Alzheimer's disease is a common debilitating dementia with known heritability, for which 20 late onset susceptibility loci have been identified, but more remain to be discovered. This study sought to identify new susceptibility genes, using an alternative gene-wide analytical approach which tests for patterns of association within genes, in the powerful genome-wide association dataset of the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project Consortium, comprising over 7 m genotypes from 25,580 Alzheimer's cases and 48,466 controls.
In addition to earlier reported genes, we detected genome-wide significant loci on chromosomes 8 (TP53INP1, p = 1.4×10−6) and 14 (IGHV1-67 p = 7.9×10−8) which indexed novel susceptibility loci.
The additional genes identified in this study, have an array of functions previously implicated in Alzheimer's disease, including aspects of energy metabolism, protein degradation and the immune system and add further weight to these pathways as potential therapeutic targets in Alzheimer's disease.
We have previously identified tagSNPs at 8q24.21 influencing glioma risk. We have sought to fine-map the location of the functional basis of this association using data from four genome-wide association studies, comprising a total of 4147 glioma cases and 7435 controls. To improve marker density across the 700 kb region, we imputed genotypes using 1000 Genomes Project data and high-coverage sequencing data generated on 253 individuals. Analysis revealed an imputed low-frequency SNP rs55705857 (P = 2.24 × 10−38) which was sufficient to fully capture the 8q24.21 association. Analysis by glioma subtype showed the association with rs55705857 confined to non-glioblastoma multiforme (non-GBM) tumours (P = 1.07 × 10−67). Validation of the non-GBM association was shown in three additional datasets (625 non-GBM cases, 2412 controls; P = 1.41 × 10−28). In the pooled analysis, the odds ratio for low-grade glioma associated with rs55705857 was 4.3 (P = 2.31 × 10−94). rs55705857 maps to a highly evolutionarily conserved sequence within the long non-coding RNA CCDC26 raising the possibility of direct functionality. These data provide additional insights into the aetiological basis of glioma development.
Eleven susceptibility loci for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) were identified by previous studies; however, a large portion of the genetic risk for this disease remains unexplained. We conducted a large, two-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry. In stage 1, we used genotyped and imputed data (7,055,881 SNPs) to perform meta-analysis on 4 previously published GWAS data sets consisting of 17,008 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 37,154 controls. In stage 2,11,632 SNPs were genotyped and tested for association in an independent set of 8,572 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 11,312 controls. In addition to the APOE locus (encoding apolipoprotein E), 19 loci reached genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) in the combined stage 1 and stage 2 analysis, of which 11 are newly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of congenital heart disease (CHD). Our discovery cohort comprised 1,995 CHD cases and 5,159 controls, and included patients from each of the three major clinical CHD categories (septal, obstructive and cyanotic defects). When all CHD phenotypes were considered together, no regions achieved genome-wide significant association. However, a region on chromosome 4p16, adjacent to the MSX1 and STX18 genes, was associated (P=9.5×10−7) with the risk of ostium secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) in the discovery cohort (N=340 cases), and this was replicated in a further 417 ASD cases and 2520 controls (replication P=5.0×10−5; OR in replication cohort 1.40 [95% CI 1.19-1.65]; combined P=2.6×10−10). Genotype accounted for ~9% of the population attributable risk of ASD.
Genetic mapping on fully sequenced individuals is transforming our understanding of the relationship between molecular variation and variation in complex traits. Here we report a combined sequence and genetic mapping analysis in outbred rats that maps 355 quantitative trait loci for 122 phenotypes. We identify 35 causal genes involved in 31 phenotypes, implicating novel genes in models of anxiety, heart disease and multiple sclerosis. The relation between sequence and genetic variation is unexpectedly complex: at approximately 40% of quantitative trait loci a single sequence variant cannot account for the phenotypic effect. Using comparable sequence and mapping data from mice, we show the extent and spatial pattern of variation in inbred rats differ significantly from those of inbred mice, and that the genetic variants in orthologous genes rarely contribute to the same phenotype in both species.
Association between the C677T polymorphism of the methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene and congenital heart disease (CHD) is contentious.
