Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is a mitochondrial disorder with gender biased and incomplete penetrance. The majority of LHON patients are caused by one of the three primary mutations (m.3460G > A, m.11778G > A and m.14484T > C). Rare pathogenic mutations have been occasionally reported in LHON patients.
We screened mutation m.10680G > A in the MT-ND4L gene in 774 Chinese patients with clinical features of LHON but lacked the three primary mutations by using allele specific PCR (AS-PCR). Patients with m.10680G > A were further determined entire mtDNA genome sequence.
The optimal AS-PCR could detect as low as 10% heteroplasmy of mutation m.10680G > A. Two patients (Le1263 and Le1330) were identified to harbor m.10680G > A. Analysis of the complete mtDNA sequences of the probands suggested that they belonged to haplogroups B4a1 and D6a1. There was no other potentially pathogenic mutation, except for a few private yet reported variants in the MT-ND1 and MT-ND5 genes, in the two lineages. A search in reported mtDNA genome data set (n = 9277; excluding Chinese LHON patients) identified no individual with m.10680G > A. Frequency of m.10680G > A in Chinese LHON patients analyzed in this study and our previous studies (3/784) was significantly higher than that of the general populations (0/9277) (P = 0.0005).
Taken together, we speculated that m.10680G > A may be a rare pathogenic mutation for LHON in Chinese. This mutation should be included in future clinical diagnosis.
LHON; mtDNA; m.10680G > A; Chinese; Rare primary mutation
Archaeological studies have revealed a series of cultural changes around the Last Glacial Maximum in East Asia; whether these changes left any signatures in the gene pool of East Asians remains poorly indicated. To achieve deeper insights into the demographic history of modern humans in East Asia around the Last Glacial Maximum, we extensively analyzed mitochondrial DNA haplogroup M9a'b, a specific haplogroup that was suggested to have some potential for tracing the migration around the Last Glacial Maximum in East Eurasia.
A total of 837 M9a'b mitochondrial DNAs (583 from the literature, while the remaining 254 were newly collected in this study) pinpointed from over 28,000 subjects residing across East Eurasia were studied here. Fifty-nine representative samples were further selected for total mitochondrial DNA sequencing so we could better understand the phylogeny within M9a'b. Based on the updated phylogeny, an extensive phylogeographic analysis was carried out to reveal the differentiation of haplogroup M9a'b and to reconstruct the dispersal histories.
Our results indicated that southern China and/or Southeast Asia likely served as the source of some post-Last Glacial Maximum dispersal(s). The detailed dissection of haplogroup M9a'b revealed the existence of an inland dispersal in mainland East Asia during the post-glacial period. It was this dispersal that expanded not only to western China but also to northeast India and the south Himalaya region. A similar phylogeographic distribution pattern was also observed for haplogroup F1c, thus substantiating our proposition. This inland post-glacial dispersal was in agreement with the spread of the Mesolithic culture originating in South China and northern Vietnam.
The NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase flavoprotein gene (NDUFV2), which encodes a 24 kD mitochondrial complex I subunit, has been reported to be positively associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in different populations.
We genotyped the promoter variants of this gene (rs6506640 and rs1156044) by direct sequencing in 529 unrelated Han Chinese schizophrenia patients and 505 matched controls. Fisher's Exact test was performed to assess whether these two reported single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) confer susceptibility to schizophrenia in Chinese.
Allele, genotype and haplotype comparison between the case and control groups showed no statistical significance, suggesting no association between the NDUFV2 gene promoter variants and schizophrenia in Han Chinese.
The role of NDUFV2 played in schizophrenia needs to be further studied. Different racial background and/or population substructure might account for the inconsistent results between studies.
Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON, MIM 535000) is one of the most common mitochondrial genetic disorders caused by three primary mtDNA mutations (m.3460G>A, m.11778G>A and m. 14484T>C). The clinical expression of LHON is affected by many additional factors, e.g. mtDNA background, nuclear genes, and environmental factors. Hitherto, there is no comprehensive study of Chinese LHON patients with m.14484T>C.
