Serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) activity is a marker of liver disease which is also prospectively associated with the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancers. We have discovered novel loci affecting GGT in a genome-wide association study (rs1497406 in an intergenic region of chromosome 1, P = 3.9 × 10−8; rs944002 in C14orf73 on chromosome 14, P = 4.7 × 10−13; rs340005 in RORA on chromosome 15, P = 2.4 × 10−8), and a highly significant heterogeneity between adult and adolescent results at the GGT1 locus on chromosome 22 (maximum PHET = 5.6 × 10−12 at rs6519520). Pathway analysis of significant and suggestive single-nucleotide polymorphism associations showed significant overlap between genes affecting GGT and those affecting common metabolic and inflammatory diseases, and identified the hepatic nuclear factor (HNF) family as controllers of a network of genes affecting GGT. Our results reinforce the disease associations of GGT and demonstrate that control by the GGT1 locus varies with age.
Thoughts of self-harm and suicidal behavior are thought to be influenced by both genetics and environment. Molecular genetic studies are beginning to address the question of which genes may be involved and whether different genes may be expressed in men and women. We examined thoughts of self-harm and suicidal behavior in a large general population twin sample including male and female same- and opposite-sex twins. In this study, data on self-reported thoughts of self-harm and suicide were obtained from self-report questionnaires (Beck Depression Inventory and Youth or Adult Self Report forms) in 6265 twin pairs (11,008 individuals) aged 11–90 (62% female) from the Netherlands Twin Registry. Liability threshold models were compared including sex and age (linear and quadratic) effects. Models were compared using measures of parsimony to calculate the simplest model to the data. A model with additive genetic and unique environmental contributions fitted the data for both males and females. There were no qualitative sex differences, but the relative contributions differed between men and women. Heritability was higher in women (0.74, 95% CI 0.65 – 0.81) than men (0.45, 95% CI 0.28 – 0.61). The remaining variance was accounted for by environmental influence unique to an individual. These results suggest contributions from additive genetic factors to self-reported thoughts of self-harm and suicide and support the continued study of both molecular genetic and individual-specific environmental risk factors.
Suicide; Twins; Behavioral Genetics
We examined sex differences in familial resemblance for a broad range of behavioral, psychiatric and health related phenotypes (122 complex traits) in children and adults. There is a renewed interest in the importance of genotype by sex interaction in, for example, genome-wide association (GWA) studies of complex phenotypes. If different genes play a role across sex, GWA studies should consider the effect of genetic variants separately in men and women, which affects statistical power. Twin and family studies offer an opportunity to compare resemblance between opposite-sex family members to the resemblance between same-sex relatives, thereby presenting a test of quantitative and qualitative sex differences in the genetic architecture of complex traits. We analyzed data on lifestyle, personality, psychiatric disorder, health, growth, development and metabolic traits in dizygotic (DZ) same-sex and opposite-sex twins, as these siblings are perfectly matched for age and prenatal exposures. Sample size varied from slightly over 300 subjects for measures of brain function such as EEG power to over 30,000 subjects for childhood psychopathology and birth weight. For most phenotypes, sample sizes were large, with an average sample size of 9027 individuals. By testing whether the resemblance in DZ opposite-sex pairs is the same as in DZ same-sex pairs, we obtain evidence for genetic qualitative sex-differences in the genetic architecture of complex traits for 4% of phenotypes. We conclude that for most traits that were examined, the current evidence is that same the genes are operating in men and women.
We aimed to identify novel genetic variants affecting asthma risk, since these might provide novel insights into molecular mechanisms underlying asthma.
We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 2,669 physician-diagnosed asthmatics and 4,528 controls from Australia. Seven loci were prioritised for replication after combining our results with those from the GABRIEL consortium (n=26,475), and these were tested in an additional 25,358 independent samples from four in-silico cohorts. Quantitative multi-SNP scores of genetic load were constructed on the basis of results from the GABRIEL study and tested for association with asthma in our Australian GWAS dataset.
