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1.  A Genome-Wide Association Study of Central Corneal Thickness in Latinos 
Central corneal thickness (CCT) is a clinically important risk factor for primary open-angle glaucoma and keratoconus. Genetic factors controlling CCT in Latinos, the most populous minority population in the United States, are unclear. Here we describe the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) report of CCT in Latinos.
We performed a GWAS for CCT on 1768 Latinos recruited in the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) using Illumina's HumanOmniExpress BeadChip (∼730K markers). To discover additional associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we imputed SNPs based on the 1000 Genomes Project reference panels. All subjects were 40 years of age and older. We used linear regression with adjustment for age, sex, and principal components of genetic ancestry.
We replicated the involvement of several previously reported loci, such as RXRA-COL5A1, FOXO1, and ZNF469, for CCT in Latinos (P < 0.002). Moreover, we discovered novel SNPs, rs3118515, rs943423, rs3118594, and rs3132307, that reached GWAS significance (P < 5 × 10−8) in the uncharacterized LOC100506532 (gene type: miscRNA) for CCT in Latinos. By conditional analysis, we demonstrate that rs3118515 in this gene is responsible for the GWAS signal in the chromosome 9 RXRA-COL5A1 region in Latinos. Moreover, multiple sources of ENCODE evidence suggest that rs3118515 is in a regulatory region. Reverse-transcription PCR products indicated that transcripts of LOC100506532 surrounding rs3118515 were expressed in human corneas.
We discovered novel SNPs for CCT in Latinos and provided the first reported evidence of the corneal expression of LOC100506532. These results help to further increase our understanding of the genetic architecture of CCT.
In this first GWAS of central corneal thickness in Latinos, we discovered the involvement of novel SNPs, both directly genotyped and imputed, that reached genome-wide significance. This study provided the first reported evidence of the corneal expression of LOC100506532.
PMCID: PMC3621577  PMID: 23493294
central corneal thickness; Latino; GWAS; rs3118515; LOC100506532
2.  Genetic Association of COL5A1 Variants in Keratoconus Patients Suggests a Complex Connection between Corneal Thinning and Keratoconus 
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located near or within the COL5A1 gene, at 9q34.2-q34.3 chromosomal region have been reported in association with central corneal thickness (CCT). Using family linkage analysis, we identified a keratoconus susceptibility locus at 9q34. These findings led us to perform an association study between COL5A1 variation and keratoconus susceptibility.
A Caucasian case–control cohort of 222 keratoconus patients and 3324 controls was selected as the discovery panel. An independent case–control panel of 304 cases and 518 controls and a family panel of 186 subjects were replicated for genotyping and association. Forty-four SNPs (21 for discovery and 23 for fine-mapping) spanning 300 kilobases in and around COL5A1 were genotyped and tested for genetic association. Logistic regression models implemented in PLINK were used to test for association in case controls. Generalized estimating equation models accounting for familial correlations implemented in genome-wide interaction analyses with family data were used for association testing in families.
Two CCT associated SNPs (rs1536482 and rs7044529 near and within COL5A1) were identified in the keratoconus discovery cohort (P values of 6.5 × 10−3 and 7.4 × 10−3). SNP rs1536482 was replicated in the second case–control sample (P = 0.02), and SNP rs7044529 was replicated in a keratoconus family panel (P = 0.03). Meta P values of rs1536482 and rs7044529 in the keratoconus cohorts were 1.5 × 10−4 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30) and 2.9 × 10−3 (OR = 1.39). After Bonferroni correction, the association of SNP rs1536482 remained significant (P = 6.5 × 10−3).
SNPs in the COL5A1 region, which regulate normal variation in CCT, may play a role in the thinning associated with keratoconus.
Variants in the COL5A1 gene may contribute to genetic susceptibility to corneal thinning associated with keratoconus, in addition to their role in genetic regulation of normal variation in central corneal thickness.
PMCID: PMC3630822  PMID: 23513063
keratoconus; association; COL5A1
3.  Genome-Wide Association of Body Fat Distribution in African Ancestry Populations Suggests New Loci 
Liu, Ching-Ti | Monda, Keri L. | Taylor, Kira C. | Lange, Leslie | Demerath, Ellen W. | Palmas, Walter | Wojczynski, Mary K. | Ellis, Jaclyn C. | Vitolins, Mara Z. | Liu, Simin | Papanicolaou, George J. | Irvin, Marguerite R. | Xue, Luting | Griffin, Paula J. | Nalls, Michael A. | Adeyemo, Adebowale | Liu, Jiankang | Li, Guo | Ruiz-Narvaez, Edward A. | Chen, Wei-Min | Chen, Fang | Henderson, Brian E. | Millikan, Robert C. | Ambrosone, Christine B. | Strom, Sara S. | Guo, Xiuqing | Andrews, Jeanette S. | Sun, Yan V. | Mosley, Thomas H. | Yanek, Lisa R. | Shriner, Daniel | Haritunians, Talin | Rotter, Jerome I. | Speliotes, Elizabeth K. | Smith, Megan | Rosenberg, Lynn | Mychaleckyj, Josyf | Nayak, Uma | Spruill, Ida | Garvey, W. Timothy | Pettaway, Curtis | Nyante, Sarah | Bandera, Elisa V. | Britton, Angela F. | Zonderman, Alan B. | Rasmussen-Torvik, Laura J. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Ding, Jingzhong | Lohman, Kurt | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Zhao, Wei | Peyser, Patricia A. | Kardia, Sharon L. R. | Kabagambe, Edmond | Broeckel, Ulrich | Chen, Guanjie | Zhou, Jie | Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia | Neuhouser, Marian L. | Rampersaud, Evadnie | Psaty, Bruce | Kooperberg, Charles | Manson, JoAnn E. | Kuller, Lewis H. | Ochs-Balcom, Heather M. | Johnson, Karen C. | Sucheston, Lara | Ordovas, Jose M. | Palmer, Julie R. | Haiman, Christopher A. | McKnight, Barbara | Howard, Barbara V. | Becker, Diane M. | Bielak, Lawrence F. | Liu, Yongmei | Allison, Matthew A. | Grant, Struan F. A. | Burke, Gregory L. | Patel, Sanjay R. | Schreiner, Pamela J. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Evans, Michele K. | Taylor, Herman | Sale, Michele M. | Howard, Virginia | Carlson, Christopher S. | Rotimi, Charles N. | Cushman, Mary | Harris, Tamara B. | Reiner, Alexander P. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | North, Kari E. | Fox, Caroline S. | McCarthy, Mark I.
