Matthew E Hurles

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (161)2433.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Human genome sequencing has transformed our understanding of genomic variation and its relevance to health and disease, and is now starting to enter clinical practice for the diagnosis of rare diseases. The question of whether and how some categories of genomic findings should be shared with individual research participants is currently a topic of international debate, and development of robust analytical workflows to identify and communicate clinically relevant variants is paramount. Methods: The Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) study has developed a UK-wide patient recruitment network involving over 180 clinicians across all 24 regional genetics services, and has performed genome-wide microarray and whole exome sequencing on children with undiagnosed developmental disorders and their parents. After data analysis, pertinent genomic variants were returned to individual research participants via their local clinical genetics team. Findings: Around 80 000 genomic variants were identified from exome sequencing and microarray analysis in each individual, of which on average 400 were rare and predicted to be protein altering. By focusing only on de novo and segregating variants in known developmental disorder genes, we achieved a diagnostic yield of 27% among 1133 previously investigated yet undiagnosed children with developmental disorders, whilst minimising incidental findings. In families with developmentally normal parents, whole exome sequencing of the child and both parents resulted in a 10-fold reduction in the number of potential causal variants that needed clinical evaluation compared to sequencing only the child. Most diagnostic variants identified in known genes were novel and not present in current databases of known disease variation. Interpretation: Implementation of a robust translational genomics workflow is achievable within a large-scale rare disease research study to allow feedback of potentially diagnostic findings to clinicians and research participants. Systematic recording of relevant clinical data, curation of a gene–phenotype knowledge base, and development of clinical decision support software are needed in addition to automated exclusion of almost all variants, which is crucial for scalable prioritisation and review of possible diagnostic variants. However, the resource requirements of development and maintenance of a clinical reporting system within a research setting are substantial.
    The Lancet 12/2014; · 39.21 Impact Factor
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    Lancet. 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Given the growing use of whole-exome sequencing (WES) for clinical diagnostics of complex human disorders, we evaluated coverage of clinically relevant cardiac genes on WES and factors influencing uniformity and depth of coverage of exonic regions. Methods Two hundred and thirteen human DNA samples were exome sequenced via Illumina HiSeq using different versions of the Agilent SureSelect capture kit. 50 cardiac genes were further analyzed including 31 genes from the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) list for reporting of incidental findings and 19 genes associated with congenital heart disease for which clinical testing is available. Gene coordinates were obtained from two databases, CCDS and Known Gene and compared. Read depth for each region was extracted from the exomes and used to assess capture variability between kits for individual genes, and for overall coverage. GC content, gene size, and inter-sample variability were also tested as potential contributors to variability in gene coverage. Results All versions of capture kits (designed based on Consensus coding sequence) included only 55% of known genomic regions for the cardiac genes. Although newer versions of each Agilent kit showed improvement in capture of CCDS regions to 99%, only 64% of Known Gene regions were captured even with newer capture kits. There was considerable variability in coverage of the cardiac genes. 10 of the 50 genes including 6 on the ACMG list had less than the optimal coverage of 30X. Within each gene, only 32 of the 50 genes had the majority of their bases covered at an interquartile range ≥30X. Heterogeneity in gene coverage was modestly associated with gene size and significantly associated with GC content. Conclusions Despite improvement in overall coverage across the exome with newer capture kit versions and higher sequencing depths, only 50% of known genomic regions of clinical cardiac genes are targeted and individual gene coverage is non-uniform. This may contribute to a bias with greater attribution of disease causation to mutations in well-represented and well-covered genes. Improvements in WES technology are needed before widespread clinical application.
    BMC Medical Genomics 12/2014; 7:67. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Copy number variants (CNVs) have been proposed as a possible source of 'missing heritability' in complex human diseases. Two studies of type 1 diabetes (T1D) found null associations with common copy number polymorphisms, but CNVs of low frequency and high penetrance could still play a role. We used the Log-R-Ratio intensity data from a dense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, ImmunoChip, to detect rare CNV deletions (rDELs) and duplications (rDUPs) in 6,808 T1D cases, 9,954 controls, and 2,206 families with T1D-affected offspring. Initial analyses detected CNV associations. However, these were shown to be false positive findings, failing replication with PCR. We developed a pipeline of quality control (QC) tests that were calibrated using systematic testing of sensitivity and specificity. The case-control odds ratios (OR) of CNV burden on T1D risk resulting from this QC pipeline converged on unity, suggesting no global frequency difference in rDELs or rDUPs. There was evidence that deletions could impact T1D risk for a small minority of cases, with enrichment for rDELs longer than 400 kb (OR=1.57, p=0.005). There were also 18 de novo rDELs detected in affected offspring but none for unaffected siblings (p=0.03). No specific CNV regions showed robust evidence for association with T1D, although frequencies were lower than expected (most less than 0.1%), substantially reducing statistical power, which was examined in detail. We present an R-package, plumbCNV, which provides an automated approach for quality control (QC) and detection of rare CNVs that can facilitate equivalent analyses of large-scale SNP array datasets. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.
