A classic T-cell phenotype in Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the downregulation and replacement of the CD3ζ chain that alters TCR signaling. However, genetic associations with SLE in the human CD247 locus that encodes CD3ζ are not well established and require replication in independent cohorts. Our aim was therefore to examine, localize and validate CD247-SLE association in a large multi-ethnic population. We typed 44 contiguous CD247 SNPs in 8 922 SLE patients and 8 077 controls from four ethnically distinct populations. The strongest associations were found in the Asian population (11 SNPs in intron 1, 4.99×10−4
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common chronic rheumatic disease among children, the etiology of which involves a strong genetic component, but much of the underlying genetic determinants still remain unknown. Our aim was to identify novel genetic variants that predispose to JIA.
We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and replication in a total of 1166 JIA cases and 9500 unrelated controls of European ancestry. Correlation of SNP genotype and gene expression was investigated. Then we conducted targeted resequencing of a candidate locus, among a subset of 480 cases and 480 controls. SUM test was performed to evaluate the association of the identified rare functional variants.
The CXCR4 locus on 2q22.1 was found to be significantly associated with JIA, peaking at SNP rs953387. However, this result is subjected to subpopulation stratification within the subjects of European ancestry. After adjusting for principal components, nominal significant association remained (p < 10−4). Because of its interesting known function in immune regulation, we carried out further analyses to assess its relationship with JIA. Expression of CXCR4 was correlated with CXCR4 rs953387 genotypes in lymphoblastoid cell lines (p = 0.014) and T-cells (p = 0.0054). In addition, rare non-synonymous and stop-gain sequence variants in CXCR4, putatively damaging for CXCR4 function, were significantly enriched in JIA cases (p = 0.015).
Our results suggest the association of CXCR4 variants with JIA, implicating that this gene may be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. However, because this locus is subjected to population stratification within the subjects of European ancestry, additional replication is still necessary for this locus to be considered a true risk locus for JIA. This cell-surface chemokine receptor has already been targeted in other diseases and may serve as a tractable therapeutic target for a specific subset of pediatric arthritis patients with additional replication and functional validation of the locus.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12881-016-0285-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Genome-wide association study; CXCR4; Targeted resequencing
Clinically distinct autoimmune phenotypes share genetic susceptibility factors. We investigated the prevalence of familial autoimmunity among subjects with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), childhood systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE) and juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) in the CARRA Registry, the largest multicenter observational Registry for pediatric rheumatic disease.
Children with JIA, cSLE and JDM enrolled in the CARRA Registry between May 2010 and May 2012 were investigated for differences in proportion of subjects who had first-degree relatives (FDR) with autoimmunity. If a significant difference was detected, pairwise comparisons, adjusted for multiple comparisons, were made.
There were 4677 JIA, 639 cSLE and 440 JDM subjects. The proportion of subjects having FDR with any autoimmune disease in the JDM group (20.5 %) was less compared to subjects with JIA (31.8 %, p < 0.001) or SLE (31.9 %; p < 0.001). Significantly greater proportion of JIA cases had FDR with inflammatory arthritis (13 %) compared to cSLE (9.2 %, p = 0.007) or JDM (4.3 %, p <0.001). Significantly greater proportion of cSLE cases had FDR with SLE (11.1 % vs. 1.7 % for JIA and 1.1 % for JDM p < 0.001) or type-I diabetes (7.4 % for cSLE vs. 3.1 % for JIA and 3.0 % for JDM p < 0.001).
Higher proportions of subjects with JIA and cSLE have FDR with autoimmunity compared to those of JDM. Relatives of cSLE cases had an increased prevalence of SLE, and relatives of JIA cases were enriched for inflammatory arthropathies demonstrating distinct patterns of familial autoimmunity among these phenotypes.
Patients with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of age-related cognitive decline and dementia. Neuroimaging measures such as white matter lesion volume, brain volume, and fractional anisotropy may reflect the pathogenesis of these cognitive declines, and genetic factors may contribute to variability in these measures. This study examined multiple neuroimaging measures in 465 participants from 238 families with extensive genotype data in the type 2 diabetes enriched Diabetes Heart Study-Mind cohort. Heritability of these phenotypes and their association with candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and SNP data from genome-and exome-wide arrays was explored. All neuroimaging measures analysed were significantly heritable (ĥ2 =0.55–0.99 in unadjusted models). Seventeen candidate SNPs (from 16 genes/regions) associated with neuroimaging phenotypes in prior studies showed no significant evidence of association. A missense variant (rs150706952, A432V) in PLEKHG4B from the exome-wide array was significantly associated with white matter mean diffusivity (p=3.66×10−7) and gray matter mean diffusivity (p=2.14×10−7). This analysis suggests genetic factors contribute to variation in neuroimaging measures in a population enriched for metabolic disease and other associated comorbidities.