Two loci were confirmed to associate with asthma risk in the replication cohorts and reached genome-wide significance in the combined analysis of all available studies (n=57,800): rs4129267 (OR=1.09, combined P=2.4×10−8) in the interleukin-6 receptor gene (IL6R) and rs7130588 (OR=1.09, P=1.8×10−8) on chromosome 11q13.5 near the leucine-rich repeat containing 32 gene (LRRC32, also known as GARP). The 11q13.5 locus was significantly associated with atopic status among asthmatics (OR = 1.33, P = 7×10−4), suggesting that it is a risk factor for allergic but not non-allergic asthma. Multi-SNP association results are consistent with a highly polygenic contribution to asthma risk, including loci with weak effects that may be shared with other immune-related diseases, such as NDFIP1, HLA-B, LPP and BACH2.
The IL6R association further supports the hypothesis that cytokine signalling dysregulation affects asthma risk, and raises the possibility that an IL6R antagonist (tocilizumab) may be effective to treat the disease, perhaps in a genotype-dependent manner. Results for the 11q13.5 locus suggest that it directly increases the risk of allergic sensitisation which, in turn, increases the risk of subsequent development of asthma. Larger or more functionally focused studies are needed to characterise the many loci with modest effects that remain to be identified for asthma.
A full list of funding sources appears at the end of the paper.
Personality traits and socioeconomic factors such as neighborhood income have been identified as risk factors for future alcohol abuse, but findings have been inconsistent possibly due to interactions between risk and protective factors. The present study examined the prediction of drinking behavior using empirically derived multi-trait patterns and tested for moderation by average neighborhood income. Using latent profile analysis (LPA) in a sample of 863 Dutch adolescents, four empirical personality profiles based on 6 traits were observed: Extraverted, Dysregulated, Neurotic, and Regulated. Dysregulated and Extraverted youth drank higher quantities of alcohol more frequently in young adulthood relative to the Regulated group, above and beyond the effects of baseline adolescent drinking, age, and sex. Profile levels of neuroticism did not appear to affect drinking behavior. Average neighborhood income did not moderate adolescent personality and young adult drinking. These findings suggest that future alcohol research should consider individual trait patterns to inform prevention and intervention efforts, and theories implicating both positive and negative emotionality traits as risk factors for drinking are preferable to those emphasizing the importance of the latter.
Personality; Neighborhood Income; Socioeconomic Status; Alcohol; Drinking
The authors tested for genetic linkage of DSM-IV-diagnosed major depressive disorder in families that were ascertained for cigarette smoking.
Within a study that targeted families characterized by a history of smoking, analyses derived a subset of 91 Australian families with two or more offspring with a history of DSM-IV major depressive disorder (affected sibling pairs, N=187) and 25 Finnish families (affected sibling pairs, N=33). Within this affected sibling pair design, the authors conducted nonparametric linkage analysis.
In the Australian heavy smoking families, the authors found a genome-wide significant multipoint LOD score of 4.14 for major depressive disorder on chromosome 3 at 24.9 cM (3p26-3p25).
Genome-wide significant linkage was detected for major depressive disorder on chromosome 3p in a sample ascertained for smoking. A linkage peak at this location was also observed in an independent study of major depressive disorder.
