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1.  Correction: A whole genome association study of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Malawi 
Genome Medicine  2010;2(10):76.
A correction to: Bonnie R Joubert, Ethan M Lange, Nora Franceschini, Victor Mwapasa, Kari E North, Steven R Meshnick andthe NIAID Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology. A whole genome association study of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Malawi. Genome Medicine 2010, 2:17.
doi:10.1186/gm197
PMCID: PMC3092107
2.  Genome-wide association analysis identifies six new loci associated with forced vital capacity 
Loth, Daan W. | Artigas, María Soler | Gharib, Sina A. | Wain, Louise V. | Franceschini, Nora | Koch, Beate | Pottinger, Tess | Smith, Albert Vernon | Duan, Qing | Oldmeadow, Chris | Lee, Mi Kyeong | Strachan, David P. | James, Alan L. | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Vitart, Veronique | Ramasamy, Adaikalavan | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Kaprio, Jaakko | Wang, Xin-Qun | Trochet, Holly | Kähönen, Mika | Flexeder, Claudia | Albrecht, Eva | Lopez, Lorna M. | de Jong, Kim | Thyagarajan, Bharat | Alves, Alexessander Couto | Enroth, Stefan | Omenaas, Ernst | Joshi, Peter K. | Fall, Tove | Viňuela, Ana | Launer, Lenore J. | Loehr, Laura R. | Fornage, Myriam | Li, Guo | Wilk, Jemma B. | Tang, Wenbo | Manichaikul, Ani | Lahousse, Lies | Harris, Tamara B. | North, Kari E. | Rudnicka, Alicja R. | Hui, Jennie | Gu, Xiangjun | Lumley, Thomas | Wright, Alan F. | Hastie, Nicholas D. | Campbell, Susan | Kumar, Rajesh | Pin, Isabelle | Scott, Robert A. | Pietiläinen, Kirsi H. | Surakka, Ida | Liu, Yongmei | Holliday, Elizabeth G. | Schulz, Holger | Heinrich, Joachim | Davies, Gail | Vonk, Judith M. | Wojczynski, Mary | Pouta, Anneli | Johansson, Åsa | Wild, Sarah H. | Ingelsson, Erik | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Völzke, Henry | Hysi, Pirro G. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Morrison, Alanna C. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Gao, Wei | Postma, Dirkje S. | White, Wendy B. | Rich, Stephen S. | Hofman, Albert | Aspelund, Thor | Couper, David | Smith, Lewis J. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Lohman, Kurt | Burchard, Esteban G. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Garcia, Melissa | Joubert, Bonnie R. | McArdle, Wendy L. | Musk, A. Bill | Hansel, Nadia | Heckbert, Susan R. | Zgaga, Lina | van Meurs, Joyce B.J. | Navarro, Pau | Rudan, Igor | Oh, Yeon-Mok | Redline, Susan | Jarvis, Deborah | Zhao, Jing Hua | Rantanen, Taina | O’Connor, George T. | Ripatti, Samuli | Scott, Rodney J. | Karrasch, Stefan | Grallert, Harald | Gaddis, Nathan C. | Starr, John M. | Wijmenga, Cisca | Minster, Ryan L. | Lederer, David J. | Pekkanen, Juha | Gyllensten, Ulf | Campbell, Harry | Morris, Andrew P. | Gläser, Sven | Hammond, Christopher J. | Burkart, Kristin M. | Beilby, John | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hancock, Dana B. | Williams, O. Dale | Polasek, Ozren | Zemunik, Tatijana | Kolcic, Ivana | Petrini, Marcy F. | Wjst, Matthias | Kim, Woo Jin | Porteous, David J. | Scotland, Generation | Smith, Blair H. | Viljanen, Anne | Heliövaara, Markku | Attia, John R. | Sayers, Ian | Hampel, Regina | Gieger, Christian | Deary, Ian J. | Boezen, H. Marike | Newman, Anne | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Wilson, James F. | Lind, Lars | Stricker, Bruno H. | Teumer, Alexander | Spector, Timothy D. | Melén, Erik | Peters, Marjolein J. | Lange, Leslie A. | Barr, R. Graham | Bracke, Ken R. | Verhamme, Fien M. | Sung, Joohon | Hiemstra, Pieter S. | Cassano, Patricia A. | Sood, Akshay | Hayward, Caroline | Dupuis, Josée | Hall, Ian P. | Brusselle, Guy G. | Tobin, Martin D. | London, Stephanie J.
