Due to the association of coeliac disease and HLA-specificities DQ2 and DQ8, HLA-typing can be used for risk determination of the disease. This study was designed to evaluate the knowledge of parents from coeliac families regarding HLA-typing and the impact of HLA-typing on the perception of the health of their children. A structured questionnaire was sent to the Dutch, Spanish and German parents participating with their child in the European PreventCD study on disease prevention in high-risk families, addressing parents' understanding of and attitude towards HLA-typing, distress related to HLA-typing and perceived health and health-related quality of life of their children. Sixty-eight percent of parents of 515 children returned the questionnaires, with 85% of children being DQ2/DQ8 positive. The majority of all parents answered the questions on knowledge correctly. Forty-eight percent of parents of DQ2/DQ8-negative children thought their child could develop coeliac disease. More distress was reported by parents of DQ2/DQ8-positive children (P<0.001). All parents showed few regrets and would repeat HLA-typing in future children. Perceived health and health-related quality of life were similar. In conclusion, we can say that misinterpretation of DQ2/DQ8-negative results by parents is frequent. DQ2/DQ8-positive results do not affect perceived health and health-related quality of life of children but may cause temporary negative feelings among parents. Parents of coeliac families seem to support HLA-typing.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes confer strong risk for autoimmune diseases on a log-additive scale. Here we speculated that differences in autoantigen binding repertoires between a heterozygote’s two expressed HLA variants may result in additional non-additive risk effects. We tested non-additive disease contributions of classical HLA alleles in patients and matched controls for five common autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (RA, Ncases=5,337), type 1 diabetes (T1D, Ncases=5,567), psoriasis vulgaris (Ncases=3,089), idiopathic achalasia (Ncases=727), and celiac disease (Ncases=11,115). In four out of five diseases, we observed highly significant non-additive dominance effects (RA: P=2.5×1012; T1D: P=2.4×10−10; psoriasis: P=5.9×10−6; celiac disease: P=1.2×10−87). In three of these diseases, the dominance effects were explained by interactions between specific classical HLA alleles (RA: P=1.8×10−3; T1D: P=8.6×1027; celiac disease: P=6.0×10−100). These interactions generally increased disease risk and explained moderate but significant fractions of phenotypic variance (RA: 1.4%, T1D: 4.0%, and celiac disease: 4.1%, beyond a simple additive model).
Autoimmunity; complex diseases; MHC; HLA; genetic architecture; non-additive effects; interactions
Coeliac disease (CD) is a chronic immune-mediated disease triggered by the ingestion of gluten. It has an estimated prevalence of approximately 1% in European populations. Specific HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1 alleles are established coeliac susceptibility genes and are required for the presentation of gliadin to the immune system resulting in damage to the intestinal mucosa. In the largest association analysis of CD to date, 39 non-HLA risk loci were identified, 13 of which were new, in a sample of 12 014 individuals with CD and 12 228 controls using the Immunochip genotyping platform. Including the HLA, this brings the total number of known CD loci to 40. We have replicated this study in an independent Irish CD case–control population of 425 CD and 453 controls using the Immunochip platform. Using a binomial sign test, we show that the direction of the effects of previously described risk alleles were highly correlated with those reported in the Irish population, (P=2.2 × 10−16). Using the Polygene Risk Score (PRS) approach, we estimated that up to 35% of the genetic variance could be explained by loci present on the Immunochip (P=9 × 10−75). When this is limited to non-HLA loci, we explain a maximum of 4.5% of the genetic variance (P=3.6 × 10−18). Finally, we performed a meta-analysis of our data with the previous reports, identifying two further loci harbouring the ZNF335 and NIFA genes which now exceed genome-wide significance, taking the total number of CD susceptibility loci to 42.
We carried out a trans-ancestry genome-wide association and replication study of blood pressure phenotypes among up to 320,251 individuals of East Asian, European and South Asian ancestry. We find genetic variants at 12 new loci to be associated with blood pressure (P = 3.9 × 10−11 to 5.0 × 10−21). The sentinel blood pressure SNPs are enriched for association with DNA methylation at multiple nearby CpG sites, suggesting that, at some of the loci identified, DNA methylation may lie on the regulatory pathway linking sequence variation to blood pressure. The sentinel SNPs at the 12 new loci point to genes involved in vascular smooth muscle (IGFBP3, KCNK3, PDE3A and PRDM6) and renal (ARHGAP24, OSR1, SLC22A7 and TBX2) function. The new and known genetic variants predict increased left ventricular mass, circulating levels of NT-proBNP, and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality (P = 0.04 to 8.6 × 10−6). Our results provide new evidence for the role of DNA methylation in blood pressure regulation.