In this study, we analyzed the mtDNA sequence variations and haplogroup distribution pattern of the largest number of Chinese LHON patients with m.14484T>C to date. We first determined the complete mtDNA sequences in eleven LHON probands with m.14484T>C, to discern the potentially pathogenic mutations that co-segregate with m.14484T>C. We then dissected the matrilineal structure of 52 patients with m.14484T>C (including 14 from unrelated families and 38 sporadic cases) and compared it with the reported Han Chinese from general populations. Complete mtDNA sequencing showed that the eleven matrilines belonged to nine haplogroups including Y2, C4a, M8a, M10a1a, G1a1, G2a1, G2b2, D5a2a1, and D5c. We did not identify putatively pathogenic mutation that was co-segregated with m.14484T>C in these lineages based on the evolutionary analysis. Compared with the reported Han Chinese from general populations, the LHON patients with m.14484T>C had significantly higher frequency of haplogroups C, G, M10, and Y, but a lower frequency of haplogroup F. Intriguingly, we also observed a lower prevalence of F lineages in LHON subjects with m.11778G>A in our previous study, suggesting that this haplogroup may enact similar role during the onset of LHON in the presence of m.14484T>C or m.11778G>A.
Our current study provided a comprehensive profile regarding the mtDNA variation and background of Chinese patients with LHON and m.14484T>C. Matrilineal background might affect the expression of LHON in Chinese patients with m.14484T>C.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups affect the clinical expression of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, age-related macular degeneration, and other diseases. The objective of this study is to investigate whether an mtDNA background is associated with myopia.
Blood DNA was obtained from 192 college students, including 96 individuals with moderate-to-high myopia and 96 controls without myopia. All the subjects were from a well-known isolated population living in the Chaoshan area of east Guangdong Province and speaking one of the four major dialects in southern China. The mtDNA haplogroups in the 192 subjects were determined by sequencing the mtDNA control region and partial coding regions as well as by analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Each mtDNA was classified according to the updated version of the Eastern Asian haplogroup system.
Sixteen mtDNA haplogroups were recognized in the 192 subjects. The overall matrilineal structures of the samples with and without myopia were similar and had genetic imprints showing their ethno-origin. There was no statistical difference in frequencies of haplogroup distribution between subjects with and without myopia (χ2 test, p=0.556).
We failed to identify clues that suggest an involvement of mtDNA background in the predisposition to myopia.
Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene plays a key role in determining coat color in several species, including the cattle. However, up to now there is no report regarding the MC1R gene and the potential association of its mutations with coat colors in yak (Poephagus grunniens). In this study, we sequenced the encoding region of the MC1R gene in three yak breeds with completely white (Tianzhu breed) or black coat color (Jiulong and Maiwa breeds). The predicted coding region of the yak MC1R gene resulted of 954 bp, the same to that of the wild-type cattle sequence, with >99% identity. None of the mutation events reported in cattle was found. Comparing the yak obtained sequences, five nucleotide substitutions were detected, which defined three haplotypes (EY1, EY2, and EY3). Of the five mutations, two, characterizing the EY1 haplotype, were nonsynonymous substitutions (c.340C>A and c.871G>A) causing amino acid changes located in the first extracellular loop (p.Q114K) and in the seventh transmembrane region (p.A291T). In silico prediction might indicate a functional effect of the latter substitution. However, all three haplotypes were present in the three yak breeds with relatively consistent frequency distribution, despite of their distinguished coat colors, which suggested that there was no across-breed association between haplotypes or genotypes and black/white phenotypes, at least in the investigated breeds. Other genes may be involved in affecting coat color in the analyzed yaks.
The aim of this study is to screen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of chicken Calpain3 (CAPN3) gene and to analyze the potential association between CAPN3 gene polymorphisms and carcass traits in chickens. We screened CAPN3 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in 307 meat-type quality chicken from 5 commercial pure lines (S01, S02, S03, S05, and D99) and 4 native breeds from Guangdong Province (Huiyang Huxu chicken and Qingyuan Ma chicken) and Sichuan Province (Caoke chicken and Shandi Black-bone chicken), China.
