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1.  Assessment of heterogeneity between European Populations: a Baltic and Danish replication case-control study of SNPs from a recent European ulcerative colitis genome wide association study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:139.
Differences in the genetic architecture of inflammatory bowel disease between different European countries and ethnicities have previously been reported. In the present study, we wanted to assess the role of 11 newly identified UC risk variants, derived from a recent European UC genome wide association study (GWAS) (Franke et al., 2010), for 1) association with UC in the Nordic countries, 2) for population heterogeneity between the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe, and, 3) eventually, to drive some of the previous findings towards overall genome-wide significance.
Eleven SNPs were replicated in a Danish sample consisting of 560 UC patients and 796 controls and nine missing SNPs of the German GWAS study were successfully genotyped in the Baltic sample comprising 441 UC cases and 1156 controls. The independent replication data was then jointly analysed with the original data and systematic comparisons of the findings between ethnicities were made. Pearson's χ2, Breslow-Day (BD) and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel (CMH) tests were used for association analyses and heterogeneity testing.
The rs5771069 (IL17REL) SNP was not associated with UC in the Danish panel. The rs5771069 (IL17REL) SNP was significantly associated with UC in the combined Baltic, Danish and Norwegian UC study sample driven by the Norwegian panel (OR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.79-0.98, P = 0.02). No association was found between rs7809799 (SMURF1/KPNA7) and UC (OR = 1.20, 95% CI: 0.95-1.52, P = 0.10) or between UC and all other remaining SNPs. We had 94% chance of detecting an association for rs7809799 (SMURF1/KPNA7) in the combined replication sample, whereas the power were 55% or lower for the remaining SNPs.
Statistically significant PBD was found for OR heterogeneity between the combined Baltic, Danish, and Norwegian panel versus the combined German, British, Belgian, and Greek panel (rs7520292 (P = 0.001), rs12518307 (P = 0.007), and rs2395609 (TCP11) (P = 0.01), respectively).
No SNP reached genome-wide significance in the combined analyses of all the panels.
This replication study supports an important role for the studied rs5771069 (IL17REL) SNP, but not for rs7809799 (SMURF1/KPNA7), in UC etiology in the Danish, Baltic, and Norwegian populations. Significant genetic heterogeneity was suggested for rs7520292, rs12518307, and rs2395609 (TCP11) in UC etiology between the Nordic and the other European populations.
PMCID: PMC3209466  PMID: 21995314
2.  The polymorphism rs3024505 proximal to IL-10 is associated with risk of ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease in a Danish case-control study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:82.
Crohns disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are characterized by a dysregulated inflammatory response to normal constituents of the intestinal flora in the genetically predisposed host. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1/HMOX1) is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant enzyme, whereas the pro-inflammatory interleukin 1β (IL-1β/IL1B) and anti-inflammatory interleukin 10 (IL-10/IL10) are key modulators for the initiation and maintenance of inflammation. We investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL-1β, IL-10, and HO-1 genes, together with smoking, were associated with risk of CD and UC.
Allele frequencies of the IL-1β T-31C (rs1143627), and IL-10 rs3024505, G-1082A (rs1800896), C-819T (rs1800871), and C-592A (rs1800872) and HO-1 A-413T (rs2071746) SNPs were assessed using a case-control design in a Danish cohort of 336 CD and 498 UC patients and 779 healthy controls. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were estimated by logistic regression models.
Carriers of rs3024505, a marker polymorphism flanking the IL-10 gene, were at increased risk of CD (OR = 1.40, 95% CI: 1.06-1.85, P = 0.02) and UC (OR = 1.43, 95% CI: 1.12-1.82, P = 0.004) and, furthermore, with risk of a diagnosis of CD and UC at young age (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.10-1.96) and OR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.04-1.76), respectively). No association was found between the IL-1β, IL-10 G-1082A, C-819T, C-592A, and HO-1 gene polymorphisms and CD or UC. No consistent interactions between smoking status and CD or UC genotypes were demonstrated.
The rs3024505 marker polymorphism flanking the IL-10 gene was significantly associated with risk of UC and CD, whereas no association was found between IL-1β or HO-1 gene polymorphisms and risk of CD and UC in this Danish study, suggesting that IL-10, but not IL-1β or HO-1, has a role in IBD etiology in this population.
PMCID: PMC2891714  PMID: 20509889
3.  PPARγ Pro12Ala polymorphism and risk of acute coronary syndrome in a prospective study of Danes 
BMC Medical Genetics  2009;10:52.
Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the western world. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) plays a key role in the regulation of the energy balance, adipocyte differentiation and lipid biosynthesis. The aim was to investigate if the polymorphism PPARγ2 Pro12Ala, which encodes a less efficient transcription factor, was associated with risk of acute coronary disease and if there were interactions between this polymorphism and factors that modify PPARγ activity, such as alcohol intake, smoking, and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine.
A case-cohort study including 1031 ACS cases and a sub-cohort of 1703 persons was nested within the population-based prospective study Diet, Cancer and Health of 57,053 individuals.
Homozygous male variant allele carriers of PPARγ2 Pro12Ala were at higher risk of ACS (HR = 2.12, 95% CI: 1.00–4.48) than homozygous carriers of the Pro-allele. Among men, there was a statistically significant interaction between genotypes and alcohol intake such that homozygous variant allele carriers with a low alcohol intake were at higher risk of ACS (HR = 25.3, CI: 16.5–38.7) compared to homozygous common allele carriers (p for interaction < 0.0001). Overall, the association was only observed among homozygous variant allele carriers. Thus, all the observed associations were obtained in subgroups including small numbers of cases. It is therefore possible that the observed associations were due to chance.
