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1.  Genomic deletions in OPA1 in Danish patients with autosomal dominant optic atrophy 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:49.
Background
Autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA, Kjer disease, MIM #165500) is the most common form of hereditary optic neuropathy. Mutations in OPA1 located at chromosome 3q28 are the predominant cause for ADOA explaining between 32 and 89% of cases. Although deletions of OPA1 were recently reported in ADOA, the frequency of OPA1 genomic rearrangements in Denmark, where ADOA has a high prevalence, is unknown. The aim of the study was to identify copy number variations in OPA1 in Danish ADOA patients.
Methods
Forty unrelated ADOA patients, selected from a group of 100 ADOA patients as being negative for OPA1 point mutations, were tested for genomic rearrangements in OPA1 by multiplex ligation probe amplification (MLPA). When only one probe was abnormal results were confirmed by additional manually added probes. Segregation analysis was performed in families with detected mutations when possible.
Results
Ten families had OPA1 deletions, including two with deletions of the entire coding region and eight with intragenic deletions. Segregation analysis was possible in five families, and showed that the deletions segregated with the disease.
Conclusion
Deletions in the OPA1 gene were found in 10 patients presenting with phenotypic autosomal dominant optic neuropathy. Genetic testing for deletions in OPA1 should be offered for patients with clinically diagnosed ADOA and no OPA1 mutations detected by DNA sequencing analysis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-49
PMCID: PMC3079616  PMID: 21457585
2.  De novo deletion in MECP2 in a monozygotic twin pair: a case report 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:113.
Background
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe, progressive, neurodevelopmental disorder predominantly observed in females that leads to intellectual disability. Mutations and gross rearrangements in MECP2 account for a large proportion of cases with RTT. A limited number of twin pairs with RTT have also been reported in literature.
Case Presentation
We investigated 13 year old, monozygotic twin females with RTT and some noticeable differences in development using a combinatorial approach of sequencing and Taqman assay. Monozygosity status of the twins was confirmed by informative microsatellite markers.
Conclusions
The twins shared a de novo deletion in exon 3 in the MBD domain of MECP2. To the best of our knowledge, this is only the second report of genetic analysis of a monozygotic twin pair.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-113
PMCID: PMC3176152  PMID: 21871116
3.  Genetic variants in RET and risk of Hirschsprung's disease in Southeastern Chinese: a haplotype-based analysis 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:32.
Background
Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR) is a classic oligogenic disorder. Except inactivating mutations of RET, some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are identified to be associated with the risk of HSCR. This study was conducted to examine the impact of the haplotypes profile of the reported associated SNPs of RET on the risk of HSCR in a Southeastern Chinese population.
Methods
Genotypes of -5G > A (rs10900296), -1A > C (rs10900297), c135G > A (rs1800858), c1296A > G (rs1800860), and c2307T > G (rs1800861) were analyzed in 123 HSCR patients and 168 controls by polymerase chain reaction amplification and direct sequencing. Associations with risk of HSCR were estimated by odds ratio (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) using logistic regression.
Results
We observed a significantly increased risk of HSCR associated with the RET -5AA (OR = 17.75, 95% CI = 7.34-42.92), -1CC (OR = 10.89, 95% CI = 3.13-37.85), 135AA (OR = 13.61, 95% CI = 6.14-30.14), 1296GG (OR = 2.40, 95% CI = 1.38-4.18) or 2307GG (OR = 9.79, 95% CI = 4.28-22.43) respectively. The five SNPs were in strong linkage disequilibrium. The haplotype A-C-A-G-G (OR = 5.06, 95% CI = 1.97-12.99) and diplotype A-C-A-G-G/A-C-A-G-G (OR = 21.08, 95% CI = 5.28-84.09) was also associated with the increased risk of HSCR, indicating a cumulative effect of these SNPs on the susceptibility of HSCR.
Conclusion
These results support the hypothesis that common variations in RET pathway might play an important role in development of HSCR.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-32
PMCID: PMC3050791  PMID: 21349203
4.  A novel mutation in STK11 gene is associated with Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome in Chinese patients 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:161.
Background
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS) is caused by mutations in the tumor suppressor gene, STK11, and is characterized by gastrointestinal hamartomas, melanin spots on the lips, and an increased risk of developing cancer.
Methods
Blood samples were collected from two unrelated Chinese PJS families totaling 20 individuals (9 male and 11 females), including 6 PJS patients. The entire coding region of the STK11 gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and analyzed by direct sequencing.