Methods and Results
We compared genotypes between CHD cases and controls, and between mothers of CHD cases and controls. We placed our results in context by conducting metaanalyses of previously published studies. Among 5,814 cases with primary genotype data and 10,056 controls, there was no evidence of association between MTHFR C677T genotype and CHD risk (OR 0.96 [95% CI 0.87-1.07]). A random-effects meta-analysis of all studies (involving 7,697 cases and 13,125 controls) suggested the presence of association (OR 1.25 [95% CI 1.03-1.51]; p=0.022), but with substantial heterogeneity among contributing studies (I2=64.4%), and evidence of publication bias. Meta-analysis of large studies only (defined by a variance of the log OR less than 0.05), which together contributed 83% of all cases, yielded no evidence of association (OR 0.97 [95% CI 0.91-1.03]), without significant heterogeneity (I2=0). Moreover, meta-analysis of 1,781 mothers of CHD cases (829 of whom were genotyped in this study) and 19,861 controls revealed no evidence of association between maternal C677T genotype and risk of CHD in offspring (OR 1.13 [95% CI 0.87-1.47]). There was no significant association between MTHFR genotype and CHD risk in large studies from regions with different levels of dietary folate.
The MTHFR C677T polymorphism, which directly influences plasma folate levels, is not associated with CHD risk. Publication biases appear to substantially contaminate the literature with regard to this genetic association.
congenital heart disease; MTHFR; genetic association; folate; Mendelian randomization
The genetic causes of malformations of cortical development (MCD) remain largely unknown. Here we report the discovery of multiple disease-causing missense mutations in TUBG1, DYNC1H1 and KIF2A, as well as a single germline mosaic mutation in KIF5C. We find a frequent recurrence of mutations in DYNC1H1, implying that this gene is a major locus implicated in unexplained MCD. The mutations in KIF5C, KIF2A and DYNC1H1 drastically affect ATP hydrolysis, productive protein folding or microtubule binding, while suppression of Tubg1 expression in vivo interferes with proper neuronal migration and expression of Tubg1 mutations in S. cerevisiae results in disruption of normal microtubule behaviour. Our data reinforce the importance of centrosome- and microtubule-related proteins in cortical development and strongly suggest that microtubule-dependent mitotic and post-mitotic processes are major contributors to the pathogenesis of MCD.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of visual loss in Western populations. Susceptibility is influenced by age, environmental and genetic factors. Known genetic risk loci do not account for all the heritability. We therefore carried out a genome-wide association study of AMD in the UK population with 893 cases of advanced AMD and 2199 controls. This showed an association with the well-established AMD risk loci ARMS2 (age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2)–HTRA1 (HtrA serine peptidase 1) (P =2.7 × 10−72), CFH (complement factor H) (P =2.3 × 10−47), C2 (complement component 2)–CFB (complement factor B) (P =5.2 × 10−9), C3 (complement component 3) (P =2.2 × 10−3) and CFI (P =3.6 × 10−3) and with more recently reported risk loci at VEGFA (P =1.2 × 10−3) and LIPC (hepatic lipase) (P =0.04). Using a replication sample of 1411 advanced AMD cases and 1431 examined controls, we confirmed a novel association between AMD and single-nucleotide polymorphisms on chromosome 6p21.3 at TNXB (tenascin XB)–FKBPL (FK506 binding protein like) [rs12153855/rs9391734; discovery P =4.3 × 10−7, replication P =3.0 × 10−4, combined P =1.3 × 10−9, odds ratio (OR) = 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3–1.6] and the neighbouring gene NOTCH4 (Notch 4) (rs2071277; discovery P =3.2 × 10−8, replication P =3.8 × 10−5, combined P =2.0 × 10−11, OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.2–1.4). These associations remained significant in conditional analyses which included the adjacent C2–CFB locus. TNXB, FKBPL and NOTCH4 are all plausible AMD susceptibility genes, but further research will be needed to identify the causal variants and determine whether any of these genes are involved in the pathogenesis of AMD.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most lethal urologic cancer. Only two common susceptibility loci for RCC have been confirmed to date. To identify additional RCC common susceptibility loci, we conducted an independent genome-wide association study (GWAS). We analyzed 533 191 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for association with RCC in 894 cases and 1516 controls of European descent recruited from MD Anderson Cancer Center in the primary scan, and validated the top 500 SNPs in silico in 3772 cases and 8505 controls of European descent involved in the only published GWAS of RCC. We identified two common variants in linkage disequilibrium, rs718314 and rs1049380 (r2 = 0.64, D ′ = 0.84), in the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor, type 2 (ITPR2) gene on 12p11.23 as novel susceptibility loci for RCC (P = 8.89 × 10−10 and P = 6.07 × 10−9, respectively, in meta-analysis) with an allelic odds ratio of 1.19 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13–1.26] for rs718314 and 1.18 (95% CI: 1.12–1.25) for rs1049380. It has been recently identified that rs718314 in ITPR2 is associated with waist–hip ratio (WHR) phenotype. To our knowledge, this is the first genetic locus associated with both cancer risk and WHR.
