokine receptor may affect PCP through immune regulation and inducing inflammation.
Author Summary
Human chemokine receptors are cell surface proteins that may be utilized by HIV-1 for entry into host cells. DNA variation in the HIV-1 major coreceptor CCR5 affects HIV-1 infection and progression. This study comprehensively assesses the role of genetic variation of multiple chemokine receptor genes clustered in the chromosome 3p21 and 3p22 on HIV-1 disease outcomes in HIV-1 natural history cohorts. The multivariate survival analyses identified functional variants that altered disease progression rate in CCRL2, CCR3, and CCR8. CCRL2-F167Y affects the rate to AIDS development through a specific protection against pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), a common AIDS–defining condition. Our study identified this atypical chemokine receptor CCRL2 as a key factor involved in PCP, possibly through inducing inflammation in the lung.
PMCID: PMC3203199  PMID: 22046140
6.  The Non-Muscle Myosin Heavy Chain 9 Gene (MYH9) Is Not Associated with Lupus Nephritis in African Americans 
American Journal of Nephrology  2010;32(1):66-72.
African Americans (AA) disproportionately develop lupus nephritis (LN) relative to European Americans and familial clustering supports causative genes. Since MYH9 underlies approximately 40% of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in AA, we tested for genetic association with LN.
Seven MYH9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the E1 risk haplotype were tested for association with LN in three cohorts of AA.
A preliminary analysis revealed that the MYH9 E1 risk haplotype was associated with ESRD in 25 cases with presumed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-associated ESRD, compared to 735 non-SLE controls (odds ratio 3.1; p = 0.010 recessive). Replication analyses were performed in 583 AA with SLE in the PROFILE cohort (318 with LN; 265 with SLE but without nephropathy) and 60 AA from the NIH (39 with LN; 21 with SLE but without nephropathy). Analysis of the NIH and larger PROFILE cohorts, as well as a combined analysis, did not support this association.
These results suggest that AA with ESRD and coincident SLE who were recruited from dialysis clinics more likely have kidney diseases in the MYH9-associated spectrum of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. PROFILE and NIH participants, recruited from rheumatology practices, demonstrate that MYH9 does not contribute substantially to the development of LN in AA.
PMCID: PMC2914393  PMID: 20523037
African Americans; Genetics; Lupus nephritis; Kidney; MYH9; Systemic lupus erythematosus
7.  Differential Effects of MYH9 and APOL1 Risk Variants on FRMD3 Association with Diabetic ESRD in African Americans 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(6):e1002150.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MYH9 and APOL1 on chromosome 22 (c22) are powerfully associated with non-diabetic end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in African Americans (AAs). Many AAs diagnosed with type 2 diabetic nephropathy (T2DN) have non-diabetic kidney disease, potentially masking detection of DN genes. Therefore, genome-wide association analyses were performed using the Affymetrix SNP Array 6.0 in 966 AA with T2DN and 1,032 non-diabetic, non-nephropathy (NDNN) controls, with and without adjustment for c22 nephropathy risk variants. No associations were seen between FRMD3 SNPs and T2DN before adjusting for c22 variants. However, logistic regression analysis revealed seven FRMD3 SNPs significantly interacting with MYH9—a finding replicated in 640 additional AA T2DN cases and 683 NDNN controls. Contrasting all 1,592 T2DN cases with all 1,671 NDNN controls, FRMD3 SNPs appeared to interact with the MYH9 E1 haplotype (e.g., rs942280 interaction p-value = 9.3E−7 additive; odds ratio [OR] 0.67). FRMD3 alleles were associated with increased risk of T2DN only in subjects lacking two MYH9 E1 risk haplotypes (rs942280 OR = 1.28), not in MYH9 E1 risk allele homozygotes (rs942280 OR = 0.80; homogeneity p-value = 4.3E−4). Effects were weaker stratifying on APOL1. FRMD3 SNPS were associated with T2DN, not type 2 diabetes per se, comparing AAs with T2DN to those with diabetes lacking nephropathy. T2DN-associated FRMD3 SNPs were detectable in AAs only after accounting for MYH9, with differential effects for APOL1. These analyses reveal a role for FRMD3 in AA T2DN susceptibility and accounting for c22 nephropathy risk variants can assist in detecting DN susceptibility genes.