Magnetic resonance imaging; type 2 diabetes; genetics; heritability
Variants in donor multidrug resistance protein 1 (ABCB1) and caveolin 1 (CAV1) genes are associated with renal allograft failure after transplantation in Europeans. Here we assessed transplantation outcomes of kidneys from 368 African American (AA) and 314 European American (EA) deceased donors based on 38 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning ABCB1 and 16 SNPs spanning CAV1, including previously associated index and haplotype-tagging SNPs. Tests for association with time to allograft failure were performed for the 1,233 resultant kidney transplantations, adjusting for recipient age, sex, ethnicity, cold ischemia time, PRA, HLA match, expanded-criteria donation, and APOL1- nephropathy variants in AA donors. Interaction analyses between APOL1 with ABCB1 and CAV1 were performed. In a meta-analysis of all transplantations, ABCB1 index SNP rs1045642 was associated with time to allograft failure and other ABCB1 SNPs were nominally associated, but not CAV1 SNPs. ABCB1 SNP rs1045642 showed consistent effects with the 558 transplantations from EA donors, but not with the 675 transplantations from AA donors. ABCB1 SNP rs956825 and CAV1 SNP rs6466583 interacted with APOL1 in transplants from AA donors. Thus, the T allele at ABCB1 rs1045642 is associated with shorter renal allograft survival for kidneys from American donors. Interactions between ABCB1 and CAV1 with APOL1 may influence allograft failure for transplanted kidneys from AA donors.
African American; allograft failure; ABCB1; APOL1; CAV1; kidney transplantation
We previously identified a low frequency (1.1%) coding variant (G45R; rs200573126) in the adiponectin gene (ADIPOQ) which was the basis for a multipoint microsatellite linkage signal (LOD=8.2) for plasma adiponectin levels in Hispanic families. We have empirically evaluated the ability of data from targeted common variants, exome chip genotyping, and genome-wide association study (GWAS) data to detect linkage and association to adiponectin protein levels at this locus. Simple two-point linkage and association analyses were performed in 88 Hispanic families (1150 individuals) using 10,958 SNPs on chromosome 3. Approaches were compared for their ability to map the functional variant, G45R, which was strongly linked (two-point LOD=20.98) and powerfully associated (p-value=8.1×10−50). Over 450 SNPs within a broad 61 Mb interval around rs200573126 showed nominal evidence of linkage (LOD>3) but only four other SNPs in this region were associated with p-values<1.0×10−4. When G45R was accounted for, the maximum LOD score across the interval dropped to 4.39 and the best p-value was 1.1×10−5. Linked and/or associated variants ranged in frequency (0.0018 to 0.50) and type (coding, non-coding) and had little detectable linkage disequilibrium with rs200573126 (r2<0.20). In addition, the two-point linkage approach empirically outperformed multipoint microsatellite and multipoint SNP analysis. In the absence of data for rs200573126, family-based linkage analysis using a moderately dense SNP dataset, including both common and low frequency variants, resulted in stronger evidence for an adiponectin locus than association data alone. Thus, linkage analysis can be a useful tool to facilitate identification of high impact genetic variants.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; OMIM 152700) is characterised by the production of antibodies to nuclear antigens. We previously identified variants in complement receptor 2 (CR2/CD21) that were associated with decreased risk of SLE. This study aimed to identify the causal variant for this association.
Genotyped and imputed genetic variants spanning CR2 were assessed for association with SLE in 15 750 case-control subjects from four ancestral groups. Allele-specific functional effects of associated variants were determined using quantitative real-time PCR, quantitative flow cytometry, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-PCR.
The strongest association signal was detected at rs1876453 in intron 1 of CR2 (pmeta=4.2×10−4, OR 0.85), specifically when subjects were stratified based on the presence of dsDNA autoantibodies (case-control pmeta=7.6×10−7, OR 0.71; case-only pmeta=1.9×10−4, OR 0.75). Although allele-specific effects on B cell CR2 mRNA or protein levels were not identified, levels of complement receptor 1 (CR1/CD35) mRNA and protein were significantly higher on B cells of subjects harbouring the minor allele (p=0.0248 and p=0.0006, respectively). The minor allele altered the formation of several DNA protein complexes by EMSA, including one containing CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), an effect that was confirmed by ChIP-PCR.
