PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (324)
 

Clipboard (0)
None
Journals
Year of Publication
more »
1.  Genome-Wide Association of Body Fat Distribution in African Ancestry Populations Suggests New Loci 
Liu, Ching-Ti | Monda, Keri L. | Taylor, Kira C. | Lange, Leslie | Demerath, Ellen W. | Palmas, Walter | Wojczynski, Mary K. | Ellis, Jaclyn C. | Vitolins, Mara Z. | Liu, Simin | Papanicolaou, George J. | Irvin, Marguerite R. | Xue, Luting | Griffin, Paula J. | Nalls, Michael A. | Adeyemo, Adebowale | Liu, Jiankang | Li, Guo | Ruiz-Narvaez, Edward A. | Chen, Wei-Min | Chen, Fang | Henderson, Brian E. | Millikan, Robert C. | Ambrosone, Christine B. | Strom, Sara S. | Guo, Xiuqing | Andrews, Jeanette S. | Sun, Yan V. | Mosley, Thomas H. | Yanek, Lisa R. | Shriner, Daniel | Haritunians, Talin | Rotter, Jerome I. | Speliotes, Elizabeth K. | Smith, Megan | Rosenberg, Lynn | Mychaleckyj, Josyf | Nayak, Uma | Spruill, Ida | Garvey, W. Timothy | Pettaway, Curtis | Nyante, Sarah | Bandera, Elisa V. | Britton, Angela F. | Zonderman, Alan B. | Rasmussen-Torvik, Laura J. | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Ding, Jingzhong | Lohman, Kurt | Kritchevsky, Stephen B. | Zhao, Wei | Peyser, Patricia A. | Kardia, Sharon L. R. | Kabagambe, Edmond | Broeckel, Ulrich | Chen, Guanjie | Zhou, Jie | Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia | Neuhouser, Marian L. | Rampersaud, Evadnie | Psaty, Bruce | Kooperberg, Charles | Manson, JoAnn E. | Kuller, Lewis H. | Ochs-Balcom, Heather M. | Johnson, Karen C. | Sucheston, Lara | Ordovas, Jose M. | Palmer, Julie R. | Haiman, Christopher A. | McKnight, Barbara | Howard, Barbara V. | Becker, Diane M. | Bielak, Lawrence F. | Liu, Yongmei | Allison, Matthew A. | Grant, Struan F. A. | Burke, Gregory L. | Patel, Sanjay R. | Schreiner, Pamela J. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Evans, Michele K. | Taylor, Herman | Sale, Michele M. | Howard, Virginia | Carlson, Christopher S. | Rotimi, Charles N. | Cushman, Mary | Harris, Tamara B. | Reiner, Alexander P. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | North, Kari E. | Fox, Caroline S.
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(8):e1003681.
Central obesity, measured by waist circumference (WC) or waist-hip ratio (WHR), is a marker of body fat distribution. Although obesity disproportionately affects minority populations, few studies have conducted genome-wide association study (GWAS) of fat distribution among those of predominantly African ancestry (AA). We performed GWAS of WC and WHR, adjusted and unadjusted for BMI, in up to 33,591 and 27,350 AA individuals, respectively. We identified loci associated with fat distribution in AA individuals using meta-analyses of GWA results for WC and WHR (stage 1). Overall, 25 SNPs with single genomic control (GC)-corrected p-values<5.0×10−6 were followed-up (stage 2) in AA with WC and with WHR. Additionally, we interrogated genomic regions of previously identified European ancestry (EA) WHR loci among AA. In joint analysis of association results including both Stage 1 and 2 cohorts, 2 SNPs demonstrated association, rs2075064 at LHX2, p = 2.24×10−8 for WC-adjusted-for-BMI, and rs6931262 at RREB1, p = 2.48×10−8 for WHR-adjusted-for-BMI. However, neither signal was genome-wide significant after double GC-correction (LHX2: p = 6.5×10−8; RREB1: p = 5.7×10−8). Six of fourteen previously reported loci for waist in EA populations were significant (p<0.05 divided by the number of independent SNPs within the region) in AA studied here (TBX15-WARS2, GRB14, ADAMTS9, LY86, RSPO3, ITPR2-SSPN). Further, we observed associations with metabolic traits: rs13389219 at GRB14 associated with HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting insulin, and rs13060013 at ADAMTS9 with HDL-cholesterol and fasting insulin. Finally, we observed nominal evidence for sexual dimorphism, with stronger results in AA women at the GRB14 locus (p for interaction = 0.02). In conclusion, we identified two suggestive loci associated with fat distribution in AA populations in addition to confirming 6 loci previously identified in populations of EA. These findings reinforce the concept that there are fat distribution loci that are independent of generalized adiposity.
Author Summary
Central obesity is a marker of body fat distribution and is known to have a genetic underpinning. Few studies have reported genome-wide association study (GWAS) results among individuals of predominantly African ancestry (AA). We performed a collaborative meta-analysis in order to identify genetic loci associated with body fat distribution in AA individuals using waist circumference (WC) and waist to hip ratio (WHR) as measures of fat distribution, with and without adjustment for body mass index (BMI). We uncovered 2 genetic loci potentially associated with fat distribution: LHX2 in association with WC-adjusted-for-BMI and at RREB1 for WHR-adjusted-for-BMI. Six of fourteen previously reported loci for waist in EA populations were significant in AA studied here (TBX15-WARS2, GRB14, ADAMTS9, LY86, RSPO3, ITPR2-SSPN). These findings reinforce the concept that there are loci for body fat distribution that are independent of generalized adiposity.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003681
PMCID: PMC3744443  PMID: 23966867
2.  A Dinucleotide Deletion in CD24 Confers Protection against Autoimmune Diseases 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(4):e49.
It is generally believed that susceptibility to both organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases is under polygenic control. Although multiple genes have been implicated in each type of autoimmune disease, few are known to have a significant impact on both. Here, we investigated the significance of polymorphisms in the human gene CD24 and the susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We used cases/control studies to determine the association between CD24 polymorphism and the risk of MS and SLE. In addition, we also considered transmission disequilibrium tests using family data from two cohorts consisting of a total of 150 pedigrees of MS families and 187 pedigrees of SLE families. Our analyses revealed that a dinucleotide deletion at position 1527∼1528 (P1527del) from the CD24 mRNA translation start site is associated with a significantly reduced risk (odds ratio = 0.54 with 95% confidence interval = 0.34–0.82) and delayed progression (p = 0.0188) of MS. Among the SLE cohort, we found a similar reduction of risk with the same polymorphism (odds ratio = 0.38, confidence interval = 0.22–0.62). More importantly, using 150 pedigrees of MS families from two independent cohorts and the TRANSMIT software, we found that the P1527del allele was preferentially transmitted to unaffected individuals (p = 0.002). Likewise, an analysis of 187 SLE families revealed the dinucleotide-deleted allele was preferentially transmitted to unaffected individuals (p = 0.002). The mRNA levels for the dinucleotide-deletion allele were 2.5-fold less than that of the wild-type allele. The dinucleotide deletion significantly reduced the stability of CD24 mRNA. Our results demonstrate that a destabilizing dinucleotide deletion in the 3′ UTR of CD24 mRNA conveys significant protection against both MS and SLE.
Author Summary
When an individual's immune system attacks self tissues or organs, he/she develops autoimmune diseases. Although it is well established that multiple genes control susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, most of the genes remain unidentified. In addition, although different autoimmune diseases have a common immunological basis, a very small number of genes have been identified that affect multiple autoimmune diseases. Here we show that a variation in CD24 is a likely genetic factor for the risk and progression of two types of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), an organ-specific autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system, and systemic lupus erythematosus, a systemic autoimmune disease. Our data indicated that if an individual's CD24 gene has a specific two-nucleotide deletion in the noncoding region of CD24 mRNA, his/her risk of developing MS or SLE is reduced by 2- to 3-fold. As a group, MS patients with the two-nucleotide deletion will likely have a slower disease progression. Biochemical analysis indicated that the deletion leads to rapid decay of CD24 mRNA, which should result in reduced synthesis of the CD24 protein. Our data may be useful for the treatment and diagnosis of autoimmune diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030049
PMCID: PMC1847692  PMID: 17411341
3.  Promotion of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Signaling by Tetraspanins and Glycosphingolipids 
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(5):e1005221.
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) belong to the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) superfamily of secreted molecules. BMPs play essential roles in multiple developmental and homeostatic processes in metazoans. Malfunction of the BMP pathway can cause a variety of diseases in humans, including cancer, skeletal disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Identification of factors that ensure proper spatiotemporal control of BMP signaling is critical for understanding how this pathway is regulated. We have used a unique and sensitive genetic screen to identify the plasma membrane-localized tetraspanin TSP-21 as a key new factor in the C. elegans BMP-like “Sma/Mab” signaling pathway that controls body size and postembryonic M lineage development. We showed that TSP-21 acts in the signal-receiving cells and genetically functions at the ligand-receptor level. We further showed that TSP-21 can associate with itself and with two additional tetraspanins, TSP-12 and TSP-14, which also promote Sma/Mab signaling. TSP-12 and TSP-14 can also associate with SMA-6, the type I receptor of the Sma/Mab pathway. Finally, we found that glycosphingolipids, major components of the tetraspanin-enriched microdomains, are required for Sma/Mab signaling. Our findings suggest that the tetraspanin-enriched membrane microdomains are important for proper BMP signaling. As tetraspanins have emerged as diagnostic and prognostic markers for tumor progression, and TSP-21, TSP-12 and TSP-14 are all conserved in humans, we speculate that abnormal BMP signaling due to altered expression or function of certain tetraspanins may be a contributing factor to cancer development.