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(8):e1003681.
Central obesity, measured by waist circumference (WC) or waist-hip ratio (WHR), is a marker of body fat distribution. Although obesity disproportionately affects minority populations, few studies have conducted genome-wide association study (GWAS) of fat distribution among those of predominantly African ancestry (AA). We performed GWAS of WC and WHR, adjusted and unadjusted for BMI, in up to 33,591 and 27,350 AA individuals, respectively. We identified loci associated with fat distribution in AA individuals using meta-analyses of GWA results for WC and WHR (stage 1). Overall, 25 SNPs with single genomic control (GC)-corrected p-values<5.0×10−6 were followed-up (stage 2) in AA with WC and with WHR. Additionally, we interrogated genomic regions of previously identified European ancestry (EA) WHR loci among AA. In joint analysis of association results including both Stage 1 and 2 cohorts, 2 SNPs demonstrated association, rs2075064 at LHX2, p = 2.24×10−8 for WC-adjusted-for-BMI, and rs6931262 at RREB1, p = 2.48×10−8 for WHR-adjusted-for-BMI. However, neither signal was genome-wide significant after double GC-correction (LHX2: p = 6.5×10−8; RREB1: p = 5.7×10−8). Six of fourteen previously reported loci for waist in EA populations were significant (p<0.05 divided by the number of independent SNPs within the region) in AA studied here (TBX15-WARS2, GRB14, ADAMTS9, LY86, RSPO3, ITPR2-SSPN). Further, we observed associations with metabolic traits: rs13389219 at GRB14 associated with HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting insulin, and rs13060013 at ADAMTS9 with HDL-cholesterol and fasting insulin. Finally, we observed nominal evidence for sexual dimorphism, with stronger results in AA women at the GRB14 locus (p for interaction = 0.02). In conclusion, we identified two suggestive loci associated with fat distribution in AA populations in addition to confirming 6 loci previously identified in populations of EA. These findings reinforce the concept that there are fat distribution loci that are independent of generalized adiposity.
Author Summary
Central obesity is a marker of body fat distribution and is known to have a genetic underpinning. Few studies have reported genome-wide association study (GWAS) results among individuals of predominantly African ancestry (AA). We performed a collaborative meta-analysis in order to identify genetic loci associated with body fat distribution in AA individuals using waist circumference (WC) and waist to hip ratio (WHR) as measures of fat distribution, with and without adjustment for body mass index (BMI). We uncovered 2 genetic loci potentially associated with fat distribution: LHX2 in association with WC-adjusted-for-BMI and at RREB1 for WHR-adjusted-for-BMI. Six of fourteen previously reported loci for waist in EA populations were significant in AA studied here (TBX15-WARS2, GRB14, ADAMTS9, LY86, RSPO3, ITPR2-SSPN). These findings reinforce the concept that there are loci for body fat distribution that are independent of generalized adiposity.
PMCID: PMC3744443  PMID: 23966867
4.  Best Practices and Joint Calling of the HumanExome BeadChip: The CHARGE Consortium 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68095.
Genotyping arrays are a cost effective approach when typing previously-identified genetic polymorphisms in large numbers of samples. One limitation of genotyping arrays with rare variants (e.g., minor allele frequency [MAF] <0.01) is the difficulty that automated clustering algorithms have to accurately detect and assign genotype calls. Combining intensity data from large numbers of samples may increase the ability to accurately call the genotypes of rare variants. Approximately 62,000 ethnically diverse samples from eleven Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium cohorts were genotyped with the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip across seven genotyping centers. The raw data files for the samples were assembled into a single project for joint calling. To assess the quality of the joint calling, concordance of genotypes in a subset of individuals having both exome chip and exome sequence data was analyzed. After exclusion of low performing SNPs on the exome chip and non-overlap of SNPs derived from sequence data, genotypes of 185,119 variants (11,356 were monomorphic) were compared in 530 individuals that had whole exome sequence data. A total of 98,113,070 pairs of genotypes were tested and 99.77% were concordant, 0.14% had missing data, and 0.09% were discordant. We report that joint calling allows the ability to accurately genotype rare variation using array technology when large sample sizes are available and best practices are followed. The cluster file from this experiment is available at
PMCID: PMC3709915  PMID: 23874508
5.  CADASIL Notch3 Mutant Proteins Localize to the Cell Surface and Bind Ligand 
Circulation research  2002;90(5):506-508.
Cerebral autosomal-dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is a vascular dementia arising from abnormal arteriolar vascular smooth muscle cells. CADASIL results from mutations in Notch3 that alter the number of cysteine residues in the extracellular epidermal growth factor–like repeats, important for ligand binding. It is not known whether CADASIL mutations lead to loss or gain of Notch3 receptor function. To examine the functional consequences of CADASIL mutations, we engineered 4 CADASIL-like mutations into rat Notch3 and have shown that the presence of an unpaired cysteine does not impair cell-surface expression or ligand binding.
PMCID: PMC3690627  PMID: 11909813
CADASIL; Notch3; vascular dementia; epidermal growth factor–like repeat; transmembrane receptor
6.  A genome-wide association study identifies a potential novel gene locus for keratoconus, one of the commonest causes for corneal transplantation in developed countries 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;21(2):421-429.
Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea progressively thins over time, and is a major cause for cornea transplantation. To identify keratoconus susceptibility regions, we performed a comprehensive genome-wide association study (GWAS) using a discovery and replication design. A discovery panel of 222 keratoconus Caucasian patients and 3324 Caucasian controls was genotyped using Illumina 370K beadchips. Further associated and fine-mapping single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (n= 4905) were genotyped in an independent replication case–control panel of 304 cases and 518 controls and a family panel of 307 subjects in 70 families. Logistic regression models implemented in PLINK were performed to test associations in case–control samples with and without principal component (PC) adjustments. Generalized estimation equation models accounting for familial correlations implemented in GWAF were used for association testing in families. No genome-wide associations were identified in the discovery GWAS panel. From the initial testing without adjustments for PCs, the top three SNPs located at 3p26 (rs6442925), 2q21.3 (rs4954218) and 19q13.3 (rs1428642) were identified with unadjusted P-values of 6.5 × 10−8, 2.4 × 10−7 and 3.1 × 10−7, respectively. After adjustments for PCs, rs1428642 became the most significant through the genome with a P-value of 1.4 × 10−6, while rs6442925 and rs4954218 were less significant (P= 1.9 × 10−5 and 2.6 × 10−4). SNP rs4954218 was confirmed in two independent replication panels with P-values of 0.004 and 0.009, respectively. Meta-analysis revealed a highest association at rs4954218 with adjusted P= 1.6 × 10−7 (unadjusted P= 1.2 × 10−9). These findings suggest SNP rs4954218, located near the RAB3GAP1 gene, previously reported to be associated with corneal malformation, is a potential susceptibility locus for keratoconus.
PMCID: PMC3276283  PMID: 21979947
7.  Genes Linked to Energy Metabolism and Immunoregulatory Mechanisms are Associated with Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Distribution in HIV-infected Men 
Pharmacogenetics and genomics  2011;21(12):798-807.
Genetic studies may help explain abnormalities of fat distribution in HIV-infected patients treated with antiretroviral therapy (ARV).
Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) volume measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in leg, lower trunk, upper trunk, and arm was examined in 192 HIV-infected Caucasian men, ARV-treated from the Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV infection (FRAM) study. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assayed using the Illumina HumanCNV370-quad beadchip. Multivariate and univariate genome wide association analyses of the four SAT depots were implemented in PLINK software adjusted for age and ARV duration. Functional annotation analysis (FAA) using Ingenuity Systems Pathway Analysis tool (IPA) was carried out for markers with P<10-3 near known genes identified by multivariate analysis.
Loci (rs10504906, rs13267998, rs921231) in or near the anion exchanger solute carrier family 26, member 7 isoform a (SLC26A7) were strongly associated with upper trunk and arm SAT (9.8*10-7≤P<7.8*10-6). Loci (rs193139, rs7523050, rs1761621) in and near a gene rich region including G-protein-signaling modulator 2 (GPSM2) and syntaxin binding protein 3 (STXBP3) were significantly associated with lower body SAT depots (9.9*10-7≤P<9.5*10-6). GPSM2 is associated with cell division and cancer while STXBP3 is associated with glucose metabolism in adipoctyes. IPA identified atherosclerosis, mitochondrial function and T-Cell mediated apoptosis as processes related to SAT volume in HIV-infected individuals (P<5*10-3).
Our results are limited by the small sample size and replication is needed, however this genomic scan uncovered new genes associated with metabolism and inflammatory pathways that may affect SAT volume in ARV-treated HIV-infected patients.
PMCID: PMC3210910  PMID: 21897333
HIV; HAART; GWAS; Subcutaneous Fat; SAT
8.  Variation in the Lysyl Oxidase (LOX) Gene Is Associated with Keratoconus in Family-Based and Case-Control Studies 
Keratoconus is a bilateral noninflammatory progressive corneal disorder with complex genetic inheritance and a common cause for cornea transplantation in young adults. A genomewide linkage scan in keratoconus families identified a locus at 5q23.2, overlapping the gene coding for the lysyl oxidase (LOX). LOX encodes an enzyme responsible for collagen cross-linking in a variety of tissues including the cornea. Corneal collagen cross-linking with long-wave ultraviolet light and riboflavin is a promising new treatment for keratoconus. To determine whether LOX is a genetic determinant of the pathogenesis of keratoconus, we analyzed association results of LOX polymorphisms in two independent case-control samples and in keratoconus families.
Association results were analyzed of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the LOX gene from a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) investigation in two independent panels of patients with keratoconus and controls and in keratoconus families.
Evidence of association was found at SNPs rs10519694 and rs2956540 located in intron 4 of LOX in the GWAS discovery case-control panel with P values of 2.3 × 10−3 and 7 × 10−3, respectively. The same two SNPs were found to be associated with keratoconus by family-based association testing with P values of 2.7 × 10−3 and 7.7 × 10−4, respectively. Meta P values of 4.0 × 10−5 and 4.0 × 10−7 were calculated for SNPs rs10519694 and rs2956540 by analyzing case-control and family samples simultaneously. Sequencing of LOX exons in a subset of keratoconus patients identified two polymorphisms, rs1800449 and rs2288393, located in LOX transcripts I and II, associated with keratoconus in case-control and family samples with a meta P value of 0.02.
Results provided strong genetic evidence that LOX variants lead to increased susceptibility to developing of keratoconus.
Keratoconus is a progressive disorder of the cornea with complex genetic inheritance, which can lead to severe visual impairment or blindness. Here we describe the association between variation in the lysyl oxidase gene and keratoconus susceptibility in case-control and family studies.
PMCID: PMC3760233  PMID: 22661479
9.  Variants in ZNF365 isoform D are associated with Crohn’s Disease 
Gut  2011;60(8):1060-1067.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple Crohn’s disease (CD) susceptibility loci, including association with non-coding intergenic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 10q21.
To fine-map the 10q21 locus, we genotyped 86 SNPs in 1632 CD cases and 961 controls and performed single marker and conditional analyses using logistic regression.
We observed association with CD risk spanning eleven SNPs (p< 0.001). The most significant association observed was at the nonsynonymous SNP rs7076156 (Ala62Thr) in ZNF365. The alanine allele was over-represented in CD (p= 5.23×10−7; OR= 1.39 [1.22–1.58]); allele frequency 76% CD, 69.7% controls). Conditional analysis on rs7076156 nullified all other significant associations, suggesting that this is the causative variant at this locus. Four isoforms of ZNF365 have previously been identified and rs7076156 is located in an exon unique to ZNF365 isoform D. We demonstrated, using RT-PCR, expression of ZNF365D in intestinal resections from both CD subjects and controls. We identified markedly reduced ZNF365D mean expression levels in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines (ELCLs) from CD subjects homozygous for the risk allele (Ala). A whole-genome microarray expression study further suggested that the Ala62Thr change in ZNF365 isoform D is related to differential expression of the genes ARL4A, MKKS, RRAGD, SUMF2, TDR1 and ZNF148 in CD.
