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1.  SNP-SNP interactions dominate the genetic architecture of candidate genes associated with left ventricular mass in african-americans of the GENOA study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:160.
Background
Left ventricular mass (LVM) is a strong, independent predictor of heart disease incidence and mortality. LVM is a complex, quantitative trait with genetic and environmental risk factors. This research characterizes the genetic architecture of LVM in an African-American population by examining the main and interactive effects of individual candidate gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and conventional risk factors for increased LVM.
Methods
We used least-squares linear regression to investigate 1,878 SNPs from 234 candidate genes for SNP main effects, SNP-risk factor interactions, or SNP-SNP interactions associated with LVM in 1,328 African-Americans from the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy (GENOA) study. We reduced the probability of false positive results by implementing three analytic criteria: 1) the false discovery rate, 2) cross-validation, and 3) testing for internal replication of results.
Results
We identified 409 SNP-SNP interactions passing all three criteria, while no SNP main effects or SNP-risk factor interactions passed all three. A multivariable model including four SNP-SNP interactions explained 11.3% of the variation in LVM in the full GENOA sample and 5.6% of LVM variation in independent test sets.
Conclusions
The results of this research underscore that context dependent effects, specifically SNP-SNP interactions, may dominate genetic contributions to variation in complex traits such as LVM.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-160
PMCID: PMC2991303  PMID: 21067599
2.  Further evidence that mutations in INS can be a rare cause of Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:42.
Background
Insulin gene (INS) mutations have recently been described as a common cause of permanent neonatal diabetes (PNDM) and a rare cause of diabetes diagnosed in childhood or adulthood.
Methods
INS was sequenced in 116 maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODYX) patients (n = 48 Danish and n = 68 Czech), 83 patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), 34 type 1 diabetic patients screened negative for glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), and 96 glucose tolerant individuals. The control group was randomly selected from the population-based sampled Inter99 study.
Results
One novel heterozygous mutation c.17G>A, R6H, was identified in the pre-proinsulin gene (INS) in a Danish MODYX family. The proband was diagnosed at 20 years of age with mild diabetes and treated with diet and oral hypoglycaemic agent. Two other family members who carried the INS R6H were diagnosed with diabetes when 51 years old and with GDM when 27 years old, respectively. A fourth mutation carrier had normal glucose tolerance when 20 years old. Two carriers of INS R6H were also examined twice with an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) with 5 years interval. They both had a ~30% reduction in beta-cell function measured as insulinogenic index. In a Czech MODYX family a previously described R46Q mutation was found. The proband was diagnosed at 13 years of age and had been treated with insulin since onset of diabetes. Her mother and grandmother were diagnosed at 14 and 35 years of age, respectively, and were treated with oral hypoglycaemic agents and/or insulin.
Conclusion
Mutations in INS can be a rare cause of MODY and we conclude that screening for mutations in INS should be recommended in MODYX patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-42
PMCID: PMC2848224  PMID: 20226046
3.  Association of the rs738409 polymorphism in PNPLA3 with liver damage and the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:172.
Background
In a genome-wide association scan, the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs738409 in the patatin-like phospholipase 3 gene (PNPLA3) was strongly associated with increased liver fat content. We investigated whether this SNP is associated with the occurrence and progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the Japanese population.
Methods
SNP rs738409 was genotyped by the Taqman assay in 253 patients with NAFLD (189 with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH] and 64 with simple steatosis) and 578 control subjects. All patients with NAFLD underwent liver biopsy. Control subjects had no metabolic disorders. For a case-control study, the χ2-test (additive model) was performed. Odds ratios (ORs) were adjusted for age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) by using multiple logistic regression analysis with genotypes (additive model), age, gender, and BMI as the independent variables. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to test the independent effect of risk allele on clinical parameters while considering the effects of other variables (age, gender, and BMI), which were assumed to be independent of the effect of the SNP.
Results
The risk allele (G-allele) frequency of rs738409 was 0.44 in the control subjects and 0.60 in patients with NAFLD; this shows a strong association with NAFLD (additive model, P = 9.4 × 10-10). The OR (95% confidence interval) adjusted for age, gender, and BMI was 1.73 (1.25-2.38). Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that the G-allele of rs738409 was significantly associated with increases in aspartate transaminase (AST) (P = 0.00013), alanine transaminase (ALT) (P = 9.1 × 10-6), and ferritin levels (P = 0.014), and the fibrosis stage (P = 0.011) in the patients with NAFLD, even after adjustment for age, gender, and BMI. The steatosis grade was not associated with rs738409.
Conclusions
We found that in the Japanese population, individuals harboring the G-allele of rs738409 were susceptible to NAFLD, and that rs738409 was associated with plasma levels of ALT, AST, and ferritin, and the histological fibrosis stage. Our study suggests that PNPLA3 may be involved in the progression of fibrosis in NAFLD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-172
PMCID: PMC3018434  PMID: 21176169
4.  A wide spectrum of clinical and brain MRI findings in patients with SLC19A3 mutations 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:171.
Background
SLC19A3 (solute carrier family 19, member 3) is a thiamin transporter with 12 transmembrane domains. Homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in SLC19A3 cause two distinct clinical phenotypes, biotin-responsive basal ganglia disease and Wernicke's-like encephalopathy. Biotin and/or thiamin are effective therapies for both diseases.
