Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (95)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
more »
Document Types
1.  Collecting psychosocial self-report data in oral health research: impact of literacy level and computerised administration 
Social science and dentistry  2013;2(2):80-87.
In oral and other health research, participant literacy levels may impact the quality of data obtained through self-report (e.g., degree of data missingness). This study addressed whether computerized administration of a battery of psychosocial instruments used in an oral health disparities research protocol yielded more complete data than paper-and-pencil administration and aimed to determine the role of general literacy in differences in data missingness between administration types.
Oral health data were obtained from 1,652 adolescent and adult participants who were administered a large questionnaire battery via either paper-and-pencil or tablet personal computer. Number of unanswered items for each participant was compared across administration mode. For a subset of 171 participants who were randomized to one of the administration modes, general literacy and satisfaction with the questionnaire experience also were assessed.
Participants assigned to complete the oral health questionnaire battery via tablet PC were significantly more likely than those assigned to the paper-and-pencil condition to have missing data for at least one item (p < .001); however, for participants who had at least one missing item, paper-and-pencil administration was associated with a greater number of items missed than was tablet PC administration (p < .001). Across administration modes, participants with higher literacy level completed the questionnaire battery more rapidly than their lower literacy counterparts (p < .001). Participant satisfaction was similar for both modes of questionnaire administration (p ≥ .29).
These results suggest that a certain type of data missingness may be decreased through the use of a tablet computer for questionnaire administration.
PMCID: PMC4545655  PMID: 26306161
literacy; missing data; questionnaires; surveys; self-reports
2.  Genetics of Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate 
Orofacial clefts are common birth defects and can occur as isolated, nonsyndromic events or as part of Mendelian syndromes. There is substantial phenotypic diversity in individuals with these birth defects and their family members: from subclinical phenotypes to associated syndromic features that is mirrored by the many genes that contribute to the etiology of these disorders. Identification of these genes and loci has been the result of decades of research using multiple genetic approaches. Significant progress has been made recently due to advances in sequencing and genotyping technologies, primarily through the use of whole exome sequencing and genome-wide association studies. Future progress will hinge on identifying functional variants, investigation of pathway and other interactions, and inclusion of phenotypic and ethnic diversity in studies.
PMCID: PMC3925974  PMID: 24124047
Cleft lip; cleft palate; genetics; syndromes; nonsyndromic
3.  Replication of 13q31.1 Association in Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip with Cleft Palate in Europeans 
Genome wide association (GWA) studies have successfully identified at least a dozen loci associated with orofacial clefts. However, these signals may be unique to specific populations and require replication to validate and extend findings as a prelude to etiologic SNP discovery. We attempted to replicate the findings of a recent meta-analysis of orofacial cleft GWA studies using four different ancestral populations. We studied 946 pedigrees (3436 persons) of European (US white and Danish) and Asian (Japanese and Mongolian) origin. We genotyped six SNPs which represented the most significant P value associations identified in published studies: rs742071 (1p36), rs7590268 (2p21), rs7632427 (3p11.1), rs12543318 (8q21.3), rs8001641 (13q31.1) and rs7179658 (15q22.2). We directly sequenced three non-coding conserved regions 200kb downstream of SPRY2 in 713 cases, 438 controls, and 485 trios from the US, Mongolia, and the Philippines. We found rs8001641 to be significantly associated with cleft lip with cleft palate (NSCLP) in Europeans (p-value=4 × 10−5, ORtransmission=1.86 with 95% confidence interval: 1.38-2.52). We also found several novel sequence variants in the conserved regions in Asian and European samples, which may help to localize common variants contributing directly to the risk for NSCLP. This study confirms the prior association between rs8001641 and NSCLP in European populations.
PMCID: PMC4402974  PMID: 25786657
GWA study; Nonsyndromic orofacial clefting; replication; SPRY2
4.  Inferring rare disease risk variants based on exact probabilities of sharing by multiple affected relatives 
Bioinformatics  2014;30(15):2189-2196.
Motivation: Family-based designs are regaining popularity for genomic sequencing studies because they provide a way to test cosegregation with disease of variants that are too rare in the population to be tested individually in a conventional case–control study.
Results: Where only a few affected subjects per family are sequenced, the probability that any variant would be shared by all affected relatives—given it occurred in any one family member—provides evidence against the null hypothesis of a complete absence of linkage and association. A P-value can be obtained as the sum of the probabilities of sharing events as (or more) extreme in one or more families. We generalize an existing closed-form expression for exact sharing probabilities to more than two relatives per family. When pedigree founders are related, we show that an approximation of sharing probabilities based on empirical estimates of kinship among founders obtained from genome-wide marker data is accurate for low levels of kinship. We also propose a more generally applicable approach based on Monte Carlo simulations. We applied this method to a study of 55 multiplex families with apparent non-syndromic forms of oral clefts from four distinct populations, with whole exome sequences available for two or three affected members per family. The rare single nucleotide variant rs149253049 in ADAMTS9 shared by affected relatives in three Indian families achieved significance after correcting for multiple comparisons (p=2×10−6).
