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1.  Frequent Disruption of Chromodomain Helicase DNA-Binding Protein 8 (CHD8) and Functionally Associated Chromatin Regulators in Prostate Cancer 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2014;16(12):1018-1027.
Abnormal expression and function of chromatin regulators results in the altered chromatin structure seen in cancer. The chromatin regulator CTCF, its cofactor CHD8, and antagonistic paralogue BORIS have wide-ranging effects on gene regulation. Their concurrent expression and regulation was examined in benign, localized, and metastatic prostate cancer (PCa) arrays with extended follow-up using an automated quantitative imaging system, VECTRA. Epithelial staining was quantified and compared against a range of clinicopathologic variables. CHD8 expression was decreased in HGPIN, localized, and metastatic PCa compared to benign (P < .001). CHD8 promoter hypermethylation, assessed by Quantitative Pyrosequencing, occurred in over 45% of primary cancers in this population as well as the TGCA database. Treatment of cell lines with the demethylating agent 5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine reinduced expression. An interesting dichotomy for CHD8 was observed within primary cancers, with higher nuclear protein expression associated with adverse clinical outcomes including extracapsular extension (P = .007), presence of metastases (P = .025) and worse PSA-recurrence free survival (P = .048). CHD8 outperformed Gleason score and predicted biochemical failure within intermediate grade prostate cancers. The BORIS/CTCF expression ratio increased in localized (P = .03) and metastatic PCa (P = .006) and was associated with higher Gleason score (P = .02), increased tumor volume (P = .02) and positive margins (P = .04). Per cell heterogeneity of expression revealed all protein expression to be more heterogeneous in cancerous tissue (both P < .001), especially high grade (P < .01). In the first detailed analysis in cancer, a marked loss of CHD8 expression and increased BORIS/CTCF ratio indicate frequent disruption of CTCF and its effector genes in PCa.
doi:10.1016/j.neo.2014.10.003
PMCID: PMC4309256  PMID: 25499215
5-azadC, 5-Aza-2′deoxycytidine; BORIS, Brother of the regulator of imprinted sites/CTCFL; CTCF, CCCTC-binding factor; CHD8, Chromdomain helicase DNA-binding factor 8; HGPIN, High-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia; Prostate cancer, PCa; PSA, Prostate specific antigen; SI, Simpson's Index; TSS, Transcription start site
3.  Genome-Wide Association Study of African and European Americans Implicates Multiple Shared and Ethnic Specific Loci in Sarcoidosis Susceptibility 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43907.
Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas in affected organs. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of this disease have been conducted only in European population. We present the first sarcoidosis GWAS in African Americans (AAs, 818 cases and 1,088 related controls) followed by replication in independent sets of AAs (455 cases and 557 controls) and European Americans (EAs, 442 cases and 2,284 controls). We evaluated >6 million SNPs either genotyped using the Illumina Omni1-Quad array or imputed from the 1000 Genomes Project data. We identified a novel sarcoidosis-associated locus, NOTCH4, that reached genome-wide significance in the combined AA samples (rs715299, PAA-meta = 6.51×10−10) and demonstrated the independence of this locus from others in the MHC region in the same sample. We replicated previous European GWAS associations within HLA-DRA, HLA-DRB5, HLA-DRB1, BTNL2, and ANXA11 in both our AA and EA datasets. We also confirmed significant associations to the previously reported HLA-C and HLA-B regions in the EA but not AA samples. We further identified suggestive associations with several other genes previously reported in lung or inflammatory diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043907
PMCID: PMC3428296  PMID: 22952805
4.  Role of MYH9 and APOL1 in African and non-African populations with Lupus Nephritis 
Genes and Immunity  2011;13(3):232-238.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibody production and organ damage. Lupus nephritis (LN) is one of the most severe manifestations of SLE. Multiple studies reported associations between renal diseases and variants in the non-muscle myosin heavy chain 9 (MYH9) and the neighboring apolipoprotein L 1 (APOL1) genes. We evaluated 167 variants spanning MYH9 for association with LN in a multiethnic sample. The two previously identified risk variants in APOL1 were also tested for association with LN in European-Americans (EAs) (N = 579) and African-Americans (AAs) (N = 407). Multiple peaks of association exceeding a Bonferroni corrected p-value of p < 2.03 × 10−3 were observed between LN and MYH9 in EAs (N=4620), with the most pronounced association at rs2157257 (p = 4.7 × 10−4; odds ratio [OR]=1.205). A modest effect with MYH9 was also detected in Gullah (rs8136069, p = 0.0019, OR = 2.304). No association between LN and MYH9 was found in AAs, Asians, Amerindians or Hispanics. This study provides the first investigation of MYH9 in LN in non-Africans and of APOL1 in LN in any population and presents novel insight into the potential role of MYH9 in LN in EAs.
doi:10.1038/gene.2011.82
PMCID: PMC3330160  PMID: 22189356
MYH9; APOL1; lupus nephritis; systemic lupus erythematosus; multiethnic association study
5.  Confirmation of Linkage to and Localization of Familial Colon Cancer Risk Haplotype on Chromosome 9q22 
Cancer research  2010;70(13):5409-5418.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in adult Americans and is caused by both genetic and environmental risk factors. We have replicated our originally reported linkage signal at 9q22-31 by fine mapping an independent collection of colon cancer families. Then, using a custom array of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) densely spaced across the candidate region, we performed both single-SNP and moving-window association analyses to identify a colon neoplasia risk haplotype. We isolated the association effect to a five SNP haplotype centered around 98.15 megabases (Mb) on chromosome 9q. This haplotype is in strong linkage disequilibrium with the haplotype block containing HABP4 and may be a surrogate for the effect of this CD30 Ki-1 antigen. It is also in close proximity to the GALNT12, which has been recently shown to be altered in colon tumors. Finally, we used a predictive modeling algorithm to demonstrate the contribution of this risk haplotype and surrounding candidate genes in distinguishing between colon cancer cases and healthy controls. The ability to replicate this finding, the strength of the haplotype association (OR=3.68) and the accuracy of our prediction model (~60%) all strongly support the presence of a locus for familial colon cancer on chromosome 9q.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-0188
PMCID: PMC2896448  PMID: 20551049
colon cancer; linkage analysis; association analysis; risk; family cancer syndrome

Results 1-5 (5)