Refractive error is the most common eye disorder worldwide, and a prominent cause of blindness. Myopia affects over 30% of Western populations, and up to 80% of Asians. The CREAM consortium conducted genome-wide meta-analyses including 37,382 individuals from 27 studies of European ancestry, and 8,376 from 5 Asian cohorts. We identified 16 new loci for refractive error in subjects of European ancestry, of which 8 were shared with Asians. Combined analysis revealed 8 additional loci. The new loci include genes with functions in neurotransmission (GRIA4), ion channels (KCNQ5), retinoic acid metabolism (RDH5), extracellular matrix remodeling (LAMA2, BMP2), and eye development (SIX6, PRSS56). We also confirmed previously reported associations with GJD2 and RASGRF1. Risk score analysis using associated SNPs showed a tenfold increased risk of myopia for subjects with the highest genetic load. Our results, accumulated across independent multi-ethnic studies, considerably advance understanding of mechanisms involved in refractive error and myopia.
Population genetic studies on European populations have highlighted Italy as one of genetically most diverse regions. This is possibly due to the country's complex demographic history and large variability in terrain throughout the territory. This is the reason why Italy is enriched for population isolates, Sardinia being the best-known example. As the population isolates have a great potential in disease-causing genetic variants identification, we aimed to genetically characterize a region from northeastern Italy, which is known for isolated communities. Total of 1310 samples, collected from six geographically isolated villages, were genotyped at >145 000 single-nucleotide polymorphism positions. Newly genotyped data were analyzed jointly with the available genome-wide data sets of individuals of European descent, including several population isolates. Despite the linguistic differences and geographical isolation the village populations still show the greatest genetic similarity to other Italian samples. The genetic isolation and small effective population size of the village populations is manifested by higher levels of genomic homozygosity and elevated linkage disequilibrium. These estimates become even more striking when the detected substructure is taken into account. The observed level of genetic isolation in Friuli-Venezia Giulia region is more extreme according to several measures of isolation compared with Sardinians, French Basques and northern Finns, thus proving the status of an isolate.
population genetics; isolated population; genetic distance
Lung cancer (LC) is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide and tobacco smoking is the major associated risk factor. DNA repair is an important process, maintaining genome integrity and polymorphisms in DNA repair genes may contribute to susceptibility to LC. To explore the role of DNA repair genes in LC, we conducted a multilevel association study with 1655 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 211 DNA repair genes using 6911 individuals pooled from four genome-wide case–control studies. Single SNP association corroborates previous reports of association with rs3131379, located on the gene MSH5 (P = 3.57 × 10-5) and returns a similar risk estimate. The effect of this SNP is modulated by histological subtype. On the log-additive scale, the odds ratio per allele is 1.04 (0.84–1.30) for adenocarcinomas, 1.52 (1.28–1.80) for squamous cell carcinomas and 1.31 (1.09–1.57) for other histologies (heterogeneity test: P = 9.1 × 10−3). Gene-based association analysis identifies three repair genes associated with LC (P < 0.01): UBE2N, structural maintenance of chromosomes 1L2 and POLB. Two additional genes (RAD52 and POLN) are borderline significant. Pathway-based association analysis identifies five repair pathways associated with LC (P < 0.01): chromatin structure, DNA polymerases, homologous recombination, genes involved in human diseases with sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents and Rad6 pathway and ubiquitination. This first international pooled analysis of a large dataset unravels the role of specific DNA repair pathways in LC and highlights the importance of accounting for gene and pathway effects when studying LC.
