Increasing evidence suggests epidemiological and pathological links between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and ischemic stroke (IS). We investigated the evidence that shared genetic factors underpin the two diseases.
Using genome‐wide association study (GWAS) data from METASTROKE + (15,916 IS cases and 68,826 controls) and the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP; 17,008 AD cases and 37,154 controls), we evaluated known associations with AD and IS. On the subset of data for which we could obtain compatible genotype‐level data (4,610 IS cases, 1,281 AD cases, and 14,320 controls), we estimated the genome‐wide genetic correlation (rG) between AD and IS, and the three subtypes (cardioembolic, small vessel, and large vessel), using genome‐wide single‐nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. We then performed a meta‐analysis and pathway analysis in the combined AD and small vessel stroke data sets to identify the SNPs and molecular pathways through which disease risk may be conferred.
We found evidence of a shared genetic contribution between AD and small vessel stroke (rG [standard error] = 0.37 [0.17]; p = 0.011). Conversely, there was no evidence to support shared genetic factors in AD and IS overall or with the other stroke subtypes. Of the known GWAS associations with IS or AD, none reached significance for association with the other trait (or stroke subtypes). A meta‐analysis of AD IGAP and METASTROKE + small vessel stroke GWAS data highlighted a region (ATP5H/KCTD2/ICT1) associated with both diseases (p = 1.8 × 10−8). A pathway analysis identified four associated pathways involving cholesterol transport and immune response.
Our findings indicate shared genetic susceptibility to AD and small vessel stroke and highlight potential causal pathways and loci. Ann Neurol 2016;79:739–747
Background The extent to which adult height, a biomarker of the interplay of genetic endowment and early-life experiences, is related to risk of chronic diseases in adulthood is uncertain.
Methods We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for height, assessed in increments of 6.5 cm, using individual–participant data on 174 374 deaths or major non-fatal vascular outcomes recorded among 1 085 949 people in 121 prospective studies.
Results For people born between 1900 and 1960, mean adult height increased 0.5–1 cm with each successive decade of birth. After adjustment for age, sex, smoking and year of birth, HRs per 6.5 cm greater height were 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.96–0.99) for death from any cause, 0.94 (0.93–0.96) for death from vascular causes, 1.04 (1.03–1.06) for death from cancer and 0.92 (0.90–0.94) for death from other causes. Height was negatively associated with death from coronary disease, stroke subtypes, heart failure, stomach and oral cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mental disorders, liver disease and external causes. In contrast, height was positively associated with death from ruptured aortic aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, melanoma and cancers of the pancreas, endocrine and nervous systems, ovary, breast, prostate, colorectum, blood and lung. HRs per 6.5 cm greater height ranged from 1.26 (1.12–1.42) for risk of melanoma death to 0.84 (0.80–0.89) for risk of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. HRs were not appreciably altered after further adjustment for adiposity, blood pressure, lipids, inflammation biomarkers, diabetes mellitus, alcohol consumption or socio-economic indicators.
Conclusion Adult height has directionally opposing relationships with risk of death from several different major causes of chronic diseases.
Height; cardiovascular disease; cancer; cause-specific mortality; epidemiological study; meta-analysis
autolysosome; autophagosome; chaperone-mediated autophagy; flux; LC3; lysosome; macroautophagy; phagophore; stress; vacuole
To identify genetic variants influencing plasma lipid concentrations, we first used genotype imputation and meta-analysis to combine three genome-wide scans totaling 8,816 individuals and comprising 6,068 individuals specific to our study (1,874 individuals from the FUSION study of type 2 diabetes and 4,184 individuals from the SardiNIA study of aging-associated variables) and 2,758 individuals from the Diabetes Genetics Initiative, reported in a companion study in this issue. We subsequently examined promising signals in 11,569 additional individuals. Overall, we identify strongly associated variants in eleven loci previously implicated in lipid metabolism (ABCA1, the APOA5-APOA4-APOC3-APOA1 and APOE-APOC clusters, APOB, CETP, GCKR, LDLR, LPL, LIPC, LIPG and PCSK9) and also in several newly identified loci (near MVK-MMAB and GALNT2, with variants primarily associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; near SORT1, with variants primarily associated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; near TRIB1, MLXIPL and ANGPTL3, with variants primarily associated with triglycerides; and a locus encompassing several genes near NCAN, with variants strongly associated with both triglycerides and LDL cholesterol). Notably, the 11 independent variants associated with increased LDL cholesterol concentrations in our study also showed increased frequency in a sample of coronary artery disease cases versus controls.