Results
A novel mutation, c.904C > T, in exon 7 was identified in both families. A C > T substitution changed codon 302 from CAG (glutamine) to TAG (stop), truncating the STK11 protein, thus leading to the partial loss of the kinase domain and complete loss of the α-helix C-terminus. Furthermore, one PJS patient from each family was diagnosed with a visceral cancer, a colon cancer and a liver cancer respectively.
Conclusion
We predict that this novel mutation, p.Q302X, is most likely responsible for development of the PJS phenotype and may even contribute to malignancy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-161
PMCID: PMC3297525  PMID: 22168747
5.  Novel mutations of TCOF1 gene in European patients with treacher Collins syndrome 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:125.
Background
Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) is one of the most severe autosomal dominant congenital disorders of craniofacial development and shows variable phenotypic expression. TCS is extremely rare, occurring with an incidence of 1 in 50.000 live births. The TCS distinguishing characteristics are represented by down slanting palpebral fissures, coloboma of the eyelid, micrognathia, microtia and other deformity of the ears, hypoplastic zygomatic arches, and macrostomia. Conductive hearing loss and cleft palate are often present. TCS results from mutations in the TCOF1 gene located on chromosome 5, which encodes a serine/alanine-rich nucleolar phospho-protein called Treacle. However, alterations in the TCOF1 gene have been implicated in only 81-93% of TCS cases.
Methods
In this study, the entire coding regions of the TCOF1 gene, including newly described exons 6A and 16A, were sequenced in 46 unrelated subjects suspected of TCS clinical indication.
Results
Fifteen mutations were reported, including twelve novel and three already described in 14 sporadic patients and in 3 familial cases. Moreover, seven novel polymorphisms were also described. Most of the mutations characterised were microdeletions spanning one or more nucleotides, in addition to an insertion of one nucleotide in exon 18 and a stop mutation. The deletions and the insertion described cause a premature termination of translation, resulting in a truncated protein.
Conclusion
This study confirms that almost all the TCOF1 pathogenic mutations fall in the coding region and lead to an aberrant protein.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-125
PMCID: PMC3199234  PMID: 21951868
Treacher Collins syndrome; TCOF1 mutations; microdeletions; microinsertions
6.  A comprehensive introduction to the genetic basis of non-syndromic hearing loss in the Saudi Arabian population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:91.
Background
Hearing loss is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder. Mutations in the DFNB1 locus have been reported to be the most common cause of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss worldwide. Apart from DFNB1, many other loci and their underlying genes have also been identified and the basis of our study was to provide a comprehensive introduction to the delineation of the molecular basis of non-syndromic hearing loss in the Saudi Arabian population. This was performed by screening DFNB1 and to initiate prioritized linkage analysis or homozygosity mapping for a pilot number of families in which DFNB1 has been excluded.
Methods
Individuals from 130 families of Saudi Arabian tribal origin diagnosed with an autosomal recessive non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss were screened for mutations at the DFNB1 locus by direct sequencing. If negative, genome wide linkage analysis or homozygosity mapping were performed using Affymetrix GeneChip® Human Mapping 250K/6.0 Arrays to identify regions containing any known-deafness causing genes that were subsequently sequenced.
Results
Our results strongly indicate that DFNB1 only accounts for 3% of non-syndromic hearing loss in the Saudi Arabian population of ethnic ancestry. Prioritized linkage analysis or homozygosity mapping in five separate families established that their hearing loss was caused by five different known-deafness causing genes thus confirming the genetic heterogeneity of this disorder in the kingdom.
Conclusion
The overall results of this study are highly suggestive that underlying molecular basis of autosomal recessive non-syndromic deafness in Saudi Arabia is very genetically heterogeneous. In addition, we report that the preliminary results indicate that there does not seem to be any common or more prevalent loci, genes or mutations in patients with autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss in patients of Saudi Arabian tribal origin.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-91
PMCID: PMC3224387  PMID: 21726435
7.  Systemic epidermal nevus with involvement of the oral mucosa due to FGFR3 mutation 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:79.
Background
Epidermal nevi (EN) represent benign congenital skin lesions following the lines of Blaschko. They result from genetic mosaicism, and activating FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations have been implicated.
Case presentation
We report a female patient with a systemic keratinocytic nevus also involving the oral mucosa. Molecular genetic analysis revealed a mosaicism of the FGFR3 hotspot mutation R248C in the EN lesions of the skin and of the oral mucosa. The detection of the R248C mutation in a proportion of blood leukocytes and a slight scoliosis suggest an EN syndrome.
Conclusions
Our results show that activating FGFR3 mutations can also affect the oral mucosa and that extracutaneous manifestations of EN syndrome can be subtle. We highlight the theoretical risk of the patient having an offspring with thanatophoric dysplasia as gonadal mosaicism for the R248C mutation cannot be excluded.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-79
PMCID: PMC3119182  PMID: 21639936
8.  A novel COMP mutation in a pseudoachondroplasia family of Chinese origin 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:72.
