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1.  Improved imputation quality of low-frequency and rare variants in European samples using the ‘Genome of The Netherlands' 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2014;22(11):1321-1326.
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.
PMCID: PMC4200431  PMID: 24896149
genotype imputation; GWAS; GoNL; rare variants; reference sets; reference panel
2.  Genome-wide Studies of Verbal Declarative Memory in Nondemented Older People: The Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium 
Debette, Stéphanie | Ibrahim Verbaas, Carla A. | Bressler, Jan | Schuur, Maaike | Smith, Albert | Bis, Joshua C. | Davies, Gail | Wolf, Christiane | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Chibnik, Lori B. | Yang, Qiong | deStefano, Anita L. | de Quervain, Dominique J.F. | Srikanth, Velandai | Lahti, Jari | Grabe, Hans J. | Smith, Jennifer A. | Priebe, Lutz | Yu, Lei | Karbalai, Nazanin | Hayward, Caroline | Wilson, James F. | Campbell, Harry | Petrovic, Katja | Fornage, Myriam | Chauhan, Ganesh | Yeo, Robin | Boxall, Ruth | Becker, James | Stegle, Oliver | Mather, Karen A. | Chouraki, Vincent | Sun, Qi | Rose, Lynda M. | Resnick, Susan | Oldmeadow, Christopher | Kirin, Mirna | Wright, Alan F. | Jonsdottir, Maria K. | Au, Rhoda | Becker, Albert | Amin, Najaf | Nalls, Mike A. | Turner, Stephen T. | Kardia, Sharon L.R. | Oostra, Ben | Windham, Gwen | Coker, Laura H. | Zhao, Wei | Knopman, David S. | Heiss, Gerardo | Griswold, Michael E. | Gottesman, Rebecca F. | Vitart, Veronique | Hastie, Nicholas D. | Zgaga, Lina | Rudan, Igor | Polasek, Ozren | Holliday, Elizabeth G. | Schofield, Peter | Choi, Seung Hoan | Tanaka, Toshiko | An, Yang | Perry, Rodney T. | Kennedy, Richard E. | Sale, Michèle M. | Wang, Jing | Wadley, Virginia G. | Liewald, David C. | Ridker, Paul M. | Gow, Alan J. | Pattie, Alison | Starr, John M. | Porteous, David | Liu, Xuan | Thomson, Russell | Armstrong, Nicola J. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Assareh, Arezoo A. | Kochan, Nicole A. | Widen, Elisabeth | Palotie, Aarno | Hsieh, Yi-Chen | Eriksson, Johan G. | Vogler, Christian | van Swieten, John C. | Shulman, Joshua M. | Beiser, Alexa | Rotter, Jerome | Schmidt, Carsten O. | Hoffmann, Wolfgang | Nöthen, Markus M. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Attia, John | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | Amouyel, Philippe | Dartigues, Jean-François | Amieva, Hélène | Räikkönen, Katri | Garcia, Melissa | Wolf, Philip A. | Hofman, Albert | Longstreth, W.T. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | DeJager, Philip L. | Sachdev, Perminder S. | Schmidt, Reinhold | Breteler, Monique M.B. | Teumer, Alexander | Lopez, Oscar L. | Cichon, Sven | Chasman, Daniel I. | Grodstein, Francine | Müller-Myhsok, Bertram | Tzourio, Christophe | Papassotiropoulos, Andreas | Bennett, David A. | Ikram, Arfan M. | Deary, Ian J. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Launer, Lenore | Fitzpatrick, Annette L. | Seshadri, Sudha | Mosley, Thomas H.
Biological psychiatry  2014;77(8):749-763.
Memory performance in older persons can reflect genetic influences on cognitive function and dementing processes. We aimed to identify genetic contributions to verbal declarative memory in a community setting.
We conducted genome-wide association studies for paragraph or word list delayed recall in 19 cohorts from the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology consortium, comprising 29,076 dementia-and stroke-free individuals of European descent, aged ≥45 years. Replication of suggestive associations (p < 5 × 10−6) was sought in 10,617 participants of European descent, 3811 African-Americans, and 1561 young adults.
rs4420638, near APOE, was associated with poorer delayed recall performance in discovery (p = 5.57 × 10−10) and replication cohorts (p = 5.65 × 10−8). This association was stronger for paragraph than word list delayed recall and in the oldest persons. Two associations with specific tests, in subsets of the total sample, reached genome-wide significance in combined analyses of discovery and replication (rs11074779 [HS3ST4], p = 3.11 × 10−8, and rs6813517 [SPOCK3], p = 2.58 × 10−8) near genes involved in immune response. A genetic score combining 58 independent suggestive memory risk variants was associated with increasing Alzheimer disease pathology in 725 autopsy samples. Association of memory risk loci with gene expression in 138 human hippocampus samples showed cis-associations with WDR48 and CLDN5, both related to ubiquitin metabolism.
This largest study to date exploring the genetics of memory function in ~ 40,000 older individuals revealed genome-wide associations and suggested an involvement of immune and ubiquitin pathways.
PMCID: PMC4513651  PMID: 25648963
Alzheimer disease; Dementia; Epidemiology; Genetics; Population-based; Verbal declarative memory
3.  Association of Alzheimer disease GWAS loci with MRI-markers of brain aging 
Neurobiology of aging  2015;36(4):1765.e7-1765.e16.
Whether novel risk variants of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) also influence MRI-based intermediate phenotypes of AD in the general population is unclear. We studied association of 24 AD risk loci with intracranial volume (ICV), total brain volume (TBV), hippocampal volume (HV), white matter hyperintensity (WMH) burden, and brain infarcts in a meta-analysis of genetic association studies from large population-based samples (N=8,175–11,550). In single-SNP based tests, AD risk allele of APOE (rs2075650) was associated with smaller HV (p=0.0054) and CD33 (rs3865444) with smaller ICV (p=0.0058) In gene-based tests, there was associations of HLA-DRB1 with TBV (p=0.0006) and BIN1 with HV (p=0.00089). A weighted AD genetic risk score was associated with smaller HV (beta±SE=−0.047±0.013, p=0.00041), even after excluding the APOE locus (p=0.029). However, only association of AD genetic risk score with HV, including APOE, was significant after multiple testing correction (including number of independent phenotypes tested). These results suggest that novel AD genetic risk variants may contribute to structural brain aging in non-demented older community persons.
PMCID: PMC4391343  PMID: 25670335
Alzheimer; MRI-markers; genetic risk score; GWAS; hippocampal volume
4.  Adiposity as a cause of cardiovascular disease: a Mendelian randomization study 
Background: Adiposity, as indicated by body mass index (BMI), has been associated with risk of cardiovascular diseases in epidemiological studies. We aimed to investigate if these associations are causal, using Mendelian randomization (MR) methods.
Methods: The associations of BMI with cardiovascular outcomes [coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure and ischaemic stroke], and associations of a genetic score (32 BMI single nucleotide polymorphisms) with BMI and cardiovascular outcomes were examined in up to 22 193 individuals with 3062 incident cardiovascular events from nine prospective follow-up studies within the ENGAGE consortium. We used random-effects meta-analysis in an MR framework to provide causal estimates of the effect of adiposity on cardiovascular outcomes.
Results: There was a strong association between BMI and incident CHD (HR = 1.20 per SD-increase of BMI, 95% CI, 1.12–1.28, P = 1.9·10−7), heart failure (HR = 1.47, 95% CI, 1.35–1.60, P = 9·10−19) and ischaemic stroke (HR = 1.15, 95% CI, 1.06–1.24, P = 0.0008) in observational analyses. The genetic score was robustly associated with BMI (β = 0.030 SD-increase of BMI per additional allele, 95% CI, 0.028–0.033, P = 3·10−107). Analyses indicated a causal effect of adiposity on development of heart failure (HR = 1.93 per SD-increase of BMI, 95% CI, 1.12–3.30, P = 0.017) and ischaemic stroke (HR = 1.83, 95% CI, 1.05–3.20, P = 0.034). Additional cross-sectional analyses using both ENGAGE and CARDIoGRAMplusC4D data showed a causal effect of adiposity on CHD.
