Article

A genetic signature of spina bifida risk from pathway-informed comprehensive gene-variant analysis.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.73). 01/2011; 6(11):e28408. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028408
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite compelling epidemiological evidence that folic acid supplements reduce the frequency of neural tube defects (NTDs) in newborns, common variant association studies with folate metabolism genes have failed to explain the majority of NTD risk. The contribution of rare alleles as well as genetic interactions within the folate pathway have not been extensively studied in the context of NTDs. Thus, we sequenced the exons in 31 folate-related genes in a 480-member NTD case-control population to identify the full spectrum of allelic variation and determine whether rare alleles or obvious genetic interactions within this pathway affect NTD risk. We constructed a pathway model, predetermined independent of the data, which grouped genes into coherent sets reflecting the distinct metabolic compartments in the folate/one-carbon pathway (purine synthesis, pyrimidine synthesis, and homocysteine recycling to methionine). By integrating multiple variants based on these groupings, we uncovered two provocative, complex genetic risk signatures. Interestingly, these signatures differed by race/ethnicity: a Hispanic risk profile pointed to alterations in purine biosynthesis, whereas that in non-Hispanic whites implicated homocysteine metabolism. In contrast, parallel analyses that focused on individual alleles, or individual genes, as the units by which to assign risk revealed no compelling associations. These results suggest that the ability to layer pathway relationships onto clinical variant data can be uniquely informative for identifying genetic risk as well as for generating mechanistic hypotheses. Furthermore, the identification of ethnic-specific risk signatures for spina bifida resonated with epidemiological data suggesting that the underlying pathogenesis may differ between Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
117 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a set of disorders that occur from perturbation of normal neural development. They occur in open or closed forms anywhere along the craniospinal axis and often result from a complex interaction between environmental and genetic factors. One burgeoning area of genetics research is the effect of cilia signaling on the developing neural tube and how the disruption of primary cilia leads to the development of NTDs. Recent progress has implicated the hedgehog (Hh), wingless-type integration site family (Wnt), and planar cell polarity (PCP) pathways in primary cilia as involved in normal neural tube patterning. A set of disorders involving cilia function, known as ciliopathies, offers insight into abnormal neural development. In this article, the authors discuss the common ciliopathies, such as Meckel-Gruber and Joubert syndromes, that are associated with NTDs, and review cilia-related signaling cascades responsible for mammalian neural tube development. Understanding the contribution of cilia in the formation of NTDs may provide greater insight into this common set of pediatric neurological disorders.
    Neurosurgical FOCUS 10/2012; 33(4):E2. · 2.49 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND The roles of C677T and A1298C polymorphisms in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene in orofacial clefts (OFCs) risk have been substantially explored, but the results remain conflicting. To address this gap, we conducted a meta-analysis involving all eligible studies. METHODS: Electronic literature searches of the PubMed, EmBase, and Medline databases were performed up to October 31, 2011. Fixed-effects or random-effects models were used to calculate the pooled odds ratios (ORs) for two genetic comparisons (heterozygous mutation vs. wild type, homozygous mutation vs. wild type). RESULTS A total of 18 studies were ultimately identified. The pooled results revealed no statistical association between infant and maternal C677T and A1298C variants and risk of cleft lip with or without palate (CL/P) or cleft palate only (CPO), except for the maternal 677TT genotype for CL/P, the OR was 1.32 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.63) as compared to the normal 677CC genotype. In the subgroup analyses on CL/P data based on ethnicity and source of control subjects, almost all of the results were replicated as nonsignificant associations in both examined polymorphisms, whereas the pooled risk estimate calculated for maternal 677TT genotype in the white population remained statistically significant, with an OR of 1.36 (95% CI, 1.05-1.76). CONCLUSIONS This meta-analysis suggests that maternal MTHFR 677TT genotype might increase the risk of having a CL/P offspring in the white population. However, these findings remain to be confirmed by additional investigations.
    Birth Defects Research Part A Clinical and Molecular Teratology 03/2012; 94(4):237-44. · 2.27 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a critical enzyme in folate metabolism and is involved in DNA methylation, DNA synthesis, and DNA repair. In addition, it is a possible risk factor in neural tube defects (NTDs). The association of the C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene and NTD susceptibility has been widely demonstrated, but the results remain inconclusive. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis with 2429 cases and 3570 controls to investigate the effect of the MTHFR C677T polymorphism on NTDs. An electronic search of PubMed and Embase database for papers on the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and NTD risk was performed. All data were analysed with STATA (version 11). Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated to assess the association. Sensitivity analysis, test of heterogeneity, cumulative meta-analysis, and assessment of bias were performed in our meta-analysis. A significant association between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and NTD susceptibility was revealed in our meta-analysis ( TT versus CC: OR  = 2.022, 95% CI: 1.508, 2.712; CT+TT versus CC: OR  = 1.303, 95% CI: 1.089, 1.558; TT versus CC+CT: OR  = 1.716, 95% CI: 1.448, 2.033; 2TT+CT versus 2CC+CT: OR  = 1.330, 95% CI: 1.160, 1.525). Moreover, an increased NTD risk was found after stratification of the MTHFR C677T variant data by ethnicity and source of controls. The results suggested the maternal MTHFR C677T polymorphism is a genetic risk factor for NTDs. Further functional studies to investigate folate-related gene polymorphisms, periconceptional multivitamin supplements, complex interactions, and the development of NTDs are warranted.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e41689. · 3.73 Impact Factor

Full-text (3 Sources)

View
9 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014