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.
Infectious complications often occur in acute pancreatitis, related to impaired intestinal barrier function, with prolonged disease course and even mortality as a result. The bile salt nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR), which is expressed in the ileum, liver and other organs including the pancreas, exhibits anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting NF-κB activation and is implicated in maintaining intestinal barrier integrity and preventing bacterial overgrowth and translocation. Here we explore, with the aid of complementary animal and human experiments, the potential role of FXR in acute pancreatitis.
Experimental acute pancreatitis was induced using the CCK-analogue cerulein in wild-type and Fxr-/- mice. Severity of acute pancreatitis was assessed using histology and a semi-quantitative scoring system. Ileal permeability was analyzed in vitro by Ussing chambers and an in vivo permeability assay. Gene expression of Fxr and Fxr target genes was studied by quantitative RT-PCR. Serum FGF19 levels were determined by ELISA in acute pancreatitis patients and healthy volunteers. A genetic association study in 387 acute pancreatitis patients and 853 controls was performed using 9 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering the complete FXR gene and two additional functional SNPs.
In wild-type mice with acute pancreatitis, ileal transepithelial resistance was reduced and ileal mRNA expression of Fxr target genes Fgf15, SHP, and IBABP was decreased. Nevertheless, Fxr-/- mice did not exhibit a more severe acute pancreatitis than wild-type mice. In patients with acute pancreatitis, FGF19 levels were lower than in controls. However, there were no associations of FXR SNPs or haplotypes with susceptibility to acute pancreatitis, or its course, outcome or etiology.
We found no evidence for a major role of FXR in acute human or murine pancreatitis. The observed altered Fxr activity during the course of disease may be a secondary phenomenon.
To identify novel genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis of 5,539 autoantibody positive RA cases and 20,169 controls of European descent, followed by replication in an independent set of 6,768 RA cases and 8,806 controls. Of 34 SNPs selected for replication, 7 novel RA risk alleles were identified at genome-wide significance (P<5×10−8) in analysis of all 41,282 samples. The associated SNPs are near genes of known immune function, including IL6ST, SPRED2, RBPJ, CCR6, IRF5, and PXK. We also refined the risk alleles at two established RA risk loci (IL2RA and CCL21) and confirmed the association at AFF3. These new associations bring the total number of confirmed RA risk loci to 31 among individuals of European ancestry. An additional 11 SNPs replicated at P<0.05, many of which are validated autoimmune risk alleles, suggesting that most represent bona fide RA risk alleles.
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are thought to share a genetic background (“Dutch hypothesis”).
We investigated whether asthma and COPD have common underlying genetic factors, performing genome-wide association studies for both asthma and COPD and combining the results in meta-analyses.
Three loci showed potential involvement in both diseases: chr2p24.3, chr5q23.1 and chr13q14.2, containing DDX1, COMMD10 (both participating in the NFκβ pathway) and GNG5P5, respectively. SNP rs9534578 in GNG5P5 reached genome-wide significance after first stage replication (p=9.96·*10−9). The second stage replication in seven independent cohorts provided no significant replication. eQTL analysis in blood and lung on the top 20 associated SNPs identified two SNPs in COMMD10 influencing gene expression.
Inflammatory processes differ in asthma and COPD and are mediated by NFκβ, which could be driven by the same underlying genes, COMMD10 and DDX1. None of the SNPs reached genome-wide significance. Our eQTL studies support a functional role of two COMMD10 SNPs, since they influence gene expression in both blood cells and lung tissue. Our findings either suggest that there is no common genetic component in asthma and COPD or, alternatively, different environmental factors, like lifestyle and occupation in different countries and continents may have obscured the genetic common contribution.
Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many common variants associated with complex traits, low-frequency and rare variants have not been interrogated in a comprehensive manner. Imputation from dense reference panels, such as the 1000 Genomes Project (1000G), enables testing of ungenotyped variants for association. Here we present the results of imputation using a large, new population-specific panel: the Genome of The Netherlands (GoNL). We benchmarked the performance of the 1000G and GoNL reference sets by comparing imputation genotypes with ‘true' genotypes typed on ImmunoChip in three European populations (Dutch, British, and Italian). GoNL showed significant improvement in the imputation quality for rare variants (MAF 0.05–0.5%) compared with 1000G. In Dutch samples, the mean observed Pearson correlation, r2, increased from 0.61 to 0.71. We also saw improved imputation accuracy for other European populations (in the British samples, r2 improved from 0.58 to 0.65, and in the Italians from 0.43 to 0.47). A combined reference set comprising 1000G and GoNL improved the imputation of rare variants even further. The Italian samples benefitted the most from this combined reference (the mean r2 increased from 0.47 to 0.50). We conclude that the creation of a large population-specific reference is advantageous for imputing rare variants and that a combined reference panel across multiple populations yields the best imputation results.
genotype imputation; GWAS; GoNL; rare variants; reference sets; reference panel
The anti-tuberculosis-vaccine Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is the most widely used vaccine in the world. In addition to its effects against tuberculosis, BCG vaccination also induces non-specific beneficial effects against certain forms of malignancy and against infections with unrelated pathogens. It has been recently proposed that the non-specific effects of BCG are mediated through epigenetic reprogramming of monocytes, a process called trained immunity. In the present study we demonstrate that autophagy contributes to trained immunity induced by BCG. Pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy blocked trained immunity induced in vitro by stimuli such as β–glucans or BCG. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the autophagy genes ATG2B (rs3759601) and ATG5 (rs2245214) influenced both the in vitro and in vivo training effect of BCG upon restimulation with unrelated bacterial or fungal stimuli. Furthermore, pharmacologic or genetic inhibition of autophagy blocked epigenetic reprogramming of monocytes at the level of H3K4 trimethylation. Finally, we demonstrate that rs3759601 in ATG2B correlates with progression and recurrence of bladder cancer after BCG intravesical instillation therapy. These findings identify a key role of autophagy for the nonspecific protective effects of BCG.
Next to its effects against tuberculosis, BCG vaccination also induces non-specific beneficial effects on immune cells to increase their ability to control unrelated pathogens. It has been recently proposed that the non-specific effects of BCG are mediated through epigenetic reprogramming of monocytes, a process called trained immunity. Little is known regarding the intracellular events controlling its induction. In this study we identified autophagy as a key player in trained immunity. Pharmacological inhibition of autophagy as well as polymorphisms in autophagy-related genes blocked BCG-induced trained immunity. Furthermore, BCG vaccine is also used to treat bladder cancer. Genetic polymorphisms in autophagy-related genes correlated with progression and recurrence of bladder cancer after treatment with BCG therapy. These findings open new possibilities for improvement of future BCG-based vaccines to be used against infections and malignancies.
Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified hundreds of variants associated with a risk for autoimmune and immune-related disorders (AID), our understanding of the disease mechanisms is still limited. In particular, more than 90% of the risk variants lie in non-coding regions, and almost 10% of these map to long non-coding RNA transcripts (lncRNAs). lncRNAs are known to show more cell-type specificity than protein-coding genes.
We aimed to characterize lncRNAs and protein-coding genes located in loci associated with nine AIDs which have been well-defined by Immunochip analysis and by transcriptome analysis across seven populations of peripheral blood leukocytes (granulocytes, monocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, B cells, memory T cells, naive CD4+ and naive CD8+ T cells) and four populations of cord blood-derived T-helper cells (precursor, primary, and polarized (Th1, Th2) T-helper cells).
We show that lncRNAs mapping to loci shared between AID are significantly enriched in immune cell types compared to lncRNAs from the whole genome (α <0.005). We were not able to prioritize single cell types relevant for specific diseases, but we observed five different cell types enriched (α <0.005) in five AID (NK cells for inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and psoriasis; memory T and CD8+ T cells in juvenile idiopathic arthritis, primary biliary cirrhosis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis; Th0 and Th2 cells for inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, primary biliary cirrhosis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis). Furthermore, we show that co-expression analyses of lncRNAs and protein-coding genes can predict the signaling pathways in which these AID-associated lncRNAs are involved.