Mutations create variation in the population, fuel evolution, and cause genetic diseases. Current knowledge about de novo mutations is incomplete and mostly indirect 1–10. Here, we analyze 11,020 de novo mutations from whole-genomes of 250 families. We show that de novo mutations in offspring of older fathers are not only more numerous 11–13 but also occur more frequently in early-replicating, genic regions. Functional regions exhibit higher mutation rates due to CpG dinucleotides and reveal signatures of transcription-coupled repair, while mutation clusters with a unique signature point to a novel mutational mechanism. Mutation and recombination rates independently associate with nucleotide diversity, and regional variation in human-chimpanzee divergence is only partly explained by mutation rate heterogeneity. Finally, we provide a genome-wide mutation rate map for medical and population genetics applications. Our results reveal novel insights and refine long-standing hypotheses about human mutagenesis.
Although dietary gluten is the trigger, celiac disease risk is strongly influenced by genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region. We fine-mapped the MHC association signal to identify additional risk factors independent of the HLA-DQ alleles and observed five novel associations that account for 18% of the genetic risk. Together with the 57 known non-MHC loci, genetic variation can now explain up to 48% of celiac disease heritability.
Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.
Evidence suggests that the gut microbiome is involved in the development of cardiovascular disease, with the host–microbe interaction regulating immune and metabolic pathways. However, there was no firm evidence for associations between microbiota and metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease from large-scale studies in humans. In particular, there was no strong evidence for association between cardiovascular disease and aberrant blood lipid levels.
To identify intestinal bacteria taxa, whose proportions correlate with body mass index and lipid levels, and to determine whether lipid variance can be explained by microbiota relative to age, sex, and host genetics.
Methods and Results:
We studied 893 subjects from the LifeLines-DEEP population cohort. After correcting for age and sex, we identified 34 bacterial taxa associated with body mass index and blood lipids; most are novel associations. Cross-validation analysis revealed that microbiota explain 4.5% of the variance in body mass index, 6% in triglycerides, and 4% in high-density lipoproteins, independent of age, sex, and genetic risk factors. A novel risk model, including the gut microbiome explained ≤25.9% of high-density lipoprotein variance, significantly outperforming the risk model without microbiome. Strikingly, the microbiome had little effect on low-density lipoproteins or total cholesterol.
Our studies suggest that the gut microbiome may play an important role in the variation in body mass index and blood lipid levels, independent of age, sex, and host genetics. Our findings support the potential of therapies altering the gut microbiome to control body mass, triglycerides, and high-density lipoproteins.
body mass index; cardiovascular diseases; lipids; lipoproteins; HDL; metabolism
In addition to HLA genetic incompatibility, non-HLA difference between donor and recipients of transplantation leading to allograft rejection are now becoming evident. We aimed to create a unique genome-wide platform to facilitate genomic research studies in transplant-related studies. We designed a genome-wide genotyping tool based on the most recent human genomic reference datasets, and included customization for known and potentially relevant metabolic and pharmacological loci relevant to transplantation.
We describe here the design and implementation of a customized genome-wide genotyping array, the ‘TxArray’, comprising approximately 782,000 markers with tailored content for deeper capture of variants across HLA, KIR, pharmacogenomic, and metabolic loci important in transplantation. To test concordance and genotyping quality, we genotyped 85 HapMap samples on the array, including eight trios.
We show low Mendelian error rates and high concordance rates for HapMap samples (average parent-parent-child heritability of 0.997, and concordance of 0.996). We performed genotype imputation across autosomal regions, masking directly genotyped SNPs to assess imputation accuracy and report an accuracy of >0.962 for directly genotyped SNPs. We demonstrate much higher capture of the natural killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) region versus comparable platforms. Overall, we show that the genotyping quality and coverage of the TxArray is very high when compared to reference samples and to other genome-wide genotyping platforms.