Methods
We conducted on the detailed clinical, brain MRI and molecular genetic analysis of four Japanese patients in a Japanese pedigree who presented with epileptic spasms in early infancy, severe psychomotor retardation, and characteristic brain MRI findings of progressive brain atrophy and bilateral thalami and basal ganglia lesions.
Results
Genome-wide linkage analysis revealed a disease locus at chromosome 2q35-37, which enabled identification of the causative mutation in the gene SLC19A3. A pathogenic homozygous mutation (c.958G > C, [p.E320Q]) in SLC19A3 was identified in all four patients and their parents were heterozygous for the mutation. Administration of a high dose of biotin for one year improved neither the neurological symptoms nor the brain MRI findings in one patient.
Conclusion
Our cases broaden the phenotypic spectrum of disorders associated with SLC19A3 mutations and highlight the potential benefit of biotin and/or thiamin treatments and the need to assess the clinical efficacy of these treatments.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-171
PMCID: PMC3022826  PMID: 21176162
5.  Exploring multilocus associations of inflammation genes and colorectal cancer risk using hapConstructor 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:170.
Background
In candidate-gene association studies of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), multilocus analyses are frequently of high dimensionality when considering haplotypes or haplotype pairs (diplotypes) and differing modes of expression. Often, while candidate genes are selected based on their biological involvement in a given pathway, little is known about the functionality of SNPs to guide association studies. Investigators face the challenge of exploring multiple SNP models to elucidate which variants, independently or in combination, might be associated with a disease of interest. A data mining module, hapConstructor (freely-available in Genie software) performs systematic construction and association testing of multilocus genotype data in a Monte Carlo framework. Our objective was to assess its utility to guide statistical analyses of haplotypes within a candidate region (or combined genotypes across candidate genes) beyond that offered by a standard logistic regression approach.
Methods
We applied the hapConstructor method to a multilocus investigation of candidate genes involved in pro-inflammatory cytokine IL6 production, IKBKB, IL6, and NFKB1 (16 SNPs total) hypothesized to operate together to alter colorectal cancer risk. Data come from two U.S. multicenter studies, one of colon cancer (1,556 cases and 1,956 matched controls) and one of rectal cancer (754 cases and 959 matched controls).
Results
HapConstrcutor enabled us to identify important associations that were further analyzed in logistic regression models to simultaneously adjust for confounders. The most significant finding (nominal P = 0.0004; false discovery rate q = 0.037) was a combined genotype association across IKBKB SNP rs5029748 (1 or 2 variant alleles), IL6 rs1800797 (1 or 2 variant alleles), and NFKB1 rs4648110 (2 variant alleles) which conferred an ~80% decreased risk of colon cancer.
Conclusions
Strengths of hapConstructor were: systematic identification of multiple loci within and across genes important in CRC risk; false discovery rate assessment; and efficient guidance of subsequent logistic regression analyses.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-170
PMCID: PMC3006374  PMID: 21129206
6.  Genetic variants in the TIRAP gene are associated with increased risk of sepsis-associated acute lung injury 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:168.
Background
Toll like receptors (TLRs) signaling pathways, including the adaptor protein Mal encoded by the TIRAP gene, play a central role in the development of acute lung injury (ALI). Recently, the TIRAP variants have been described association with susceptibility to inflammatory diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate whether genetic variants in TIRAP are associated with the development of ALI.
Methods
A case-control collection from Han Chinese of 298 healthy subjects, 278 sepsis-associated ALI and 288 sepsis alone patients were included. Three tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the TIRAP gene and two additional SNPs that have previously showed association with susceptibility to other inflammatory diseases were genotyped by direct sequencing. The differences of allele, genotype and haplotype frequencies were evaluated between three groups.
Results
The minor allele frequencies of both rs595209 and rs8177375 were significantly increased in ALI patients compared with both healthy subjects (odds ratio (OR) = 1.47, 95% confidence interval (CI):1.15-1.88, P = 0.0027 and OR = 1.97, 95% CI: (1.38-2.80), P = 0.0001, respectively) and sepsis alone patients (OR = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.12-1.85, P = 0.0041 and OR = 1.82, 95% CI: 1.28-2.57, P = 0.00079, respectively). Haplotype consisting of these two associated SNPs strengthened the association with ALI susceptibility. The frequency of haplotype AG (rs595209A, rs8177375G) in the ALI samples was significantly higher than that in the healthy control group (OR = 2.13, 95% CI: 1.46-3.09, P = 0.00006) and the sepsis alone group (OR = 2.24, 95% CI: 1.52-3.29, P = 0.00003). Carriers of the haplotype CA (rs595209C, rs8177375A) had a lower risk for ALI compared with healthy control group (OR = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.54-0.88, P = 0.0003) and sepsis alone group (OR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.55-0.91, P = 0.0006). These associations remained significant after adjustment for covariates in multiple logistic regression analysis and for multiple comparisons.
Conclusions
These results indicated that genetic variants in the TIRAP gene might be associated with susceptibility to sepsis-associated ALI in Han Chinese population. However, the association needs to be replicated in independent studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-168
PMCID: PMC3001691  PMID: 21118491
7.  Genetic polymorphisms in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene correlate with overall survival in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:167.