The observed enrichment of lncRNA transcripts in AID loci implies lncRNAs play an important role in AID etiology and suggests that lncRNA genes should be studied in more detail to interpret GWAS findings correctly. The co-expression results strongly support a model in which the lncRNA and protein-coding genes function together in the same pathways.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13073-014-0088-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The liver plays a central role in the maintenance of homeostasis and health in general. However, there is substantial inter-individual variation in hepatic gene expression, and although numerous genetic factors have been identified, less is known about the epigenetic factors.
By analyzing the methylomes and transcriptomes of 14 fetal and 181 adult livers, we identified 657 differentially methylated genes with adult-specific expression, these genes were enriched for transcription factor binding sites of HNF1A and HNF4A. We also identified 1,000 genes specific to fetal liver, which were enriched for GATA1, STAT5A, STAT5B and YY1 binding sites. We saw strong liver-specific effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms on both methylation levels (28,447 unique CpG sites (meQTL)) and gene expression levels (526 unique genes (eQTL)), at a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05. Of the 526 unique eQTL associated genes, 293 correlated significantly not only with genetic variation but also with methylation levels. The tissue-specificities of these associations were analyzed in muscle, subcutaneous adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue. We observed that meQTL were more stable between tissues than eQTL and a very strong tissue-specificity for the identified associations between CpG methylation and gene expression.
Our analyses generated a comprehensive resource of factors involved in the regulation of hepatic gene expression, and allowed us to estimate the proportion of variation in gene expression that could be attributed to genetic and epigenetic variation, both crucial to understanding differences in drug response and the etiology of liver diseases.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-860) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
eQTL; meQTL; eQTM; Gene expression; Methylation; HumanMethylation450; Liver
We performed a genome-wide association study on 1,292 individuals with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) and 30,503 controls from Iceland and The Netherlands, with a follow-up of top markers in up to 3,267 individuals with AAAs and 7,451 controls. The A allele of rs7025486 on 9q33 was found to associate with AAA, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.21 and P = 4.6 × 10−10. In tests for association with other vascular diseases, we found that rs7025486[A] is associated with early onset myocardial infarction (OR = 1.18, P = 3.1 × 10−5), peripheral arterial disease (OR = 1.14, P = 3.9 × 10−5) and pulmonary embolism (OR = 1.20, P = 0.00030), but not with intracranial aneurysm or ischemic stroke. No association was observed between rs7025486[A] and common risk factors for arterial and venous diseases—that is, smoking, lipid levels, obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Rs7025486 is located within DAB2IP, which encodes an inhibitor of cell growth and survival.
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Caspase recruitment domain 9 (CARD9) is an adaptor protein that
integrates signals downstream of pattern recognition receptors. CARD9 has
been associated with autoinflammatory disorders, and loss-of-function
mutations have been associated with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis, but
the role of CARD9 in intestinal inflammation is unknown. We characterized
the role of Card9 in mucosal immune responses to intestinal epithelial
injury and infection.
We induced intestinal inflammation in Card9-null mice by
administration of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) or Citrobacter
rodentium. We analyzed body weight, assessed inflammation by
histology, and measured levels of cytokines and chemokines using
quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Cell populations were compared between
wild-type and Card9-null mice by flow cytometry analysis.
Colon tissues and mesenteric lymph nodes of Card9-null mice had
reduced levels of interleukin (IL)-6, interferon-γ,
and T-helper (Th)17 cytokines after administration of DSS, compared with
wild-type mice. IL-17A and IL-22 expression were reduced in the recovery
phase after DSS administration, coincident with decreased expression of
antimicrobial peptides and the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 20 (Ccl20).
Although Card9-null mice had more intestinal fungi based on 18S analysis,
their Th17 responses remained defective even when an antifungal agent was
administered throughout DSS exposure. Moreover, Card9-null mice had impaired
immune responses to C rodentium, characterized by decreased
levels of colonic IL-6, IL-17A, IL-22, and regenerating islet-derived 3
gamma (RegIIIγ), as well as fewer IL-22—producing innate
lymphoid cells (ILCs) in colon lamina propria.
The adaptor protein CARD9 coordinates Th17- and innate lymphoid
cell-mediated intestinal immune responses after epithelial injury in
Colitis; ILC; Inflammatory Response; Mouse Model
To perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using the Immunochip array in 3,420 cases of ischemic stroke and 6,821 controls, followed by a meta-analysis with data from more than 14,000 additional ischemic stroke cases.