We have designed a comprehensive genome-wide genotyping tool which enables accurate association testing and imputation of ungenotyped SNPs, facilitating powerful and cost-effective large-scale genotyping of transplant-related studies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13073-015-0211-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
There is a critical need for population-based prospective cohort studies because they follow individuals before the onset of disease, allowing for studies that can identify biomarkers and disease-modifying effects, and thereby contributing to systems epidemiology.
This paper describes the design and baseline characteristics of an intensively examined subpopulation of the LifeLines cohort in the Netherlands. In this unique subcohort, LifeLines DEEP, we included 1539 participants aged 18 years and older.
Findings to date
We collected additional blood (n=1387), exhaled air (n=1425) and faecal samples (n=1248), and elicited responses to gastrointestinal health questionnaires (n=1176) for analysis of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, microbiome, metabolome and other biological levels. Here, we provide an overview of the different data layers in LifeLines DEEP and present baseline characteristics of the study population including food intake and quality of life. We also describe how the LifeLines DEEP cohort allows for the detailed investigation of genetic, genomic and metabolic variation for a wide range of phenotypic outcomes. Finally, we examine the determinants of gastrointestinal health, an area of particular interest to us that can be addressed by LifeLines DEEP.
We have established a cohort of which multiple data levels allow for the integrative analysis of populations for translation of this information into biomarkers for disease, and which will offer new insights into disease mechanisms and prevention.
EPIDEMIOLOGY; PUBLIC HEALTH; GENETICS
The purpose of this study was to explore whether non-HLA genetic markers can improve type 1 diabetes (T1D) prediction in a prospective cohort with high-risk HLA-DR,DQ genotypes.
The Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) follows prospectively for development of T1D and islet autoimmunity (IA) children at increased genetic risk. A total of 1709 non-Hispanic White DAISY participants have been genotyped for 27 non-HLA single nucleotide polymorphisms and one microsatellite.
In multivariate analyses adjusting for family history and HLA-DR3/4 genotype, PTPN22 (rs2476601) and two UBASH3A (rs11203203 and rs9976767) SNPs were associated with development of IA (HR=1.87, 1.55 and 1.54 respectively, all p≤0.003), while GLIS3 and IL2RA showed borderline association with development of IA. INS, UBASH3A and IFIH1 were significantly associated with progression from IA to diabetes (HR=1.65, 1.44 and 1.47 respectively, all p≤0.04), while PTPN22 and IL27 showed borderline association with progression from IA to diabetes. In survival analysis, 45% of general population DAISY children with PTPN22 rs2476601 TT or HLA-DR3/4 and UBASH3A rs11203203 AA developed diabetes by age 15, compared to 3% of children with all other genotypes (p<0.0001). Addition of non-HLA markers to HLA-DR3/4,DQ8 did not improve diabetes prediction in first-degree relatives.
Addition of PTPN22 and UBASH3A SNPs to HLA-DR,DQ genotyping can improve T1D risk prediction.
Type 1 diabetes; islet autoimmunity; non-HLA genetic markers; prediction
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Activation of the transcription factor NFκB has been associated with development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). COMMD1, a regulator of various transport pathways, has been shown to limit NFκB activation. We investigated the roles of COMMD1 in the pathogenesis of colitis in mice and IBD in humans.
We created mice with specific disruption of Commd1 in myeloid cells (Mye-K/O mice); we analyzed immune cell populations and functions and expression of genes regulated by NFκB. Sepsis was induced in Mye-K/O and wild-type mice by cecal ligation and puncture or intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), colitis was induced by administration of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS), and colitis-associated cancer was induced by administration of DSS and azoxymethane. We measured levels of COMMD1 mRNA in colon biopsies from 29 patients with IBD and 16 patients without (controls), and validated findings in an independent cohort (17 patients with IBD and 22 controls). We searched for polymorphisms in or near COMMD1 that were associated with IBD using data from the International IBD Genetics Consortium and performed quantitative trait locus analysis.