Nature genetics  2014;46(7):669-677.
Forced vital capacity (FVC), a spirometric measure of pulmonary function, reflects lung volume and is used to diagnose and monitor lung diseases. We performed genome-wide association study meta-analysis of FVC in 52,253 individuals from 26 studies and followed up the top associations in 32,917 additional individuals of European ancestry. We found six new regions associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) with FVC in or near EFEMP1, BMP6, MIR-129-2/HSD17B12, PRDM11, WWOX, and KCNJ2. Two (GSTCD and PTCH1) loci previously associated with spirometric measures were related to FVC. Newly implicated regions were followed-up in samples of African American, Korean, Chinese, and Hispanic individuals. We detected transcripts for all six newly implicated genes in human lung tissue. The new loci may inform mechanisms involved in lung development and pathogenesis of restrictive lung disease.
doi:10.1038/ng.3011
PMCID: PMC4140093  PMID: 24929828
3.  Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Studies and Meta-Analyses of Longitudinal Change in Adult Lung Function 
Tang, Wenbo | Kowgier, Matthew | Loth, Daan W. | Soler Artigas, María | Joubert, Bonnie R. | Hodge, Emily | Gharib, Sina A. | Smith, Albert V. | Ruczinski, Ingo | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Mathias, Rasika A. | Harris, Tamara B. | Hansel, Nadia N. | Launer, Lenore J. | Barnes, Kathleen C. | Hansen, Joyanna G. | Albrecht, Eva | Aldrich, Melinda C. | Allerhand, Michael | Barr, R. Graham | Brusselle, Guy G. | Couper, David J. | Curjuric, Ivan | Davies, Gail | Deary, Ian J. | Dupuis, Josée | Fall, Tove | Foy, Millennia | Franceschini, Nora | Gao, Wei | Gläser, Sven | Gu, Xiangjun | Hancock, Dana B. | Heinrich, Joachim | Hofman, Albert | Imboden, Medea | Ingelsson, Erik | James, Alan | Karrasch, Stefan | Koch, Beate | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Kumar, Ashish | Lahousse, Lies | Li, Guo | Lind, Lars | Lindgren, Cecilia | Liu, Yongmei | Lohman, Kurt | Lumley, Thomas | McArdle, Wendy L. | Meibohm, Bernd | Morris, Andrew P. | Morrison, Alanna C. | Musk, Bill | North, Kari E. | Palmer, Lyle J. | Probst-Hensch, Nicole M. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rotter, Jerome I. | Schulz, Holger | Smith, Lewis J. | Sood, Akshay | Starr, John M. | Strachan, David P. | Teumer, Alexander | Uitterlinden, André G. | Völzke, Henry | Voorman, Arend | Wain, Louise V. | Wells, Martin T. | Wilk, Jemma B. | Williams, O. Dale | Heckbert, Susan R. | Stricker, Bruno H. | London, Stephanie J. | Fornage, Myriam | Tobin, Martin D. | O′Connor, George T. | Hall, Ian P. | Cassano, Patricia A.
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e100776.
Background
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci influencing cross-sectional lung function, but less is known about genes influencing longitudinal change in lung function.
Methods
We performed GWAS of the rate of change in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) in 14 longitudinal, population-based cohort studies comprising 27,249 adults of European ancestry using linear mixed effects model and combined cohort-specific results using fixed effect meta-analysis to identify novel genetic loci associated with longitudinal change in lung function. Gene expression analyses were subsequently performed for identified genetic loci. As a secondary aim, we estimated the mean rate of decline in FEV1 by smoking pattern, irrespective of genotypes, across these 14 studies using meta-analysis.
Results
The overall meta-analysis produced suggestive evidence for association at the novel IL16/STARD5/TMC3 locus on chromosome 15 (P  =  5.71 × 10-7). In addition, meta-analysis using the five cohorts with ≥3 FEV1 measurements per participant identified the novel ME3 locus on chromosome 11 (P  =  2.18 × 10-8) at genome-wide significance. Neither locus was associated with FEV1 decline in two additional cohort studies. We confirmed gene expression of IL16, STARD5, and ME3 in multiple lung tissues. Publicly available microarray data confirmed differential expression of all three genes in lung samples from COPD patients compared with controls. Irrespective of genotypes, the combined estimate for FEV1 decline was 26.9, 29.2 and 35.7 mL/year in never, former, and persistent smokers, respectively.