These data suggest that rs1876453 in CR2 has long-range effects on gene regulation that decrease susceptibility to lupus. Since the minor allele at rs1876453 is preferentially associated with reduced risk of the highly specific dsDNA autoantibodies that are present in preclinical, active and severe lupus, understanding its mechanisms will have important therapeutic implications.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Autoantibodies; Gene Polymorphism; B cells
Exploiting genotyping, DNA sequencing, imputation and trans-ancestral mapping, we used Bayesian and frequentist approaches to model the IRF5–TNPO3 locus association, now implicated in two immunotherapies and seven autoimmune diseases. Specifically, in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), we resolved separate associations in the IRF5 promoter (all ancestries) and with an extended European haplotype. We captured 3230 IRF5–TNPO3 high-quality, common variants across 5 ethnicities in 8395 SLE cases and 7367 controls. The genetic effect from the IRF5 promoter can be explained by any one of four variants in 5.7 kb (P-valuemeta = 6 × 10−49; OR = 1.38–1.97). The second genetic effect spanned an 85.5-kb, 24-variant haplotype that included the genes IRF5 and TNPO3 (P-valuesEU = 10−27–10−32, OR = 1.7–1.81). Many variants at the IRF5 locus with previously assigned biological function are not members of either final credible set of potential causal variants identified herein. In addition to the known biologically functional variants, we demonstrated that the risk allele of rs4728142, a variant in the promoter among the lowest frequentist probability and highest Bayesian posterior probability, was correlated with IRF5 expression and differentially binds the transcription factor ZBTB3. Our analytical strategy provides a novel framework for future studies aimed at dissecting etiological genetic effects. Finally, both SLE elements of the statistical model appear to operate in Sjögren's syndrome and systemic sclerosis whereas only the IRF5–TNPO3 gene-spanning haplotype is associated with primary biliary cirrhosis, demonstrating the nuance of similarity and difference in autoimmune disease risk mechanisms at IRF5–TNPO3.
Familial clustering and presumed genetic risk for type 2 diabetic (T2D) and non-diabetic end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) appear strong in African Americans. Examination of exome sequencing data in African American T2D-ESKD cases and non-diabetic non-nephropathy controls identified two low-frequency variants in the RREB1 gene, a repressor of the angiotensinogen (AGT) gene previously associated with kidney function, as being associated with T2D-ESKD: rs9379084 (P = 0.00087, OR = 0.26; D1171N) and rs41302867 (P = 0.00078, OR = 0.21; splice site variant). Rs41302867 replicated association in an independent sample of African Americans with T2D-ESKD [rs41302867 P = 0.033 (OR = 0.50)], and a trend towards rs9379084 association was observed (P = 0.070). In European Americans with T2D-ESKD compared with European American population based controls, both RREB1 variants replicated association [rs9379084 P = 1.67 × 10−4 (OR = 0.54) and rs41302867 P = 0.013 (OR = 0.69)]. Rs9379084 was not associated with non-T2D-ESKD or T2D in African Americans (P = 0.55 and P = 0.37, respectively), but was associated with T2D in European Americans (P = 0.014, OR = 0.65). In African Americans, rs41302867 was associated with non-T2D-ESKD [P = 0.036 (OR = 0.54)] and hypertension attributed ESKD [H-ESKD, P = 0.029 (OR = 0.50)]. A meta-analysis combining African American and European American T2D-ESKD data revealed P = 3.52 × 10−7 and 3.70 × 10−5 for rs9379084 and rs41302867 association, respectfully. A locus-wide analysis evaluating putatively functional SNPs revealed several nominal associations with T2D-ESKD, non-T2D-ESKD and T2D in African and European Americans. RREB1 is a large, complex gene which codes a multidomain zinc finger binding protein and transcription factor. We posit that variants in RREB1 modulate seemingly disparate phenotypes (i.e. T2D, T2D-ESKD and non-T2D-ESKD) through altered activity resulting from splice site and missense variants.
Lupus nephritis (LN) is a severe manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that exhibits familial aggregation and may progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). LN is more prevalent among African Americans than among European Americans. This study was undertaken to investigate the hypothesis that the apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) nephropathy risk alleles G1/G2, common in African Americans and rare in European Americans, contribute to the ethnic disparity in risk.
APOL1 G1 and G2 nephropathy alleles were genotyped in 855 African American SLE patients with LN-ESRD (cases) and 534 African American SLE patients without nephropathy (controls) and tested for association under a recessive genetic model, by logistic regression.
Ninety percent of the SLE patients were female. The mean ± SD age at SLE diagnosis was significantly lower in LN-ESRD cases than in SLE non-nephropathy controls (27.3 ± 10.9 years versus 39.5 ± 12.2 years). The mean ± SD time from SLE diagnosis to development of LN-ESRD in cases was 7.3 ± 7.2 years. The G1/G2 risk alleles were strongly associated with SLE-ESRD, with 25% of cases and 12% of controls having 2 nephropathy alleles (odds ratio [OR] 2.57, recessive model P = 1.49 × 10−9), and after adjustment for age, sex, and ancestry admixture (OR 2.72, P = 6.23 × 10−6). The age-, sex-, and admixture-adjusted population attributable risk for ESRD among patients with G1/G2 polymorphisms was 0.26, compared to 0.003 among European American patients. The mean time from SLE diagnosis to ESRD development was ~2 years earlier among individuals with APOL1 risk genotypes (P = 0.01).