Availability and implementation: Source code and binaries of the R package RVsharing are freely available for download at
Contact: or
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC4103601  PMID: 24740360
5.  Caries Experience Differs between Females and Males across Age Groups in Northern Appalachia 
Sex disparities in dental caries have been observed across many populations, with females typically exhibiting higher prevalence and more affected teeth. In this study we assessed the sex disparities in two Northern Appalachian populations from West Virginia (WV, N = 1997) and Pennsylvania (PA, N = 1080) by comparing caries indices between males and females across four phases of dental development: primary dentition in children aged 1–5 years, mixed dentition in children aged 6–11 years, permanent dentition in adolescents aged 12–17 years, and permanent dentition in adults aged 18–59 years. No significant sex differences were observed for children aged 1–5 years. Contrary to national and international trends, WV girls aged 6–11 years had 1.5 fewer affected teeth than boys (p < 0.001). However, by ages 12–17, caries indices in the WV girls matched those in boys. In both WV and PA adults, women and men had similar total counts of affected teeth (i.e., DMFT), although women had more dental restorations (p < 0.001) and men had more current decay (p < 0.001). These results suggest that in some Appalachian populations, young girls benefit from protection against caries that is lost during adolescence and that adult women utilize dental health care to a greater degree than men.
PMCID: PMC4461765  PMID: 26106416
6.  Caries: Review of Human Genetics Research 
Caries research  2014;48(5):491-506.
The NIH Consensus Development Program released a statement in 2001 (NIH Consensus Statement, 2001) and listed six major clinical caries research directions. One of these directions was the need for genetic studies to identify genes and genetic markers of diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic value. This last decade has seen a steep increase in studies investigating the presence of genetic factors influencing individual susceptibility to caries. This review revisits recent caries human genetic studies and provides a perspective for future studies in order to fulfill their promise of revolutionizing our understanding of and the standard of care for the most prevalent bacteria-mediated non-contagious disease in the world.
PMCID: PMC4167926  PMID: 24853115
Review; Genomics; linkage analysis; association analysis; candidate genes; heritability
7.  Oral Health in a Sample of Pregnant Women from Northern Appalachia (2011–2015) 
Background. Chronic poor oral health has a high prevalence in Appalachia, a large region in the eastern USA. The Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia (COHRA) has been enrolling pregnant women and their babies since 2011 in the COHRA2 study of genetic, microbial, and environmental factors involved in oral health in Northern Appalachia. Methods. The COHRA2 protocol is presented in detail, including inclusion criteria (healthy, adult, pregnant, US Caucasian, English speaking, and nonimmunocompromised women), recruiting (two sites: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, USA), assessments (demographic, medical, dental, psychosocial/behavioral, and oral microbial samples and DNA), timelines (longitudinal from pregnancy to young childhood), quality control, and retention rates. Results. Preliminary oral health and demographic data are presented in 727 pregnant women, half from the greater Pittsburgh region and half from West Virginia. Despite similar tooth brushing and flossing habits, COHRA2 women in West Virginia have significantly worse oral health than the Pittsburgh sample. Women from Pittsburgh are older and more educated and have less unemployment than the West Virginia sample. Conclusions. We observed different prevalence of oral health and demographic variables between pregnant women from West Virginia (primarily rural) and Pittsburgh (primarily urban). These observations suggest site-specific differences within Northern Appalachia that warrant future studies.
PMCID: PMC4451284  PMID: 26089906
8.  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms, Nonsyndromic Orofacial Cleft Children, and Dopamine Polymorphisms: A Pilot Study 
Biological research for nursing  2014;17(3):257-262.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood neurobehavioral disorder characterized by inattention, poor impulse control, and motor restlessness. Risk factors include familial stressors, anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, heritability, abnormal brain development, and dopamine polymorphisms. Children with an orofacial cleft (OFC) history are more likely to experience familial stressors, anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, and abnormal brain development. Given the overlap between OFC and ADHD, a conceptual model is presented proposing that OFC children may be more likely to exhibit ADHD symptoms. Using pilot data we explored possibilities of these relationships.
This cross-sectional pilot study included 29 children with OFC or a first-degree relative with OFC recruited through a cleft research registry.
A parental self-report Disruptive Behavior Disorder Scale (DBD) collected data on children’s ADHD symptoms. Saliva or whole blood samples were collected from children and parents for DNA analyses. Three ADHD-associated dopamine polymorphisms within DRD4, DRD2, and DAT 1 genes were genotyped. Tests for associations between presence of OFC and dopamine polymorphisms were conducted. Mixed effects models tested whether OFC children with dopamine polymorphisms had more ADHD symptoms.
The DRD4 4-repeat allele was associated with increased inattentive ADHD symptoms (p=.03). Having the DRD2 Taq1A1 allele and OFC indicated fewer (p=.02) inattentive ADHD symptoms. In addition, OFC children were significantly less likely to have the DAT1 10-repeat allele (p=.04).
This pilot study indicates further investigation of dopamine genes and ADHD among OFC children in a larger sample is warranted, particularly for relationships with inattentive ADHD.
PMCID: PMC4377310  PMID: 25271118
dopamine polymorphism; nonsyndromic orofacial cleft; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
9.  Genome-Wide Association Studies in Dogs and Humans Identify ADAMTS20 as a Risk Variant for Cleft Lip and Palate 
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(3):e1005059.
Cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) is the most commonly occurring craniofacial birth defect. We provide insight into the genetic etiology of this birth defect by performing genome-wide association studies in two species: dogs and humans. In the dog, a genome-wide association study of 7 CL/P cases and 112 controls from the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (NSDTR) breed identified a significantly associated region on canine chromosome 27 (unadjusted p=1.1 x 10-13; adjusted p= 2.2 x 10-3). Further analysis in NSDTR families and additional full sibling cases identified a 1.44 Mb homozygous haplotype (chromosome 27: 9.29 – 10.73 Mb) segregating with a more complex phenotype of cleft lip, cleft palate, and syndactyly (CLPS) in 13 cases. Whole-genome sequencing of 3 CLPS cases and 4 controls at 15X coverage led to the discovery of a frameshift mutation within ADAMTS20 (c.1360_1361delAA (p.Lys453Ilefs*3)), which segregated concordant with the phenotype. In a parallel study in humans, a family-based association analysis (DFAM) of 125 CL/P cases, 420 unaffected relatives, and 392 controls from a Guatemalan cohort, identified a suggestive association (rs10785430; p =2.67 x 10-6) with the same gene, ADAMTS20. Sequencing of cases from the Guatemalan cohort was unable to identify a causative mutation within the coding region of ADAMTS20, but four coding variants were found in additional cases of CL/P. In summary, this study provides genetic evidence for a role of ADAMTS20 in CL/P development in dogs and as a candidate gene for CL/P development in humans.
Author Summary
Cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) is a commonly occurring birth defect that can lead to a lifetime of complications in affected children. To better understand the genetic cause of these disorders, we investigated CL/P in both dogs and humans. Genome-wide association studies in both species independently identify ADAMTS20 as a candidate gene for CL/P development. In dogs, a deletion within a functional domain of ADAMTS20 is responsible for CL/P in the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever dog breed. In humans, an associated region containing the same gene, ADAMTS20, was identified in a study population of native Guatemalans. Subsequent sequencing in humans was unable to identify a causative mutation within the coding region of ADAMTS20 in the Guatemalan cohort; however, sequencing of ADAMTS20 in additional cases with CL/P identified four novel coding variants. This work provides genetic evidence for a role for ADAMTS20 in CL/P development in both dogs and humans.
PMCID: PMC4370697  PMID: 25798845
10.  Hair keratin mutations in tooth enamel increase dental decay risk 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(12):5219-5224.
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and has a unique combination of hardness and fracture toughness that protects teeth from dental caries, the most common chronic disease worldwide. In addition to a high mineral content, tooth enamel comprises organic material that is important for mechanical performance and influences the initiation and progression of caries; however, the protein composition of tooth enamel has not been fully characterized. Here, we determined that epithelial hair keratins, which are crucial for maintaining the integrity of the sheaths that support the hair shaft, are expressed in the enamel organ and are essential organic components of mature enamel. Using genetic and intraoral examination data from 386 children and 706 adults, we found that individuals harboring known hair disorder–associated polymorphisms in the gene encoding keratin 75 (KRT75), KRT75A161T and KRT75E337K, are prone to increased dental caries. Analysis of teeth from individuals carrying the KRT75A161T variant revealed an altered enamel structure and a marked reduction of enamel hardness, suggesting that a functional keratin network is required for the mechanical stability of tooth enamel. Taken together, our results identify a genetic locus that influences enamel structure and establish a connection between hair disorders and susceptibility to dental caries.
PMCID: PMC4348957  PMID: 25347471
11.  Genome-wide association study of primary dentition pit-and-fissure and smooth surface caries 
Caries research  2014;48(4):330-338.
Dental caries continues to be the most common chronic disease in children today. Despite the substantial involvement of genetics in the process of caries development, the specific genes contributing to dental caries remain largely unknown.
We performed separate genome-wide association studies of smooth and pit-and-fissure tooth surface caries experience in the primary dentitions of self-reported white children in two samples from Iowa and rural Appalachia. In total, 1006 children (ages 3-12 years) were included for smooth surface analysis, and 979 children (ages 4-14 years) for pit-and-fissure surface analysis. Associations were tested for more than 1.2 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, either genotyped or imputed.
We detected genome-wide significant signals in KPNA4 (p-value = 2.0E-9), and suggestive signals in ITGAL (p-value = 2.1E-7) and PLUNC family genes (p-value = 2.0E-6), thus nominating these novel loci as putative caries susceptibility genes. We also replicated associations observed in previous studies for MPPED2 (p-value = 6.9E-6), AJAP1 (p-value = 1.6E-6) and RPS6KA2 (p-value = 7.3E-6). Replication of these associations in additional samples, as well as experimental studies to determine the biological functions of associated genetic variants, are warranted. Ultimately, efforts such as this may lead to a better understand of caries etiology, and could eventually facilitate the development of new interventions and preventive measures.