Two SNPs (11818T>A and 12814T>G) were detected by single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) method and were verified by DNA sequencing. Association analysis showed that the 12814T>G genotypes were significantly associated with body weight (BW), carcass weight (CW), breast muscle weight (BMW), and leg muscle weight (LMW). Haplotypes constructed on the two SNPs (H1, TG; H2, TT; H3, AG; and H4, AT) were associated with BW, CW (P < 0.05), eviscerated percentage (EP), semi-eviscerated percentage (SEP), breast muscle percentage (BMP), and leg muscle percentage (LMP) (P < 0.01). Diplotype H1H2 was dominant for BW, CW, and LMP, and H2H2 was dominant for EP, SEP, and BMP.
We speculated that the CAPN3 gene was a major gene affecting chicken muscle growth and carcass traits or it was linked with the major gene(s). Diplotypes H1H2 and H2H2 might be advantageous for carcass traits.
China, with around 30 unique breeds, has a diverse duck genetic pool. Currently, there is no systematic report which investigates the genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationship, and matrilineal genetic structure of these domestic breeds and wild mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).
In this study, we sequenced the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region segments in 278 domestic ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) from 19 indigenous breeds/populations and 70 wild mallard samples and analyzed them together with the 101 control region sequences from published sources. Fifty-two samples were then sequenced for a cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene fragment to solidify the pattern emerged from the control region sequences. All domestic duck and wild mallard haplotypes were essentially indistinguishable and were clustered together in the phylogenetic tree. There was no geographic differentiation and breed/population-specific distribution of duck lineages.
Our results showed that unlike other domesticated farm animals in China such as chicken, cattle, goat, and yak with multiple matrilineal components, the matrilineal pool of Chinese ducks was homogenous.
Large-scale genome sequencing poses enormous problems to the logistics of laboratory work and data handling. When numerous fragments of different genomes are PCR amplified and sequenced in a laboratory, there is a high immanent risk of sample confusion. For genetic markers, such as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which are free of natural recombination, single instances of sample mix-up involving different branches of the mtDNA phylogeny would give rise to reticulate patterns and should therefore be detectable.
We have developed a strategy for comparing new complete mtDNA genomes, one by one, to a current skeleton of the worldwide mtDNA phylogeny. The mutations distinguishing the reference sequence from a putative recombinant sequence can then be allocated to two or more different branches of this phylogenetic skeleton. Thus, one would search for two (or three) near-matches in the total mtDNA database that together best explain the variation seen in the recombinants. The evolutionary pathway from the mtDNA tree connecting this pair together with the recombinant then generate a grid-like median network, from which one can read off the exchanged segments.
We have applied this procedure to a large collection of complete human mtDNA sequences, where several recombinants could be distilled by our method. All these recombinant sequences were subsequently corrected by de novo experiments – fully concordant with the predictions from our data-analytical approach.
A fine-grained mitochondrial DNA phylogenomic analysis was conducted in domestic pigs and wild boars, revealing that pig domestication in East Asia occurred in the Mekong and the middle and downstream regions of the Yangtze river.
Previously reported evidence indicates that pigs were independently domesticated in multiple places throughout the world. However, a detailed picture of the origin and dispersal of domestic pigs in East Asia has not yet been reported.
Population phylogenomic analysis was conducted in domestic pigs and wild boars by screening the haplogroup-specific mutation motifs inferred from a phylogenetic tree of pig complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences. All domestic pigs are clustered into single clade D (which contains subclades D1, D2, D3, and D4), with wild boars from East Asia being interspersed. Three haplogroups within D1 are dominant in the Mekong region (D1a2 and D1b) and the middle and downstream regions of the Yangtze River (D1a1a), and may represent independent founders of domestic pigs. None of the domestic pig samples from North East Asia, the Yellow River region, and the upstream region of the Yangtze River share the same haplogroup status with the local wild boars. The limited regional distributions of haplogroups D1 (including its subhaplogroups), D2, D3, and D4 in domestic pigs suggest at least two different in situ domestication events.
The use of fine-grained mtDNA phylogenomic analysis of wild boars and domestic pigs is a powerful tool with which to discern the origin of domestic pigs. Our findings show that pig domestication in East Asia mainly occurred in the Mekong region and the middle and downstream regions of the Yangtze River.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in single hematopoietic cells, muscle fibers, oocytes, and from tiny amount of tumor tissues and degraded clinical specimens has been reported in many medical publications. External DNA contamination, notoriously difficult to avoid, threatens the integrity of such studies.