Author Summary
The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway is required for multiple developmental processes during metazoan development. Various diseases, including cancer, can result from mis-regulation of the BMP pathway. Thus, it is critical to identify factors that ensure proper regulation of BMP signaling. Using the nematode C. elegans, we have devised a highly specific and sensitive genetic screen to identify new modulators in the BMP pathway. Through this screen, we identified three conserved tetraspanin molecules as novel factors that function to promote BMP signaling in a living organism. We further showed that these three tetraspanins likely form a complex and function together with glycosphingolipids to promote BMP signaling. Recent studies have implicated several tetraspanins in cancer initiation, progression and metastasis in mammals. Our findings suggest that the involvement of tetraspanins in cancer may partially be due to their function in modulating the activity of BMP signaling.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005221
PMCID: PMC4433240  PMID: 25978409
4.  Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies in African Americans Provides Insights into the Genetic Architecture of Type 2 Diabetes 
Ng, Maggie C. Y. | Shriner, Daniel | Chen, Brian H. | Li, Jiang | Chen, Wei-Min | Guo, Xiuqing | Liu, Jiankang | Bielinski, Suzette J. | Yanek, Lisa R. | Nalls, Michael A. | Comeau, Mary E. | Rasmussen-Torvik, Laura J. | Jensen, Richard A. | Evans, Daniel S. | Sun, Yan V. | An, Ping | Patel, Sanjay R. | Lu, Yingchang | Long, Jirong | Armstrong, Loren L. | Wagenknecht, Lynne | Yang, Lingyao | Snively, Beverly M. | Palmer, Nicholette D. | Mudgal, Poorva | Langefeld, Carl D. | Keene, Keith L. | Freedman, Barry I. | Mychaleckyj, Josyf C. | Nayak, Uma | Raffel, Leslie J. | Goodarzi, Mark O. | Chen, Y-D Ida | Taylor, Herman A. | Correa, Adolfo | Sims, Mario | Couper, David | Pankow, James S. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Adeyemo, Adebowale | Doumatey, Ayo | Chen, Guanjie | Mathias, Rasika A. | Vaidya, Dhananjay | Singleton, Andrew B. | Zonderman, Alan B. | Igo, Robert P. | Sedor, John R. | Kabagambe, Edmond K. | Siscovick, David S. | McKnight, Barbara | Rice, Kenneth | Liu, Yongmei | Hsueh, Wen-Chi | Zhao, Wei | Bielak, Lawrence F. | Kraja, Aldi | Province, Michael A. | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Gottesman, Omri | Cai, Qiuyin | Zheng, Wei | Blot, William J. | Lowe, William L. | Pacheco, Jennifer A. | Crawford, Dana C. | Grundberg, Elin | Rich, Stephen S. | Hayes, M. Geoffrey | Shu, Xiao-Ou | Loos, Ruth J. F. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Peyser, Patricia A. | Cummings, Steven R. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Fornage, Myriam | Iyengar, Sudha K. | Evans, Michele K. | Becker, Diane M. | Kao, W. H. Linda | Wilson, James G. | Rotter, Jerome I. | Sale, Michèle M. | Liu, Simin | Rotimi, Charles N. | Bowden, Donald W.
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(8):e1004517.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is more prevalent in African Americans than in Europeans. However, little is known about the genetic risk in African Americans despite the recent identification of more than 70 T2D loci primarily by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry. In order to investigate the genetic architecture of T2D in African Americans, the MEta-analysis of type 2 DIabetes in African Americans (MEDIA) Consortium examined 17 GWAS on T2D comprising 8,284 cases and 15,543 controls in African Americans in stage 1 analysis. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) association analysis was conducted in each study under the additive model after adjustment for age, sex, study site, and principal components. Meta-analysis of approximately 2.6 million genotyped and imputed SNPs in all studies was conducted using an inverse variance-weighted fixed effect model. Replications were performed to follow up 21 loci in up to 6,061 cases and 5,483 controls in African Americans, and 8,130 cases and 38,987 controls of European ancestry. We identified three known loci (TCF7L2, HMGA2 and KCNQ1) and two novel loci (HLA-B and INS-IGF2) at genome-wide significance (4.15×10−94
Author Summary
Despite the higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in African Americans than in Europeans, recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were examined primarily in individuals of European ancestry. In this study, we performed meta-analysis of 17 GWAS in 8,284 cases and 15,543 controls to explore the genetic architecture of T2D in African Americans. Following replication in additional 6,061 cases and 5,483 controls in African Americans, and 8,130 cases and 38,987 controls of European ancestry, we identified two novel and three previous reported T2D loci reaching genome-wide significance. We also examined 158 loci previously reported to be associated with T2D or regulating glucose homeostasis. While 56% of these loci were shared between African Americans and the other populations, the strongest associations in African Americans are often found in nearby single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) instead of the original SNPs reported in other populations due to differential genetic architecture across populations. Our results highlight the importance of performing genetic studies in non-European populations to fine map the causal genetic variants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004517
PMCID: PMC4125087  PMID: 25102180
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(2):e1003323.
The fungal family Clavicipitaceae includes plant symbionts and parasites that produce several psychoactive and bioprotective alkaloids. The family includes grass symbionts in the epichloae clade (Epichloë and Neotyphodium species), which are extraordinarily diverse both in their host interactions and in their alkaloid profiles. Epichloae produce alkaloids of four distinct classes, all of which deter insects, and some—including the infamous ergot alkaloids—have potent effects on mammals. The exceptional chemotypic diversity of the epichloae may relate to their broad range of host interactions, whereby some are pathogenic and contagious, others are mutualistic and vertically transmitted (seed-borne), and still others vary in pathogenic or mutualistic behavior. We profiled the alkaloids and sequenced the genomes of 10 epichloae, three ergot fungi (Claviceps species), a morning-glory symbiont (Periglandula ipomoeae), and a bamboo pathogen (Aciculosporium take), and compared the gene clusters for four classes of alkaloids. Results indicated a strong tendency for alkaloid loci to have conserved cores that specify the skeleton structures and peripheral genes that determine chemical variations that are known to affect their pharmacological specificities. Generally, gene locations in cluster peripheries positioned them near to transposon-derived, AT-rich repeat blocks, which were probably involved in gene losses, duplications, and neofunctionalizations. The alkaloid loci in the epichloae had unusual structures riddled with large, complex, and dynamic repeat blocks. This feature was not reflective of overall differences in repeat contents in the genomes, nor was it characteristic of most other specialized metabolism loci. The organization and dynamics of alkaloid loci and abundant repeat blocks in the epichloae suggested that these fungi are under selection for alkaloid diversification. We suggest that such selection is related to the variable life histories of the epichloae, their protective roles as symbionts, and their associations with the highly speciose and ecologically diverse cool-season grasses.
Author Summary
The fungal family, Clavicipitaceae, includes “ergot” fungi that parasitize ears of cereals and have historically caused mass poisonings, as well as “epichloae,” which are symbionts of grasses. Many epichloae are mutualistic symbionts, but some are pathogenic, and others have both mutualistic and pathogenic characteristics. Most Clavicipitaceae produce “alkaloids,” small molecules that deter insects, livestock, and wildlife from feeding on the fungus or plant. Epichloae protect their hosts with diverse alkaloids belonging to four chemical classes. After sequencing the entire DNA contents (“genomes”) of ten epichloae, three ergot fungi, and two relatives, we compared their “clusters” of genes for alkaloid biosynthesis. In the epichloae, these clusters contained extraordinarily large blocks of highly repetitive DNA, which promote gene losses, mutations, and even the evolution of new genes. These repeat blocks account for the exceptionally high alkaloid diversity in the epichloae and may relate to the ecological diversity of these symbiotic fungi.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003323
PMCID: PMC3585121  PMID: 23468653
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(1):e1003190.
Adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) are two major histological subtypes of lung cancer. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have made considerable advances in the understanding of lung cancer susceptibility. Obvious heterogeneity has been observed between different histological subtypes of lung cancer, but genetic determinants in specific to lung SqCC have not been systematically investigated. Here, we performed the GWAS analysis specifically for lung SqCC in 833 SqCC cases and 3,094 controls followed by a two-stage replication in additional 2,223 lung SqCC cases and 6,409 controls from Chinese populations. We found that rs12296850 in SLC17A8-NR1H4 gene region at12q23.1 was significantly associated with risk of lung SqCC at genome-wide significance level [additive model: odds ratio (OR) = 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.72–0.84, P = 1.19×10−10]. Subjects carrying AG or GG genotype had a 26% (OR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.67–0.81) or 32% (OR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.56–0.83) decreased risk of lung SqCC, respectively, as compared with AA genotype. However, we did not observe significant association between rs12296850 and risk of lung AC in a total of 4,368 cases with lung AC and 9,486 controls (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.90–1.02, P = 0.173). These results indicate that genetic variations on chromosome 12q23.1 may specifically contribute to lung SqCC susceptibility in Chinese population.
Author Summary
Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) strongly suggested the importance of genetic susceptibility for lung cancer. However, the studies specific to different histological subtypes of lung cancer were limited. We performed the GWAS analysis specifically for lung squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC) with 570,009 autosomal SNPs in 833 SqCC cases and 3,094 controls and replicated in additional 2,223 lung SqCC cases and 6,409 controls from Chinese populations (822 SqCC cases and 2,243 controls for the first replication stage and 1,401 SqCC cases and 4,166 controls for the second replication stage). We found a novel association at rs12296850 (SLC17A8-NR1H4) on12q23.1. However, rs12296850 didn't show significant association with risk of lung adenocacinoma (AC) in 4,368 lung AC cases and 9,486 controls. These results indicate that genetic variations on chromosome 12q23.1 may specifically contribute to lung SqCC susceptibility in Chinese population.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003190
PMCID: PMC3547794  PMID: 23341777
Coviello, Andrea D. | Haring, Robin | Wellons, Melissa | Vaidya, Dhananjay | Lehtimäki, Terho | Keildson, Sarah | Lunetta, Kathryn L. | He, Chunyan | Fornage, Myriam | Lagou, Vasiliki | Mangino, Massimo | Onland-Moret, N. Charlotte | Chen, Brian | Eriksson, Joel | Garcia, Melissa | Liu, Yong Mei | Koster, Annemarie | Lohman, Kurt | Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka | Petersen, Ann-Kristin | Prescott, Jennifer | Stolk, Lisette | Vandenput, Liesbeth | Wood, Andrew R. | Zhuang, Wei Vivian | Ruokonen, Aimo | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Pouta, Anneli | Bandinelli, Stefania | Biffar, Reiner | Brabant, Georg | Cox, David G. | Chen, Yuhui | Cummings, Steven | Ferrucci, Luigi | Gunter, Marc J. | Hankinson, Susan E. | Martikainen, Hannu | Hofman, Albert | Homuth, Georg | Illig, Thomas | Jansson, John-Olov | Johnson, Andrew D. | Karasik, David | Karlsson, Magnus | Kettunen, Johannes | Kiel, Douglas P. | Kraft, Peter | Liu, Jingmin | Ljunggren, Östen | Lorentzon, Mattias | Maggio, Marcello | Markus, Marcello R. P. | Mellström, Dan | Miljkovic, Iva | Mirel, Daniel | Nelson, Sarah | Morin Papunen, Laure | Peeters, Petra H. M. | Prokopenko, Inga | Raffel, Leslie | Reincke, Martin | Reiner, Alex P. | Rexrode, Kathryn | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Schwartz, Stephen M. | Siscovick, David | Soranzo, Nicole | Stöckl, Doris | Tworoger, Shelley | Uitterlinden, André G. | van Gils, Carla H. | Vasan, Ramachandran S. | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Zhai, Guangju | Bhasin, Shalender | Bidlingmaier, Martin | Chanock, Stephen J. | De Vivo, Immaculata | Harris, Tamara B. | Hunter, David J. | Kähönen, Mika | Liu, Simin | Ouyang, Pamela | Spector, Tim D. | van der Schouw, Yvonne T. | Viikari, Jorma | Wallaschofski, Henri | McCarthy, Mark I. | Frayling, Timothy M. | Murray, Anna | Franks, Steve | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | de Jong, Frank H. | Raitakari, Olli | Teumer, Alexander | Ohlsson, Claes | Murabito, Joanne M. | Perry, John R. B.