Tumors that express detectable levels of the product of the ESR1 gene (estrogen receptor-α; ERα) represent the single largest molecular subtype of breast cancer. More women eventually die from ERα+ breast cancer than from either HER2+ disease (almost half of which also express ERα) and/or from triple negative breast cancer (ERα-negative, progesterone receptor-negative, and HER2-negative). Antiestrogens and aromatase inhibitors are largely indistinguishable from each other in their abilities to improve overall survival and almost 50% of ERα+ breast cancers will eventually fail one or more of these endocrine interventions. The precise reasons why these therapies fail in ERα+ breast cancer remain largely unknown. Pharmacogenetic explanations for Tamoxifen resistance are controversial. The role of ERα mutations in endocrine resistance remains unclear. Targeting the growth factors and oncogenes most strongly correlated with endocrine resistance has proven mostly disappointing in their abilities to improve overall survival substantially, particularly in the metastatic setting. Nonetheless, there are new concepts in endocrine resistance that integrate molecular signaling, cellular metabolism, and stress responses including endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) that provide novel insights and suggest innovative therapeutic targets. Encouraging evidence that drug combinations with CDK4/CDK6 inhibitors can extend recurrence free survival may yet translate to improvements in overall survival. Whether the improvements seen with immunotherapy in other cancers can be achieved in breast cancer remains to be determined, particularly for ERα+ breast cancers. This review explores the basic mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapies, concluding with some new insights from systems biology approaches further implicating autophagy and the UPR in detail, and a brief discussion of exciting new avenues and future prospects.
To investigate the prevalence, developmental potential, chromosomal constitution and clinical outcome of embryos with direct unequal cleavages (DUC).
A retrospective observational study.
21,261 embryos from 3,155 cycles cultured in EmbryoScope®.
The total incidence of DUCs per embryo occupying the first three cleavages were 26.1%. Depending of the cell stage, DUC rate was 9.8% at first cleavage (DUC-1), 9.1% at second cleavage (DUC-2), and 3.7% at third cleavage (DUC-3) with 3.6% of embryos exhibiting multiple DUCs (DUC-Plus). The occurrence of DUCs was not correlated with female gamete age or source. The incidence of DUC-1 was significantly higher in embryos fertilized by epididymal and testicular sperm (13.6% and 11.4%, respectively) compared to ejaculated sperm (9.1%, all p<0.05). The total incidences of DUCs were strongly correlated with the onset of blastomere multinucleation (MNB) during the first three divisions. In MNB embryos, DUCs incidence are two to three times more likely to develop when compared to non-MNB embryos (OR = 3.11, 95% CI [2.64, 3.67] at 1-cell stage, OR = 2.64, 95% CI [2.39, 2.91] at 2-cell stage and OR = 2.51, 95% CI [1.84, 3.43] at 4-cell stage). The blastocyst formation rates gradually decreased from 61.0% in non-DUC to 40.2% in DUC-3, 18.8% in DUC-2, 8.2% in DUC-1 and 5.6% in multiple DUC embryos (DUC-Plus). The known implantation rates (FH) for day 3 (D3) transfers were 12.42% (n = 3172) in Non-DUC embryos, 6.3% (n = 127) in DUC-3, and 2.7% (n = 260) in DUC-2 embryos. No live births resulted from either DUC-1 (n = 225) or DUC-Plus (n = 100) embryo transfers. For blastocyst transfers, lower implantation rates (33.3%) but similar live birth (LB) rates (40%) were observed if DUC blastocysts were transferred. Comparatively rates in Non-DUC blastocyst were 45.2% and 34.8%, respectively. The euploid rate gradually increased from DUC-1, -2, -3 to Non-DUC (13.3%, 19.5%, 33.3%, 45.6%, p<0.001) for D3 biopsied embryos. Interestingly, the trend of decreased euploidy disappeared in DUC D5/6 biopsied embryos and similar rates were exemplified in DUC (D5 56.3%, D6 35.6%) vs. non-DUC (D5 51.4%, D6 33.8%) embryos.
Blastocyst formation, implantation potential and euploid rate were significantly reduced in DUC embryos. DUC embryos should be deselected for D3 transfers, but should be culture to blastocyst stage for possible ET.