In comparing gene expression patterns between myeloid cells from Mye-K/O and wild-type mice, we found that COMMD1 represses expression of genes induced by LPS. Mye-K/O mice had more intense inflammatory responses to LPS and developed more severe sepsis and colitis, with greater mortality. More Mye-K/O mice with colitis developed colon dysplasia and tumors than wild-type mice. We observed reduced expression of COMMD1 in colon biopsies and circulating leukocytes from patients with IBD. We associated single nucleotide variants near COMMD1 with reduced expression of the gene and linked them with increased risk for ulcerative colitis.
Expression of COMMD1 by myeloid cells has anti-inflammatory effects. Reduced expression or function of COMMD1 could be involved in the pathogenesis of IBD.
mouse model; gene regulation; CD; UC
The polymorphism ATG16L1 T300A, associated with increased risk of Crohn’s disease, impairs pathogen defense mechanisms including selective autophagy, but specific pathway interactions altered by the risk allele remain unknown. Here, we use perturbational profiling of human peripheral blood cells to reveal that CLEC12A is regulated in an ATG16L1-T300A-dependent manner. Antibacterial autophagy is impaired in CLEC12A-deficient cells, and this effect is exacerbated in the presence of the ATG16L1∗300A risk allele. Clec12a−/− mice are more susceptible to Salmonella infection, supporting a role for CLEC12A in antibacterial defense pathways in vivo. CLEC12A is recruited to sites of bacterial entry, bacteria-autophagosome complexes, and sites of sterile membrane damage. Integrated genomics identified a functional interaction between CLEC12A and an E3-ubiquitin ligase complex that functions in antibacterial autophagy. These data identify CLEC12A as early adaptor molecule for antibacterial autophagy and highlight perturbational profiling as a method to elucidate defense pathways in complex genetic disease.
•Integrated genomics reveals risk-allele-specific autophagy pathway interactions•CLEC12A is important for antibacterial autophagy in epithelial and immune cells•CLEC12A knockdown amplifies antibacterial autophagy defects in ATG16L1
∗300A cells•Clec12a−/− mice are more susceptible to Salmonella infection in vivo
Although genome-wide association studies are valuable in identifying disease-associated loci, they produce only a partial view of pathogenesis. Using integrated, systems-level approaches to pinpoint genes that interact with the Crohn’s-disease-associated variant ATG16L1 T300A, Begun et al. identify CLEC12A as an innate defense gene that functions in antibacterial autophagy.
East Africa is a strategic region to study human genetic diversity due to the presence of ethnically, linguistically, and geographically diverse populations. Here, we provide new insight into the genetic history of populations living in the Sudanese region of East Africa by analysing nine ethnic groups belonging to three African linguistic families: Niger-Kordofanian, Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic. A total of 500 individuals were genotyped for 200,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Principal component analysis, clustering analysis using ADMIXTURE, FST statistics, and the three-population test were used to investigate the underlying genetic structure and ancestry of the different ethno-linguistic groups. Our analyses revealed a genetic component for Sudanese Nilo-Saharan speaking groups (Darfurians and part of Nuba populations) related to Nilotes of South Sudan, but not to other Sudanese populations or other sub-Saharan populations. Populations inhabiting the North of the region showed close genetic affinities with North Africa, with a component that could be remnant of North Africans before the migrations of Arabs from Arabia. In addition, we found very low genetic distances between populations in genes important for anti-malarial and anti-bacterial host defence, suggesting similar selective pressures on these genes and stressing the importance of considering functional pathways to understand the evolutionary history of populations.
The functional consequences of trait associated SNPs are often investigated using expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping. While trait-associated variants may operate in a cell-type specific manner, eQTL datasets for such cell-types may not always be available. We performed a genome-environment interaction (GxE) meta-analysis on data from 5,683 samples to infer the cell type specificity of whole blood cis-eQTLs. We demonstrate that this method is able to predict neutrophil and lymphocyte specific cis-eQTLs and replicate these predictions in independent cell-type specific datasets. Finally, we show that SNPs associated with Crohn’s disease preferentially affect gene expression within neutrophils, including the archetypal NOD2 locus.