Using the Immunochip, we genotyped 3,420 ischemic stroke cases and 6,821 controls. After imputation we meta-analyzed the results with imputed GWAS data from 3,548 cases and 5,972 controls recruited from the ischemic stroke WTCCC2 study, and with summary statistics from a further 8,480 cases and 56,032 controls in the METASTROKE consortium. A final in silico “look-up” of 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 2,522 cases and 1,899 controls was performed. Associations were also examined in 1,088 cases with intracerebral hemorrhage and 1,102 controls.
In an overall analysis of 17,970 cases of ischemic stroke and 70,764 controls, we identified a novel association on chromosome 12q24 (rs10744777, odds ratio [OR] 1.10 [1.07–1.13], p = 7.12 × 10−11) with ischemic stroke. The association was with all ischemic stroke rather than an individual stroke subtype, with similar effect sizes seen in different stroke subtypes. There was no association with intracerebral hemorrhage (OR 1.03 [0.90–1.17], p = 0.695).
Our results show, for the first time, a genetic risk locus associated with ischemic stroke as a whole, rather than in a subtype-specific manner. This finding was not associated with intracerebral hemorrhage.
Background & Aims
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified 140 Crohn’s disease (CD) susceptibility loci. For most loci, the variants that cause disease are not known and the genes affected by these variants have not been identified. We aimed to identify variants that cause CD through detailed sequencing, genetic association, expression, and functional studies.
We sequenced whole exomes of 42 unrelated subjects with Crohn’s disease (CD) and 5 healthy individuals (controls), and then filtered single-nucleotide variants by incorporating association results from meta-analyses of CD GWASs and in silico mutation effect prediction algorithms. We then genotyped 9348 patients with CD, 2868 with ulcerative colitis, and 14,567 controls, and associated variants analyzed in functional studies using materials from patients and controls and in vitro model systems.
We identified rare missense mutations in PR domain-containing1 (PRDM1) and associated these with CD. These increased proliferation of T cells and secretion of cytokines upon activation, and increased expression of the adhesion molecule L-selectin. A common CD risk allele, identified in GWASs, correlated with reduced expression of PRDM1 in ileal biopsies and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (combined P=1.6×0−8). We identified an association between CD and a common missense variant, Val248Ala, in nuclear domain 10 protein 52 (NDP52) (P=4.83×10−9). We found that this variant impairs the regulatory functions of NDP52 to inhibit NFκB activation of genes that regulate inflammation and affect stability of proteins in toll-like receptor pathways.
We have extended GWAS results and provide evidence that variants in PRDM1 and NDP52 determine susceptibility to CD. PRDM1 maps adjacent to a CD interval identified in GWASs and encodes a transcription factor expressed by T and B cells. NDP52 is an adaptor protein that functions in selective autophagy of intracellular bacteria and signaling molecules, supporting the role for autophagy in pathogenesis of CD.
inflammatory bowel disease; whole-exome sequencing; complex disease
Elevated resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 181,171 individuals, we identified 14 new loci associated with heart rate and confirmed associations with all 7 previously established loci. Experimental downregulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio identified 20 genes at 11 loci that are relevant for heart rate regulation and highlight a role for genes involved in signal transmission, embryonic cardiac development and the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death. In addition, genetic susceptibility to increased heart rate is associated with altered cardiac conduction and reduced risk of sick sinus syndrome, and both heart rate–increasing and heart rate–decreasing variants associate with risk of atrial fibrillation. Our findings provide fresh insights into the mechanisms regulating heart rate and identify new therapeutic targets.
AIM: To assess the distribution of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ2 and -DQ8 in Iranian celiac disease (CD) patients and compare them to healthy Iranian controls.
METHODS: To predict the HLA-DQA1 and -DQB1 genes, we used six previously reported HLA-tagging single nucleotide polymorphism to determine HLA genotypes in 59 Iranian patients with ‘biopsy-confirmed’ CD and in 151 healthy Iranian individuals. To test the transferability of the method, 50 cases and controls were also typed using a commercial kit that identifies individual carriers of DQ2, DQ7 and DQ8 alleles.