Serum concentrations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TGs) and total cholesterol (TC) are important heritable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Although genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of circulating lipid levels have identified numerous loci, a substantial portion of the heritability of these traits remains unexplained. Evidence of unexplained genetic variance can be detected by combining multiple independent markers into additive genetic risk scores. Such polygenic scores, constructed using results from the ENGAGE Consortium GWAS on serum lipids, were applied to predict lipid levels in an independent population-based study, the Rotterdam Study-II (RS-II). We additionally tested for evidence of a shared genetic basis for different lipid phenotypes. Finally, the polygenic score approach was used to identify an alternative genome-wide significance threshold before pathway analysis and those results were compared with those based on the classical genome-wide significance threshold. Our study provides evidence suggesting that many loci influencing circulating lipid levels remain undiscovered. Cross-prediction models suggested a small overlap between the polygenic backgrounds involved in determining LDL-C, HDL-C and TG levels. Pathway analysis utilizing the best polygenic score for TC uncovered extra information compared with using only genome-wide significant loci. These results suggest that the genetic architecture of circulating lipids involves a number of undiscovered variants with very small effects, and that increasing GWAS sample sizes will enable the identification of novel variants that regulate lipid levels.
serum lipids; polygenic; genome-wide association; polygenic score; pathway analysis
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized -amongst others- by persistent depressed mood, loss of interest and pleasure and psychomotor retardation. Environmental circumstances have proven to influence the aetiology of the disease, but MDD also has an estimated 40% heritability, probably with a polygenic background. In 2009, a genome wide association study (GWAS) was performed on the Dutch GAIN-MDD cohort. A non-synonymous coding single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2522833 in the PCLO gene became only nominally significant after post-hoc analysis with an Australian cohort which used similar ascertainment. The absence of genome-wide significance may be caused by low SNP coverage of genes. To increase SNP coverage to 100% for common variants (m.a.f.>0.1, r2>0.8), we selected seven genes from the GAIN-MDD GWAS: PCLO, GZMK, ANPEP, AFAP1L1, ST3GAL6, FGF14 and PTK2B. We genotyped 349 SNPs and obtained the lowest P-value for rs2715147 in PCLO at P = 6.8E−7. We imputed, filling in missing genotypes, after which rs2715147 and rs2715148 showed the lowest P-value at P = 1.2E−6. When we created a haplotype of these SNPs together with the non-synonymous coding SNP rs2522833, the P-value decreased to P = 9.9E−7 but was not genome wide significant. Although our study did not identify a more strongly associated variant, the results for PCLO suggest that the causal variant is in high LD with rs2715147, rs2715148 and rs2522833.
The influence of non-additive genetic influences on personality traits has been increasingly reported in adult populations. Less is known, however, with respect to younger samples. In this study, we examine additive and non-additive genetic contributions to the personality trait of extraversion in 1,689 Dutch twin pairs, 1,505 mothers and 1,637 fathers of the twins. The twins were on average 15.5 years (range 12–18 years). To increase statistical power to detect non-additive genetic influences, data on extraversion were also collected in parents and simultaneously analyzed. Genetic modeling procedures incorporating age as a potential modifier of heritability showed significant influences of additive (20–23%) and non-additive genetic factors (31–33%) in addition to unshared environment (46–48%) for adolescents and for their parents. The additive genetic component was slightly and positively related to age. No significant sex differences were found for either extraversion means or for the magnitude of the genetic and environmental influences. There was no evidence of non-random mating for extraversion in the parental generation. Results show that in addition to additive genetic influences, extraversion in adolescents is influenced by non-additive genetic factors.
Personality; Temperament; Adolescence; Extraversion; Genetic; Environment
The objective of this study was to estimate the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences to variation in adolescent neuroticism as a function of age and sex. Neuroticism was assessed using the Amsterdamse Biografische Vragenlijst (ABV): a self-report personality instrument similar in content to the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. Genetic modeling procedures, including age as modifier, were fitted to the total sample of 3301 Dutch adolescent twins aged 12 to 17 years (mean age 15.5). Significant influences of additive genetic factors (.59, 95% confidence intervals [CI] .54–.63) and unshared environmental factors (.41, 95% CI .37–.45) were found. Our data did not support a role of shared environment. Results showed that different genes may influence variation in neuroticism between girls and boys. No interaction was found between the variance components and age. Results generally support prior findings in adults and young children that neuroticism is influenced principally by additive genetic and unique environmental factors. The magnitude of the genetic component appears higher in the present sample of adolescents than in most studies of adults. The present study suggests that, in adolescence, different genes are expressed in boys and girls.
