The genetic risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are still largely unknown. To date, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of limited size have identified several novel risk loci for COPD at CHRNA3/CHRNA5/IREB2, HHIP and FAM13A; additional loci may be identified through larger studies. We performed a GWAS using a total of 3499 cases and 1922 control subjects from four cohorts: the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints (ECLIPSE); the Normative Aging Study (NAS) and National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT); Bergen, Norway (GenKOLS); and the COPDGene study. Genotyping was performed on Illumina platforms with additional markers imputed using 1000 Genomes data; results were summarized using fixed-effect meta-analysis. We identified a new genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 19q13 (rs7937, OR = 0.74, P = 2.9 × 10−9). Genotyping this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and another nearby SNP in linkage disequilibrium (rs2604894) in 2859 subjects from the family-based International COPD Genetics Network study (ICGN) demonstrated supportive evidence for association for COPD (P = 0.28 and 0.11 for rs7937 and rs2604894), pre-bronchodilator FEV1 (P = 0.08 and 0.04) and severe (GOLD 3&4) COPD (P = 0.09 and 0.017). This region includes RAB4B, EGLN2, MIA and CYP2A6, and has previously been identified in association with cigarette smoking behavior.
In studies of case-parent trios, we define copy number variants (CNVs) in the offspring that differ from the parental copy numbers as de novo and of interest for their potential functional role in disease. Among the leading array-based methods for discovery of de novo CNVs in case-parent trios is the joint hidden Markov model (HMM) implemented in the PennCNV software. However, the computational demands of the joint HMM are substantial and the extent to which false positive identifications occur in case-parent trios has not been well described. We evaluate these issues in a study of oral cleft case-parent trios.
Our analysis of the oral cleft trios reveals that genomic waves represent a substantial source of false positive identifications in the joint HMM, despite a wave-correction implementation in PennCNV. In addition, the noise of low-level summaries of relative copy number (log R ratios) is strongly associated with batch and correlated with the frequency of de novo CNV calls. Exploiting the trio design, we propose a univariate statistic for relative copy number referred to as the minimum distance that can reduce technical variation from probe effects and genomic waves. We use circular binary segmentation to segment the minimum distance and maximum a posteriori estimation to infer de novo CNVs from the segmented genome. Compared to PennCNV on simulated data, MinimumDistance identifies fewer false positives on average and is comparable to PennCNV with respect to false negatives. Genomic waves contribute to discordance of PennCNV and MinimumDistance for high coverage de novo calls, while highly concordant calls on chromosome 22 were validated by quantitative PCR. Computationally, MinimumDistance provides a nearly 8-fold increase in speed relative to the joint HMM in a study of oral cleft trios.
Our results indicate that batch effects and genomic waves are important considerations for case-parent studies of de novo CNV, and that the minimum distance is an effective statistic for reducing technical variation contributing to false de novo discoveries. Coupled with segmentation and maximum a posteriori estimation, our algorithm compares favorably to the joint HMM with MinimumDistance being much faster.
Trios; Oral cleft; Copy number variants; de novo; High-throughput arrays; Segmentation; batch effects; Genomic waves
Clonal mosaicism for large chromosomal anomalies (duplications, deletions and uniparental disomy) was detected using SNP microarray data from over 50,000 subjects recruited for genome-wide association studies. This detection method requires a relatively high frequency of cells (>5–10%) with the same abnormal karyotype (presumably of clonal origin) in the presence of normal cells. The frequency of detectable clonal mosaicism in peripheral blood is low (<0.5%) from birth until 50 years of age, after which it rises rapidly to 2–3% in the elderly. Many of the mosaic anomalies are characteristic of those found in hematological cancers and identify common deleted regions that pinpoint the locations of genes previously associated with hematological cancers. Although only 3% of subjects with detectable clonal mosaicism had any record of hematological cancer prior to DNA sampling, those without a prior diagnosis have an estimated 10-fold higher risk of a subsequent hematological cancer (95% confidence interval = 6–18).