Conclusions
In this large-scale GWAS, we identified two novel genetic loci in association with the rate of change in FEV1 that harbor candidate genes with biologically plausible functional links to lung function.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100776
PMCID: PMC4077649  PMID: 24983941
4.  Prenatal Tobacco Smoke Exposure Is Associated with Childhood DNA CpG Methylation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99716.
Background
Smoking while pregnant is associated with a myriad of negative health outcomes in the child. Some of the detrimental effects may be due to epigenetic modifications, although few studies have investigated this hypothesis in detail.
Objectives
To characterize site-specific epigenetic modifications conferred by prenatal smoking exposure within asthmatic children.
Methods
Using Illumina HumanMethylation27 microarrays, we estimated the degree of methylation at 27,578 distinct DNA sequences located primarily in gene promoters using whole blood DNA samples from the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) subset of Asthma BRIDGE childhood asthmatics (n = 527) ages 5–12 with prenatal smoking exposure data available. Using beta-regression, we screened loci for differential methylation related to prenatal smoke exposure, adjusting for gender, age and clinical site, and accounting for multiple comparisons by FDR.
Results
Of 27,578 loci evaluated, 22,131 (80%) passed quality control assessment and were analyzed. Sixty-five children (12%) had a history of prenatal smoke exposure. At an FDR of 0.05, we identified 19 CpG loci significantly associated with prenatal smoke, of which two replicated in two independent populations. Exposure was associated with a 2% increase in mean CpG methylation in FRMD4A (p = 0.01) and Cllorf52 (p = 0.001) compared to no exposure. Four additional genes, XPNPEP1, PPEF2, SMPD3 and CRYGN, were nominally associated in at least one replication group.
Conclusions
These data suggest that prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with reproducible epigenetic changes that persist well into childhood. However, the biological significance of these altered loci remains unknown.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099716
PMCID: PMC4070909  PMID: 24964093
5.  A systematic assessment of normalization approaches for the Infinium 450K methylation platform 
Epigenetics  2013;9(2):318-329.
The Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip has emerged as one of the most popular platforms for genome wide profiling of DNA methylation. While the technology is wide-spread, systematic technical biases are believed to be present in the data. For example, this array incorporates two different chemical assays, i.e., Type I and Type II probes, which exhibit different technical characteristics and potentially complicate the computational and statistical analysis. Several normalization methods have been introduced recently to adjust for possible biases. However, there is considerable debate within the field on which normalization procedure should be used and indeed whether normalization is even necessary. Yet despite the importance of the question, there has been little comprehensive comparison of normalization methods. We sought to systematically compare several popular normalization approaches using the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) methylation data set and the technical replicates analyzed with it as a case study. We assessed both the reproducibility between technical replicates following normalization and the effect of normalization on association analysis. Results indicate that the raw data are already highly reproducible, some normalization approaches can slightly improve reproducibility, but other normalization approaches may introduce more variability into the data. Results also suggest that differences in association analysis after applying different normalizations are not large when the signal is strong, but when the signal is more modest, different normalizations can yield very different numbers of findings that meet a weaker statistical significance threshold. Overall, our work provides useful, objective assessment of the effectiveness of key normalization methods.
doi:10.4161/epi.27119
PMCID: PMC3962542  PMID: 24241353
association testing; cotinine exposure; genome wide methylation profiling; normalization; reproducibility
6.  An exploratory analysis on gene-environment interactions for Parkinson disease 
Neurobiology of aging  2012;33(10):2528.e1-2528.e6.
