De novo mutations in human genetic disease.
ABSTRACT New mutations have long been known to cause genetic disease, but their true contribution to the disease burden can only now be determined using family-based whole-genome or whole-exome sequencing approaches. In this Review we discuss recent findings suggesting that de novo mutations play a prominent part in rare and common forms of neurodevelopmental diseases, including intellectual disability, autism and schizophrenia. De novo mutations provide a mechanism by which early-onset reproductively lethal diseases remain frequent in the population. These mutations, although individually rare, may capture a significant part of the heritability for complex genetic diseases that is not detectable by genome-wide association studies.
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ABSTRACT: As a complex trait, loneliness is likely to be influenced by the interplay of numerous genetic and environmental factors. Studies in behavioral genetics indicate that loneliness has a sizable degree of heritability. Candidate-gene and gene-expression studies have pointed to several genes related to neurotransmitters and the immune system. The notion that these genes are related to loneliness is compatible with the basic tenets of the evolutionary theory of loneliness. Research on gene-environment interactions indicates that social-environmental factors (e.g., low social support) may have a more pronounced effect and lead to higher levels of loneliness if individuals carry the sensitive variant of these candidate genes. Currently, there is no extant research on loneliness based on genome-wide association studies, gene-environment-interaction studies, or studies in epigenetics. Such studies would allow researchers to identify networks of genes that contribute to loneliness. The contribution of genetics to loneliness research will become stronger when genome-wide genetics and epigenetics are integrated and used along with well-established methods in psychology to analyze the complex process of gene-environment interplay.Perspectives on Psychological Science 03/2015; 10(2):213-226. DOI:10.1177/1745691614564878 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epilepsy genes deliver critical insights into the molecular control of brain synchronization and are revolutionizing our understanding and treatment of the disease. The epilepsy-associated genome is rapidly expanding, and two powerful complementary approaches, isolation of de novo exome variants in patients and targeted mutagenesis in model systems, account for the steep increase. In sheer number, the tally of genes linked to seizures will likely match that of cancer and exceed it in biological diversity. The proteins act within most intracellular compartments and span the molecular determinants of firing and wiring in the developing brain. Every facet of neurotransmission, from dendritic spine to exocytotic machinery, is in play, and defects of synaptic inhibition are over-represented. The contributions of somatic mutations and noncoding microRNAs are also being explored. The functional spectrum of established epilepsy genes and the arrival of rapid, precise technologies for genome editing now provide a robust scaffold to prioritize hypothesis-driven discovery and further populate this genetic proto-map. Although each gene identified offers translational potential to stratify patient care, the complexity of individual variation and covert actions of genetic modifiers may confound single-gene solutions for the clinical disorder. In vivo genetic deconstruction of epileptic networks, ex vivo validation of variant profiles in patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, in silico variant modeling and modifier gene discovery, now in their earliest stages, will help clarify individual patterns. Because seizures stand at the crossroads of all neuronal synchronization disorders in the developing and aging brain, the neurobiological analysis of epilepsy-associated genes provides an extraordinary gateway to new insights into higher cortical function.
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ABSTRACT: Next-generation sequencing is transforming our understanding of human genetic variation but assessing the functional impact of novel variants presents challenges. We analyzed missense variants in the integrin αIIbβ3 receptor subunit genes ITGA2B and ITGB3 identified by whole-exome or -genome sequencing in the ThromboGenomics project, comprising ∼32,000 alleles from 16,108 individuals. We analyzed the results in comparison with 111 missense variants in these genes previously reported as being associated with Glanzmann thrombasthenia (GT), 20 associated with alloimmune thrombocytopenia, and 5 associated with aniso/macrothrombocytopenia. We identified 114 novel missense variants in ITGA2B (affecting ∼11% of the amino acids) and 68 novel missense variants in ITGB3 (affecting ∼9% of the amino acids). Of the variants, 96% had minor allele frequencies (MAF) < 0.1%, indicating their rarity. Based on sequence conservation, MAF, and location on a complete model of αIIbβ3, we selected three novel variants that affect amino acids previously associated with GT for expression in HEK293 cells. αIIb P176H and β3 C547G severely reduced αIIbβ3 expression, whereas αIIb P943A partially reduced αIIbβ3 expression and had no effect on fibrinogen binding. We used receiver operating characteristic curves of combined annotation-dependent depletion, Polyphen 2-HDIV, and sorting intolerant from tolerant to estimate the percentage of novel variants likely to be deleterious. At optimal cut-off values, which had 69–98% sensitivity in detecting GT mutations, between 27% and 71% of the novel αIIb or β3 missense variants were predicted to be deleterious. Our data have implications for understanding the evolutionary pressure on αIIbβ3 and highlight the challenges in predicting the clinical significance of novel missense variants.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2015; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1422238112 · 9.81 Impact Factor