[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The QT interval, an electrocardiographic measure reflecting myocardial repolarization, is a heritable trait. QT prolongation is a risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD) and could indicate the presence of the potentially lethal mendelian long-QT syndrome (LQTS). Using a genome-wide association and replication study in up to 100,000 individuals, we identified 35 common variant loci associated with QT interval that collectively explain ∼8-10% of QT-interval variation and highlight the importance of calcium regulation in myocardial repolarization. Rare variant analysis of 6 new QT interval-associated loci in 298 unrelated probands with LQTS identified coding variants not found in controls but of uncertain causality and therefore requiring validation. Several newly identified loci encode proteins that physically interact with other recognized repolarization proteins. Our integration of common variant association, expression and orthogonal protein-protein interaction screens provides new insights into cardiac electrophysiology and identifies new candidate genes for ventricular arrhythmias, LQTS and SCD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological data are limited regarding risk factors of atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients with normal-sized left atria (LA). We evaluated whether traditional risk factors of AF differ between patients with normal-sized and dilated LA. This is a cross sectional study of community-dwelling participants of Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. LA volume index (LAVI) was measured by 2-dimensional echocardiography. LAVI ≥29mm3/m2 defined dilated LA. Prevalent AF was defined by electrocardiogram and hospital discharge international classification of diseases - 9 codes. Multivariable adjusted logistic regression analysis was used to examine whether magnitude of association of risk factors with AF differ by LA cavity size. Interaction of risk factors by LA cavity size was evaluated to determine significance of these differential associations. Of 5496 participants (mean age 75±5 years, women 58%), 1230 (22%) had dilated LA. The prevalence of AF was 11% in individuals with normal-sized LA and 15% in individuals with dilated LA. Age >75 years [Odds Ratio (OR) 1.87; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.49 – 2.35, interaction p=0.12] and heart failure (OR 5.43; 95% CI 3.77 – 7.87, interaction p=0.10) were stronger risk factors for AF in normal-sized LA than dilated-LA. Female sex (OR 1.67; 95% CI 1.01 – 2.77, interaction p=0.09), weight (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.02 – 1.71, interaction p=0.19) and alcohol-use (OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.08 – 2.41, interaction p=0.004) were stronger risk factors for AF in individuals with dilated LA than normal-sized LA. In conclusion, risk factors of AF may differ by left ventricular cavity size.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phenotypic effect of some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) depends on their parental origin. We present a novel approach to detect parent-of-origin effects (POEs) in genome-wide genotype data of unrelated individuals. The method exploits increased phenotypic variance in the heterozygous genotype group relative to the homozygous groups. We applied the method to >56,000 unrelated individuals to search for POEs influencing body mass index (BMI). Six lead SNPs were carried forward for replication in five family-based studies (of ∼4,000 trios). Two SNPs replicated: the paternal rs2471083-C allele (located near the imprinted KCNK9 gene) and the paternal rs3091869-T allele (located near the SLC2A10 gene) increased BMI equally (beta = 0.11 (SD), P<0.0027) compared to the respective maternal alleles. Real-time PCR experiments of lymphoblastoid cell lines from the CEPH families showed that expression of both genes was dependent on parental origin of the SNPs alleles (P<0.01). Our scheme opens new opportunities to exploit GWAS data of unrelated individuals to identify POEs and demonstrates that they play an important role in adult obesity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the association of rs7626962 (S1103Y) or rs7629265, a variant in high linkage disequilibrium with S1103Y (r(2) = 0.87-1), with sudden cardiac death (SCD) and atrial fibrillation (AF) among African Americans.
Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 07/2014; · 3.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cardiac sodium channel SCN5A regulates atrioventricular and ventricular conduction. Genetic variants in this gene are associated with PR and QRS intervals. We sought to characterize further the contribution of rare and common coding variation in SCN5A to cardiac conduction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify non-redundant atrial fibrillation (AF) genetic susceptibility signals and examine their cumulative relations with AF risk.
AF-associated loci span broad genomic regions that may contain multiple susceptibility signals. Whether multiple signals exist at AF loci has not been systematically explored.