Background
Nitric oxide (NO) is a free radical that is involved in carcinogenesis. Endothelial NO, synthesized from L-arginine by endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), inhibits apoptosis and promotes angiogenesis, tumor cell proliferation and metastasis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of polymorphisms in the eNOS gene on prognosis of patients with advanced stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods
Unresectable, chemotherapy naïve stage III or IV NSCLC patients who were treated with standard platinum-containing doublet regimens were analyzed. All individuals were genotyped for the single-nucleotide polymorphism G894T in exon 7 of the eNOS gene and for a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) polymorphism in intron 4 that results in a rare smaller allele (a) and a common larger allele (b), to investigate the association between these polymorphisms and clinical outcomes. The primary endpoint was correlation with overall survival.
Results
From October 2004 to December 2007, 108 patients (male/female, 66/42; Stage IIIA/IIIB/IV, 6/30/72) aged 29-77 years (median 63) with good performance status were consecutively enrolled in this study. Using Kaplan-Meier estimates, we showed that 5-year overall survival was significantly increased in patients carrying the VNTR a-allele compared with VNTR b/b patients (P = 0.015). In multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis, the VNTR polymorphism was an independent prognostic factor for survival.
Conclusions
The results support the role of the VNTR polymorphism in intron 4 as a marker for survival in patients with advanced stage NSCLC who are candidates for standard chemotherapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-167
PMCID: PMC3009637  PMID: 21114867
8.  High prevalence of germline STK11 mutations in Hungarian Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome patients 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:169.
Background
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS) is a rare autosomal dominantly inherited disease characterized by gastrointestinal hamartomatous polyposis and mucocutaneous pigmentation. The genetic predisposition for PJS has been shown to be associated with germline mutations in the STK11/LKB1 tumor suppressor gene. The aim of the present study was to characterize Hungarian PJS patients with respect to germline mutation in STK11/LKB1 and their association to disease phenotype.
Methods
Mutation screening of 21 patients from 13 PJS families were performed using direct DNA sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). Comparative semi-quantitative sequencing was applied to investigate the mRNA-level effects of nonsense and splice-affecting mutations.
Results
Thirteen different pathogenic mutations in STK11, including a high frequency of large genomic deletions (38%, 5/13), were identified in the 13 unrelated families studied. One of these deletions also affects two neighboring genes (SBNO2 and GPX4), located upstream of STK11, with a possible modifier effect. The majority of the point mutations (88%, 7/8) can be considered novel. Quantification of the STK11 transcript at the mRNA-level revealed that the expression of alleles carrying a nonsense or frameshift mutation was reduced to 30-70% of that of the wild type allele. Mutations affecting splice-sites around exon 2 displayed an mRNA processing pattern indicative of co-regulated splicing of exons 2 and 3.
Conclusions
A combination of sensitive techniques may assure a high (100%) STK11 mutation detection frequency in PJS families. Characterization of mutations at mRNA level may give a deeper insight into the molecular consequences of the pathogenic mutations than predictions made solely at the genomic level.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-169
PMCID: PMC3012662  PMID: 21118512
9.  Generation Scotland: Donor DNA Databank; A control DNA resource 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:166.
Background
Many medical disorders of public health importance are complex diseases caused by multiple genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. Recent technological advances have made it possible to analyse the genetic variants that predispose to complex diseases. Reliable detection of these variants requires genome-wide association studies in sufficiently large numbers of cases and controls. This approach is often hampered by difficulties in collecting appropriate control samples. The Generation Scotland: Donor DNA Databank (GS:3D) aims to help solve this problem by providing a resource of control DNA and plasma samples accessible for research.
Methods
GS:3D participants were recruited from volunteer blood donors attending Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) clinics across Scotland. All participants gave full written consent for GS:3D to take spare blood from their normal donation. Participants also supplied demographic data by completing a short questionnaire.
Results
Over five thousand complete sets of samples, data and consent forms were collected. DNA and plasma were extracted and stored. The data and samples were unlinked from their original SNBTS identifier number. The plasma, DNA and demographic data are available for research. New data obtained from analysis of the resource will be fed back to GS:3D and will be made available to other researchers as appropriate.
Conclusions
Recruitment of blood donors is an efficient and cost-effective way of collecting thousands of control samples. Because the collection is large, subsets of controls can be selected, based on age range, gender, and ethnic or geographic origin. The GS:3D resource should reduce time and expense for investigators who would otherwise have had to recruit their own controls.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-166
PMCID: PMC3002899  PMID: 21092308
10.  A novel syndrome of paediatric cataract, dysmorphism, ectodermal features, and developmental delay in Australian Aboriginal family maps to 1p35.3-p36.32 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:165.
Background
A novel phenotype consisting of cataract, mental retardation, erythematous skin rash and facial dysmorphism was recently described in an extended pedigree of Australian Aboriginal descent. Large scale chromosomal re-arrangements had previously been ruled out. We have conducted a genome-wide scan to map the linkage region in this family.
Methods
Genome-wide linkage analysis using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers on the Affymetrix 10K SNP array was conducted and analysed using MERLIN. Three positional candidate genes (ZBTB17, EPHA2 and EPHB2) were sequenced to screen for segregating mutations.