Many variants in the genome, including variants associated with disease, affect the expression of genes. These so-called expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) can be used to gain insight in the downstream consequences of disease. While it has been shown that many disease-associated variants alter gene expression in a cell-type dependent manner, eQTL datasets for specific cell types may not always be available and their sample size is often limited. We present a method that is able to detect cell type specific effects within eQTL datasets that have been generated from whole tissues (which may be composed of many cell types), in our case whole blood. By combining numerous whole blood datasets through meta-analysis, we show that we are able to detect eQTL effects that are specific for neutrophils and lymphocytes (two blood cell types). Additionally, we show that the variants associated with some diseases may preferentially alter the gene expression in one of these cell types. We conclude that our method is an alternative method to detect cell type specific eQTL effects, that may complement generating cell type specific eQTL datasets and that may be applied on other cell types and tissues as well.
Waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are surrogate measures of central adiposity that are associated with adverse cardiovascular events, type 2 diabetes and cancer independent of body mass index (BMI). WC and WHR are highly heritable with multiple susceptibility loci identified to date. We assessed the association between SNPs and BMI-adjusted WC and WHR and unadjusted WC in up to 57 412 individuals of European descent from 22 cohorts collaborating with the NHLBI's Candidate Gene Association Resource (CARe) project. The study population consisted of women and men aged 20–80 years. Study participants were genotyped using the ITMAT/Broad/CARE array, which includes ∼50 000 cosmopolitan tagged SNPs across ∼2100 cardiovascular-related genes. Each trait was modeled as a function of age, study site and principal components to control for population stratification, and we conducted a fixed-effects meta-analysis. No new loci for WC were observed. For WHR analyses, three novel loci were significantly associated (P < 2.4 × 10−6). Previously unreported rs2811337-G near TMCC1 was associated with increased WHR (β ± SE, 0.048 ± 0.008, P = 7.7 × 10−9) as was rs7302703-G in HOXC10 (β = 0.044 ± 0.008, P = 2.9 × 10−7) and rs936108-C in PEMT (β = 0.035 ± 0.007, P = 1.9 × 10−6). Sex-stratified analyses revealed two additional novel signals among females only, rs12076073-A in SHC1 (β = 0.10 ± 0.02, P = 1.9 × 10−6) and rs1037575-A in ATBDB4 (β = 0.046 ± 0.01, P = 2.2 × 10−6), supporting an already established sexual dimorphism of central adiposity-related genetic variants. Functional analysis using ENCODE and eQTL databases revealed that several of these loci are in regulatory regions or regions with differential expression in adipose tissue.
Studies in European populations have contributed to a better understanding of the genetics of complex diseases, for example, in coeliac disease (CeD), studies of over 23 000 European samples have reported association to the HLA locus and another 39 loci. However, these associations have not been evaluated in detail in other ethnicities. We sought to better understand how disease-associated loci that have been mapped in Europeans translate to a disease risk for a population with a different ethnic background. We therefore performed a validation of European risk loci for CeD in 497 cases and 736 controls of north Indian origin. Using a dense-genotyping platform (Immunochip), we confirmed the strong association to the HLA region (rs2854275, P=8.2 × 10−49). Three loci showed suggestive association (rs4948256, P=9.3 × 10−7, rs4758538, P=8.6 × 10−5 and rs17080877, P=2.7 × 10−5). We directly replicated five previously reported European variants (P<0.05; mapping to loci harbouring FASLG/TNFSF18, SCHIP1/IL12A, PFKFB3/PRKCQ, ZMIZ1 and ICOSLG). Using a transferability test, we further confirmed association at PFKFB3/PRKCQ (rs2387397, P=2.8 × 10−4) and PTPRK/THEMIS (rs55743914, P=3.4 × 10−4). The north Indian population has a higher degree of consanguinity than Europeans and we therefore explored the role of recessively acting variants, which replicated the HLA locus (rs9271850, P=3.7 × 10−23) and suggested a role of additional four loci. To our knowledge, this is the first replication study of CeD variants in a non-European population.
RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) is a powerful technique for the identification of genetic variants that affect gene-expression levels, either through expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping or through allele-specific expression (ASE) analysis. Given increasing numbers of RNA-seq samples in the public domain, we here studied to what extent eQTLs and ASE effects can be identified when using public RNA-seq data while deriving the genotypes from the RNA-sequencing reads themselves.