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(7):e1002805.
Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a glycoprotein responsible for the transport and biologic availability of sex steroid hormones, primarily testosterone and estradiol. SHBG has been associated with chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes (T2D) and with hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis of 21,791 individuals from 10 epidemiologic studies and validated these findings in 7,046 individuals in an additional six studies. We identified twelve genomic regions (SNPs) associated with circulating SHBG concentrations. Loci near the identified SNPs included SHBG (rs12150660, 17p13.1, p = 1.8×10−106), PRMT6 (rs17496332, 1p13.3, p = 1.4×10−11), GCKR (rs780093, 2p23.3, p = 2.2×10−16), ZBTB10 (rs440837, 8q21.13, p = 3.4×10−09), JMJD1C (rs7910927, 10q21.3, p = 6.1×10−35), SLCO1B1 (rs4149056, 12p12.1, p = 1.9×10−08), NR2F2 (rs8023580, 15q26.2, p = 8.3×10−12), ZNF652 (rs2411984, 17q21.32, p = 3.5×10−14), TDGF3 (rs1573036, Xq22.3, p = 4.1×10−14), LHCGR (rs10454142, 2p16.3, p = 1.3×10−07), BAIAP2L1 (rs3779195, 7q21.3, p = 2.7×10−08), and UGT2B15 (rs293428, 4q13.2, p = 5.5×10−06). These genes encompass multiple biologic pathways, including hepatic function, lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism and T2D, androgen and estrogen receptor function, epigenetic effects, and the biology of sex steroid hormone-responsive cancers including breast and prostate cancer. We found evidence of sex-differentiated genetic influences on SHBG. In a sex-specific GWAS, the loci 4q13.2-UGT2B15 was significant in men only (men p = 2.5×10−08, women p = 0.66, heterogeneity p = 0.003). Additionally, three loci showed strong sex-differentiated effects: 17p13.1-SHBG and Xq22.3-TDGF3 were stronger in men, whereas 8q21.12-ZBTB10 was stronger in women. Conditional analyses identified additional signals at the SHBG gene that together almost double the proportion of variance explained at the locus. Using an independent study of 1,129 individuals, all SNPs identified in the overall or sex-differentiated or conditional analyses explained ∼15.6% and ∼8.4% of the genetic variation of SHBG concentrations in men and women, respectively. The evidence for sex-differentiated effects and allelic heterogeneity highlight the importance of considering these features when estimating complex trait variance.
Author Summary
Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is the key protein responsible for binding and transporting the sex steroid hormones, testosterone and estradiol, in the circulatory system. SHBG regulates their bioavailability and therefore their effects in the body. SHBG has been linked to chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and to hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast and prostate cancer. SHBG concentrations are approximately 50% heritable in family studies, suggesting SHBG concentrations are under significant genetic control; yet, little is known about the specific genes that influence SHBG. We conducted a large study of the association of SHBG concentrations with markers in the human genome in ∼22,000 white men and women to determine which loci influence SHBG concentrations. Genes near the identified genomic markers in addition to the SHBG protein coding gene included PRMT6, GCKR, ZBTB10, JMJD1C, SLCO1B1, NR2F2, ZNF652, TDGF3, LHCGR, BAIAP2L1, and UGT2B15. These genes represent a wide range of biologic pathways that may relate to SHBG function and sex steroid hormone biology, including liver function, lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism and type 2 diabetes, and the development and progression of sex steroid hormone-responsive cancers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002805
PMCID: PMC3400553  PMID: 22829776
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(7):e1002791.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have recently identified KIF1B as susceptibility locus for hepatitis B virus (HBV)–related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To further identify novel susceptibility loci associated with HBV–related HCC and replicate the previously reported association, we performed a large three-stage GWAS in the Han Chinese population. 523,663 autosomal SNPs in 1,538 HBV–positive HCC patients and 1,465 chronic HBV carriers were genotyped for the discovery stage. Top candidate SNPs were genotyped in the initial validation samples of 2,112 HBV–positive HCC cases and 2,208 HBV carriers and then in the second validation samples of 1,021 cases and 1,491 HBV carriers. We discovered two novel associations at rs9272105 (HLA-DQA1/DRB1) on 6p21.32 (OR = 1.30, P = 1.13×10−19) and rs455804 (GRIK1) on 21q21.3 (OR = 0.84, P = 1.86×10−8), which were further replicated in the fourth independent sample of 1,298 cases and 1,026 controls (rs9272105: OR = 1.25, P = 1.71×10−4; rs455804: OR = 0.84, P = 6.92×10−3). We also revealed the associations of HLA-DRB1*0405 and 0901*0602, which could partially account for the association at rs9272105. The association at rs455804 implicates GRIK1 as a novel susceptibility gene for HBV–related HCC, suggesting the involvement of glutamate signaling in the development of HBV–related HCC.
Author Summary
Previous studies strongly suggest the importance of genetic susceptibility for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the studies about genetic etiology on HBV–related HCC were limited. Our genome-wide association study included 523,663 autosomal SNPs in 1,538 HBV–positive HCC patients and 1,465 chronic HBV carriers for the discovery analysis. 2,112 HBV–positive HCC cases and 2,208 HBV carriers (the initial validation), and 1,021 cases and 1,491 HBV carriers (the second validation), were then analyzed for validation. The fourth independent samples of 1,298 cases and 1,026 controls were analyzed as replication. We discovered two novel associations at rs9272105 (HLA-DQA1/DRB1) on 6p21.32 and rs455804 (GRIK1) on 21q21.3. HLA-DRB1 molecules play an important role in chronic HBV infection and progression to HCC. The association at rs455804 implicates GRIK1 as a novel susceptibility gene for HBV–related HCC, suggesting the involvement of glutamate signaling in the development of HBV–related HCC.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002791
PMCID: PMC3395595  PMID: 22807686
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(3):e1001358.
Stem cells are crucial in morphogenesis in plants and animals. Much is known about the mechanisms that maintain stem cell fates or trigger their terminal differentiation. However, little is known about how developmental time impacts stem cell fates. Using Arabidopsis floral stem cells as a model, we show that stem cells can undergo precise temporal regulation governed by mechanisms that are distinct from, but integrated with, those that specify cell fates. We show that two microRNAs, miR172 and miR165/166, through targeting APETALA2 and type III homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) genes, respectively, regulate the temporal program of floral stem cells. In particular, we reveal a role of the type III HD-Zip genes, previously known to specify lateral organ polarity, in stem cell termination. Both reduction in HD-Zip expression by over-expression of miR165/166 and mis-expression of HD-Zip genes by rendering them resistant to miR165/166 lead to prolonged floral stem cell activity, indicating that the expression of HD-Zip genes needs to be precisely controlled to achieve floral stem cell termination. We also show that both the ubiquitously expressed ARGONAUTE1 (AGO1) gene and its homolog AGO10, which exhibits highly restricted spatial expression patterns, are required to maintain the correct temporal program of floral stem cells. We provide evidence that AGO10, like AGO1, associates with miR172 and miR165/166 in vivo and exhibits “slicer” activity in vitro. Despite the common biological functions and similar biochemical activities, AGO1 and AGO10 exert different effects on miR165/166 in vivo. This work establishes a network of microRNAs and transcription factors governing the temporal program of floral stem cells and sheds light on the relationships among different AGO genes, which tend to exist in gene families in multicellular organisms.
Author Summary
Stem cells have the capacity to self renew while producing daughter cells that undergo differentiation. While some stem cells remain as stem cells throughout the life of an organism, others are programmed to terminate within developmental contexts. It is presumed that stem cell termination is simply the differentiation of stem cells into a specific cell type(s). Using floral stem cells as a model, we show that the temporally regulated termination of floral stem cells is genetically separable from stem cell differentiation, and thus we reveal the presence of a temporal program of stem cell regulation. We show that two microRNAs, miR172 and miR165/166, and two argonaute family proteins, ARGONAUTE1 (AGO1) and AGO10, regulate the termination of floral stem cells. We establish the homeodomain-leucine zipper (DH-Zip) genes, targets of miR165/166, as crucial factors in floral stem cell termination. While AGO1 is the major miRNA effector, the molecular function of AGO10 has been elusive. Here we demonstrate that AGO10 is also a miRNA effector in that AGO10 is associated with miRNAs in vivo and exhibits “slicer” activity in vitro. Despite the similar biochemical activities, AGO1 and AGO10 promote floral stem cell termination by exerting opposite effects on miR165/166.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001358
PMCID: PMC3069122  PMID: 21483759
PLoS Genetics  2009;5(3):e1000420.
For females, menarche is a most significant physiological event. Age at menarche (AAM) is a trait with high genetic determination and is associated with major complex diseases in women. However, specific genes for AAM variation are largely unknown. To identify genetic factors underlying AAM variation, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) examining about 380,000 SNPs was conducted in 477 Caucasian women. A follow-up replication study was performed to validate our major GWAS findings using two independent Caucasian cohorts with 854 siblings and 762 unrelated subjects, respectively, and one Chinese cohort of 1,387 unrelated subjects—all females. Our GWAS identified a novel gene, SPOCK (Sparc/Osteonectin, CWCV, and Kazal-like domains proteoglycan), which had seven SNPs associated with AAM with genome-wide false discovery rate (FDR) q<0.05. Six most significant SNPs of the gene were selected for validation in three independent replication cohorts. All of the six SNPs were replicated in at least one cohort. In particular, SNPs rs13357391 and rs1859345 were replicated both within and across different ethnic groups in all three cohorts, with p values of 5.09×10−3 and 4.37×10−3, respectively, in the Chinese cohort and combined p values (obtained by Fisher's method) of 5.19×10−5 and 1.02×10−4, respectively, in all three replication cohorts. Interestingly, SPOCK can inhibit activation of MMP-2 (matrix metalloproteinase-2), a key factor promoting endometrial menstrual breakdown and onset of menstrual bleeding. Our findings, together with the functional relevance, strongly supported that the SPOCK gene underlies variation of AAM.