Collectively our data support the hypothesis that the nonsynonymous Ala62Thr SNP rs7076156 underlies the association between 10q21 and CD risk and suggests that this SNP acts by altering expression of genes under the control of ZNF365 isoform D.
PMCID: PMC3250380  PMID: 21257989
GWAS; Crohn’s Disease; ZNF365; genetics; association study
10.  Genotype Imputation for Latinos Using the HapMap and 1000 Genomes Project Reference Panels 
Frontiers in Genetics  2012;3:117.
Genotype imputation is a vital tool in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and meta-analyses of multiple GWAS results. Imputation enables researchers to increase genomic coverage and to pool data generated using different genotyping platforms. HapMap samples are often employed as the reference panel. More recently, the 1000 Genomes Project resource is becoming the primary source for reference panels. Multiple GWAS and meta-analyses are targeting Latinos, the most populous, and fastest growing minority group in the US. However, genotype imputation resources for Latinos are rather limited compared to individuals of European ancestry at present, largely because of the lack of good reference data. One choice of reference panel for Latinos is one derived from the population of Mexican individuals in Los Angeles contained in the HapMap Phase 3 project and the 1000 Genomes Project. However, a detailed evaluation of the quality of the imputed genotypes derived from the public reference panels has not yet been reported. Using simulation studies, the Illumina OmniExpress GWAS data from the Los Angles Latino Eye Study and the MACH software package, we evaluated the accuracy of genotype imputation in Latinos. Our results show that the 1000 Genomes Project AMR + CEU + YRI reference panel provides the highest imputation accuracy for Latinos, and that also including Asian samples in the panel can reduce imputation accuracy. We also provide the imputation accuracy for each autosomal chromosome using the 1000 Genomes Project panel for Latinos. Our results serve as a guide to future imputation based analysis in Latinos.
PMCID: PMC3384355  PMID: 22754564
genotype imputation; Latino; HapMap Project; 1000 Genomes Project
11.  Deep resequencing of GWAS loci identifies independent rare variants associated with inflammatory bowel disease 
Nature Genetics  2011;43(11):1066-1073.
More than a thousand disease susceptibility loci have been identified via genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of common variants; however, the specific genes and full allelic spectrum of causal variants underlying these findings generally remain to be defined. We utilize pooled next-generation sequencing to study 56 genes in regions associated to Crohn’s Disease in 350 cases and 350 controls. Follow up genotyping of 70 rare and low-frequency protein-altering variants (MAF ~ .001-.05) in nine independent case-control series (16054 CD patients, 12153 UC patients, 17575 healthy controls) identifies four additional independent risk factors in NOD2, two additional protective variants in IL23R, a highly significant association to a novel, protective splice variant in CARD9 (p < 1e-16, OR ~ 0.29), as well as additional associations to coding variants in IL18RAP, CUL2, C1orf106, PTPN22 and MUC19. We extend the results of successful GWAS by providing novel, rare, and likely functional variants that will empower functional experiments and predictive models.
PMCID: PMC3378381  PMID: 21983784
12.  Multiple Genetic Loci Influence Serum Urate and Their Relationship with Gout and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors 
Elevated serum urate levels can lead to gout and are associated with cardiovascular risk factors. We performed genome-wide association to search for genetic susceptibility loci for serum urate and gout, and investigated the causal nature of the associations of serum urate with gout and selected cardiovascular risk factors and coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods and Results
Meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed in 5 population-based cohorts of the CHARGE consortium for serum urate and gout in 28,283 white individuals. The effect of the most significant SNP at all genome-wide significant loci on serum urate was added to create a genetic urate score. Findings were replicated in the Women’s Genome Health Study (WGHS; n=22,054). SNPs at 8 genetic loci achieved genome-wide significance with serum urate levels (p-values 4×10−8 to 2×10−242; SLC22A11, GCKR, R3HDM2-INHBC region, RREB1, PDZK1, SLC2A9, ABCG2, SLC17A1). Only two loci [SLC2A9, ABCG2] showed genome-wide significant association with gout. The genetic urate score was strongly associated with serum urate and gout (odds ratio 12.4 per 100 umol/L; p-value=3×10−39), but not with blood pressure, glucose, eGFR, chronic kidney disease, or CHD. The lack of association between the genetic score and the latter phenotypes was also observed in WGHS.
The genetic urate score analysis suggested a causal relationship between serum urate and gout but did not provide evidence for one between serum urate and cardiovascular risk factors and CHD.
PMCID: PMC3371395  PMID: 20884846
urate; gout; cardiovascular disease risk factors; genome-wide association study; Mendelian randomization
13.  Association of Polymorphisms in the Hepatocyte Growth Factor Gene Promoter with Keratoconus 
This is a meta-analysis of two genome-wide association studies that found evidence of association of keratoconus with polymorphisms in the promoter of the HGF gene. One polymorphism is associated with higher levels of serum HGF.
Keratoconus is a progressive disorder of the cornea that can lead to severe visual impairment or blindness. Although several genomic regions have been linked to rare familial forms of keratoconus, no genes have yet been definitively identified for common forms of the disease.
Two genome-wide association scans were undertaken in parallel. The first used pooled DNA from an Australian cohort, followed by typing of top-ranked single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in individual DNA samples. The second was conducted in individually genotyped patients, and controls from the USA. Tag SNPs around the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) gene were typed in three additional replication cohorts. Serum levels of HGF protein in normal individuals were assessed with ELISA and correlated with genotype.
The only SNP observed to be associated in both the pooled discovery and primary replication cohort was rs1014091, located upstream of the HGF gene. The nearby SNP rs3735520 was found to be associated in the individually typed discovery cohort (P = 6.1 × 10−7). Genotyping of tag SNPs around HGF revealed association at rs3735520 and rs17501108/rs1014091 in four of the five cohorts. Meta-analysis of all five datasets together yielded suggestive P values for rs3735520 (P = 9.9 × 10−7) and rs17501108 (P = 9.9 × 10−5). In addition, SNP rs3735520 was found to be associated with serum HGF level in normal individuals (P = 0.036).
Taken together, these results implicate genetic variation at the HGF locus with keratoconus susceptibility.
PMCID: PMC3208191  PMID: 22003120
14.  A Bivariate Genome-Wide Approach to Metabolic Syndrome 
Diabetes  2011;60(4):1329-1339.