RESULTS: In this pilot study 97% of CD cases (n = 57) and 58% of controls (n = 87) were carriers of HLA-DQ2 and/or HLA-DQ8 heterodimers, either in the homozygous or heterozygous state. The HLA-DQ pattern of these 57 CD patients: heterozygous DQ2.2 (n = 14) and homozygous DQ2.2 (n = 1), heterozygous DQ2.5 (n = 33) and homozygous DQ2.5 (n = 8), heterozygous DQ8 (n = 13) and homozygous DQ8 (n = 2). Two CD patients were negative for both DQ2 and DQ8 (3%).
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of DQ8 in our CD population was higher than that reported in other populations (25.4%). As reported in other populations, our results underline the primary importance of HLA-DQ alleles in the Iranian population’s susceptibility to CD.
Human leukocyte antigen typing; Validation; Susceptibility; Celiac disease; Iran
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol are heritable, modifiable, risk factors for coronary artery disease. To identify new loci and refine known loci influencing these lipids, we examined 188,578 individuals using genome-wide and custom genotyping arrays. We identify and annotate 157 loci associated with lipid levels at P < 5×10−8, including 62 loci not previously associated with lipid levels in humans. Using dense genotyping in individuals of European, East Asian, South Asian, and African ancestry, we narrow association signals in 12 loci. We find that loci associated with blood lipids are often associated with cardiovascular and metabolic traits including coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, waist-hip ratio, and body mass index. Our results illustrate the value of genetic data from individuals of diverse ancestries and provide insights into biological mechanisms regulating blood lipids to guide future genetic, biological, and therapeutic research.
Triglycerides are transported in plasma by specific triglyceride-rich lipoproteins; in epidemiologic studies, increased triglyceride levels correlate with higher risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). However, it is unclear whether this association reflects causal processes. We used 185 common variants recently mapped for plasma lipids (P<5×10−8 for each) to examine the role of triglycerides on risk for CAD. First, we highlight loci associated with both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides, and show that the direction and magnitude of both are factors in determining CAD risk. Second, we consider loci with only a strong magnitude of association with triglycerides and show that these loci are also associated with CAD. Finally, in a model accounting for effects on LDL-C and/or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a polymorphism's strength of effect on triglycerides is correlated with the magnitude of its effect on CAD risk. These results suggest that triglyceride-rich lipoproteins causally influence risk for CAD.
Blood pressure (BP) is a heritable determinant of risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). To investigate genetic associations with systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP), we genotyped ∼50 000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that capture variation in ∼2100 candidate genes for cardiovascular phenotypes in 61 619 individuals of European ancestry from cohort studies in the USA and Europe. We identified novel associations between rs347591 and SBP (chromosome 3p25.3, in an intron of HRH1) and between rs2169137 and DBP (chromosome1q32.1 in an intron of MDM4) and between rs2014408 and SBP (chromosome 11p15 in an intron of SOX6), previously reported to be associated with MAP. We also confirmed 10 previously known loci associated with SBP, DBP, MAP or PP (ADRB1, ATP2B1, SH2B3/ATXN2, CSK, CYP17A1, FURIN, HFE, LSP1, MTHFR, SOX6) at array-wide significance (P < 2.4 × 10−6). We then replicated these associations in an independent set of 65 886 individuals of European ancestry. The findings from expression QTL (eQTL) analysis showed associations of SNPs in the MDM4 region with MDM4 expression. We did not find any evidence of association of the two novel SNPs in MDM4 and HRH1 with sequelae of high BP including coronary artery disease (CAD), left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) or stroke. In summary, we identified two novel loci associated with BP and confirmed multiple previously reported associations. Our findings extend our understanding of genes involved in BP regulation, some of which may eventually provide new targets for therapeutic intervention.