Results
Under a fully penetrant, dominant model, the locus for this unique phenotype was mapped to chromosome 1p35.3-p36.32 with a maximum LOD score of 2.41. The critical region spans 48.7 cM between markers rs966321 and rs1441834 and encompasses 527 transcripts from 364 annotated genes. No coding mutations were identified in three positional candidate genes EPHA2, EPHB2 or ZBTB17. The region overlaps with a previously reported region for Volkmann cataract and the phenotype has similarity to that reported for 1p36 monosomy.
Conclusions
The gene for this syndrome is located in a 25.6 Mb region on 1p35.3-p36.32. The known cataract gene in this region (EPHA2) does not harbour mutations in this family, suggesting that at least one additional gene for cataract is present in this region.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-165
PMCID: PMC2995478  PMID: 21092079
11.  Significant association between polymorphism of the erythropoietin gene promoter and myelodysplastic syndrome 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:163.
Background
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) may be induced by certain mutagenic environmental or chemotherapeutic toxins; however, the role of susceptibility genes remains unclear. The G/G genotype of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1617640 in the erythropoietin (EPO) promoter has been shown to be associated with decreased EPO expression. We examined the association of rs1617640 genotype with MDS.
Methods
We genotyped the EPO rS1617640 SNP in 189 patients with MDS, 257 with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 106 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 97 with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 353 with chronic myeloid leukemia, and 95 healthy controls.
Results
The G/G genotype was significantly more common in MDS patients (47/187; 25.1%) than in controls (6/95; 6.3%) or in patients with other leukemias (101/813; 12.4%) (all P < 0.001). Individuals with the G/G genotype were more likely than those with other genotypes to have MDS (odd ratio = 4.98; 95% CI = 2.04-12.13). Clinical and follow up data were available for 112 MDS patients and 186 AML patients. There was no correlation between EPO promoter genotype and response to therapy or overall survival in MDS or AML. In the MDS group, the GG genotype was significantly associated with shorter complete remission duration, as compared with the TT genotype (P = 0.03). Time to neutrophils recovery after therapy was significantly longer in MDS patients with the G/G genotype (P = 0.02).
Conclusions
These findings suggest a strong association between the rs1617640 G/G genotype and MDS. Further studies are warranted to investigate the utility of screening for this marker in individuals exposed to environmental toxins or chemotherapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-163
PMCID: PMC2992491  PMID: 21078205
12.  Common genetic variation in the Estrogen Receptor Beta (ESR2) gene and osteoarthritis: results of a meta-analysis 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:164.
Background
The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between common genetic variation of the ESR2 gene and osteoarthritis.
Methods
In the discovery study, the Rotterdam Study-I, 7 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped and tested for association with hip (284 cases, 2772 controls), knee (665 cases, 2075 controls), and hand OA (874 cases, 2184 controls) using an additive model. In the replication stage one SNP (rs1256031) was tested in an additional 2080 hip, 1318 knee and 557 hand OA cases and 4001, 2631 and 1699 controls respectively. Fixed- and random-effects meta-analyses were performed over the complete dataset including 2364 hip, 1983 knee and 1431 hand OA cases and approximately 6000 controls.
Results
The C allele of rs1256031 was associated with a 36% increased odds of hip OA in women of the Rotterdam Study-I (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.08-1.70, p = 0.009). Haplotype analysis and analysis of knee- and hand OA did not give additional information. With the replication studies, the meta-analysis did not show a significant effect of this SNP on hip OA in the total population (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.99-1.15, p = 0.10). Stratification according to gender did not change the results. In this study, we had 80% power to detect an odds ratio of at least 1.14 for hip OA (α = 0.05).
Conclusion
This study showed that common genetic variation in the ESR2 gene is not likely to influence the risk of osteoarthritis with effects smaller than a 13% increase.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-164
PMCID: PMC2997092  PMID: 21080949
13.  Sequencing of DC-SIGN promoter indicates an association between promoter variation and risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in cantonese 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:161.
Background
The dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3 grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) is an important pathogen recognition receptor of the innate immune system. DC-SIGN promoter variants play important role in the susceptibility to various infectious diseases. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a malignancy that is common in southern China and whether DC-SIGN promoter variants have effects on susceptibility to NPC is still unknown. The aim of this study is to ascertain the potential involvement of DC-SIGN promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in NPC susceptibility.
Methods
We conducted a case control study based on Cantonese population including 444 NPC patients and 464 controls matched on age and sex. The 1041 bp of DC-SIGN promoter region was directly sequenced for all samples. Sequence alignment and SNP search were inspected using DNAStar analysis programs and haplotype frequencies were estimated in Haploview V 4.0. The associations between the SNPs and the risk of NPC were analyzed using chi-square test and non-conditional logistic regression analysis with SPSS 13.0 software.
Results
A total of six variants were observed in the DC-SIGN promoter region and DC-SIGN -139 GG and -939 AA were significantly associated with NPC risk with adjusted Odds Ratios (ORs) of 2.10 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.23-3.59; P = 0.006) and 2.52 (1.29-4.93; P = 0.007) respectively and subjects carrying the risk allele DC-SIGN -871 G had 1.47-fold (95% CI = 1.14-1.90) increased risks of developing NPC (P = 0.003). Haplotype analysis revealed that h1 'AAAG' was significantly associated with protection against NPC (OR = 0.69; P = 0.0002) and the association was still significant when using 1000 permutation test runs (P = 0.001).