Genome-wide association studies in Japanese populations recently identified common variants in the KCNQ1 gene to be associated with type 2 diabetes. We examined the association of these variants within KCNQ1 with type 2 diabetes in a Dutch population, investigated their effects on insulin secretion and metabolic traits and on the risk of developing complications in type 2 diabetes patients.
The KCNQ1 variants rs151290, rs2237892, and rs2237895 were genotyped in a total of 4620 type 2 diabetes patients and 5285 healthy controls from the Netherlands. Data on macrovascular complications, nephropathy and retinopathy were available in a subset of diabetic patients. Association between genotype and insulin secretion/action was assessed in the additional sample of 335 individuals who underwent a hyperglycaemic clamp.
We found that all the genotyped KCNQ1 variants were significantly associated with type 2 diabetes in our Dutch population, and the association of rs151290 was the strongest (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.07–1.35, p = 0.002). The risk C-allele of rs151290 was nominally associated with reduced first-phase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, while the non-risk T-allele of rs2237892 was significantly correlated with increased second-phase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (p = 0.025 and 0.0016, respectively). In addition, the risk C-allele of rs2237892 was associated with higher LDL and total cholesterol levels (p = 0.015 and 0.003, respectively). We found no evidence for an association of KCNQ1 with diabetic complications.
Common variants in the KCNQ1 gene are associated with type 2 diabetes in a Dutch population, which can be explained at least in part by an effect on insulin secretion. Furthermore, our data suggest that KCNQ1 is also associated with lipid metabolism.
This study examined the heritability of problem drinking and investigated the phenotypic and genetic relationships between problem drinking and personality. In a sample of 5,870 twins and siblings and 4,420 additional family members from the Netherlands Twin Register. Data on problem drinking (assessed with the AUDIT and CAGE; 12 items) and personality [NEO Five-Factor Inventory (FFI); 60 items] were collected in 2009/2010 by surveys. Confirmatory factor analysis on the AUDIT and CAGE items showed that the items clustered on two separate but highly correlated (r = 0.74) underlying factors. A higher-order factor was extracted that reflected those aspects of problem drinking that are common to the AUDIT and CAGE, which showed a heritability of 40%. The correlations between problem drinking and the five dimensions of personality were small but significant, ranging from 0.06 for Extraversion to −0.12 for Conscientiousness. All personality dimensions (with broad-sense heritabilities between 32 and 55%, and some evidence for non-additive genetic influences) were genetically correlated with problem drinking. The genetic correlations were small to modest (between |0.12| and |0.41|). Future studies with longitudinal data and DNA polymorphisms are needed to determine the biological mechanisms that underlie the genetic link between problem drinking and personality.
problem drinking; personality; five-factor model; factor analysis; heritability; genetic correlation; twins
Recent genome-wide association (GWA) studies described 95 loci controlling serum lipid levels. These common variants explain ∼25% of the heritability of the phenotypes. To date, no unbiased screen for gene–environment interactions for circulating lipids has been reported. We screened for variants that modify the relationship between known epidemiological risk factors and circulating lipid levels in a meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) data from 18 population-based cohorts with European ancestry (maximum N = 32,225). We collected 8 further cohorts (N = 17,102) for replication, and rs6448771 on 4p15 demonstrated genome-wide significant interaction with waist-to-hip-ratio (WHR) on total cholesterol (TC) with a combined P-value of 4.79×10−9. There were two potential candidate genes in the region, PCDH7 and CCKAR, with differential expression levels for rs6448771 genotypes in adipose tissue. The effect of WHR on TC was strongest for individuals carrying two copies of G allele, for whom a one standard deviation (sd) difference in WHR corresponds to 0.19 sd difference in TC concentration, while for A allele homozygous the difference was 0.12 sd. Our findings may open up possibilities for targeted intervention strategies for people characterized by specific genomic profiles. However, more refined measures of both body-fat distribution and metabolic measures are needed to understand how their joint dynamics are modified by the newly found locus.