Background
Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) is caused exclusively by mutations in the gene for cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). Only a small number of studies have documented the clinical phenotype and genetic basis in Chinese PSACH patients.
Case presentation
We investigated a four-generation PSACH pedigree of Chinese Han origin. Two patients and two unaffected individuals were recruited for clinical evaluation and molecular genetic analysis. The genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was adopted to amplify the 8-19 exons of COMP gene. Then the products were sequenced bi-directionally for screening mutation. Clinical evaluation revealed that PSACH patients in this pedigree had a severe disproportionate short stature (-10SD). A heterozygous TGTCCCTGG insertion in exon 13, between nucleotide 1352T and 1353G, were identified in the patients except the unaffected individuals, which resulted in a three-amino-acid insertion (451V_452P ins VPG) in the sixth calmodulin-like repeat of the COMP protein.
Conclusion
This c. 1352_1353ins TGTCCCTGG is a novel mutation responsible for severe familial PSACH.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-72
PMCID: PMC3119180  PMID: 21599986
9.  Multiple primary malignancies and subtle mucocutaneous lesions associated with a novel PTEN gene mutation in a patient with Cowden syndrome: Case report 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:38.
Background
Cowden syndrome (CS) is a cancer predisposition syndrome associated with increased risk of breast, thyroid, and endometrial cancers, and is characterized by development of benign mucocutaneous lesions.
Case presentation
Here we report on a 58-year-old woman with multiple primary malignancies and subtle mucocutaneous lesions such as small polyps and wart-like papulas. Over a period of 23 years, she developed various malignant neoplasms including thyroid, ovarian, stomach, and colon carcinomas, and a benign meningioma. Direct sequencing analysis of the PTEN gene revealed a novel germline mutation (c.438delT, p.Leu146X).
Conclusion
This case demonstrates that Cowden syndrome is a multi-system disease that can result in the development of multiple malignant and benign tumors.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-38
PMCID: PMC3065398  PMID: 21406108
10.  Mechanisms of ring chromosome formation, ring instability and clinical consequences 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:171.
Background
The breakpoints and mechanisms of ring chromosome formation were studied and mapped in 14 patients.
Methods
Several techniques were performed such as genome-wide array, MLPA (Multiplex Ligation-Dependent Probe Amplification) and FISH (Fluorescent in situ Hybridization).
Results
The ring chromosomes of patients I to XIV were determined to be, respectively: r(3)(p26.1q29), r(4)(p16.3q35.2), r(10)(p15.3q26.2), r(10)(p15.3q26.13), r(13)(p13q31.1), r(13)(p13q34), r(14)(p13q32.33), r(15)(p13q26.2), r(18)(p11.32q22.2), r(18)(p11.32q21.33), r(18)(p11.21q23), r(22)(p13q13.33), r(22)(p13q13.2), and r(22)(p13q13.2). These rings were found to have been formed by different mechanisms, such as: breaks in both chromosome arms followed by end-to-end reunion (patients IV, VIII, IX, XI, XIII and XIV); a break in one chromosome arm followed by fusion with the subtelomeric region of the other (patients I and II); a break in one chromosome arm followed by fusion with the opposite telomeric region (patients III and X); fusion of two subtelomeric regions (patient VII); and telomere-telomere fusion (patient XII). Thus, the r(14) and one r(22) can be considered complete rings, since there was no loss of relevant genetic material. Two patients (V and VI) with r(13) showed duplication along with terminal deletion of 13q, one of them proved to be inverted, a mechanism known as inv-dup-del. Ring instability was detected by ring loss and secondary aberrations in all but three patients, who presented stable ring chromosomes (II, XIII and XIV).
Conclusions
We concluded that the clinical phenotype of patients with ring chromosomes may be related with different factors, including gene haploinsufficiency, gene duplications and ring instability. Epigenetic factors due to the circular architecture of ring chromosomes must also be considered, since even complete ring chromosomes can result in phenotypic alterations, as observed in our patients with complete r(14) and r(22).
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-171
PMCID: PMC3309960  PMID: 22188645
11.  Identification of novel mutations in Chinese Hans with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:164.
Background
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common inherited renal disease with an incidence of 1 in 400 to 1000. The disease is genetically heterogeneous, with two genes identified: PKD1 (16p13.3) and PKD2 (4q21). Molecular diagnosis of the disease in at-risk individuals is complicated due to the structural complexity of PKD1 gene and the high diversity of the mutations. This study is the first systematic ADPKD mutation analysis of both PKD1 and PKD2 genes in Chinese patients using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC).