Author Summary
African Americans have high rates of kidney disease attributed to type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, approximately 25% of patients are misclassified and have non-diabetic kidney disease on renal biopsy. The APOL1-MYH9 gene region on chromosome 22 is powerfully associated with non-diabetic kidney diseases in African Americans. Therefore, we tested for interactions between single nucleotide polymorphisms across the genome with APOL1 and MYH9 non-diabetic nephropathy risk variants in African Americans with presumed diabetic nephropathy. Markers in FRMD3, a gene associated with type 1 diabetic nephropathy in Caucasians, appeared to interact with MYH9; however, increased nephropathy risk was seen in diabetic cases lacking two MYH9 risk haplotypes, and protective effects were seen in those with two MYH9 risk haplotypes. Stratified analyses based on the chromosome 22 nephropathy risk haplotypes demonstrated that FRMD3 variants were associated with diabetic nephropathy risk in cases without two MYH9 (or APOL1) risk haplotypes. It appears that African Americans with diabetes and kidney disease who are not chromosome 22 nephropathy risk variant homozygotes are enriched for the presence of diabetic nephropathy and FRMD3 risk alleles. This genetic dissection ultimately allowed for detection of the FRMD3 diabetic nephropathy gene association in a subset of cases enriched for this disorder.
PMCID: PMC3116917  PMID: 21698141
8.  MYH9 Genetic Variants Associated With Glomerular Disease: What Is the Role for Genetic Testing? 
Seminars in nephrology  2010;30(4):409-417.
Genetic variation in MYH9, encoding nonmuscle myosin IIA heavy chain, has been associated recently with increased risk for kidney disease. Previously, MYH9 missense mutations have been shown to cause the autosomal-dominant MYH9 (ADM9) spectrum, characterized by large platelets, leukocyte Döhle bodies, and, variably, sensorineural deafness, cataracts, and glomerulopathy. Genetic testing is indicated for familial and sporadic cases that fit this spectrum. By contrast, the MYH9 kidney risk variant is characterized by multiple intronic single nucleotide polymorphisms, but the causative variant has not been identified. Disease associations include human immunodeficiency virus-associated collapsing glomerulopathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, hypertension-attributed end-stage kidney disease, and diabetes-attributed end-stage kidney disease. One plausible hypothesis is that the MYH9 kidney risk variant confers a fragile podocyte phenotype. In the case of hypertension-attributed kidney disease, it remains unclear if the hypertension is a contributing cause or a consequence of glomerular injury. The MYH9 kidney risk variant is strikingly more common among individuals of African descent, but only some will develop clinical kidney disease in their lifetime. Thus, it is likely that additional genes and/or environmental factors interact with the MYH9 kidney risk variant to trigger glomerular injury. A preliminary genetic risk stratification scheme, using 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms, may estimate lifetime risk for kidney disease. Nevertheless, at present, no role has been established for genetic testing as part of personalized medicine, but testing should be considered in clinical studies of glomerular diseases among populations of African descent. Such studies will address critical questions pertaining to MYH9-associated kidney disease, including mechanism, course, and response to therapy.
PMCID: PMC3097395  PMID: 20807613
Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis; HIV-associated nephropathy; hypertensive nephrosclerosis; chronic kidney disease; end-stage kidney disease; African American
9.  Accounting for multiple comparisons in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:724.
As we enter an era when testing millions of SNPs in a single gene association study will become the standard, consideration of multiple comparisons is an essential part of determining statistical significance. Bonferroni adjustments can be made but are conservative due to the preponderance of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between genetic markers, and permutation testing is not always a viable option. Three major classes of corrections have been proposed to correct the dependent nature of genetic data in Bonferroni adjustments: permutation testing and related alternatives, principal components analysis (PCA), and analysis of blocks of LD across the genome. We consider seven implementations of these commonly used methods using data from 1514 European American participants genotyped for 700,078 SNPs in a GWAS for AIDS.
A Bonferroni correction using the number of LD blocks found by the three algorithms implemented by Haploview resulted in an insufficiently conservative threshold, corresponding to a genome-wide significance level of α = 0.15 - 0.20. We observed a moderate increase in power when using PRESTO, SLIDE, and simpleℳ when compared with traditional Bonferroni methods for population data genotyped on the Affymetrix 6.0 platform in European Americans (α = 0.05 thresholds between 1 × 10-7 and 7 × 10-8).