Employing a phylogenetic approach, we analyzed the geographic origins of mtDNA sequence anomalies observed during multiple studies of mtDNA sequence variation in a total of 7094 single hematopoietic cells. 40 events with irregular mtDNA patterns were detected: eight instances (from seven different haplotypes) could be traced to laboratory personnel; six cases were caused by sample cross-contamination. The sources of the remaining events could not be identified, and the anomalous sequence variation referred to matrilines from East Asia, Africa, or West Eurasia, respectively. These mtDNA sequence anomalies could be best explained by contamination.
Using the known world mtDNA phylogeny, we could distinguish the geographic origin of the anomalous mtDNA types, providing some useful information regarding the source of contamination. Our data suggest that routine mtDNA sequence analysis of laboratory personnel is insufficient to identify and eliminate all contaminants. A rate of 0.6% of external contamination in this study, while low, is not negligible: Unrecognized contaminants will be mistaken as evidence of remarkable somatic mutations associated with the development of cancer and other diseases. The effective contamination rate can increase by a factor of more than an order of magnitude in some studies that did not institute high standards. Our results are of particular relevance to mtDNA research in medicine, and such an approach should be adopted to maintain and improve quality control in single-cell analyses.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an important role in normal and pathological angiogenesis. VEGF receptors (VEGFRs, including VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, and VEGFR-3) and neuropilins (NRPs, including NRP-1 and NRP-2) are high-affinity receptors for VEGF and are typically considered to be specific for endothelial cells. Here we showed expression of VEGFRs and NRPs on cultured epidermal keratinocytes at both mRNA and protein levels. We further localized these receptors by immunofluorescence (IF) staining in the epidermis of surgical skin specimens. We found positive staining for VEGFRs and NRPs in all layers of the epidermis except for the stratum corneum. VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 are primarily expressed on the cytoplasmic membrane of basal cells and the adjacent spinosum keratinocytes. All layers of the epidermis except for the horny cell layer demonstrated a uniform pattern of VEGFR-3, NRP-1, and NRP-2. Sections staining for NRP-1 and NRP-2 also showed diffuse intense fluorescence and were localized to the cell membrane and cytoplasm of keratinocytes. In another panel of experiments, keratinocytes were treated with different concentrations of VEGF, with or without VEGFR-2 neutralizing antibody in culture. VEGF enhanced the proliferation and migration of keratinocytes, and these effects were partially inhibited by pretreatment with VEGFR-2 neutralizing antibody. Adhesion of keratinocytes to type IV collagen–coated culture plates was decreased by VEGF treatment, but this reduction could be completely reversed by pretreatment with VEGFR-2 neutralizing antibody. Taken together, our results suggest that the expression of VEGFRs and NRPs on keratinocytes may constitute important regulators for its activity and may possibly be responsible for the autocrine signaling in the epidermis.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is being analyzed by an increasing number of laboratories in order to investigate its potential role as an active marker of tumorigenesis in various types of cancer. Here we question the conclusions drawn in most of these investigations, especially those published in high-rank cancer research journals, under the evidence that a significant number of these medical mtDNA studies are based on obviously flawed sequencing results.
Methods and Findings
In our analyses, we take a phylogenetic approach and employ thorough database searches, which together have proven successful for detecting erroneous sequences in the fields of human population genetics and forensics. Apart from conceptual problems concerning the interpretation of mtDNA variation in tumorigenesis, in most cases, blocks of seemingly somatic mutations clearly point to contamination or sample mix-up and, therefore, have nothing to do with tumorigenesis.
The role of mitochondria in tumorigenesis remains unclarified. Our findings of laboratory errors in many contributions would represent only the tip of the iceberg since most published studies do not provide the raw sequence data for inspection, thus hindering a posteriori evaluation of the results. There is no precedent for such a concatenation of errors and misconceptions affecting a whole subfield of medical research.