Little is known about gene-environment interactions in Parkinson disease (PD). We examined potential interactions of smoking and caffeine intake with ten GWAS SNPs at or near the SNCA, MAPT, LRRK2 and HLA loci among 584 PD patients and 1,571 controls. The main effects of these SNPs and environmental exposures were consistent with previous reports. Family history of PD was associated with PD risk (OR=2.71, 95% CI: 1.97–3.74), which was little affected by further adjustment for these SNPs and environmental exposures. Overall, we did not find significant interactions of either smoking or caffeine intake with these SNPs. However, with a combined smoking and caffeine intake exposure, we found a significant interaction with rs2896905 at SLC2A13, near LRRK2 (p uncorrected= 0.0008). Each A allele was associated with a 35% higher PD risk among never smokers with low caffeine intake, but with a 32% lower risk among smokers with high caffeine intake. This study provides preliminary evidence of a potential gene-environment interaction for PD, which should be investigated in future studies.
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.06.007
PMCID: PMC3419385  PMID: 22763023
Parkinson disease (PD); gene-environment interactions; genome-wide association study
7.  Genome-Wide Joint Meta-Analysis of SNP and SNP-by-Smoking Interaction Identifies Novel Loci for Pulmonary Function 
Hancock, Dana B. | Artigas, María Soler | Gharib, Sina A. | Henry, Amanda | Manichaikul, Ani | Ramasamy, Adaikalavan | Loth, Daan W. | Imboden, Medea | Koch, Beate | McArdle, Wendy L. | Smith, Albert V. | Smolonska, Joanna | Sood, Akshay | Tang, Wenbo | Wilk, Jemma B. | Zhai, Guangju | Zhao, Jing Hua | Aschard, Hugues | Burkart, Kristin M. | Curjuric, Ivan | Eijgelsheim, Mark | Elliott, Paul | Gu, Xiangjun | Harris, Tamara B. | Janson, Christer | Homuth, Georg | Hysi, Pirro G. | Liu, Jason Z. | Loehr, Laura R. | Lohman, Kurt | Loos, Ruth J. F. | Manning, Alisa K. | Marciante, Kristin D. | Obeidat, Ma'en | Postma, Dirkje S. | Aldrich, Melinda C. | Brusselle, Guy G. | Chen, Ting-hsu | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Franceschini, Nora | Heinrich, Joachim | Rotter, Jerome I. | Wijmenga, Cisca | Williams, O. Dale | Bentley, Amy R. | Hofman, Albert | Laurie, Cathy C. | Lumley, Thomas | Morrison, Alanna C. | Joubert, Bonnie R. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Couper, David J. | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Liu, Yongmei | Wjst, Matthias | Wain, Louise V. | Vonk, Judith M. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Rochat, Thierry | Rich, Stephen S. | Psaty, Bruce M. | O'Connor, George T. | North, Kari E. | Mirel, Daniel B. | Meibohm, Bernd | Launer, Lenore J. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Hammond, Christopher J. | Gläser, Sven | Marchini, Jonathan | Kraft, Peter | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Völzke, Henry | Stricker, Bruno H. C. | Spector, Timothy D. | Probst-Hensch, Nicole M. | Jarvis, Deborah | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Heckbert, Susan R. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Boezen, H. Marike | Barr, R. Graham | Cassano, Patricia A. | Strachan, David P. | Fornage, Myriam | Hall, Ian P. | Dupuis, Josée | Tobin, Martin D. | London, Stephanie J.
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(12):e1003098.
Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous genetic loci for spirometic measures of pulmonary function, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and its ratio to forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC). Given that cigarette smoking adversely affects pulmonary function, we conducted genome-wide joint meta-analyses (JMA) of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and SNP-by-smoking (ever-smoking or pack-years) associations on FEV1 and FEV1/FVC across 19 studies (total N = 50,047). We identified three novel loci not previously associated with pulmonary function. SNPs in or near DNER (smallest PJMA = 5.00×10−11), HLA-DQB1 and HLA-DQA2 (smallest PJMA = 4.35×10−9), and KCNJ2 and SOX9 (smallest PJMA = 1.28×10−8) were associated with FEV1/FVC or FEV1 in meta-analysis models including SNP main effects, smoking main effects, and SNP-by-smoking (ever-smoking or pack-years) interaction. The HLA region has been widely implicated for autoimmune and lung phenotypes, unlike the other novel loci, which have not been widely implicated. We evaluated DNER, KCNJ2, and SOX9 and found them to be expressed in human lung tissue. DNER and SOX9 further showed evidence of differential expression in human airway epithelium in smokers compared to non-smokers. Our findings demonstrated that joint testing of SNP and SNP-by-environment interaction identified novel loci associated with complex traits that are missed when considering only the genetic main effects.