Author Summary
Menarche is a physical milestone in a woman's life. Age at menarche (AAM) is related to many common female health problems. AAM is mainly determined by genetic factors. However, the specific genes and the associated mechanisms underlying AAM are largely unknown. Here, taking advantage of the most recent technological advances in the field of human genetics, we identified multiple genetic variants in a gene, SPOCK, which are associated with AAM variation in a group of Caucasian women. This association was subsequently confirmed not only in two independent groups of Caucasian women but also across ethnic boundaries in one group of Chinese women. In addition, SPOCK has a function in regulating a key factor involved in menstrual cycles, MMP-2, which provides further support to our findings. Our study provides a solid basis for further investigation of the gene, which may help to reveal the underlying mechanisms for the timing of menarche and for AAM's relationship with women's health in general.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000420
PMCID: PMC2652107  PMID: 19282985
PLoS Genetics  2016;12(10):e1006308.
miR-155 plays critical roles in numerous physiological and pathological processes, however, its function in the regulation of blood glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity and underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we reveal that miR-155 levels are downregulated in serum from type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients, suggesting that miR-155 might be involved in blood glucose control and diabetes. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies in mice demonstrate that miR-155 has no effects on the pancreatic β-cell proliferation and function. Global transgenic overexpression of miR-155 in mice leads to hypoglycaemia, improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Conversely, miR-155 deficiency in mice causes hyperglycemia, impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. In addition, consistent with a positive regulatory role of miR-155 in glucose metabolism, miR-155 positively modulates glucose uptake in all cell types examined, while mice overexpressing miR-155 transgene show enhanced glycolysis, and insulin-stimulated AKT and IRS-1 phosphorylation in liver, adipose tissue or skeletal muscle. Furthermore, we reveal these aforementioned phenomena occur, at least partially, through miR-155-mediated repression of important negative regulators (i.e. C/EBPβ, HDAC4 and SOCS1) of insulin signaling. Taken together, these findings demonstrate, for the first time, that miR-155 is a positive regulator of insulin sensitivity with potential applications for diabetes treatment.
Author Summary
In the present study, we provide evidence for the first time showing that miR-155 is a positive regulator of insulin sensitivity in mice. Here, we determine that miR-155 levels are downregulated in serum from type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients, and shows a negative correlation with HOMA-IR, suggesting that miR-155 might be involved in glucose homeostasis and insulin action. Global transgenic overexpression of miR-155 in mice leads to hypoglycaemia, improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Conversely, miR-155 deficiency in mice causes hyperglycemia, impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. In addition, consistent with a positive regulatory role of miR-155 in glucose metabolism, miR-155 positively modulates glucose uptake in all cell types examined, while mice overexpressing miR-155 transgene show enhanced glycolysis, and insulin-stimulated AKT and IRS-1 phosphorylation in liver, adipose tissue or skeletal muscle. More importantly, we reveal that these aforementioned phenomena occur, at least in part, through the miR-155-mediated coordinated repression of multiple negative regulators (i.e. C/EBPβ, HDAC4 and SOCS1) of insulin signaling.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006308
PMCID: PMC5053416  PMID: 27711113
PLoS Genetics  2016;12(9):e1006262.
To maintain a particular cell fate, a unique set of genes should be expressed while another set is repressed. One way to repress gene expression is through Polycomb group (PcG) proteins that compact chromatin into a silent configuration. In addition to cell fate maintenance, PcG proteins also maintain normal cell physiology, for example cell cycle. In the absence of PcG, ectopic activation of the PcG-repressed genes leads to developmental defects and malignant tumors. Little is known about the molecular nature of ectopic gene expression; especially what differentiates expression of a given gene in the orthotopic tissue (orthotopic expression) and the ectopic expression of the same gene due to PcG mutations. Here we present that ectopic gene expression in PcG mutant cells specifically requires dBRWD3, a negative regulator of HIRA/Yemanuclein (YEM)-mediated histone variant H3.3 deposition. dBRWD3 mutations suppress both the ectopic gene expression and aberrant tissue overgrowth in PcG mutants through a YEM-dependent mechanism. Our findings identified dBRWD3 as a critical regulator that is uniquely required for ectopic gene expression and aberrant tissue overgrowth caused by PcG mutations.
Author Summary
Genetic information is stored in our genomic DNA, and different cells retrieve distinct sets of information from our genome. While it is important to activate genomic regions encoding proteins that are essential for a given cell type, it is equally important to silence genomic regions encoding proteins that are potentially harmful to this type of cells. One of the gene silencing mechanisms frequently used during and after development is mediated by the Polycomb group (PcG) proteins. If this guardian function does not perform correctly due to PcG mutations, genes that are normally silenced—such as oncogenes—are expressed aberrantly. Due to the activation of oncogenes and the loss of other PcG functions, PcG mutant cells often begin to display hallmarks of cancer, such as proliferating beyond control, acquiring stem-cell-like properties, and migrating to distant sites. If the transcriptional mechanisms underlying aberrant gene expression in PcG-mutant cancer cells differ from gene expression in normal cells, we may be able to selectively inhibit the growth of cancer cells without affecting their normal counterparts. Here we show that the difference between these two types of gene expression resides in their sensitivity to dBRWD3, a negative regulator of the deposition of histone H3 variant H3.3. Our results indicate that the inactivation of dBRWD3 or promotion of H3.3 deposition may selectively suppress ectopic gene expression and tumorigenesis driven by mutations in PcG.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006262
PMCID: PMC5010193  PMID: 27588417
PLoS Genetics  2016;12(7):e1006140.
Spatially and temporally regulated membrane trafficking events incorporate membrane and cell wall materials into the pollen tube apex and are believed to underlie the rapid pollen tube growth. In plants, the molecular mechanisms and physiological functions of intra-Golgi transport and Golgi integrity maintenance remain largely unclear. The conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex has been implicated in tethering of retrograde intra-Golgi vesicles in yeast and mammalian cells. Using genetic and cytologic approaches, we demonstrate that T-DNA insertions in Arabidopsis COG complex subunits, COG3 and COG8, cause an absolute, male-specific transmission defect that can be complemented by expression of COG3 and COG8 from the LAT52 pollen promoter, respectively. No obvious abnormalities in the microgametogenesis of the two mutants are observed, but in vitro and in vivo pollen tube growth are defective. COG3 or COG8 proteins fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP) label the Golgi apparatus. In pollen of both mutants, Golgi bodies exhibit altered morphology. Moreover, γ-COP and EMP12 proteins lose their tight association with the Golgi. These defects lead to the incorrect deposition of cell wall components and proteins during pollen tube growth. COG3 and COG8 interact directly with each other, and a structural model of the Arabidopsis COG complex is proposed. We believe that the COG complex helps to modulate Golgi morphology and vesicle trafficking homeostasis during pollen tube tip growth.
Author Summary
In the pistils of flowering plants, pollen tubes elongate at the tips to deliver the male gametes to the egg cells for fertilization. The tip growth of pollen tube is due to the deposition of cell membranes and wall materials at a restricted tip area of the plasma membrane. Vesicle trafficking events occurred at the extreme tips have been shown to be required for the coordinated tip growth, while other trafficking pathways are less well characterized. On the other hand, little is known about the molecular mechanisms and the physiological impact of Golgi trafficking and Golgi structure maintenance in plant cells. COG complex is a vesicle tethering factor supposed to mediate intra-Golgi retrograde transport in mammalian and yeast cells. By characterization of two plant COG complex subunits COG3 and COG8, we revealed their roles in Golgi transport and Golgi structure maintenance, which are essential for pollen tube polar growth. These results deepened our understandings on pollen tube growth regulation, and the molecular mechanisms of Golgi trafficking and Golgi morphology maintenance in plant cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006140
PMCID: PMC4957783  PMID: 27448097
Winkler, Thomas W. | Justice, Anne E. | Graff, Mariaelisa | Barata, Llilda | Feitosa, Mary F. | Chu, Su | Czajkowski, Jacek | Esko, Tõnu | Fall, Tove | Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O. | Lu, Yingchang | Mägi, Reedik | Mihailov, Evelin | Pers, Tune H. | Rüeger, Sina | Teumer, Alexander | Ehret, Georg B. | Ferreira, Teresa | Heard-Costa, Nancy L. | Karjalainen, Juha | Lagou, Vasiliki | Mahajan, Anubha | Neinast, Michael D. | Prokopenko, Inga | Simino, Jeannette | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Jansen, Rick | Westra, Harm-Jan | White, Charles C. | Absher, Devin | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S. | Ahmad, Shafqat | Albrecht, Eva | Alves, Alexessander Couto | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | de Craen, Anton J. M. | Bis, Joshua C. | Bonnefond, Amélie | Boucher, Gabrielle | Cadby, Gemma | Cheng, Yu-Ching | Chiang, Charleston W. K. | Delgado, Graciela | Demirkan, Ayse | Dueker, Nicole | Eklund, Niina | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Eriksson, Joel | Feenstra, Bjarke | Fischer, Krista | Frau, Francesca | Galesloot, Tessel E. | Geller, Frank | Goel, Anuj | Gorski, Mathias | Grammer, Tanja B. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Haitjema, Saskia | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Jackson, Anne U. | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Johansson, Åsa | Kaakinen, Marika | Kleber, Marcus E. | Lahti, Jari | Mateo Leach, Irene | Lehne, Benjamin | Liu, Youfang | Lo, Ken Sin | Lorentzon, Mattias | Luan, Jian'an | Madden, Pamela A. F. | Mangino, Massimo | McKnight, Barbara | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Monda, Keri L. | Montasser, May E. | Müller, Gabriele | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | Panoutsopoulou, Kalliope | Pascoe, Laura | Paternoster, Lavinia | Rayner, Nigel W. | Renström, Frida | Rizzi, Federica | Rose, Lynda M. | Ryan, Kathy A. | Salo, Perttu | Sanna, Serena | Scharnagl, Hubert | Shi, Jianxin | Smith, Albert Vernon | Southam, Lorraine | Stančáková, Alena | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Sung, Yun Ju | Tachmazidou, Ioanna | Tanaka, Toshiko | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Trompet, Stella | Pervjakova, Natalia | Tyrer, Jonathan P. | Vandenput, Liesbeth | van der Laan, Sander W | van der Velde, Nathalie | van Setten, Jessica | van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V. | Verweij, Niek | Vlachopoulou, Efthymia | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wang, Sophie R. | Wang, Zhaoming | Wild, Sarah H. | Willenborg, Christina | Wilson, James F. | Wong, Andrew | Yang, Jian | Yengo, Loïc | Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M. | Yu, Lei | Zhang, Weihua | Zhao, Jing Hua | Andersson, Ehm A. | Bakker, Stephan J. L. | Baldassarre, Damiano | Banasik, Karina | Barcella, Matteo | Barlassina, Cristina | Bellis, Claire | Benaglio, Paola | Blangero, John | Blüher, Matthias | Bonnet, Fabrice | Bonnycastle, Lori L. | Boyd, Heather A. | Bruinenberg, Marcel | Buchman, Aron S | Campbell, Harry | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Chines, Peter S. | Claudi-Boehm, Simone | Cole, John | Collins, Francis S. | de Geus, Eco J. C. | de Groot, Lisette C. P. G. M. | Dimitriou, Maria | Duan, Jubao | Enroth, Stefan | Eury, Elodie | Farmaki, Aliki-Eleni | Forouhi, Nita G. | Friedrich, Nele | Gejman, Pablo V. | Gigante, Bruna | Glorioso, Nicola | Go, Alan S. | Gottesman, Omri | Gräßler, Jürgen | Grallert, Harald | Grarup, Niels | Gu, Yu-Mei | Broer, Linda | Ham, Annelies C. | Hansen, Torben | Harris, Tamara B. | Hartman, Catharina A. | Hassinen, Maija | Hastie, Nicholas | Hattersley, Andrew T. | Heath, Andrew C. | Henders, Anjali K. | Hernandez, Dena | Hillege, Hans | Holmen, Oddgeir | Hovingh, Kees G | Hui, Jennie | Husemoen, Lise L. | Hutri-Kähönen, Nina | Hysi, Pirro G. | Illig, Thomas | De Jager, Philip L. | Jalilzadeh, Shapour | Jørgensen, Torben | Jukema, J. Wouter | Juonala, Markus | Kanoni, Stavroula | Karaleftheri, Maria | Khaw, Kay Tee | Kinnunen, Leena | Kittner, Steven J. | Koenig, Wolfgang | Kolcic, Ivana | Kovacs, Peter | Krarup, Nikolaj T. | Kratzer, Wolfgang | Krüger, Janine | Kuh, Diana | Kumari, Meena | Kyriakou, Theodosios | Langenberg, Claudia | Lannfelt, Lars | Lanzani, Chiara | Lotay, Vaneet | Launer, Lenore J. | Leander, Karin | Lindström, Jaana | Linneberg, Allan | Liu, Yan-Ping | Lobbens, Stéphane | Luben, Robert | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Männistö, Satu | Magnusson, Patrik K. | McArdle, Wendy L. | Menni, Cristina | Merger, Sigrun | Milani, Lili | Montgomery, Grant W. | Morris, Andrew P. | Narisu, Narisu | Nelis, Mari | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Pérusse, Louis | Pichler, Irene | Pilia, Maria G. | Pouta, Anneli | Rheinberger, Myriam | Ribel-Madsen, Rasmus | Richards, Marcus | Rice, Kenneth M. | Rice, Treva K. | Rivolta, Carlo | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanders, Alan R. | Sarzynski, Mark A. | Scholtens, Salome | Scott, Robert A. | Scott, William R. | Sebert, Sylvain | Sengupta, Sebanti | Sennblad, Bengt | Seufferlein, Thomas | Silveira, Angela | Slagboom, P. Eline | Smit, Jan H. | Sparsø, Thomas H. | Stirrups, Kathleen | Stolk, Ronald P. | Stringham, Heather M. | Swertz, Morris A | Swift, Amy J. | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Tan, Sian-Tsung | Thorand, Barbara | Tönjes, Anke | Tremblay, Angelo | Tsafantakis, Emmanouil | van der Most, Peter J. | Völker, Uwe | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Vonk, Judith M. | Waldenberger, Melanie | Walker, Ryan W. | Wennauer, Roman | Widén, Elisabeth | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wright, Alan F. | Zillikens, M. Carola | van Dijk, Suzanne C. | van Schoor, Natasja M. | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | de Bakker, Paul I. W. | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Beilby, John | Bennett, David A. | Bergman, Richard N. | Bergmann, Sven | Böger, Carsten A. | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Bouchard, Claude | Chambers, John C. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Cucca, Francesco | Cusi, Daniele | Dedoussis, George | Erdmann, Jeanette | Eriksson, Johan G. | Evans, Denis A. | de Faire, Ulf | Farrall, Martin | Ferrucci, Luigi | Ford, Ian | Franke, Lude | Franks, Paul W. | Froguel, Philippe | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Gieger, Christian | Grönberg, Henrik | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hall, Per | Hamsten, Anders | van der Harst, Pim | Hayward, Caroline | Heliövaara, Markku | Hengstenberg, Christian | Hicks, Andrew A | Hingorani, Aroon | Hofman, Albert | Hu, Frank | Huikuri, Heikki V. | Hveem, Kristian | James, Alan L. | Jordan, Joanne M. | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kajantie, Eero | Kathiresan, Sekar | Kiemeney, Lambertus A. L. M. | Kivimaki, Mika | Knekt, Paul B. | Koistinen, Heikki A. | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koskinen, Seppo | Kuusisto, Johanna | Maerz, Winfried | Martin, Nicholas G | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lettre, Guillaume | Levinson, Douglas F. | Lind, Lars | Lokki, Marja-Liisa | Mäntyselkä, Pekka | Melbye, Mads | Metspalu, Andres | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Moll, Frans L. | Murray, Jeffrey C. | Musk, Arthur W. | Nieminen, Markku S. | Njølstad, Inger | Ohlsson, Claes | Oldehinkel, Albertine J. | Oostra, Ben A. | Palmer, Lyle J | Pankow, James S. | Pasterkamp, Gerard | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Pedersen, Oluf | Penninx, Brenda W. | Perola, Markus | Peters, Annette | Polašek, Ozren | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Qi, Lu | Quertermous, Thomas | Raitakari, Olli T. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rauramaa, Rainer | Ridker, Paul M. | Rioux, John D. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rotter, Jerome I. | Rudan, Igor | den Ruijter, Hester M. | Saltevo, Juha | Sattar, Naveed | Schunkert, Heribert | Schwarz, Peter E. H. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Sinisalo, Juha | Snieder, Harold | Sørensen, Thorkild I. A. | Spector, Tim D. | Staessen, Jan A. | Stefania, Bandinelli | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Stumvoll, Michael | Tardif, Jean-Claude | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uitterlinden, André G. | Uusitupa, Matti | Verbeek, André L. M. | Vermeulen, Sita H. | Viikari, Jorma S. | Vitart, Veronique | Völzke, Henry | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gérard | Walker, Mark | Wallaschofski, Henri | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Watkins, Hugh | Zeggini, Eleftheria | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Clegg, Deborah J. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Gordon-Larsen, Penny | Jaquish, Cashell E. | Rao, D. C. | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Barroso, Inês | Berndt, Sonja I. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Fox, Caroline S. | Groop, Leif C. | Hunter, David J. | Ingelsson, Erik | Kaplan, Robert C. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Mohlke, Karen L. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Schlessinger, David | Strachan, David P. | Stefansson, Kari | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Heid, Iris M. | North, Kari E. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Kutalik, Zoltán | Loos, Ruth J. F.
PLoS Genetics  2016;12(6):e1006166.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006166
PMCID: PMC4927064  PMID: 27355579
PLoS Genetics  2016;12(6):e1006093.
EHBP-1 (Ehbp1) is a conserved regulator of endocytic recycling, acting as an effector of small GTPases including RAB-10 (Rab10). Here we present evidence that EHBP-1 associates with tubular endosomal phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] enriched membranes through an N-terminal C2-like (NT-C2) domain, and define residues within the NT-C2 domain that mediate membrane interaction. Furthermore, our results indicate that the EHBP-1 central calponin homology (CH) domain binds to actin microfilaments in a reaction that is stimulated by RAB-10(GTP). Loss of any aspect of this RAB-10/EHBP-1 system in the C. elegans intestinal epithelium leads to retention of basolateral recycling cargo in endosomes that have lost their normal tubular endosomal network (TEN) organization. We propose a mechanism whereby RAB-10 promotes the ability of endosome-bound EHBP-1 to also bind to the actin cytoskeleton, thereby promoting endosomal tubulation.
Author Summary
Endosomes are intracellular organelles that sort protein and lipid components integral to the membrane, as well as more loosely associated lumenal content, for delivery to distinct intracellular destinations. Endosomes associated with recycling cargo back to the plasma membrane are often tubular in morphology, and this morphology is thought to be essential for recycling function. Our previous work identified a particularly dramatic network of endosomal tubules involved in membrane protein recycling in the basolateral intestinal epithelial cells of C. elegans. Our subsequent genetic analysis of basolateral recycling in this system identified a number of key regulators of these endosomes, including the small GTPase RAB-10 and its effector EHBP-1. Our new work presented here shows that EHBP-1 promotes endosomal tubulation by linking the membrane lipid PI(4,5)P2 to the actin cytoskeleton, and that the linkage of EHBP-1 to actin is enhanced by the interaction of EHBP-1 with RAB-10. This work has broad implications for how endosomal tubulation occurs in all cells, and has specific implications for the role of EHBP-1 in related processes such as insulin-stimulated recycling of glucose transporters in human adipocytes, a process intimately linked to type II diabetes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006093
PMCID: PMC4894640  PMID: 27272733
PLoS Genetics  2016;12(5):e1006034.
Failure of the human heart to maintain sufficient output of blood for the demands of the body, heart failure, is a common condition with high mortality even with modern therapeutic alternatives. To identify molecular determinants of mortality in patients with new-onset heart failure, we performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies and follow-up genotyping in independent populations. We identified and replicated an association for a genetic variant on chromosome 5q22 with 36% increased risk of death in subjects with heart failure (rs9885413, P = 2.7x10-9). We provide evidence from reporter gene assays, computational predictions and epigenomic marks that this polymorphism increases activity of an enhancer region active in multiple human tissues. The polymorphism was further reproducibly associated with a DNA methylation signature in whole blood (P = 4.5x10-40) that also associated with allergic sensitization and expression in blood of the cytokine TSLP (P = 1.1x10-4). Knockdown of the transcription factor predicted to bind the enhancer region (NHLH1) in a human cell line (HEK293) expressing NHLH1 resulted in lower TSLP expression. In addition, we observed evidence of recent positive selection acting on the risk allele in populations of African descent. Our findings provide novel genetic leads to factors that influence mortality in patients with heart failure.