We conducted a genome-wide association study to search for risk alleles associated with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), using a northern European discovery set of 835 cases and 5159 controls. A region on chromosome 12q24 was associated (P = 1.4 × 10−7) and replicated convincingly (P = 3.9 × 10−5) in 798 cases and 2931 controls [per allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.27 in replication cohort, P = 7.7 × 10−11 in combined populations]. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the glypican 5 gene on chromosome 13q32 were also associated (P = 1.7 × 10−7) and replicated convincingly (P = 1.2 × 10−5) in 789 cases and 2927 controls (per allele OR = 1.31 in replication cohort, P = 3.03 × 10−11 in combined populations). Four additional regions on chromosomes 10, 15 and 16 showed suggestive association accompanied by nominal replication. This study, the first genome-wide association study of a congenital heart malformation phenotype, provides evidence that common genetic variation influences the risk of TOF.
Among inherited retinal dystrophies, autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP) is the most genetically heterogenous condition with 32 genes currently known that account for ∼60 % of patients. Molecular diagnosis thus requires the tedious systematic sequencing of 506 exons. To rapidly identify the causative mutations, we devised a strategy that combines gene mapping and phenotype assessment in small non-consanguineous families. Two unrelated sibships with arRP had whole-genome scan using SNP microchips. Chromosomal regions were selected by calculating a score based on SNP coverage and genotype identity of affected patients. Candidate genes from the regions with the highest scores were then selected based on phenotype concordance of affected patients with previously described phenotype for each candidate gene. For families RP127 and RP1459, 33 and 40 chromosomal regions showed possible linkage, respectively. By comparing the scores with the phenotypes, we ended with one best candidate gene for each family, namely tubby-like protein 1 (TULP1) and C2ORF71 for RP127 and RP1459, respectively. We found that RP127 patients were compound heterozygous for two novel TULP1 mutations, p.Arg311Gln and p.Arg342Gln, and that RP1459 patients were compound heterozygous for two novel C2ORF71 mutations, p.Leu777PhefsX34 and p.Leu777AsnfsX28. Phenotype assessment showed that TULP1 patients had severe early onset arRP and that C2ORF71 patients had a cone rod dystrophy type of arRP. Only two affected individuals in each sibship were sufficient to lead to mutation identification by screening the best candidate gene selected by a combination of gene mapping and phenotype characterization.
retinitis pigmentosa; gene mapping; autosomal recessive inheritance; non-consanguineous families; phenotype characterization
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an inherited disorder characterized by recurrent infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract, reduced fertility in males and situs inversus in about 50% of affected individuals (Kartagener syndrome). It is caused by motility defects in the respiratory cilia that are responsible for airway clearance, the flagella that propel sperm cells and the nodal monocilia that determine left-right asymmetry1. Recessive mutations that cause PCD have been identified in genes encoding components of the outer dynein arms, radial spokes and cytoplasmic pre-assembly factors of axonemal dyneins, but these mutations account for only about 50% of cases of PCD. We exploited the unique properties of dog populations to positionally clone a new PCD gene, CCDC39. We found that loss-of-function mutations in the human ortholog underlie a substantial fraction of PCD cases with axonemal disorganization and abnormal ciliary beating. Functional analyses indicated that CCDC39 localizes to ciliary axonemes and is essential for assembly of inner dynein arms and the dynein regulatory complex.