Conclusions
Our study indicated that DC-SIGN promoter variants appear to be involved in the susceptibility to NPC and the detailed mechanism of this effect need further studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-161
PMCID: PMC2989958  PMID: 21067616
14.  The dopamine β-hydroxylase -1021C/T polymorphism is associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease in the Epistasis Project 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:162.
Background
The loss of noradrenergic neurones of the locus coeruleus is a major feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH) catalyses the conversion of dopamine to noradrenaline. Interactions have been reported between the low-activity -1021T allele (rs1611115) of DBH and polymorphisms of the pro-inflammatory cytokine genes, IL1A and IL6, contributing to the risk of AD. We therefore examined the associations with AD of the DBH -1021T allele and of the above interactions in the Epistasis Project, with 1757 cases of AD and 6294 elderly controls.
Methods
We genotyped eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the three genes, DBH, IL1A and IL6. We used logistic regression models and synergy factor analysis to examine potential interactions and associations with AD.
Results
We found that the presence of the -1021T allele was associated with AD: odds ratio = 1.2 (95% confidence interval: 1.06-1.4, p = 0.005). This association was nearly restricted to men < 75 years old: odds ratio = 2.2 (1.4-3.3, 0.0004). We also found an interaction between the presence of DBH -1021T and the -889TT genotype (rs1800587) of IL1A: synergy factor = 1.9 (1.2-3.1, 0.005). All these results were consistent between North Europe and North Spain.
Conclusions
Extensive, previous evidence (reviewed here) indicates an important role for noradrenaline in the control of inflammation in the brain. Thus, the -1021T allele with presumed low activity may be associated with misregulation of inflammation, which could contribute to the onset of AD. We suggest that such misregulation is the predominant mechanism of the association we report here.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-162
PMCID: PMC2994840  PMID: 21070631
15.  Association analysis of nine candidate gene polymorphisms in Indian patients with type 2 diabetic retinopathy 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:158.
Background
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is classically defined as a microvasculopathy that primarily affects the small blood vessels of the inner retina as a complication of diabetes mellitus (DM).It is a multifactorial disease with a strong genetic component. The aim of this study is to investigate the association of a set of nine candidate genes with the development of diabetic retinopathy in a South Indian cohort who have type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods
Seven candidate genes (RAGE, PEDF, AKR1B1, EPO, HTRA1, ICAM and HFE) were chosen based on reported association with DR in the literature. Two more, CFH and ARMS2, were chosen based on their roles in biological pathways previously implicated in DR. Fourteen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and one dinucleotide repeat polymorphism, previously reported to show association with DR or other related diseases, were genotyped in 345 DR and 356 diabetic patients without retinopathy (DNR). The genes which showed positive association in this screening set were tested further in additional sets of 100 DR and 90 DNR additional patients from the Aravind Eye Hospital. Those which showed association in the secondary screen were subjected to a combined analysis with the 100 DR and 100 DNR subjects previously recruited and genotyped through the Sankara Nethralaya Hospital, India. Genotypes were evaluated using a combination of direct sequencing, TaqMan SNP genotyping, RFLP analysis, and SNaPshot PCR assays. Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to analyze the genotype and allele frequencies.
Results
Among the nine loci (15 polymorphisms) screened, SNP rs2070600 (G82S) in the RAGE gene, showed significant association with DR (allelic P = 0.016, dominant model P = 0.012), compared to DNR. SNP rs2070600 further showed significant association with DR in the confirmation cohort (P = 0.035, dominant model P = 0.032). Combining the two cohorts gave an allelic P < 0.003 and dominant P = 0.0013). Combined analysis with the Sankara Nethralaya cohort gave an allelic P = 0.0003 and dominant P = 0.00011 with an OR = 0.49 (0.34 - 0.70) for the minor allele. In HTRA1, rs11200638 (G>A), showed marginal significance with DR (P = 0.055) while rs10490924 in LOC387715 gave a P = 0.07. No statistical significance was observed for SNPs in the other 7 genes studied.
Conclusions
This study confirms significant association of one polymorphism only (rs2070600 in RAGE) with DR in an Indian population which had T2DM.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-158
PMCID: PMC2994838  PMID: 21067572
16.  Polymorphism of SERPINE2 gene is associated with pulmonary emphysema in consecutive autopsy cases 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:159.
Background
The SERPINA1, SERPINA3, and SERPINE2 genes, which encode antiproteases, have been proposed to be susceptible genes for of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and related phenotypes. Whether they are associated with emphysema is not known.
Methods
Twelve previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SERPINA1 (rs8004738, rs17751769, rs709932, rs11832, rs1303, rs28929474, and rs17580), SERPINA3 (rs4934, rs17473, and rs1800463), and SERPINE2 (rs840088 and rs975278) were genotyped in samples obtained from 1,335 consecutive autopsies of elderly Japanese people. The association between these SNPs and the severity of emphysema, as assessed using macroscopic scores, was determined.