The limited ability of common variants to account for the genetic contribution to complex disease has prompted searches for rare variants of large effect, to partly explain the ‘missing heritability’. Analyses of genome-wide genotyping data have identified genomic structural variants (GSVs) as a source of such rare causal variants. Recent studies have reported multiple GSV loci associated with risk of obesity. We attempted to replicate these associations by similar analysis of two familial-obesity case-control cohorts and a population cohort, and detected GSVs at 11 out of 18 loci, at frequencies similar to those previously reported. Based on their reported frequencies and effect sizes (OR≥25), we had sufficient statistical power to detect the large majority (80%) of genuine associations at these loci. However, only one obesity association was replicated. Deletion of a 220 kb region on chromosome 16p11.2 has a carrier population frequency of 2×10−4 (95% confidence interval [9.6×10−5–3.1×10−4]); accounts overall for 0.5% [0.19%–0.82%] of severe childhood obesity cases (P = 3.8×10−10; odds ratio = 25.0 [9.9–60.6]); and results in a mean body mass index (BMI) increase of 5.8 kg.m−2 [1.8–10.3] in adults from the general population. We also attempted replication using BMI as a quantitative trait in our population cohort; associations with BMI at or near nominal significance were detected at two further loci near KIF2B and within FOXP2, but these did not survive correction for multiple testing. These findings emphasise several issues of importance when conducting rare GSV association, including the need for careful cohort selection and replication strategy, accurate GSV identification, and appropriate correction for multiple testing and/or control of false discovery rate. Moreover, they highlight the potential difficulty in replicating rare CNV associations across different populations. Nevertheless, we show that such studies are potentially valuable for the identification of variants making an appreciable contribution to complex disease.
Several studies examined the fine-scale structure of human genetic variation in Europe. However, the European sets analyzed represent mainly northern, western, central, and southern Europe. Here, we report an analysis of approximately 166,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms in populations from eastern (northeastern) Europe: four Russian populations from European Russia, and three populations from the northernmost Finno-Ugric ethnicities (Veps and two contrast groups of Komi people). These were compared with several reference European samples, including Finns, Estonians, Latvians, Poles, Czechs, Germans, and Italians. The results obtained demonstrated genetic heterogeneity of populations living in the region studied. Russians from the central part of European Russia (Tver, Murom, and Kursk) exhibited similarities with populations from central–eastern Europe, and were distant from Russian sample from the northern Russia (Mezen district, Archangelsk region). Komi samples, especially Izhemski Komi, were significantly different from all other populations studied. These can be considered as a second pole of genetic diversity in northern Europe (in addition to the pole, occupied by Finns), as they had a distinct ancestry component. Russians from Mezen and the Finnic-speaking Veps were positioned between the two poles, but differed from each other in the proportions of Komi and Finnic ancestries. In general, our data provides a more complete genetic map of Europe accounting for the diversity in its most eastern (northeastern) populations.
Human longevity and personality traits are both heritable and are consistently linked at the phenotypic level. We test the hypothesis that candidate genes influencing longevity in lower organisms are associated with variance in the five major dimensions of human personality (measured by the NEO-FFI and IPIP inventories) plus related mood states of anxiety and depression. Seventy single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in six brain expressed, longevity candidate genes (AFG3L2, FRAP1, MAT1A, MAT2A, SYNJ1 and SYNJ2) were typed in over one thousand 70-year old participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort of 1936 (LBC1936). No SNPs were associated with the personality and psychological distress traits at a Bonferroni corrected level of significance (p < 0.0002), but there was an over-representation of nominally significant (p < 0.05) SNPs in the synaptojanin-2 (SYNJ2) gene associated with agreeableness and symptoms of depression. Eight SNPs which showed nominally significant association across personality measurement instruments were tested in an extremely large replication sample of 17 106 participants. SNP rs350292, in SYNJ2, was significant: the minor allele was associated with an average decrease in NEO agreeableness scale scores of 0.25 points, and 0.67 points in the restricted analysis of elderly cohorts (most aged > 60 years). Because we selected a specific set of longevity genes based on functional genomics findings, further research on other longevity gene candidates is warranted to discover whether they are relevant candidates for personality and psychological distress traits.