Conclusions: Using MR methods, we provide support for the hypothesis that adiposity causes CHD, heart failure and, previously not demonstrated, ischaemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC4553708  PMID: 26016847
Cardiovascular disease; epidemiology; body mass index; Mendelian randomization
5.  Meta-analysis of gene–environment-wide association scans accounting for education level identifies additional loci for refractive error 
Fan, Qiao | Verhoeven, Virginie J. M. | Wojciechowski, Robert | Barathi, Veluchamy A. | Hysi, Pirro G. | Guggenheim, Jeremy A. | Höhn, René | Vitart, Veronique | Khawaja, Anthony P. | Yamashiro, Kenji | Hosseini, S Mohsen | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lu, Yi | Haller, Toomas | Xie, Jing | Delcourt, Cécile | Pirastu, Mario | Wedenoja, Juho | Gharahkhani, Puya | Venturini, Cristina | Miyake, Masahiro | Hewitt, Alex W. | Guo, Xiaobo | Mazur, Johanna | Huffman, Jenifer E. | Williams, Katie M. | Polasek, Ozren | Campbell, Harry | Rudan, Igor | Vatavuk, Zoran | Wilson, James F. | Joshi, Peter K. | McMahon, George | St Pourcain, Beate | Evans, David M. | Simpson, Claire L. | Schwantes-An, Tae-Hwi | Igo, Robert P. | Mirshahi, Alireza | Cougnard-Gregoire, Audrey | Bellenguez, Céline | Blettner, Maria | Raitakari, Olli | Kähönen, Mika | Seppala, Ilkka | Zeller, Tanja | Meitinger, Thomas | Ried, Janina S. | Gieger, Christian | Portas, Laura | van Leeuwen, Elisabeth M. | Amin, Najaf | Uitterlinden, André G. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Hofman, Albert | Vingerling, Johannes R. | Wang, Ya Xing | Wang, Xu | Tai-Hui Boh, Eileen | Ikram, M. Kamran | Sabanayagam, Charumathi | Gupta, Preeti | Tan, Vincent | Zhou, Lei | Ho, Candice E. H. | Lim, Wan'e | Beuerman, Roger W. | Siantar, Rosalynn | Tai, E-Shyong | Vithana, Eranga | Mihailov, Evelin | Khor, Chiea-Chuen | Hayward, Caroline | Luben, Robert N. | Foster, Paul J. | Klein, Barbara E. K. | Klein, Ronald | Wong, Hoi-Suen | Mitchell, Paul | Metspalu, Andres | Aung, Tin | Young, Terri L. | He, Mingguang | Pärssinen, Olavi | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Jin Wang, Jie | Williams, Cathy | Jonas, Jost B. | Teo, Yik-Ying | Mackey, David A. | Oexle, Konrad | Yoshimura, Nagahisa | Paterson, Andrew D. | Pfeiffer, Norbert | Wong, Tien-Yin | Baird, Paul N. | Stambolian, Dwight | Wilson, Joan E. Bailey | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Hammond, Christopher J. | Klaver, Caroline C. W. | Saw, Seang-Mei | Rahi, Jugnoo S. | Korobelnik, Jean-François | Kemp, John P. | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Smith, George Davey | Craig, Jamie E. | Burdon, Kathryn P. | Fogarty, Rhys D. | Iyengar, Sudha K. | Chew, Emily | Janmahasatian, Sarayut | Martin, Nicholas G. | MacGregor, Stuart | Xu, Liang | Schache, Maria | Nangia, Vinay | Panda-Jonas, Songhomitra | Wright, Alan F. | Fondran, Jeremy R. | Lass, Jonathan H. | Feng, Sheng | Zhao, Jing Hua | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Wareham, Nick J. | Rantanen, Taina | Kaprio, Jaakko | Pang, Chi Pui | Chen, Li Jia | Tam, Pancy O. | Jhanji, Vishal | Young, Alvin L. | Döring, Angela | Raffel, Leslie J. | Cotch, Mary-Frances | Li, Xiaohui | Yip, Shea Ping | Yap, Maurice K.H. | Biino, Ginevra | Vaccargiu, Simona | Fossarello, Maurizio | Fleck, Brian | Yazar, Seyhan | Tideman, Jan Willem L. | Tedja, Milly | Deangelis, Margaret M. | Morrison, Margaux | Farrer, Lindsay | Zhou, Xiangtian | Chen, Wei | Mizuki, Nobuhisa | Meguro, Akira | Mäkelä, Kari Matti
Nature Communications  2016;7:11008.
Myopia is the most common human eye disorder and it results from complex genetic and environmental causes. The rapidly increasing prevalence of myopia poses a major public health challenge. Here, the CREAM consortium performs a joint meta-analysis to test single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) main effects and SNP × education interaction effects on refractive error in 40,036 adults from 25 studies of European ancestry and 10,315 adults from 9 studies of Asian ancestry. In European ancestry individuals, we identify six novel loci (FAM150B-ACP1, LINC00340, FBN1, DIS3L-MAP2K1, ARID2-SNAT1 and SLC14A2) associated with refractive error. In Asian populations, three genome-wide significant loci AREG, GABRR1 and PDE10A also exhibit strong interactions with education (P<8.5 × 10−5), whereas the interactions are less evident in Europeans. The discovery of these loci represents an important advance in understanding how gene and environment interactions contribute to the heterogeneity of myopia.
This report by the Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia uses gene-environment-wide interaction study (GEWIS) to identify genetic loci that affect environmental influence in myopia development, and identifies ethnic specific genetic loci that attribute to eye refractive errors.
PMCID: PMC4820539  PMID: 27020472
6.  Evaluation of Presumably Disease Causing SCN1A Variants in a Cohort of Common Epilepsy Syndromes 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(3):e0150426.
The SCN1A gene, coding for the voltage-gated Na+ channel alpha subunit NaV1.1, is the clinically most relevant epilepsy gene. With the advent of high-throughput next-generation sequencing, clinical laboratories are generating an ever-increasing catalogue of SCN1A variants. Variants are more likely to be classified as pathogenic if they have already been identified previously in a patient with epilepsy. Here, we critically re-evaluate the pathogenicity of this class of variants in a cohort of patients with common epilepsy syndromes and subsequently ask whether a significant fraction of benign variants have been misclassified as pathogenic.
We screened a discovery cohort of 448 patients with a broad range of common genetic epilepsies and 734 controls for previously reported SCN1A mutations that were assumed to be disease causing. We re-evaluated the evidence for pathogenicity of the identified variants using in silico predictions, segregation, original reports, available functional data and assessment of allele frequencies in healthy individuals as well as in a follow up cohort of 777 patients.
Results and Interpretation
We identified 8 known missense mutations, previously reported as pathogenic, in a total of 17 unrelated epilepsy patients (17/448; 3.80%). Our re-evaluation indicates that 7 out of these 8 variants (p.R27T; p.R28C; p.R542Q; p.R604H; p.T1250M; p.E1308D; p.R1928G; NP_001159435.1) are not pathogenic. Only the p.T1174S mutation may be considered as a genetic risk factor for epilepsy of small effect size based on the enrichment in patients (P = 6.60 x 10−4; OR = 0.32, fishers exact test), previous functional studies but incomplete penetrance. Thus, incorporation of previous studies in genetic counseling of SCN1A sequencing results is challenging and may produce incorrect conclusions.
PMCID: PMC4798642  PMID: 26990884
7.  Identifying genetic risk variants for coronary heart disease in familial hypercholesterolemia: an extreme genetics approach 
Mutations in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene cause familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a disorder characterized by coronary heart disease (CHD) at young age. We aimed to apply an extreme sampling method to enhance the statistical power to identify novel genetic risk variants for CHD in individuals with FH. We selected cases and controls with an extreme contrast in CHD risk from 17 000 FH patients from the Netherlands, whose functional LDLR mutation was unequivocally established. The genome-wide association (GWA) study was performed on 249 very young FH cases with CHD and 217 old FH controls without CHD (above 65 years for males and 70 years of age for females) using the Illumina HumanHap550K chip. In the next stage, two independent samples (one from the Netherlands and one from Italy, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom) of FH patients were used as replication samples. In the initial GWA analysis, we identified 29 independent single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with suggestive associations with premature CHD (P<1 × 10−4). We examined the association of these SNPs with CHD risk in the replication samples. After Bonferroni correction, none of the SNPs either replicated or reached genome-wide significance after combining the discovery and replication samples. Therefore, we conclude that the genetics of CHD risk in FH is complex and even applying an ‘extreme genetics' approach we did not identify new genetic risk variants. Most likely, this method is not as effective in leveraging effect size as anticipated, and may, therefore, not lead to significant gains in statistical power.
PMCID: PMC4326701  PMID: 24916650
8.  Meta-analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies Identifies Novel Loci Associated With Optic Disc Morphology 
Genetic epidemiology  2015;39(3):207-216.
Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common optic neuropathy and an important cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The optic nerve head or optic disc is divided in two parts: a central cup (without nerve fibers) surrounded by the neuroretinal rim (containing axons of the retinal ganglion cells). The International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies consisting of 17,248 individuals of European ancestry and 6,841 individuals of Asian ancestry. The outcomes of the genome-wide association studies were disc area and cup area. These specific measurements describe optic nerve morphology in another way than the vertical cup-disc ratio, which is a clinically used measurement, and may shed light on new glaucoma mechanisms. We identified 10 new loci associated with disc area (CDC42BPA, F5, DIRC3, RARB, ABI3BP, DCAF4L2, ELP4, TMTC2, NR2F2, and HORMAD2) and another 10 new loci associated with cup area (DHRS3, TRIB2, EFEMP1, FLNB, FAM101, DDHD1, ASB7, KPNB1, BCAS3, and TRIOBP). The new genes participate in a number of pathways and future work is likely to identify more functions related to the pathogenesis of glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC4480365  PMID: 25631615
GWAS; disc area; cup area; glaucoma
9.  Gene co-expression analysis identifies brain regions and cell types involved in migraine pathophysiology: a GWAS-based study using the Allen Human Brain Atlas 
Human Genetics  2016;135:425-439.