Results
Emphysema of more than moderate degree was detected in 189 subjects (14.1%) and showed a significant gender difference (males, 20.5% and females, 7.0%; p < 0.0001). Among the 12 examined SNPs, only rs975278 in the SERPINE2 gene was positively associated with emphysema. Unlike the major alleles, homozygous minor alleles of rs975278 were associated with emphysema (odds ratio (OR) = 1.54; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02-2.30; p = 0.037) and the association was very prominent in smokers (OR = 2.02; 95% CI = 1.29-3.15; p = 0.002).
Conclusions
SERPINE2 may be a risk factor for the development of emphysema and its association with emphysema may be stronger in smokers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-159
PMCID: PMC2994839  PMID: 21067581
17.  Linkage analysis of obesity phenotypes in pre- and post-menopausal women from a United States mid-western population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:156.
Background
Obesity has a strong genetic influence, with some variants showing stronger associations among women than men. Women are also more likely to distribute weight in the abdomen following menopause. We investigated whether genetic loci link with obesity-related phenotypes differently by menopausal status.
Methods
We performed univariate and bivariate linkage analysis for the phenotypes of body mass index (BMI), waist (W) and hip (H) circumferences (WC, HC), and WH ratio (WHR) separately among 172 pre-menopausal and 405 post-menopausal women from 90 multigenerational families using a genome scan with 403 microsatellite markers. Bivariate analysis used pair-wise combinations of obesity phenotypes to detect linkage at loci with pleiotropic effects for genetically correlated traits. BMI was adjusted in models of WC, HC and WHR.
Results
Pre-menopausal women, compared to post-menopausal women, had higher heritability for BMI (h2 = 94% versus h2 = 39%, respectively) and for HC (h2 = 99% versus h2 = 43%, respectively), and lower heritability for WC (h2 = 29% versus h2 = 61%, respectively) and for WHR (h2 = 39% versus h2 = 57%, respectively). Among pre-menopausal women, the strongest evidence for linkage was for the combination of BMI and HC traits at 3p26 (bivariate LOD = 3.65) and at 13q13-q14 (bivariate LOD = 3.59). Among post-menopausal women, the highest level of evidence for genetic linkage was for HC at 4p15.3 (univariate LOD = 2.70) and 14q13 (univariate LOD = 2.51). WC was not clearly linked to any locus.
Conclusions
These results support a genetic basis for fat deposition that differs by menopausal status, and suggest that the same loci encode genes that influence general obesity (BMI) and HC, specifically, among pre-menopausal women. However, lower heritability among pre-menopausal women for WC and WHR suggests that pre-menopausal waist girth may be influenced to a greater extent by controllable environmental factors than post-menopausal waist girth. Possibly, targeted interventions for weight control among pre-menopausal women may prevent or attenuate post-menopausal abdominal weight deposition.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-156
PMCID: PMC2992490  PMID: 21062459
18.  Effect of the rs2259816 polymorphism in the HNF1A gene on circulating levels of c-reactive protein and coronary artery disease (the ludwigshafen risk and cardiovascular health study) 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:157.
Background
C-reactive protein is a well established marker of inflammation and has been used to predict future cardiovascular disease. It is still controversial if it plays an active role in the development of cardiovascular disease. Recently, polymorphisms in the gene for HNF1α have been linked to the levels of C-reactive protein and coronary artery disease.
Methods
We investigated the association of the rs2259816 polymorphism in the HNF1A gene with the circulating level of C-reactive protein and the hazard of coronary artery disease in the LURIC Study cohort.
Results
Compared to CC homozygotes, the level of C-reactive protein was decreased in carriers of at least one A-allele. Each A-allele decreased CRP by approximately 15%. The odds ratio for coronary artery disease was only very slightly increased in carriers of the A-allele and this association did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusions
In the LURIC Study cohort the A-allele of rs2259816 is associated with decreased CRP but not with coronary artery disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-157
PMCID: PMC2994837  PMID: 21062467
19.  Inflammation gene variants and susceptibility to albuminuria in the U.S. population: analysis in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), 1991-1994 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:155.
Background
Albuminuria, a common marker of kidney damage, serves as an important predictive factor for the progression of kidney disease and for the development of cardiovascular disease. While the underlying etiology is unclear, chronic, low-grade inflammation is a suspected key factor. Genetic variants within genes involved in inflammatory processes may, therefore, contribute to the development of albuminuria.
Methods
We evaluated 60 polymorphisms within 27 inflammatory response genes in participants from the second phase (1991-1994) of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), a population-based and nationally representative survey of the United States. Albuminuria was evaluated as logarithm-transformed albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), as ACR ≥ 30 mg/g, and as ACR above sex-specific thresholds. Multivariable linear regression and haplotype trend analyses were conducted to test for genetic associations in 5321 participants aged 20 years or older. Differences in allele and genotype distributions among non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Mexican Americans were tested in additive and codominant genetic models.