We downloaded the raw reads for all available human RNA-seq datasets. Using these reads we performed gene expression quantification. All samples were jointly normalized and subjected to a strict quality control. We also derived genotypes using the RNA-seq reads and used imputation to infer non-coding variants. This allowed us to perform eQTL mapping and ASE analyses jointly on all samples that passed quality control. Our results were validated using samples for which DNA-seq genotypes were available.
4,978 public human RNA-seq runs, representing many different tissues and cell-types, passed quality control. Even though these data originated from many different laboratories, samples reflecting the same cell type clustered together, suggesting that technical biases due to different sequencing protocols are limited. In a joint analysis on the 1,262 samples with high quality genotypes, we identified cis-eQTLs effects for 8,034 unique genes (at a false discovery rate ≤0.05). eQTL mapping on individual tissues revealed that a limited number of samples already suffice to identify tissue-specific eQTLs for known disease-associated genetic variants. Additionally, we observed strong ASE effects for 34 rare pathogenic variants, corroborating previously observed effects on the corresponding protein levels.
By deriving and imputing genotypes from RNA-seq data, it is possible to identify both eQTLs and ASE effects. Given the exponential growth of the number of publicly available RNA-seq samples, we expect this approach will become especially relevant for studying the effects of tissue-specific and rare pathogenic genetic variants to aid clinical interpretation of exome and genome sequencing.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13073-015-0152-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Epigenetic reprogramming of myeloid cells by infection or vaccination, termed trained immunity, confers non-specific protection from secondary infections. We characterized genome-wide transcriptome and histone modification profiles of human monocytes trained with β-glucan and identified induced expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism. Trained monocytes display high glucose consumption, lactate production, and NAD+/NADH ratio, reflecting a shift in the metabolism of trained monocytes with an increase in glycolysis dependent on the activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) through a dectin-1/Akt/HIF1α pathway. Inhibition of Akt, mTOR, or HIF1α blocked monocyte induction of trained immunity, whereas the AMPK activator metformin inhibited the innate immune response to fungal infection. Finally, mice with a myeloid cell-specific defect in HIF1α were unable to mount trained immunity against bacterial sepsis. In conclusion, Akt/mTOR/HIF1α-dependent induction of aerobic glycolysis represents the metabolic basis of trained immunity.
Monocytes circulate in the bloodstream for up to 3–5 days. Concomitantly, immunological imprinting of either tolerance (immunosuppression) or trained immunity (innate immune memory) determines the functional fate of monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages, as observed after infection or vaccination.
Purified circulating monocytes from healthy volunteers were differentiated under the homeostatic M-CSF concentrations present in human serum. During the first 24 hours, trained immunity was induced by β-glucan (BG) priming, while post-sepsis immunoparalysis was mimicked by exposure to LPS, generating endotoxin-induced tolerance. Epigenomic profiling of the histone marks H3K4me1, H3K4me3 and H3K27ac, DNase I accessibility and RNA sequencing were performed at both the start of the experiment (ex vivo monocytes) and at the end of the six days of in vitro culture (macrophages).
Compared to monocytes (Mo), naïve macrophages (Mf) display a remodeled metabolic enzyme repertoire and attenuated innate inflammatory pathways; most likely necessary to generate functional tissue macrophages. Epigenetic profiling uncovered ~8000 dynamic regions associated with ~11000 DNase I hypersensitive sites. Changes in histone acetylation identified most dynamic events. Furthermore, these regions of differential histone marks displayed some degree of DNase I accessibility that was already present in monocytes. H3K4me1 mark increased in parallel with de novo H3K27ac deposition at distal regulatory regions; H3K4me1 mark remained even after the loss of H3K27ac, marking decommissioned regulatory elements. β-glucan priming specifically induced ~3000 distal regulatory elements, whereas LPS-tolerization uniquely induced H3K27ac at ~500 distal regulatory regions.
At the transcriptional level, we identified co-regulated gene modules during monocyte to macrophage differentiation, as well as discordant modules between trained and tolerized cells. These indicate that training likely involves an increased expression of modules expressed in naïve macrophages, including genes that code for metabolic enzymes. On the other hand, endotoxin tolerance involves gene modules that are more active in monocytes than in naïve macrophages. About 12% of known human transcription factors display variation in expression during macrophage differentiation, training and tolerance. We also observed transcription factor motifs in DNase I hypersensitive sites at condition-specific dynamic epigenomic regions, implying that specific transcription factors are required for trained and tolerized macrophage epigenetic and transcriptional programs. Finally, our analyses and functional validation indicate that the inhibition of cAMP generation blocked trained immunity in vitro and during an in vivo model of lethal C. albicans infection, abolishing the protective effects of trained immunity.