Correcting for the number of LD blocks resulted in an anti-conservative Bonferroni adjustment. SLIDE and simpleℳ are particularly useful when using a statistical test not handled in optimized permutation testing packages, and genome-wide corrected p-values using SLIDE, are much easier to interpret for consumers of GWAS studies.
PMCID: PMC3023815  PMID: 21176216
10.  Association of Trypanolytic ApoL1 Variants with Kidney Disease in African-Americans 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2010;329(5993):841-845.
African-Americans have higher rates of kidney disease than European-Americans. Here we show that in African-Americans, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and hypertension-attributed end-stage kidney disease (H-ESKD) are associated with two independent sequence variants in the APOL1 gene on chromosome 22 [FSGS odds ratio = 10.5 (95% CI 6.0–18.4); H-ESKD odds ratio = 7.3 (95% CI 5.6–9.5)]. The two APOL1 variants are common in African chromosomes but absent from European chromosomes and both reside within haplotypes that harbor signatures of positive selection. ApoL1 is a serum factor that lyses trypanosomes. In vitro assays revealed that only the kidney disease-associated ApoL1 variants lysed Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. We speculate that evolution of a critical survival factor in Africa may have contributed to the high rates of renal disease in African-Americans.
PMCID: PMC2980843  PMID: 20647424
11.  Non-muscle myosin heavy chain 9 gene MYH9 associations in African Americans with clinically diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus-associated ESRD 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2009;24(11):3366-3371.
Background. Although MYH9 is strongly associated with biopsy-proven idiopathic and HIV-associated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and clinically diagnosed ‘hypertension-associated’ end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in African Americans, its role in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)-associated ESRD is unclear.
Methods. To assess whether MYH9 was associated with T2DM-ESRD, 751 African Americans with T2DM-ESRD, 227 with T2DM lacking nephropathy and 925 non-diabetic non-nephropathy controls were genotyped for 14 MYH9 SNPs. Association analyses used SNPGWA and Dandelion.
Results. Comparing T2DM-ESRD cases with non-diabetic controls, single SNP associations were detected with 8 of 14 SNPs, gender- and admixture-adjusted P-values 0.047–0.005 [recessive model, odds ratio (OR) range 1.30–1.55]. The previously associated MYH9 E1 and L1 haplotypes were associated with T2DM-ESRD (E1: OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.04–1.56, P = 0.021 recessive and L1: OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.09–1.87, P = 0.009 dominant). Contrasting the 751 T2DM-ESRD cases with 227 T2DM non-nephropathy controls revealed that E1 haplotype SNPs rs4821480, rs2032487 and rs4821481 were associated with kidney failure (OR 1.38–1.40 recessive, all P < 0.048). Among E1 and L1 risk homozygotes, respectively, mean (SD) diabetes duration prior to renal replacement therapy was 16.6 (9.7) and 16.4 (10.0) years, and 65% had diabetic retinopathy.
Conclusions. Genetic dissection of T2DM-associated ESRD reveals that MYH9 underlies a portion of this clinically diagnosed disorder in African Americans. It is likely that a subset of African Americans with T2DM and coincident nephropathy have primary MYH9-related kidney disease (e.g. FSGS or global glomerulosclerosis), although renal biopsy studies need to be performed.
PMCID: PMC2910323  PMID: 19567477
African American; diabetic nephropathy; kidney; MYH9; type 2 diabetes mellitus
12.  Multistage Genomewide Association Study Identifies a Locus at 1q41 Associated with Rate of HIV-1 Disease Progression to Clinical AIDS 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2010;201(4):618-626.
A mean of 9–10 years of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection elapse before clinical AIDS develops in untreated persons, but this rate of disease progression varies substantially among individuals. To investigate host genetic determinants of the rate of progression to clinical AIDS, we performed a multistage genomewide association study.
The discovery stage comprised 156 individuals from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, enriched with rapid and long-term nonprogressors to increase statistical power. This was followed by replication tests of putatively associated genotypes in an independent population of 590 HIV-1–infected seroconverters.