Migraine is a common disabling neurovascular brain disorder typically characterised by attacks of severe headache and associated with autonomic and neurological symptoms. Migraine is caused by an interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over a dozen genetic loci associated with migraine. Here, we integrated migraine GWAS data with high-resolution spatial gene expression data of normal adult brains from the Allen Human Brain Atlas to identify specific brain regions and molecular pathways that are possibly involved in migraine pathophysiology. To this end, we used two complementary methods. In GWAS data from 23,285 migraine cases and 95,425 controls, we first studied modules of co-expressed genes that were calculated based on human brain expression data for enrichment of genes that showed association with migraine. Enrichment of a migraine GWAS signal was found for five modules that suggest involvement in migraine pathophysiology of: (i) neurotransmission, protein catabolism and mitochondria in the cortex; (ii) transcription regulation in the cortex and cerebellum; and (iii) oligodendrocytes and mitochondria in subcortical areas. Second, we used the high-confidence genes from the migraine GWAS as a basis to construct local migraine-related co-expression gene networks. Signatures of all brain regions and pathways that were prominent in the first method also surfaced in the second method, thus providing support that these brain regions and pathways are indeed involved in migraine pathophysiology.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00439-016-1638-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4796339  PMID: 26899160
10.  The impact of low-frequency and rare variants on lipid levels 
Surakka, Ida | Horikoshi, Momoko | Mägi, Reedik | Sarin, Antti-Pekka | Mahajan, Anubha | Lagou, Vasiliki | Marullo, Letizia | Ferreira, Teresa | Miraglio, Benjamin | Timonen, Sanna | Kettunen, Johannes | Pirinen, Matti | Karjalainen, Juha | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Hägg, Sara | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Isaacs, Aaron | Ladenvall, Claes | Beekman, Marian | Esko, Tõnu | Ried, Janina S | Nelson, Christopher P | Willenborg, Christina | Gustafsson, Stefan | Westra, Harm-Jan | Blades, Matthew | de Craen, Anton JM | de Geus, Eco J | Deelen, Joris | Grallert, Harald | Hamsten, Anders | Havulinna, Aki S. | Hengstenberg, Christian | Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine J | Hyppönen, Elina | Karssen, Lennart C | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Magnusson, Patrik KE | Mihailov, Evelin | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Mpindi, John-Patrick | Pedersen, Nancy L | Penninx, Brenda WJH | Perola, Markus | Pers, Tune H | Peters, Annette | Rung, Johan | Smit, Johannes H | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Tobin, Martin D | Tsernikova, Natalia | van Leeuwen, Elisabeth M | Viikari, Jorma S | Willems, Sara M | Willemsen, Gonneke | Schunkert, Heribert | Erdmann, Jeanette | Samani, Nilesh J | Kaprio, Jaakko | Lind, Lars | Gieger, Christian | Metspalu, Andres | Slagboom, P Eline | Groop, Leif | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Eriksson, Johan G | Jula, Antti | Salomaa, Veikko | Boomsma, Dorret I | Power, Christine | Raitakari, Olli T | Ingelsson, Erik | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Stefansson, Kari | Franke, Lude | Ikonen, Elina | Kallioniemi, Olli | Pietiäinen, Vilja | Lindgren, Cecilia M | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Palotie, Aarno | McCarthy, Mark I | Morris, Andrew P | Prokopenko, Inga | Ripatti, Samuli
Nature genetics  2015;47(6):589-597.
Using a genome-wide screen of 9.6 million genetic variants achieved through 1000 Genomes imputation in 62,166 samples, we identify association to lipids in 93 loci including 79 previously identified loci with new lead-SNPs, 10 new loci, 15 loci with a low-frequency and 10 loci with missense lead-SNPs, and, 2 loci with an accumulation of rare variants. In six loci, SNPs with established function in lipid genetics (CELSR2, GCKR, LIPC, and APOE), or candidate missense mutations with predicted damaging function (CD300LG and TM6SF2), explained the locus associations. The low-frequency variants increased the proportion of variance explained, particularly for LDL-C and TC. Altogether, our results highlight the impact of low-frequency variants in complex traits and show that imputation offers a cost-effective alternative to re-sequencing.
PMCID: PMC4757735  PMID: 25961943
11.  Genome-wide association study identifies novel genetic variants contributing to variation in blood metabolite levels 
Nature communications  2015;6:7208.
Metabolites are small molecules involved in cellular metabolism, which can be detected in biological samples using metabolomic techniques. Here we present the results of genome-wide association and meta-analyses for variation in the blood serum levels of 129 metabolites as measured by the Biocrates metabolomic platform. In a discovery sample of 7,478 individuals of European descent, we find 4,068 genome- and metabolome-wide significant (Z-test, P < 1.09 × 10−9) associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and metabolites, involving 59 independent SNPs and 85 metabolites. Five of the fifty-nine independent SNPs are new for serum metabolite levels, and were followed-up for replication in an independent sample (N=1,182). The novel SNPs are located in or near genes encoding metabolite transporter proteins or enzymes (SLC22A16, ARG1, AGPS and ACSL1) that have demonstrated biomedical or pharmaceutical importance. The further characterization of genetic influences on metabolic phenotypes is important for progress in biological and medical research.
PMCID: PMC4745136  PMID: 26068415
12.  Genome-wide meta-analysis uncovers novel loci influencing circulating leptin levels 
Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O. | Carli, Jayne F. Martin | Skowronski, Alicja A. | Sun, Qi | Kriebel, Jennifer | Feitosa, Mary F | Hedman, Åsa K. | Drong, Alexander W. | Hayes, James E. | Zhao, Jinghua | Pers, Tune H. | Schick, Ursula | Grarup, Niels | Kutalik, Zoltán | Trompet, Stella | Mangino, Massimo | Kristiansson, Kati | Beekman, Marian | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Eriksson, Joel | Henneman, Peter | Lahti, Jari | Tanaka, Toshiko | Luan, Jian'an | Greco M, Fabiola Del | Pasko, Dorota | Renström, Frida | Willems, Sara M. | Mahajan, Anubha | Rose, Lynda M. | Guo, Xiuqing | Liu, Yongmei | Kleber, Marcus E. | Pérusse, Louis | Gaunt, Tom | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S. | Ju Sung, Yun | Ramos, Yolande F. | Amin, Najaf | Amuzu, Antoinette | Barroso, Inês | Bellis, Claire | Blangero, John | Buckley, Brendan M. | Böhringer, Stefan | I Chen, Yii-Der | de Craen, Anton J. N. | Crosslin, David R. | Dale, Caroline E. | Dastani, Zari | Day, Felix R. | Deelen, Joris | Delgado, Graciela E. | Demirkan, Ayse | Finucane, Francis M. | Ford, Ian | Garcia, Melissa E. | Gieger, Christian | Gustafsson, Stefan | Hallmans, Göran | Hankinson, Susan E. | Havulinna, Aki S | Herder, Christian | Hernandez, Dena | Hicks, Andrew A. | Hunter, David J. | Illig, Thomas | Ingelsson, Erik | Ioan-Facsinay, Andreea | Jansson, John-Olov | Jenny, Nancy S. | Jørgensen, Marit E. | Jørgensen, Torben | Karlsson, Magnus | Koenig, Wolfgang | Kraft, Peter | Kwekkeboom, Joanneke | Laatikainen, Tiina | Ladwig, Karl-Heinz | LeDuc, Charles A. | Lowe, Gordon | Lu, Yingchang | Marques-Vidal, Pedro | Meisinger, Christa | Menni, Cristina | Morris, Andrew P. | Myers, Richard H. | Männistö, Satu | Nalls, Mike A. | Paternoster, Lavinia | Peters, Annette | Pradhan, Aruna D. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rasmussen-Torvik, Laura J. | Rathmann, Wolfgang | Rice, Treva K. | Brent Richards, J | Ridker, Paul M. | Sattar, Naveed | Savage, David B. | Söderberg, Stefan | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Vandenput, Liesbeth | van Heemst, Diana | Uh, Hae-Won | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Walker, Mark | Wichmann, Heinz-Erich | Widén, Elisabeth | Wood, Andrew R. | Yao, Jie | Zeller, Tanja | Zhang, Yiying | Meulenbelt, Ingrid | Kloppenburg, Margreet | Astrup, Arne | Sørensen, Thorkild I. A. | Sarzynski, Mark A. | Rao, D. C. | Jousilahti, Pekka | Vartiainen, Erkki | Hofman, Albert | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Uitterlinden, André G. | Kajantie, Eero | Osmond, Clive | Palotie, Aarno | Eriksson, Johan G. | Heliövaara, Markku | Knekt, Paul B. | Koskinen, Seppo | Jula, Antti | Perola, Markus | Huupponen, Risto K. | Viikari, Jorma S. | Kähönen, Mika | Lehtimäki, Terho | Raitakari, Olli T. | Mellström, Dan | Lorentzon, Mattias | Casas, Juan P. | Bandinelli, Stefanie | März, Winfried | Isaacs, Aaron | van Dijk, Ko W. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Harris, Tamara B. | Bouchard, Claude | Allison, Matthew A. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Ohlsson, Claes | Lind, Lars | Scott, Robert A. | Langenberg, Claudia | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Frayling, Timothy M. | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Waterworth, Dawn M. | Bergmann, Sven | Waeber, Gérard | Vollenweider, Peter | Vestergaard, Henrik | Hansen, Torben | Pedersen, Oluf | Hu, Frank B. | Eline Slagboom, P | Grallert, Harald | Spector, Tim D. | Jukema, J.W. | Klein, Robert J. | Schadt, Erik E | Franks, Paul W. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Leibel, Rudolph L. | Loos, Ruth J. F.
Nature Communications  2016;7:10494.