PMCID: PMC4043868  PMID: 24556642
genome-wide association study; primary dentition; susceptibility gene; smooth surface; pit-and-fissure surface
12.  Revisiting the Recurrence Risk of Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip with or without Cleft Palate 
Sub-epithelial defects (i.e. discontinuities) of the superior orbicularis oris (OO) muscle appear to be a part of the phenotypic spectrum of cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL±P). Analysis of the OO phenotype as a clinical tool is hypothesized to improve familial recurrence risk estimates of CL±P. Study subjects (n=3912) were drawn from 835 families. Occurrences of CL±P were compared in families with and without members with an OO defect. Empiric recurrence risks were calculated for CL±P and OO defects among first degree relatives (FDRs). Risks were compared to published data and/or to other outcomes of this study using chi square or Fisher's exact tests. In our cohort, the occurrence of CL±P was significantly increased in families with OO defects versus those without (p < 0.01, OR = 1.74). The total FDR recurrence of isolated OO defects in this cohort is 16.4%; the sibling recurrence is 17.2%. The chance for one or more FDRs of a CL±P proband to have an OO defect is 11.4%; or 14.7% for a sibling. Conversely, the chance for any FDR of an individual with an OO defect to have CL±P is 7.3%; or for a sibling, 3.3%; similar to published recurrence risk estimates of nonsyndromic (NS) CL±P. This study supports sub-epithelial OO muscle defects as being part of the CL±P spectrum and suggests a modification to recurrence risk estimates of CL±P by utilizing OO defect information.
PMCID: PMC2965308  PMID: 20949506
cleft lip and palate; recurrence risk; orbicularis oris; genetic counseling; phenotypic spectrum
13.  Genome-wide analysis of BMI in adolescents and young adults reveals additional insight into the effects of genetic loci over the life course 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(17):3597-3607.
Genetic loci for body mass index (BMI) in adolescence and young adulthood, a period of high risk for weight gain, are understudied, yet may yield important insight into the etiology of obesity and early intervention. To identify novel genetic loci and examine the influence of known loci on BMI during this critical time period in late adolescence and early adulthood, we performed a two-stage meta-analysis using 14 genome-wide association studies in populations of European ancestry with data on BMI between ages 16 and 25 in up to 29 880 individuals. We identified seven independent loci (P < 5.0 × 10−8) near FTO (P = 3.72 × 10−23), TMEM18 (P = 3.24 × 10−17), MC4R (P = 4.41 × 10−17), TNNI3K (P = 4.32 × 10−11), SEC16B (P = 6.24 × 10−9), GNPDA2 (P = 1.11 × 10−8) and POMC (P = 4.94 × 10−8) as well as a potential secondary signal at the POMC locus (rs2118404, P = 2.4 × 10−5 after conditioning on the established single-nucleotide polymorphism at this locus) in adolescents and young adults. To evaluate the impact of the established genetic loci on BMI at these young ages, we examined differences between the effect sizes of 32 published BMI loci in European adult populations (aged 18–90) and those observed in our adolescent and young adult meta-analysis. Four loci (near PRKD1, TNNI3K, SEC16B and CADM2) had larger effects and one locus (near SH2B1) had a smaller effect on BMI during adolescence and young adulthood compared with older adults (P < 0.05). These results suggest that genetic loci for BMI can vary in their effects across the life course, underlying the importance of evaluating BMI at different ages.
PMCID: PMC3736869  PMID: 23669352
14.  Role of TRAV Locus in Low Caries Experience 
Human genetics  2013;132(9):1015-1025.
Caries is the most common chronic, multifactorial disease in the world today; and little is still known about the genetic factors influencing susceptibility. Our previous genome- wide linkage scan has identified five loci related to caries susceptibility: 5q13.3, 13q31.1, 14q11.2, 14q 24.3, and Xq27. In the present study, we fine mapped the 14q11.2 locus in order to identify genetic contributors to caries susceptibility. Four hundred seventy-seven subjects from 72 pedigrees with similar cultural and behavioral habits and limited access to dental care living in the Philippines were studied. An additional 387 DNA samples from unrelated individuals were used to determine allele frequencies. For replication purposes, a total of 1,446 independent subjects from four different populations were analyzed based on their caries experience (low versus high). Forty-eight markers in 14q11.2 were genotyped using TaqMan chemistry. Transmission disequilibrium test was used to detect overtransmission of alleles in the Filipino families, and chi-square, Fisher’s exact and logistic regression were used to test for association between low caries experience and variant alleles in the replication data sets. We finally assessed the mRNA expression of TRAV4 in the saliva of 143 study subjects. In the Filipino families, statistically significant associations were found between low caries experience and markers in TRAV4. We were able to replicate these results in the populations studied that were characteristically from underserved areas. Direct sequencing of 22 subjects carrying the associated alleles detect one missense mutation (Y30R) that is predicted to be probably damaging. Finally, we observed higher expression in children and teenagers with low caries experience, correlating with specific alleles in TRAV4. Our results suggest TRAV4 may have a role in protecting against caries.
PMCID: PMC3744616  PMID: 23657505
To assess association between nonsyndromic (NS) cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL(P)) and SNPs within the CRISPLD2 gene (cysteine-rich secretory protein LCCL domain containing 2).
Four SNPs within the CRISPLD2 gene domain (rs1546124, rs8061351, rs2326398, rs4783099) were genotyped to test for association via family-based association methods.
