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
Reduced Gray matter (GM) volume is a core feature of schizophrenia. Mapping genes that is associated with the heritable disease-related phenotypes may be conducive to elucidate the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. This study aims to identify the common genetic variants that underlie the deficits of GM volume in schizophrenia. High-resolution T1 images and whole genome genotyping data were obtained from 74 first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and 51 healthy controls in the Mental Health Centre of the West China Hospital, Sichuan University. All participants were scanned using a 3T MR imaging system and were genotyped using the HumanHap660 Bead Array. Reduced GM volumes in three brain areas including left hOC3v in the collateral sulcus of visual cortex (hOC3vL), left cerebellar vermis lobule 10 (vermisL10) and right cerebellar vermis lobule 10 (vermisR10) were found in patients with schizophrenia. There was a group by genotype interaction when genotypes from genome-wide scan were subsequently considered in the case-control analyses. SNPs from three genes or chromosomal regions (TBXAS1, PIK3C2G and HS3ST5) were identified to predict the changes of GM volume in hOC3vL, vermisL10 and vermisR10. These results also highlighted the usefulness of endophenotype in exploring the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia although further independent replication studies are needed in the future.
The present study was conducted to explore whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Th1 and Th17 cell-mediated immune response genes differentially influence the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women and men. In phase one, 27 functional/tagging polymorphisms in C-type lectins and MCP-1/CCR2 axis were genotyped in 458 RA patients and 512 controls. Carriers of Dectin-2rs4264222T allele had an increased risk of RA (OR = 1.47, 95%CI 1.10–1.96) whereas patients harboring the DC-SIGNrs4804803G, MCP-1rs1024611G, MCP-1rs13900T and MCP-1rs4586C alleles had a decreased risk of developing the disease (OR = 0.66, 95%CI 0.49–0.88; OR = 0.66, 95%CI 0.50–0.89; OR = 0.73, 95%CI 0.55–0.97 and OR = 0.68, 95%CI 0.51–0.91). Interestingly, significant gender-specific differences were observed for Dectin-2rs4264222 and Dectin-2rs7134303: women carrying the Dectin-2rs4264222T and Dectin-2rs7134303G alleles had an increased risk of RA (OR = 1.93, 95%CI 1.34–2.79 and OR = 1.90, 95%CI 1.29–2.80). Also five other SNPs showed significant associations only with one gender: women carrying the MCP-1rs1024611G, MCP-1rs13900T and MCP-1rs4586C alleles had a decreased risk of RA (OR = 0.61, 95%CI 0.43–0.87; OR = 0.67, 95%CI 0.47–0.95 and OR = 0.60, 95%CI 0.42–0.86). In men, carriers of the DC-SIGNrs2287886A allele had an increased risk of RA (OR = 1.70, 95%CI 1.03–2.78), whereas carriers of the DC-SIGNrs4804803G had a decreased risk of developing the disease (OR = 0.53, 95%CI 0.32–0.89). In phase 2, we genotyped these SNPs in 754 RA patients and 519 controls, leading to consistent gender-specific associations for Dectin-2rs4264222, MCP-1rs1024611, MCP-1rs13900 and DC-SIGNrs4804803 polymorphisms in the pooled sample (OR = 1.38, 95%CI 1.08–1.77; OR = 0.74, 95%CI 0.58–0.94; OR = 0.76, 95%CI 0.59–0.97 and OR = 0.56, 95%CI 0.34–0.93). SNP-SNP interaction analysis of significant SNPs also showed a significant two-locus interaction model in women that was not seen in men. This model consisted of Dectin-2rs4264222 and Dectin-2rs7134303 SNPs and suggested a synergistic effect between the variants. These findings suggest that Dectin-2, MCP-1 and DC-SIGN polymorphisms may, at least in part, account for gender-associated differences in susceptibility to RA.
Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is the most important endocrine blood pressure control mechanism in our body, genes encoding components of this system have been strong candidates for the investigation of the genetic basis of hypertension. However, previous studies mainly focused on limited polymorphisms, thus we carried out a case-control study in the Han Chinese population to systemically investigate the association between polymorphisms in the RAAS genes and essential hypertension.
905 essential hypertensive cases and 905 normotensive controls were recruited based on stringent inclusion and exclusion criteria. All 41 tagSNPs within RAAS genes were retrieved from HapMap, and the genotyping was performed using the GenomeLab SNPstream Genotyping System. Logistic regression analysis, Multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR), stratified analysis and crossover analysis were used to identify and characterize interactions among the SNPs and the non-genetic factors.
