Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) is a major cause of blindness worldwide. We conducted a genome-wide association study including 1,854 PACG cases and 9,608 controls across 5 sample collections in Asia. Replication experiments were conducted in 1,917 PACG cases and 8,943 controls collected from a further 6 sample collections. We report significant associations at three new loci: rs11024102 in PLEKHA7 (per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 1.22; P = 5.33 × 10−12), rs3753841 in COL11A1 (per-allele OR = 1.20; P = 9.22 × 10−10) and rs1015213 located between PCMTD1 and ST18 on chromosome 8q (per-allele OR = 1.50; P = 3.29 × 10−9). Our findings, accumulated across these independent worldwide collections, suggest possible mechanisms explaining the pathogenesis of PACG.
Small cell carcinoma of the ovary of hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is an extremely rare, aggressive cancer affecting children and young women. We identified germline and somatic inactivating mutations in the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling gene SMARCA4 in 69% (9/13) of SCCOHT cases in addition to SMARCA4 protein loss in 82% (14/17) of SCCOHT tumors but in only 0.4% (2/485) of other primary ovarian tumors. These data implicate SMARCA4 in SCCOHT oncogenesis.
Here we report the discovery of recurrent mutations concentrated at an ultraviolet signature hotspot in KNSTRN, which encodes a kinetochore protein, in 19% of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). Cancer-associated KNSTRN mutations, most notably those encoding p.Ser24Phe, disrupt chromatid cohesion in normal cells, occur in SCC precursors, correlate with increased aneuploidy in primary tumors and enhance tumorigenesis in vivo. These findings suggest a role for KNSTRN mutagenesis in SCC development.
Familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS, MIM 120100), commonly known as familial cold urticaria (FCU), is an autosomal- dominant systemic inflammatory disease characterized by intermittent episodes of rash, arthralgia, fever and conjunctivitis after generalized exposure to cold1–4. FCAS was previously mapped to a 10-cM region on chromosome 1q44 (refs. 5,6). Muckle–Wells syndrome (MWS; MIM 191900), which also maps to chromosome 1q44, is an autosomal-dominant periodic fever syndrome with a similar phenotype except that symptoms are not precipitated by cold exposure and that sensorineural hearing loss is frequently also present6–8. To identify the genes for FCAS and MWS, we screened exons in the 1q44 region for mutations by direct sequencing of genomic DNA from affected individuals and controls. This resulted in the identification of four distinct mutations in a gene that segregated with the disorder in three families with FCAS and one family with MWS. This gene, called CIAS1, is expressed in peripheral blood leukocytes and encodes a protein with a pyrin domain9–11, a nucleotide-binding site (NBS, NACHT subfamily12) domain and a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) motif region13, suggesting a role in the regulation of inflammation and apoptosis.
Cancer genome sequencing studies have identified numerous driver genes but the relative timing of mutations in carcinogenesis remains unclear. The gradual progression from pre-malignant Barrett’s esophagus to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) provides an ideal model to study the ordering of somatic mutations. We identified recurrently-mutated genes and assessed clonal structure using whole-genome sequencing and amplicon-resequencing of 112 EACs. We next screened a cohort of 109 biopsies from two key transition points in the development of malignancy; benign metaplastic never-dysplastic Barrett’s esophagus (NDBE, n=66), and high-grade dysplasia (HGD, n=43). Unexpectedly, the majority of recurrently mutated genes in EAC were also mutated in NDBE. Only TP53 and SMAD4 were stage-specific, confined to HGD and EAC, respectively. Finally, we applied this knowledge to identify high-risk Barrett’s esophagus in a novel non-endoscopic test. In conclusion, mutations in EAC driver genes generally occur exceptionally early in disease development with profound implications for diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
ICGC; esophageal cancer; Barrett’s esophagus; whole genome sequencing
The availability of complete human genome sequences from populations across the world has given rise to new population genetic inference methods that explicitly model their ancestral relationship under recombination and mutation. So far, application of these methods to evolutionary history more recent than 20-30 thousand years ago and to population separations has been limited. Here we present a new method that overcomes these shortcomings. The Multiple Sequentially Markovian Coalescent (MSMC) analyses the observed pattern of mutations in multiple individuals, focusing on the first coalescence between any two individuals. Results from applying MSMC to genome sequences from nine populations across the world suggest that the genetic separation of non-African ancestors from African Yoruban ancestors started long before 50,000 years ago, and give information about human population history as recently as 2,000 years ago, including the bottleneck in the peopling of the Americas, and separations within Africa, East Asia and Europe.