Author Summary
In this study, we applied a genome-wide mapping approach to study molecular determinants of mortality in subjects with heart failure. We identified a genetic variant on chromosome 5q22 that was associated with mortality in this group and observed that this variant conferred increased function of an enhancer region active in multiple tissues. We further observed association of the genetic variant with a DNA methylation signature in blood that in turn is associated with allergy and expression of the gene TSLP (Thymic stromal lymphoprotein) in blood. Knockdown of the transcription factor predicted to bind the enhancer region also resulted in lower TSLP expression. The TSLP gene encodes a cytokine that induces release of T-cell attracting chemokines from monocytes, promotes T helper type 2 cell responses, enhances maturation of dendritic cells and activates mast cells. Development of TSLP inhibiting therapeutics are underway and currently in phase III clinical trials for asthma and allergy. These findings provide novel genetic leads to factors that influence mortality in patients with heart failure and in the longer term may result in novel therapies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006034
PMCID: PMC4858216  PMID: 27149122
PLoS Genetics  2016;12(3):e1005910.
Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is commonly used for controlling opioid dependence, preventing withdrawal symptoms, and improving the quality of life of heroin-dependent patients. A steady-state plasma concentration of methadone enantiomers, a measure of methadone metabolism, is an index of treatment response and efficacy of MMT. Although the methadone metabolism pathway has been partially revealed, no genome-wide pharmacogenomic study has been performed to identify genetic determinants and characterize genetic mechanisms for the plasma concentrations of methadone R- and S-enantiomers. This study was the first genome-wide pharmacogenomic study to identify genes associated with the plasma concentrations of methadone R- and S-enantiomers and their respective metabolites in a methadone maintenance cohort. After data quality control was ensured, a dataset of 344 heroin-dependent patients in the Han Chinese population of Taiwan who underwent MMT was analyzed. Genome-wide single-locus and haplotype-based association tests were performed to analyze four quantitative traits: the plasma concentrations of methadone R- and S-enantiomers and their respective metabolites. A significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs17180299 (raw p = 2.24 × 10−8), was identified, accounting for 9.541% of the variation in the plasma concentration of the methadone R-enantiomer. In addition, 17 haplotypes were identified on SPON1, GSG1L, and CYP450 genes associated with the plasma concentration of methadone S-enantiomer. These haplotypes accounted for approximately one-fourth of the variation of the overall S-methadone plasma concentration. The association between the S-methadone plasma concentration and CYP2B6, SPON1, and GSG1L were replicated in another independent study. A gene expression experiment revealed that CYP2B6, SPON1, and GSG1L can be activated concomitantly through a constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) activation pathway. In conclusion, this study revealed new genes associated with the plasma concentration of methadone, providing insight into the genetic foundation of methadone metabolism. The results can be applied to predict treatment responses and methadone-related deaths for individualized MMTs.
Author Summary
Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), among the most effective therapies for heroin-dependent patients, reduces craving and withdrawal symptoms, increases treatment compliance, and improves the quality of life of patients. The plasma concentration of methadone is a primary index for quantifying and determining therapy responses to MMT. This study was the first whole-genome pharmacogenomic study on MMT to locate genomic regions associated with the plasma concentration of methadone. The analysis identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker (rs17180299) and 17 haplotypes on the SPON1, GSG1L, and CYP450 genes, including CYP2B6 significantly associated with the plasma concentrations of methadone enantiomers. The identified genetic variations accounted for approximately 10% and 25% of the variations in plasma concentrations of methadone R- and S-enantiomers, respectively. The identified genetic variations have afforded insight into the genetic mechanism of the metabolism of MMT, and have potential to pave the way towards individualized MMTs for heroin-dependent patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005910
PMCID: PMC4806848  PMID: 27010727
PLoS Genetics  2016;12(1):e1005771.
Polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs) play crucial roles in transcriptional repression and developmental regulation in both plants and animals. In plants, depletion of different members of PRCs causes both overlapping and unique phenotypic defects. However, the underlying molecular mechanism determining the target specificity and functional diversity is not sufficiently characterized. Here, we quantitatively compared changes of tri-methylation at H3K27 in Arabidopsis mutants deprived of various key PRC components. We show that CURLY LEAF (CLF), a major catalytic subunit of PRC2, coordinates with different members of PRC1 in suppression of distinct plant developmental programs. We found that expression of flower development genes is repressed in seedlings preferentially via non-redundant role of CLF, which specifically associated with LIKE HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN1 (LHP1). In contrast, expression of embryo development genes is repressed by PRC1-catalytic core subunits AtBMI1 and AtRING1 in common with PRC2-catalytic enzymes CLF or SWINGER (SWN). This context-dependent role of CLF corresponds well with the change in H3K27me3 profiles, and is remarkably associated with differential co-occupancy of binding motifs of transcription factors (TFs), including MADS box and ABA-related factors. We propose that different combinations of PRC members distinctively regulate different developmental programs, and their target specificity is modulated by specific TFs.
Author Summary
Polycomb group proteins (PcGs) are essential for development in both animals and plants. Studies in plants are advantageous for elucidation of specific effects of PcGs during development, since most PcG mutants are viable in plants but not in animals. Previous efforts in genetic study of plant PcGs revealed that different PcGs have both common and unique effects on plant development, but the mechanisms underlying the specific regulation of different developmental programs by PcGs are still far from clear. In this study, we quantitatively compared the change in H3K27me3 and gene expression profiles between mutants of key PcG members on a genome-wide scale in Arabidopsis seedlings, and successfully unraveled different developmental programs that are specifically regulated by different combinations of PcGs. This context specific effect of PcGs is closely associated with different sets of transcription factor binding motifs. Together, we revealed on a genome-wide scale that different combinations of PcGs, as well as their association with the binding sites of different TFs, serve to explain the specific regulation of different developmental programs by PcGs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005771
PMCID: PMC4711971  PMID: 26760036
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(11):e1005670.
Kernel row number (KRN) is an important component of yield during the domestication and improvement of maize and controlled by quantitative trait loci (QTL). Here, we fine-mapped a major KRN QTL, KRN4, which can enhance grain productivity by increasing KRN per ear. We found that a ~3-Kb intergenic region about 60 Kb downstream from the SBP-box gene Unbranched3 (UB3) was responsible for quantitative variation in KRN by regulating the level of UB3 expression. Within the 3-Kb region, the 1.2-Kb Presence-Absence variant was found to be strongly associated with quantitative variation in KRN in diverse maize inbred lines, and our results suggest that this 1.2-Kb transposon-containing insertion is likely responsible for increased KRN. A previously identified A/G SNP (S35, also known as Ser220Asn) in UB3 was also found to be significantly associated with KRN in our association-mapping panel. Although no visible genetic effect of S35 alone could be detected in our linkage mapping population, it was found to genetically interact with the 1.2-Kb PAV to modulate KRN. The KRN4 was under strong selection during maize domestication and the favorable allele for the 1.2-Kb PAV and S35 has been significantly enriched in modern maize improvement process. The favorable haplotype (Hap1) of 1.2-Kb-PAV-S35 was selected during temperate maize improvement, but is still rare in tropical and subtropical maize germplasm. The dissection of the KRN4 locus improves our understanding of the genetic basis of quantitative variation in complex traits in maize.
Author Summary
Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the world's most important sources of calories for humans. With an expanding global population, the demands for maize-derived food, feed, and fuel are rapidly increasing. To meet these needs, geneticists and breeders are facing the challenge of enhancing grain yield through genetic improvement of maize germplasm. Understanding the genetic basis of grain yield is necessary to guide breeding efforts towards the development of high-yielding hybrids. Kernel row number (KRN) in maize is one of the most important yield components and a significant breeding target. Over the last few decades, many genes that determine inflorescence development and architecture have been identified and characterized. The formation of kernel rows is an integral part of the development of the female inflorescence in maize. Nevertheless, the genetic basis and molecular regulation of quantitative variation in KRN is poorly understood. This study provides experimental evidence for the hypothesis that variation in intergenic regions can regulate quantitative variation of important grain yield-related traits, and also provides tools for improving KRN in maize.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005670
PMCID: PMC4648495  PMID: 26575831
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(10):e1005598.
The precise regulation of microRNA (miRNA) transcription and processing is important for eukaryotic development. Plant miRNAs are first transcribed as stem-loop primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs) by RNA polymerase II,then cleaved in the nucleus into mature miRNAs by Dicer-like 1 (DCL1). We identified a cycling DOF transcription factor, CDF2, which interacts with DCL1 and regulates the accumulation of a population of miRNAs. CDF2 binds directly to the promoters of some miRNAs and works as a transcription activator or repressor for these miRNA genes. CDF2 binds preferentially to the pri-miRNAs regulated by itself and affects DCL1-mediated processing of these pri-miRNAs. Genetically, CDF2 works in the same pathway as miR156 or miR172 to control flowering. We conclude that CDF2 regulates a group of pri-miRNAs at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels to maintain proper levels of their mature miRNAs to control plant development.