Two recent metaanalyses of genome-wide association studies conducted by the CHARGE and SpiroMeta consortia identified novel loci yielding evidence of association at or near genome-wide significance (GWS) with FEV1 and FEV1/FVC. We hypothesized that a subset of these markers would also be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) susceptibility. Thirty-two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in or near 17 genes in 11 previously identified GWS spirometric genomic regions were tested for association with COPD status in four COPD case-control study samples (NETT/NAS, the Norway case-control study, ECLIPSE, and the first 1,000 subjects in COPDGene; total sample size, 3,456 cases and 1,906 controls). In addition to testing the 32 spirometric GWS SNPs, we tested a dense panel of imputed HapMap2 SNP markers from the 17 genes located near the 32 GWS SNPs and in a set of 21 well studied COPD candidate genes. Of the previously identified GWS spirometric genomic regions, three loci harbored SNPs associated with COPD susceptibility at a 5% false discovery rate: the 4q24 locus including FLJ20184/INTS12/GSTCD/NPNT, the 6p21 locus including AGER and PPT2, and the 5q33 locus including ADAM19. In conclusion, markers previously associated at or near GWS with spirometric measures were tested for association with COPD status in data from four COPD case-control studies, and three loci showed evidence of association with COPD susceptibility at a 5% false discovery rate.
Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for COPD and COPD severity. Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) and a Dopamine Beta-Hydroxylase (DBH) locus associated with smoking cessation in multiple populations.
To identify SNPs associated with lifetime average and current CPD, age at smoking initiation, and smoking cessation in COPD subjects.
GWAS were conducted in 4 independent cohorts encompassing 3,441 ever-smoking COPD subjects (GOLD stage II or higher). Untyped SNPs were imputed using HapMap (phase II) panel. Results from all cohorts were meta-analyzed.
Several SNPs near the HLA region on chromosome 6p21 and in an intergenic region on chromosome 2q21 showed associations with age at smoking initiation, both with the lowest p=2×10−7. No SNPs were associated with lifetime average CPD, current CPD or smoking cessation with p<10−6. Nominally significant associations with candidate SNPs within alpha-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors 3/5 (CHRNA3/CHRNA5; e.g. p=0.00011 for SNP rs1051730) and Cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6; e.g. p=2.78×10−5 for a nonsynonymous SNP rs1801272) regions were observed for lifetime average CPD, however only CYP2A6 showed evidence of significant association with current CPD. A candidate SNP (rs3025343) in the DBH was significantly (p=0.015) associated with smoking cessation.
We identified two candidate regions associated with age at smoking initiation in COPD subjects. Associations of CHRNA3/CHRNA5 and CYP2A6 loci with CPD and DBH with smoking cessation are also likely of importance in the smoking behaviors of COPD patients.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Genome Wide Association study (GWAS); smoking behaviors; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)
Case–parent trio studies concerned with children affected by a disease and their parents aim to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showing a preferential transmission of alleles from the parents to their affected offspring. A popular statistical test for detecting such SNPs associated with disease in this study design is the genotypic transmission/disequilibrium test (gTDT) based on a conditional logistic regression model, which usually needs to be fitted by an iterative procedure. In this article, we derive exact closed-form solutions for the parameter estimates of the conditional logistic regression models when testing for an additive, a dominant, or a recessive effect of a SNP, and show that such analytic parameter estimates also exist when considering gene–environment interactions with binary environmental variables. Because the genetic model underlying the association between a SNP and a disease is typically unknown, it might further be beneficial to use the maximum over the gTDT statistics for the possible effects of a SNP as test statistic. We therefore propose a procedure enabling a fast computation of the test statistic and the permutation-based p-value of this MAX gTDT. All these methods are applied to whole-genome scans of the case–parent trios from the International Cleft Consortium. These applications show our procedures dramatically reduce the required computing time compared to the conventional iterative methods allowing, for example, the analysis of hundreds of thousands of SNPs in a few minutes instead of several hours.