NEO personality; IPIP personality; anxiety; depressive symptoms; ageing; genetics
Recently it has become clear that only a small percentage (7%) of disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are located in protein-coding regions, while the remaining 93% are located in gene regulatory regions or in intergenic regions. Thus, the understanding of how genetic variations control the expression of non-coding RNAs (in a tissue-dependent manner) has far-reaching implications. We tested the association of SNPs with expression levels (eQTLs) of large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs), using genome-wide gene expression and genotype data from five different tissues. We identified 112 cis-regulated lincRNAs, of which 45% could be replicated in an independent dataset. We observed that 75% of the SNPs affecting lincRNA expression (lincRNA cis-eQTLs) were specific to lincRNA alone and did not affect the expression of neighboring protein-coding genes. We show that this specific genotype-lincRNA expression correlation is tissue-dependent and that many of these lincRNA cis-eQTL SNPs are also associated with complex traits and diseases.
Large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are the largest class of non-coding RNA molecules in the human genome. Many genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have mapped disease-associated genetic variants (SNPs) to, or in, the vicinity of such lincRNA regions. However, it is not clear how these SNPs can affect the disease. We tested whether SNPs were also associated with the lincRNA expression levels in five different human primary tissues. We observed that there is a strong genotype-lincRNA expression correlation that is tissue-dependent. Many of the observed lincRNA cis-eQTLs are disease- or trait-associated SNPs. Our results suggest that lincRNA-eQTLs represent a novel link between non-coding SNPs and the expression of protein-coding genes, which can be exploited to understand the process of gene-regulation through lincRNAs in more detail.
DNA methylation is one of the most important epigenetic alterations involved in the control of gene expression. Bisulfite sequencing of genomic DNA is currently the only method to study DNA methylation patterns at single-nucleotide resolution. Hence, next-generation sequencing of bisulfite-converted DNA is the method of choice to investigate DNA methylation profiles at the genome-wide scale. Nevertheless, whole genome sequencing for analysis of human methylomes is expensive, and a method for targeted gene analysis would provide a good alternative in many cases where the primary interest is restricted to a set of genes.
Here, we report the successful use of a custom Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment system for the hybrid capture of bisulfite-converted DNA. We prepared bisulfite-converted next-generation sequencing libraries, which are enriched for the coding and regulatory regions of 174 ADME genes (i.e. genes involved in the metabolism and distribution of drugs). Sequencing of these libraries on Illumina’s HiSeq2000 revealed that the method allows a reliable quantification of methylation levels of CpG sites in the selected genes, and validation of the method using pyrosequencing and the Illumina 450K methylation BeadChips revealed good concordance.
Biobanks can have a pivotal role in elucidating disease etiology, translation, and
advancing public health. However, meeting these challenges hinges on a critical shift in
the way science is conducted and requires biobank harmonization. There is growing
recognition that a common strategy is imperative to develop biobanking globally and
effectively. To help guide this strategy, we articulate key principles, goals, and
priorities underpinning a roadmap for global biobanking to accelerate health science,
patient care, and public health. The need to manage and share very large amounts of data
has driven innovations on many fronts. Although technological solutions are allowing
biobanks to reach new levels of integration, increasingly powerful data-collection tools,
analytical techniques, and the results they generate raise new ethical and legal issues
and challenges, necessitating a reconsideration of previous policies, practices, and
ethical norms. These manifold advances and the investments that support them are also
fueling opportunities for biobanks to ultimately become integral parts of health-care
systems in many countries. International harmonization to increase interoperability and
sustainability are two strategic priorities for biobanking. Tackling these issues requires
an environment favorably inclined toward scientific funding and equipped to address
socio-ethical challenges. Cooperation and collaboration must extend beyond systems to
enable the exchange of data and samples to strategic alliances between many organizations,
including governmental bodies, funding agencies, public and private science enterprises,
and other stakeholders, including patients. A common vision is required and we articulate
the essential basis of such a vision herein.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory musculoskeletal disease affecting up to 30% of psoriasis vulgaris (PsV) cases and approximately 0.25% to 1% of the general population. To identify common susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis of three imputed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on psoriasis, stratified for PsA. A total of 1,160,703 SNPs were analyzed in the discovery set consisting of 535 PsA cases and 3,432 controls from Germany, the United States and Canada. We followed up two SNPs in 1,931 PsA cases and 6,785 controls comprising six independent replication panels from Germany, Estonia, the United States and Canada. In the combined analysis, a genome-wide significant association was detected at 2p16 near the REL locus encoding c-Rel (rs13017599, P=1.18×10−8, OR=1.27, 95% CI=1.18–1.35). The rs13017599 polymorphism is known to associate with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and another SNP near REL (rs702873) was recently implicated in PsV susceptibility. However, conditional analysis indicated that rs13017599, rather than rs702873, accounts for the PsA association at REL. We hypothesize that c-Rel, as a member of the Rel/NF-κB family, is associated with PsA in the context of disease pathways that involve other identified PsA and PsV susceptibility genes including TNIP1, TNFAIP3 and NFκBIA.