Author Summary
CDFs were identified to play roles in the blue light signaling. This study reveals that CDF2 acts as a transcriptional activator or repressor of a group of microRNA (miRNA) genes and binds to the pri-miRNA transcripts. This study demonstrates that CDF2 interacts with the Dicer-like 1 (DCL1) complex and suppresses the processing of primary miRNAs. Genetic analysis shows that CDF2 works in the same pathway as miR156 or miR172 to control flowering. The finding that the miRNA accumulation is regulated by a factor at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels may have a broad impact on the miRNA biogenesis field. The regulation of miRNA abundance by CDF2 sheds light on the roles of miRNAs in the light signaling pathways.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005598
PMCID: PMC4608766  PMID: 26473486
Winkler, Thomas W. | Justice, Anne E. | Graff, Mariaelisa | Barata, Llilda | Feitosa, Mary F. | Chu, Su | Czajkowski, Jacek | Esko, Tõnu | Fall, Tove | Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O. | Lu, Yingchang | Mägi, Reedik | Mihailov, Evelin | Pers, Tune H. | Rüeger, Sina | Teumer, Alexander | Ehret, Georg B. | Ferreira, Teresa | Heard-Costa, Nancy L. | Karjalainen, Juha | Lagou, Vasiliki | Mahajan, Anubha | Neinast, Michael D. | Prokopenko, Inga | Simino, Jeannette | Teslovich, Tanya M. | Jansen, Rick | Westra, Harm-Jan | White, Charles C. | Absher, Devin | Ahluwalia, Tarunveer S. | Ahmad, Shafqat | Albrecht, Eva | Alves, Alexessander Couto | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | de Craen, Anton J. M. | Bis, Joshua C. | Bonnefond, Amélie | Boucher, Gabrielle | Cadby, Gemma | Cheng, Yu-Ching | Chiang, Charleston W. K. | Delgado, Graciela | Demirkan, Ayse | Dueker, Nicole | Eklund, Niina | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Eriksson, Joel | Feenstra, Bjarke | Fischer, Krista | Frau, Francesca | Galesloot, Tessel E. | Geller, Frank | Goel, Anuj | Gorski, Mathias | Grammer, Tanja B. | Gustafsson, Stefan | Haitjema, Saskia | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Huffman, Jennifer E. | Jackson, Anne U. | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Johansson, Åsa | Kaakinen, Marika | Kleber, Marcus E. | Lahti, Jari | Leach, Irene Mateo | Lehne, Benjamin | Liu, Youfang | Lo, Ken Sin | Lorentzon, Mattias | Luan, Jian'an | Madden, Pamela A. F. | Mangino, Massimo | McKnight, Barbara | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Monda, Keri L. | Montasser, May E. | Müller, Gabriele | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Nolte, Ilja M. | Panoutsopoulou, Kalliope | Pascoe, Laura | Paternoster, Lavinia | Rayner, Nigel W. | Renström, Frida | Rizzi, Federica | Rose, Lynda M. | Ryan, Kathy A. | Salo, Perttu | Sanna, Serena | Scharnagl, Hubert | Shi, Jianxin | Smith, Albert Vernon | Southam, Lorraine | Stančáková, Alena | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Sung, Yun Ju | Tachmazidou, Ioanna | Tanaka, Toshiko | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Trompet, Stella | Pervjakova, Natalia | Tyrer, Jonathan P. | Vandenput, Liesbeth | van der Laan, Sander W | van der Velde, Nathalie | van Setten, Jessica | van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V. | Verweij, Niek | Vlachopoulou, Efthymia | Waite, Lindsay L. | Wang, Sophie R. | Wang, Zhaoming | Wild, Sarah H. | Willenborg, Christina | Wilson, James F. | Wong, Andrew | Yang, Jian | Yengo, Loïc | Yerges-Armstrong, Laura M. | Yu, Lei | Zhang, Weihua | Zhao, Jing Hua | Andersson, Ehm A. | Bakker, Stephan J. L. | Baldassarre, Damiano | Banasik, Karina | Barcella, Matteo | Barlassina, Cristina | Bellis, Claire | Benaglio, Paola | Blangero, John | Blüher, Matthias | Bonnet, Fabrice | Bonnycastle, Lori L. | Boyd, Heather A. | Bruinenberg, Marcel | Buchman, Aron S | Campbell, Harry | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Chines, Peter S. | Claudi-Boehm, Simone | Cole, John | Collins, Francis S. | de Geus, Eco J. C. | de Groot, Lisette C. P. G. M. | Dimitriou, Maria | Duan, Jubao | Enroth, Stefan | Eury, Elodie | Farmaki, Aliki-Eleni | Forouhi, Nita G. | Friedrich, Nele | Gejman, Pablo V. | Gigante, Bruna | Glorioso, Nicola | Go, Alan S. | Gottesman, Omri | Gräßler, Jürgen | Grallert, Harald | Grarup, Niels | Gu, Yu-Mei | Broer, Linda | Ham, Annelies C. | Hansen, Torben | Harris, Tamara B. | Hartman, Catharina A. | Hassinen, Maija | Hastie, Nicholas | Hattersley, Andrew T. | Heath, Andrew C. | Henders, Anjali K. | Hernandez, Dena | Hillege, Hans | Holmen, Oddgeir | Hovingh, Kees G | Hui, Jennie | Husemoen, Lise L. | Hutri-Kähönen, Nina | Hysi, Pirro G. | Illig, Thomas | De Jager, Philip L. | Jalilzadeh, Shapour | Jørgensen, Torben | Jukema, J. Wouter | Juonala, Markus | Kanoni, Stavroula | Karaleftheri, Maria | Khaw, Kay Tee | Kinnunen, Leena | Kittner, Steven J. | Koenig, Wolfgang | Kolcic, Ivana | Kovacs, Peter | Krarup, Nikolaj T. | Kratzer, Wolfgang | Krüger, Janine | Kuh, Diana | Kumari, Meena | Kyriakou, Theodosios | Langenberg, Claudia | Lannfelt, Lars | Lanzani, Chiara | Lotay, Vaneet | Launer, Lenore J. | Leander, Karin | Lindström, Jaana | Linneberg, Allan | Liu, Yan-Ping | Lobbens, Stéphane | Luben, Robert | Lyssenko, Valeriya | Männistö, Satu | Magnusson, Patrik K. | McArdle, Wendy L. | Menni, Cristina | Merger, Sigrun | Milani, Lili | Montgomery, Grant W. | Morris, Andrew P. | Narisu, Narisu | Nelis, Mari | Ong, Ken K. | Palotie, Aarno | Pérusse, Louis | Pichler, Irene | Pilia, Maria G. | Pouta, Anneli | Rheinberger, Myriam | Ribel-Madsen, Rasmus | Richards, Marcus | Rice, Kenneth M. | Rice, Treva K. | Rivolta, Carlo | Salomaa, Veikko | Sanders, Alan R. | Sarzynski, Mark A. | Scholtens, Salome | Scott, Robert A. | Scott, William R. | Sebert, Sylvain | Sengupta, Sebanti | Sennblad, Bengt | Seufferlein, Thomas | Silveira, Angela | Slagboom, P. Eline | Smit, Jan H. | Sparsø, Thomas H. | Stirrups, Kathleen | Stolk, Ronald P. | Stringham, Heather M. | Swertz, Morris A | Swift, Amy J. | Syvänen, Ann-Christine | Tan, Sian-Tsung | Thorand, Barbara | Tönjes, Anke | Tremblay, Angelo | Tsafantakis, Emmanouil | van der Most, Peter J. | Völker, Uwe | Vohl, Marie-Claude | Vonk, Judith M. | Waldenberger, Melanie | Walker, Ryan W. | Wennauer, Roman | Widén, Elisabeth | Willemsen, Gonneke | Wilsgaard, Tom | Wright, Alan F. | Zillikens, M. Carola | van Dijk, Suzanne C. | van Schoor, Natasja M. | Asselbergs, Folkert W. | de Bakker, Paul I. W. | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Beilby, John | Bennett, David A. | Bergman, Richard N. | Bergmann, Sven | Böger, Carsten A. | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Bottinger, Erwin P. | Bouchard, Claude | Chambers, John C. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Chasman, Daniel I. | Cucca, Francesco | Cusi, Daniele | Dedoussis, George | Erdmann, Jeanette | Eriksson, Johan G. | Evans, Denis A. | de Faire, Ulf | Farrall, Martin | Ferrucci, Luigi | Ford, Ian | Franke, Lude | Franks, Paul W. | Froguel, Philippe | Gansevoort, Ron T. | Gieger, Christian | Grönberg, Henrik | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gyllensten, Ulf | Hall, Per | Hamsten, Anders | van der Harst, Pim | Hayward, Caroline | Heliövaara, Markku | Hengstenberg, Christian | Hicks, Andrew A | Hingorani, Aroon | Hofman, Albert | Hu, Frank | Huikuri, Heikki V. | Hveem, Kristian | James, Alan L. | Jordan, Joanne M. | Jula, Antti | Kähönen, Mika | Kajantie, Eero | Kathiresan, Sekar | Kiemeney, Lambertus A. L. M. | Kivimaki, Mika | Knekt, Paul B. | Koistinen, Heikki A. | Kooner, Jaspal S. | Koskinen, Seppo | Kuusisto, Johanna | Maerz, Winfried | Martin, Nicholas G | Laakso, Markku | Lakka, Timo A. | Lehtimäki, Terho | Lettre, Guillaume | Levinson, Douglas F. | Lind, Lars | Lokki, Marja-Liisa | Mäntyselkä, Pekka | Melbye, Mads | Metspalu, Andres | Mitchell, Braxton D. | Moll, Frans L. | Murray, Jeffrey C. | Musk, Arthur W. | Nieminen, Markku S. | Njølstad, Inger | Ohlsson, Claes | Oldehinkel, Albertine J. | Oostra, Ben A. | Palmer, Lyle J | Pankow, James S. | Pasterkamp, Gerard | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Pedersen, Oluf | Penninx, Brenda W. | Perola, Markus | Peters, Annette | Polašek, Ozren | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Psaty, Bruce M. | Qi, Lu | Quertermous, Thomas | Raitakari, Olli T. | Rankinen, Tuomo | Rauramaa, Rainer | Ridker, Paul M. | Rioux, John D. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Rotter, Jerome I. | Rudan, Igor | den Ruijter, Hester M. | Saltevo, Juha | Sattar, Naveed | Schunkert, Heribert | Schwarz, Peter E. H. | Shuldiner, Alan R. | Sinisalo, Juha | Snieder, Harold | Sørensen, Thorkild I. A. | Spector, Tim D. | Staessen, Jan A. | Stefania, Bandinelli | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Stumvoll, Michael | Tardif, Jean-Claude | Tremoli, Elena | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Uitterlinden, André G. | Uusitupa, Matti | Verbeek, André L. M. | Vermeulen, Sita H. | Viikari, Jorma S. | Vitart, Veronique | Völzke, Henry | Vollenweider, Peter | Waeber, Gérard | Walker, Mark | Wallaschofski, Henri | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Watkins, Hugh | Zeggini, Eleftheria | Chakravarti, Aravinda | Clegg, Deborah J. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Gordon-Larsen, Penny | Jaquish, Cashell E. | Rao, D. C. | Abecasis, Goncalo R. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Barroso, Inês | Berndt, Sonja I. | Boehnke, Michael | Deloukas, Panos | Fox, Caroline S. | Groop, Leif C. | Hunter, David J. | Ingelsson, Erik | Kaplan, Robert C. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Mohlke, Karen L. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Schlessinger, David | Strachan, David P. | Stefansson, Kari | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | Heid, Iris M. | North, Kari E. | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Kutalik, Zoltán | Loos, Ruth J. F.