5,826 individuals from 1,331 families in which one or more family member is affected with CL(P).
Evidence of association was seen for SNP rs1546124 in USA (p=0.02) and Brazilian (p=0.04) Caucasian cohorts. We also found association of SNP rs1546124 with cleft palate alone (CP) in South Americans (Guatemala and ECLAMC) and combined Hispanics (Guatemala, ECLAMC and Texas Hispanics) (p=0.03 for both comparisons), and with both cleft lip with cleft palate (CLP; p=0.04) and CL(P) (p=0.02) in North Americans. Strong evidence of association was found for SNP rs2326398 with CP in Asian populations (p=0.003) and with CL(P) in Hispanics (p=0.03), and also with bilateral CL(P) in the Brazilians (p=0.004). In the Brazilians, SNP rs8061351 showed association with cleft subgroups incomplete CL(P) (p=0.004), and unilateral incomplete CL(P) (p=0.003). Prediction of SNP functionality revealed that the C allele in the C471T silent mutation (overrepresented in cases with CL(P) presents two putative exonic splicing enhancer motifs and creates a binding site AP-2 alpha, a transcription factor involved in craniofacial development.
Our results support the hypothesis that variants in the CRISPLD2 gene may be involved in the etiology of NS CL(P).
PMCID: PMC3000893  PMID: 20815724
CRISPLD2 gene; cleft lip; cleft palate; subphenotypes
16.  Exploratory genotype–phenotype correlations of facial form and asymmetry in unaffected relatives of children with non-syndromic cleft lip and/or palate 
Journal of anatomy  2014;224(6):688-709.
Family relatives of children with nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NSCL/P) who presumably carry a genetic risk yet do not manifest overt oral clefts, often present with distinct facial morphology of unknown genetic etiology. This study investigates distinct facial morphology among unaffected relatives and examines whether candidate genes previously associated with overt NSCL/P and left–right body patterning are correlated with such facial morphology. Cases were unaffected relatives of individuals with NSCL/P (n = 188) and controls (n = 194) were individuals without family history of NSCL/P. Cases and controls were genotyped for 20 SNPs across 13 candidate genes for NSCL/P (PAX7, ABCA4-ARHGAP29, IRF6, MSX1, PITX2, 8q24, FOXE1, TGFB3 and MAFB) and left–right body patterning (LEFTY1, LEFTY2, ISL1 and SNAI1). Facial shape and asymmetry phenotypes were obtained via principal component analyses and Procrustes analysis of variance from 32 coordinate landmarks, digitized on 3D facial images. Case–control comparisons of phenotypes obtained were performed via multivariate regression adjusting for age and gender. Phenotypes that differed significantly (P < 0.05) between cases and controls were regressed on the SNPs one at a time. Cases had significantly (P < 0.05) more profile concavity with upper face retrusion, upturned noses with obtuse nasolabial angles, more protrusive chins, increased lower facial heights, thinner and more retrusive lips and more protrusive foreheads. Furthermore, cases showed significantly more directional asymmetry compared to controls. Several of these phenotypes were significantly associated with genetic variants (P < 0.05). Facial height and width were associated with SNAI1. Midface antero-posterior (AP) projection was associated with LEFTY1. The AP position of the chin was related to SNAI1, IRF6, MSX1 and MAFB. The AP position of the forehead and the width of the mouth were associated with ABCA4–ARHGAP29 and MAFB. Lastly, facial asymmetry was related to LEFTY1, LEFTY2 and SNAI1. This study demonstrates that, genes underlying lip and palate formation and left–right patterning also contribute to facial features characteristic of the NSCL/P spectrum.
PMCID: PMC4025896  PMID: 24738728
facial asymmetry; genotype-phenotype correlations; morphometrics; NSCL/P; 3D morphology
17.  Demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioral factors affecting patterns of tooth decay in the permanent dentition: Principal components and factor analyses 
Dental caries of the permanent dentition is a multi-factorial disease resulting from the complex interplay of endogenous and environmental risk factors. The disease is not easily quantified due to the innumerable possible combinations of carious lesions across individual tooth surfaces of the permanent dentition. Global measures of decay, such as the DMFS index (which was developed for surveillance applications), may not be optimal for studying the epidemiology of dental caries because they ignore the distinct patterns of decay across the dentition. We hypothesize that specific risk factors may manifest their effects on specific tooth surfaces leading to patterns of decay that can be identified and studied. In this study we utilized two statistical methods of extracting patterns of decay from surface-level caries data in order to create novel phenotypes with which to study the risk factors affecting dental caries.
Intra-oral dental examinations were performed on 1,068 participants aged 18 to 75 years to assess dental caries. The 128 tooth surfaces of the permanent dentition were scored as carious or not and used as input for principal components analysis (PCA) and factor analysis (FA), two methods of identifying underlying patterns without a priori knowledge of the patterns. Demographic (age, sex, birth year, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment), anthropometric (height, body mass index, waist circumference), endogenous (saliva flow), and environmental (tooth brushing frequency, home water source, and home water fluoride) risk factors were tested for association with the caries patterns identified by PCA and FA, as well as DMFS, for comparison. The ten strongest patterns (i.e., those that explain the most variation in the data set) extracted by PCA and FA were considered.