Results
Variants in several genes were found to be marginally associated (uncorrected P value < 0.05) with log(ACR) in at least one race/ethnic group, but none remained significant in crude or fully-adjusted models when correcting for the false-discovery rate (FDR). In analyses of sex-specific albuminuria, IL1B (rs1143623) among Mexican Americans remained significantly associated with increased odds, while IL1B (rs1143623), CRP (rs1800947) and NOS3 (rs2070744) were significantly associated with ACR ≥ 30 mg/g in this population (additive models, FDR-P < 0.05). In contrast, no variants were found to be associated with albuminuria among non-Hispanic blacks after adjustment for multiple testing. The only variant among non-Hispanic whites significantly associated with any outcome was TNF rs1800750, which failed the test for Hardy-Weinberg proportions in this population. Haplotypes within MBL2, CRP, ADRB2, IL4R, NOS3, and VDR were significantly associated (FDR-P < 0.05) with log(ACR) or albuminuria in at least one race/ethnic group.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest a small role for genetic variation within inflammation-related genes to the susceptibility to albuminuria. Additional studies are needed to further assess whether genetic variation in these, and untested, inflammation genes alter the susceptibility to kidney damage.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-155
PMCID: PMC2991302  PMID: 21054877
20.  Toll-like receptor gene polymorphisms are associated with susceptibility to graves' ophthalmopathy in Taiwan males 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:154.
Background
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of pattern-recognition receptors, which plays a role in eliciting innate/adaptive immune responses and developing chronic inflammation. The polymorphisms of TLRs have been associated with the risk of various autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis and rheumatorid arthritis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether TLR genes could be used as genetic markers for the development of Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO).
Methods
6 TLR-4 and 2 TLR-9 gene polymorphisms in 471 GD patients (200 patients with GO and 271 patients without GO) from a Taiwan Chinese population were evaluated.
Results
No statistically significant difference was observed in the genotypic and allelic frequencies of TLR-4 and TLR-9 gene polymorphisms between the GD patients with and without GO. However, sex-stratified analyses showed that the association between TLR-9 gene polymorphism and GO phenotype was more pronounced in the male patients. The odds ratios (ORs) was 2.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.14-3.91) for rs187084 AàG polymorphism and 1.97 (95% CI = 1.07-3.62) for rs352140 AàG polymorphism among the male patients. Increasing one G allele of rs287084 and one A allele of rs352140 increased the risk of GO (p values for trend tests were 0.0195 and 0.0345, respectively). Further, in haplotype analyses, the male patients carrying the GA haplotype had a higher risk of GO (odds ratio [OR] = 2.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09-3.73) than those not carrying the GA haplotype.
Conclusion
The present data suggest that TLR-9 gene polymorphisms were significantly associated with increased susceptibility of ophthalmopathy in male GD patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-154
PMCID: PMC2992489  PMID: 21050493
21.  Chromosomal abnormalities in spontaneous abortion after assisted reproductive treatment 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:153.
Background
We evaluated cytogenetic results occurring with first trimester pregnancy loss, and assessed the type and frequency of chromosomal abnormalities after assisted reproductive treatment (ART) and compared them with a control group. We also compared the rate of chromosomal abnormalities according to infertility causes in ICSI group.
Methods
A retrospective cohort analysis was made of all patients who were referred to the Genetics Laboratory of Fertility Center of CHA Gangnam Medical Center from 2005 to 2009 because of clinical abortion with a subsequent dilation and evacuation (D&E) performed, and patients were grouped by type of conception as follows: conventional IVF (in vitro fertilization) (n = 114), ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) (n = 140), and control (natural conception or intrauterine insemination [IUI]) (n = 128). Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software.
Results
A total 406 specimens were referred to laboratory, ten abortuses were excluded, and in 14 cases, we did not get any spontaneous metaphase, chromosomal constitutions of 382 specimens were successfully obtained with conventional cytogenetic methods. Overall, 52.62% of the miscarriages were found to be cytogenetically abnormal among all patients, the frequency was 48.4% in the control group, 54.3% of miscarriages after ICSI and 55.3% after conventional IVF (p = 0.503). The most prevalent abnormalities were autosomal trisomy, however, nine (11.69%) sex chromosome aneuploidy were noted in the ICSI group vs. four (6.45%) and two (3.23%) cases in the conventional IVF group and control group. We compared chromosomal abnormalities of miscarriages after ICSI according to infertility factor. 55.71% underwent ICSI due to male factors, 44.29% due to non-male factors. ICSI group having male factors showed significantly higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities than ICSI group having non-male factors (65.8% vs. 34.2%, p = 0.009, odds ratio = 1.529, 95% CI = 1.092-2.141).
Conclusions
There is no increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities due to ART was found with the exception of a greater number of sex chromosomal abnormalities in the ICSI group with male factor infertility. Therefore, these alterations could be correlated with the underlying parental risk of abnormalities and not with the ICSI procedure itself.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-153
PMCID: PMC2991301  PMID: 21044350
22.  Analyses of association between PPAR gamma and EPHX1 polymorphisms and susceptibility to COPD in a Hungarian cohort, a case-control study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:152.
Background
In addition to smoking, genetic predisposition is believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Genetic association studies of new candidate genes in COPD may lead to improved understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease.
Methods
Two proposed casual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) (rs1051740, rs2234922) in microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1) and three SNPs (rs1801282, rs1800571, rs3856806) in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARG), a new candidate gene, were genotyped in a case-control study (272 COPD patients and 301 controls subjects) in Hungary. Allele frequencies and genotype distributions were compared between the two cohorts and trend test was also used to evaluate association between SNPs and COPD. To estimate the strength of association, odds ratios (OR) (with 95% CI) were calculated and potential confounding variables were tested in logistic regression analysis. Association between haplotypes and COPD outcome was also assessed.