Despite of intense research in early cancer detection, there is a lack of biomarkers for the reliable detection of malignant tumors, including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). DNA methylation changes are common and relatively stable in various types of cancers, and may be used as diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers.
We performed DNA methylation profiling of samples from 48 patients with stage I NSCLC and 18 matching cancer-free lung samples using microarrays that cover the promoter regions of more than 14,500 genes. We correlated DNA methylation changes with gene expression levels and performed survival analysis.
We observed hypermethylation of 496 CpGs in 379 genes and hypomethylation of 373 CpGs in 335 genes in NSCLC. Compared to adenocarcinoma samples, squamous cell carcinoma samples had 263 CpGs in 223 hypermethylated genes and 513 CpGs in 436 hypomethylated genes. 378 of 869 (43.5%) CpG sites discriminating the NSCLC and control samples showed an inverse correlation between CpG site methylation and gene expression levels. As a result of a survival analysis, we found 10 CpGs in 10 genes, in which the methylation level differs in different survival groups.
We have identified a set of genes with altered methylation in NSCLC and found that a minority of them showed an inverse correlation with gene expression levels. We also found a set of genes that associated with the survival of the patients. These newly-identified marker candidates for the molecular screening of NSCLC will need further analysis in order to determine their clinical utility.
We propose an innovative, integrated, cost-effective health system to combat major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular, chronic respiratory, metabolic, rheumatologic and neurologic disorders and cancers, which together are the predominant health problem of the 21st century. This proposed holistic strategy involves comprehensive patient-centered integrated care and multi-scale, multi-modal and multi-level systems approaches to tackle NCDs as a common group of diseases. Rather than studying each disease individually, it will take into account their intertwined gene-environment, socio-economic interactions and co-morbidities that lead to individual-specific complex phenotypes. It will implement a road map for predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory (P4) medicine based on a robust and extensive knowledge management infrastructure that contains individual patient information. It will be supported by strategic partnerships involving all stakeholders, including general practitioners associated with patient-centered care. This systems medicine strategy, which will take a holistic approach to disease, is designed to allow the results to be used globally, taking into account the needs and specificities of local economies and health systems.
NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) comprises about 80% of all lung cancer cases worldwide. Surgery is most effective treatment for patients with early-stage disease. However, 30%–55% of these patients develop recurrence within 5 years. Therefore, markers that can be used to accurately classify early-stage NSCLC patients into different prognostic groups may be helpful in selecting patients who should receive specific therapies.
A previously published dataset was used to evaluate gene expression profiles of different NSCLC subtypes. A moderated two-sample t-test was used to identify differentially expressed genes between all tumor samples and cancer-free control tissue, between SCC samples and AC/BC samples and between stage I tumor samples and all other tumor samples. Gene expression microarray measurements were validated using qRT-PCR.