APOL1 G1/G2 alleles strongly impact the risk of LN-ESRD in African Americans, as well as the time to progression to ESRD. The high frequency of these alleles in African Americans with near absence in European Americans explains an important proportion of the increased risk of LN-ESRD in African Americans.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is greater in populations of African descent compared to European-descent populations. Genetic risk factors may underlie the disparity in disease prevalence. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified >60 common genetic variants that contribute to T2D risk in populations of European, Asian, African, and Hispanic descent. These studies have not comprehensively examined population differences in cumulative risk allele load. To investigate the relationship between risk allele load and T2D risk, 46 T2D single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 43 loci from GWAS in European, Asian, and African derived populations were genotyped in 1,990 African Americans (n=963 T2D cases, n=1,027 controls) and 1,644 European Americans (n=719 T2D cases, n=925 controls) ascertained and recruited using a common protocol in the southeast United States. A genetic risk score (GRS) was constructed from the cumulative risk alleles for each individual. In African American subjects, risk allele frequencies ranged from 0.024 to 0.964. Risk alleles from 26 SNPs demonstrated directional consistency with previous studies, and 3 SNPs from ADAMTS9, TCF7L2, and ZFAND6 showed nominal evidence of association (p<0.05). African American individuals carried 38–67 (53.7 ± 4.0, mean ± SD) risk alleles. In European American subjects, risk allele frequencies ranged from 0.084 to 0.996. Risk alleles from 36 SNPs demonstrated directional consistency, and 10 SNPs from BCL11A, PSMD6, ADAMTS9, ZFAND3, ANK1, CDKN2A/B, TCF7L2, PRC1, FTO, and BCAR1 showed evidence of association (p<0.05). European American individuals carried 38–65 (50.9 ± 4.4) risk alleles. African Americans have a significantly greater burden of 2.9 risk alleles (p=3.97×10−89) compared to European Americans. However, GRS modeling showed that cumulative risk allele load was associated with risk of T2D in European Americans, but only marginally in African Americans. This result suggests that there are ethnic-specific differences in genetic architecture underlying T2D, and that these differences complicate our understanding of how risk allele load impacts disease susceptibility.
diabetes type 2; African American; genetic association; genetic relationship analysis; age at onset
Background and Purpose
Risk factors for infections after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and their association with outcomes are unknown. We hypothesized there are predictors of post-stroke infection and infections drive worse outcomes.
We determined prevalence of infections in a multicenter, triethnic study of ICH. We performed univariate and multivariate analyses to determine the association of infection with admission characteristics and hospital complications. We performed logistic regression on association of infection with outcomes after controlling for known determinants of prognosis after ICH (volume, age, infratentorial location, intraventricular hemorrhage, Glasgow Coma Score).
Among 800 patients, infections occurred in 245 (31%). Admission characteristics associated with infection in multivariable models were ICH volume (OR 1.02 per mL, 95% CI 1.01–1.03), lower GCS (OR 0.91 per point, 95% CI 0.87–0.95), deep location (reference lobar, OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.28–2.88), and black race (reference white, OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.01–2.32). In a logistic regression of admission and hospital factors, infections were associated with intubation (OR 3.1, 95% CI 2.1–4.5), dysphagia (with PEG, OR 3.19, 95% CI 2.03–5.05; without PEG, OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.04–4.23), pulmonary edema (OR 3.71, 95% CI 1.29–12.33), and DVT (OR 5.6, 95% CI 1.86–21.02), but not ICH volume or GCS. Infected patients had higher discharge mortality (16% vs. 8%, p=0.001) and worse 3-month outcomes (mRS≥3, 80% vs. 51%, p<0.001). Infection was an independent predictor of poor 3-month outcome (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.8–3.9).
There are identifiable risk factors for infection after ICH, and infections predict poor outcomes.