Serum levels of total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG), and body mass index (BMI) were significantly higher in the hypertensive group than in the control group. Of 41 SNPs genotyped, rs3789678 and rs2493132 within AGT, rs4305 within ACE, rs275645 within AGTR1, rs3802230 and rs10086846 within CYP11B2 were shown to associate with hypertension. The MDR analysis demonstrated that the interaction between BMI and rs4305 increased the susceptibility to hypertension. Crossover analysis and stratified analysis further indicated that BMI has a major effect, and rs4305 has a minor effect.
These novel findings indicated that together with non-genetic factors, these genetic variants in the RAAS may play an important role in determining an individual’s susceptibility to hypertension in the Han Chinese.
Comparative genomic studies suggest that a huge number of genes that show the strongest evidence for positive selection in human are testis- or sperm-specific genes, which are possibly due to germline selection. We propose a novel selection model in which the germlines of heterozygous males in a monogamous population are under natural selection. Under this model, we study the dynamics of a strongly selected substitution in the male germline and its hitch-hiking effect on the preexisting linked neutral polymorphism. We show that the expected heterozygosity at the neural locus is reduced by , where c is the recombination rate between selected and neutral locus, s is selective coefficient of advantageous allele, and N is diploid effective population size.
The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) is higher among patients receiving atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) treatment, and even among AAPs, treatment with clozapine has been shown to be associated with a higher long-term incidence rate of MetS. Likewise, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) deficiency has been reported to result in metabolic traits, such as increased food intake, hyperphagia and obesity, etc. In this study, we hypothesized that a functional polymorphism (Val66Met) in the BDNF gene may confer susceptibility to clozapine-induced MetS, potentially in a sex-specific manner, since an interaction between Val66Met polymorphism and sex was observed in our previous studies. A total of 199 schizophrenia patients being treated with clozapine were divided into two groups, MetS and non-MetS, based on the diagnostic criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III. We genotyped the Val66Met polymorphism, and measured the serum levels of fasting glucose (GLU), triglyceride (TG) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). There was a trend indicating a significant association between the homozygous Met/Met genotype and MetS in male patients (OR = 2.39; 95% CI: 1.05–5.41; p = 0.039; corrected p = 0.078). Among the six risk factors listed in the ATPIII criteria, we found a significant association between fasting GLU levels and Val66Met polymorphism in males (p = 0.005; corrected p = 0.03), but not in females (p = 0.65). Post-hoc analysis in males revealed that the Met/Met carriers had significant higher levels of fasting GLU than those with Val/Val or Val/Met genotypes (p = 0.007; corrected p = 0.042 and p = 0.002; corrected p = 0.012, respectively). In conclusion, we observed a weak association between the Val66Met polymorphism and clozapine-induced MetS in a sex-specific manner. While preliminary, such findings prompt further, large-scale longitudinal studies to replicate these findings.
Caspase 8 (CASP8) plays a critical role in the apoptotic pathway and aberrant regulation of this pathway causes many diseases including cancers. Genetic variants rs3834129 (CTTACT/−) and rs3769821 (T/C) in the promoter region of the CASP8 gene were documented to be associated with multiple solid cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), respectively, despite of some controversies. We aimed to discern potential association of these two variants and rs113686495 (CTGTCATT/−), as well as CASP8 mRNA and protein expression levels with colorectal cancer (CRC) in Han Chinese.
We genotyped CASP8 genetic variants in 305 CRC patients and 342 healthy individuals from Kunming, Southwest China. Expression levels of CASP8 mRNA and protein were quantified in paired cancerous and paracancerous normal tissues by using real-time quantitative PCR and western blot, respectively. We compared the frequencies of alleles, genotypes, and haplotypes between the cases and controls. Correlation of CASP8 mRNA and protein expression levels in paired cancerous and paracancerous normal tissues from patients with different genotypes and clinical expression were also evaluated.
There was no association of the CASP8 genetic variants with CRC in our case-control study. The CASP8 gene mRNA expression levels in cancerous and paracancerous normal tissues were similar and there was no significant difference between subjects with different genotypes and clinical features. However, we found that CASP8 protein level was significantly lower in cancerous tissues than in paired paracancerous normal tissues.
Our results suggest that the three CASP8 genetic variants may not be associated with CRC risk in Han Chinese from southwest China. Aberrant CASP8 protein expression may play a role in the pathogenesis of CRC.