Circulating serum lipids contribute greatly to the global health by affecting the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Serum lipid levels are partly inherited, and already 95 loci affecting high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides have been found. Serum lipids are also known to be affected by multiple epidemiological risk factors like body composition, lifestyle, and sex. It has been hypothesized that there are loci modifying the effects between risk factors and serum lipids, but to date only candidate gene studies for interactions have been reported. We conducted a genome-wide screen with meta-analysis approach to identify loci having interactions with epidemiological risk factors on serum lipids with over 30,000 population-based samples. When combining results from our initial datasets and 8 additional replication cohorts (maximum N = 17,102), we found a genome-wide significant locus in chromosome 4p15 with a joint P-value of 4.79×10−9 modifying the effect of waist-to-hip ratio on total cholesterol. In the area surrounding this genetic variant, there were two genes having association between the genotypes and the gene expression in adipose tissue, and we also found enrichment of association in genes belonging to lipid metabolism related functions.
Relatively little is known about how genetic influences on alcohol abuse and dependence (AAD) change with age. We examined the change in influence of genetic and environmental factors which explain symptoms of AAD from adolescence into early adulthood. Symptoms of AAD were assessed using the four AAD screening questions of the CAGE inventory. Data were obtained up to six times by self-report questionnaires for 8,398 twins from the Netherlands Twin Register aged between 15 and 32 years. Longitudinal genetic simplex modeling was performed with Mx. Results showed that shared environmental influences were present for age 15–17 (57%) and age 18–20 (18%). Unique environmental influences gained importance over time, contributing 15% of the variance at age 15–17 and 48% at age 30–32. At younger ages, unique environmental influences were largely age-specific, while at later ages, age-specific influences became less important. Genetic influences on AAD symptoms over age could be accounted for by one factor, with the relative influence of this factor differing across ages. Genetic influences increased from 28% at age 15–17 to 58% at age 21–23 and remained high in magnitude thereafter. These results are in line with a developmentally stable hypothesis that predicts that a single set of genetic risk factors acts on symptoms of AAD from adolescence into young adulthood.
Genetics; Development; Alcohol abuse; Dependence; Longitudinal twin study
Migraine is a common neurological disorder with a genetically complex background. This paper describes a meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) studies on migraine, performed by the Dutch–Icelandic migraine genetics (DICE) consortium, which brings together six population-based European migraine cohorts with a total sample size of 10 980 individuals (2446 cases and 8534 controls). A total of 32 SNPs showed marginal evidence for association at a P-value<10−5. The best result was obtained for SNP rs9908234, which had a P-value of 8.00 × 10−8. This top SNP is located in the nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) gene. However, this SNP did not replicate in three cohorts from the Netherlands and Australia. Of the other 31 SNPs, 18 SNPs were tested in two replication cohorts, but none replicated. In addition, we explored previously identified candidate genes in the meta-analysis data set. This revealed a modest gene-based significant association between migraine and the metadherin (MTDH) gene, previously identified in the first clinic-based GWA study (GWAS) for migraine (Bonferroni-corrected gene-based P-value=0.026). This finding is consistent with the involvement of the glutamate pathway in migraine. Additional research is necessary to further confirm the involvement of glutamate.
migraine; meta-analysis; genome-wide association; population-based
We report a genome-wide association study to iron status. We identify an association of SNPs in TPMRSS6 to serum iron (rs855791, combined P = 1.5×10−20), transferrin saturation (combined P = 2.2×10−23), and erythrocyte mean cell volume (MCV, combined P = 1.1×10−10). We also find suggestive evidence of association with blood haemoglobin levels (combined P = 5.3×10−7). These findings demonstrate the involvement of TMPRSS6 in control of iron homeostasis and in normal erythropoiesis.