We performed association testing conditioned on the most significant, independently associated genetic markers at nine established AF loci using two complementary techniques in 64,683 individuals of European ancestry (3,869 incident and 3,302 prevalent AF cases). Genetic risk scores were created and tested for association with AF in Europeans and an independent sample of 11,309 individuals of Japanese ancestry (7,916 prevalent AF cases).
We observed at least four distinct AF susceptibility signals on chromosome 4q25 upstream of PITX2, but not at the remaining eight AF loci. A multilocus score comprised of 12 genetic markers demonstrated an estimated 5-fold gradient in AF risk. We observed a similar spectrum of risk associated with these markers in Japanese. Regions containing AF signals on chromosome 4q25 displayed a greater degree of evolutionary conservation than the remainder of the locus, suggesting that they may tag regulatory elements.
The chromosome 4q25 AF locus is architecturally complex and harbors at least four AF susceptibility signals in individuals of European ancestry. Similar polygenic AF susceptibility exists between Europeans and Japanese. Future work is necessary to identify causal variants, determine mechanisms by which associated loci predispose to AF, and explore whether AF susceptibility signals classify individuals at risk for AF and related morbidity.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 01/2014; · 14.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is limited information on genetic factors associated with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).
To assess the association of common variation in genes in fatty acid pathways with SCA risk.
We selected 85 candidate genes and 1155 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tagging common variation in each gene. We investigated the SNP associations with SCA in a population-based case-control study. Cases (n=2160) were from a repository of SCA in the greater Seattle area. Controls (n=2615), frequency-matched on age and sex, were from the same area. We used linear logistic regression to examine SNP associations with SCA. We performed p-min permutation tests to account for multiple comparisons within each gene. The SNP associations with corrected p-value < 0.05 were then examined in a meta-analysis of these SNP associations in nine replication studies totaling 2129 SCA cases and 23833 non-cases.
Eight SNPs in or near 8 genes were associated with SCA risk in the discovery study, one of which was nominally significant in the replication phase (rs7737692, minor allele frequency 36%, near the LPCAT1 gene). For each copy of the minor allele, rs7737692 was associated with 13% lower SCA risk (-21% to -5%) in the discovery phase and 9% lower risk (95% CI -16% to -1%) in the replication phase.
While none of the associations reached significance with Bonferroni correction, a common genetic variant near LPCAT1, a gene involved in the remodeling of phospholipids, was nominally associated with incident SCA risk. Further study is needed to validate this observation.
Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 01/2014; · 4.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified common genetic variants that predispose to atrial fibrillation (AF). It is unclear whether rare and low-frequency variants in genes implicated by such GWAS confer additional risk of AF.
To study the association of genetic variants with AF at GWAS top loci.
In the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Targeted Sequencing Study, we selected and sequenced 77 target gene regions from GWAS loci of complex diseases or traits, including 4 genes hypothesized to be related to AF (PRRX1, CAV1, CAV2, and ZFHX3). Sequencing was performed in participants with (n = 948) and without (n = 3330) AF from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the Cardiovascular Health Study, the Framingham Heart Study, and the Massachusetts General Hospital.
One common variant (rs11265611; P = 1.70 × 10−6) intronic to IL6R (interleukin-6 receptor gene) was significantly associated with AF after Bonferroni correction (odds ratio 0.70; 95% confidence interval 0.58–0.85). The variant was not genotyped or imputed by prior GWAS, but it is in linkage disequilibrium (r2 = .69) with the single-nucleotide polymorphism, with the strongest association with AF so far at this locus (rs4845625). In the rare variant joint analysis, damaging variants within the PRRX1 region showed significant association with AF after Bonferroni correction (P = .01).
We identified 1 common single-nucleotide polymorphism and 1 gene region that were significantly associated with AF. Future sequencing efforts with larger sample sizes and more comprehensive genome coverage are anticipated to identify additional AF-related variants.
Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 01/2014; 11(3):452–457. · 4.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: QT interval variation is assumed to arise from variation in repolarization as evidenced from rare Na- and K-channel mutations in Mendelian QT prolongation syndromes. However, in the general population, common noncoding variants at a chromosome 1q locus are the most common genetic regulators of QT interval variation. In this study, we use multiple human genetic, molecular genetic, and cellular assays to identify a functional variant underlying trait association: a noncoding polymorphism (rs7539120) that maps within an enhancer of NOS1AP and affects cardiac function by increasing NOS1AP transcript expression. We further localized NOS1AP to cardiomyocyte intercalated discs (IDs) and demonstrate that overexpression of NOS1AP in cardiomyocytes leads to altered cellular electrophysiology. We advance the hypothesis that NOS1AP affects cardiac electrical conductance and coupling and thereby regulates the QT interval through propagation defects. As further evidence of an important role for propagation variation affecting QT interval in humans, we show that common polymorphisms mapping near a specific set of 170 genes encoding ID proteins are significantly enriched for association with the QT interval, as compared to genome-wide markers. These results suggest that focused studies of proteins within the cardiomyocyte ID are likely to provide insights into QT prolongation and its associated disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) experiments have been optimized for library preparation, mapping, and gene expression estimation. These methods, however, have revealed weaknesses in the next stages of analysis of differential expression, with results sensitive to systematic sample stratification or, in more extreme cases, to outliers. Further, a method to assess normalization and adjustment measures imposed on the data is lacking.
To address these issues, we utilize previously published eQTLs as a novel gold standard at the center of a framework that integrates DNA genotypes and RNA-Seq data to optimize analysis and aid in the understanding of genetic variation and gene expression. After detecting sample contamination and sequencing outliers in RNA-Seq data, a set of previously published brain eQTLs was used to determine if sample outlier removal was appropriate. Improved replication of known eQTLs supported removal of these samples in downstream analyses. eQTL replication was further employed to assess normalization methods, covariate inclusion, and gene annotation. This method was validated in an independent RNA-Seq blood data set from the GTEx project and a tissue-appropriate set of eQTLs. eQTL replication in both data sets highlights the necessity of accounting for unknown covariates in RNA-Seq data analysis.
As each RNA-Seq experiment is unique with its own experiment-specific limitations, we offer an easily-implementable method that uses the replication of known eQTLs to guide each step in one's data analysis pipeline. In the two data sets presented herein, we highlight not only the necessity of careful outlier detection but also the need to account for unknown covariates in RNA-Seq experiments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of inflammatory pathways measured by serum inflammatory markers such as interleukin-18 (IL-18) and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) is strongly associated with the progression of chronic disease states in older adults. Given that these serum cytokine levels are in part a heritable trait, genetic variation may predict increased serum levels. Using the Cardiovascular Health Study and InCHIANTI cohorts, a genome-wide association study was performed to identify genetic variants that influence IL-18 and IL-1ra serum levels among older adults. Multiple linear regression models characterized the association between each SNP and log-transformed cytokine values. Tests for multiple independent signals within statistically significant loci were performed using haplotype analysis and regression models conditional on lead SNP in each region. Multiple SNPs were associated with these cytokines with genome-wide significance, including SNPs in the IL-18-BCO gene region of chromosome 2 for IL-18 (top SNP rs2250417, P=1.9×10(-32)) and in the IL-1 gene family region of chromosome 2 for IL-1ra (rs6743376, P=2.3×10(-26)). Haplotype tests and conditional linear regression models showed evidence of multiple independent signals in these regions. Serum IL-18 levels were also associated with a region on chromosome 2 containing the NLRC4 gene (rs12989936, P=2.7×10(-19)). These data characterize multiple robust genetic signals that influence IL-18 and IL-1ra cytokine production. In particular, the signal for serum IL-18 located on chromosome two is novel and potentially important in inflammasome triggered chronic activation of inflammation in older adults. Replication in independent cohorts is an important next step, as well as molecular studies to better understand the role of NLRC4.