PopGen: Population-Based Recruitment of Patients and Controls for the Analysis of Complex Genotype-Phenotype Relationships
ABSTRACT Patient samples used for mapping complex human disease genes are unlikely to be representative of the phenotype spectrum of the respective population as a whole. On the other hand, most ongoing prospective studies are probably too small for evaluating polygenic disease markers.
Precise estimates of population-specific genotypic risks can be obtained efficiently through the complete ascertainment of patients in a geographically confined area. The PopGen project uses the most northern part of Germany as a target region for such a pursuit.
PopGen currently pursues recruitment, sampling and processing activities in close collaboration with a multitude of clinical partners, covering cardiovascular, neuropsychiatric and environmental diseases.
PopGen has successfully established itself as a large-scale genetic epidemiological project of international recognition.
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ABSTRACT: Carnosine, a cytoprotective dipeptide found at very high concentrations in skeletal muscle, heart and brain, is cleaved in blood by serum carnosinase which is encoded by the CNDP1 gene. We recently found that homozygosity of a 5-leucine variant in the leader peptide of this enzyme protects diabetes mellitus patients against nephropathy. Hypothesising that the same allele could also be associated with longevity or a reduced incidence of cardiovascular problems, we examined the frequency of CNDP1 alleles in German centenarians, patients with premature coronary heart disease, and matched controls. A total of 1382 individuals was investigated. The 5-leucine allele was the most common allele in all groups investigated. There was no difference in allele or genotype frequency between centenarians and their control group, or between cardiovascular patients and their control group. The recently identified functional carnosinase variant therefore does neither contribute to longevity nor protect against coronary heart disease in our probands. In addition to the known trinucleotide repeat alleles in the CNDP1 gene, we detected a rare 8-leucine allele, a rare duplication, p.L13_V15dup, and a more common frameshift deletion, L17fsX20. Homozygosity for L17fsX20, estimated to have a prevalence of approximately 1:20,000, would be expected to cause carnosinaemia, an autosomal recessive trait with uncertain clinical relevance.Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 12/2006; 127(11):817-20. DOI:10.1016/j.mad.2006.08.002 · 3.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Low-affinity Fcγ receptors (FcγR) bridge innate and adaptive immune responses. In many autoimmune diseases, these receptors act as key mediators of the pathogenic effects of autoantibodies. Genes encoding FcγR exhibit frequent variations in sequence and gene copy number that influence their functional properties. FcγR variations also affect the susceptibility to systemic autoimmunity, e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. This raises the question whether FcγR variations are also associated with organ-specific autoimmunity, particularly autoantibody-mediated diseases, such as subepidermal autoimmune blistering diseases (AIBD). A multitude of evidence suggests a pathogenic role of neutrophil granulocyte interaction with autoantibodies via FcγR. In a two-stage study, we analyzed whether the FcγR genotype affects neutrophil function and mRNA expression, and consequently, bullous pemphigoid (BP) disease risk. We compared this to findings in pemphigus vulgaris/foliaceus (PV/PF), two Fc-independent AIBDs. Our results indicate that both allele and copy number variation of FcγR genes affect FcγR mRNA expression and reactive oxygen species (ROS) release by granulocytes. Susceptibility of BP was associated with FcγR genotypes that led to a decreased ROS release by neutrophils, indicating an unexpected protective role for these cells. BP and PV/PF differed substantially regarding the FcγR genotype association patterns, pointing towards different disease etiologies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Journal of Autoimmunity 05/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.jaut.2015.05.004 · 7.02 Impact Factor
- Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 06/2013; 84(6):666-673. DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2012-304475 · 5.58 Impact Factor
Peter J P Croucher