Cyclin G-associated kinase (GAK) modifies α–synuclein expression levels and affects the susceptibility of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1564282 of GAK gene has a significant association to the risk of PD among Caucasian populations. To date there is only one data with regards to ethnic Chinese from Mainland China. Here, we conducted a case-control study in two independent cohorts of Han Chinese populations from Taiwan and Singapore to validate this association. A total of 1,755 subjects (871 PD patients and 884 controls) were recruited. The results showed that neither the CT, TT genotypes nor the minor allele T of SNP rs1564282 were associated with PD among the subjects from Taiwan and Singapore as well as in the pooled analysis. Differences in our study population with regards to published literature may be due to epigenetic factors and gene-gene or gene-environmental interactions. Further studies in other Chinese populations will be of interest to validate these findings.
Genome-wide association studies have facilitated the identification of over 30 susceptibility loci for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, evidence for a number of potential susceptibility genes have not so far reached genome-wide significance in studies of Caucasian RA.
A cohort of 4286 RA patients from across Europe and 5642 population matched controls were genotyped for 25 SNPs, then combined in a meta-analysis with previously published data.
Significant evidence of association was detected for nine SNPs within the European samples. When meta-analysed with previously published data, 21 SNPs were associated with RA susceptibility. Although SNPs in the PTPN2 gene were previously reported to be associated with RA in both Japanese and European populations, we show genome-wide evidence for a different SNP within this gene associated with RA susceptibility in an independent European population (rs7234029, P = 4.4×10−9).
This study provides further genome-wide evidence for the association of the PTPN2 locus (encoding the T cell protein tyrosine phosphastase) with Caucasian RA susceptibility. This finding adds to the growing evidence for PTPN2 being a pan-autoimmune susceptibility gene.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a serious, incurable neurological disease. In 2009, the ANZgene studies detected the suggestive association of located upstream of CD40 gene in chromosome 20q13 (p = 1.3×10−7). Identification of the causal variant(s) in the CD40 locus leads to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying the development of autoimmune pathologies. We determined the genotypes of rs6074022, rs1883832, rs1535045, and rs11086996 in patients with MS (n = 1684) and in the control group (n = 879). Two SNPs were significantly associated with MS: rs6074022 (additive model C allele OR = 1.27, 95% CI = [1.12–1.45], p = 3×10−4) and rs1883832 (additive model T allele OR = 1.20, 95% CI = [1.05–1.38], p = 7×10−3). In the meta-analysis of our results and the results of four previous studies, we obtain the association p-value of 2.34×10−12, which confirmed the association between MS and rs6074022 at a genome-wide significant level. Next, we demonstrated that the model including rs6074022 only sufficiently described the association. From our analysis, we can speculate that the association between rs1883832 and MS was induced by LD, whereas rs6074022 was a marker in stronger LD with the functional variant or was the functional variant itself. Our results indicated that the functional variants were located in the upstream region of the gene CD40 and were in higher LD with rs6074022 than LD with rs1883832.
Myopia is the most common ocular disease worldwide. We investigated the association of high myopia with the common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of five candidate genes – early growth response 1 (EGR1), v-fos FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog (FOS), jun oncogene (JUN), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor 2 (VIPR2). We recruited 1200 unrelated Chinese subjects with 600 cases (spherical equivalent ≤−8.00 diopters) and 600 controls (spherical equivalent within ±1.00 diopter). A discovery sample set was formed from 300 cases and 300 controls, and a replication sample set from the remaining samples. Tag SNPs were genotyped for the discovery sample set, and the most significant haplotypes and their constituent SNPs were followed up with the replication sample set. The allele and haplotype frequencies in cases and controls were compared by logistic regression adjusted for sex and age to give Pa values, and multiple comparisons were corrected by permutation test to give Paemp values. Odd ratios (OR) were calculated accordingly. In the discovery phase, EGR1, JUN and VIP did not show any significant association while FOS and VIPR2 demonstrated significant haplotype association with high myopia. In the replication phase, the haplotype association for VIPR2 was successfully replicated, but not FOS. In analysis combining both sample sets, the most significant association signals of VIPR2 were the single marker rs2071625 (Pa = 0.0008, Paemp = 0.0046 and OR = 0.75) and the 4-SNP haplotype window rs2071623-rs2071625-rs2730220-rs885863 (omnibus test, Pa = 9.10e-10 and Paemp = 0.0001) with one protective haplotype (GGGG: Paemp = 0.0002 and OR = 0.52) and one high-risk haplotype (GAGA: Paemp = 0.0027 and OR = 4.68). This 4-SNP haplotype window was the most significant in all sample sets examined. This is the first study to suggest a role of VIPR2 in the genetic susceptibility to high myopia. EGR1, JUN, FOS and VIP are unlikely to be important in predisposing humans to high myopia.
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.