Results
The distribution of imputed EPHX1 phenotypes was significantly different between the COPD and the control group (P = 0.041), OR for the slow activity phenotype was 1.639 (95% CI = 1.08- 2.49; P = 0.021) in our study. In logistic regression analysis adjusted for both variants, also age and pack-year, the rare allele of His447His of PPARG showed significant association with COPD outcome (OR = 1.853, 95% CI = 1.09-3.14, P = 0.0218). In haplotype analysis the GC haplotype of PPARG (OR = 0.512, 95% CI = 0.27-0.96, P = 0.035) conferred reduced risk for COPD.
Conclusions
The "slow" activity-associated genotypes of EPHX1 were associated with increased risk of COPD. The minor His447His allele of PPARG significantly increased; and the haplotype containing the minor Pro12Ala and the major His447His polymorphisms of PPARG decreased the risk of COPD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-152
PMCID: PMC2988760  PMID: 21044285
23.  Genetic variants in mannose receptor gene (MRC1) confer susceptibility to increased risk of sarcoidosis 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:151.
Background
Mannose receptor (MR) is a member of the C-type lectin receptor family involved in pathogen molecular-pattern recognition and thought to be critical in shaping host immune response. The aim of this study was to investigate potential associations of genetic variants in the MRC1 gene with sarcoidosis.
Methods
Nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), encompassing the MRC1 gene, were genotyped in a total of 605 Japanese consisting of 181 sarcoidosis patients and 424 healthy controls.
Results
Suggestive evidence of association between rs691005 SNP and risk of sarcoidosis was observed independent of sex and age in a recessive model (P = 0.001).
Conclusions
These results suggest that MRC1 is an important candidate gene for sarcoidosis. This is the first study to imply that genetic variants in MRC1, a major member of the C-type lectin, contribute to the development of sarcoidosis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-151
PMCID: PMC2987761  PMID: 21029423
24.  The association of the Clock 3111 T/C SNP with lipids and lipoproteins including small dense low-density lipoprotein: results from the Mima study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:150.
Background
The clock molecule plays major roles in circadian rhythmicity and regulating lipid and glucose metabolism in peripheral organs. Disruption of the circadian rhythm can lead to cardiometabolic disorders. The existence of small dense low-density lipoprotein (sdLDL) in the circulation, an abnormality of lipid metabolism, in part associated with lifestyle, is also one of risk parameters for cardiometabolic disorders. The 3111 T/C single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the Clock gene has been reported to be associated with lifestyle including morning/evening preference. We investigated whether the Clock 3111 T/C SNP may affect lipids and lipoproteins including sdLDL.
Methods
In 365 community-dwelling subjects (170 men and 195 women, mean age 63 ± 14 years), the 3111 T/C SNP was genotyped using a fluorescent allele-specific DNA primer assay system. The levels of sdLDL were measured with the electrophoretic separation of lipoproteins employing the Lipoprint system.
Results
The frequency of the Clock 3111 C allele was 0.14. The area of sdLDL did not differ between the subjects with obesity and those without. In carriers of T/T homozygotes, the area of sdLDL was significantly higher compared with carriers of the C allele (T/C or C/C) (1.7 ± 3.4 vs. 0.8 ± 1.9%; p < 0.05). A multiple regression analysis showed that the area of sdLDL was significantly and negatively correlated with the Clock 3111 T/C SNP (β = -0.114, p < 0.05), independently of age, sex, body mass index, and exercise habits.
Conclusion
Our findings indicated that the Clock 3111 T/C SNP might be associated with the existence of sdLDL.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-150
PMCID: PMC2978155  PMID: 20961464
25.  Interaction of functional NPC1 gene Polymorphism with smoking on coronary heart disease 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:149.
Background
The protein of Niemann-pick type C1 gene (NPC1) is known to facilitate the egress of cholesterol and other lipids from late endosomes and lysosomes to other cellular compartments. This study aims to investigate whether the genetic variation in NPC1 is associated with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and to detect whether NPC1 might interact with smoking on the risk of CHD.
Methods
We performed a case-control study, including 873 patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and 864 subjects without CHD as control. Polymorphisms of NPC1 gene were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) -restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP).
Results
A tag-SNP rs1805081 (+644A > G) in NPC1 was identified. The G allele of the +644 locus showed reduced risk of CHD than wild-type genotype in Chinese population (recessive model GG vs. AG+AA: odds ratio [OR] 0.647, 95% CI 0.428 to 0.980, P = 0.039; additive model GG vs. AG vs. AA: OR 0.847, 95% CI 0.718 to 0.998, P = 0.0471). Moreover in smokers, the G-allele carriers had reduced risk of CHD compared with A-allele carries (OR 0.552, 95% CI 0.311 to 0.979, P = 0.0421).
Conclusions
The results of the present study suggest that NPC1 variants seem to be contributors to coronary heart disease occurrence in Chinese population. Moreover, in smokers, NPC1 variants seem to confer protection to coronary heart disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-149
PMCID: PMC2966454  PMID: 20955564

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