Bayesian regression analysis and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis were performed to determine metagenes associated with survival. We identified 599 genes which were down-regulated and 402 genes which were up-regulated in NSCLC compared to the normal lung tissue and 112 genes which were up-regulated and 101 genes which were down-regulated in AC/BC compared to the SCC. Further, for stage Ib patients the metagenes potentially associated with survival were identified.
Genes that expressed differently between normal lung tissue and cancer showed enrichment in gene ontology terms which were associated with mitosis and proliferation. Bayesian regression and Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that gene-expression patterns and metagene profiles can be applied to predict the probability of different survival outcomes in NSCLC patients.
non-small cell lung cancer; microarray; gene expression pattern; Kaplan-Meier curve; TNM stage; metagenes
While small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have been rapidly appreciated to silence genes, efficient and non-toxic vectors for primary cells and for systemic in vivo delivery are lacking. Several siRNA-delivery vehicles, including cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs), have been developed but their utility is often restricted by entrapment following endocytosis. Hence, developing CPPs that promote endosomal escape is a prerequisite for successful siRNA implementation. We here present a novel CPP, PepFect 6 (PF6), comprising the previously reported stearyl-TP10 peptide, having pH titratable trifluoromethylquinoline moieties covalently incorporated to facilitate endosomal release. Stable PF6/siRNA nanoparticles enter entire cell populations and rapidly promote endosomal escape, resulting in robust RNAi responses in various cell types (including primary cells), with minimal associated transcriptomic or proteomic changes. Furthermore, PF6-mediated delivery is independent of cell confluence and, in most cases, not significantly hampered by serum proteins. Finally, these nanoparticles promote strong RNAi responses in different organs following systemic delivery in mice without any associated toxicity. Strikingly, similar knockdown in liver is achieved by PF6/siRNA nanoparticles and siRNA injected by hydrodynamic infusion, a golden standard technique for liver transfection. These results imply that the peptide, in addition to having utility for RNAi screens in vitro, displays therapeutic potential.
Previous molecular epidemiological studies on head and neck cancer have examined various single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), but there are very few documented associations. In the International head and neck cancer epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium, we evaluated associations between SNPs in the metabolism, cell cycle, and DNA repair pathways and the risk of head and neck cancer. We analyzed individual-level pooled data from 14 European, North American, Central American, and Asia case–control studies (5,915 head and neck cancer cases and 10,644 controls) participating in the INHANCE consortium. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for SNP effects, adjusting for age, sex, race, and country. We observed an association between head and neck cancer risk and MGMT Leu84Phe heterozygotes (OR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.68–0.93), XRCC1 Arg194Trp homozygotes Arg/Arg (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.1–4.7), ADH1B Arg48His homozygotes Arg/Arg (OR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.9–4.0), ADH1C Ile350Val homozygotes Ile/Ile (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.1–1.4), and the GSTM1 null genotype (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 1.0–1.2). Among these results, MGMT Leu84Phe, ADH1B Arg48His, ADH1C Ile350Arg, and the GSTM1 null genotype had fairly low false positive report probabilities (<20%). We observed associations between ADH1B Arg48His, ADH1C Ile350Arg, and GSTM1 null genotype and head and neck cancer risk. No functional study currently supports the observed association for MGMT Leu84Phe, and the association with XRCC1 Arg194Trp may be a chance finding.
SNP; head and neck cancer; INHANCE
Background Vast sample sizes are often essential in the quest to disentangle the complex interplay of the genetic, lifestyle, environmental and social factors that determine the aetiology and progression of chronic diseases. The pooling of information between studies is therefore of central importance to contemporary bioscience. However, there are many technical, ethico-legal and scientific challenges to be overcome if an effective, valid, pooled analysis is to be achieved. Perhaps most critically, any data that are to be analysed in this way must be adequately ‘harmonized’. This implies that the collection and recording of information and data must be done in a manner that is sufficiently similar in the different studies to allow valid synthesis to take place.