The ENBDC workshop “Methods in Mammary Gland Development and Cancer” is an established international forum to showcase the latest technical advances in the field. The eighth meeting focused on emerging concepts and technologies for studying normal and neoplastic breast development.
In recent years, genome-wide association studies have identified 58 independent risk loci for coronary artery disease (CAD) on the autosome. However, due to the sex-specific data structure of the X chromosome, it has been excluded from most of these analyses. While females have 2 copies of chromosome X, males have only one. Also, one of the female X chromosomes may be inactivated. Therefore, special test statistics and quality control procedures are required. Thus, little is known about the role of X-chromosomal variants in CAD. To fill this gap, we conducted a comprehensive X-chromosome-wide meta-analysis including more than 43,000 CAD cases and 58,000 controls from 35 international study cohorts. For quality control, sex-specific filters were used to adequately take the special structure of X-chromosomal data into account. For single study analyses, several logistic regression models were calculated allowing for inactivation of one female X-chromosome, adjusting for sex and investigating interactions between sex and genetic variants. Then, meta-analyses including all 35 studies were conducted using random effects models. None of the investigated models revealed genome-wide significant associations for any variant. Although we analyzed the largest-to-date sample, currently available methods were not able to detect any associations of X-chromosomal variants with CAD.
To investigate the influence of common and low-frequency genetic variants on the risk of ischemic stroke (all IS) and etiologic stroke subtypes.
We meta-analyzed 12 individual genome-wide association studies comprising 10,307 cases and 19,326 controls imputed to the 1000 Genomes (1 KG) phase I reference panel. We selected variants showing the highest degree of association (p < 1E-5) in the discovery phase for replication in Caucasian (13,435 cases and 29,269 controls) and South Asian (2,385 cases and 5,193 controls) samples followed by a transethnic meta-analysis. We further investigated the p value distribution for different bins of allele frequencies for all IS and stroke subtypes.
We showed genome-wide significance for 4 loci: ABO for all IS, HDAC9 for large vessel disease (LVD), and both PITX2 and ZFHX3 for cardioembolic stroke (CE). We further refined the association peaks for ABO and PITX2. Analyzing different allele frequency bins, we showed significant enrichment in low-frequency variants (allele frequency <5%) for both LVD and small vessel disease, and an enrichment of higher frequency variants (allele frequency 10% and 30%) for CE (all p < 1E-5).
Our findings suggest that the missing heritability in IS subtypes can in part be attributed to low-frequency and rare variants. Larger sample sizes are needed to identify the variants associated with all IS and stroke subtypes.
Breast cancer specific mortality results from tumour cell dissemination and metastatic colonisation. Identification of the cells and processes responsible for metastasis will enable better prevention and control of metastatic disease, thus reducing relapse and mortality. To better understand these processes, we prospectively collected 307 patient-derived breast cancer samples (n = 195 early breast cancers (EBC) and n = 112 metastatic samples (MBC)). We assessed colony-forming activity in vitro by growing isolated cells in both primary (formation) and secondary (self-renewal) mammosphere culture, and tumour initiating activity in vivo through subcutaneous transplantation of fragments or cells into mice. Metastatic samples formed primary mammosphere colonies significantly more frequently than early breast cancers and had significantly higher primary mammosphere colony formation efficiency (0.9 % vs. 0.6 %; p < 0.0001). Tumour initiation in vivo was significantly higher in metastatic than early breast cancer samples (63 % vs. 38 %, p = 0.04). Of 144 breast cancer samples implanted in vivo, we established 20 stable patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models at passage 2 or greater. Lung metastases were detected in mice from 14 PDX models. Mammosphere colony formation in vitro significantly correlated with the ability of a tumour to metastasise to the lungs in vivo (p = 0.05), but not with subcutaneous tumour initiation. In summary, the breast cancer stem cell activities of colony formation and tumour initiation are increased in metastatic compared to early samples, and predict metastasis in vivo. These results suggest that breast stem cell activity will predict for poor outcome tumours, and therapy targeting this activity will improve outcomes for patients with metastatic disease.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10911-016-9361-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Breast cancer; Patient-derived xenografts; Metastasis; Mammosphere; Stem cell activity
Estrogen (E2)-induced transcription requires coordinated recruitment of estrogen-receptor α (ER) and multiple factors at the promoter of activated genes. However, the precise mechanism by which this complex stimulates the RNA polymerase-II activity required to execute transcription is largely unresolved. We investigated the role of bromodomain (BRD) containing bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) proteins, in E2-induced growth and gene activation.