The three strongest patterns identified by PCA reflected (i) global extent of decay (i.e., comparable to DMFS index), (ii) pit and fissure surface caries, and (iii) smooth surface caries, respectively. The two strongest patterns identified by FA corresponded to (i) pit and fissure surface caries and (ii) maxillary incisor caries. Age and birth year were significantly associated with several patterns of decay, including global decay/DMFS index. Sex, race, educational attainment, and tooth brushing were each associated with specific patterns of decay, but not with global decay/DMFS index.
Taken together, these results support the notion that caries experience is separable into patterns attributable to distinct risk factors. This study demonstrates the utility of such novel caries patterns as new outcomes for exploring the complex, multifactorial nature of dental caries.
PMCID: PMC3568445  PMID: 23106439
dental caries; permanent dentition; pit and fissure surfaces; smooth surfaces; tooth surfaces; principal components analysis; factor analysis; tooth brushing
18.  Role of estrogen related receptor beta (ESRRB) in DFN35B hearing impairment and dental decay 
BMC Medical Genetics  2014;15:81.
Congenital forms of hearing impairment can be caused by mutations in the estrogen related receptor beta (ESRRB) gene. Our initial linkage studies suggested the ESRRB locus is linked to high caries experience in humans.
We tested for association between the ESRRB locus and dental caries in 1,731 subjects, if ESRRB was expressed in whole saliva, if ESRRB was associated with the microhardness of the dental enamel, and if ESRRB was expressed during enamel development of mice.
Two families with recessive ESRRB mutations and DFNB35 hearing impairment showed more extensive dental destruction by caries. Expression levels of ESRRB in whole saliva samples showed differences depending on sex and dental caries experience.
The common etiology of dental caries and hearing impairment provides a venue to assist in the identification of individuals at risk to either condition and provides options for the development of new caries prevention strategies, if the associated ESRRB genetic variants are correlated with efficacy.
PMCID: PMC4112727  PMID: 25023176
Dental caries; Deafness; Dental development; Ear development; Linkage disequilibrium; Genetics; Polymorphisms
19.  Genome Scan, Fine-Mapping, and Candidate Gene Analysis of Non-Syndromic Cleft Lip with or without Cleft Palate Reveals Phenotype-Specific Differences in Linkage and Association Results 
Human Heredity  2009;68(3):151-170.
Non-syndromic orofacial clefts, i.e. cleft lip (CL) and cleft palate (CP), are among the most common birth defects. The goal of this study was to identify genomic regions and genes for CL with or without CP (CL/P).
We performed linkage analyses of a 10 cM genome scan in 820 multiplex CL/P families (6,565 individuals). Significant linkage results were followed by association analyses of 1,476 SNPs in candidate genes and regions, utilizing a weighted false discovery rate (wFDR) approach to control for multiple testing and incorporate the genome scan results.
Significant (multipoint HLOD ≥3.2) or genome-wide-significant (HLOD ≥4.02) linkage results were found for regions 1q32, 2p13, 3q27-28, 9q21, 12p11, 14q21-24 and 16q24. SNPs in IRF6 (1q32) and in or near FOXE1 (9q21) reached formal genome-wide wFDR-adjusted significance. Further, results were phenotype dependent in that the IRF6 region results were most significant for families in which affected individuals have CL alone, and the FOXE1 region results were most significant in families in which some or all of the affected individuals have CL with CP.
These results highlight the importance of careful phenotypic delineation in large samples of families for genetic analyses of complex, heterogeneous traits such as CL/P.
PMCID: PMC2709160  PMID: 19521098
Cleft lip; Cleft palate; Linkage; Association; wFDR; IRF6; FOXE1; Genetics
20.  Vaginal and Oral Microbes, Host Genotype and Preterm Birth 
Medical hypotheses  2009;73(6):963-975.
Preterm birth (PTB) is a leading cause of infant mortality and morbidity in the U.S. and across the globe. Infection and associated inflammation are important initiators for PTB pathways; an estimated 40% of PTBs are attributed to amniochorionic-decidual or systemic inflammation. Historically, intrauterine infections have been implicated in PTB; recent evidence suggests that infections remote from the fetal site may also be causative. There is strong epidemiological evidence that bacterial vaginosis and periodontitis -- two syndromes characterized by perturbations in the normal vaginal and oral bacterial microflora respectively-- are linked to infection-associated PTB. Oral and vaginal environments are similar in their bacterial microbiology; identical bacterial species have been independently isolated in periodontitis and bacterial vaginosis. Periodontitis and bacterial vaginosis also share many behavioral and sociodemographic risk factors suggesting a possible common pathophysiology. Genetic polymorphisms in host inflammatory responses to infection are shared between bacterial vaginosis, periodontitis and PTB, suggesting common mechanisms through which host genotype modify the effect of abnormal bacterial colonization on preterm birth. We review the state of knowledge regarding the risk of PTB attributable to perturbations in bacterial flora in oral and vaginal sites and the role of host genetics in modifying the risk of infection-related PTB. We posit that bacterial species that are common in perturbed vaginal and oral sites are associated with PTB through their interaction with the host immune system.