Human genetic diversity is the result of population genetic forces. This genetic variation influences disease risk and contributes to health disparities. Autoimmune diseases (ADs) are a family of complex heterogeneous disorders with similar underlying mechanisms characterized by immune responses against self. Collectively, ADs are common, exhibit gender and ethnic disparities, and increasing incidence. As natural selection is an important influence on human genetic variation, and immune function genes are enriched for signals of positive selection, it is thought that the prevalence of AD risk alleles seen in different population is partially the result of differing selective pressures (for example, due to pathogens). With the advent of high-throughput technologies, new analytical methodologies and large-scale projects, evidence for the role of natural selection in contributing to the heritable component of ADs keeps growing. This review summarizes the genetic regions associated with susceptibility to different ADs and concomitant evidence for selection, including known agents of selection exerting selective pressure in these regions. Examples of specific adaptive variants with phenotypic effects are included as an evidence of natural selection increasing AD susceptibility. Many of the complexities of gene effects in different ADs can be explained by population genetics phenomena. Integrating AD susceptibility studies with population genetics to investigate how natural selection has contributed to genetic variation that influences disease risk will help to identify functional variants and elucidate biological mechanisms. As such, the study of population genetics in human population holds untapped potential for elucidating the genetic causes of human disease and more rapidly focusing to personalized medicine.
Obesity is growing epidemic affecting 35% of adults in the United States. Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci associated with obesity. However, the majority of studies have been completed in Caucasians focusing on total body measures of adiposity. Here we report the results from genome-wide and exome chip association studies focusing on total body measures of adiposity including body mass index (BMI), percent body fat (PBF) and measures of fat deposition including waist circumference (WAIST), waist-hip ratio (WHR), subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in Hispanic Americans (nmax = 1263) from the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Family Study (IRASFS). Five SNPs from two novel loci attained genome-wide significance (P<5.00x10-8) in IRASFS. A missense SNP in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 gene (IDH1) was associated with WAIST (rs34218846, MAF = 6.8%, PDOM = 1.62x10-8). This protein is postulated to play an important role in fat and cholesterol biosynthesis as demonstrated in cell and knock-out animal models. Four correlated intronic SNPs in the Zinc finger, GRF-type containing 1 gene (ZGRF1; SNP rs1471880, MAF = 48.1%, PDOM = 1.00x10-8) were strongly associated with WHR. The exact biological function of ZGRF1 and the connection with adiposity remains unclear. SNPs with p-values less than 5.00x10-6 from IRASFS were selected for replication. Meta-analysis was computed across seven independent Hispanic-American cohorts (nmax = 4156) and the strongest signal was rs1471880 (PDOM = 8.38x10-6) in ZGRF1 with WAIST. In conclusion, a genome-wide and exome chip association study was conducted that identified two novel loci (IDH1 and ZGRF1) associated with adiposity. While replication efforts were inconclusive, when taken together with the known biology, IDH1 and ZGRF1 warrant further evaluation.
Complex genetic disorders are a result of a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors, all potentially interacting. Machine learning methods hold the potential to identify multi-locus and environmental associations thought to drive complex genetic traits. Decision trees, a popular machine learning technique, offer a computationally low complexity algorithm capable of detecting associated sets of SNPs of arbitrary size, including modern genome-wide SNP scans. However, interpretation of the importance of an individual SNP within these trees can present challenges.
We present a new decision tree algorithm denoted as Bagged Alternating Decision Trees (BADTrees) that is based on identifying common structural elements in a bootstrapped set of ADTrees. The algorithm is order nk2, where n is the number of SNPs considered and k is the number of SNPs in the tree constructed. Our simulation study suggests that BADTrees have higher power and lower type I error rates than ADTrees alone and comparable power with lower type I error rates compared to logistic regression. We illustrate the application of these data using simulated data as well as from the Lupus Large Association Study 1 (7822 SNPs in 3548 individuals). Our results suggest that BADTrees holds promise as a low computational order algorithm for detecting complex combinations of SNP and environmental factors associated with disease.
Machine Learning; Genetic Association; Gene-Gene Interaction; Multi-locus Models
Mutations in the complement factor H gene (CFH) region associate with renal-limited mesangial proliferative forms of glomerulonephritis including IgA nephropathy (IgAN), dense deposit disease (DDD) and C3 glomerulonephritis (C3GN). Lack of kidney biopsies could lead to under diagnosis of CFH-associated end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in African Americans (AAs), with incorrect attribution to other causes. A prior genome-wide association study in AAs with non-diabetic ESKD implicated an intronic CFH single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).
Thirteen CFH SNPs (8 exonic, 2 synonymous, 2 3′UTR, and the previously associated intronic variant rs379489) were tested for association with common forms of non-diabetic and type 2 diabetes-associated (T2D) ESKD in 3770 AAs (1705 with non-diabetic ESKD, 1305 with T2D-ESKD, 760 controls). Most cases lacked kidney biopsies; those with known IgAN, DDD or C3GN were excluded.
Adjusting for age, gender, ancestry and apolipoprotein L1 gene risk variants, single SNP analyses detected 6 CFH SNPs (5 exonic and the intronic variant) as significantly associated with non-diabetic ESKD (P = 0.002–0.01), three of these SNPs were also associated with T2D-ESKD. Weighted CFH locus-wide Sequence Kernel Association Testing (SKAT) in non-diabetic ESKD (P = 0.00053) and T2D-ESKD (P = 0.047) confirmed significant evidence of association.