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(10):e1005378.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 100 genetic variants contributing to BMI, a measure of body size, or waist-to-hip ratio (adjusted for BMI, WHRadjBMI), a measure of body shape. Body size and shape change as people grow older and these changes differ substantially between men and women. To systematically screen for age- and/or sex-specific effects of genetic variants on BMI and WHRadjBMI, we performed meta-analyses of 114 studies (up to 320,485 individuals of European descent) with genome-wide chip and/or Metabochip data by the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium. Each study tested the association of up to ~2.8M SNPs with BMI and WHRadjBMI in four strata (men ≤50y, men >50y, women ≤50y, women >50y) and summary statistics were combined in stratum-specific meta-analyses. We then screened for variants that showed age-specific effects (G x AGE), sex-specific effects (G x SEX) or age-specific effects that differed between men and women (G x AGE x SEX). For BMI, we identified 15 loci (11 previously established for main effects, four novel) that showed significant (FDR<5%) age-specific effects, of which 11 had larger effects in younger (<50y) than in older adults (≥50y). No sex-dependent effects were identified for BMI. For WHRadjBMI, we identified 44 loci (27 previously established for main effects, 17 novel) with sex-specific effects, of which 28 showed larger effects in women than in men, five showed larger effects in men than in women, and 11 showed opposite effects between sexes. No age-dependent effects were identified for WHRadjBMI. This is the first genome-wide interaction meta-analysis to report convincing evidence of age-dependent genetic effects on BMI. In addition, we confirm the sex-specificity of genetic effects on WHRadjBMI. These results may provide further insights into the biology that underlies weight change with age or the sexually dimorphism of body shape.
Author Summary
Adult body size and body shape differ substantially between men and women and change over time. More than 100 genetic variants that influence body mass index (measure of body size) or waist-to-hip ratio (measure of body shape) have been identified. While there is evidence that some genetic loci affect body shape differently in men than in women, little is known about whether genetic effects differ in older compared to younger adults, and whether such changes differ between men and women. Therefore, we conducted a systematic genome-wide search, including 114 studies (>320,000 individuals), to specifically identify genetic loci with age- and or sex-dependent effects on body size and shape. We identified 15 loci of which the effect on BMI was different in older compared to younger adults, whereas we found no evidence for loci with different effects in men compared to women. The opposite was seen for body shape as we identified 44 loci of which the effect on waist-to-hip ratio differed between men and women, but no difference between younger and older adults were observed. Our observations may provide new insights into the biology that underlies weight change with age or the sexual dimorphism of body shape.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005378
PMCID: PMC4591371  PMID: 26426971
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(9):e1005509.
Filamentous fungus Penicillium oxalicum produces diverse lignocellulolytic enzymes, which are regulated by the combinations of many transcription factors. Here, a single-gene disruptant library for 470 transcription factors was constructed and systematically screened for cellulase production. Twenty transcription factors (including ClrB, CreA, XlnR, Ace1, AmyR, and 15 unknown proteins) were identified to play putative roles in the activation or repression of cellulase synthesis. Most of these regulators have not been characterized in any fungi before. We identified the ClrB, CreA, XlnR, and AmyR transcription factors as critical dose-dependent regulators of cellulase expression, the core regulons of which were identified by analyzing several transcriptomes and/or secretomes. Synergistic and additive modes of combinatorial control of each cellulase gene by these regulatory factors were achieved, and cellulase expression was fine-tuned in a proper and controlled manner. With one of these targets, the expression of the major intracellular β-glucosidase Bgl2 was found to be dependent on ClrB. The Bgl2-deficient background resulted in a substantial gene activation by ClrB and proved to be closely correlated with the relief of repression mediated by CreA and AmyR during cellulase induction. Our results also signify that probing the synergistic and dose-controlled regulation mechanisms of cellulolytic regulators and using it for reconstruction of expression regulation network (RERN) may be a promising strategy for cellulolytic fungi to develop enzyme hyper-producers. Based on our data, ClrB was identified as focal point for the synergistic activation regulation of cellulase expression by integrating cellulolytic regulators and their target genes, which refined our understanding of transcriptional-regulatory network as a “seesaw model” in which the coordinated regulation of cellulolytic genes is established by counteracting activators and repressors.
Author Summary
Cellulolytic fungi have evolved into sophisticated lignocellulolytic systems to adapt to their natural habitat. This trait is important for filamentous fungi, which are the main source of cellulases utilized to degrade lignocellulose to fermentable sugars. Penicillium oxalicum, which produces lignocellulolytic enzymes with more diverse components than Trichoderma reesei, has the capacity to secrete large amounts of cellulases. Meanwhile, cellulase expression is regulated by a complex network involved in many transcription factors in this organism. To better understand how cellulase genes are systematically regulated in P. oxalicum, we employed molecular genetics to uncover the cellulolytic transcription factors on a genome-wide scale. We discovered the synergistic and tunable regulation of cellulase expression by integrating cellulolytic regulators and their target genes, which refined our understanding of transcriptional-regulatory network as a “seesaw model” in which the coordinated regulation of cellulolytic genes is established by counteracting activators and repressors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005509
PMCID: PMC4567317  PMID: 26360497
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(8):e1005393.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia at the clinic. Recent GWAS identified several variants associated with AF, but they account for <10% of heritability. Gene-gene interaction is assumed to account for a significant portion of missing heritability. Among GWAS loci for AF, only three were replicated in the Chinese Han population, including SNP rs2106261 (G/A substitution) in ZFHX3, rs2200733 (C/T substitution) near PITX2c, and rs3807989 (A/G substitution) in CAV1. Thus, we analyzed the interaction among these three AF loci. We demonstrated significant interaction between rs2106261 and rs2200733 in three independent populations and combined population with 2,020 cases/5,315 controls. Compared to non-risk genotype GGCC, two-locus risk genotype AATT showed the highest odds ratio in three independent populations and the combined population (OR=5.36 (95% CI 3.87-7.43), P=8.00×10-24). The OR of 5.36 for AATT was significantly higher than the combined OR of 3.31 for both GGTT and AACC, suggesting a synergistic interaction between rs2106261 and rs2200733. Relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) analysis also revealed significant interaction between rs2106261 and rs2200733 when exposed two copies of risk alleles (RERI=2.87, P<1.00×10-4) or exposed to one additional copy of risk allele (RERI=1.29, P<1.00×10-4). The INTERSNP program identified significant genotypic interaction between rs2106261 and rs2200733 under an additive by additive model (OR=0.85, 95% CI: 0.74-0.97, P=0.02). Mechanistically, PITX2c negatively regulates expression of miR-1, which negatively regulates expression of ZFHX3, resulting in a positive regulation of ZFHX3 by PITX2c; ZFHX3 positively regulates expression of PITX2C, resulting in a cyclic loop of cross-regulation between ZFHX3 and PITX2c. Both ZFHX3 and PITX2c regulate expression of NPPA, TBX5 and NKX2.5. These results suggest that cyclic cross-regulation of gene expression is a molecular basis for gene-gene interactions involved in genetics of complex disease traits.
Author Summary
Gene-gene interaction is assumed to be critical to the pathogenesis of human disease, but its contribution to human disease phenotype needs definitive documentation. Moreover, the underlying molecular mechanism for gene-gene interaction is unknown. Here we use atrial fibrillation (AF) as a model to demonstrate that gene-gene interaction plays an important role in disease pathogenesis. Only three of the ten AF loci identified by GWAS in European ancestry populations, including PITX2c, ZFHX3, and CAV1, were replicated in the Chinese population and thus selected for gene-gene interaction studies. We show that the PITX2c locus interacts with the ZHFX3 locus to increase the risk of AF. Because gene-gene interaction can generate synergistic effect that markedly increases risk of AF, we conclude that gene-gene interaction accounts for a significant portion of heritability of AF. Mechanistically, PITX2c positively regulates ZHFX3 via miR-1 and ZHFX3 positively regulates PITX2c, which generates a loop of cross-regulation of the two genes. Our study suggests that cyclic cross-regulation of gene expression is a molecular basis for gene-gene interaction involved in disease phenotype.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005393
PMCID: PMC4534423  PMID: 26267381
PLoS Genetics  2015;11(8):e1005426.
The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) integrates both intracellular and extracellular signals to regulate cell growth and metabolism. However, the role of mTOR signaling in osteoblast differentiation and bone formation is undefined, and the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated. Here, we report that activation of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) is required for preosteoblast proliferation; however, inactivation of mTORC1 is essential for their differentiation and maturation. Inhibition of mTORC1 prevented preosteoblast proliferation, but enhanced their differentiation in vitro and in mice. Activation of mTORC1 by deletion of tuberous sclerosis 1 (Tsc1) in preosteoblasts produced immature woven bone in mice due to excess proliferation but impaired differentiation and maturation of the cells. The mTORC1-specific inhibitor, rapamycin, restored these in vitro and in vivo phenotypic changes. Mechanistically, mTORC1 prevented osteoblast maturation through activation of the STAT3/p63/Jagged/Notch pathway and downregulation of Runx2. Preosteoblasts with hyperactive mTORC1 reacquired the capacity to fully differentiate and maturate when subjected to inhibition of the Notch pathway. Together, these findings identified the role of mTORC1 in osteoblast formation and established that mTORC1 prevents preosteoblast differentiation and maturation through activation of the Notch pathway.
Author Summary
The coordinated activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts in bone deposition and resorption form the internal structure of bone. Disruption of the balance between bone formation and resorption results in loss of bone mass and causes bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Current therapies for osteoporosis are limited to anti-resorptive agents, while bone diseases due to reduced osteoblast activity, such as senile osteoporosis, urgently require targeted treatment and novel strategies to promote bone formation. mTORC1 has emerged as a critical regulator of bone formation and is therefore a potential target in the development of novel bone-promoting therapeutics. Identifying the detailed function of mTORC1 in bone formation and clarifying the underlying mechanisms may uncover useful therapeutic targets. In this study, we reveal the role of mTORC1 in osteoblast formation. mTORC1 stimulated preosteoblast proliferation but prevented their differentiation and attenuated bone formation via activation of the Notch pathway. Pharmaceutical coordination of the pathways and agents in preosteoblasts may be beneficial in bone formation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005426
PMCID: PMC4524707  PMID: 26241748

Results 1-25 (324)