PMCID: PMC4026093  PMID: 19942083
Prematurity; infection; genotype
21.  X- linked markers in DMD associated with oral clefts 
As part of an international consortium, case-parent trios were collected for a genome wide association study of isolated, non-syndromic oral clefts, including cleft lip (CL), cleft palate (CP) and cleft lip and palate (CLP). Non-syndromic oral clefts have a complex and heterogeneous etiology. Risk is influenced by genes, environmental factors, and differs markedly by gender. Family based association tests (FBAT) were used on 14,486 SNPs spanning the X chromosome, stratified by type of cleft and racial group. Significant results even after multiple comparisons correction were obtained for the Duchene’s muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene, the largest single gene in the human genome, among CL/P trios (both CL and CLP combined). When stratified into groups of European and Asian ancestry, stronger signals were obtained for Asians. Although conventional sliding window haplotype analysis showed no increase in significance, analysis selected combinations of the 25 most significant SNPs in DMD identified four SNPs together that attained genome-wide significance among Asian CL/P trios, raising the possibility of interaction between distant SNPs within DMD.
PMCID: PMC3600648  PMID: 23489894
oral clefts; case-parent trios; X-linked; family-based association; DMD
22.  Genome scan, fine-mapping, and candidate gene analysis of non-syndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate reveals phenotype specific differences in linkage and association results 
Human heredity  2009;68(3):151-170.
Non-syndromic orofacial clefts, i.e. cleft lip (CL) and cleft palate (CP), are among the most common birth defects. The goal of this study was to identify genomic regions and genes for CL with or without CP (CL/P).
We performed linkage analyses of a 10 cM genome scan in 820 multiplex CL/P families (6,565 individuals). Significant linkage results were followed by association analyses of 1,476 SNPs in candidate genes and regions, utilizing a weighted false discovery rate (wFDR) approach to control for multiple testing and incorporate the genome scan results.
Significant (multipoint HLOD≥3.2) or genome-wide-significant (HLOD≥4.02) linkage results were found for regions 1q32, 2p13, 3q27-28, 9q21, 12p11, 14q21-24 and 16q24. SNPs in IRF6 (1q32) and in or near FOXE1 (9q21) reached formal genome-wide wFDR-adjusted significance. Further, results were phenotype dependent in that the IRF6 region results were most significant for families in which affected individuals have CL alone, and the FOXE1 region results were most significant in families in which some or all of the affected individuals have CL with CP.
These results highlight the importance of careful phenotypic delineation in large samples of families for genetic analyses of complex, heterogeneous traits such as CL/P.
PMCID: PMC2709160  PMID: 19521098
cleft lip; cleft palate; linkage; association; wFDR; IRF6; FOXE1; genetics
23.  Distinct Loci in the CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4 Gene Cluster Are Associated With Onset of Regular Smoking 
Stephens, Sarah H. | Hartz, Sarah M. | Hoft, Nicole R. | Saccone, Nancy L. | Corley, Robin C. | Hewitt, John K. | Hopfer, Christian J. | Breslau, Naomi | Coon, Hilary | Chen, Xiangning | Ducci, Francesca | Dueker, Nicole | Franceschini, Nora | Frank, Josef | Han, Younghun | Hansel, Nadia N. | Jiang, Chenhui | Korhonen, Tellervo | Lind, Penelope A. | Liu, Jason | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Michel, Martha | Shaffer, John R. | Short, Susan E. | Sun, Juzhong | Teumer, Alexander | Thompson, John R. | Vogelzangs, Nicole | Vink, Jacqueline M. | Wenzlaff, Angela | Wheeler, William | Yang, Bao-Zhu | Aggen, Steven H. | Balmforth, Anthony J. | Baumeister, Sebastian E. | Beaty, Terri H. | Benjamin, Daniel J. | Bergen, Andrew W. | Broms, Ulla | Cesarini, David | Chatterjee, Nilanjan | Chen, Jingchun | Cheng, Yu-Ching | Cichon, Sven | Couper, David | Cucca, Francesco | Dick, Danielle | Foroud, Tatiana | Furberg, Helena | Giegling, Ina | Gillespie, Nathan A. | Gu, Fangyi | Hall, Alistair S. | Hällfors, Jenni | Han, Shizhong | Hartmann, Annette M. | Heikkilä, Kauko | Hickie, Ian B. | Hottenga, Jouke Jan | Jousilahti, Pekka | Kaakinen, Marika | Kähönen, Mika | Koellinger, Philipp D. | Kittner, Stephen | Konte, Bettina | Landi, Maria-Teresa | Laatikainen, Tiina | Leppert, Mark | Levy, Steven M. | Mathias, Rasika A. | McNeil, Daniel W. | Medland, Sarah E. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Murray, Tanda | Nauck, Matthias | North, Kari E. | Paré, Peter D. | Pergadia, Michele | Ruczinski, Ingo | Salomaa, Veikko | Viikari, Jorma | Willemsen, Gonneke | Barnes, Kathleen C. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Caporaso, Neil | Edenberg, Howard J. | Francks, Clyde | Gelernter, Joel | Grabe, Hans Jörgen | Hops, Hyman | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Johannesson, Magnus | Kendler, Kenneth S. | Lehtimäki, Terho | Magnusson, Patrik K.E. | Marazita, Mary L. | Marchini, Jonathan | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Nöthen, Markus M. | Penninx, Brenda W. | Raitakari, Olli | Rietschel, Marcella | Rujescu, Dan | Samani, Nilesh J. | Schwartz, Ann G. | Shete, Sanjay | Spitz, Margaret | Swan, Gary E. | Völzke, Henry | Veijola, Juha | Wei, Qingyi | Amos, Chris | Cannon, Dale S. | Grucza, Richard | Hatsukami, Dorothy | Heath, Andrew | Johnson, Eric O. | Kaprio, Jaakko | Madden, Pamela | Martin, Nicholas G. | Stevens, Victoria L. | Weiss, Robert B. | Kraft, Peter | Bierut, Laura J. | Ehringer, Marissa A.