CFH was associated with commonly reported etiologies of ESKD in the AA population. These results suggest that a subset of cases with ESKD clinically ascribed to the effects of hypertension or glomerulosclerosis actually have CFH-related forms of mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis. Genetic testing may prove useful to identify the causes of renal-limited kidney disease in patients with ESKD who lack renal biopsies.
African Americans; CFH; end-stage kidney disease; genetics; kidney disease
Albuminuria and reduced eGFR associate with two apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) variants in non-diabetic African Americans. Whether APOL1 associates with subclinical atherosclerosis and survival remains unclear. To determine this, 717 African American-Diabetes Heart Study participants underwent computed tomography to determine coronary artery, carotid artery, and aorta calcified atherosclerotic plaque mass scores in addition to the urine albumin:creatinine ratio (UACR), eGFR, and C-reactive protein. Associations between mass scores and APOL1 were assessed adjusting for age, gender, African ancestry, BMI, HbA1c, smoking, hypertension, use of statins and ACE inhibitors, albuminuria, and eGFR. Participants were 58.9% female with mean age 56.5 years, eGFR 89.5 ml/min/1.73m2, UACR 169.6 mg/g, coronary artery, carotid artery and aorta calcified plaque mass scores of 610, 171 and 5378, respectively. In fully adjusted models, APOL1 risk variants were significantly associated with lower levels of carotid artery calcified plaque (β −0.42, SE 0.18, dominant model), and marginally lower coronary artery plaque (β −0.36, SE 0.21; dominant model), but not with aorta calcified plaque, C-reactive protein, UACR, or eGFR. After a mean follow-up of 5.0 years, 89 participants died. APOL1 nephropathy risk variants were significantly associated with improved survival (hazard ratio 0.67 for 1 copy; 0.44 for 2 copies). Thus, APOL1 nephropathy variants associate with lower levels of subclinical atherosclerosis and reduced risk of death in African Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
African Americans; apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1); atherosclerosis; calcified atherosclerotic plaque; diabetes mellitus; kidney disease
Apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) G1 and G2 coding variants are strongly associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in African Americans. Here APOL1 association was tested with baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), urine albumin:creatinine ratio (UACR), and prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 2,571 African Americans from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), a trial assessing effects of systolic blood pressure reduction on renal and CVD outcomes. Logistic regression models that adjusted for potentially important confounders tested for association between APOL1 risk variants and baseline clinical CVD (myocardial infarction, coronary or carotid artery revascularization) and CKD (eGFR under 60 ml/min/1.73m2 and/or UACR over 30 mg/g). African American SPRINT participants were 45.3% female with mean (median) age of 64.3 (63) years, mean arterial pressure 100.7 (100) mmHg, eGFR 76.3 (77.1) ml/min/1.73m2, UACR 49.9 (9.2) mg/g, and 8.2% had clinical CVD. APOL1 (recessive inheritance) was positively associated with CKD (odds ratio 1.37, 95% confidence interval 1.08–1.73) and log UACR estimated slope [β] 0.33) and negatively associated with eGFR (β −3.58), all significant. APOL1 risk variants were not significantly associated with prevalent CVD (1.02, 0.82–1.27). Thus, SPRINT data show that APOL1 risk variants are associated with mild CKD but not prevalent CVD in African American with a UACR under 1000 mg/g.
African Americans; albuminuria; APOL1; cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; SPRINT
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation of multiple organ systems and dysregulated interferon responses. SLE is both genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous, greatly reducing the power of case-control studies in SLE. Elevated circulating interferon alpha (IFN-α) is a stable, heritable trait in SLE, which has been implicated in primary disease pathogenesis. 40–50% of patients have high IFN-α, and high levels correspond with clinical differences. To study genetic heterogeneity in SLE, we performed a case-case study comparing patients with high vs. low IFN-α in over 1550 SLE cases, including GWAS and replication cohorts. In meta-analysis, the top associations in European ancestry were PRKG1 rs7897633 (PMeta=2.75 × 10−8) and PNP rs1049564 (PMeta=1.24 × 10−7). We also found evidence for cross-ancestral background associations with the ANKRD44 and PLEKHF2 loci. These loci have not been previously identified in case-control SLE genetic studies. Bioinformatic analyses implicated these loci functionally in dendritic cells and natural killer cells, both of which are involved in IFN-α production in SLE. As case-control studies of heterogeneous diseases reach a limit of feasibility with respect to subject number and detectable effect size, the study of informative pathogenic subphenotypes becomes an attractive strategy for genetic discovery in complex disease.