Conditional logistic regression; Family-based design; Genome-wide association studies; Genotypic transmission/disequilibrium test; International Cleft Consortium; MAX test
The FaceBase Consortium consists of ten interlinked research and technology projects whose goal is to generate craniofacial research data and technology for use by the research community through a central data management and integrated bioinformatics hub. Funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and currently focused on studying the development of the middle region of the face, the Consortium will produce comprehensive datasets of global gene expression patterns, regulatory elements and sequencing; will generate anatomical and molecular atlases; will provide human normative facial data and other phenotypes; conduct follow up studies of a completed genome-wide association study; generate independent data on the genetics of craniofacial development, build repositories of animal models and of human samples and data for community access and analysis; and will develop software tools and animal models for analyzing and functionally testing and integrating these data. The FaceBase website (http://www.facebase.org) will serve as a web home for these efforts, providing interactive tools for exploring these datasets, together with discussion forums and other services to support and foster collaboration within the craniofacial research community.
Craniofacial development; Cleft lip and palate; Human genetics; Animal models; Database; Morphometrics
Non-syndromic cleft palate (CP) is a common birth defect with a complex and heterogeneous etiology involving both genetic and environmental risk factors. We conducted a genome wide association study (GWAS) using 550 case-parent trios, ascertained through a CP case collected in an international consortium. Family based association tests of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and three common maternal exposures (maternal smoking, alcohol consumption and multivitamin supplementation) were used in a combined 2 df test for gene (G) and gene-environment (G×E) interaction simultaneously, plus a separate 1 df test for G×E interaction alone. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate effects on risk to exposed and unexposed children. While no SNP achieved genome wide significance when considered alone, markers in several genes attained or approached genome wide significance when G×E interaction was included. Among these, MLLT3 and SMC2 on chromosome 9 showed multiple SNPs resulting in increased risk if the mother consumed alcohol during the peri-conceptual period (3 months prior to conception through the first trimester). TBK1 on chr. 12 and ZNF236 on chr. 18 showed multiple SNPs associated with higher risk of CP in the presence of maternal smoking. Additional evidence of reduced risk due to G×E interaction in the presence of multivitamin supplementation was observed for SNPs in BAALC on chr. 8. These results emphasize the need to consider G×E interaction when searching for genes influencing risk to complex and heterogeneous disorders, such as non-syndromic CP.
Interferon regulatory factor 2 (IRF2) is a member of a family of transcriptional factors involved in the modulation of interferon induced immune responses to viral infection. To test whether genetic variants in IRF2 predict risk of AD and ADEH, we genotyped 78 IRF2 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in both European American (n=435) and African American (n = 339) populations. Significant associations were observed between AD and two SNPs (rs793814, P = 0.007, odds ratio (OR) = 0.52; rs3756094, P = 0.037, OR = 0.66) among European Americans and one SNP (rs3775572, P = 0.016, OR = 0.46) among African Americans. Significant associations were also observed between ADEH and five SNPs (P = 0.049-0.022) among European Americans. The association with ADEH was further strengthened by haplotype analyses, wherein a 5-SNP (CAGGA) haplotype showed the strongest association with ADEH (P = 0.0008). Eight IRF2 SNPs were significantly associated with IFNγ production post-herpes simplex virus (HSV) stimulation (P = 0.048-0.0008), including an AD-associated SNP (rs13139310, P = 0.008). Our findings suggest distinct markers in IRF2 may be associated with AD and ADEH, which may depend upon ethnic ancestry, and genetic variants in IRF2 may contribute to an abnormal immune response to HSV.
The receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (ROR2) gene has been recently shown to play important roles in palatal development in animal models and resides in the chromosomal region linked to non syndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate in humans. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association between ROR2 gene and non-syndromic oral clefts.
Here we tested 38 eligible single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ROR2 gene in 297 non-syndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate and in 82 non-syndromic cleft palate case parent trios recruited from Asia and Maryland. Family Based Association Test was used to test for deviation from Mendelian inheritance. Plink software was used to test potential parent of origin effect. Possible maternally mediated in utero effects were assessed using the TRIad Multi-Marker approach under an assumption of mating symmetry in the population.
Significant evidence of linkage and association was shown for 3 SNPs (rs7858435, rs10820914 and rs3905385) among 57 Asian non-syndromic cleft palate trios in Family Based Association Tests. P values for these 3 SNPs equaled to 0.000068, 0.000115 and 0.000464 respectively which were all less than the significance level (0.05/38=0.0013) adjusted by strict Bonferroni correction. Relevant odds ratios for the risk allele were 3.42 (1.80–6.50), 3.45 (1.75–6.67) and 2.94 (1.56–5.56), respectively. Statistical evidence of linkage and association was not shown for study groups other than non-syndromic cleft palate. Neither evidence for parent-of-origin nor maternal genotypic effect was shown for any of the ROR2 markers in our analysis for all study groups.