Genetic epidemiology  2013;37(8):846-859.
Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) genes (CHRNA5/CHRNA3/CHRNB4) have been reproducibly associated with nicotine dependence, smoking behaviors, and lung cancer risk. Of the few reports that have focused on early smoking behaviors, association results have been mixed. This meta-analysis examines early smoking phenotypes and SNPs in the gene cluster to determine: (1) whether the most robust association signal in this region (rs16969968) for other smoking behaviors is also associated with early behaviors, and/or (2) if additional statistically independent signals are important in early smoking. We focused on two phenotypes: age of tobacco initiation (AOI) and age of first regular tobacco use (AOS). This study included 56,034 subjects (41 groups) spanning nine countries and evaluated five SNPs including rs1948, rs16969968, rs578776, rs588765, and rs684513. Each dataset was analyzed using a centrally generated script. Meta-analyses were conducted from summary statistics. AOS yielded significant associations with SNPs rs578776 (beta = 0.02, P = 0.004), rs1948 (beta = 0.023, P = 0.018), and rs684513 (beta = 0.032, P = 0.017), indicating protective effects. There were no significant associations for the AOI phenotype. Importantly, rs16969968, the most replicated signal in this region for nicotine dependence, cigarettes per day, and cotinine levels, was not associated with AOI (P = 0.59) or AOS (P = 0.92). These results provide important insight into the complexity of smoking behavior phenotypes, and suggest that association signals in the CHRNA5/A3/B4 gene cluster affecting early smoking behaviors may be different from those affecting the mature nicotine dependence phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3947535  PMID: 24186853
CHRNA5; CHRNA3; CHRNB4; meta-analysis; nicotine; smoke
24.  A genome-wide study of de novo deletions identifies a candidate locus for non-syndromic isolated cleft lip/palate risk 
BMC Genetics  2014;15:24.
Copy number variants (CNVs) may play an important part in the development of common birth defects such as oral clefts, and individual patients with multiple birth defects (including clefts) have been shown to carry small and large chromosomal deletions. In this paper we investigate de novo deletions defined as DNA segments missing in an oral cleft proband but present in both unaffected parents. We compare de novo deletion frequencies in children of European ancestry with an isolated, non-syndromic oral cleft to frequencies in children of European ancestry from randomly sampled trios.
We identified a genome-wide significant 62 kilo base (kb) non-coding region on chromosome 7p14.1 where de novo deletions occur more frequently among oral cleft cases than controls. We also observed wider de novo deletions among cleft lip and palate (CLP) cases than seen among cleft palate (CP) and cleft lip (CL) cases.
This study presents a region where de novo deletions appear to be involved in the etiology of oral clefts, although the underlying biological mechanisms are still unknown. Larger de novo deletions are more likely to interfere with normal craniofacial development and may result in more severe clefts. Study protocol and sample DNA source can severely affect estimates of de novo deletion frequencies. Follow-up studies are needed to further validate these findings and to potentially identify additional structural variants underlying oral clefts.
PMCID: PMC3929298  PMID: 24528994
Oral clefts; DNA copy numbers; de novo deletions; Case-parent trios
25.  Evidence of Gene−Environment Interaction for Two Genes on Chromosome 4 and Environmental Tobacco Smoke in Controlling the Risk of Nonsyndromic Cleft Palate 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88088.
Nonsyndromic cleft palate (CP) is one of the most common human birth defects and both genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to its etiology. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using 550 CP case-parent trios ascertained in an international consortium. Stratified analysis among trios with different ancestries was performed to test for GxE interactions with common maternal exposures using conditional logistic regression models. While no single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) achieved genome-wide significance when considered alone, markers in SLC2A9 and the neighboring WDR1 on chromosome 4p16.1 gave suggestive evidence of gene-environment interaction with environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) among 259 Asian trios when the models included a term for GxE interaction. Multiple SNPs in these two genes were associated with increased risk of nonsyndromic CP if the mother was exposed to ETS during the peri-conceptual period (3 months prior to conception through the first trimester). When maternal ETS was considered, fifteen of 135 SNPs mapping to SLC2A9 and 9 of 59 SNPs in WDR1 gave P values approaching genome-wide significance (10−6
PMCID: PMC3916361  PMID: 24516586

Results 1-25 (95)