Prior studies have identified common genetic variants influencing diabetic and non-diabetic nephropathy, diseases which disproportionately affect African Americans. Recently, exome sequencing techniques have facilitated identification of coding variants on a genome-wide basis in large samples. Exonic variants in known or suspected end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) or nephropathy genes can be tested for their ability to identify association either singly or in combination with known associated common variants. Coding variants in genes with prior evidence for association with ESKD or nephropathy were identified in the NHLBI-ESP GO database and genotyped in 5045 African Americans (3324 cases with type 2 diabetes associated nephropathy [T2D-ESKD] or non-T2D ESKD, and 1721 controls) and 1465 European Americans (568 T2D-ESKD cases and 897 controls). Logistic regression analyses were performed to assess association, with admixture and APOL1 risk status incorporated as covariates. Ten of 31 SNPs were associated in African Americans; four replicated in European Americans. In African Americans, SNPs in OR2L8, OR2AK2, C6orf167 (MMS22L), LIMK2, APOL3, APOL2, and APOL1 were nominally associated (P=1.8×10−4-0.044). Haplotype analysis of common and coding variants increased evidence of association at the OR2L13 and APOL1 loci (P=6.2×10−5 and 4.6×10−5, respectively). SNPs replicating in European Americans were in OR2AK2, LIMK2, and APOL2 (P=0.0010-0.037). Meta-analyses highlighted four SNPs associated in T2DESKD and all-cause ESKD. Results from this study suggest a role for coding variants in the development of diabetic, non-diabetic, and/or all-cause ESKD in African Americans and/or European Americans.
African Americans; Association; European Americans; Exonic Variants; Type 2 Diabetes; Nephropathy
The extent of shared risk factors for calcified atherosclerotic plaque (CAP) of the coronary, carotid, and abdominal aortic arteries is unknown. CAP was measured by computed tomography in 1,125 individuals in families affected with diabetes. Statistical methods adjusted for the lack of independence between observations. CAP scores were standardized, and tests of interaction were conducted to compare risk factor relations across vascular beds. The average age of the cohort was 61 years, and 84% had diabetes. The correlation in CAP scores across vascular beds ranged from 0.59 to 0.72. Age, albumin/creatinine ratio, hemoglobin A1c, diabetes, hypertension, and lipid-lowering therapy were correlated with quantity of CAP in all vascular beds (all p < 0.05); no differences in the strength of these relations were noted. In contrast, other significant correlates differed in the strength of their relations with CAP. The risk factor pack-years of smoking was most strongly correlated with CAP in the abdominal aorta (p < 0.005). Male gender, previous myocardial infarction, and coronary revascularization were most strongly correlated with CAP in the coronary arteries (p < 0.0001). In summary, CAPs of the coronary, carotid, and abdominal aortic arteries generally share common risk factors, even though several of these factors have a greater impact on CAP in one vascular bed than another.
atherosclerosis; calcification; physiologic; diabetes mellitus; type 2; North Carolina; risk factors; siblings
Cognitive performance is an important component of healthy aging. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with negative outcomes for the brain and cognition, although causal mechanisms have not been definitely determined. Genetic risk factors warrant further consideration in this context. This study examined the heritability of cognitive function as assessed by (1) the Digit Symbol Substitution Task; (2) the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination; (3) the Stroop Task; (4) the Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Task; and (5) the Controlled Oral Word Association Task for Phonemic and Semantic Fluency, in the family-based, T2D-enriched, Diabetes Heart Study sample (n = 550 participants from 257 families). The genetic basis of these cognitive measures was further evaluated by association analysis with candidate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genome-wide SNP data. Measures of cognitive function were significantly heritable (ĥ2 = 0.28–0.62) following adjustment for age, gender, and education. A total of 31 SNPs (from 26 genes/regions) selected to form an a priori set of candidate SNPs showed limited evidence of association with cognitive function when applying conservative metrics of significance. Genome-wide assessment of both noncoding and coding variants revealed suggestive evidence of association for several coding variants including rs139509083 in CNST (p = 4.9 × 10−9), rs199968569 in PLAA (p = 4.9 × 10−9) and rs138487371 in PCDH8 (p = 3.7 × 10−8). The identification of a heritable component to cognitive performance in T2D suggests a role for genetic contributors to cognitive performance even in the presence of metabolic disease and other associated comorbidities and is supported by the identification of genetic association signals in functionally plausible candidates.