The release of the porcine genome sequence offers great perspectives for Pig genetics and genomics, and more generally will contribute to the understanding of mammalian genome biology and evolution. The process of producing a complete genome sequence of high quality, while facilitated by high-throughput sequencing technologies, remains a difficult task. The porcine genome was sequenced using a combination of a hierarchical shotgun strategy and data generated with whole genome shotgun. In addition to the BAC contig map used for the clone-by-clone approach, genomic mapping resources for the pig include two radiation hybrid (RH) panels at two different resolutions. These two panels have been used extensively for the physical mapping of pig genes and markers prior to the availability of the pig genome sequence.
In order to contribute to the assembly of the pig genome, we genotyped the two radiation hybrid (RH) panels with a SNP array (the Illumina porcineSNP60 array) and produced high density physical RH maps for each pig autosome. We first present the methods developed to obtain high density RH maps with 38,379 SNPs from the SNP array genotyping. We then show how they were useful to identify problems in a draft of the pig genome assembly, and how the RH maps enabled the problems to be corrected in the porcine genome sequence. Finally, we used the RH maps to predict the position of 2,703 SNPs and 1,328 scaffolds currently unplaced on the porcine genome assembly.
A complete process, from genotyping of a high density SNP array on RH panels, to the construction of genome-wide high density RH maps, and finally their exploitation for validating and improving a genome assembly is presented here. The study includes the cross-validation of RH based findings with independent information from genetic data and comparative mapping with the Human genome. Several additional resources are also provided, in particular the predicted genomic location of currently unplaced SNPs and associated scaffolds summing up to a total of 72 megabases, that can be useful for the exploitation of the pig genome assembly.
While gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors, their etiology is largely unknown. To identify novel risk loci for glioma, we conducted genome-wide association (GWA) analysis of two case–control series from France and Germany (2269 cases and 2500 controls). Pooling these data with previously reported UK and US GWA studies provided data on 4147 glioma cases and 7435 controls genotyped for 424 460 common tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Using these data, we demonstrate two statistically independent associations between glioma and rs11979158 and rs2252586, at 7p11.2 which encompasses the EGFR gene (population-corrected statistics, Pc = 7.72 × 10−8 and 2.09 × 10−8, respectively). Both associations were independent of tumor subtype, and were independent of EGFR amplification, p16INK4a deletion and IDH1 mutation status in tumors; compatible with driver effects of the variants on glioma development. These findings show that variation in 7p11.2 is a determinant of inherited glioma risk.
Variants associated with meconium ileus in cystic fibrosis (CF) were identified in 3,763 patients by GWAS. Five SNPs at two loci near SLC6A14 (min P=1.28×10−12 at rs3788766), chr Xq23-24 and SLC26A9 (min P=9.88×10−9 at rs4077468), chr 1q32.1 accounted for ~5% of the phenotypic variability, and were replicated in an independent patient collection (n=2,372; P=0.001 and 0.0001 respectively). By incorporating that disease-causing mutations in CFTR alter electrolyte and fluid flux across epithelia into an hypothesis-driven genome-wide analysis (GWAS-HD), we identified the same SLC6A14 and SLC26A9 associated SNPs, while establishing evidence for the involvement of SNPs in a third solute carrier gene, SLC9A3. In addition, GWAS-HD provided evidence of association between meconium ileus and multiple constituents of the apical plasma membrane where CFTR resides (P=0.0002, testing 155 apical genes jointly and replicated, P=0.022). These findings suggest that modulating activities of apical membrane constituents could complement current therapeutic paradigms for cystic fibrosis.
The manifestation of coronary artery disease (CAD) follows a well-choreographed series of events that includes damage of arterial endothelial cells and deposition of lipids in the sub-endothelial layers. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of multiple populations with distinctive genetic and lifestyle backgrounds are a crucial step in understanding global CAD pathophysiology. In this study, we report a GWAS on the genetic basis of arterial stenosis as measured by cardiac catheterization in a Lebanese population. The locus of the phosphatase and actin regulator 1 gene (PHACTR1) showed association with coronary stenosis in a discovery experiment with genome wide data in 1,949 individuals (rs9349379, OR = 1.37, p = 1.57×10−5). The association was replicated in an additional 2,547 individuals (OR = 1.31, p = 8.85×10−6), leading to genome-wide significant association in a combined analysis (OR = 1.34, p = 8.02×10−10). Results from this GWAS support a central role of PHACTR1 in CAD susceptibility irrespective of lifestyle and ethnic divergences. This association provides a plausible component for understanding molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of stenosis in cardiac vessels and a potential drug target against CAD.