We documented the importance of epigenetic regulation of the immunological pathways underlying monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation and trained immunity. These dynamic epigenetic elements may inform on potential pharmacological targets that modulate innate immunity. Altogether, we uncovered the epigenetic and transcriptional programs of monocyte differentiation to macrophages that distinguish tolerant and trained macrophage phenotypes, providing a resource to further understand and manipulate immune-mediated responses.
Variants associated with blood lipid levels may be population-specific. To identify
low-frequency variants associated with this phenotype, population-specific reference
panels may be used. Here we impute nine large Dutch biobanks (~35,000
samples) with the population-specific reference panel created by the Genome of the
Netherlands Project and perform association testing with blood lipid levels. We
report the discovery of five novel associations at four loci (P value
<6.61 × 10−4), including a rare missense
variant in ABCA6
(rs77542162, p.Cys1359Arg, frequency 0.034), which is predicted to be deleterious.
The frequency of this ABCA6
variant is 3.65-fold increased in the Dutch and its effect
βTC=0.140) is estimated to be very similar to those
observed for single variants in well-known lipid genes, such as LDLR.
Frequencies of rare variants fluctuate over populations, hampering
gene discovery. Here the authors use a population-specific reference panel, the Genome
of the Netherlands, to discover four novel loci involved in lipid metabolism, including
an exonic variant in ABCA6.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic bile duct disease affecting 2.4–7.5% of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease. We performed a genome-wide association analysis of 2,466,182 SNPs in 715 individuals with PSC and 2,962 controls, followed by replication in 1,025 PSC cases and 2,174 controls. We detected non-HLA associations at rs3197999 in MST1 and rs6720394 near BCL2L11 (combined P = 1.1 × 10−16 and P = 4.1 × 10−8, respectively).
Celiac disease (CD) is an immune mediated, polygenic disorder, where HLA-DQ2/DQ8 alleles contribute around 35% to genetic risk, but several other genes are also involved. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and the more recent immunochip genotyping projects have fine-mapped 39 regions of genetic susceptibility to the disease, most of which harbor candidate genes that could participate in this disease process. We focused our attention to the GWAS peak on chr6: 127.99–128.38 Mb, a region including two genes, thymocyte-expressed molecule involved in selection (THEMIS) and protein tyrosine phosphatase, receptor type, kappa (PTPRK), both of which have immune-related functions. The aim of this work was to evaluate the expression levels of these two genes in duodenal mucosa of active and treated CD patients and in controls, and to determine whether SNPs (rs802734, rs55743914, rs72975916, rs10484718 and rs9491896) associated with CD have any influence on gene expression. THEMIS showed higher expression in active CD compared with treated patients and controls, whereas PTPRK showed lower expression. Our study confirmed the association of this region with CD in our population, but only the genotype of rs802734 showed some influence in the expression of THEMIS. On the other hand, we found a significant positive correlation between THEMIS and PTPRK mRNA levels in CD patients but not in controls. Our results suggest a possible role for both candidate genes in CD pathogenesis and the existence of complex, regulatory relationships that reside in the vast non-coding, functional intergenic regions of the genome. Further investigation is needed to clarify the impact of the disease-associated SNPs on gene function.
celiac disease; genetic association; THEMIS; PTPRK; gene expression
Rationale: Pulmonary emphysema overlaps partially with spirometrically defined chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is heritable, with moderately high familial clustering.
Objectives: To complete a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for the percentage of emphysema-like lung on computed tomography in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Lung/SNP Health Association Resource (SHARe) Study, a large, population-based cohort in the United States.
Methods: We determined percent emphysema and upper-lower lobe ratio in emphysema defined by lung regions less than −950 HU on cardiac scans. Genetic analyses were reported combined across four race/ethnic groups: non-Hispanic white (n = 2,587), African American (n = 2,510), Hispanic (n = 2,113), and Chinese (n = 704) and stratified by race and ethnicity.