Methods
Both PKD1 and PKD2 genes were mutation screened in each proband from 65 families using DHPLC followed by DNA sequencing. Novel variations found in the probands were checked in their family members available and 100 unrelated normal controls. Then the pathogenic potential of the variations of unknown significance was examined by evolutionary comparison, effects of amino acid substitutions on protein structure, and effects of splice site alterations using online mutation prediction resources.
Results
A total of 92 variations were identified, including 27 reported previously. Definitely pathogenic mutations (ten frameshift, ten nonsense, two splicing defects and one duplication) were identified in 28 families, and probably pathogenic mutations were found in an additional six families, giving a total detection level of 52.3% (34/65). About 69% (20/29) of the mutations are first reported with a recurrent mutation rate of 31%.
Conclusions
Mutation study of PKD1 and PKD2 genes in Chinese Hans with ADPKD may contribute to a better understanding of the genetic diversity between different ethnic groups and enrich the mutation database. Besides, evaluating the pathogenic potential of novel variations should also facilitate the clinical diagnosis and genetic counseling of the disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-164
PMCID: PMC3341574  PMID: 22185115
12.  Mutations in FKBP10 can cause a severe form of isolated Osteogenesis imperfecta 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:152.
Background
Mutations in the FKBP10 gene were first described in patients with Osteogenesis imperfecta type III. Two follow up reports found FKBP10 mutations to be associated with Bruck syndrome type 1, a rare disorder characterized by congenital contractures and bone fragility. This raised the question if the patients in the first report indeed had isolated Osteogenesis imperfecta or if Bruck syndrome would have been the better diagnosis.
Methods
The patients described here are affected by severe autosomal recessive Osteogenesis imperfecta without contractures.
Results
Homozygosity mapping identified FKBP10 as a candidate gene, and sequencing revealed a base pair exchange that causes a C-terminal premature stop codon in this gene.
Conclusions
Our study demonstrates that FKBP10 mutations not only cause Bruck syndrome or Osteogenesis imperfecta type III but can result in a severe type of isolated Osteogenesis imperfecta type IV with prenatal onset. Furthermore, it adds dentinogenesis imperfecta to the spectrum of clinical symptoms associated with FKBP10 mutations.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-152
PMCID: PMC3270005  PMID: 22107750
13.  Comprehensive analysis of RET common and rare variants in a series of Spanish Hirschsprung patients confirms a synergistic effect of both kinds of events 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:138.
Background
RET is the major gene associated to Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) with differential contributions of its rare and common, coding and noncoding mutations to the multifactorial nature of this pathology. In the present study, we have performed a comprehensive study of our HSCR series evaluating the involvement of both RET rare variants (RVs) and common variants (CVs) in the context of the disease.
Methods
RET mutational screening was performed by dHPLC and direct sequencing for the identification of RVs. In addition Taqman technology was applied for the genotyping of 3 RET CVs previously associated to HSCR, including a variant lying in an enhancer domain within RET intron 1 (rs2435357). Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS v.17.0 to analyze the distribution of the variants.
Results
Our results confirm the strongest association to HSCR for the "enhancer" variant, and demonstrate a significantly higher impact of it in male versus female patients. Integration of the RET RVs and CVs analysis showed that in 91.66% of cases with both kinds of mutational events, the enhancer allele is in trans with the allele bearing the RET RV.
Conclusions
A gender effect exists on both the transmission and distribution of rare coding and common HSCR causing mutations. In addition, these RET CVs and RVs seem to act in a synergistic way leading to HSCR phenotype.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-138
PMCID: PMC3210088  PMID: 21995290
14.  SLCO1B1 rs4149056 polymorphism associated with statin-induced myopathy is differently distributed according to ethnicity in the Brazilian general population: Amerindians as a high risk ethnic group 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:136.
Background
Recent studies reported the association between SLCO1B1 polymorphisms and the development of statin-induced myopathy. In the scenario of the Brazilian population, being one of the most heterogeneous in the world, the main aim here was to evaluate SLCO1B1 polymorphisms according to ethnic groups as an initial step for future pharmacogenetic studies.
Methods
One hundred and eighty-two Amerindians plus 1,032 subjects from the general urban population were included. Genotypes for the SLCO1B1 rs4149056 (c.T521C, p.V174A, exon 5) and SLCO1B1 rs4363657 (g.T89595C, intron 11) polymorphisms were detected by polymerase chain reaction followed by high resolution melting analysis with the Rotor Gene 6000® instrument.