The role of mitochondria in tumorigenesis remains unclear; in this paper Salas and colleagues raise concerns over many published studies
Chromosome 6p21-p22.1, spanning the extended major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region, is a highly polymorphic, gene-dense region. It has been identified as a susceptibility locus of schizophrenia in Europeans, Japanese, and Chinese. In our previous two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS), polymorphisms of zinc finger with KRAB and SCAN domains 4 (ZKSCAN4), nuclear factor-κB-activating protein-like (NKAPL), and piggyBac transposable element derived 1 (PGBD1), localized to chromosome 6p21-p22.1, were strongly associated with schizophrenia. To further investigate the association between polymorphisms at this locus and schizophrenia in the Chinese Han population, we selected eight other single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed in or near these genes for a case-control association study in an independent sample of 902 cases and 1,091 healthy controls in an attempt to replicate the GWAS results. Four of these eight SNPs (rs12214383, rs1150724, rs3800324, and rs1997660) displayed a nominal difference in allele frequencies between the case and control groups. The association between two of these SNPs and schizophrenia were significant even after Bonferroni correction (rs12000: allele A>G, P = 2.50E-04, odds ratio [OR] = 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.12–1.45; rs1150722: allele C>T, P = 4.28E-05, OR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.41–0.73). Haplotype ATTGACGC, comprising these eight SNPs (rs2235359, rs2185955, rs12214383, rs12000, rs1150724, rs1150722, rs3800324, and rs1997660), was significantly associated with schizophrenia (P = 6.60E-05). We also performed a combined study of this replication sample and the first-stage GWAS sample. The combined study revealed that rs12000 and rs1150722 were still strongly associated with schizophrenia (rs12000: allele G>A, Pcombined = 0.0019, OR = 0.81; rs1150722: allele G>A, Pcombined = 3.00E-04, OR = 0.61). These results support our findings that locus 6p21-p22.1 is significantly associated with schizophrenia in the Chinese Han population and encourage further studies of the functions of these genetic factors.
Coat color in dog breeds is an excellent character for revealing the power of artificial selection, as it is extremely diverse and likely the result of recent domestication. Coat color is generated by melanocytes, which synthesize pheomelanin (a red or yellow pigment) or eumelanin (a black or brown pigment) through the pigment type-switching pathway, and is regulated by three genes in dogs: MC1R (melanocortin receptor 1), CBD103 (β-defensin 103), and ASIP (agouti-signaling protein precursor). The genotypes of these three gene loci in dog breeds are associated with coat color pattern. Here, we resequenced these three gene loci in two Kunming dog populations and analyzed these sequences using population genetic approaches to identify evolutionary patterns that have occurred at these loci during the recent domestication and breeding of the Kunming dog. The analysis showed that MC1R undergoes balancing selection in both Kunming dog populations, and that the Fst value for MC1R indicates significant genetic differentiation across the two populations. In contrast, similar results were not observed for CBD103 or ASIP. These results suggest that high heterozygosity and allelic differences at the MC1R locus may explain both the mixed color coat, of yellow and black, and the difference in coat colors in both Kunming dog populations.
Genetic variation in the IL28B gene has been strongly associated with treatment outcomes, spontaneous clearance and progression of the hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of polymorphisms at this locus with progression and outcome of HCV infection in a Moroccan population.
We analyzed a cohort of 438 individuals among them 232 patients with persistent HCV infection, of whom 115 patients had mild chronic hepatitis and 117 had advanced liver disease (cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma), 68 individuals who had naturally cleared HCV and 138 healthy subjects. The IL28B SNPs rs12979860 and rs8099917 were genotyped using a TaqMan 5′ allelic discrimination assay.
The protective rs12979860-C and rs8099917-T alleles were more common in subjects with spontaneous clearance (77.9% vs 55.2%; p = 0.00001 and 95.6% vs 83.2%; p = 0.0025, respectively). Individuals with clearance were 4.69 (95% CI, 1.99–11.07) times more likely to have the C/C genotype for rs12979860 polymorphism (p = 0.0017) and 3.55 (95% CI, 0.19–66.89) times more likely to have the T/T genotype at rs8099917. Patients with advanced liver disease carried the rs12979860-T/T genotype more frequently than patients with mild chronic hepatitis C (OR = 1.89; 95% CI, 0.99–3.61; p = 0.0532) and this risk was even more pronounced when we compared them with healthy controls (OR = 4.27; 95% CI, 2.08–8.76; p = 0.0005). The rs8099917-G allele was also associated with advanced liver disease (OR = 2.34; 95% CI, 1.40–3.93; p = 0.0100).