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic inflammatory disorder associated with allergic hypersensitivity to food. We interrogated >1.5 million genetic variants in European EoE cases and subsequently in a multi-site cohort with local and out-of-study control subjects. In addition to replication of the 5q22 locus (meta-analysis p = 1.9×10−16), we identified association at 2p23 (encoding CAPN14, p = 2.5×10−10). CAPN14 was specifically expressed in the esophagus, dynamically upregulated as a function of disease activity and genetic haplotype and after exposure of epithelial cells to IL-13, and located in an epigenetic hotspot modified by IL-13. There was enriched esophageal expression for the genes neighboring the top 208 EoE sequence variants. Multiple allergic sensitization loci were associated with EoE susceptibility (4.8×10−2 < p < 5.1×10−11). We propose a model that elucidates the tissue specific nature of EoE that involves the interplay of allergic sensitization with an EoE-specific, IL-13–inducible esophageal response involving CAPN14.
The QT interval, an electrocardiographic measure reflecting myocardial repolarization, is a heritable trait. QT prolongation is a risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD) and could indicate the presence of the potentially lethal Mendelian Long QT Syndrome (LQTS). Using a genome-wide association and replication study in up to 100,000 individuals we identified 35 common variant QT interval loci, that collectively explain ∼8-10% of QT variation and highlight the importance of calcium regulation in myocardial repolarization. Rare variant analysis of 6 novel QT loci in 298 unrelated LQTS probands identified coding variants not found in controls but of uncertain causality and therefore requiring validation. Several newly identified loci encode for proteins that physically interact with other recognized repolarization proteins. Our integration of common variant association, expression and orthogonal protein-protein interaction screens provides new insights into cardiac electrophysiology and identifies novel candidate genes for ventricular arrhythmias, LQTS,and SCD.
genome-wide association study; QT interval; Long QT Syndrome; sudden cardiac death; myocardial repolarization; arrhythmias
In a three-stage genome-wide association study among East Asian women including 22,780 cases and 24,181 controls, we identified three novel genetic loci associated with breast cancer risk, including rs4951011 at 1q32.1 (in intron 2 of the ZC3H11A gene, P = 8.82 × 10−9), rs10474352 at 5q14.3 (near the ARRDC3 gene, P = 1.67 × 10−9), and rs2290203 at 15q26.1 (in intron 14 of the PRC1 gene, P = 4.25 × 10−8). These associations were replicated in European-ancestry populations including 16,003 cases and 41,335 controls (P = 0.030, 0.004, and 0.010, respectively). Data from the ENCODE project suggest that variants rs4951011 and rs10474352 may be located in an enhancer region and transcription factor binding sites, respectively. This study provides additional insights into the genetics and biology of breast cancer.
Monogenic causes of autoimmunity give key insights to the complex regulation of the immune system. We report a new monogenic cause of autoimmunity resulting from de novo germline activating STAT3 mutations in 5 individuals with a spectrum of early-onset autoimmune disease including type 1 diabetes. These findings emphasise the critical role of STAT3 in autoimmune disease and contrast with the germline inactivating STAT3 mutations that result in Hyper IgE syndrome.
A key component of genetic architecture is the allelic spectrum influencing trait variability. For autism spectrum disorder (henceforth autism) the nature of its allelic spectrum is uncertain. Individual risk genes have been identified from rare variation, especially de novo mutations1–8. From this evidence one might conclude that rare variation dominates its allelic spectrum, yet recent studies show that common variation, individually of small effect, has substantial impact en masse9,10. At issue is how much of an impact relative to rare variation. Using a unique epidemiological sample from Sweden, novel methods that distinguish total narrow-sense heritability from that due to common variation, and by synthesizing results from other studies, we reach several conclusions about autism’s genetic architecture: its narrow-sense heritability is ≈54% and most traces to common variation; rare de novo mutations contribute substantially to individuals’ liability; still their contribution to variance in liability, 2.6%, is modest compared to heritable variation.