Results
The frequencies of the SLCO1B1 rs4149056 and rs4363657 C variant allele were higher in Amerindians (28.3% and 26.1%) and were lower in African descent subjects (5.7% and 10.8%) compared with Mulatto (14.9% and 18.2%) and Caucasian descent (14.8% and 15.4%) ethnic groups (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). Linkage disequilibrium analysis show that these variant alleles are in different linkage disequilibrium patterns depending on the ethnic origin.
Conclusion
Our findings indicate interethnic differences for the SLCO1B1 rs4149056 C risk allele frequency among Brazilians. These data will be useful in the development of effective programs for stratifying individuals regarding adherence, efficacy and choice of statin-type.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-136
PMCID: PMC3204270  PMID: 21992719
SLCO1B1; rs4149056; statins; myopathy; Amerindian; pharmacogenetic
15.  Significant linkage at chromosome 19q for otitis media with effusion and/or recurrent otitis media (COME/ROM) 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:124.
Background
In previous analyses, we identified a region of chromosome 19 as harboring a susceptibility locus for chronic otitis media with effusion and/or recurrent otitis media (COME/ROM). Our aim was to further localize the linkage signal and ultimately identify the causative variant or variants. We followed up our previous linkage scan with dense SNP genotyping across in a 5 Mb region. A total of 607 individuals from 139 families, including 159 affected sib pairs and 62 second-degree affected relative pairs, were genotyped at 1,091 SNPs. We carried out a nonparametric linkage analysis, modeling marker-to-marker linkage disequilibrium.
Results
The maximum log of the odds (LOD) score increased to 3.75 (P = 1.6 × 10-5) at position 63.4 Mb, with a LOD-1 support interval between 61.6 Mb and 63.8 Mb, providing significant evidence of linkage between this region and COME/ROM. The support interval contains over 90 known genes, including several genes involved in the inflammasome protein complex, a key regulator of the innate immune response to harmful exogenous or endogenous stimuli. Parametric linkage analysis suggests that for a sib of an affected individual, the recurrence risk of COME/ROM due to this linkage region is twice the recurrence risk in the population. We examined potential associations between the SNPs genotyped in this region and COME/ROM, however none provided evidence for association.
Conclusion
This study has refined the 19q region of linkage with COME/ROM, and association results suggest that the linkage signal may be due to rare variants.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-124
PMCID: PMC3191346  PMID: 21943191
Linkage; fine mapping; otolaryngology
16.  A deletion of FGFR2 creating a chimeric IIIb/IIIc exon in a child with Apert syndrome 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:122.
Background
Signalling by fibroblast growth factor receptor type 2 (FGFR2) normally involves a tissue-specific alternative splice choice between two exons (IIIb and IIIc), which generates two receptor isoforms (FGFR2b and FGFR2c respectively) with differing repertoires of FGF-binding specificity. Here we describe a unique chimeric IIIb/c exon in a patient with Apert syndrome, generated by a non-allelic homologous recombination event.
Case Presentation
We present a child with Apert syndrome in whom routine genetic testing had excluded the FGFR2 missense mutations commonly associated with this disorder. The patient was found to harbour a heterozygous 1372 bp deletion between FGFR2 exons IIIb and IIIc, apparently originating from recombination between 13 bp of identical DNA sequence present in both exons. The rearrangement was not present in the unaffected parents.
Conclusions
Based on the known pathogenesis of Apert syndrome, the chimeric FGFR2 protein is predicted to act in a dominant gain-of-function manner. This is likely to result from its expression in mesenchymal tissues, where retention of most of the residues essential for FGFR2b binding activity would result in autocrine activation. This report adds to the repertoire of rare cases of Apert syndrome for which a pathogenesis based on atypical FGFR2 rearrangements can be demonstrated.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-122
PMCID: PMC3192734  PMID: 21943124
17.  Analysis of MEFV exon methylation and expression patterns in familial Mediterranean fever 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:105.
Background
MEFV mutations and decreased expression level of the gene are related to FMF pathology. DNA methylation at CpG islands is a well-known mechanism for transcriptional silencing. MEFV has a CpG island, spanning a part of the first intron and the whole of the second exon of the gene covering 998 bp region. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the MEFV transcript level in FMF patients correlates with its methylation level, and methylation, by allowing transcription silencing, has a role in FMF ethiopathogenesis.
Methods
The study group was composed of pediatric FMF patients (N = 51) and age-gender matched healthy controls (N = 21). The relative expression level of MEFV was assessed via quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and bisulfite sequencing (BS) was performed to analyse the methylation level quantitatively.