Methods This conceptual article describes the origins, purpose and scientific foundations of the DataSHaPER (DataSchema and Harmonization Platform for Epidemiological Research; http://www.datashaper.org), which has been created by a multidisciplinary consortium of experts that was pulled together and coordinated by three international organizations: P3G (Public Population Project in Genomics), PHOEBE (Promoting Harmonization of Epidemiological Biobanks in Europe) and CPT (Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project).
Results The DataSHaPER provides a flexible, structured approach to the harmonization and pooling of information between studies. Its two primary components, the ‘DataSchema’ and ‘Harmonization Platforms’, together support the preparation of effective data-collection protocols and provide a central reference to facilitate harmonization. The DataSHaPER supports both ‘prospective’ and ‘retrospective’ harmonization.
Conclusion It is hoped that this article will encourage readers to investigate the project further: the more the research groups and studies are actively involved, the more effective the DataSHaPER programme will ultimately be.
Data synthesis; data quality; data pooling; harmonization; meta-analysis; DataSHaPER; prospective harmonization; retrospective harmonization
A 64-year-old male patient was diagnosed with 3 consecutive non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC). In the current study, we applied whole-genome gene expression analysis to control, primary and locally recurrent cancer, and supposed metastasis samples of a single patient. According to our knowledge, there are no published papers describing the gene expression profiles of a single patient's squamous cell lung cancers. As the histology and differentiation grade of the primary cancer and the supposed metastasis differed minimally, but local recurrence was poorly differentiated, molecular profiling of the samples was carried out in order to confirm or reject the hypothesis of second primary cancer. Principal component analysis of the gene expression data revealed distinction of the local recurrence. Gene ontology analysis showed no molecular characteristics of metastasis in the supposed metastasis. Gene expression analysis is valuable and can be supportive in decision-making of diagnostically complicated cancer cases.
Local recurrence; Non-small cell lung cancer; NSCLC; Metastasis; Gene expression profile
The aim of this study was to identify BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in the Estonian population. We analyzed genetic data and questionnaire from 64 early-onset (< 45 y) breast cancer patients, 47 familial cases (patients with breast or ovarian cancer and a case of these cancers in the family), and 33 predictive cases (patients without breast or ovarian cancer, with a family history of such diseases) from Estonia for mutations in the BRCA1 gene. A sub-set of familial cases and predictive cases were also analyzed for mutations in the BRCA2 gene.
For mutation detection, we used the Polymerase Chain Reaction-Single Stranded Conformation Polymorphism Heteroduplex Analysis (PCR-SSCP-HD), followed by direct DNA sequencing.
We identified three clinically important mutations in the BRCA1 gene, including seven occurrences of the c.5382insC mutation, three of c.4154delA, and one instance of c.3881_3882delGA. We also detected six polymorphisms: c.2430T>C, c.3232A>G, c.4158A>G, c.4427T>C, c.4956A>G, and c.5002T>C. Four sequence alterations were detected in introns: c.560+64delT, c.560+ [36-38delCTT, 52-63del12], c.666-58delT, and c.5396+60insGTATTCCACTCC. In the BRCA2 gene, two clinically important mutations were found: c.9610C>T and c.6631delTTAAATG. Additionally, two alterations (c.7049G>T and c.7069+80delTTAG) with unknown clinical significance were detected.
In our dataset, the overall frequency of clinically important BRCA1 mutations in early-onset patients, familial cases, and predictive testing was 7.6% (144 cases, 11 mutation carriers). Pathogenic mutations were identified in 4 of the 64 early-onset breast cancer cases (6.3%). In familial cases, clinically important mutations in the BRCA1 gene were found in 6 of the 47 individuals analyzed (12.8%). In predictive cases, 1 clinically important mutation was detected in 33 individuals studied (3%). The occurrence of clinically important mutations in BRCA2 in familial cases of breast cancer was 2 of the 16 individuals analyzed (12.5%).
Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder that can be an autosomal-dominant, autosomal-recessive, or X-linked disease. The most common autosomal-dominant form of the disease derives from mutations in the SPAST gene.
The aim of this study was to analyze 49 patients diagnosed with HSP from the Estonian population for sequence variants of the SPAST gene and to describe the associated phenotypes. Healthy control individuals (n = 100) with no family history of HSP were also analyzed. All patient samples were screened using denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay. Samples with abnormal DHPLC and MLPA profiles were sequenced, with the same regions sequenced in control samples.
Sequence variants of SPAST were identified in 19/49 HSP patients (38.8%), twelve among them had pathogenic mutations. Within the latter group there was one sporadic case. Eight patients had pure, and four - complex HSP. The twelve variants were identified: seven pathogenic (c.1174-1G>C, c.1185delA, c.1276C>T, c.1352_1356delGAGAA, c.1378C>A, c.1518_1519insTC, c.1841_1842insA) and five non-pathogenic (c.131C>T, c.484G>A, c.685A>G, c.1245+202delG, c.1245+215G>C). Only 2 of these mutations had previously been described (c.131C>T, c.1245+202delG). Three mutations, c.1174-1G>C, c.1276 C>T, c.1378C>A, showed intrafamilial segregation.
This study identified new variants of the SPAST gene which included benign missense variants and short insertions/deletions. No large rearrangements were found. Based on these data, 7 new pathogenic variants of HSP are associated with clinical phenotypes.
Although plasma fibrinogen levels are related to cardiovascular risk, data regarding the role of fibrinogen genetic variation in myocardial infarction (MI) or coronary artery disease (CAD) etiology remain inconsistent. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of fibrinogen A (FGA), fibrinogen B (FGB) and fibrinogen G (FGG) gene SNPs and haplotypes on susceptibility to CAD in a homogeneous Greek population.
We genotyped for rs2070022, rs2070016, rs2070006 in FGA gene, the rs7673587, rs1800789, rs1800790, rs1800788, rs1800787, rs4681 and rs4220 in FGB gene and for the rs1118823, rs1800792 and rs2066865 SNPs in FGG gene applying an arrayed primer extension-based genotyping method (APEX-2) in a sample of CAD patients (n = 305) and controls (n = 305). Logistic regression analysis was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), before and after adjustment for potential confounders.
None of the FGA and FGG SNPs and FGA, FGB, FGG and FGA-FGG haplotypes was associated with disease occurrence after adjustment. Nevertheless, rs1800787 and rs1800789 SNPs in FGB gene seem to decrease the risk of CAD, even after adjustment for potential confounders (OR = 0.42, 95%CI: 0.19-0.90, p = 0.026 and OR = 0.44, 95%CI:0.21-0.94, p = 0.039, respectively).
FGA and FGG SNPs as well as FGA, FGB, FGG and FGA-FGG haplotypes do not seem to be important contributors to CAD occurrence in our sample. On the contrary, FGB rs1800787 and rs1800789 SNPs seem to confer protection to disease onset lowering the risk by about 50% in homozygotes for the minor alleles.
Chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis of chronic age-associated, degenerative diseases. Pro-inflammatory host responses that are deleterious later in life may originate from evolutionary selection for genetic variation mediating resistance to infectious diseases under adverse environmental conditions.
In the Upper-East region of Ghana where infection has remained the leading cause of death, we studied the effect on survival of genetic variations at the IL10 gene locus that have been associated with chronic diseases. Here we show that an IL10 haplotype that associated with a pro-inflammatory innate immune response, characterised by low IL-10 (p = 0.028) and high TNF-α levels (p = 1.39×10−3), was enriched among Ghanaian elders (p = 2.46×10−6). Furthermore, in an environment where the source of drinking water (wells/rivers vs. boreholes) influences mortality risks (HR 1.28, 95% CI [1.09–1.50]), we observed that carriers of the pro-inflammatory haplotype have a survival advantage when drinking from wells/rivers but a disadvantage when drinking from boreholes (pinteraction = 0.013). Resequencing the IL10 gene region did not uncover any additional common variants in the pro-inflammatory haplotype to those SNPs that were initially genotyped.