By applying an imputation strategy based on the 1000 Genomes project to two genome-wide association studies (GWAS), we detected a susceptibility locus for venous thrombosis on chromosome 11p11.2 that was missed by previous GWAS analyses that had been conducted on the same datasets. A comprehensive linkage disequilibrium and haplotype analysis of the whole locus where twelve SNPs exhibited association p-values lower than 2.23 10−11 and the use of independent case-control samples demonstrated that the culprit variant was a rare variant located ∼1 Mb away from the original hits, not tagged by current genome-wide genotyping arrays and even not well imputed in the original GWAS samples. This variant was in fact the rs1799963, also known as the FII G20210A prothrombin mutation. This work may be of major interest not only for its scientific impact but also for its methodological findings.
Our specific aims were to evaluate the power of bivariate analysis and to compare its performance with traditional univariate analysis in samples of unrelated subjects under varying sampling selection designs. Bivariate association analysis was based on the seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model that allows different genetic models for different traits. We conducted extensive simulations for the case of two correlated quantitative phenotypes, with the quantitative trait locus making equal or unequal contributions to each phenotype. Our simulation results confirmed that the power of bivariate analysis is affected by the size, direction and source of the phenotypic correlations between traits. They also showed that the optimal sampling scheme depends on the size and direction of the induced genetic correlation. In addition, we demonstrated the efficacy of SUR-based bivariate test by applying it to a real Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) of Bone Mineral Density (BMD) values measured at the lumbar spine (LS) and at the femoral neck (FN) in a sample of unrelated males with low BMD (LS Z-scores ≤−2) and with high BMD (LS and FN Z-scores >0.5). A substantial amount of top hits in bivariate analysis did not reach nominal significance in any of the two single-trait analyses. Altogether, our studies suggest that bivariate analysis is of practical significance for GWAS of correlated phenotypes.
bivariate association; GWAS; BMD; osteoporosis
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) require large sample sizes to obtain adequate statistical power, but it may be possible to increase the power by incorporating complementary data. In this study we investigated the feasibility of automatically retrieving information from the medical literature and leveraging this information in GWAS.
We developed a method that searches through PubMed abstracts for pre-assigned keywords and key concepts, and uses this information to assign prior probabilities of association for each single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) with the phenotype of interest - the Adjusting Association Priors with Text (AdAPT) method. Association results from a GWAS can subsequently be ranked in the context of these priors using the Bayes False Discovery Probability (BFDP) framework. We initially tested AdAPT by comparing rankings of known susceptibility alleles in a previous lung cancer GWAS, and subsequently applied it in a two-phase GWAS of oral cancer.
Known lung cancer susceptibility SNPs were consistently ranked higher by AdAPT BFDPs than by p-values. In the oral cancer GWAS, we sought to replicate the top five SNPs as ranked by AdAPT BFDPs, of which rs991316, located in the ADH gene region of 4q23, displayed a statistically significant association with oral cancer risk in the replication phase (per-rare-allele log additive p-value [ptrend] = 2.5×10−3). The combined OR for having one additional rare allele was 0.83 (95% CI: 0.76–0.90), and this association was independent of previously identified susceptibility SNPs that are associated with overall UADT cancer in this gene region. We also investigated if rs991316 was associated with other cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT), but no additional association signal was found.
This study highlights the potential utility of systematically incorporating prior knowledge from the medical literature in genome-wide analyses using the AdAPT methodology. AdAPT is available online (url: http://services.gate.ac.uk/lld/gwas/service/config).