Results
MEFV expression in FMF patients were decreased compared to healthy controls (P = 0.031). Methylation level of exon 2 of MEFV was found to be slightly higher in FMF patients compared to healthy controls (76% versus 74%) (P = 0.049). The expression level of the MEFV was negatively correlated with the methylation level of the CpG island in both FMF and healthy controls groups (cor = -0.29, P = 0.041) but more so in the FMF only group (cor = -0.36, P = 0.035).
Conclusions
In this study, the relation between reduced MEFV expression level and FMF was confirmed. Observed slight increase in methylation in FMF patients, and correlation of methylation with expression might be indicative of its role in FMF, however a larger dataset is needed to confirm our preliminary findings.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-105
PMCID: PMC3175150  PMID: 21819621
18.  Studies of a genetic variant in HK1 in relation to quantitative metabolic traits and to the prevalence of type 2 diabetes 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:99.
Background
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the gene encoding Hexokinase 1 (HK1) are associated with changes in glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. Our aim was to investigate the effect of HK1 rs7072268 on measures of glucose- and lipid-metabolism in a Danish non-diabetic population and combine the outcome of these analyses in a meta-analysis with previously published results. Furthermore, our aim was to perform a type 2 diabetes case-control analysis and meta-analysis with two previous case-control studies.
Methods
SNP rs7072268 was genotyped in 9,724 Danes. The quantitative trait study included 5,604 non-diabetic individuals from the Inter99 cohort. The case-control study included 4,449 glucose tolerant individuals and 3,398 patients with type 2 diabetes. Meta-analyses on quantitative traits included 24,560 Caucasian individuals and 30,802 individuals were included in the combined analysis of present and previous type 2 diabetes case-control studies.
Results
Using an additive model, we confirmed that the T-allele of rs7072268 associates with increased HbA1c of 0.6% (CI: 0.4 - 0.9), p = 3*10-7 per allele. The same allele associated with an increased area under the curve (AUC) for glucose of 5.0 mmol/l*min (0.1 - 10.0), p = 0.045 following an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and increased fasting levels of cholesterol of 0.06 mmol/l (0.03 - 1.0), p = 0.001 and triglycerides of 2.0% (0.2 - 3.8), p = 0.03 per allele in the same study sample of non-diabetic individuals from the Inter99 cohort. However, the T-allele did not show any association with estimates of insulin release or insulin sensitivity neither in Inter99 nor in combined analyses. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes was increased among carriers of the rs7072268 T-allele both in the Danish study-population with an OR of 1.11 (1.02-1.21) and in a meta-analysis including the two additional sample sets with an OR of 1.06 (1.02-1.11). However, after Bonferroni correction the T-allele only remained associated to HbA1c and fasting cholesterol.
Conclusions
The present study provides suggestive evidence of an association of the rs7072268 T-allele in HK1 with increased AUC glucose following an OGTT in non-diabetic individuals and a nominal association with type 2 diabetes prior to Bonferroni correction. The latter was confirmed in combined analyses involving 16,445 cases and 14,357 control subjects.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-99
PMCID: PMC3161933  PMID: 21781351
Hexokinase 1; Glycated Haemoglobin A1c; Type 2 diabetes; Genetics
19.  Serotonin transporter gene polymorphism may be associated with functional dyspepsia in a Japanese population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:88.
Background
Although familial clustering of functional dyspepsia (FD) has been reported, the role of genetics in the susceptibility to FD is still not well understood. In the present study, the association between serotonin transporter (SERT) gene (SLC6A4) polymorphism and FD was explored.
Methods
Subjects were divided into either a postprandial distress syndrome (PDS) group or an epigastric pain syndrome (EPS) group according to the Rome III criteria. The healthy controls were those who had visited a hospital for an annual health check-up. The presence of the SLC6A4 promoter polymorphism, 5-hydroxytryptamin transporter gene linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR), was then evaluated, and logistic regression analysis was used to test all variables.
Results
The 5-HTTLPR genotype distribution was 448 SS, 174 SL, and 24 LL in controls and 30 SS, 20 SL, and 3 LL in FD subjects. No significant correlation was found between the 5-HTTLPR genotype and FD. When the genotypes and subtypes of FD were exploratory evaluated, the SL genotype was significantly associated with PDS [odds ratio (OR) = 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI); 1.16-4.32, P = 0.034 after Bonferroni correction] compared to the SS genotype adjusted for sex and age. Comparison of the SS genotype with the SL/LL genotype also showed a significant association of genotype with PDS (OR = 2.32, 95% CI; 1.23-4.37, P = 0.009).