Significant associations with delayed AIDS progression were observed in a haplotype located at 1q41, 36 kb upstream of PROX1 on chromosome 1 (relative hazard ratio, 0.69; Fisher’s combined P = 6.23 × 10−7). This association was replicated further in an analysis stratified by transmission mode, with the effect consistent in sexual or mucosal and parenteral transmission (relative hazard ratios, 0.72 and 0.63, respectively; combined P = 1.63 × 10−6).
This study identified and replicated a locus upstream of PROX1 that is associated with delayed progression to clinical AIDS. PROX1 is a negative regulator of interferon-γ expression in T cells and also mitigates the advancement of vascular neoplasms, such as Kaposi sarcoma, a common AIDS-defining malignancy. This study adds to the cumulative polygenic host component that effectively regulates the progression to clinical AIDS among HIV-1–infected individuals, raising prospects for potential new avenues for therapy and improvements in AIDS prognosis.
PMCID: PMC2928718  PMID: 20064070
13.  Worldwide Distribution of the MYH9 Kidney Disease Susceptibility Alleles and Haplotypes: Evidence of Historical Selection in Africa 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11474.
MYH9 was recently identified as renal susceptibility gene (OR 3–8, p<10−8) for major forms of kidney disease disproportionately affecting individuals of African descent. The risk haplotype (E-1) occurs at much higher frequencies in African Americans (≥60%) than in European Americans (<4%), revealing a genetic basis for a major health disparity. The population distributions of MYH9 risk alleles and the E-1 risk haplotype and the demographic and selective forces acting on the MYH9 region are not well explored. We reconstructed MYH9 haplotypes from 4 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning introns 12–23 using available data from HapMap Phase II, and by genotyping 938 DNAs from the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP). The E-1 risk haplotype followed a cline, being most frequent within sub-Saharan African populations (range 50–80%), less frequent in populations from the Middle East (9–27%) and Europe (0–9%), and rare or absent in Asia, the Americas, and Oceania. The fixation indexes (FST) for pairwise comparisons between the risk haplotypes for continental populations were calculated for MYH9 haplotypes; FST ranged from 0.27–0.40 for Africa compared to other continental populations, possibly due to selection. Uniquely in Africa, the Yoruba population showed high frequency extended haplotype length around the core risk allele (C) compared to the alternative allele (T) at the same locus (rs4821481, iHs = 2.67), as well as high population differentiation (FST(CEU vs. YRI) = 0.51) in HapMap Phase II data, also observable only in the Yoruba population from HGDP (FST = 0.49), pointing to an instance of recent selection in the genomic region. The population-specific divergence in MYH9 risk allele frequencies among the world's populations may prove important in risk assessment and public health policies to mitigate the burden of kidney disease in vulnerable populations.
PMCID: PMC2901326  PMID: 20634883
14.  Polymorphisms in the Nonmuscle Myosin Heavy Chain 9 Gene (MYH9) Are Associated with Albuminuria in Hypertensive African Americans: The HyperGEN Study 
American Journal of Nephrology  2009;29(6):626-632.
MYH9 is a podocyte-expressed gene encoding nonmuscle myosin IIA that is associated with idiopathic and human immunodeficiency virus-associated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and hypertensive end-stage renal disease in African Americans.
Four single nucleotide polymorphisms comprising the major MYH9 E1 risk haplotype were tested for association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR) in 2,903 HyperGEN participants (1,458 African Americans (AA) in 895 families and 1,445 European Americans (EA) in 859 families) to determine the role of MYH9 in subclinical nephropathy. Association analyses employed general linear models in unrelated probands and generalized estimating equations in families. Adjustment was performed for age, sex, diabetes, BMI, medications, and mean arterial pressure separately in each race.
Mean (SD) eGFR and ACR were 74.3 (16.0) ml/min/1.73 m2 and 20.3 (119.9) mg/g in EA, and 88.6 (20.9) ml/min/1.73 m2 and 76.8 (394.5) mg/g in AA (both p < 0.0001 across ethnicities). Urine ACR was associated with rs3752462 (p = 0.01) and rs4821481 (p = 0.05) in unrelated AA and with rs4821481 (p = 0.03), rs2032487 (p = 0.04) and the E1 3224 haplotype (p = 0.013) in AA families. Single nucleotide polymorphisms and the haplotype were not associated with ACR in EA or with eGFR in either ethnic group.