Cognitive function; Heritability; Genetics; Type 2 diabetes
Identification of mutations at familial loci for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has provided novel insights into the aetiology of this rapidly progressing fatal neurodegenerative disease. However, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of the more common (∼90%) sporadic form have been less successful with the exception of the replicated locus at 9p21.2. To identify new loci associated with disease susceptibility, we have established the largest association study in ALS to date and undertaken a GWAS meta-analytical study combining 3959 newly genotyped Italian individuals (1982 cases and 1977 controls) collected by SLAGEN (Italian Consortium for the Genetics of ALS) together with samples from Netherlands, USA, UK, Sweden, Belgium, France, Ireland and Italy collected by ALSGEN (the International Consortium on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Genetics). We analysed a total of 13 225 individuals, 6100 cases and 7125 controls for almost 7 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We identified a novel locus with genome-wide significance at 17q11.2 (rs34517613 with P = 1.11 × 10−8; OR 0.82) that was validated when combined with genotype data from a replication cohort (P = 8.62 × 10−9; OR 0.833) of 4656 individuals. Furthermore, we confirmed the previously reported association at 9p21.2 (rs3849943 with P = 7.69 × 10−9; OR 1.16). Finally, we estimated the contribution of common variation to heritability of sporadic ALS as ∼12% using a linear mixed model accounting for all SNPs. Our results provide an insight into the genetic structure of sporadic ALS, confirming that common variation contributes to risk and that sufficiently powered studies can identify novel susceptibility loci.
Given the high rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes, identifying and understanding predictors of CVD events and mortality could help inform clinical management in this high-risk group. Recent large-scale genetic studies may provide additional tools in this regard.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Genetic risk scores (GRSs) were constructed in 1,175 self-identified European American (EA) individuals comprising the family-based Diabetes Heart Study based on 1) 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 2) 30 SNPs with previously documented associations with CVD in genome-wide association studies. Associations between each GRS and a self-reported history of CVD, coronary artery calcified plaque (CAC) determined by noncontrast computed tomography scan, all-cause mortality, and CVD mortality were examined using marginal models with generalized estimating equations and Cox proportional hazards models.
The weighted 13-SNP GRS was associated with prior CVD (odds ratio [OR] 1.51 [95% CI 1.22–1.86]; P = 0.0002), CAC (β-coefficient [β] 0.22 [0.02–0.43]; P = 0.04) and CVD mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.35 [1.10–1.81]; P = 0.04) when adjusting for the other known CVD risk factors: age, sex, type 2 diabetes affection status, BMI, current smoking status, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. The weighted 30-SNP GRS was also associated with prior CVD (OR 1.33 [1.08–1.65]; P = 0.008), CAC (β 0.29 [0.08–0.50]; P = 0.006), all-cause mortality (HR 1.28 [1.05–1.56]; P = 0.01), and CVD mortality (HR 1.46 [1.08–1.96]; P = 0.01).
These findings support the utility of two simple GRSs in examining genetic associations for adverse outcomes in EAs with type 2 diabetes.
Two APOL1 nephropathy variants confer substantial risk for non-diabetic end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) in African Americans (AAs). Since not all genetically high-risk individuals develop ESKD, modifying factors likely contribute. Forty-two potentially interactive single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from a genome-wide association study in non-diabetic ESKD were tested for interaction with APOL1 to identify genes modifying risk for non-diabetic nephropathy.
SNPs were examined in an expanded sample of 1367 AA non-diabetic ESKD cases and 1504 AA non-nephropathy controls, with validation in an independent family-based cohort containing 608 first-degree relatives of index cases with non-diabetic ESKD. Logistic regression and mixed models were fitted to test for interaction effects with APOL1 on ESKD, estimated kidney function and albuminuria.
Among ESKD samples, 14 of 42 SNPs demonstrated suggestive APOL1 interaction with P-values <0.05. After Bonferroni correction, significant interactions with APOL1 were seen with SNPs in podocin (rs16854341; NPHS2, P = 8.0 × 10−4), in SDCCAG8 (rs2802723; P = 5.0 × 10−4) and near BMP4 (rs8014363; P = 1.0 × 10−3); with trends for ENOX1 (rs9533534; P = 2.2 × 10−3) and near TRIB1 (rs4457349; P = 5.7 × 10−3). The minor allele in NPHS2 markedly changed the APOL1-ESKD association odds ratio (OR) from 7.03 to 1.76 (∼50% reduction in effect per copy of the minor allele), rs2802723 changed the OR from 5.1 to 10.5, and rs8014363 increased the OR from 4.8 to 9.5. NPHS2 (P = 0.05) and SDCCAG8 (P = 0.03) SNPs demonstrated APOL1 interaction with albuminuria in independent family-based samples.
Variants in NPHS2, SDCCAG8 and near BMP4 appear to interact with APOL1 to modulate the risk for non-diabetic ESKD in AAs.
African American; APOL1; bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4); kidney disease; podocin (NPHS2); serologically defined colon cancer antigen 8 (SDCCAG8)