Leptin is an adipocyte-secreted hormone, the circulating levels of which correlate closely with overall adiposity. Although rare mutations in the leptin (LEP) gene are well known to cause leptin deficiency and severe obesity, no common loci regulating circulating leptin levels have been uncovered. Therefore, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating leptin levels from 32,161 individuals and followed up loci reaching P<10−6 in 19,979 additional individuals. We identify five loci robustly associated (P<5 × 10−8) with leptin levels in/near LEP, SLC32A1, GCKR, CCNL1 and FTO. Although the association of the FTO obesity locus with leptin levels is abolished by adjustment for BMI, associations of the four other loci are independent of adiposity. The GCKR locus was found associated with multiple metabolic traits in previous GWAS and the CCNL1 locus with birth weight. Knockdown experiments in mouse adipose tissue explants show convincing evidence for adipogenin, a regulator of adipocyte differentiation, as the novel causal gene in the SLC32A1 locus influencing leptin levels. Our findings provide novel insights into the regulation of leptin production by adipose tissue and open new avenues for examining the influence of variation in leptin levels on adiposity and metabolic health.
This meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies four genetic loci associated with circulating leptin levels independent of adiposity. Examination in mouse adipose tissue explants provides functional support for the leptin-associated loci.
PMCID: PMC4740377  PMID: 26833098
13.  New loci for body fat percentage reveal link between adiposity and cardiometabolic disease risk 
Lu, Yingchang | Day, Felix R. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Buchkovich, Martin L. | Na, Jianbo | Bataille, Veronique | Cousminer, Diana L. | Dastani, Zari | Drong, Alexander W. | Esko, Tõnu | Evans, David M. | Falchi, Mario | Feitosa, Mary F. | Ferreira, Teresa | Hedman, Åsa K. | Haring, Robin | Hysi, Pirro G. | Iles, Mark M. | Justice, Anne E. | Kanoni, Stavroula | Lagou, Vasiliki | Li, Rui | Li, Xin | Locke, Adam | Lu, Chen | Mägi, Reedik | Perry, John R. B. | Pers, Tune H. | Qi, Qibin | Sanna, Marianna | Schmidt, Ellen M. | Scott, William R. | Shungin, Dmitry | Teumer, Alexander | Vinkhuyzen, Anna A. E. | Walker, Ryan W. | Westra, Harm-Jan | Zhang, Mingfeng | Zhang, Weihua | Zhao, Jing Hua | Zhu, Zhihong | Afzal, Uzma | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer Singh | Bakker, Stephan J. L. | Bellis, Claire | Bonnefond, Amélie | Borodulin, Katja | Buchman, Aron S. | Cederholm, Tommy | Choh, Audrey C. | Choi, Hyung Jin | Curran, Joanne E. | de Groot, Lisette C. P. G. M. | De Jager, Philip L. | Dhonukshe-Rutten, Rosalie A. M. | Enneman, Anke W. | Eury, Elodie | Evans, Daniel S. | Forsen, Tom | Friedrich, Nele | Fumeron, Frédéric | Garcia, Melissa E. | Gärtner, Simone | Han, Bok-Ghee | Havulinna, Aki S. | Hayward, Caroline | Hernandez, Dena | Hillege, Hans | Ittermann, Till | Kent, Jack W. | Kolcic, Ivana | Laatikainen, Tiina | Lahti, Jari | Leach, Irene Mateo | Lee, Christine G. | Lee, Jong-Young | Liu, Tian | Liu, Youfang | Lobbens, Stéphane | Loh, Marie | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Michaëlsson, Karl | Nalls, Mike A. | Nielson, Carrie M. | Oozageer, Laticia | Pascoe, Laura | Paternoster, Lavinia | Polašek, Ozren | Ripatti, Samuli | Sarzynski, Mark A. | Shin, Chan Soo | Narančić, Nina Smolej | Spira, Dominik | Srikanth, Priya | Steinhagen-Thiessen, Elisabeth | Sung, Yun Ju | Swart, Karin M. A. | Taittonen, Leena | Tanaka, Toshiko | Tikkanen, Emmi | van der Velde, Nathalie | van Schoor, Natasja M. | Verweij, Niek | Wright, Alan F. | Yu, Lei | Zmuda, Joseph M. | Eklund, Niina | Forrester, Terrence | Grarup, Niels | Jackson, Anne U. | Kristiansson, Kati | Kuulasmaa, Teemu | Kuusisto, Johanna | Lichtner, Peter | Luan, Jian'an | Mahajan, Anubha | Männistö, Satu | Palmer, Cameron D. | Ried, Janina S. | Scott, Robert A. | Stancáková, Alena | Wagner, Peter J. | Demirkan, Ayse | Döring, Angela | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Kiel, Douglas P. | Kühnel, Brigitte | Mangino, Massimo | Mcknight, Barbara | Menni, Cristina | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Oostra, Ben A. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Song, Kijoung | Vandenput, Liesbeth | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Vollenweider, Peter | White, Charles C. | Boehnke, Michael | Boettcher, Yvonne | Cooper, Richard S. | Forouhi, Nita G. | Gieger, Christian | Grallert, Harald | Hingorani, Aroon | Jørgensen, Torben | Jousilahti, Pekka | Kivimaki, Mika | Kumari, Meena | Laakso, Markku | Langenberg, Claudia | Linneberg, Allan | Luke, Amy | Mckenzie, Colin A. | Palotie, Aarno | Pedersen, Oluf | Peters, Annette | Strauch, Konstantin | Tayo, Bamidele O. | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Bennett, David A. | Bertram, Lars | Blangero, John | Blüher, Matthias | Bouchard, Claude | Campbell, Harry | Cho, Nam H. | Cummings, Steven R. | Czerwinski, Stefan A. | Demuth, Ilja | Eckardt, Rahel | Eriksson, Johan G. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Franco, Oscar H. | Froguel, Philippe | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Hansen, Torben | Harris, Tamara B. | Hastie, Nicholas | Heliövaara, Markku | Hofman, Albert | Jordan, Joanne M. | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kajantie, Eero | Knekt, Paul B. | Koskinen, Seppo | Kovacs, Peter | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lind, Lars | Liu, Yongmei | Orwoll, Eric S. | Osmond, Clive | Perola, Markus | Pérusse, Louis | Raitakari, Olli T. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rao, D. C. | Rice, Treva K. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Sørensen, Thorkild I. A. | Stumvoll, Michael | Tönjes, Anke | Towne, Bradford | Tranah, Gregory J. | Tremblay, Angelo | Uitterlinden, André G. | van der Harst, Pim | Vartiainen, Erkki | Viikari, Jorma S. | Vitart, Veronique | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Völzke, Henry | Walker, Mark | Wallaschofski, Henri | Wild, Sarah | Wilson, James F. | Yengo, Loïc | Bishop, D. Timothy | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Chambers, John C. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Dehghan, Abbas | Deloukas, Panos | Fatemifar, Ghazaleh | Fox, Caroline | Furey, Terrence S. | Franke, Lude | Han, Jiali | Hunter, David J. | Karjalainen, Juha | Karpe, Fredrik | Kaplan, Robert C. | Kooner, Jaspal S. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Murabito, Joanne M. | Morris, Andrew P. | Bishop, Julia A. N. | North, Kari E. | Ohlsson, Claes | Ong, Ken K. | Prokopenko, Inga | Richards, J. Brent | Schadt, Eric E. | Spector, Tim D. | Widén, Elisabeth | Willer, Cristen J. | Yang, Jian | Ingelsson, Erik | Mohlke, Karen L. | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Pospisilik, John Andrew | Zillikens, M. Carola | Lindgren, Cecilia | Kilpeläinen, Tuomas Oskari | Loos, Ruth J. F.
Nature Communications  2016;7:10495.
To increase our understanding of the genetic basis of adiposity and its links to cardiometabolic disease risk, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of body fat percentage (BF%) in up to 100,716 individuals. Twelve loci reached genome-wide significance (P<5 × 10−8), of which eight were previously associated with increased overall adiposity (BMI, BF%) and four (in or near COBLL1/GRB14, IGF2BP1, PLA2G6, CRTC1) were novel associations with BF%. Seven loci showed a larger effect on BF% than on BMI, suggestive of a primary association with adiposity, while five loci showed larger effects on BMI than on BF%, suggesting association with both fat and lean mass. In particular, the loci more strongly associated with BF% showed distinct cross-phenotype association signatures with a range of cardiometabolic traits revealing new insights in the link between adiposity and disease risk.
A genome-wide association meta-analysis study here shows novel genetic loci to be associated to body fat percentage, and describes cross-phenotype association that further demonstrate a close relationship between adiposity and cardiovascular disease risk.
PMCID: PMC4740398  PMID: 26833246
14.  GWAS of Longevity in CHARGE Consortium Confirms APOE and FOXO3 Candidacy 
The genetic contribution to longevity in humans has been estimated to range from 15% to 25%. Only two genes, APOE and FOXO3, have shown association with longevity in multiple independent studies.
We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies including 6,036 longevity cases, age ≥90 years, and 3,757 controls that died between ages 55 and 80 years. We additionally attempted to replicate earlier identified single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations with longevity.
In our meta-analysis, we found suggestive evidence for the association of SNPs near CADM2 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.81; p value = 9.66 × 10−7) and GRIK2 (odds ratio = 1.24; p value = 5.09 × 10−8) with longevity. When attempting to replicate findings earlier identified in genome-wide association studies, only the APOE locus consistently replicated. In an additional look-up of the candidate gene FOXO3, we found that an earlier identified variant shows a highly significant association with longevity when including published data with our meta-analysis (odds ratio = 1.17; p value = 1.85×10−10).
We did not identify new genome-wide significant associations with longevity and did not replicate earlier findings except for APOE and FOXO3. Our inability to find new associations with survival to ages ≥90 years because longevity represents multiple complex traits with heterogeneous genetic underpinnings, or alternatively, that longevity may be regulated by rare variants that are not captured by standard genome-wide genotyping and imputation of common variants.