MYH9 variants are associated with albuminuria in hypertensive AA. The strength of the association was weaker than that in FSGS and hypertensive end-stage renal disease. MYH9 risk variants appear to be associated with primary FSGS with secondary hypertension, although nephrosclerosis may develop in response to hypertension in subjects homozygous for the MYH9 E1 risk haplotype.
PMCID: PMC2749685  PMID: 19153477
African Americans; Albuminuria; Chronic kidney disease; Essential hypertension; HyperGEN study; MYH9 gene
15.  MYH9 is a major-effect risk gene for focal segmental glomerulosclerosis 
Nature genetics  2008;40(10):1175-1184.
The increased burden of chronic kidney and end-stage kidney diseases (ESKD) in populations of African ancestry has been largely unexplained. To identify genetic variants predisposing to idiopathic and HIV-1–associated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), we carried out an admixture-mapping linkage-disequilibrium genome scan on 190 African American individuals with FSGS and 222 controls. We identified a chromosome 22 region with a genome-wide logarithm of the odds (lod) score of 9.2 and a peak lod of 12.4 centered on MYH9, a functional candidate gene expressed in kidney podocytes. Multiple MYH9 SNPs and haplotypes were recessively associated with FSGS, most strongly a haplotype spanning exons 14 through 23 (OR = 5.0, 95% CI = 3.5–7.1; P = 4 × 10−23, n = 852). This association extended to hypertensive ESKD (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.5–3.4; n = 433), but not type 2 diabetic ESKD (n = 476). Genetic variation at the MYH9 locus substantially explains the increased burden of FSGS and hypertensive ESKD among African Americans.
PMCID: PMC2827354  PMID: 18794856
16.  African ancestry allelic variation at the MYH9 gene contributes to increased susceptibility to non-diabetic end-stage kidney disease in Hispanic Americans 
Human Molecular Genetics  2010;19(9):1816-1827.
Recent studies identified MYH9 as a major susceptibility gene for common forms of non-diabetic end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). A set of African ancestry DNA sequence variants comprising the E-1 haplotype, was significantly associated with ESKD. In order to determine whether African ancestry variants are also associated with disease susceptibility in admixed populations with differing genomic backgrounds, we genotyped a total of 1425 African and Hispanic American subjects comprising dialysis patients with diabetic and non-diabetic ESKD and controls, using 42 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the MYH9 gene and 40 genome-wide and 38 chromosome 22 ancestry informative markers. Following ancestry correction, logistic regression demonstrated that three of the E-1 SNPs are also associated with non-diabetic ESKD in the new sample sets of both African and Hispanic Americans, with a stronger association in Hispanic Americans. We also identified MYH9 SNPs that are even more powerfully associated with the disease phenotype than the E-1 SNPs. These newly associated SNPs, could be divided into those comprising a haplotype termed S-1 whose association was significant under a recessive or additive inheritance mode (rs5750248, OR 4.21, P < 0.01, Hispanic Americans, recessive), and those comprising a haplotype termed F-1 whose association was significant under a dominant or additive inheritance mode (rs11912763, OR 4.59, P < 0.01, Hispanic Americans, dominant). These findings strengthen the contention that a sequence variant of MYH9, common in populations with varying degrees of African ancestry admixture, and in strong linkage disequilibrium with the associated SNPs and haplotypes reported herein, strongly predisposes to non-diabetic ESKD.
PMCID: PMC2850615  PMID: 20144966
17.  Dense mapping of MYH9 localizes the strongest kidney disease associations to the region of introns 13 to 15 
Human Molecular Genetics  2010;19(9):1805-1815.