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is defined as concomitant disorders of lipid and glucose metabolism, central obesity, and high blood pressure, with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This study tests whether common genetic variants with pleiotropic effects account for some of the correlated architecture among five metabolic phenotypes that define MetS.
Seven studies of the STAMPEED consortium, comprising 22,161 participants of European ancestry, underwent genome-wide association analyses of metabolic traits using a panel of ∼2.5 million imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Phenotypes were defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) criteria for MetS in pairwise combinations. Individuals exceeding the NCEP thresholds for both traits of a pair were considered affected.
Twenty-nine common variants were associated with MetS or a pair of traits. Variants in the genes LPL, CETP, APOA5 (and its cluster), GCKR (and its cluster), LIPC, TRIB1, LOC100128354/MTNR1B, ABCB11, and LOC100129150 were further tested for their association with individual qualitative and quantitative traits. None of the 16 top SNPs (one per gene) associated simultaneously with more than two individual traits. Of them 11 variants showed nominal associations with MetS per se. The effects of 16 top SNPs on the quantitative traits were relatively small, together explaining from ∼9% of the variance in triglycerides, 5.8% of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 3.6% of fasting glucose, and 1.4% of systolic blood pressure.
Qualitative and quantitative pleiotropic tests on pairs of traits indicate that a small portion of the covariation in these traits can be explained by the reported common genetic variants.
PMCID: PMC3064107  PMID: 21386085
15.  Meta-Analysis Increases to 71 the Tally of Confirmed Crohn’s Disease Susceptibility Loci 
Franke, Andre | McGovern, Dermot P.B. | Barrett, Jeffrey C. | Wang, Kai | Radford-Smith, Graham L. | Ahmad, Tariq | Lees, Charlie W. | Balschun, Tobias | Lee, James | Roberts, Rebecca | Anderson, Carl A. | Bis, Joshua C. | Bumpstead, Suzanne | Ellinghaus, David | Festen, Eleonora M. | Georges, Michel | Haritunians, Talin | Jostins, Luke | Latiano, Anna | Mathew, Christopher G. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Prescott, Natalie J. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Schumm, Philip | Sharma, Yashoda | Simms, Lisa A. | Taylor, Kent D. | Whiteman, David | Wijmenga, Cisca | Baldassano, Robert N. | Barclay, Murray | Bayless, Theodore M. | Brand, Stephan | Buning, Carsten | Cohen, Albert | Colombel, Jean-Frederick | Cottone, Mario | Stronati, Laura | Denson, Ted | De Vos, Martine | D’Inca, Renata | Dubinsky, Marla | Edwards, Cathryn | Florin, Tim | Franchimont, Denis | Gearry, Richard | Glas, Jürgen | Van Gossum, Andre | Guthery, Stephen L. | Halfvarson, Jonas | Hommes, Daan | Hugot, Jean-Pierre | Laukens, Debby | Lawrance, Ian | Lemann, Marc | Levine, Arie | Libioulle, Cecile | Louis, Edouard | Mowat, Craig | Newman, William | Panés, Julián | Phillips, Anne | Proctor, Deborah D. | Regueiro, Miguel | Rutgeerts, Paul | Sanderson, Jeremy | Sans, Miquel | Seibold, Frank | Steinhart, A. Hillary | Stokkers, Pieter C.F. | Torkvist, Leif | Ublick, Gerd Kullak | Raychaudhuri, Soumya | Green, Todd | Walters, Thomas | Targan, Stephan R. | Brant, Steven R. | Rioux, John D. | D’Amato, Mauro | Weersma, Rinse | Kugathasan, Subra | Griffiths, Anne M. | Mansfield, John C. | Vermeire, Severine | Duerr, Richard H. | Silverberg, Mark S. | Satsangi, Jack | Schreiber, Stefan | Cho, Judy H. | Annese, Vito | Hakonarson, Hakon | Daly, Mark J. | Parkes, Miles
Nature genetics  2010;42(12):1118-1125.
PMCID: PMC3299551  PMID: 21102463
16.  Genetic variation near IRS1 associates with reduced adiposity and an impaired metabolic profile 
Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O | Zillikens, M Carola | Stančáková, Alena | Finucane, Francis M | Ried, Janina S | Langenberg, Claudia | Zhang, Weihua | Beckmann, Jacques S | Luan, Jian’an | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Styrkarsdottir, Unnur | Zhou, Yanhua | Smith, Albert Vernon | Zhao, Jing-Hua | Amin, Najaf | Vedantam, Sailaja | Shin, So Youn | Haritunians, Talin | Fu, Mao | Feitosa, Mary F | Kumari, Meena | Halldorsson, Bjarni V | Tikkanen, Emmi | Mangino, Massimo | Hayward, Caroline | Song, Ci | Arnold, Alice M | Aulchenko, Yurii S | Oostra, Ben A | Campbell, Harry | Cupples, L Adrienne | Davis, Kathryn E | Döring, Angela | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Estrada, Karol | Fernández-Real, José Manuel | Garcia, Melissa | Gieger, Christian | Glazer, Nicole L | Guiducci, Candace | Hofman, Albert | Humphries, Steve E | Isomaa, Bo | Jacobs, Leonie C | Jula, Antti | Karasik, David | Karlsson, Magnus K | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Kim, Lauren J | Kivimäki, Mika | Klopp, Norman | Kühnel, Brigitte | Kuusisto, Johanna | Liu, Yongmei | Ljunggren, Östen | Lorentzon, Mattias | Luben, Robert N | McKnight, Barbara | Mellström, Dan | Mitchell, Braxton D | Mooser, Vincent | Moreno, José Maria | Männistö, Satu | O’Connell, Jeffery R | Pascoe, Laura | Peltonen, Leena | Peral, Belén | Perola, Markus | Psaty, Bruce M | Salomaa, Veikko | Savage, David B | Semple, Robert K | Skaric-Juric, Tatjana | Sigurdsson, Gunnar | Song, Kijoung S | Spector, Timothy D | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Talmud, Philippa J | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Uitterlinden, André G | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Vidal-Puig, Antonio | Wild, Sarah H | Wright, Alan F | Clegg, Deborah J | Schadt, Eric | Wilson, James F | Rudan, Igor | Ripatti, Samuli | Borecki, Ingrid B | Shuldiner, Alan R | Ingelsson, Erik | Jansson, John-Olov | Kaplan, Robert C | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Harris, Tamara B | Groop, Leif | Kiel, Douglas P | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Walker, Mark | Barroso, Inês | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gérard | Chambers, John C | Kooner, Jaspal S | Soranzo, Nicole | Hirschhorn, Joel N | Stefansson, Kari | Wichmann, H-Erich | Ohlsson, Claes | O’Rahilly, Stephen | Wareham, Nicholas J | Speliotes, Elizabeth K | Fox, Caroline S | Laakso, Markku | Loos, Ruth J F
Nature Genetics  2011;43(8):753-760.