PMCID: PMC4296168  PMID: 25199915
Longevity; GWAS; FOXO3; APOE.
15.  Genome-wide patterns and properties of de novo mutations in humans 
Nature genetics  2015;47(7):822-826.
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.
PMCID: PMC4485564  PMID: 25985141
16.  Trans-ethnic meta-analysis of white blood cell phenotypes 
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(25):6944-6960.
White blood cell (WBC) count is a common clinical measure used as a predictor of certain aspects of human health, including immunity and infection status. WBC count is also a complex trait that varies among individuals and ancestry groups. Differences in linkage disequilibrium structure and heterogeneity in allelic effects are expected to play a role in the associations observed between populations. Prior genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses have identified genomic loci associated with WBC and its subtypes, but much of the heritability of these phenotypes remains unexplained. Using GWAS summary statistics for over 50 000 individuals from three diverse populations (Japanese, African-American and European ancestry), a Bayesian model methodology was employed to account for heterogeneity between ancestry groups. This approach was used to perform a trans-ethnic meta-analysis of total WBC, neutrophil and monocyte counts. Ten previously known associations were replicated and six new loci were identified, including several regions harboring genes related to inflammation and immune cell function. Ninety-five percent credible interval regions were calculated to narrow the association signals and fine-map the putatively causal variants within loci. Finally, a conditional analysis was performed on the most significant SNPs identified by the trans-ethnic meta-analysis (MA), and nine secondary signals within loci previously associated with WBC or its subtypes were identified. This work illustrates the potential of trans-ethnic analysis and ascribes a critical role to multi-ethnic cohorts and consortia in exploring complex phenotypes with respect to variants that lie outside the European-biased GWAS pool.
PMCID: PMC4245044  PMID: 25096241
17.  Genome-wide association study identifies novel locus for neuroticism and shows polygenic association with Major Depressive Disorder 
de Moor, Marleen H.M. | van den Berg, Stéphanie M. | Verweij, Karin J.H. | Krueger, Robert F. | Luciano, Michelle | Vasquez, Alejandro Arias | Matteson, Lindsay K. | Derringer, Jaime | Esko, Tõnu | Amin, Najaf | Gordon, Scott D. | Hansell, Narelle K. | Hart, Amy B. | Seppälä, Ilkka | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Konte, Bettina | Lahti, Jari | Lee, Minyoung | Miller, Mike | Nutile, Teresa | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teumer, Alexander | Viktorin, Alexander | Wedenoja, Juho | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Adkins, Daniel E. | Agrawal, Arpana | Allik, Jüri | Appel, Katja | Bigdeli, Timothy B. | Busonero, Fabio | Campbell, Harry | Costa, Paul T. | Smith, George Davey | Davies, Gail | de Wit, Harriet | Ding, Jun | Engelhardt, Barbara E. | Eriksson, Johan G. | Fedko, Iryna O. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Franke, Barbara | Giegling, Ina | Grucza, Richard | Hartmann, Annette M. | Heath, Andrew C. | Heinonen, Kati | Henders, Anjali K. | Homuth, Georg | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Janzing, Joost | Jokela, Markus | Karlsson, Robert | Kemp, John P. | Kirkpatrick, Matthew G. | Latvala, Antti | Lehtimäki, Terho | Liewald, David C. | Madden, Pamela A.F. | Magri, Chiara | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Marten, Jonathan | Maschio, Andrea | Medland, Sarah E. | Mihailov, Evelin | Milaneschi, Yuri | Montgomery, Grant W. | Nauck, Matthias | Ouwens, Klaasjan G. | Palotie, Aarno | Pettersson, Erik | Polasek, Ozren | Qian, Yong | Pulkki-Råback, Laura | Raitakari, Olli T. | Realo, Anu | Rose, Richard J. | Ruggiero, Daniela | Schmidt, Carsten O. | Slutske, Wendy S. | Sorice, Rossella | Starr, John M. | Pourcain, Beate St | Sutin, Angelina R. | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Trochet, Holly | Vermeulen, Sita | Vuoksimaa, Eero | Widen, Elisabeth | Wouda, Jasper | Wright, Margaret J. | Zgaga, Lina | Scotland, Generation | Porteous, David | Minelli, Alessandra | Palmer, Abraham A. | Rujescu, Dan | Ciullo, Marina | Hayward, Caroline | Rudan, Igor | Metspalu, Andres | Kaprio, Jaakko | Deary, Ian J. | Räikkönen, Katri | Wilson, James F. | Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa | Bierut, Laura J. | Hettema, John M. | Grabe, Hans J. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Evans, David M. | Schlessinger, David | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Terracciano, Antonio | McGue, Matt | Penninx, Brenda W.J.H. | Martin, Nicholas G. | Boomsma, Dorret I.
JAMA psychiatry  2015;72(7):642-650.
Neuroticism is a personality trait that is briefly defined by emotional instability. It is a robust genetic risk factor for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Hence, neuroticism is an important phenotype for psychiatric genetics. The Genetics of Personality Consortium (GPC) has created a resource for genome-wide association analyses of personality traits in over 63,000 participants (including MDD cases).
To identify genetic variants associated with neuroticism by performing a meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) results based on 1000Genomes imputation, to evaluate if common genetic variants as assessed by Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) explain variation in neuroticism by estimating SNP-based heritability, and to examine whether SNPs that predict neuroticism also predict MDD.
30 cohorts with genome-wide genotype, personality and MDD data from the GPC.
The study included 63,661 participants from 29 discovery cohorts and 9,786 participants from a replication cohort. Participants came from Europe, the United States or Australia.
Main outcome measure(s)
Neuroticism scores harmonized across all cohorts by Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis, and clinically assessed MDD case-control status.
A genome-wide significant SNP was found in the MAGI1 gene (rs35855737; P=9.26 × 10−9 in the discovery meta-analysis, and P=2.38 × 10−8 in the meta-analysis of all 30 cohorts). Common genetic variants explain 15% of the variance in neuroticism. Polygenic scores based on the meta-analysis of neuroticism in 27 of the discovery cohorts significantly predicted neuroticism in 2 independent cohorts. Importantly, polygenic scores also predicted MDD in these cohorts.
Conclusions and relevance
This study identifies a novel locus for neuroticism. The variant is located in a known gene that has been associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in previous studies. In addition, the study shows that neuroticism is influenced by many genetic variants of small effect that are either common or tagged by common variants. These genetic variants also influence MDD. Future studies should confirm the role of the MAGI1 locus for neuroticism, and further investigate the association of MAGI1 and the polygenic association to a range of other psychiatric disorders that are phenotypically correlated with neuroticism.
PMCID: PMC4667957  PMID: 25993607
18.  Pathologically confirmed autoimmune encephalitis in suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease 
To determine the clinical features and presence in CSF of antineuronal antibodies in patients with pathologically proven autoimmune encephalitis derived from a cohort of patients with suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
The Dutch Surveillance Centre for Prion Diseases performed 384 autopsies on patients with suspected CJD over a 14-year period (1998–2011). Clinical information was collected from treating physicians. Antineuronal antibodies were tested in CSF obtained postmortem by immunohistochemistry on fresh frozen rat brain sections, by Luminex assay for the presence of well-characterized onconeural antibodies, and by cell-based assays for antibodies against NMDAR, GABABR1/2, GABAAR GLUR1/2, LGI1, Caspr2, and DPPX.
In 203 patients, a diagnosis of definite CJD was made, while in 181 a variety of other conditions were diagnosed, mainly neurodegenerative. In 22 of these 181, the neuropathologist diagnosed autoimmune encephalitis. One patient was excluded because of lack of clinical information. Inflammatory infiltrates were predominantly perivascular and consisted mainly of T cells. The predominant locations were basal ganglia and thalamus (90%) and temporal lobes and hippocampus (81%). In 6 patients (29%), antineuronal antibodies were detected in postmortem CSF, directed against Hu, NMDAR, GABABR1/2, Caspr2, and an unidentified synaptic antigen in 2. The most frequent symptoms were dementia (90%), gait disturbance (86%), cerebellar signs (67%), and neuropsychiatric symptoms (67%). Immunopathologic and clinical findings did not differ between autoantibody-negative patients and patients with antineuronal antibodies.
It is important to consider immune-mediated disorders in the differential diagnosis of rapidly progressive neurologic deficits.
PMCID: PMC4645173  PMID: 26601117
20.  The Rotterdam Study: 2016 objectives and design update 
The Rotterdam Study is a prospective cohort study ongoing since 1990 in the city of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The study targets cardiovascular, endocrine, hepatic, neurological, ophthalmic, psychiatric, dermatological, otolaryngological, locomotor, and respiratory diseases. As of 2008, 14,926 subjects aged 45 years or over comprise the Rotterdam Study cohort. The findings of the Rotterdam Study have been presented in over 1200 research articles and reports (see This article gives the rationale of the study and its design. It also presents a summary of the major findings and an update of the objectives and methods.