Our results provided evidence of linkage and association between the ROR2 gene and a gene controlling risk to non-syndromic cleft palate.
receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2; cleft lip; cleft palate; association; transmission disequilibrium test
IL-13 is a signature cytokine of the helper T cell type 2 (TH2) pathway which underlies host defense to helminthic infection and activates production of IgE in both parasitized populations and in urban settings after allergen exposure.
Two functional polymorphisms in IL13, rs1800925 (or c.1-1111C>T) and rs20541 (or R130Q) were previously found to be associated with Schistosoma hematobium infection intensity. They have not been thoroughly explored in S. mansoni-endemic populations, however, and were selected along with 5 tagging SNPs for genotyping in 812 individuals in 318 nuclear families from a schistosomiasis-endemic area of Conde, Bahia, in Brazil. Regression models using GEE to account for family membership and family-based quantitative transmission disequilibrium tests (QTDT) were used to evaluate associations with total serum IgE (tIgE) levels and S. mansoni fecal egg counts adjusted for non-genetic covariates. We identified a protective effect for the T allele at rs20541 (P = 0.005) against high S. mansoni egg counts, corroborated by QTDT (P = 0.014). Our findings also suggested evidence for protective effects for the T allele at rs1800925 and A allele at rs2066960 after GEE analysis only (P = 0.050, 0.0002).
The two functional variants in IL13 are protective against high S. mansoni egg counts. These markers showed no evidence of association with tIgE levels, unlike tIgE levels previously studied in non-parasitized or atopic study populations.
The Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 gene (BMP4) is located in chromosome 14q22-q23 which has shown evidence of linkage for isolated nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NSCL/P) in a genome wide linkage analysis of human multiplex families. BMP4 has been shown to play crucial roles in lip and palatal development in animal models. Several candidate gene association analyses also supported its potential risk for NSCL/P, however, results across these association studies have been inconsistent. The aim of the current study was to test for possible association between markers in and around the BMP4 gene and NSCL/P in Asian and Maryland trios.
Family Based Association Test was used to test for deviation from Mendelian assortment for 12 SNPs in and around BMP4. Nominal significant evidence of linkage and association was seen for three SNPs (rs10130587, rs2738265 and rs2761887) in 221 Asian trios and for one SNP (rs762642) in 76 Maryland trios. Statistical significance still held for rs10130587 after Bonferroni correction (corrected p = 0.019) among the Asian group. Estimated odds ratio for carrying the apparent high risk allele at this SNP was 1.61 (95%CI = 1.20, 2.18).
Our results provided further evidence of association between BMP4 and NSCL/P.
Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is an important medical problem that has yet no current solution. A clinical trial of CMV glycoprotein B (gB) vaccine in young women showed promising efficacy. Improved understanding of the basis for prevention of CMV infection is essential for developing improved vaccines.
We genotyped 142 women previously vaccinated with three doses of CMV gB for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TLR 1-4, 6, 7, 9, and 10, and their associated intracellular signaling genes. SNPs in the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFRA) and integrins were also selected based on their role in binding gB. Specific SNPs in TLR7 and IKBKE (inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit epsilon) were associated with antibody responses to gB vaccine. Homozygous carriers of the minor allele at four SNPs in TLR7 showed higher vaccination-induced antibody responses to gB compared to heterozygotes or homozygotes for the common allele. SNP rs1953090 in IKBKE was associated with changes in antibody level from second to third dose of vaccine; homozygotes for the minor allele exhibited lower antibody responses while homozygotes for the major allele showed increased responses over time.
These data contribute to our understanding of the immunogenetic mechanisms underlying variations in the immune response to CMV vaccine.
Cytomegalovirus; Toll-like receptors; single nucleotide polymorphisms; glycoprotein B vaccine
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is characterized by dry skin and a hyperreactive immune response to allergens, two cardinal features that are caused in part by epidermal barrier defects. Tight junctions (TJ) reside immediately below the stratum corneum and regulate the selective permeability of the paracellular pathway.