Altogether, these data lend strong arguments for the selection of pro-inflammatory host responses to overcome fatal infection and promote survival in adverse environments.
Using principal component (PC) analysis, we studied the genetic constitution of 3,112 individuals from Europe as portrayed by more than 270,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped with the Illumina Infinium platform. In cohorts where the sample size was >100, one hundred randomly chosen samples were used for analysis to minimize the sample size effect, resulting in a total of 1,564 samples. This analysis revealed that the genetic structure of the European population correlates closely with geography. The first two PCs highlight the genetic diversity corresponding to the northwest to southeast gradient and position the populations according to their approximate geographic origin. The resulting genetic map forms a triangular structure with a) Finland, b) the Baltic region, Poland and Western Russia, and c) Italy as its vertexes, and with d) Central- and Western Europe in its centre. Inter- and intra- population genetic differences were quantified by the inflation factor lambda (λ) (ranging from 1.00 to 4.21), fixation index (Fst) (ranging from 0.000 to 0.023), and by the number of markers exhibiting significant allele frequency differences in pair-wise population comparisons. The estimated lambda was used to assess the real diminishing impact to association statistics when two distinct populations are merged directly in an analysis. When the PC analysis was confined to the 1,019 Estonian individuals (0.1% of the Estonian population), a fine structure emerged that correlated with the geography of individual counties. With at least two cohorts available from several countries, genetic substructures were investigated in Czech, Finnish, German, Estonian and Italian populations. Together with previously published data, our results allow the creation of a comprehensive European genetic map that will greatly facilitate inter-population genetic studies including genome wide association studies (GWAS).
Detection of DNA sequence variation is critical to biomedical applications, including disease genetic identification, diagnosis and treatment, drug discovery and forensic analysis. Here, we describe an arrayed primer extension-based genotyping method (APEX-2) that allows multiplex (640-plex) DNA amplification and detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and mutations on microarrays via four-color single-base primer extension. The founding principle of APEX-2 multiplex PCR requires two oligonucleotides per SNP/mutation to generate amplicons containing the position of interest. The same oligonucleotides are then subsequently used as immobilized single-base extension primers on a microarray. The method described here is ideal for SNP or mutation detection analysis, molecular diagnostics and forensic analysis. This robust genetic test has minimal requirements: two primers, two spots on the microarray and a low cost four-color detection system for the targeted site; and provides an advantageous alternative to high-density platforms and low-density detection systems.
Genetic variants in immune regulator genes have been associated with numerous diseases, including allergies and cancer. Increasing evidence suggests a substantially elevated disease risk in individuals who carry a combination of disease-relevant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). For the genotyping of immune regulator genes, such as cytokines, chemokines and transcription factors, an oligonucleotide microarray for the analysis of 99 relevant SNPs was established. Since the microarray design was based on a platform that permits flexible in situ oligonucleotide synthesis, a set of optimally performing probes could be defined by a selection approach that combined computational and experimental aspects.
While the in silico process eliminated 9% of the initial probe set, which had been picked purely on the basis of potential association with disease, the subsequent experimental validation excluded more than twice as many. The performance of the optimized microarray was demonstrated in a pilot study. The genotypes of 19 hay-fever patients (aged 40–44) with high IgE levels against inhalant antigens were compared to the results obtained with 19 age- and sex-matched controls. For several variants, allele-frequency differences of more than 10% were identified.
Based on the ability to improve empirically a chip design, the application of candidate-SNP typing represents a viable approach in the context of molecular epidemiological studies.