In the Moroccan population, polymorphisms near the IL28B gene play a role both in spontaneous clearance and progression of HCV infection.
Several linkage analyses have mapped a susceptibility locus for diabetic nephropathy to chromosome 18q22–23, and polymorphisms within the carnosine dipeptidase 1 gene (CNDP1), located on 18q22.3, have been shown to be associated with diabetic nephropathy in European subjects with type 2 diabetes. However, the association of this locus with diabetic nephropathy has not been evaluated in the Japanese population. In this study, we examined the association of polymorphisms within the CNDP1/CNDP 2 locus with diabetic nephropathy in Japanese subjects with type 2 diabetes.
We genotyped a leucine repeat polymorphism (D18S880) that is within CNDP1 along with 29 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CNDP1/CNDP2 locus for 2,740 Japanese subjects with type 2 diabetes (1,205 nephropathy cases with overt nephropathy or with end-stage renal disease [ESRD], and 1,535 controls with normoalbuminuria). The association of each polymorphism with diabetic nephropathy was analysed by performing logistic regression analysis. We did not observe any association between D18S880 and diabetic nephropathy in Japanese subjects with type 2 diabetes. None of the 29 SNPs within the CNDP1/CNDP2 locus were associated with diabetic nephropathy, but a subsequent sex-stratified analysis revealed that 1 SNP in CNDP1 was nominally associated with diabetic nephropathy in women (rs12604675-A; p = 0.005, odds ratio [OR] = 1.76, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19−2.61). Rs12604675 was associated with overt proteinuria (p = 0.002, OR = 2.18, 95% CI, 1.32−3.60), but not with ESRD in Japanese women with type 2 diabetes.
Rs12604675-A in CNDP1 may confer susceptibility to overt proteinuria in Japanese women with type 2 diabetes.
Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1β (HNF1β), a transcription factor encoded by the transcription factor 2 gene (TCF2), plays a critical role in pancreatic cell formation and glucose homeostasis. It has been suggested that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of TCF2 are associated with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, published results are inconsistent and inclusive. To further investigate the role of these common variants, we examined the association of TCF2 polymorphisms with the risk of T2D in a Han population in northeastern China. We genotyped five SNPs in 624 T2D patients and 630 healthy controls by using a SNaPshot method, and evaluated the T2D risk conferred by individual SNPs and haplotypes. In the single-locus analysis, we found that rs752010, rs4430796 and rs7501939 showed allelic differences between T2D patients and healthy controls, with an OR of 1.26 (95% CI 1.08–1.51, P = 0.003), an OR of 1.23 (95% CI 1.06–1.55, P = 0.001) and an OR of 1.28 (95% CI 1.10–1.61, P = 0.001), respectively. Genotype association analysis of each locus also revealed that the homozygous carriers of the at-risk allele had a significant increased T2D risk compared to homozygous carriers of the other allele (OR 1.78, 95% CI 1.20–2.64 for rs752010; OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.24–2.67 for rs4430796; OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.31–2.90 for rs7501939), even after Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Besides, the haplotype-based analysis demonstrated that AGT in block rs752010-rs4430796-rs7501939 was associated with about 30% increase in T2D risk (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.09–1.57, P = 0.01). Our findings suggested that TCF2 variants may be involved in T2D risk in a Han population of northeastern China. Larger studies with ethnically diverse populations are warranted to confirm the results reported in this investigation.
Genome-wide association studies identified a PTGER4 expression-modulating region on chromosome 5p13.1 as Crohn's disease (CD) susceptibility region. The study aim was to test this association in a large cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and to elucidate genotypic and phenotypic interactions with other IBD genes.