Author Summary
Measures of pulmonary function provide important clinical tools for evaluating lung disease and its progression. Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous genetic risk factors for pulmonary function but have not considered interaction with cigarette smoking, which has consistently been shown to adversely impact pulmonary function. In over 50,000 study participants of European descent, we applied a recently developed joint meta-analysis method to simultaneously test associations of gene and gene-by-smoking interactions in relation to two major clinical measures of pulmonary function. Using this joint method to incorporate genetic main effects plus gene-by-smoking interaction, we identified three novel gene regions not previously related to pulmonary function: (1) DNER, (2) HLA-DQB1 and HLA-DQA2, and (3) KCNJ2 and SOX9. Expression analyses in human lung tissue from ours or prior studies indicate that these regions contain genes that are plausibly involved in pulmonary function. This work highlights the utility of employing novel methods for incorporating environmental interaction in genome-wide association studies to identify novel genetic regions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003098
PMCID: PMC3527213  PMID: 23284291
8.  450K Epigenome-Wide Scan Identifies Differential DNA Methylation in Newborns Related to Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2012;120(10):1425-1431.
Background: Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, due to in utero exposures may play a critical role in early programming for childhood and adult illness. Maternal smoking is a major risk factor for multiple adverse health outcomes in children, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear.
Objective: We investigated epigenome-wide methylation in cord blood of newborns in relation to maternal smoking during pregnancy.
Methods: We examined maternal plasma cotinine (an objective biomarker of smoking) measured during pregnancy in relation to DNA methylation at 473,844 CpG sites (CpGs) in 1,062 newborn cord blood samples from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (450K).
Results: We found differential DNA methylation at epigenome-wide statistical significance (p-value < 1.06 × 10–7) for 26 CpGs mapped to 10 genes. We replicated findings for CpGs in AHRR, CYP1A1, and GFI1 at strict Bonferroni-corrected statistical significance in a U.S. birth cohort. AHRR and CYP1A1 play a key role in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor signaling pathway, which mediates the detoxification of the components of tobacco smoke. GFI1 is involved in diverse developmental processes but has not previously been implicated in responses to tobacco smoke.
Conclusions: We identified a set of genes with methylation changes present at birth in children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. This is the first study of differential methylation across the genome in relation to maternal smoking during pregnancy using the 450K platform. Our findings implicate epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of the adverse health outcomes associated with this important in utero exposure.
doi:10.1289/ehp.1205412
PMCID: PMC3491949  PMID: 22851337
epigenetics; epigenome-wide; in utero; maternal smoking; methylation
9.  Genome-wide association and large scale follow-up identifies 16 new loci influencing lung function 
Artigas, María Soler | Loth, Daan W | Wain, Louise V | Gharib, Sina A | Obeidat, Ma’en | Tang, Wenbo | Zhai, Guangju | Zhao, Jing Hua | Smith, Albert Vernon | Huffman, Jennifer E | Albrecht, Eva | Jackson, Catherine M | Evans, David M | Cadby, Gemma | Fornage, Myriam | Manichaikul, Ani | Lopez, Lorna M | Johnson, Toby | Aldrich, Melinda C | Aspelund, Thor | Barroso, Inês | Campbell, Harry | Cassano, Patricia A | Couper, David J | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Franceschini, Nora | Garcia, Melissa | Gieger, Christian | Gislason, Gauti Kjartan | Grkovic, Ivica | Hammond, Christopher J | Hancock, Dana B | Harris, Tamara B | Ramasamy, Adaikalavan | Heckbert, Susan R | Heliövaara, Markku | Homuth, Georg | Hysi, Pirro G | James, Alan L | Jankovic, Stipan | Joubert, Bonnie R | Karrasch, Stefan | Klopp, Norman | Koch, Beate | Kritchevsky, Stephen B | Launer, Lenore J | Liu, Yongmei | Loehr, Laura R | Lohman, Kurt | Loos, Ruth JF | Lumley, Thomas | Al Balushi, Khalid A | Ang, Wei Q | Barr, R Graham | Beilby, John | Blakey, John D | Boban, Mladen | Boraska, Vesna | Brisman, Jonas | Britton, John R | Brusselle, Guy G | Cooper, Cyrus | Curjuric, Ivan | Dahgam, Santosh | Deary, Ian J | Ebrahim, Shah | Eijgelsheim, Mark | Francks, Clyde | Gaysina, Darya | Granell, Raquel | Gu, Xiangjun | Hankinson, John L | Hardy, Rebecca | Harris, Sarah E | Henderson, John | Henry, Amanda | Hingorani, Aroon D | Hofman, Albert | Holt, Patrick G | Hui, Jennie | Hunter, Michael L | Imboden, Medea | Jameson, Karen A | Kerr, Shona M | Kolcic, Ivana | Kronenberg, Florian | Liu, Jason Z | Marchini, Jonathan | McKeever, Tricia | Morris, Andrew D | Olin, Anna-Carin | Porteous, David J | Postma, Dirkje S | Rich, Stephen S | Ring, Susan M | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rochat, Thierry | Sayer, Avan Aihie | Sayers, Ian | Sly, Peter D | Smith, George Davey | Sood, Akshay | Starr, John M | Uitterlinden, André G | Vonk, Judith M | Wannamethee, S Goya | Whincup, Peter H | Wijmenga, Cisca | Williams, O Dale | Wong, Andrew | Mangino, Massimo | Marciante, Kristin D | McArdle, Wendy L | Meibohm, Bernd | Morrison, Alanna C | North, Kari E | Omenaas, Ernst | Palmer, Lyle J | Pietiläinen, Kirsi H | Pin, Isabelle | Polašek, Ozren | Pouta, Anneli | Psaty, Bruce M | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Rantanen, Taina | Ripatti, Samuli | Rotter, Jerome I | Rudan, Igor | Rudnicka, Alicja R | Schulz, Holger | Shin, So-Youn | Spector, Tim D | Surakka, Ida | Vitart, Veronique | Völzke, Henry | Wareham, Nicholas J | Warrington, Nicole M | Wichmann, H-Erich | Wild, Sarah H | Wilk, Jemma B | Wjst, Matthias | Wright, Alan F | Zgaga, Lina | Zemunik, Tatijana | Pennell, Craig E | Nyberg, Fredrik | Kuh, Diana | Holloway, John W | Boezen, H Marike | Lawlor, Debbie A | Morris, Richard W | Probst-Hensch, Nicole | Kaprio, Jaakko | Wilson, James F | Hayward, Caroline | Kähönen, Mika | Heinrich, Joachim | Musk, Arthur W | Jarvis, Deborah L | Gläser, Sven | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Stricker, Bruno H Ch | Elliott, Paul | O’Connor, George T | Strachan, David P | London, Stephanie J | Hall, Ian P | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Tobin, Martin D
Nature Genetics  2011;43(11):1082-1090.
Pulmonary function measures reflect respiratory health and predict mortality, and are used in the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We tested genome-wide association with the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) and the ratio of FEV1 to forced vital capacity (FVC) in 48,201 individuals of European ancestry, with follow-up of top associations in up to an additional 46,411 individuals. We identified new regions showing association (combined P<5×10−8) with pulmonary function, in or near MFAP2, TGFB2, HDAC4, RARB, MECOM (EVI1), SPATA9, ARMC2, NCR3, ZKSCAN3, CDC123, C10orf11, LRP1, CCDC38, MMP15, CFDP1, and KCNE2. Identification of these 16 new loci may provide insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating pulmonary function and into molecular targets for future therapy to alleviate reduced lung function.
doi:10.1038/ng.941
PMCID: PMC3267376  PMID: 21946350
10.  Evaluation of genetic susceptibility to childhood allergy and asthma in an African American urban population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:25.
Background
Asthma and allergy represent complex phenotypes, which disproportionately burden ethnic minorities in the United States. Strong evidence for genomic factors predisposing subjects to asthma/allergy is available. However, methods to utilize this information to identify high risk groups are variable and replication of genetic associations in African Americans is warranted.
Methods
We evaluated 41 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and a deletion corresponding to 11 genes demonstrating association with asthma in the literature, for association with asthma, atopy, testing positive for food allergens, eosinophilia, and total serum IgE among 141 African American children living in Detroit, Michigan. Independent SNP and haplotype associations were investigated for association with each trait, and subsequently assessed in concert using a genetic risk score (GRS).