Conclusion
The present results suggest that 5-HTTLPR L allele may influence the susceptibility to PDS.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-88
PMCID: PMC3142494  PMID: 21714874
20.  Melatonin receptor 1 B polymorphisms associated with the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:82.
Backgrounds
Two SNPs in melatonin receptor 1B gene, rs10830963 and rs1387153 showed significant associations with fasting plasma glucose levels and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in previous studies. Since T2DM and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) share similar characteristics, we suspected that the two genetic polymorphisms in MTNR1B may be associated with GDM, and conducted association studies between the polymorphisms and the disease. Furthermore, we also examined genetic effects of the two polymorphisms with various diabetes-related phenotypes.
Methods
A total of 1,918 subjects (928 GDM patients and 990 controls) were used for the study. Two MTNR1B polymorphisms were genotyped using TaqMan assay. The allele distributions of SNPs were evaluated by x2 models calculating odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and corresponding P values. Multiple regressions were used for association analyses of GDM-related traits. Finally, conditional analyses were also performed.
Results
We found significant associations between the two genetic variants and GDM, rs10830963, with a corrected P value of 0.0001, and rs1387153, with the corrected P value of 0.0008. In addition, we also found that the two SNPs were associated with various phenotypes such as homeostasis model assessment of beta-cell function and fasting glucose levels. Further conditional analyses results suggested that rs10830963 might be more likely functional in case/control analysis, although not clear in GDM-related phenotype analyses.
Conclusion
There have been studies that found associations between genetic variants of other genes and GDM, this is the first study that found significant associations between SNPs of MTNR1B and GDM. The genetic effects of two SNPs identified in this study would be helpful in understanding the insight of GDM and other diabetes-related disorders.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-82
PMCID: PMC3129295  PMID: 21658282
21.  Clinical and molecular characterization of a transmitted reciprocal translocation t(1;12)(p32.1;q21.3) in a family co-segregating with mental retardation, language delay, and microcephaly 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:70.
Background
Chromosome translocation associated with neurodevelopmental disorders provides an opportunity to identify new disease-associated genes and gain new insight into their function. During chromosome analysis, we identified a reciprocal translocation between chromosomes 1p and 12q, t(1; 12)(p32.1; q21.3), co-segregating with microcephaly, language delay, and severe psychomotor retardation in a mother and her two affected boys.
Methods
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), long-range PCR, and direct sequencing were used to map the breakpoints on chromosomes 1p and 12q. A reporter gene assay was conducted in human neuroblastoma (SKNSH) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines to assess the functional implication of the fusion sequences between chromosomes 12 and 1.
Results
We determined both breakpoints at the nucleotide level. Neither breakpoint disrupted any known gene directly. The breakpoint on chromosome 1p was located amid a gene-poor region of ~ 1.1 Mb, while the breakpoint on chromosome 12q was located ~ 3.4 kb downstream of the ALX1 gene, a homeobox gene. In the reporter gene assay, we discovered that the fusion sequences construct between chromosomes 12 and 1 had a ~ 1.5 to 2-fold increased reporter gene activity compared with the corresponding normal chromosome 12 sequences construct.
Conclusion
Our findings imply that the translocation may enhance the expression of the ALX1 gene via the position effect and result in the clinical symptoms of this family. Our findings may also expand the clinical phenotype spectrum of ALX1-related human diseases as loss of the ALX1 function was recently reported to result in abnormal craniofacial development.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-70
PMCID: PMC3125236  PMID: 21595979
22.  A novel deletion mutation in the TUSC3 gene in a consanguineous Pakistani family with autosomal recessive nonsyndromic intellectual disability 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:56.
Background
Intellectual disability (ID) is a serious disorder of the central nervous system with a prevalence of 1-3% in a general population. In the past decades, the research focus has been predominantly on X-linked ID (68 loci and 19 genes for non syndromic X linked ID) while for autosomal recessive nonsyndromic ID (NSID) only 30 loci and 6 genes have been reported to date.
Methods
Genome-wide homozygosity mapping with 500 K Nsp1 array (Affymetrix), CNV analysis, PCR based breakpoint mapping and DNA sequencing was performed to explore the genetic basis of autosomal recessive nonsyndromic ID in a large Pakistani family.
Results
Data analysis showed linkage at 8p23 locus with common homozygous region between SNPs rs6989820 and rs2237834, spanning a region of 12.494 Mb. The subsequent CNV analysis of the data revealed a homozygous deletion of 170.673 Kb which encompassed the TUSC3 gene.
Conclusion
We report a novel deletion mutation in TUSC3 gene which is the second gene after TRAPPC9 in which mutation has been identified in more than one family with autosomal recessive NSID. The study will aid in exploring the molecular pathway of cognition.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-56
PMCID: PMC3096909  PMID: 21513506
23.  The PTPN22 C1858T gene variant is associated with proinsulin in new-onset type 1 diabetes 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:41.