PMCID: PMC4579264  PMID: 26386597
Biomarkers; Cardiovascular diseases; Cohort study; Dermatological diseases; Endocrine diseases; Epidemiologic methods; Genetic epidemiology; Liver diseases; Neurological diseases; Oncology; Ophthalmic diseases; Otolaryngological diseases; Pharmacoepidemiology; Renal diseases; Psychiatric diseases; Respiratory diseases
21.  Meta-analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies for Extraversion: Findings from the Genetics of Personality Consortium 
van den Berg, Stéphanie M. | de Moor, Marleen H. M. | Verweij, Karin J. H. | Krueger, Robert F. | Luciano, Michelle | Arias Vasquez, Alejandro | Matteson, Lindsay K. | Derringer, Jaime | Esko, Tõnu | Amin, Najaf | Gordon, Scott D. | Hansell, Narelle K. | Hart, Amy B. | Seppälä, Ilkka | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Konte, Bettina | Lahti, Jari | Lee, Minyoung | Miller, Mike | Nutile, Teresa | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teumer, Alexander | Viktorin, Alexander | Wedenoja, Juho | Abdellaoui, Abdel | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Adkins, Daniel E. | Agrawal, Arpana | Allik, Jüri | Appel, Katja | Bigdeli, Timothy B. | Busonero, Fabio | Campbell, Harry | Costa, Paul T. | Smith, George Davey | Davies, Gail | de Wit, Harriet | Ding, Jun | Engelhardt, Barbara E. | Eriksson, Johan G. | Fedko, Iryna O. | Ferrucci, Luigi | Franke, Barbara | Giegling, Ina | Grucza, Richard | Hartmann, Annette M. | Heath, Andrew C. | Heinonen, Kati | Henders, Anjali K. | Homuth, Georg | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Iacono, William G. | Janzing, Joost | Jokela, Markus | Karlsson, Robert | Kemp, John P. | Kirkpatrick, Matthew G. | Latvala, Antti | Lehtimäki, Terho | Liewald, David C. | Madden, Pamela A. F. | Magri, Chiara | Magnusson, Patrik K. E. | Marten, Jonathan | Maschio, Andrea | Mbarek, Hamdi | Medland, Sarah E. | Mihailov, Evelin | Milaneschi, Yuri | Montgomery, Grant W. | Nauck, Matthias | Nivard, Michel G. | Ouwens, Klaasjan G. | Palotie, Aarno | Pettersson, Erik | Polasek, Ozren | Qian, Yong | Pulkki-Råback, Laura | Raitakari, Olli T. | Realo, Anu | Rose, Richard J. | Ruggiero, Daniela | Schmidt, Carsten O. | Slutske, Wendy S. | Sorice, Rossella | Starr, John M. | St Pourcain, Beate | Sutin, Angelina R. | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Trochet, Holly | Vermeulen, Sita | Vuoksimaa, Eero | Widen, Elisabeth | Wouda, Jasper | Wright, Margaret J. | Zgaga, Lina | Porteous, David | Minelli, Alessandra | Palmer, Abraham A. | Rujescu, Dan | Ciullo, Marina | Hayward, Caroline | Rudan, Igor | Metspalu, Andres | Kaprio, Jaakko | Deary, Ian J. | Räikkönen, Katri | Wilson, James F. | Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa | Bierut, Laura J. | Hettema, John M. | Grabe, Hans J. | Penninx, Brenda W. J. H. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Evans, David M. | Schlessinger, David | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Terracciano, Antonio | McGue, Matt | Martin, Nicholas G. | Boomsma, Dorret I.
Behavior Genetics  2015;46:170-182.
Extraversion is a relatively stable and heritable personality trait associated with numerous psychosocial, lifestyle and health outcomes. Despite its substantial heritability, no genetic variants have been detected in previous genome-wide association (GWA) studies, which may be due to relatively small sample sizes of those studies. Here, we report on a large meta-analysis of GWA studies for extraversion in 63,030 subjects in 29 cohorts. Extraversion item data from multiple personality inventories were harmonized across inventories and cohorts. No genome-wide significant associations were found at the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) level but there was one significant hit at the gene level for a long non-coding RNA site (LOC101928162). Genome-wide complex trait analysis in two large cohorts showed that the additive variance explained by common SNPs was not significantly different from zero, but polygenic risk scores, weighted using linkage information, significantly predicted extraversion scores in an independent cohort. These results show that extraversion is a highly polygenic personality trait, with an architecture possibly different from other complex human traits, including other personality traits. Future studies are required to further determine which genetic variants, by what modes of gene action, constitute the heritable nature of extraversion.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10519-015-9735-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4751159  PMID: 26362575
Personality; Phenotype harmonization; Common genetic variants; Imputation; Polygenic risk
22.  New genetic loci link adipose and insulin biology to body fat distribution 
Shungin, Dmitry | Winkler, Thomas W | Croteau-Chonka, Damien C | Ferreira, Teresa | Locke, Adam E | Mägi, Reedik | Strawbridge, Rona J | Pers, Tune H | Fischer, Krista | Justice, Anne E | Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie | Wu, Joseph M.W. | Buchkovich, Martin L | Heard-Costa, Nancy L | Roman, Tamara S | Drong, Alexander W | Song, Ci | Gustafsson, Stefan | Day, Felix R | Esko, Tonu | Fall, Tove | Kutalik, Zoltán | Luan, Jian’an | Randall, Joshua C | Scherag, André | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wood, Andrew R | Chen, Jin | Fehrmann, Rudolf | Karjalainen, Juha | Kahali, Bratati | Liu, Ching-Ti | Schmidt, Ellen M | Absher, Devin | Amin, Najaf | Anderson, Denise | Beekman, Marian | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L | Buyske, Steven | Demirkan, Ayse | Ehret, Georg B | Feitosa, Mary F | Goel, Anuj | Jackson, Anne U | Johnson, Toby | Kleber, Marcus E | Kristiansson, Kati | Mangino, Massimo | Leach, Irene Mateo | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Palmer, Cameron D | Pasko, Dorota | Pechlivanis, Sonali | Peters, Marjolein J | Prokopenko, Inga | Stančáková, Alena | Sung, Yun Ju | Tanaka, Toshiko | Teumer, Alexander | Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V | Yengo, Loïc | Zhang, Weihua | Albrecht, Eva | Ärnlöv, Johan | Arscott, Gillian M | Bandinelli, Stefania | Barrett, Amy | Bellis, Claire | Bennett, Amanda J | Berne, Christian | Blüher, Matthias | Böhringer, Stefan | Bonnet, Fabrice | Böttcher, Yvonne | Bruinenberg, Marcel | Carba, Delia B | Caspersen, Ida H | Clarke, Robert | Daw, E Warwick | Deelen, Joris | Deelman, Ewa | Delgado, Graciela | Doney, Alex SF | Eklund, Niina | Erdos, Michael R | Estrada, Karol | Eury, Elodie | Friedrich, Nele | Garcia, Melissa E | Giedraitis, Vilmantas | Gigante, Bruna | Go, Alan S | Golay, Alain | Grallert, Harald | Grammer, Tanja B | Gräßler, Jürgen | Grewal, Jagvir | Groves, Christopher J | Haller, Toomas | Hallmans, Goran | Hartman, Catharina A | Hassinen, Maija | Hayward, Caroline | Heikkilä, Kauko | Herzig, Karl-Heinz | Helmer, Quinta | Hillege, Hans L | Holmen, Oddgeir | Hunt, Steven C | Isaacs, Aaron | Ittermann, Till | James, Alan L | Johansson, Ingegerd | Juliusdottir, Thorhildur | Kalafati, Ioanna-Panagiota | Kinnunen, Leena | Koenig, Wolfgang | Kooner, Ishminder K | Kratzer, Wolfgang | Lamina, Claudia | Leander, Karin | Lee, Nanette R | Lichtner, Peter | Lind, Lars | Lindström, Jaana | Lobbens, Stéphane | Lorentzon, Mattias | Mach, François | Magnusson, Patrik KE | Mahajan, Anubha | McArdle, Wendy L | Menni, Cristina | Merger, Sigrun | Mihailov, Evelin | Milani, Lili | Mills, Rebecca | Moayyeri, Alireza | Monda, Keri L | Mooijaart, Simon P | Mühleisen, Thomas W | Mulas, Antonella | Müller, Gabriele | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nagaraja, Ramaiah | Nalls, Michael A | Narisu, Narisu | Glorioso, Nicola | Nolte, Ilja M | Olden, Matthias | Rayner, Nigel W | Renstrom, Frida | Ried, Janina S | Robertson, Neil R | Rose, Lynda M | Sanna, Serena | Scharnagl, Hubert | Scholtens, Salome | Sennblad, Bengt | Seufferlein, Thomas | Sitlani, Colleen M | Smith, Albert Vernon | Stirrups, Kathleen | Stringham, Heather M | Sundström, Johan | Swertz, Morris A | Swift, Amy J | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Tayo, Bamidele O | Thorand, Barbara | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Tomaschitz, Andreas | Troffa, Chiara | van Oort, Floor VA | Verweij, Niek | Vonk, Judith M | Waite, Lindsay L | Wennauer, Roman | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wojczynski, Mary K | Wong, Andrew | Zhang, Qunyuan | Zhao, Jing Hua | Brennan, Eoin P. | Choi, Murim | Eriksson, Per | Folkersen, Lasse | Franco-Cereceda, Anders | Gharavi, Ali G | Hedman, Åsa K | Hivert, Marie-France | Huang, Jinyan | Kanoni, Stavroula | Karpe, Fredrik | Keildson, Sarah | Kiryluk, Krzysztof | Liang, Liming | Lifton, Richard P | Ma, Baoshan | McKnight, Amy J | McPherson, Ruth | Metspalu, Andres | Min, Josine L | Moffatt, Miriam F | Montgomery, Grant W | Murabito, Joanne M | Nicholson, George | Nyholt, Dale R | Olsson, Christian | Perry, John RB | Reinmaa, Eva | Salem, Rany M | Sandholm, Niina | Schadt, Eric E | Scott, Robert A | Stolk, Lisette | Vallejo, Edgar E. | Westra, Harm-Jan | Zondervan, Krina T | Amouyel, Philippe | Arveiler, Dominique | Bakker, Stephan JL | Beilby, John | Bergman, Richard N | Blangero, John | Brown, Morris J | Burnier, Michel | Campbell, Harry | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Chines, Peter S | Claudi-Boehm, Simone | Collins, Francis S | Crawford, Dana C | Danesh, John | de Faire, Ulf | de Geus, Eco JC | Dörr, Marcus | Erbel, Raimund | Eriksson, Johan G | Farrall, Martin | Ferrannini, Ele | Ferrières, Jean | Forouhi, Nita G | Forrester, Terrence | Franco, Oscar H | Gansevoort, Ron T | Gieger, Christian | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Haiman, Christopher A | Harris, Tamara B | Hattersley, Andrew T | Heliövaara, Markku | Hicks, Andrew A | Hingorani, Aroon D | Hoffmann, Wolfgang | Hofman, Albert | Homuth, Georg | Humphries, Steve E | Hyppönen, Elina | Illig, Thomas | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Johansen, Berit | Jousilahti, Pekka | Jula, Antti M | Kaprio, Jaakko | Kee, Frank | Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka M | Kooner, Jaspal S | Kooperberg, Charles | Kovacs, Peter | Kraja, Aldi T | Kumari, Meena | Kuulasmaa, Kari | Kuusisto, Johanna | Lakka, Timo A | Langenberg, Claudia | Le Marchand, Loic | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Männistö, Satu | Marette, André | Matise, Tara C | McKenzie, Colin A | McKnight, Barbara | Musk, Arthur W | Möhlenkamp, Stefan | Morris, Andrew D | Nelis, Mari | Ohlsson, Claes | Oldehinkel, Albertine J | Ong, Ken K | Palmer, Lyle J | Penninx, Brenda W | Peters, Annette | Pramstaller, Peter P | Raitakari, Olli T | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rao, DC | Rice, Treva K | Ridker, Paul M | Ritchie, Marylyn D. | Rudan, Igor | Salomaa, Veikko | Samani, Nilesh J | Saramies, Jouko | Sarzynski, Mark A | Schwarz, Peter EH | Shuldiner, Alan R | Staessen, Jan A | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Stolk, Ronald P | Strauch, Konstantin | Tönjes, Anke | Tremblay, Angelo | Tremoli, Elena | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Völker, Uwe | Vollenweider, Peter | Wilson, James F | Witteman, Jacqueline C | Adair, Linda S | Bochud, Murielle | Boehm, Bernhard O | Bornstein, Stefan R | Bouchard, Claude | Cauchi, Stéphane | Caulfield, Mark J | Chambers, John C | Chasman, Daniel I | Cooper, Richard S | Dedoussis, George | Ferrucci, Luigi | Froguel, Philippe | Grabe, Hans-Jörgen | Hamsten, Anders | Hui, Jennie | Hveem, Kristian | Jöckel, Karl-Heinz | Kivimaki, Mika | Kuh, Diana | Laakso, Markku | Liu, Yongmei | März, Winfried | Munroe, Patricia B | Njølstad, Inger | Oostra, Ben A | Palmer, Colin NA | Pedersen, Nancy L | Perola, Markus | Pérusse, Louis | Peters, Ulrike | Power, Chris | Quertermous, Thomas | Rauramaa, Rainer | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Saaristo, Timo E | Saleheen, Danish | Sinisalo, Juha | Slagboom, P Eline | Snieder, Harold | Spector, Tim D | Stefansson, Kari | Stumvoll, Michael | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uitterlinden, André G | Uusitupa, Matti | van der Harst, Pim | Veronesi, Giovanni | Walker, Mark | Wareham, Nicholas J | Watkins, Hugh | Wichmann, H-Erich | Abecasis, Goncalo R | Assimes, Themistocles L | Berndt, Sonja I | Boehnke, Michael | Borecki, Ingrid B | Deloukas, Panos | Franke, Lude | Frayling, Timothy M | Groop, Leif C | Hunter, David J. | Kaplan, Robert C | O’Connell, Jeffrey R | Qi, Lu | Schlessinger, David | Strachan, David P | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Willer, Cristen J | Visscher, Peter M | Yang, Jian | Hirschhorn, Joel N | Zillikens, M Carola | McCarthy, Mark I | Speliotes, Elizabeth K | North, Kari E | Fox, Caroline S | Barroso, Inês | Franks, Paul W | Ingelsson, Erik | Heid, Iris M | Loos, Ruth JF | Cupples, L Adrienne | Morris, Andrew P | Lindgren, Cecilia M | Mohlke, Karen L
Nature  2015;518(7538):187-196.
Body fat distribution is a heritable trait and a well-established predictor of adverse metabolic outcomes, independent of overall adiposity. To increase our understanding of the genetic basis of body fat distribution and its molecular links to cardiometabolic traits, we conducted genome-wide association meta-analyses of waist and hip circumference-related traits in up to 224,459 individuals. We identified 49 loci (33 new) associated with waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index (WHRadjBMI) and an additional 19 loci newly associated with related waist and hip circumference measures (P<5×10−8). Twenty of the 49 WHRadjBMI loci showed significant sexual dimorphism, 19 of which displayed a stronger effect in women. The identified loci were enriched for genes expressed in adipose tissue and for putative regulatory elements in adipocytes. Pathway analyses implicated adipogenesis, angiogenesis, transcriptional regulation, and insulin resistance as processes affecting fat distribution, providing insight into potential pathophysiological mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC4338562  PMID: 25673412
23.  Low-frequency and rare exome chip variants associate with fasting glucose and type 2 diabetes susceptibility 
Wessel, Jennifer | Chu, Audrey Y. | Willems, Sara M. | Wang, Shuai | Yaghootkar, Hanieh | Brody, Jennifer A. | Dauriz, Marco | Hivert, Marie-France | Raghavan, Sridharan | Lipovich, Leonard | Hidalgo, Bertha | Fox, Keolu | Huffman, Jennifer E. | An, Ping | Lu, Yingchang | Rasmussen-Torvik, Laura J. | Grarup, Niels | Ehm, Margaret G. | Li, Li | Baldridge, Abigail S. | Stančáková, Alena | Abrol, Ravinder | Besse, Céline | Boland, Anne | Bork-Jensen, Jette | Fornage, Myriam | Freitag, Daniel F. | Garcia, Melissa E. | Guo, Xiuqing | Hara, Kazuo | Isaacs, Aaron | Jakobsdottir, Johanna | Lange, Leslie A. | Layton, Jill C. | Li, Man | Zhao, Jing Hua | Meidtner, Karina | Morrison, Alanna C. | Nalls, Mike A. | Peters, Marjolein J. | Sabater-Lleal, Maria | Schurmann, Claudia | Silveira, Angela | Smith, Albert V. | Southam, Lorraine | Stoiber, Marcus H. | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Taylor, Kent D. | Varga, Tibor V. | Allin, Kristine H. | Amin, Najaf | Aponte, Jennifer L. | Aung, Tin | Barbieri, Caterina | Bihlmeyer, Nathan A. | Boehnke, Michael | Bombieri, Cristina | Bowden, Donald W. | Burns, Sean M. | Chen, Yuning | Chen, Yii-Der I. | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Correa, Adolfo | Czajkowski, Jacek | Dehghan, Abbas | Ehret, Georg B. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Escher, Stefan A. | Farmaki, Aliki-Eleni | Frånberg, Mattias | Gambaro, Giovanni | Giulianini, Franco | III, William A. Goddard | Goel, Anuj | Gottesman, Omri | Grove, Megan L. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Hai, Yang | Hallmans, Göran | Heo, Jiyoung | Hoffmann, Per | Ikram, Mohammad K. | Jensen, Richard A. | Jørgensen, Marit E. | Jørgensen, Torben | Karaleftheri, Maria | Khor, Chiea C. | Kirkpatrick, Andrea | Kraja, Aldi T. | Kuusisto, Johanna | Lange, Ethan M. | Lee, I.T. | Lee, Wen-Jane | Leong, Aaron | Liao, Jiemin | Liu, Chunyu | Liu, Yongmei | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Linneberg, Allan | Malerba, Giovanni | Mamakou, Vasiliki | Marouli, Eirini | Maruthur, Nisa M. | Matchan, Angela | McKean, Roberta | McLeod, Olga | Metcalf, Ginger A. | Mohlke, Karen L. | Muzny, Donna M. | Ntalla, Ioanna | Palmer, Nicholette D. | Pasko, Dorota | Peter, Andreas | Rayner, Nigel W. | Renström, Frida | Rice, Ken | Sala, Cinzia F. | Sennblad, Bengt | Serafetinidis, Ioannis | Smith, Jennifer A. | Soranzo, Nicole | Speliotes, Elizabeth K. | Stahl, Eli A. | Stirrups, Kathleen | Tentolouris, Nikos | Thanopoulou, Anastasia | Torres, Mina | Traglia, Michela | Tsafantakis, Emmanouil | Javad, Sundas | Yanek, Lisa R. | Zengini, Eleni | Becker, Diane M. | Bis, Joshua C. | Brown, James B. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Hansen, Torben | Ingelsson, Erik | Karter, Andrew J. | Lorenzo, Carlos | Mathias, Rasika A. | Norris, Jill M. | Peloso, Gina M. | Sheu, Wayne H.-H. | Toniolo, Daniela | Vaidya, Dhananjay | Varma, Rohit | Wagenknecht, Lynne E. | Boeing, Heiner | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Dedoussis, George | Deloukas, Panos | Ferrannini, Ele | Franco, Oscar H. | Franks, Paul W. | Gibbs, Richard A. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Hamsten, Anders | Harris, Tamara B. | Hattersley, Andrew T. | Hayward, Caroline | Hofman, Albert | Jansson, Jan-Håkan | Langenberg, Claudia | Launer, Lenore J. | Levy, Daniel | Oostra, Ben A. | O'Donnell, Christopher J. | O'Rahilly, Stephen | Padmanabhan, Sandosh | Pankow, James S. | Polasek, Ozren | Province, Michael A. | Rich, Stephen S. | Ridker, Paul M | Rudan, Igor | Schulze, Matthias B. | Smith, Blair H. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Walker, Mark | Watkins, Hugh | Wong, Tien Y. | Zeggini, Eleftheria | Scotland, Generation | Laakso, Markku | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Pedersen, Oluf | Psaty, Bruce M. | Tai, E. Shyong | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Waterworth, Dawn M. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Kao, WH Linda | Florez, Jose C. | Loos, Ruth J.F. | Wilson, James G. | Frayling, Timothy M. | Siscovick, David S. | Dupuis, Josée | Rotter, Jerome I. | Meigs, James B. | Scott, Robert A. | Goodarzi, Mark O.