Results
Statistically significant associations with asthma were observed for SNPs in GSTM1, MS4A2, and GSTP1 genes, after correction for multiple testing. Chromosome 11 haplotype CTACGAGGCC (corresponding to MS4A2 rs574700, rs1441586, rs556917, rs502581, rs502419 and GSTP1 rs6591256, rs17593068, rs1695, rs1871042, rs947895) was associated with a nearly five-fold increase in the odds of asthma (Odds Ratio (OR) = 4.8, p = 0.007). The GRS was significantly associated with a higher odds of asthma (OR = 1.61, 95% Confidence Interval = 1.21, 2.13; p = 0.001).
Conclusions
Variation in genes associated with asthma in predominantly non-African ethnic groups contributed to increased odds of asthma in this African American study population. Evaluating all significant variants in concert helped to identify the highest risk subset of this group.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-25
PMCID: PMC3048491  PMID: 21320344
11.  Comparison of Genome Wide Variation between Malawians and African Ancestry HapMap Populations 
Journal of human genetics  2010;55(6):366-374.
Understanding genetic variation between populations is important because it affects the portability of human genome wide analytical methods. We compared genetic variation and substructure between Malawians and other African and non-African HapMap populations. Allele frequencies and adjacent linkage disequilibrium (LD) were measured for 617,715 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across subject genomes. Allele frequencies in the Malawian population (N = 226) were highly correlated with allele frequencies in HapMap populations of African Ancestry (AFA, N = 376), namely Yoruban in Ibadan, Nigeria (Spearman’s r2 = 0.97), Luhya in Webuye, Kenya (r2 = 0.97), African Americans in the southwest United States (r2 = 0.94), and Maasai in Kinyawa, Kenya (r2 = 0.91). This correlation was much lower between Malawians and other ancestry populations (r2 < 0.52). LD correlations between Malawians and HapMap populations were strongest for the populations of African ancestry (AFA r2 > 0.82, other ancestries r2 < 0.57). Principal components analyses revealed little population substructure within our Malawi sample but provided clear distinction between Malawians, AFA populations, and two European populations. Five SNPs within the lactase gene (LCT) had substantially different allele frequencies between the Malawi population and Maasai in Kenyawa, Kenya (rs3769013, rs730005, rs3769012, rs2304370; p values < 1×10−33).
doi:10.1038/jhg.2010.41
PMCID: PMC2909738  PMID: 20485449
genome variation; African ancestry; population genetics; population substructure; LCT; lactase; HapMap
12.  Detecting Gene-Environment Interactions in Genome-Wide Association Data 
Genetic epidemiology  2009;33(Suppl 1):S68-S73.
Despite the importance of gene-environment (G×E) interactions in the etiology of common diseases, little work has been done to develop methods for detecting these types of interactions in genome-wide association study data. This was the focus of Genetic Analysis Workshop 16 Group 10 contributions, which introduced a variety of new methods for the detection of G×E interactions in both case-control and family-based data using both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs. Many of these contributions detected significant G×E interactions. Although these interactions have not yet been confirmed, the results suggest the importance of testing for interactions. Issues of sample size, quantifying the environmental exposure, longitudinal data analysis, family-based analysis, selection of the most powerful analysis method, population stratification, and computational expense with respect to testing G×E interactions are discussed.
doi:10.1002/gepi.20475
PMCID: PMC2924567  PMID: 19924704
GAW; case-control; family-based; cross-sectional; longitudinal; rheumatoid arthritis; Framingham Heart Study
13.  A whole genome association study of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Malawi 
Genome Medicine  2010;2(3):17.
Background
More than 300,000 children are newly infected with HIV each year, predominantly through mother-to-child transmission (HIV MTCT). Identification of host genetic traits associated with transmission may more clearly explain the mechanisms of HIV MTCT and further the development of a vaccine to protect infants from infection. Associations between transmission and a selection of genes or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP)s may give an incomplete picture of HIV MTCT etiology. Thus, this study employed a genome-wide association approach to identify novel variants associated with HIV MTCT.