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New technologies enabling genome-wide interrogation have led to a large and rapidly growing number of ASD candidate genes. Although encouraging, the volume and complexity of these data make it challenging for scientists, particularly non geneticists, to comprehensively evaluate available evidence for individual genes. Described here is the Gene Scoring module within SFARI Gene 2.0 (http://bit.ly/IttMWW), a platform developed to enable systematic community driven assessment of genetic evidence for individual genes with regard to ASD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium is vital to the normal functioning of multiple organ systems and its serum concentration is tightly regulated. Apart from CASR, the genes associated with serum calcium are largely unknown. We conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 39,400 individuals from 17 population-based cohorts and investigated the 14 most strongly associated loci in ≤21,679 additional individuals. Seven loci (six new regions) in association with serum calcium were identified and replicated. Rs1570669 near CYP24A1 (P = 9.1E-12), rs10491003 upstream of GATA3 (P = 4.8E-09) and rs7481584 in CARS (P = 1.2E-10) implicate regions involved in Mendelian calcemic disorders: Rs1550532 in DGKD (P = 8.2E-11), also associated with bone density, and rs7336933 near DGKH/KIAA0564 (P = 9.1E-10) are near genes that encode distinct isoforms of diacylglycerol kinase. Rs780094 is in GCKR. We characterized the expression of these genes in gut, kidney, and bone, and demonstrate modulation of gene expression in bone in response to dietary calcium in mice. Our results shed new light on the genetics of calcium homeostasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable. The degree to which genetic variation is unique to individual disorders or shared across disorders is unclear. To examine shared genetic etiology, we use genome-wide genotype data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) for cases and controls in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We apply univariate and bivariate methods for the estimation of genetic variation within and covariation between disorders. SNPs explained 17–29% of the variance in liability. The genetic correlation calculated using common SNPs was high between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (0.68 ± 0.04 s.e.), moderate between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (0.43 ± 0.06 s.e.), bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (0.47 ± 0.06 s.e.), and ADHD and major depressive disorder (0.32 ± 0.07 s.e.), low between schizophrenia and ASD (0.16 ± 0.06 s.e.) and non-significant for other pairs of disorders as well as between psychiatric disorders and the negative control of Crohn’s disease. This empirical evidence of shared genetic etiology for psychiatric disorders can inform nosology and encourages the investigation of common pathophysiologies for related disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal atrial repolarization is important in the development of atrial fibrillation (AF), but no direct measurement is available in clinical medicine.
To determine whether the QT interval, a marker of ventricular repolarization, could be used to predict incident AF.
We examined a prolonged QT corrected by the Framingham formula (QTFram) as a predictor of incident AF in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. The Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) and Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) study were used for validation. Secondary predictors included QT duration as a continuous variable, a short QT interval, and QT intervals corrected by other formulae.
Among 14,538 ARIC participants, a prolonged QTFram predicted a roughly two-fold increased risk of AF (hazard ratio [HR] 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.42-2.96, p<0.001). No substantive attenuation was observed after adjustment for age, race, sex, study center, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, coronary disease, and heart failure. The findings were validated in CHS and Health ABC and were similar across various QT correction methods. Also in ARIC, each 10-ms increase in QTFram was associated with an increased unadjusted (HR 1.14, 95%CI 1.10-1.17, p<0.001) and adjusted (HR 1.11, 95%CI 1.07-1.14, p<0.001) risk of AF. Findings regarding a short QT were inconsistent across cohorts.
A prolonged QT interval is associated with an increased risk of incident AF.
Heart rhythm: the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society 07/2013; · 4.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 181,171 individuals, we identified 14 new loci associated with heart rate and confirmed associations with all 7 previously established loci. Experimental downregulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio identified 20 genes at 11 loci that are relevant for heart rate regulation and highlight a role for genes involved in signal transmission, embryonic cardiac development and the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death. In addition, genetic susceptibility to increased heart rate is associated with altered cardiac conduction and reduced risk of sick sinus syndrome, and both heart rate-increasing and heart rate-decreasing variants associate with risk of atrial fibrillation. Our findings provide fresh insights into the mechanisms regulating heart rate and identify new therapeutic targets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated resting heart rate is associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in up to 181,171 individuals, we identified 14 new loci associated with heart rate and confirmed associations with all 7 previously established loci. Experimental downregulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio identified 20 genes at 11 loci that are relevant for heart rate regulation and highlight a role for genes involved in signal transmission, embryonic cardiac development and the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart failure and/or sudden cardiac death. In addition, genetic susceptibility to increased heart rate is associated with altered cardiac conduction and reduced risk of sick sinus syndrome, and both heart rate–increasing and heart rate–decreasing variants associate with risk of atrial fibrillation. Our findings provide fresh insights into the mechanisms regulating heart rate and identify new therapeutic targets.