A first analysis of the genome sequence of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), assembled using traditional Sanger methods and Ensembl annotation, has permitted genomic comparison with apes and that old world monkeys and the identification of specific molecular features a rapid reproductive capacity partly due to may contribute to the unique biology of diminutive The common marmoset has prevalence of this dizygotic primate. twins. Remarkably, these twins share placental circulation and exchange hematopoietic stem cells in utero, resulting in adults that are hematopoietic chimeras.
We observed positive selection or non-synonymous substitutions for genes encoding growth hormone / insulin-like growth factor (growth pathways), respiratory complex I (metabolic pathways), immunobiology, and proteases (reproductive and immunity pathways). In addition, both protein-coding and microRNA genes related to reproduction exhibit rapid sequence evolution. This New World monkey genome sequence enables significantly increased power for comparative analyses among available primate genomes and facilitates biomedical research application.
A first analysis of the genome sequence of the common marmoset
(Callithrix jacchus), assembled using traditional Sanger methods and
Ensembl annotation, has permitted genomic comparison with apes and old world monkeys and
the identification of specific molecular features that may contribute to the unique
biology of this diminutive primate. The common marmoset has a rapid reproductive capacity
partly due to prevalence of dizygotic twins. Remarkably, these twins share placental
circulation and exchange hematopoietic stem cells in utero, resulting in
adults that are hematopoietic chimeras.
We observed positive selection or non-synonymous substitutions for genes encoding
growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor (growth pathways), respiratory complex I
(metabolic pathways), immunobiology, and proteases (reproductive and immunity pathways).
In addition, both protein-coding and microRNA genes related to reproduction exhibit rapid
sequence evolution. This New World monkey genome sequence enables significantly increased
power for comparative analyses among available primate genomes and facilitates biomedical
The timely secretion of gonadal sex steroids is essential for the initiation of puberty, the post-pubertal maintenance of secondary sexual characteristics and the normal perinatal development of male external genitalia. Normal gonadal steroid production requires the actions of the pituitary-derived gonatrophins, LH and FSH. We report four human pedigrees with severe congenital gonadotrophin deficiency and pubertal failure in which all affected individuals are homozygous for loss-of-function mutations in TAC3 (encoding Neurokinin B) or its receptor TACR3 (encoding NK3R). Neurokinin B, a member of the substance P-related tachykinin family, is known to be highly expressed in hypothalamic neurons that also express kisspeptin1, a recently identified regulator of gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion2. These findings implicate Neurokinin B as a critical central regulator of human gonadal function and suggest novel approaches to the pharmacological control of human reproduction and sex hormone-related diseases.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, heritable neuropsychiatric disorder of unknown etiology. We performed a whole-genome copy number variation (CNV) study on 1,013 cases with ADHD and 4,105 healthy children of European ancestry using 550,000 SNPs. We evaluated statistically significant findings in multiple independent cohorts, with a total of 2,493 cases with ADHD and 9,222 controls of European ancestry, using matched platforms. CNVs affecting metabotropic glutamate receptor genes were enriched across all cohorts (P = 2.1 × 10−9). We saw GRM5 (encoding glutamate receptor, metabotropic 5) deletions in ten cases and one control (P = 1.36 × 10−6). We saw GRM7 deletions in six cases, and we saw GRM8 deletions in eight cases and no controls. GRM1 was duplicated in eight cases. We experimentally validated the observed variants using quantitative RT-PCR. A gene network analysis showed that genes interacting with the genes in the GRM family are enriched for CNVs in ~10% of the cases (P = 4.38 × 10−10) after correction for occurrence in the controls. We identified rare recurrent CNVs affecting glutamatergic neurotransmission genes that were overrepresented in multiple ADHD cohorts.
Recent studies have identified recurrent mutations in SETBP1, the gene that encodes SET-binding protein 1, in several types of myeloid malignancies, including chronic myeloid and acute myeloid leukemias. The identified mutations frequently target the SKI-homologous domain, although the exact pathogenic mechanisms remain unknown.