Methods
We conducted a nested case-control study of HIV MTCT using infants of HIV(+) mothers, drawn from a cohort study of malaria and HIV in pregnancy in Blantyre, Malawi. Whole genome scans (650,000 SNPs genotyped using Illumina genotyping assays) were obtained for each infant. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between each SNP and HIV MTCT.
Results
Genotype results were available for 100 HIV(+) infants (at birth, 6, or 12 weeks) and 126 HIV(-) infants (at birth, 6, and 12 weeks). We identified 9 SNPs within 6 genes with a P-value < 5 × 10-5 associated with the risk of transmission, in either unadjusted or adjusted by maternal HIV viral load analyses. Carriers of the rs8069770 variant allele were associated with a lower risk of HIV MTCT (odds ratio = 0.27, 95% confidence interval = 0.14, 0.51), where rs8069770 is located within HS3ST3A1, a gene involved in heparan sulfate biosynthesis. Interesting associations for SNPs located within or near genes involved in pregnancy and development, innate immunological response, or HIV protein interactions were also observed.
Conclusions
This study used a genome-wide approach to identify novel variants associated with the risk of HIV MTCT in order to gain new insights into HIV MTCT etiology. Replication of this work using a larger sample size will help us to differentiate true positive findings.
doi:10.1186/gm138
PMCID: PMC2873795  PMID: 20487506
14.  Regulation of CCR5 Expression in Human Placenta: Insights from a Study of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV in Malawi 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(2):e9212.
Background
Human promoter polymorphisms in the chemokine co-receptor 5 gene (CCR5) have been noted for association with mother-to-child transmission of HIV (HIV MTCT) as well as reduced receptor expression in vitro, but have not been clearly associated with CCR5 expression in vivo. Placental expression of CCR5 may be influenced by such polymorphisms as well as other in vivo regulatory factors.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We evaluated the associations between infant CCR5 polymorphisms, measures of maternal infection, and placental expression of CCR5 among mother-infant pairs in Blantyre, Malawi. RNA was extracted from placental tissue and used in multiplex real-time PCR to quantify gene expression. Through linear regression, we observed that CCR5-2554T (β = −0.67, 95% CI = −1.23, −0.11) and -2132T (β = −0.75, 95% CI = −0.131, −0.18) were significantly associated with reduced placental expression of CCR5. An incremental increase in CCR5 expression was observed for incremental increases in expression of two heparan sulfate genes involved in viral infection, HS3ST3A1 (β = 0.27, 95% CI = 0.18, 0.35) and HS3ST3B1 (β = 0.11, 95% CI = 0.06, 0.18). Among HIV infected mothers, an incremental increase in maternal HIV viral load was also associated with higher CCR5 expression (β = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.12, 1.39). Maternal HIV status had no overall effect (β = 0.072, 95% CI = −0.57, −0.72). Higher CCR5 expression was observed for mothers with malaria but was not statistically significant (β = 0.37, 95% CI = −0.43, 1.18).
Conclusions/Significance
These results provide in vivo evidence for genetic and environmental factors involved in the regulation of CCR5 expression in the placenta. Our findings also suggest that the measurement of placental expression of CCR5 alone is not an adequate indicator of the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009212
PMCID: PMC2821402  PMID: 20169157
15.  Longitudinal age-dependent effect on systolic blood pressure 
BMC Proceedings  2009;3(Suppl 7):S87.
Age-dependent genetic effects on susceptibility to hypertension have been documented. We present a novel variance-component method for the estimation of age-dependent genetic effects on longitudinal systolic blood pressure using 57,827 Affymetrix single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosomes 17-22 genotyped in 2,475 members of the Offspring Cohort of the Framingham Heart Study. We used the likelihood-ratio test statistic to test the main genetic effect, genotype-by-age interaction, and simultaneously, main genetic effect and genotype-by-age interactions (2 degrees of freedom (df) test) for each SNP. Applying Bonferroni correction, three SNPs were significantly associated with longitudinal blood pressure in the analysis of main genetic effects or in combined 2-df analyses. For the associations detected using the simultaneous 2-df test, neither main effects nor genotype-by-age interaction p-values reached genome-wide statistical significance. The value of the 2-df test for screening genetic interaction effects could not be established in this study.
PMCID: PMC2795990  PMID: 20018083

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