We evaluated the expression/function of the TJ protein, claudin-1 in epithelium from AD and nonatopic (NA) subjects and screened two American populations for SNPs in CLDN1.
Expression profiles of nonlesional epithelium from extrinsic AD, NA and psoriasis subjects were generated using Illumina’s BeadChips. Dysregulated intercellular proteins were validated by tissue staining and qPCR. Bioelectric properties of epithelium were measured in Ussing chambers. Functional relevance of claudin-1 was assessed using a knockdown approach in primary human keratinocytes (PHK). Twenty seven haplotype-tagging SNPs in CLDN1 were screened in two independent AD populations.
We observed strikingly reduced expression of the TJ proteins claudin-1 and -23 only in AD, which were validated at the mRNA and protein levels. Claudin-1 expression inversely correlated with Th2 biomarkers. We observed a remarkable impairment of the bioelectric barrier function in AD epidermis. In vitro, we confirmed that silencing claudin-1 expression in human keratinocytes diminishes TJ function while enhancing keratinocyte proliferation. Finally, CLDN1 haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms revealed associations with AD in two North American populations.
Taken together, these data suggest that an impaired epidermal TJ is a novel feature of skin barrier dysfunction and immune dysregulation observed in AD, and that CLDN1 may be a new susceptibility gene in this disease.
atopic dermatitis; claudin-1; tight junctions
Previous expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) studies have performed genetic association studies for gene expression, but most of these studies examined lymphoblastoid cell lines from non-diseased individuals. We examined the genetics of gene expression in a relevant disease tissue from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients to identify functional effects of known susceptibility genes and to find novel disease genes. By combining gene expression profiling on induced sputum samples from 131 COPD cases from the ECLIPSE Study with genomewide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data, we found 4315 significant cis-eQTL SNP-probe set associations (3309 unique SNPs). The 3309 SNPs were tested for association with COPD in a genomewide association study (GWAS) dataset, which included 2940 COPD cases and 1380 controls. Adjusting for 3309 tests (p<1.5e-5), the two SNPs which were significantly associated with COPD were located in two separate genes in a known COPD locus on chromosome 15: CHRNA5 and IREB2. Detailed analysis of chromosome 15 demonstrated additional eQTLs for IREB2 mapping to that gene. eQTL SNPs for CHRNA5 mapped to multiple linkage disequilibrium (LD) bins. The eQTLs for IREB2 and CHRNA5 were not in LD. Seventy-four additional eQTL SNPs were associated with COPD at p<0.01. These were genotyped in two COPD populations, finding replicated associations with a SNP in PSORS1C1, in the HLA-C region on chromosome 6. Integrative analysis of GWAS and gene expression data from relevant tissue from diseased subjects has located potential functional variants in two known COPD genes and has identified a novel COPD susceptibility locus.
Sensitization to cockroach allergen is one of the strongest predictors of asthma morbidity, especially among African Americans.
Our aims were to determine the genomic basis of cockroach sensitization and the specific response to cockroach antigen.
We investigated the Th1/Th2 cytokine profile of co-cultured plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and CD4+ T cells and the “transcript signature” of the immune response to cockroach antigen using high-throughput expression profiling of co-cultured cells.
We observed significantly elevated levels of IL-13, IL-10 and TNF-α, but undetectable levels of IL-12p70 and IFN-α, when cultures were exposed to crude cockroach antigen. A significant difference was observed for IL-13 between cockroach allergic and non-allergic individuals (p = 0.039). Microarray analyses demonstrated a greater response at 48 hours compared to 4 hours, with 50 genes being uniquely expressed in cockroach antigen-treated cells, including CD14, S100A8, CCL8, and IFI44L. The increased CD14 expression was further observed in purified pDCs, human monocytic THP-1 cells, and supernatant of co-cultured pDCs and CD4+ T cells in exposure to cockroach extract. Furthermore, the most differential expression of CD14 between cockroach allergy and non-cockroach allergy was only observed among individuals with the CC “high-risk” genotype of the CD14 -260C/T. Ingenuity Pathways Analysis (IPA) analyses suggested the interferon-signaling as the most significant canonical pathway.