A total of 7073 patients and controls were genotyped: 844 CD and 471 patients with ulcerative colitis and 1488 controls were analyzed for the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs4495224 and rs7720838 on chromosome 5p13.1. The study included two replication cohorts of North American (CD: n = 684; controls: n = 1440) and of German origin (CD: n = 1098; controls: n = 1048). Genotype-phenotype, epistasis and transcription factor binding analyses were performed. In the discovery cohort, an association of rs4495224 (p = 4.10×10−5; 0.76 [0.67–0.87]) and of rs7720838 (p = 6.91×10−4; 0.81 [0.71–0.91]) with susceptibility to CD was demonstrated. These associations were confirmed in both replication cohorts. In silico analysis predicted rs4495224 and rs7720838 as essential parts of binding sites for the transcription factors NF-κB and XBP1 with higher binding scores for carriers of the CD risk alleles, providing an explanation of how these SNPs might contribute to increased PTGER4 expression. There was no association of the PTGER4 SNPs with IBD phenotypes. Epistasis detected between 5p13.1 and ATG16L1 for CD susceptibility in the discovery cohort (p = 5.99×10−7 for rs7720838 and rs2241880) could not be replicated in both replication cohorts arguing against a major role of this gene-gene interaction in the susceptibility to CD.
We confirmed 5p13.1 as a major CD susceptibility locus and demonstrate by in silico analysis rs4495224 and rs7720838 as part of binding sites for NF-κB and XBP1. Further functional studies are necessary to confirm the results of our in silico analysis and to analyze if changes in PTGER4 expression modulate CD susceptibility.
Common variants in genes related to inflammation, innate immunity, epithelial cell function, and angiogenesis have been reported to be associated with risks for Acute Lung Injury (ALI) and related outcomes. We tested whether previously-reported associations can be validated in an independent cohort at risk for ALI.
We identified 37 genetic variants in 27 genes previously associated with ALI and related outcomes. We prepared allelic discrimination assays for 12 SNPs from 11 genes with MAF>0.05 and genotyped these SNPs in Caucasian subjects from a cohort of critically ill patients meeting criteria for the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) followed for development of ALI, duration of mechanical ventilation, and in-hospital death. We tested for associations using additive and recessive genetic models.
Among Caucasian subjects with SIRS (n = 750), we identified a nominal association between rs2069832 in IL6 and ALI susceptibility (ORadj 1.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–2.48, P = 0.03). In a sensitivity analysis limiting ALI cases to those who qualified for the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), rs61330082 in NAMPT was nominally associated with risk for ARDS. In terms of ALI outcomes, SNPs in MBL2 (rs1800450) and IL8 (rs4073) were nominally associated with fewer ventilator-free days (VFDs), and SNPs in NFE2L2 (rs6721961) and NAMPT (rs61330082) were nominally associated with 28-day mortality. The directions of effect for these nominal associations were in the same direction as previously reported but none of the associations survived correction for multiple hypothesis testing.
Although our primary analyses failed to statistically validate prior associations, our results provide some support for associations between SNPs in IL6 and NAMPT and risk for development of lung injury and for SNPs in IL8, MBL2, NFE2L2 and NAMPT with severity in ALI outcomes. These associations provide further evidence that genetic factors in genes related to immunity and inflammation contribute to ALI pathogenesis.
The objective of this study was to examine the relation between the 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene and behaviors related to attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in individuals with myelomeningocele. The rationale for the study was twofold: folate metabolizing genes, (e.g. MTHFR), are important not only in the etiology of neural tube defects but are also critical to cognitive function; and individuals with myelomeningocele have an elevated incidence of ADHD. Here, we tested 478 individuals with myelomeningocele for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder behavior using the Swanson Nolan Achenbach Pelham-IV ADHD rating scale. Myelomeningocele participants in this group for whom DNAs were available were genotyped for seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the MTHFR gene. The SNPs were evaluated for an association with manifestation of the ADHD phenotype in children with myelomeningocele. The data show that 28.7% of myelomeningocele participants exhibit rating scale elevations consistent with ADHD; of these 70.1% had scores consistent with the predominantly inattentive subtype. In addition, we also show a positive association between the SNP rs4846049 in the 3′-untranslated region of the MTHFR gene and the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder phenotype in myelomeningocele participants. These results lend further support to the finding that behavior related to ADHD is more prevalent in patients with myelomeningocele than in the general population. These data also indicate the potential importance of the MTHFR gene in the etiology of the ADHD phenotype.