JQ1, a specific BET protein inhibitor, was used to block BET protein function in two different ER-positive breast cancer cell lines (MCF7 and T47D). Real-time PCR and ChIP assays were used to measure RNA expression and to detect recruitment of various factors on the genes, respectively. Protein levels were measured by western blotting.
JQ1 suppressed E2-induced growth and transcription in both MCF7 and T47D cells. The combination of E2 and JQ1 down-regulated the levels of ER protein in MCF7 cells but the loss of ER was not responsible for JQ1 mediated inhibition of E2 signaling. JQ1 did not disrupt E2-induced recruitment of ER and co-activator (SRC3) at the E2-responsive DNA elements. The E2-induced increase in histone acetylation was also not altered by JQ1. However, JQ1 blocked the E2-induced transition of RNA polymerase-II from initiation to elongation by stalling it at the promoter region of the responsive genes upstream of the transcription start site.
This study establishes BET proteins as the key mediators of E2-induced transcriptional activation. This adds another layer of complexity to the regulation of estrogen-induced gene activation that can potentially be targeted for therapeutic intervention.
Estrogen; Transcription; BET proteins; JQ1; Estrogen receptor; RNA polymerase II
Summary: Identification of protein interaction subnetworks is an important step to help us understand complex molecular mechanisms in cancer. In this paper, we develop a BMRF-Net package, implemented in Java and C++, to identify protein interaction subnetworks based on a bagging Markov random field (BMRF) framework. By integrating gene expression data and protein–protein interaction data, this software tool can be used to identify biologically meaningful subnetworks. A user friendly graphic user interface is developed as a Cytoscape plugin for the BMRF-Net software to deal with the input/output interface. The detailed structure of the identified networks can be visualized in Cytoscape conveniently. The BMRF-Net package has been applied to breast cancer data to identify significant subnetworks related to breast cancer recurrence.
Availability and implementation: The BMRF-Net package is available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/bmrfcjava/. The package is tested under Ubuntu 12.04 (64-bit), Java 7, glibc 2.15 and Cytoscape 3.1.0.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Over 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed annually within the USA. Recurrent breast cancer remains a mostly incurable disease with drug resistance, tumor latency and distant metastases driving breast tumor recurrence and morbidity. Understanding drug resistance is a critical component of combating breast cancer. Recently, the protein chaperone GRP78 and the unfolded protein response were implicated as drivers of drug resistance. Preclinical studies show inhibiting GRP78 can reverse drug resistance. Furthermore, drugs developed to target GRP78 show clinical promise in several ongoing clinical trials.
Limited data are available about the ultrasound (US)-detected inflammatory features in patients with suspicion of inflammatory arthritis (S-IA) vs. established rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our study aimed to assess if the presence of power Doppler (PD) can be predicted by a combination of clinical, laboratory and US parameters. We conducted a real-life, retrospective cohort study comparing clinical, laboratory and US parameters of 108 patients with established RA and 93 patients with S-IA. We propose a PD signal prediction model based on a beta-binomial distribution for PD variable using a mix of outcome measures. Patients with RA in clinical remission had significantly more active inflammation and erosions on US when compared with patients with S-IA with similar disease scores (p = 0.03 and p = 0.01, respectively); however, RA patients with different disease activity score (DAS-28) scores had similar PD scores (p = 0.058). The PD scores did not correlate with erosions (p = 0.38) or DAS-28 scores (p = 0.28) in RA patients, but they correlated with high disease activity in S-IA patients (p = 0.048). Subclinical inflammation is more common in patients with RA in clinical remission or with low disease activity than in patients with S-IA; therefore, US was more useful in assessing for true remission in RA rather than diagnosing IA in patients with low disease activity scores. This is the first study to propose a PD prediction model integrating several outcome measures in the two different groups of patients. Further research into validating this model can minimise the risk of underdiagnosing subclinical inflammation.
Inflammatory joint pains; Joint ultrasound; Prediction of power Doppler; Rheumatoid arthritis; Subclinical inflammation
Background: Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) has been implicated in development of atherosclerosis; however, recent randomized trials of Lp-PLA2 inhibition reported no beneficial effects on vascular diseases. In East Asians, a loss-of-function variant in the PLA2G7 gene can be used to assess the effects of genetically determined lower Lp-PLA2.