Our results suggest these differentially expressed genes, particularly CD14, and genes in the interferon-signaling pathway may be important candidates for further investigation of their role in the immune response to cockroach allergen.
asthma; CD4+ T cells; CD14; cockroach sensitization; Dendritic cells (DCs); high-throughput expression profiling
The potential for genome-wide association studies to relate phenotypes to specific genetic variation is greatly increased when data can be combined or compared across multiple studies. To facilitate replication and validation across studies, RTI International (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (Bethesda, Maryland) are collaborating on the consensus measures for Phenotypes and eXposures (PhenX) project. The goal of PhenX is to identify 15 high-priority, well-established, and broadly applicable measures for each of 21 research domains. PhenX measures are selected by working groups of domain experts using a consensus process that includes input from the scientific community. The selected measures are then made freely available to the scientific community via the PhenX Toolkit. Thus, the PhenX Toolkit provides the research community with a core set of high-quality, well-established, low-burden measures intended for use in large-scale genomic studies. PhenX measures will have the most impact when included at the experimental design stage. The PhenX Toolkit also includes links to standards and resources in an effort to facilitate data harmonization to legacy data. Broad acceptance and use of PhenX measures will promote cross-study comparisons to increase statistical power for identifying and replicating variants associated with complex diseases and with gene-gene and gene-environment interactions.
environmental exposure; epidemiologic methods; genetic research; genetics; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis as topic; phenotype; research design
Isolated cleft lip with or without cleft palate and cleft palate are among the most common human birth defects. Several candidate gene studies on MSX1 have shown significant association between markers in MSX1 and risk of oral clefts, and re-sequencing studies have identified multiple mutations in MSX1 in a small minority of cases, which may account for 1–2% of all isolated oral clefts cases. We explored the 2-Mb region around MSX1, using a marker map of 393 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 297 cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, case–parent trios and 84 cleft palate trios from Maryland, Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea. Both individual markers and haplotypes of two to five SNPs showed several regions yielding statistical evidence for linkage and disequilibrium. Two genes (STK32B and EVC) yielded consistent evidence from cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, trios in all four populations. These two genes plus EVC2 also yielded suggestive evidence for linkage and disequilibrium among cleft palate trios. This analysis suggests that several genes, not just MSX1, in this region may influence risk of oral clefts.
oral clefts; cleft lip with or without cleft palate; cleft palate; MSX1; chromosome 4p16
Atopic dermatitis; eczema herpeticum; thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP); interleukin (IL) 7-like cytokine (IL7R); thymic stromal lymphopoietin receptor (TSLPR); single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); gene-gene interaction
Clefts of the lip and/or palate (CLP) are common birth defects of complex etiology. CLP can occur in isolation or as part of a broad range of chromosomal, Mendelian, or teratogenic syndromes. Although there has been marked progress in identifying genetic and environmental triggers for syndromic CLP, the etiology of the more common non-syndromic (isolated) forms remains poorly characterized. Recently, using a combination of epidemiology, careful phenotyping, genome-wide association studies and analysis of animal models, several distinct genetic and environmental risk factors have been identified and confirmed for non-syndromic CLP. These findings have advanced our understanding of developmental biology and created new opportunities for clinical translation research.
COPDGeneis a multicenter observational study designed to identify genetic factors associated with COPD. It will also characterize chest CT phenotypes in COPD subjects, including assessment of emphysema, gas trapping, and airway wall thickening. Finally, subtypes of COPD based on these phenotypes will be used in a comprehensive genome-wide study to identify COPD susceptibility genes.
COPDGene will enroll 10,000 smokers with and without COPD across the GOLD stages. Both Non-Hispanic white and African-American subjects are included in the cohort. Inspiratory and expiratory chest CT scans will be obtained on all participants. In addition to the cross-sectional enrollment process, these subjects will be followed regularly for longitudinal studies. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) will be done on an initial group of 4000 subjects to identify genetic variants associated with case-control status and several quantitative phenotypes related to COPD. The initial findings will be verified in an additional 2000 COPD cases and 2000 smoking control subjects, and further validation association studies will be carried out.