Genome-wide association studies have identified 32 loci associated with body mass index (BMI), a measure that does not allow distinguishing lean from fat mass. To identify adiposity loci, we meta-analyzed associations between ~2.5 million SNPs and body fat percentage from 36,626 individuals, and followed up the 14 most significant (P<10−6) independent loci in 39,576 individuals. We confirmed the previously established adiposity locus in FTO (P=3×10−26), and identified two new loci associated with body fat percentage, one near IRS1 (P=4×10−11) and one near SPRY2 (P=3×10−8). Both loci harbour genes with a potential link to adipocyte physiology, of which the locus near IRS1 shows an intriguing association pattern. The body-fat-decreasing allele associates with decreased IRS1 expression and with an impaired metabolic profile, including decreased subcutaneous-to-visceral fat ratio, increased insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease, and decreased adiponectin levels. Our findings provide new insights into adiposity and insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3262230  PMID: 21706003
17.  Genetic Predictors of Medically Refractory Ulcerative Colitis 
Inflammatory bowel diseases  2010;16(11):1830-1840.
Acute severe ulcerative colitis (UC) remains a significant clinical challenge and the ability to predict, at an early stage, those individuals at risk of colectomy for medically refractory UC (MR-UC) would be a major clinical advance. The aim of this study was to use a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in a well-characterized cohort of UC patients to identify genetic variation that contributes to MR-UC.
A GWAS comparing 324 MR-UC patients with 537 Non-MR-UC patients was analyzed using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards methods. In addition, the MR-UC patients were compared with 2601 healthy controls.
MR-UC was associated with more extensive disease (p= 2.7×10−6) and a positive family history of UC (p= 0.004). A risk score based on the combination of 46 SNPs associated with MR-UC explained 48% of the variance for colectomy risk in our cohort. Risk scores divided into quarters showed the risk of colectomy to be 0%, 17%, 74% and 100% in the four groups. Comparison of the MR-UC subjects with healthy controls confirmed the contribution of the major histocompatibility complex to severe UC (peak association: rs17207986, p= 1.4×10−16) and provided genome-wide suggestive association at the TNFSF15 (TL1A) locus (peak association: rs11554257, p= 1.4×10−6).
A SNP-based risk scoring system, identified here by GWAS analyses, may provide a useful adjunct to clinical parameters for predicting natural history in UC. Furthermore, discovery of genetic processes underlying disease severity may help to identify pathways for novel therapeutic intervention in severe UC.
PMCID: PMC2959149  PMID: 20848476
Ulcerative colitis; Natural History; Genetics
18.  Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Variants Associated with Histologic Features of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease 
Gastroenterology  2010;139(5):1567-1576.e6.
Background & Aims
There is little data available from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of liver histology in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We conducted a pilot GWAS in patients with NAFLD, characterized by histology, who were enrolled in the NASH CRN Database Study.
We studied clinical, laboratory, and histological data from 236 non-Hispanic Caucasian women with NAFLD. We analyzed 324,623 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the 22 autosomal chromosomes. Multivariate-adjusted logistic regression analyses were conducted for binary outcomes and linear regression analysis was applied for quantitative traits. A P-value < 1×10−6 was considered to be significant.
In multivariate models adjusted for age, body mass index, diabetes, waist:hip ratios, and levels of hemoglobin A1c, the NAFLD activity score was associated with the SNP rs2645424 on chromosome 8 in farnesyl diphosphate farnesyl transferase 1 (FDFT1) (P=6.8×10−7). The degree of fibrosis was associated with the SNP rs343062 on chromosome 7 (P=2.7×10−8). SNPs associated with lobular inflammation included SNP rs1227756 on chromosome 10 in COL13A1 (P=2.0×10−7), rs6591182 on chromosome 11 (P=8.6×10−7), and rs887304 on chromosome 12 in EFCAB4B (P=7.7×10−7). SNPs associated with serum levels of alanine aminotransferase included rs2499604 on chromosome 1 (P=2.2×10−6), rs6487679 on chromosome 12 in PZP (P=1.3×10−6), rs1421201 on chromosome 18 (P=1.0×10−5), and rs2710833 on chromosome 4 (P=6.3×10−7). There were no significant associations between genotypes and steatosis, ballooning degeneration, portal inflammation, or other features of NAFLD.
A GWAS significantly associated genetic variants with features of hepatic histology in patients with NAFLD. These findings should be validated in larger and more diverse cohorts.