PLA2G7 V279F (rs76863441) was genotyped in 91 428 individuals randomly selected from the China Kadoorie Biobank of 0.5 M participants recruited in 2004–08 from 10 regions of China, with 7 years’ follow-up. Linear regression was used to assess effects of V279F on baseline traits. Logistic regression was conducted for a range of vascular and non-vascular diseases, including 41 ICD-10 coded disease categories.
PLA2G7 V279F frequency was 5% overall (range 3–7% by region), and 9691 (11%) participants had at least one loss-of-function variant. V279F was not associated with baseline blood pressure, adiposity, blood glucose or lung function. V279F was not associated with major vascular events [7141 events; odds ratio (OR) = 0.98 per F variant, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90-1.06] or other vascular outcomes, including major coronary events (922 events; 0.96, 0.79-1.18) and stroke (5967 events; 1.00, 0.92-1.09). Individuals with V279F had lower risks of diabetes (7031 events; 0.91, 0.84-0.98) and asthma (182 events; 0.53, 0.28-0.98), but there was no association after adjustment for multiple testing.
Conclusions: Lifelong lower Lp-PLA2 activity was not associated with major risks of vascular or non-vascular diseases in Chinese adults. Using functional genetic variants in large-scale prospective studies with linkage to a range of health outcomes is a valuable approach to inform drug development and repositioning.
Lp-PLA2; genetic association; vascular disease; phenome-wide; China
Late–onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is heritable with 20 genes showing genome wide association in the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP). To identify the biology underlying the disease we extended these genetic data in a pathway analysis.
The ALIGATOR and GSEA algorithms were used in the IGAP data to identify associated functional pathways and correlated gene expression networks in human brain.
ALIGATOR identified an excess of curated biological pathways showing enrichment of association. Enriched areas of biology included the immune response (p = 3.27×10-12 after multiple testing correction for pathways), regulation of endocytosis (p = 1.31×10-11), cholesterol transport (p = 2.96 × 10-9) and proteasome-ubiquitin activity (p = 1.34×10-6). Correlated gene expression analysis identified four significant network modules, all related to the immune response (corrected p 0.002 – 0.05).
The immune response, regulation of endocytosis, cholesterol transport and protein ubiquitination represent prime targets for AD therapeutics.
Alzheimer's disease; dementia; neurodegeneration; immune response; endocytosis; cholesterol metabolism; uniquitination; pathway analysis; ALIGATOR; Weighted gene coexpression network analysis
Notch signaling regulates normal stem cells and is also thought to regulate cancer stem cells (CSCs). Recent data indicate that Notch signaling plays a role in the development and progression of osteosarcoma, however the regulation of Notch in chemo-resistant stem-like cells has not yet been fully elucidated. In this study we generated cisplatin-resistant osteosarcoma cells by treating them with sub-lethal dose of cisplatin, sufficient to induce DNA damage responses. Cisplatin-resistant osteosarcoma cells exhibited lower proliferation, enhanced spheroid formation and more mesenchymal characteristics than cisplatin-sensitive cells, were enriched for Stro-1+/CD117+ cells and showed increased expression of stem cell-related genes. A similar effect was observed in vivo, and in addition in vivo tumorigenicity was enhanced during serial transplantation. Using several publicly available datasets, we identified that Notch expression was closely associated with osteosarcoma stem cells and chemotherapy resistance. We confirmed that cisplatin-induced enrichment of osteosarcoma stem cells was mediated through Notch signaling in vitro, and immunohistochemistry showed that cleaved Notch1 (NICD1) positive cells were significantly increased in a relapsed xenograft which had received cisplatin treatment. Furthermore, pretreatment with a γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI) to prevent Notch signalling inhibited cisplatin-enriched osteosarcoma stem cell activity in vitro, including Stro-1+/CD117+ double positive cells and spheroid formation capacity. The Notch inhibitor DAPT also prevented tumor recurrence in resistant xenograft tumors. Overall, our results show that cisplatin induces the enrichment of osteosarcoma stem-like cells through Notch signaling, and targeted inactivation of Notch may be useful for the elimination of CSCs and overcoming drug resistance.
osteosarcoma; cancer stem-like cells; chemo-resistance; Notch signaling pathway
Observational studies suggest weight loss and energy restriction reduce breast cancer risk. Intermittent energy restriction (IER) reduces weight to the same extent as, or more than equivalent continuous energy restriction (CER) but the effects of IER on normal breast tissue and systemic metabolism as indicators of breast cancer risk are unknown.