COPDGene will provide important new information about genetic factors in COPD, and will characterize the disease process using high resolution CT scans. Understanding genetic factors and CT phenotypes that define COPD will potentially permit earlier diagnosis of this disease and may lead to the development of treatments to modify progression.
Aquaporin-5 (AQP5) can cause mucus overproduction and lower lung function. Genetic variants in the AQP5 gene might be associated with rate of lung function decline in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in AQP5 were genotyped in 429 European American individuals with COPD randomly selected from the NHLBI Lung Health Study. Mean annual decline in FEV1 % predicted, assessed over five years, was calculated as a linear regression slope, adjusting for potential covariates and stratified by smoking status. Constructs containing the wildtype allele and risk allele of the coding SNP N228K were generated using site-directed mutagenesis, and transfected into HBE-16 (human bronchial epithelial cell line). AQP5 abundance and localization were assessed by immunoblots and confocal immunofluoresence under control, shear stress and cigarette smoke extract (CSE 10%) exposed conditions to test for differential expression or localization.
Among continuous smokers, three of the five SNPs tested showed significant associations (0.02>P>0.004) with rate of lung function decline; no associations were observed among the group of intermittent or former smokers. Haplotype tests revealed multiple association signals (0.012>P>0.0008) consistent with the single-SNP results. In HBE16 cells, shear stress and CSE led to a decrease in AQP5 abundance in the wild-type, but not in the N228K AQP5 plasmid.
Polymorphisms in AQP5 were associated with rate of lung function decline in continuous smokers with COPD. A missense mutation modulates AQP-5 expression in response to cigarette smoke extract and shear stress. These results suggest that AQP5 may be an important candidate gene for COPD.
Isolated cleft lip with or without cleft palate and cleft palate are among the most common human birth defects. Several candidate gene studies of MSX1 have shown significant association between markers in MSX1 and risk of oral clefts, and resequencing studies have identified multiple mutations in MSX1 in a small minority of cases, which may account for 1–2% of all isolated oral clefts. We explored the two megabase region around MSX1, using a marker map of 393 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 297 cleft lip with or without cleft palate case-parent trios and 84 cleft palate trios from Maryland, Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea. Both individual markers and haplotypes of 2-5 SNPs showed several regions yielding statistical evidence of linkage and disequilibrium. Two genes (STK32B and EVC) yielded consistent evidence from cleft lip with or without cleft plate trios in all four populations. These two genes plus EVC2 also yielded suggestive evidence of linkage and disequilibrium among CP trios. This analysis suggests several genes, not just MSX1, in this region may influence risk of oral clefts.
Oral Clefts; Cleft lip with or without cleft palate; Cleft Palate; MSX1; Chromosome 4p16
Although multiple genes have been identified as genetic risk factors for isolated, non-syndromic cleft lip with/without cleft palate (CL/P), a complex and heterogeneous birth defect, interferon regulatory factor 6 gene (IRF6) is one of the best documented genetic risk factors. In this study, we tested for association between markers in IRF6 and CL/P in 326 Chinese case–parent trios, considering gene–environment interaction for two common maternal exposures, and parent-of-origin effects. CL/P case–parent trios from three sites in mainland China and Taiwan were genotyped for 22 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IRF6. The transmission disequilibrium test was used to test for marginal effects of individual SNPs. We used PBAT to screen the SNPs and haplotypes for gene–environment (G × E) interaction and conditional logistic regression models to quantify effect sizes for SNP–environment interaction. After Bonferroni correction, 14 SNPs showed statistically significant association with CL/P. Evidence of G × E interaction was found for both maternal exposures, multivitamin supplementation and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Two SNPs showed evidence of interaction with multivitamin supplementation in conditional logistic regression models (rs2076153 nominal P = 0.019, rs17015218 nominal P = 0.012). In addition, rs1044516 yielded evidence for interaction with maternal ETS (nominal P = 0.041). Haplotype analysis using PBAT also suggested interaction between SNPs in IRF6 and both multivitamin supplementation and ETS. However, no evidence for maternal genotypic effects or significant parent-of-origin effects was seen in these data. These results suggest IRF6 gene may influence risk of CL/P through interaction with multivitamin supplementation and ETS in the Chinese population.