Admixture mapping recently identified MYH9 as a susceptibility gene for idiopathic focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) and end-stage kidney disease attributed to hypertension (H-ESKD) in African Americans (AA). MYH9 encodes the heavy chain of non-muscle myosin IIA, a cellular motor involved in motility. A haplotype and its tagging SNPs spanning introns 12–23 were most strongly associated with kidney disease (OR 2–7; P < 10−8, recessive). To narrow the region of association and identify potential causal variation, we performed a dense-mapping study using 79 MYH9 SNPs in AA populations with FSGS, HIVAN and H-ESKD (typed for a subset of 46 SNPs), for a total of 2496 cases and controls. The strongest associations were for correlated SNPs rs5750250, rs2413396 and rs5750248 in introns 13, 14 and 15, a region of 5.6 kb. Rs5750250 showed OR 5.0, 8.0 and 2.8; P = 2 × 10−17, 2 × 10−10 and 3 × 10−22, respectively, for FSGS, HIVAN and H-ESKD; OR 5.7; P = 9 × 10−27 for combined FSGS and HIVAN, recessive. An independent association was observed for rs11912763 in intron 33. Neither the highly associated SNPs nor the results of resequencing MYH9 in 40 HIVAN or FSGS cases and controls revealed non-synonymous changes that could account for the disease associations. Rs2413396 and one of the highly associated SNPs in intron 23, rs4821480, are predicted splicing motif modifiers. Rs5750250 combined with rs11912763 had receiver operator characteristic (ROC) C statistics of 0.80, 0.73 and 0.65 for HIVAN, FSGS and H-ESKD, respectively, allowing prediction of genetic risk by typing two SNPs.
PMCID: PMC2850614  PMID: 20124285
19.  Polymorphisms in the non-muscle myosin heavy chain 9 gene (MYH9) are strongly associated with end-stage renal disease historically attributed to hypertension in African Americans 
Kidney international  2009;75(7):736-745.
African Americans have high incidence rates of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) labeled as due to hypertension. As recent studies showed strong association with idiopathic and HIV-related focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and non-muscle myosin heavy chain 9 (MYH9) gene polymorphisms in this ethnic group, we tested for MYH9 associations in a variety of kidney diseases. Fifteen MYH9 single-nucleotide polymorphisms were evaluated in 175 African Americans with chronic glomerulonephritis-associated ESRD, 696 African Americans reportedly with hypertension-associated ESRD, and 948 control subjects without kidney disease. Significant associations were detected with 14 of the 15 polymorphisms in all 871 non-diabetic patients with ESRD. In hypertension-associated ESRD cases alone, significant associations were found with 13 MYH9 polymorphisms and the previously reported E1 haplotype. Thus, hypertension-associated ESRD in African Americans is substantially related to MYH9 gene polymorphisms and this may explain the poor response to blood pressure control in those diagnosed with hypertensive nephrosclerosis. It is possible that many African Americans classified as having hypertension-associated ESRD have occult MYH9-associated segmental or global glomerulosclerosis. Our study shows that gene-environment and/or gene–gene interactions may initiate kidney disease in genetically susceptible individuals, because African Americans homozygous for MYH9 risk alleles do not universally develop kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC2698223  PMID: 19177153
African American; end-stage renal disease; focal segmental glomerulosclerosis; hypertension; hypertensive nephrosclerosis; MYH9
20.  Polymorphisms in the Nonmuscle Myosin Heavy Chain 9 Gene (MYH9) Are Associated with Albuminuria in Hypertensive African Americans: The HyperGEN Study 
American journal of nephrology  2009;29(6):626-632.
MYH9 is a podocyte-expressed gene encoding nonmuscle myosin IIA that is associated with idiopathic and human immunodeficiency virus-associated focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and hypertensive end-stage renal disease in African Americans.
Four single nucleotide polymorphisms comprising the major MYH9 E1 risk haplotype were tested for association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR) in 2,903 HyperGEN participants (1,458 African Americans (AA) in 895 families and 1,445 European Americans (EA) in 859 families) to determine the role of MYH9 in subclinical nephropathy. Association analyses employed general linear models in unrelated probands and generalized estimating equations in families. Adjustment was performed for age, sex, diabetes, BMI, medications, and mean arterial pressure separately in each race.
Mean (SD) eGFR and ACR were 74.3 (16.0) ml/min/1.73 m2 and 20.3 (119.9) mg/g in EA, and 88.6 (20.9) ml/min/1.73 m2 and 76.8 (394.5) mg/g in AA (both p < 0.0001 across ethnicities). Urine ACR was associated with rs3752462 (p = 0.01) and rs4821481 (p = 0.05) in unrelated AA and with rs4821481 (p = 0.03), rs2032487 (p = 0.04) and the E1 3224 haplotype (p = 0.013) in AA families. Single nucleotide polymorphisms and the haplotype were not associated with ACR in EA or with eGFR in either ethnic group.
MYH9 variants are associated with albuminuria in hypertensive AA. The strength of the association was weaker than that in FSGS and hypertensive end-stage renal disease. MYH9 risk variants appear to be associated with primary FSGS with secondary hypertension, although nephrosclerosis may develop in response to hypertension in subjects homozygous for the MYH9 E1 risk haplotype.