We assessed the effect of IER (two days of 65 % energy restriction per week) for one menstrual cycle on breast tissue gene expression using Affymetrix GeneChips, adipocyte size by morphometry, and systemic metabolism (insulin resistance, lipids, serum and urine metabolites, lymphocyte gene expression) in 23 overweight premenopausal women at high risk of breast cancer. Unsupervised and supervised analyses of matched pre and post IER biopsies in 20 subjects were performed, whilst liquid and gas chromatography mass spectrometry assessed corresponding changes in serum and urine metabolites in all subjects after the two restricted and five unrestricted days of the IER.
Women lost 4.8 % (±2.0 %) of body weight and 8.0 % (±5.0 %) of total body fat. Insulin resistance (homeostatic model assessment (HOMA)) reduced by 29.8 % (±17.8 %) on the restricted days and by 11 % (±34 %) on the unrestricted days of the IER. Five hundred and twenty-seven metabolites significantly increased or decreased during the two restricted days of IER. Ninety-one percent of these returned to baseline after 5 days of normal eating. Eleven subjects (55 %) displayed reductions in energy restriction-associated metabolic gene pathways including lipid synthesis, gluconeogenesis and glycogen synthesis. Some of these women also had increases in genes associated with breast epithelial cell differentiation (secretoglobulins, milk proteins and mucins) and decreased collagen synthesis (TNMD, PCOLCE2, TIMP4). There was no appreciable effect of IER on breast gene expression in the other nine subjects. These groups did not differ in the degree of changes in weight, total body fat, fat cell size or serum or urine metabolomic markers. Corresponding gene changes were not seen in peripheral blood lymphocytes.
The transcriptional response to IER is variable in breast tissue, which was not reflected in the systemic response, which occurred in all subjects. The mechanisms of breast responsiveness/non-responsiveness require further investigation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13058-016-0714-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Energy restriction; Gene expression; Metabolomics
APOE ε4, the most significant genetic risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD), may mask effects of other loci. We re-analyzed genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) Consortium in APOE ε4+ (10,352 cases and 9,207 controls) and APOE ε4− (7,184 cases and 26,968 controls) subgroups as well as in the total sample testing for interaction between a SNP and APOE ε4 status. Suggestive associations (P<1x10−4) in stage 1 were evaluated in an independent sample (stage 2) containing 4,203 subjects (APOE ε4+: 1,250 cases and 536 controls; APOE ε4-: 718 cases and 1,699 controls). Among APOE ε4− subjects, novel genome-wide significant (GWS) association was observed with 17 SNPs (all between KANSL1 and LRRC37A on chromosome 17 near MAPT) in a meta-analysis of the stage 1 and stage 2 datasets (best SNP, rs2732703, P=5·8x10−9). Conditional analysis revealed that rs2732703 accounted for association signals in the entire 100 kilobase region that includes MAPT. Except for previously identified AD loci showing stronger association in APOE ε4+ subjects (CR1 and CLU) or APOE ε4− subjects (MS4A6A/MS4A4A/ MS4A6E), no other SNPs were significantly associated with AD in a specific APOE genotype subgroup. In addition, the finding in the stage 1 sample that AD risk is significantly influenced by the interaction of APOE with rs1595014 in TMEM106B (P=1·6x10−7) is noteworthy because TMEM106B variants have previously been associated with risk of frontotemporal dementia. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis revealed that rs113986870, one of the GWS SNPs near rs2732703, is significantly associated with four KANSL1 probes that target transcription of the first translated exon and an untranslated exon in hippocampus (P≤1.3x10−8), frontal cortex (P≤1.3x10−9), and temporal cortex (P≤1.2x10−11). Rs113986870 is also strongly associated with a MAPT probe that targets transcription of alternatively spliced exon 3 in frontal cortex (P=9.2x10−6) and temporal cortex (P=2.6x10−6). Our APOE-stratified GWAS is the first to show GWS association for AD with SNPs in the chromosome 17q21.31 region. Replication of this finding in independent samples is needed to verify that SNPs in this region have significantly stronger effects on AD risk in persons lacking APOE ε4 compared to persons carrying this allele, and if this is found to hold, further examination of this region and studies aimed at deciphering the mechanism(s) are warranted.