PMCID: PMC2967576  PMID: 20708005
19.  Meta-analysis identifies 29 additional ulcerative colitis risk loci, increasing the number of confirmed associations to 47 
Anderson, Carl A. | Boucher, Gabrielle | Lees, Charlie W. | Franke, Andre | D’Amato, Mauro | Taylor, Kent D. | Lee, James C. | Goyette, Philippe | Imielinski, Marcin | Latiano, Anna | Lagacé, Caroline | Scott, Regan | Amininejad, Leila | Bumpstead, Suzannah | Baidoo, Leonard | Baldassano, Robert N. | Barclay, Murray | Bayless, Theodore M. | Brand, Stephan | Büning, Carsten | Colombel, Jean-Frédéric | Denson, Lee A. | De Vos, Martine | Dubinsky, Marla | Edwards, Cathryn | Ellinghaus, David | Fehrmann, Rudolf S.N. | Floyd, James A.B. | Florin, Tim | Franchimont, Denis | Franke, Lude | Georges, Michel | Glas, Jürgen | Glazer, Nicole L. | Guthery, Stephen L. | Haritunians, Talin | Hayward, Nicholas K. | Hugot, Jean-Pierre | Jobin, Gilles | Laukens, Debby | Lawrance, Ian | Lémann, Marc | Levine, Arie | Libioulle, Cecile | Louis, Edouard | McGovern, Dermot P. | Milla, Monica | Montgomery, Grant W. | Morley, Katherine I. | Mowat, Craig | Ng, Aylwin | Newman, William | Ophoff, Roel A | Papi, Laura | Palmieri, Orazio | Peyrin-Biroulet, Laurent | Panés, Julián | Phillips, Anne | Prescott, Natalie J. | Proctor, Deborah D. | Roberts, Rebecca | Russell, Richard | Rutgeerts, Paul | Sanderson, Jeremy | Sans, Miquel | Schumm, Philip | Seibold, Frank | Sharma, Yashoda | Simms, Lisa | Seielstad, Mark | Steinhart, A. Hillary | Targan, Stephan R. | van den Berg, Leonard H. | Vatn, Morten | Verspaget, Hein | Walters, Thomas | Wijmenga, Cisca | Wilson, David C. | Westra, Harm-Jan | Xavier, Ramnik J. | Zhao, Zhen Z. | Ponsioen, Cyriel Y. | Andersen, Vibeke | Torkvist, Leif | Gazouli, Maria | Anagnou, Nicholas P. | Karlsen, Tom H. | Kupcinskas, Limas | Sventoraityte, Jurgita | Mansfield, John C. | Kugathasan, Subra | Silverberg, Mark S. | Halfvarson, Jonas | Rotter, Jerome I. | Mathew, Christopher G. | Griffiths, Anne M. | Gearry, Richard | Ahmad, Tariq | Brant, Steven R. | Chamaillard, Mathias | Satsangi, Jack | Cho, Judy H. | Schreiber, Stefan | Daly, Mark J. | Barrett, Jeffrey C. | Parkes, Miles | Annese, Vito | Hakonarson, Hakon | Radford-Smith, Graham | Duerr, Richard H. | Vermeire, Séverine | Weersma, Rinse K. | Rioux, John D.
Nature genetics  2011;43(3):246-252.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and candidate gene studies in ulcerative colitis (UC) have identified 18 susceptibility loci. We conducted a meta-analysis of 6 UC GWAS, comprising 6,687 cases and 19,718 controls, and followed-up the top association signals in 9,628 cases and 12,917 controls. We identified 29 additional risk loci (P<5×10-8), increasing the number of UC associated loci to 47. After annotating associated regions using GRAIL, eQTL data and correlations with non-synonymous SNPs, we identified many candidate genes providing potentially important insights into disease pathogenesis, including IL1R2, IL8RA/B, IL7R, IL12B, DAP, PRDM1, JAK2, IRF5, GNA12 and LSP1. The total number of confirmed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) risk loci is now 99, including a minimum of 28 shared association signals between Crohn’s disease (CD) and UC.
PMCID: PMC3084597  PMID: 21297633
20.  Fucosyltransferase 2 (FUT2) non-secretor status is associated with Crohn's disease 
Human Molecular Genetics  2010;19(17):3468-3476.
Genetic variation in both innate and adaptive immune systems is associated with Crohn's disease (CD) susceptibility, but much of the heritability to CD remains unknown. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 896 CD cases and 3204 healthy controls all of Caucasian origin as defined by multidimensional scaling. We found supportive evidence for 21 out of 40 CD loci identified in a recent CD GWAS meta-analysis, including two loci which had only nominally achieved replication (rs4807569, 19p13; rs991804, CCL2/CCL7). In addition, we identified associations with genes involved in tight junctions/epithelial integrity (ASHL, ARPC1A), innate immunity (EXOC2), dendritic cell biology [CADM1 (IGSF4)], macrophage development (MMD2), TGF-β signaling (MAP3K7IP1) and FUT2 (a physiological trait that regulates gastrointestinal mucosal expression of blood group A and B antigens) (rs602662, P = 3.4 × 10−5). Twenty percent of Caucasians are ‘non-secretors’ who do not express ABO antigens in saliva as a result of the FUT2 W134X allele. We demonstrated replication in an independent cohort of 1174 CD cases and 357 controls between the four primary FUT2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and CD (rs602662, combined P-value 4.90 × 10−8) and also association with FUT2 W143X (P = 2.6 × 10−5). Further evidence of the relevance of this locus to CD pathogenesis was demonstrated by the association of the original four SNPs and CD in the recently published CD GWAS meta-analysis (rs602662, P = 0.001). These findings strongly implicate this locus in CD susceptibility and highlight the role of the mucus layer in the development of CD.
PMCID: PMC2916706  PMID: 20570966
21.  Genome Wide Association (GWA) Predictors Of Anti-TNFα Therapeutic Responsiveness In Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) 
Inflammatory bowel diseases  2010;16(8):1357-1366.
Inter-individual variation in response to anti-TNFα therapy may be explained by genetic variability in disease pathogenesis or mechanism of action. Recent genome wide association studies (GWAS) in IBD have increased our understanding of the genetic susceptibility to IBD.
Test associations of known IBD susceptibility loci and novel “pharmacogenetic” GWAS identified loci with primary non-response to anti-TNFα in pediatric IBD patients and develop a predictive model of primary non-response.
Primary non response was defined using the HBI for CD and partial Mayo score for UC. Genotyping was performed using the Illumina Infinium platform. Chi square analysis tested associations of phenotype and genotype with primary non-response. Genetic associations were identified by testing known IBD susceptibility loci and by performing a GWAS for primary non-response. Step-wise multiple logistic regression was performed to build predictive models.
Non-response occurred in 22 of 94 subjects. Six known susceptibility loci were associated with primary non-response (p < 0.05). Only the 21q22.2/BRWDI loci remained significant in the predictive model. The most predictive model included 3 novel “pharmacogenetic” GWAS loci, the previously identified BRWD1, pANCA and a UC diagnosis (R2 =0.82 and AUC = 0.98%). The relative risk of non-response increased 15 fold when number of risk factors increased from 0–2 to ≥ 3.
The combination of phenotype and genotype is most predictive of primary non response to anti-TNFα in pediatric IBD. Defining predictors of response to anti-TNFα may allow the identification of patients who will not benefit from this class of therapy.