Extensive changes in DNA methylation are common in cancer and may contribute to oncogenesis through transcriptional silencing of tumor-suppressor genes1. Genome-scale studies have yielded important insights into these changes2, 3, 4, 5 but have focused on CpG islands or gene promoters. We used whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (bisulfite-seq) to comprehensively profile a primary human colorectal tumor and adjacent normal colon tissue at single-basepair resolution. Regions of focal hypermethylation in the tumor were located primarily at CpG islands and were concentrated within regions of long-range (>100 kb) hypomethylation. These hypomethylated domains covered nearly half of the genome and coincided with late replication and attachment to the nuclear lamina in human cell lines. We confirmed the confluence of hypermethylation and hypomethylation within these domains in 25 diverse colorectal tumors and matched adjacent tissue. We propose that widespread DNA methylation changes in cancer are linked to silencing programs orchestrated by the three-dimensional organization of chromatin within the nucleus.
Gene expression profiles and chromosome 3 copy number divide uveal melanomas into two distinct classes correlating with prognosis1–3. Using exome sequencing, we identified recurrent somatic mutations in EIF1AX and SF3B1, specifically occurring in uveal melanomas with disomy 3, which rarely metastasize. Targeted resequencing showed that 24 of 31 tumors with disomy 3 (77%) had mutations in either EIF1AX (15; 48%) or SF3B1 (9; 29%). Mutations were infrequent (2/35; 5.7%) in uveal melanomas with monosomy 3, which are associated with poor prognosis2. Resequencing of 13 uveal melanomas with partial monosomy 3 identified 8 tumors with a mutation in either SF3B1 (7; 54%) or EIF1AX (1; 8%). All EIF1AX mutations caused in-frame changes affecting the N terminus of the protein, whereas 17 of 19 SF3B1 mutations encoded an alteration of Arg625. Resequencing of ten uveal melanomas with disomy 3 that developed metastases identified SF3B1 mutations in three tumors, none of which targeted Arg625.
c-CBL (CBL) encodes a member of the Cbl family of proteins, which functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase. We describe a dominant developmental disorder resulting from germline missense CBL mutations, which is characterized by constitutional anomalies that include impaired growth, developmental delay, cryptorchidism, and a predisposition to juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML). Some individuals experienced spontaneous regression of their JMML but developed vasculitis later in life. Importantly, JMML specimens from affected children show loss of the normal CBL allele through acquired isodisomy. Consistent with these genetic data, the common p.Y371H mutant Cbl protein induces cytokine-independent growth and constitutive phosphorylation of ERK, AKT, and S6 only in hematopoietic cells in which normal Cbl expression is reduced by RNA interference. We conclude that germline CBL mutations have developmental, tumorigenic, and functional consequences that are reminiscent of disorders that are caused by hyperactive Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling and include neurofibromatosis type 1, and Noonan, Costello, cardiofaciocutaneous, and Legius syndromes.
Midline pediatric high-grade astrocytomas (pHGAs) are incurable with few treatment targets identified. Most tumors harbor K27M mutations on histone 3 variants. In 40 treatment-naïve midline pHGAs, 39 analyzed by whole-exome sequencing, we find additional somatic mutations specific to tumor location. Gain-of-function mutations in ACVR1 occur in tumors of the pons in conjunction with H3.1 K27M, while FGFR1 mutations/fusions occur in thalamic tumors associated with H3.3 K27M. Hyper-activation of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/ACVR1 developmental pathway in pHGAs harbouring ACVR1 mutations led to increased phospho-SMAD1/5/8 expression and up-regulation of BMP downstream early response genes in tumour cells. Global DNA methylation profiles were significantly associated with the K27M mutation regardless of the mutant H3 variant and irrespective of tumor location, supporting its role in driving the epigenetic phenotype. This significantly expands the potential treatment targets and further justifies pre-treatment biopsy in pHGA as a means to orient therapeutic efforts in this disease.
Forced vital capacity (FVC), a spirometric measure of pulmonary function, reflects lung volume and is used to diagnose and monitor lung diseases. We performed genome-wide association study meta-analysis of FVC in 52,253 individuals from 26 studies and followed up the top associations in 32,917 additional individuals of European ancestry. We found six new regions associated at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) with FVC in or near EFEMP1, BMP6, MIR-129-2/HSD17B12, PRDM11, WWOX, and KCNJ2. Two (GSTCD and PTCH1) loci previously associated with spirometric measures were related to FVC. Newly implicated regions were followed-up in samples of African American, Korean, Chinese, and Hispanic individuals. We detected transcripts for all six newly implicated genes in human lung tissue. The new loci may inform mechanisms involved in lung development and pathogenesis of restrictive lung disease.