Breast cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) are an important therapeutic target as they are predicted to be responsible for tumour initiation, maintenance and metastases. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is upregulated in breast cancer and associated with poor prognosis. Breast cancer cell line studies indicate that IL-8 via its cognate receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2, is important in regulating breast CSC activity. We investigated the role of IL-8 in the regulation of CSC activity using patient-derived breast cancers and determined the potential benefit of combining CXCR1/2 inhibition with HER2-targeted therapy.
CSC activity of metastatic and invasive human breast cancers (n=19) was assessed ex vivo using the mammosphere colony forming assay.
Metastatic fluid IL-8 level correlated directly with mammosphere formation (r=0.652; P<0.05; n=10). Recombinant IL-8 directly increased mammosphere formation/self-renewal in metastatic and invasive breast cancers (n=17). IL-8 induced activation of EGFR/HER2 and downstream signalling pathways and effects were abrogated by inhibition of SRC, EGFR/HER2, PI3K or MEK. Furthermore, lapatinib inhibited the mammosphere-promoting effect of IL-8 in both HER2-positive and negative patient-derived cancers. CXCR1/2 inhibition also blocked the effect of IL-8 on mammosphere formation and added to the efficacy of lapatinib in HER2-positive cancers.
These studies establish a role for IL-8 in the regulation of patient-derived breast CSC activity and demonstrate that IL-8/CXCR1/2 signalling is partly mediated via a novel SRC and EGFR/HER2-dependent pathway. Combining CXCR1/2 inhibitors with current HER2-targeted therapies has potential as an effective therapeutic strategy to reduce CSC activity in breast cancer and improve the survival of HER2-positive patients.
Breast Cancer; Cancer Stem Cell; HER2; IL-8; CXCR1
•Two loci identified for IL-5 levels on chromosomes and 14.•One locus on chromosome 5 was identified for eosinophil count.•The chromosome 5 loci are in close proximity, but independent and non-overlapping.•IL-5-associated SNPs were not associated with carotid intima-media thickness.•Eosinophil-associated SNPs were not associated with carotid intima-media thickness.
IL-5 is a Th2 cytokine which activates eosinophils and is suggested to have an atheroprotective role. Genetic variants in the IL5 locus have been associated with increased risk of CAD and ischemic stroke. In this study we aimed to identify genetic variants associated with IL-5 concentrations and apply a Mendelian randomisation approach to assess IL-5 levels for causal effect on intima-media thickness in a European population at high risk of coronary artery disease. We analysed SNPs within robustly associated candidate loci for immune, inflammatory, metabolic and cardiovascular traits. We identified 2 genetic loci for IL-5 levels (chromosome 5, rs56183820, BETA = 0.11, P = 6.73E−5 and chromosome 14, rs4902762, BETA = 0.12, P = 5.76E−6) and one for eosinophil count (rs72797327, BETA = −0.10, P = 1.41E−6). Both chromosome 5 loci were in the vicinity of the IL5 gene, however the association with IL-5 levels failed to replicate in a meta-analysis of 2 independent cohorts (rs56183820, BETA = 0.04, P = 0.2763, I2 = 24, I2 − P = 0.2516). No significant associations were observed between SNPs associated with IL-5 levels or eosinophil count and IMT measures. Expression quantitative trait analyses indicate effects of the IL-5 and eosinophil-associated SNPs on RAD50 mRNA expression levels (rs12652920 (r2 = 0.93 with rs56183820) BETA = −0.10, P = 8.64E−6 and rs11739623 (r2 = 0.96 with rs72797327) BETA = −0.23, P = 1.74E−29, respectively). Our data do not support a role for IL-5 levels and eosinophil count in intima-media thickness, however SNPs associated with IL-5 and eosinophils might influence stability of the atherosclerotic plaque via modulation of RAD50 levels.