The insulin (INS) region is the second most important locus associated with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). The study of the DNA methylation pattern of the 7 CpGs proximal to the TSS in the INS gene promoter revealed that T1D patients have a lower level of methylation of CpG -19, -135 and -234 (p = 2.10−16) and a higher methylation of CpG -180 than controls, while methylation was comparable for CpG -69, -102, -206. The magnitude of the hypomethylation relative to a control population was 8–15% of the corresponding levels in controls and was correlated in CpGs -19 and -135 (r = 0.77) and CpG -135 and -234 (r = 0.65). 70/485 (14%) of T1D patients had a simultaneous decrease in methylation of CpG -19, -135, -234 versus none in 317 controls. CpG methylation did not correlate with glycated hemoglobin or with T1D duration. The methylation of CpG -69, -102, -180, -206, but not CpG -19, -135, -234 was strongly influenced by the cis-genotype at rs689, a SNP known to show a strong association with T1D. We hypothesize that part of this genetic association could in fact be mediated at the statistical and functional level by the underlying changes in neighboring CpG methylation. Our observation of a CpG-specific, locus-specific methylation pattern, although it can provide an epigenetic biomarker of a multifactorial disease, does not indicate whether the reported epigenetic pattern preexists or follows the establishment of T1D. To explore the effect of chronic hyperglycemia on CpG methylation, we studied non obese patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) who were found to have decreased CpG-19 methylation versus age-matched controls, similar to T1D (p = 2.10−6) but increased CpG-234 methylation (p = 5.10−8), the opposite of T1D. The causality and natural history of the different epigenetic changes associated with T1D or T2D remain to be determined.
We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in 3,772 cases and 8,505 controls of European background from 11 studies, and followed up 6 SNPs in three replication studies of 2,198 cases and 4,918 controls. Two loci on the regions of 2p21 and 11q13.3 were associated with RCC susceptibility below genome-wide significance. Two correlated variants (r2 = 0.99 in controls), rs11894252 (P = 1.8×10−8) and rs7579899 (P = 2.3×10−9), map to EPAS1 on 2p21, which encodes hypoxia-inducible- factor-2 alpha, a transcription factor previously implicated in RCC. The second locus, rs7105934, at 11q13, contains no characterized genes (P = 7.8×10−14). In addition, we observed a promising association on 12q24.31 for rs4765623 which maps to the scavenger receptor class B, member 1 (SCARB1) gene (P = 2.6×10−8). Our study reports novel genomic regions associated with RCC risk that may lead to new etiological insights.
Venous Thrombosis (VT) is a common multifactorial disease associated with a major public health burden. Genetics factors are known to contribute to the susceptibility of the disease but how many genes are involved and their contribution to VT risk still remain obscure. We aimed to identify genetic variants associated with VT risk.
We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) based on 551,141 SNPs genotyped in 1,542 cases and 1,110 controls. Twelve SNPs reached the genome-wide significance level of 2.0×10−8 and encompassed four known VT-associated loci, ABO, F5, F11 and FGG. By means of haplotype analyses, we also provided novel arguments in favor of a role of HIVEP1, PROCR and STAB2, three loci recently hypothesized to participate in the susceptibility to VT. However, no novel VT-associated loci came out of our GWAS. Using a recently proposed statistical methodology, we also showed that common variants could explain about 35% of the genetic variance underlying VT susceptibility among which 3% could be attributable to the main identified VT loci. This analysis additionally suggested that the common variants left to be identified are not uniformly distributed across the genome and that chromosome 20, itself, could contribute to ∼7% of the total genetic variance.
This study might also provide a valuable source of information to expand our understanding of biological mechanisms regulating quantitative biomarkers for VT.
Thirty-two common variants associated with body mass index (BMI) have been identified in genome-wide association studies, explaining ∼1.45% of BMI variation in general population cohorts. We performed a genome-wide association study in a sample of young adults enriched for extremely overweight individuals. We aimed to identify new loci associated with BMI and to ascertain whether using an extreme sampling design would identify the variants known to be associated with BMI in general populations.