This study investigates the longitudinal heritability in Thought Problems (TP) as measured with ten items from the Adult Self Report (ASR). There were ~9,000 twins, ~2,000 siblings and ~3,000 additional family members who participated in the study and who are registered at the Netherlands Twin Register. First an exploratory factor analysis was conducted to examine the underlying factor structure of the TP-scale. Then the TP-scale was tested for measurement invariance (MI) across age and sex. Next, genetic and environmental influences were modeled on the longitudinal development of TP across three age groups (12–18, 19–27 and 28–59 year olds) based on the twin and sibling relationships in the data. An exploratory factor analysis yielded a one-factor solution, and MI analyses indicated that the same TP-construct is assessed across age and sex. Two additive genetic components influenced TP across age: the first influencing TP throughout all age groups, while the second arises during young adulthood and stays significant throughout adulthood. The additive genetic components explained 37% of the variation across all age groups. The remaining variance (63%) was explained by unique environmental influences. The longitudinal phenotypic correlation between these age groups was entirely explained by the additive genetic components. We conclude that the TP-scale measures a single underlying construct across sex and different ages. These symptoms are significantly influenced by additive genetic factors from adolescence to late adulthood.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10519-011-9478-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Thought problems; Measurement invariance; Longitudinal study; Extended twin design; Heritability
The tendency to conceive dizygotic (DZ) twins is a complex trait influenced by genetic and environmental factors. To search for new candidate loci for twinning, we conducted a genome-wide linkage scan in 525 families using microsatellite and single nucleotide polymorphism marker panels.
METHODS AND RESULTS
Non-parametric linkage analyses, including 523 families containing a total of 1115 mothers of DZ twins (MODZT) from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and The Netherlands (NL), produced four linkage peaks above the threshold for suggestive linkage, including a highly suggestive peak at the extreme telomeric end of chromosome 6 with an exponential logarithm of odds [(exp)LOD] score of 2.813 (P = 0.0002). Since the DZ twinning rate increases steeply with maternal age independent of genetic effects, we also investigated linkage including only families where at least one MODZT gave birth to her first set of twins before the age of 30. These analyses produced a maximum expLOD score of 2.718 (P = 0.0002), largely due to linkage signal from the ANZ cohort, however, ordered subset analyses indicated this result is most likely a chance finding in the combined dataset. Linkage analyses were also performed for two large DZ twinning families from the USA, one of which produced a peak on chromosome 2 in the region of two potential candidate genes. Sequencing of FSHR and FIGLA, along with INHBB in MODZTs from two large NL families with family specific linkage peaks directly over this gene, revealed a potentially functional variant in the 5′ untranslated region of FSHR that segregated with the DZ twinning phenotype in the Utah family.
Our data provide further evidence for complex inheritance of familial DZ twinning.
dizygotic twinning; linkage
Smoking is a risk factor for most of the diseases leading in mortality1. We conducted genome-wide association (GWA) meta-analyses of smoking data within the ENGAGE consortium to search for common alleles associating with the number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) in smokers (N=31,266) and smoking initiation (N=46,481). We tested selected SNPs in a second stage (N=45,691 smokers), and assessed some in a third sample (N=9,040). Variants in three genomic regions associated with CPD (P< 5·10−8), including previously identified SNPs at 15q25 represented by rs1051730-A (0.80 CPD,P=2.4·10−69), and SNPs at 19q13 and 8p11, represented by rs4105144-C (0.39 CPD, P=2.2·10−12) and rs6474412-T (0.29 CPD,P= 1.4·10−8), respectively. Among the genes at the two novel loci, are genes encoding nicotine-metabolizing enzymes (CYP2A6 and CYP2B6), and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits (CHRNB3 and CHRNA6) highlighted in previous studies of nicotine dependence2-3. Nominal associations with lung cancer were observed at both 8p11 (rs6474412-T,OR=1.09,P=0.04) and 19q13 (rs4105144-C,OR=1.12,P=0.0006).