IMTmean-max, mean of the maximum IMT measures along the entire carotid tree; IMT-CCmean, mean of IMT measures in the common carotid; IMT-CCmax, max of IMT measures in the common carotid; IMT-Bifmean, mean of IMT measures in the carotid bifurcation; IMT-Bifmax, max of IMT measures in the carotid bifurcation; Subclinical atherosclerosis; Intima-media thickness; Genetics; IL-5; Eosinophil count; RAD50
G-DOC Plus is a data integration and bioinformatics platform that uses cloud computing and other advanced computational tools to handle a variety of biomedical BIG DATA including gene expression arrays, NGS and medical images so that they can be analyzed in the full context of other omics and clinical information.
G-DOC Plus currently holds data from over 10,000 patients selected from private and public resources including Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the recently added datasets from REpository for Molecular BRAin Neoplasia DaTa (REMBRANDT), caArray studies of lung and colon cancer, ImmPort and the 1000 genomes data sets. The system allows researchers to explore clinical-omic data one sample at a time, as a cohort of samples; or at the level of population, providing the user with a comprehensive view of the data.
G-DOC Plus tools have been leveraged in cancer and non-cancer studies for hypothesis generation and validation; biomarker discovery and multi-omics analysis, to explore somatic mutations and cancer MRI images; as well as for training and graduate education in bioinformatics, data and computational sciences. Several of these use cases are described in this paper to demonstrate its multifaceted usability.
G-DOC Plus can be used to support a variety of user groups in multiple domains to enable hypothesis generation for precision medicine research. The long-term vision of G-DOC Plus is to extend this translational bioinformatics platform to stay current with emerging omics technologies and analysis methods to continue supporting novel hypothesis generation, analysis and validation for integrative biomedical research. By integrating several aspects of the disease and exposing various data elements, such as outpatient lab workup, pathology, radiology, current treatments, molecular signatures and expected outcomes over a web interface, G-DOC Plus will continue to strengthen precision medicine research. G-DOC Plus is available at: https://gdoc.georgetown.edu.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12859-016-1010-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Bioinformatics; Translational research; Precision medicine; Cloud computing; Variant analysis; Next generation sequencing; Outcomes research; Genotype-phenotype integration
Resistance to antiestrogen therapy remains a critical determinant of mortality in patients affected by ER+ breast cancer. Our previous work identified autophagy and interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) signaling as key regulators of this process. We have recently demonstrated a novel reciprocal interaction between IRF1 and ATG7, linking inflammation and autophagy.
ATG7; autophagy; breast cancer; estrogen receptor; IRF1 tumor suppressor; unfolded protein response
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have discovered many risk variants for type 2 diabetes. However, estimates of the contributions of risk variants to type 2 diabetes predisposition are often based on highly selected case–control samples, and reliable estimates of population-level effect sizes are missing, especially in non-European populations.
The individual and cumulative effects of 59 established type 2 diabetes risk loci were measured in a population-based China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) study of 93,000 Chinese adults, including >7,100 diabetes cases.
Association signals were directionally consistent between CKB and the original discovery GWAS: of 56 variants passing quality control, 48 showed the same direction of effect (binomial test, p = 2.3 × 10−8). We observed a consistent overall trend towards lower risk variant effect sizes in CKB than in case–control samples of GWAS meta-analyses (mean 19–22% decrease in log odds, p ≤ 0.0048), likely to reflect correction of both ‘winner’s curse’ and spectrum bias effects. The association with risk of diabetes of a genetic risk score, based on lead variants at 25 loci considered to act through beta cell function, demonstrated significant interactions with several measures of adiposity (BMI, waist circumference [WC], WHR and percentage body fat [PBF]; all pinteraction < 1 × 10−4), with a greater effect being observed in leaner adults.
Our study provides further evidence of shared genetic architecture for type 2 diabetes between Europeans and East Asians. It also indicates that even very large GWAS meta-analyses may be vulnerable to substantial inflation of effect size estimates, compared with those observed in large-scale population-based cohort studies.
Access to research materials
Details of how to access China Kadoorie Biobank data and details of the data release schedule are available from www.ckbiobank.org/site/Data+Access.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-016-3920-9) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
Biobank; Chinese; Genetic risk score; Population-based cohort studies; Type 2 diabetes; Winner’s curse
Existing knowledge of genetic variants affecting risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) is largely based on genome-wide association studies (GWAS) analysis of common SNPs. Leveraging phased haplotypes from the 1000 Genomes Project, we report a GWAS meta-analysis of 185 thousand CAD cases and controls, interrogating 6.7 million common (MAF>0.05) as well as 2.7 million low frequency (0.005
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