PMCID: PMC2749685  PMID: 19153477
African Americans; Albuminuria; Chronic kidney disease; Essential hypertension; HyperGEN study; MYH9 gene
21.  Genetic factors leading to chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection and nasopharyngeal carcinoma in South East China: Study design, methods and feasibility 
Human Genomics  2006;2(6):365-375.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a complex disease caused by a combination of Epstein-Barr virus chronic infection, the environment and host genes in a multi-step process of carcinogenesis. The identity of genetic factors involved in the development of chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection and NPC remains elusive, however. Here, we describe a two-phase, population-based, case-control study of Han Chinese from Guangxi province, where the NPC incidence rate rises to a high of 25-50 per 100,000 individuals. Phase I, powered to detect single gene associations, enrolled 984 subjects to determine feasibility, to develop infrastructure and logistics and to determine error rates in sample handling. A microsatellite screen of Phase I study participants, genotyped for 319 alleles from 34 microsatellites spanning an 18-megabase region of chromosome 4 (4p15.1-q12), previously implicated by a linkage analysis of familial NPC, found 14 alleles marginally associated with developing NPC or chronic immunoglobulin A production (p = 0.001-0.03). These associations lost significance after applying a correction for multiple tests. Although the present results await confirmation, the Phase II study population has tripled patient enrolment and has included environmental covariates, offering the potential to validate this and other genomic regions that influence the onset of NPC.
PMCID: PMC3525159  PMID: 16848974
nasopharyngeal carcinoma; chromosome 4; microsatellite; association study; Epstein-Barr virus
22.  Association of DC-SIGN Promoter Polymorphism with Increased Risk for Parenteral, but Not Mucosal, Acquisition of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infection 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(24):14053-14056.
There is considerable debate about the fundamental mechanisms that underlie and restrict acquisition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. In light of recent studies demonstrating the ability of C type lectins to facilitate infection with HIV-1, we explored the potential relationship between polymorphisms in the DC-SIGN promoter and risk for acquisition of HIV-1 according to route of infection. Using samples obtained from 1,611 European-American participants at risk for parenteral (n = 713) or mucosal (n = 898) infection, we identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the DC-SIGN promoter using single-strand conformation polymorphism. Individuals at risk for parenterally acquired infection who had −336C were more susceptible to infection than were persons with −336T (odds ratio = 1.87, P = 0.001). This association was not observed in those at risk for mucosally acquired infection. A potential role for DC-SIGN specific to systemic acquisition and dissemination of infection is suggested.
PMCID: PMC533922  PMID: 15564514
23.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1)-Specific CD8+-T-Cell Responses for Groups of HIV-1-Infected Individuals with Different HLA-B*35 Genotypes 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(24):12603-12610.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals with HLA-B*35 allelic variants B*3502/3503/3504/5301 (B*35-Px) progress more rapidly to AIDS than do those with B*3501 (B*35-PY). The mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon are not clear. To examine whether cellular immune responses may differ according to HLA-B*35 genotype, we quantified HIV-1-specific CD8+-T-cell (CTL) responses using an intracellular cytokine-staining assay with specimens from 32 HIV-1-positive individuals who have B*35 alleles. Among them, 75% had CTL responses to Pol, 69% had CTL responses to Gag, 50% had CTL responses to Nef, and 41% had CTL responses to Env. The overall magnitude of CTL responses did not differ between patients bearing B*35-Px genotypes and those bearing B*35-PY genotypes. A higher percentage of Gag-specific CTL was associated with lower HIV-1 RNA levels (P = 0.009) in individuals with B*35-PY. A negative association between CTL activity for each of the four HIV antigens and viral load was observed among individuals with B*35-PY, and the association reached significance for Gag. No significant relationship between CTL activity and viral load was observed in the B*35-Px group. The relationship between total CTL activity and HIV RNA among B*35-Px carriers differed significantly from that among B*35-PY carriers (P < 0.05). The data are consistent with the hypothesis that higher levels of virus-specific CTL contribute to protection against HIV disease progression in infected individuals with B*35-PY, but not in those with B*35-Px.
PMCID: PMC136673  PMID: 12438586

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