Measurements and Main Results: Among 7,914 participants, we identified regions at genome-wide significance for percent emphysema in or near SNRPF (rs7957346; P = 2.2 × 10−8) and PPT2 (rs10947233; P = 3.2 × 10−8), both of which replicated in an additional 6,023 individuals of European ancestry. Both single-nucleotide polymorphisms were previously implicated as genes influencing lung function, and analyses including lung function revealed independent associations for percent emphysema. Among Hispanics, we identified a genetic locus for upper-lower lobe ratio near the α-mannosidase–related gene MAN2B1 (rs10411619; P = 1.1 × 10−9; minor allele frequency [MAF], 4.4%). Among Chinese, we identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with upper-lower lobe ratio near DHX15 (rs7698250; P = 1.8 × 10−10; MAF, 2.7%) and MGAT5B (rs7221059; P = 2.7 × 10−8; MAF, 2.6%), which acts on α-linked mannose. Among African Americans, a locus near a third α-mannosidase–related gene, MAN1C1 (rs12130495; P = 9.9 × 10−6; MAF, 13.3%) was associated with percent emphysema.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that some genes previously identified as influencing lung function are independently associated with emphysema rather than lung function, and that genes related to α-mannosidase may influence risk of emphysema.
emphysema; computed tomography; multiethnic; cohort study; genetic association
Background & Aims
Barrett's esophagus (BE) increases the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). We found the risk to be BE has been associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 6p21 (within the HLA region) and on 16q23, where the closest protein-coding gene is FOXF1. Subsequently, the Barrett's and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium (BEACON) identified risk loci for BE and esophageal adenocarcinoma near CRTC1 and BARX1, and within 100 kb of FOXP1. We aimed to identify further SNPs that increased BE risk and to validate previously reported associations.
We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify variants associated with BE and further analyzed promising variants identified by BEACON by genotyping 10,158 patients with BE and 21,062 controls.
We identified 2 SNPs not previously associated with BE: rs3072 (2p24.1; odds ratio [OR] = 1.14; 95% CI: 1.09–1.18; P = 1.8 × 10−11) and rs2701108 (12q24.21; OR = 0.90; 95% CI: 0.86–0.93; P = 7.5 × 10−9). The closest protein-coding genes were respectively GDF7 (rs3072), which encodes a ligand in the bone morphogenetic protein pathway, and TBX5 (rs2701108), which encodes a transcription factor that regulates esophageal and cardiac development. Our data also supported in BE cases 3 risk SNPs identified by BEACON (rs2687201, rs11789015, and rs10423674). Meta-analysis of all data identified another SNP associated with BE and esophageal adenocarcinoma: rs3784262, within ALDH1A2 (OR = 0.90; 95% CI: 0.87–0.93; P = 3.72 × 10−9).
We identified 2 loci associated with risk of BE and provided data to support a further locus. The genes we found to be associated with risk for BE encode transcription factors involved in thoracic, diaphragmatic, and esophageal development or proteins involved in the inflammatory response.
EAC; Intestinal Metaplasia; Susceptibility; Cancer; ASE, allele-specific expression; BE, Barrett’s esophagus; BEACON, Barrett's and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium; CI, confidence interval; EAC, esophageal adenocarcinoma; eQTL, expression quantitative trait locus; GWAS, genome-wide association study; LD, linkage disequilibrium; OR, odds ratio; PC, principal component; SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism; TCGA, The Cancer Genome Atlas
Forced vital capacity (FVC), a spirometric measure of pulmonary function, reflects lung volume and is used to diagnose and monitor lung diseases. We performed genome-wide association study meta-analysis of FVC in 52,253 individuals from 26 studies and followed up the top associations in 32,917 additional individuals of European ancestry. We found six new regions associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) with FVC in or near EFEMP1, BMP6, MIR-129-2/HSD17B12, PRDM11, WWOX, and KCNJ2. Two (GSTCD and PTCH1) loci previously associated with spirometric measures were related to FVC. Newly implicated regions were followed-up in samples of African American, Korean, Chinese, and Hispanic individuals. We detected transcripts for all six newly implicated genes in human lung tissue. The new loci may inform mechanisms involved in lung development and pathogenesis of restrictive lung disease.