In the present study, there were no consistent associations between PPARγ Pro12Ala and risk of ACS, and no consistent interaction with alcohol, BMI, NSAID or smoking in relation to ACS.
PMCID: PMC2698834  PMID: 19500413
4.  Haplotype frequencies in a sub-region of chromosome 19q13.3, related to risk and prognosis of cancer, differ dramatically between ethnic groups 
BMC Medical Genetics  2009;10:20.
A small region of about 70 kb on human chromosome 19q13.3 encompasses 4 genes of which 3, ERCC1, ERCC2, and PPP1R13L (aka RAI) are related to DNA repair and cell survival, and one, CD3EAP, aka ASE1, may be related to cell proliferation. The whole region seems related to the cellular response to external damaging agents and markers in it are associated with risk of several cancers.
We downloaded the genotypes of all markers typed in the 19q13.3 region in the HapMap populations of European, Asian and African descent and inferred haplotypes. We combined the European HapMap individuals with a Danish breast cancer case-control data set and inferred the association between HapMap haplotypes and disease risk.
We found that the susceptibility haplotype in our European sample had increased from 2 to 50 percent very recently in the European population, and to almost the same extent in the Asian population. The cause of this increase is unknown. The maximal proportion of overall genetic variation due to differences between groups for Europeans versus Africans and Europeans versus Asians (the Fst value) closely matched the putative location of the susceptibility variant as judged from haplotype-based association mapping.
The combined observation that a common haplotype causing an increased risk of cancer in Europeans and a high differentiation between human populations is highly unusual and suggests a causal relationship with a recent increase in Europeans caused either by genetic drift overruling selection against the susceptibility variant or a positive selection for the same haplotype. The data does not allow us to distinguish between these two scenarios. The analysis suggests that the region is not involved in cancer risk in Africans and that the susceptibility variants may be more finely mapped in Asian populations.
PMCID: PMC2654437  PMID: 19257887
5.  The multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) gene polymorphism G-rs3789243-A is not associated with disease susceptibility in Norwegian patients with colorectal adenoma and colorectal cancer; a case control study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2009;10:18.
Smoking, dietary factors, and alcohol consumption are known life style factors contributing to gastrointestinal carcinogenesis. Genetic variations in carcinogen handling may affect cancer risk. The multidrug resistance 1(MDR1/ABCB1) gene encodes the transport protein P-glycoprotein (a phase III xenobiotic transporter). P-glycoprotein is present in the intestinal mucosal lining and restricts absorption of certain carcinogens, among these polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Moreover, P-glycoprotein transports various endogenous substrates such as cytokines and chemokines involved in inflammation, and may thereby affect the risk of malignity. Hence, genetic variations that modify the function of P-glycoprotein may be associated with the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). We have previously found an association between the MDR1 intron 3 G-rs3789243-A polymorphism and the risk of CRC in a Danish study population. The aim of this study was to investigate if this MDR1 polymorphism was associated with risk of colorectal adenoma (CA) and CRC in the Norwegian population.
Using a case-control design, the association between the MDR1 intron 3 G-rs3789243-A polymorphism and the risk of colorectal carcinomas and adenomas in the Norwegian population was assessed in 167 carcinomas, 990 adenomas, and 400 controls. Genotypes were determined by allelic discrimination. Odds ratio (OR) and 95 confidence interval (95% CI) were estimated by binary logistic regression.
No association was found between the MDR1 polymorphism (G-rs3789243-A) and colorectal adenomas or cancer. Carriers of the variant allele of MDR1 intron 3 had odds ratios (95% CI) of 0.97 (0.72–1.29) for developing adenomas, and 0.70 (0.41–1.21) for colorectal cancer, respectively, compared to homozygous wild type carriers.
The MDR1 intron 3 (G-rs3789243-A) polymorphism was not associated with a risk of colorectal adenomas or carcinomas in the present Norwegian study group. Thus, this MDR1 polymorphism does not seem to play an important role in colorectal carcinogenesis in this population.
PMCID: PMC2662819  PMID: 19250544
6.  Linkage disequilibrium mapping of a breast cancer susceptibility locus near RAI/PPP1R13L/iASPP 
BMC Medical Genetics  2008;9:56.
Previous results have suggested an association of the region of 19q13.3 with several forms of cancer. In the present study, we investigated 27 public markers within a previously identified 69 kb stretch of chromosome 19q for association with breast cancer by using linkage disequilibrium mapping. The study groups included 434 postmenopausal breast cancer cases and an identical number of individually matched controls.
Methods and Results
Studying one marker at a time, we found a region spanning the gene RAI (alias PPP1R13L or iASPP) and the 5' portion of XPD to be associated with this cancer. The region corresponds to a haplotype block, in which there seems to be very limited recombination in the Danish population. Studying combinations of markers, we found that two to four neighboring markers gave the most consistent and strongest result. The haplotypes with strongest association with cancers were located in the gene RAI and just 3' to the gene. Coinciding peaks were seen in the region of RAI in groups of women of different age.
In a follow-up to these results we sequenced 10 cases and 10 controls in a 44 kb region spanning the peaks of association. This revealed 106 polymorphisms, many of which were not in the public databases. We tested an additional 44 of these for association with disease and found a new tandem repeat marker, called RAI-3'd1, located downstream of the transcribed region of RAI, which was more strongly associated with breast cancer than any other marker we have tested (RR = 2.44 (1.41–4.23, p = 0.0008, all cases; RR = 6.29 (1.49–26.6), p = 0.01, cases up to 55 years of age).
We expect the marker RAI-3'd1 to be (part of) the cause for the association of the chromosome 19q13.3 region's association with cancer.
PMCID: PMC2474586  PMID: 18588689

Results 1-6 (6)