Persistent tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are major public health concerns worldwide. Both alcohol and nicotine dependence (AD, ND) are genetically-influenced complex disorders that exhibit a high degree of comorbidity. To identify gene variants contributing to one or both of these addictions, we first conducted a pooling-based genome wide association study (GWAS) in an Australian population, using Illumina Infinium 1M arrays. Allele frequency differences were compared between pooled DNA from case and control groups for: (i) AD, 1224 cases and 1162 controls; (ii) ND, 1273 cases and 1113 controls; and (iii) comorbid AD and ND, 599 cases and 488 controls. Secondly, we carried out a GWAS in independent samples from the Netherlands for AD and for ND. Thirdly, we performed a meta-analysis of the 10,000 most significant AD- and ND-related SNPs from the Australian and Dutch samples. In the Australian GWAS, one SNP achieved genomewide significance (p < 5×10−8) for ND (rs964170 in ARHGAP10 on chromosome 4, p=4.43×10−8) and three others for comorbid AD/ND (rs7530302 near MARK1 on chromosome 1 (p=1.90×10−9), rs1784300 near DDX6 on chromosome 11 (p=2.60×10−9) and rs12882384 in KIAA1409 on chromosome 14 (p=4.86×10−8)). None of the SNPs achieved genomewide significance in the Australian/Dutch meta-analysis, but a gene network diagram based on the top-results revealed overrepresentation of genes coding for ion-channels and cell adhesion molecules. Further studies will be required before the detailed causes of comorbidity between AD and ND are understood.
addiction; alcohol; comorbidity; genetics; smoking
The objective of this study was to identify genetic variants that are associated with adult leisure-time exercise behavior using genome-wide association in two independent samples.
Exercise behavior was measured in 1,772 unrelated Dutch and 978 unrelated American adults with detailed questions about type, frequency and duration of exercise. Individuals were classified into regular exercisers or non-exercisers using a threshold of 4 METhours (metabolic equivalents*hours per week). Regular exercisers were further divided into 5 categories of METhours, ranging from moderate (>=4 METhours) to highly vigorous (>=40 METhours) exercisers. Genome-wide association analyses with a total of 470,719 SNPs were conducted in both samples independently using regression-based techniques in SNPtest, including sex, age and BMI as covariates.
SNPs located in SGIP1, DNASE2B, PRSS16, ERCC2 and PAPSS2 were associated with exercise participation (combined p-value between 0.0004 and 4.5*10-6 with the same direction of allelic effects in both samples). Associations of candidate genes based on existing literature were replicated for the LEPR gene in the American sample (rs12405556, p=0.0005) and for the CYP19A1 gene in the Dutch sample (rs2470158, 0.0098).
Two genes (SGIP1 and LEPR) are expressed in the hypothalamus and involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Their effects were independent of BMI, suggesting a direct role of hypothalamic factors in the drive to exercise.
Physical activity; sports participation; genetics; genotype imputation; energy homeostasis
At least 20 type 2 diabetes loci have now been identified, and several of these are associated with altered β-cell function. In this study, we have investigated the combined effects of eight known β-cell loci on insulin secretion stimulated by three different secretagogues during hyperglycemic clamps.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A total of 447 subjects originating from four independent studies in the Netherlands and Germany (256 with normal glucose tolerance [NGT]/191 with impaired glucose tolerance [IGT]) underwent a hyperglycemic clamp. A subset had an extended clamp with additional glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and arginine (n = 224). We next genotyped single nucleotide polymorphisms in TCF7L2, KCNJ11, CDKAL1, IGF2BP2, HHEX/IDE, CDKN2A/B, SLC30A8, and MTNR1B and calculated a risk allele score by risk allele counting.