The statistical interpretation of the forensic genetic evidence requires the use of allelic frequency estimates in the reference population for the studied markers. Differences in the genetic make up of the populations can be reflected in statistically different allelic frequency distributions. One can easily figure out that collecting such information for any given population is not always possible. Therefore, alternative approaches are needed in these cases in order to compensate for the lack of information. A number of statistics have been proposed to control for population stratification in paternity testing and forensic casework, Fst correction being the only one recommended by the forensic community. In this study we aimed to evaluate the performance of Fst to correct for population stratification in forensics. By way of simulations, we first tested the dependence of Fst on the relative sizes of the sub-populations, and second, we measured the effect of the Fst corrections on the Paternity Index (PI) values compared to the ones obtained when using the local reference database. The results provide clear-cut evidence that (i) Fst values are strongly dependent on the sampling scheme, and therefore, for most situations it would be almost impossible to estimate real values of Fst; and (ii) Fst corrections might unfairly correct PI values for stratification, suggesting the use of local databases whenever possible to estimate the frequencies of genetic profiles and PI values.
Linguistic and genetic studies on Roma populations inhabited in Europe have unequivocally traced these populations to the Indian subcontinent. However, the exact parental population group and time of the out-of-India dispersal have remained disputed. In the absence of archaeological records and with only scanty historical documentation of the Roma, comparative linguistic studies were the first to identify their Indian origin. Recently, molecular studies on the basis of disease-causing mutations and haploid DNA markers (i.e. mtDNA and Y-chromosome) supported the linguistic view. The presence of Indian-specific Y-chromosome haplogroup H1a1a-M82 and mtDNA haplogroups M5a1, M18 and M35b among Roma has corroborated that their South Asian origins and later admixture with Near Eastern and European populations. However, previous studies have left unanswered questions about the exact parental population groups in South Asia. Here we present a detailed phylogeographical study of Y-chromosomal haplogroup H1a1a-M82 in a data set of more than 10,000 global samples to discern a more precise ancestral source of European Romani populations. The phylogeographical patterns and diversity estimates indicate an early origin of this haplogroup in the Indian subcontinent and its further expansion to other regions. Tellingly, the short tandem repeat (STR) based network of H1a1a-M82 lineages displayed the closest connection of Romani haplotypes with the traditional scheduled caste and scheduled tribe population groups of northwestern India.
Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1) is an enzyme involved in lipid metabolism. In mice and humans its activity has been associated with traits of the metabolic syndrome, but also with the prevention of saturated fatty acids accumulation and subsequent inflammation, whereas for liver fat content inconsistent results have been reported. Thus, variants of the gene encoding SCD1 (SCD1) could potentially modify metabolic risk factors, but few human studies have addressed this question.
In a sample of 2157 middle-aged men and women randomly drawn from the Potsdam cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, we investigated the impact of 7 SCD1 tagging-single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs1502593, rs522951, rs11190480, rs3071, rs3793767, rs10883463 and rs508384) and 5 inferred haplotypes with frequency >5% describing 90.9% of the genotype combinations in our population, on triglycerides, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and fetuin-A.
No significant associations between any of the SNPs or haplotypes and BMI, WC, fetuin-A and hs-CRP were observed. Associations of rs10883463 with triglycerides, GGT and HbA1c as well as of rs11190480 with ALT activity, were weak and became non-significant after multiple-testing correction. Also associations of the haplotype harbouring the minor allele of rs1502593 with HbA1c levels, the haplotype harbouring the minor alleles of rs11190480 and rs508384 with activity of ALT, and the haplotype harbouring the minor alleles of rs522951, rs10883463 and rs508384 with triglyceride and HbA1C levels and GGT activities did not withstand multiple-testing correction.
These findings suggest that there are no associations between common variants of SCD1 or its inferred haplotypes and the investigated metabolic risk factors. However, given the results from animal models, heterogeneity of human SCD1 warrants further investigation, in particular with regard to rare variants.