Background
The protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor type 2 (PTPN22) has been established as a type 1 diabetes susceptibility gene. A recent study found the C1858T variant of this gene to be associated with lower residual fasting C-peptide levels and poorer glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes. We investigated the association of the C1858T variant with residual beta-cell function (as assessed by stimulated C-peptide, proinsulin and insulin dose-adjusted HbA1c), glycemic control, daily insulin requirements, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and diabetes-related autoantibodies (IA-2A, GADA, ICA, ZnT8Ab) in children during the first year after diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.
Methods
The C1858T variant was genotyped in an international cohort of children (n = 257 patients) with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes during 12 months after onset. We investigated the association of this variant with liquid-meal stimulated beta-cell function (proinsulin and C-peptide) and antibody status 1, 6 and 12 months after onset. In addition HbA1c and daily insulin requirements were determined 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after diagnosis. DKA was defined at disease onset.
Results
A repeated measurement model of all time points showed the stimulated proinsulin level is significantly higher (22%, p = 0.03) for the T allele carriers the first year after onset. We also found a significant positive association between proinsulin and IA levels (est.: 1.12, p = 0.002), which did not influence the association between PTPN22 and proinsulin (est.: 1.28, p = 0.03).
Conclusions
The T allele of the C1858T variant is positively associated with proinsulin levels during the first 12 months in newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes children.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-41
PMCID: PMC3072937  PMID: 21429197
24.  Bio-Repository of DNA in stroke (BRAINS): A study protocol 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:34.
Background
Stroke is one of the commonest causes of mortality in the world and anticipated to be an increasing burden to the developing world. Stroke has a genetic basis and identifying those genes may not only help us define the mechanisms that cause stroke but also identify novel therapeutic targets. However, large scale highly phenotyped DNA repositories are required in order for this to be achieved.
Methods
The proposed Bio-Repository of DNA in Stroke (BRAINS) will recruit all subtypes of stroke as well as controls from two different continents, Europe and Asia. Subjects recruited from the UK will include stroke patients of European ancestry as well as British South Asians. Stroke subjects from South Asia will be recruited from India and Sri Lanka. South Asian cases will also have control subjects recruited.
Discussion
We describe a study protocol to establish a large and highly characterized stroke biobank in those of European and South Asian descent. With different ethnic populations being recruited, BRAINS has the ability to compare and contrast genetic risk factors between those of differing ancestral descent as well as those who migrate into different environments.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-34
PMCID: PMC3061889  PMID: 21366918
25.  The minor C-allele of rs2014355 in ACADS is associated with reduced insulin release following an oral glucose load 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:4.
Background
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) using metabolite concentrations as proxies for enzymatic activity, suggested that two variants: rs2014355 in the gene encoding short-chain acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase (ACADS) and rs11161510 in the gene encoding medium-chain acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase (ACADM) impair fatty acid β-oxidation. Chronic exposure to fatty acids due to an impaired β-oxidation may down-regulate the glucose-stimulated insulin release and result in an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). We aimed to investigate whether the two variants associate with altered insulin release following an oral glucose load or with T2D.
Methods
The variants were genotyped using KASPar® PCR SNP genotyping system and investigated for associations with estimates of insulin release and insulin sensitivity following an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in a random sample of middle-aged Danish individuals (n ACADS = 4,324; n ACADM = 4,337). The T2D-case-control study involved a total of ~8,300 Danish individuals (n ACADS = 8,313; n ACADM = 8,344).
Results
In glucose-tolerant individuals the minor C-allele of rs2014355 of ACADS associated with reduced measures of serum insulin at 30 min following an oral glucose load (per allele effect (β) = -3.8% (-6.3%;-1.3%), P = 0.003), reduced incremental area under the insulin curve (β = -3.6% (-6.3%;-0.9%), P = 0.009), reduced acute insulin response (β = -2.2% (-4.2%;0.2%), P = 0.03), and with increased insulin sensitivity ISIMatsuda (β = 2.9% (0.5%;5.2%), P = 0.02). The C-allele did not associate with two other measures of insulin sensitivity or with a derived disposition index. The C-allele was not associated with T2D in the case-control analysis (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.96-1.18, P = 0.21). rs11161510 of ACADM did not associate with any indices of glucose-stimulated insulin release or with T2D.
Conclusions
In glucose-tolerant individuals the minor C-allele of rs2014355 of ACADS was associated with reduced measures of glucose-stimulated insulin release during an OGTT, a finding which in part may be mediated through an impaired β-oxidation of fatty acids.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-4
PMCID: PMC3022800  PMID: 21211036

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