The risk allele score was associated with lower first-phase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) (P = 7.1 × 10−6). The effect size was equal in subjects with NGT and IGT. We also noted an inverse correlation with the disposition index (P = 1.6 × 10−3). When we stratified the study population according to the number of risk alleles into three groups, those with a medium- or high-risk allele score had 9 and 23% lower first-phase GSIS. Second-phase GSIS, insulin sensitivity index and GLP-1, or arginine-stimulated insulin release were not significantly different.
A combined risk allele score for eight known β-cell genes is associated with the rapid first-phase GSIS and the disposition index. The slower second-phase GSIS, GLP-1, and arginine-stimulated insulin secretion are not associated, suggesting that especially processes involved in rapid granule recruitment and exocytosis are affected in the majority of risk loci.
Recently, results from a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies have yielded a number of novel type 2 diabetes loci. However, conflicting results have been published regarding their effects on insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity. In this study we used hyperglycemic clamps with three different stimuli to test associations between these novel loci and various measures of β-cell function.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
For this study, 336 participants, 180 normal glucose tolerant and 156 impaired glucose tolerant, underwent a 2-h hyperglycemic clamp. In a subset we also assessed the response to glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and arginine during an extended clamp (n = 123). All subjects were genotyped for gene variants in JAZF1, CDC123/CAMK1D, TSPAN8/LGR5, THADA, ADAMTS9, NOTCH2/ADAMS30, DCD, VEGFA, BCL11A, HNF1B, WFS1, and MTNR1B.
Gene variants in CDC123/CAMK1D, ADAMTS9, BCL11A, and MTNR1B affected various aspects of the insulin response to glucose (all P < 6.9 × 10−3). The THADA gene variant was associated with lower β-cell response to GLP-1 and arginine (both P < 1.6 × 10−3), suggesting lower β-cell mass as a possible pathogenic mechanism. Remarkably, we also noted a trend toward an increased insulin response to GLP-1 in carriers of MTNR1B (P = 0.03), which may offer new therapeutic possibilities. The other seven loci were not detectably associated with β-cell function.
Diabetes risk alleles in CDC123/CAMK1D, THADA, ADAMTS9, BCL11A, and MTNR1B are associated with various specific aspects of β-cell function. These findings point to a clear diversity in the impact that these various gene variants may have on (dys)function of pancreatic β-cells.
Deficiency in signal transduction might play a role in the development of anxiety and depression, as suggested by a study on the involvement of the PKA-independent Epac pathway. We investigated the association between Epac-1 gene variants, also known as RapGEF-3, and measures of anxiety and depression in a Dutch twin-family sample. Replication was sought in a USA sample consisting of unrelated individuals. Genotype and phenotype data were available for 910 Dutch and 684 USA individuals. Longitudinal self-report measures of neuroticism, anxiety and depression and genetic factor scores (GFS-NL), based on these measures, were analyzed in the Dutch sample. In the USA sample, neuroticism and Genetic Factor Scores (GFS-USA), based on neuroticism and diagnoses of anxiety disorders and depression, were analyzed. Three intronic SNPs were genotyped. Analyses were performed in QTDT. Genotype and haplotype frequencies differed significantly between the samples. In the Dutch sample, rs2072115 showed a significant dominant effect for anxiety and depression. Subjects with haplotype G-C-C (ordered rs2072115-rs757281-2074533) had significantly lower anxiety, neuroticism and GFS-NL scores. In the USA sample, a significant additive effect of rs2074533 on GFS-USA was found. Subjects with haplotypes G-C-C and A-C-T had significantly higher and lower GFS-USA scores, respectively. Both samples showed an association between Epac-1 gene variants and anxiety and depression, but for different variants or in opposite directions. The divergent results could be due to differences in linkage disequilibrium between the investigated SNPs and a functional polymorphism in the Dutch and USA sample.
RapGEF-3; association study; anxiety; depression