From two large Danish cohorts we selected all extremely overweight young men and women (n = 2,633), and equal numbers of population-based controls (n = 2,740, drawn randomly from the same populations as the extremes, representing ∼212,000 individuals). We followed up novel (at the time of the study) association signals (p<0.001) from the discovery cohort in a genome-wide study of 5,846 Europeans, before attempting to replicate the most strongly associated 28 SNPs in an independent sample of Danish individuals (n = 20,917) and a population-based cohort of 15-year-old British adolescents (n = 2,418). Our discovery analysis identified SNPs at three loci known to be associated with BMI with genome-wide confidence (P<5×10−8; FTO, MC4R and FAIM2). We also found strong evidence of association at the known TMEM18, GNPDA2, SEC16B, TFAP2B, SH2B1 and KCTD15 loci (p<0.001), and nominal association (p<0.05) at a further 8 loci known to be associated with BMI. However, meta-analyses of our discovery and replication cohorts identified no novel associations.
Our results indicate that the detectable genetic variation associated with extreme overweight is very similar to that previously found for general BMI. This suggests that population-based study designs with enriched sampling of individuals with the extreme phenotype may be an efficient method for identifying common variants that influence quantitative traits and a valid alternative to genotyping all individuals in large population-based studies, which may require tens of thousands of subjects to achieve similar power.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most abundant source of genetic variation among individuals of a species. New genotyping technologies allow examining hundreds to thousands of SNPs in a single reaction for a wide range of applications such as genetic diversity analysis, linkage mapping, fine QTL mapping, association studies, marker-assisted or genome-wide selection. In this paper, we evaluated the potential of highly-multiplexed SNP genotyping for genetic mapping in maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.), the main conifer used for commercial plantation in southwestern Europe.
We designed a custom GoldenGate assay for 1,536 SNPs detected through the resequencing of gene fragments (707 in vitro SNPs/Indels) and from Sanger-derived Expressed Sequenced Tags assembled into a unigene set (829 in silico SNPs/Indels). Offspring from three-generation outbred (G2) and inbred (F2) pedigrees were genotyped. The success rate of the assay was 63.6% and 74.8% for in silico and in vitro SNPs, respectively. A genotyping error rate of 0.4% was further estimated from segregating data of SNPs belonging to the same gene. Overall, 394 SNPs were available for mapping. A total of 287 SNPs were integrated with previously mapped markers in the G2 parental maps, while 179 SNPs were localized on the map generated from the analysis of the F2 progeny. Based on 98 markers segregating in both pedigrees, we were able to generate a consensus map comprising 357 SNPs from 292 different loci. Finally, the analysis of sequence homology between mapped markers and their orthologs in a Pinus taeda linkage map, made it possible to align the 12 linkage groups of both species.
Our results show that the GoldenGate assay can be used successfully for high-throughput SNP genotyping in maritime pine, a conifer species that has a genome seven times the size of the human genome. This SNP-array will be extended thanks to recent sequencing effort using new generation sequencing technologies and will include SNPs from comparative orthologous sequences that were identified in the present study, providing a wider collection of anchor points for comparative genomics among the conifers.
Alcohol has been shown to critically modulate cyclic adenosine-3′,5′ monophosphate (cAMP) signaling. A number of downstream effectors that respond to the cAMP signals (e.g., protein kinase A, cAMP response element binding protein) have, in turn, been examined in relation to alcohol consumption. These studies did not, however, delineate the point at which the actions of alcohol on the cAMP cascade might translate into differences in drinking behavior. To further understand the role of cAMP synthesis in alcohol drinking and dependence, we investigated a specific adenylyl cyclase isoform, adenylyl cyclase (AC) Type 7, whose activity is selectively enhanced by ethanol.
We measured alcohol consumption and preference in mice in which one copy of the Adcy7 gene was disrupted (Adcy7+/−). To demonstrate relevance of this gene for alcohol dependence in humans, we tested the association of polymorphisms in the ADCY7 gene with alcohol dependence in a sample of 1703 alcohol-dependent individuals and 1347 control subjects.
We show that Adcy7+/− female mice have higher preference for alcohol than wild-type mice, whereas there is little difference in alcohol consumption or preference between Adcy7+/− male mice and wild-type control subjects. In the human sample, we found that single nucleotide polymorphisms in ADCY7 associate with alcohol dependence in women, and these markers are also associated with ADCY7 expression (messenger RNA) levels.
These findings implicate adenylyl cyclase Type 7 as a critical component of the molecular pathways contributing to alcohol drinking and the development of alcohol dependence.
ADCY7; adenylyl cyclase; alcohol dependence; gender; genetics; sex