Nature communications  2015;6:5897.
Fasting glucose and insulin are intermediate traits for type 2 diabetes. Here we explore the role of coding variation on these traits by analysis of variants on the HumanExome BeadChip in 60,564 non-diabetic individuals and in 16,491 T2D cases and 81,877 controls. We identify a novel association of a low-frequency nonsynonymous SNV in GLP1R (A316T; rs10305492; MAF=1.4%) with lower FG (β=-0.09±0.01 mmol L−1, p=3.4×10−12), T2D risk (OR[95%CI]=0.86[0.76-0.96], p=0.010), early insulin secretion (β=-0.07±0.035 pmolinsulin mmolglucose−1, p=0.048), but higher 2-h glucose (β=0.16±0.05 mmol L−1, p=4.3×10−4). We identify a gene-based association with FG at G6PC2 (pSKAT=6.8×10−6) driven by four rare protein-coding SNVs (H177Y, Y207S, R283X and S324P). We identify rs651007 (MAF=20%) in the first intron of ABO at the putative promoter of an antisense lncRNA, associating with higher FG (β=0.02±0.004 mmol L−1, p=1.3×10−8). Our approach identifies novel coding variant associations and extends the allelic spectrum of variation underlying diabetes-related quantitative traits and T2D susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC4311266  PMID: 25631608
24.  Discovery and Fine-Mapping of Glycaemic and Obesity-Related Trait Loci Using High-Density Imputation 
Horikoshi, Momoko | Mӓgi, Reedik | van de Bunt, Martijn | Surakka, Ida | Sarin, Antti-Pekka | Mahajan, Anubha | Marullo, Letizia | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Hӓgg, Sara | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Ladenvall, Claes | Ried, Janina S. | Winkler, Thomas W. | Willems, Sara M. | Pervjakova, Natalia | Esko, Tõnu | Beekman, Marian | Nelson, Christopher P. | Willenborg, Christina | Wiltshire, Steven | Ferreira, Teresa | Fernandez, Juan | Gaulton, Kyle J. | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Hamsten, Anders | Magnusson, Patrik K. E. | Willemsen, Gonneke | Milaneschi, Yuri | Robertson, Neil R. | Groves, Christopher J. | Bennett, Amanda J. | Lehtimӓki, Terho | Viikari, Jorma S. | Rung, Johan | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Perola, Markus | Heid, Iris M. | Herder, Christian | Grallert, Harald | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Roden, Michael | Hypponen, Elina | Isaacs, Aaron | van Leeuwen, Elisabeth M. | Karssen, Lennart C. | Mihailov, Evelin | Houwing-Duistermaat, Jeanine J. | de Craen, Anton J. M. | Deelen, Joris | Havulinna, Aki S. | Blades, Matthew | Hengstenberg, Christian | Erdmann, Jeanette | Schunkert, Heribert | Kaprio, Jaakko | Tobin, Martin D. | Samani, Nilesh J. | Lind, Lars | Salomaa, Veikko | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Slagboom, P. Eline | Metspalu, Andres | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Eriksson, Johan G. | Peters, Annette | Gieger, Christian | Jula, Antti | Groop, Leif | Raitakari, Olli T. | Power, Chris | Penninx, Brenda W. J. H. | de Geus, Eco | Smit, Johannes H. | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Ingelsson, Erik | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Stefansson, Kari | Ripatti, Samuli | Prokopenko, Inga | McCarthy, Mark I. | Morris, Andrew P.
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(7):e1005230.
Reference panels from the 1000 Genomes (1000G) Project Consortium provide near complete coverage of common and low-frequency genetic variation with minor allele frequency ≥0.5% across European ancestry populations. Within the European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology (ENGAGE) Consortium, we have undertaken the first large-scale meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), supplemented by 1000G imputation, for four quantitative glycaemic and obesity-related traits, in up to 87,048 individuals of European ancestry. We identified two loci for body mass index (BMI) at genome-wide significance, and two for fasting glucose (FG), none of which has been previously reported in larger meta-analysis efforts to combine GWAS of European ancestry. Through conditional analysis, we also detected multiple distinct signals of association mapping to established loci for waist-hip ratio adjusted for BMI (RSPO3) and FG (GCK and G6PC2). The index variant for one association signal at the G6PC2 locus is a low-frequency coding allele, H177Y, which has recently been demonstrated to have a functional role in glucose regulation. Fine-mapping analyses revealed that the non-coding variants most likely to drive association signals at established and novel loci were enriched for overlap with enhancer elements, which for FG mapped to promoter and transcription factor binding sites in pancreatic islets, in particular. Our study demonstrates that 1000G imputation and genetic fine-mapping of common and low-frequency variant association signals at GWAS loci, integrated with genomic annotation in relevant tissues, can provide insight into the functional and regulatory mechanisms through which their effects on glycaemic and obesity-related traits are mediated.
Author Summary
Human genetic studies have demonstrated that quantitative human anthropometric and metabolic traits, including body mass index, waist-hip ratio, and plasma concentrations of glucose and insulin, are highly heritable, and are established risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Although many regions of the genome have been associated with these traits, the specific genes responsible have not yet been identified. By making use of advanced statistical “imputation” techniques applied to more than 87,000 individuals of European ancestry, and publicly available “reference panels” of more than 37 million genetic variants, we have been able to identify novel regions of the genome associated with these glycaemic and obesity-related traits and localise genes within these regions that are most likely to be causal. This improved understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying glycaemic and obesity-related traits is extremely important because it may advance drug development for downstream disease endpoints, ultimately leading to public health benefits.
PMCID: PMC4488845  PMID: 26132169
25.  Increasing Prevalence of Myopia in Europe and the Impact of Education 
Ophthalmology  2015;122(7):1489-1497.
To investigate whether myopia is becoming more common across Europe and explore whether increasing education levels, an important environmental risk factor for myopia, might explain any temporal trend.
Meta-analysis of population-based, cross-sectional studies from the European Eye Epidemiology (E3) Consortium.
The E3 Consortium is a collaborative network of epidemiological studies of common eye diseases in adults across Europe. Refractive data were available for 61 946 participants from 15 population-based studies performed between 1990 and 2013; participants had a range of median ages from 44 to 78 years.
Noncycloplegic refraction, year of birth, and highest educational level achieved were obtained for all participants. Myopia was defined as a mean spherical equivalent ≤−0.75 diopters. A random-effects meta-analysis of age-specific myopia prevalence was performed, with sequential analyses stratified by year of birth and highest level of educational attainment.
Main Outcome Measures
Variation in age-specific myopia prevalence for differing years of birth and educational level.
There was a significant cohort effect for increasing myopia prevalence across more recent birth decades; age-standardized myopia prevalence increased from 17.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 17.6–18.1) to 23.5% (95% CI, 23.2–23.7) in those born between 1910 and 1939 compared with 1940 and 1979 (P = 0.03). Education was significantly associated with myopia; for those completing primary, secondary, and higher education, the age-standardized prevalences were 25.4% (CI, 25.0–25.8), 29.1% (CI, 28.8–29.5), and 36.6% (CI, 36.1–37.2), respectively. Although more recent birth cohorts were more educated, this did not fully explain the cohort effect. Compared with the reference risk of participants born in the 1920s with only primary education, higher education or being born in the 1960s doubled the myopia prevalence ratio–2.43 (CI, 1.26–4.17) and 2.62 (CI, 1.31–5.00), respectively—whereas individuals born in the 1960s and completing higher education had approximately 4 times the reference risk: a prevalence ratio of 3.76 (CI, 2.21–6.57).
Myopia is becoming more common in Europe; although education levels have increased and are associated with myopia, higher education seems to be an additive rather than explanatory factor. Increasing levels of myopia carry significant clinical and economic implications, with more people at risk of the sight-threatening complications associated with high myopia.
PMCID: PMC4504030  PMID: 25983215
CI, confidence interval; D, diopters; E3, European Eye Epidemiology

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