PMCID: PMC2889173  PMID: 20014019
22.  The Association of Genome-Wide Variation with the Risk of Incident Heart Failure in Adults of European and African Ancestry: A Prospective Meta-Analysis from the CHARGE Consortium 
Although genetic factors contribute to the onset of heart failure (HF), no large-scale genome-wide investigation of HF risk has been published to date. We investigated the association of 2,478,304 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with incident HF by meta-analyzing data from 4 community-based prospective cohorts: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Framingham Heart Study, and the Rotterdam Study.
Methods and Results
Eligible participants for these analyses were of European or African ancestry and free of clinical HF at baseline. Each study independently conducted genome-wide scans and imputed data to the ~2.5 million SNPs in HapMap. Within each study, Cox proportional hazards regression models provided age- and sex-adjusted estimates of the association between each variant and time to incident HF. Fixed-effect meta-analyses combined results for each SNP from the 4 cohorts to produce an overall association estimate and p-value. A genome-wide significance p-value threshold was set a priori at 5.0×10−7. During a mean follow-up of 11.5 years, 2,526 incident HF events (12%) occurred in 20,926 European-ancestry participants. The meta-analysis identified a genome-wide significant locus at chromosomal position 15q22 (1.4×10−8), which was 58.8 kb from USP3. Among 2,895 African-ancestry participants, 466 incident HF events (16%) occurred during a mean follow-up of 13.7 years. One genome-wide significant locus was identified at 12q14 (6.7×10−8), which was 6.3 kb from LRIG3.
We identified 2 loci that were associated with incident HF and exceeded genome-wide significance. The findings merit replication in other community-based settings of incident HF.
PMCID: PMC3025695  PMID: 20445134
epidemiology; genetics; heart failure; genome-wide variation; incidence
23.  Genomic variation associated with mortality among adults of European and African ancestry with heart failure: the CHARGE Consortium 
Prognosis and survival are significant concerns for individuals with heart failure (HF). In order to better understand the pathophysiology of HF prognosis, the association between 2,366,858 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and all-cause mortality was evaluated among individuals with incident HF from four community-based prospective cohorts: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Framingham Heart Study, and the Rotterdam Study.
Methods and Results
Participants were 2,526 individuals of European ancestry and 466 individuals of African ancestry who suffered an incident HF event during follow-up in the respective cohorts. Within each study, the association between genetic variants and time to mortality among individuals with HF was assessed by Cox proportional hazards models that included adjustment for sex and age at the time of the HF event. Prospective fixed-effect meta-analyses were conducted for the four study populations of European ancestry (N=1,645 deaths) and for the two populations of African ancestry (N=281 deaths). Genome-wide significance was set at P=5.0×10-7. Meta-analytic findings among individuals of European ancestry revealed one genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 3p22 in an intron of CKLF-like MARVEL transmembrane domain containing 7 (CMTM7, p = 3.2×10-7). Eight additional loci in individuals of European ancestry and four loci in individuals of African ancestry were identified by high-signal SNPs (p < 1.0×10-5), but did not meet genome-wide significance.
This study identified a novel locus associated with all-cause mortality among individuals of European ancestry with HF. This finding warrants additional investigation, including replication, in other studies of HF.
PMCID: PMC3033765  PMID: 20400778
heart failure; all-cause mortality; genetics; genome-wide variation
24.  Large-scale genomic studies reveal central role of ABO in sP-selectin and sICAM-1 levels 
Human Molecular Genetics  2010;19(9):1863-1872.
P-selectin and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) participate in inflammatory processes by promoting adhesion of leukocytes to vascular wall endothelium. Their soluble levels have been associated with adverse cardiovascular events. To identify loci affecting soluble levels of P-selectin (sP-selectin) and ICAM-1 (sICAM-1), we performed a genome-wide association study in a sample of 4115 (sP-selectin) and 9813 (sICAM-1) individuals of European ancestry as a part of The Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genome Epidemiology consortium. The most significant SNP association for sP-selectin was within the SELP gene (rs6136, P = 4.05 × 10−61) and for sICAM-1 levels within the ICAM-1 gene (rs3093030, P = 3.53 × 10−23). Both sP-selectin and sICAM-1 were associated with ABO gene variants (rs579459, P = 1.86 × 10−41 and rs649129, P = 1.22 × 10−15, respectively) and in both cases the observed associations could be accounted for by the A1 allele of the ABO blood group. The absence of an association between ABO blood group and platelet-bound P-selectin levels in an independent subsample (N = 1088) from the ARIC study, suggests that the ABO blood group may influence cleavage of the P-selectin protein from the cell surface or clearance from the circulation, rather than its production and cellular presentation. These results provide new insights into adhesion molecule biology.
PMCID: PMC2850624  PMID: 20167578
25.  A Genome-wide Association Study of Carotid Atherosclerosis in HIV-infected Men 
AIDS (London, England)  2010;24(4):583-592.
The role of host genetics in the development of subclinical atherosclerosis in the context of HIV infected persons who are being treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is not well understood.
The present genome-wide association study (GWAS) is based on 177 HIV-positive Caucasian males receiving HAART who participated in the Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV Infection (FRAM) Study. Common and internal carotid intima-media thicknesses (cIMT) measured by B-mode ultrasound were used as a subclinical measure of atherosclerosis. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assayed using the Illumina HumanCNV370-quad beadchip. Copy Number Variants (CNV) were inferred using a hidden Markov Model (PennCNV). Regression analyses were used to assess the association of common and internal cIMT with individual SNPs and CNVs, adjusting for age, duration of antiretroviral treatment, and principal components to account for potential population stratification.
Two SNPs in tight linkage disequilibrium, rs2229116 (a missense, nonsynonymous polymorphism (IIe to Val)) and rs7177922, located in the Ryanodine receptor (RYR3) gene on chromosome 15 were significantly associated with common cIMT (p-value<1.61×10−7). The RYR gene family has been known to play a role in the etiology of cardiovascular disease and has been shown to be regulated by HIV TAT protein.
These results suggest that in the context of HIV infection and HAART, a functional SNP in a biologically plausible candidate gene, RYR3, is associated with increased common carotid IMT, which is a surrogate for atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3072760  PMID: 20009918
HIV; HAART; atherosclerosis; GWAS; intima-media thickness

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