The 13th International Meeting on Human Genome Variation and Complex Genome Analysis (HGV2012: Shanghai, China, 6th 8th September 2012) was a stimulating workshop where researchers from academia and industry explored the latest progress, challenges, and opportunities in genome variation research. Key themes included advancements in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, investigation of common and rare diseases, employing NGS in the clinic, utilizing large datasets that leverage biobanks and population-specific cohorts, and exploration of genomic features.
variation; SNP; GWAS; next generation sequencing; NGS; inherited disease
The Copper Metabolism MURR1 domain protein 1 (COMMD1) is a protein involved in multiple cellular pathways, including copper homeostasis, NF-κB and hypoxia signalling. Acting as a scaffold protein, COMMD1 mediates the levels, stability and proteolysis of its substrates (e.g. the copper-transporters ATP7B and ATP7A, RELA and HIF-1α). Recently, we established an interaction between the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and COMMD1, resulting in a decreased maturation and activation of SOD1. Mutations in SOD1, associated with the progressive neurodegenerative disorder Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), cause misfolding and aggregation of the mutant SOD1 (mSOD1) protein. Here, we identify COMMD1 as a novel regulator of misfolded protein aggregation as it enhances the formation of mSOD1 aggregates upon binding. Interestingly, COMMD1 co-localizes to the sites of mSOD1 inclusions and forms high molecular weight complexes in the presence of mSOD1. The effect of COMMD1 on protein aggregation is client-specific as, in contrast to mSOD1, COMMD1 decreases the abundance of mutant Parkin inclusions, associated with Parkinson’s disease. Aggregation of a polyglutamine-expanded Huntingtin, causative of Huntington’s disease, appears unaltered by COMMD1. Altogether, this study offers new research directions to expand our current knowledge on the mechanisms underlying aggregation disease pathologies.
The majority of coeliac disease (CD) patients are not being properly diagnosed and therefore remain untreated, leading to a greater risk of developing CD-associated complications. The major genetic risk heterodimer, HLA-DQ2 and DQ8, is already used clinically to help exclude disease. However, approximately 40% of the population carry these alleles and the majority never develop CD.
We explored whether CD risk prediction can be improved by adding non-HLA-susceptible variants to common HLA testing.
We developed an average weighted genetic risk score with 10, 26 and 57 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in 2675 cases and 2815 controls and assessed the improvement in risk prediction provided by the non-HLA SNP. Moreover, we assessed the transferability of the genetic risk model with 26 non-HLA variants to a nested case–control population (n=1709) and a prospective cohort (n=1245) and then tested how well this model predicted CD outcome for 985 independent individuals.
Adding 57 non-HLA variants to HLA testing showed a statistically significant improvement compared to scores from models based on HLA only, HLA plus 10 SNP and HLA plus 26 SNP. With 57 non-HLA variants, the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve reached 0.854 compared to 0.823 for HLA only, and 11.1% of individuals were reclassified to a more accurate risk group. We show that the risk model with HLA plus 26 SNP is useful in independent populations.
Predicting risk with 57 additional non-HLA variants improved the identification of potential CD patients. This demonstrates a possible role for combined HLA and non-HLA genetic testing in diagnostic work for CD.
Coeliac Disease; Genetic Testing; Hla; Molecular Genetics; Celiac Disease
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare, genetically heterogeneous disease characterized by recurrent respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, bronchiectasis and male infertility. The pulmonary phenotype in PCD is caused by the impaired motility of cilia in the respiratory epithelium, due to ultrastructural defects of these organelles. We hypothesized that defects of multi-protein ciliary complexes should be reflected by gene expression changes in the respiratory epithelium. We have previously found that large group of genes functionally related to cilia share highly correlated expression pattern in PCD bronchial tissue. Here we performed an explorative analysis of differential gene expression in the bronchial tissue from six PCD patients and nine non-PCD controls, using Illumina HumanRef-12 Whole Genome BeadChips. We observed 1323 genes with at least 2-fold difference in the mean expression level between the two groups (t-test p-value <0.05). Annotation analysis showed that the genes down-regulated in PCD biopsies (602) were significantly enriched for terms related to cilia, whereas the up-regulated genes (721) were significantly enriched for terms related to cell cycle and mitosis. We assembled a list of human genes predicted to encode ciliary proteins, components of outer dynein arms, inner dynein arms, radial spokes, and intraflagellar transport proteins. A significant down-regulation of the expression of genes from all the four groups was observed in PCD, compared to non-PCD biopsies. Our data suggest that a coordinated down-regulation of the ciliome genes plays an important role in the molecular pathomechanism of PCD.