    Human Molecular Genetics 11/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Centrioles are essential for ciliogenesis. However, mutations in centriole biogenesis genes have been reported in primary microcephaly and Seckel syndrome, disorders without the hallmark clinical features of ciliopathies. Here we identify mutations in the genes encoding PLK4 kinase, a master regulator of centriole duplication, and its substrate TUBGCP6 in individuals with microcephalic primordial dwarfism and additional congenital anomalies, including retinopathy, thereby extending the human phenotypic spectrum associated with centriole dysfunction. Furthermore, we establish that different levels of impaired PLK4 activity result in growth and cilia phenotypes, providing a mechanism by which microcephaly disorders can occur with or without ciliopathic features
    Nature Genetics 10/2014; · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data from genome-wide chromosome conformation capture analysis indicate that the human genome is divided into conserved megabase-sized self-interacting regions called topological domains. These topological domains form the regulatory backbone of the genome and are separated by regulatory boundary elements or barriers. Copy-number variations can potentially alter the topological domain architecture by deleting or duplicating the barriers and thereby allowing enhancers from neighboring domains to ectopically activate genes causing misexpression and disease, a mutational mechanism that has recently been termed enhancer adoption.
    Genome Biology 09/2014; 15. · 10.30 Impact Factor
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    Nature Communications 09/2014; 5:4871. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    Nature Communications 09/2014; 5:4871. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Structural fetal anomalies identified on prenatal ultrasound occur in 3% of pregnancies and a genetic diagnosis can help inform the pregnancy management and future reproductive decisions. The science behind prenatal genetic diagnostics is moving at a rapid pace. Conventional G-band karyotyping is being replaced by chromosome microarray analysis (CMA), which allows much greater resolution of the fetal chromosomes. CMA is being utilised increasingly when a structural anomaly is found on ultrasound scan. Our review focuses on the "next step", the use of exome sequencing to give more prognostic information in these cases. The drawbacks and ethical dilemmas of the testing are discussed. We also review published research in the use of prenatal exome sequencing and describe current UK lead research in this important area.
    Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 08/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gene expression is a heritable cellular phenotype that defines the function of a cell and can lead to diseases in case of misregulation. In order to detect genetic variations affecting gene expression, we performed association analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and copy number variants (CNVs) with gene expression measured in 869 lymphoblastoid cell lines of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort in cis and in trans. We discovered that 3,534 genes (false discovery rate (FDR) = 5%) are affected by an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) in cis and 48 genes are affected in trans. We observed that CNVs are more likely to be eQTLs than SNPs. In addition, we found that variants associated to complex traits and diseases are enriched for trans-eQTLs and that trans-eQTLs are enriched for cis-eQTLs. As a variant affecting both a gene in cis and in trans suggests that the cis gene is functionally linked to the trans gene expression, we looked specifically for trans effects of cis-eQTLs. We discovered that 26 cis-eQTLs are associated to 92 genes in trans with the cis-eQTLs of the transcriptions factors BATF3 and HMX2 affecting the most genes. We then explored if the variation of the level of expression of the cis genes were causally affecting the level of expression of the trans genes and discovered several causal relationships between variation in the level of expression of the cis gene and variation of the level of expression of the trans gene. This analysis shows that a large sample size allows the discovery of secondary effects of human variations on gene expression that can be used to construct short directed gene regulatory networks.
    PLoS Genetics 07/2014; 10(7):e1004461. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We identified four different missense mutations in the single-exon gene MAB21L2 in eight individuals with bilateral eye malformations from five unrelated families via three independent exome sequencing projects. Three mutational events altered the same amino acid (Arg51), and two were identical de novo mutations (c.151C>T [p.Arg51Cys]) in unrelated children with bilateral anophthalmia, intellectual disability, and rhizomelic skeletal dysplasia. c.152G>A (p.Arg51His) segregated with autosomal-dominant bilateral colobomatous microphthalmia in a large multiplex family. The fourth heterozygous mutation (c.145G>A [p.Glu49Lys]) affected an amino acid within two residues of Arg51 in an adult male with bilateral colobomata. In a fifth family, a homozygous mutation (c.740G>A [p.Arg247Gln]) altering a different region of the protein was identified in two male siblings with bilateral retinal colobomata. In mouse embryos, Mab21l2 showed strong expression in the developing eye, pharyngeal arches, and limb bud. As predicted by structural homology, wild-type MAB21L2 bound single-stranded RNA, whereas this activity was lost in all altered forms of the protein. MAB21L2 had no detectable nucleotidyltransferase activity in vitro, and its function remains unknown. Induced expression of wild-type MAB21L2 in human embryonic kidney 293 cells increased phospho-ERK (pERK1/2) signaling. Compared to the wild-type and p.Arg247Gln proteins, the proteins with the Glu49 and Arg51 variants had increased stability. Abnormal persistence of pERK1/2 signaling in MAB21L2-expressing cells during development is a plausible pathogenic mechanism for the heterozygous mutations. The phenotype associated with the homozygous mutation might be a consequence of complete loss of MAB21L2 RNA binding, although the cellular function of this interaction remains unknown.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2014; 94:915-23. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We identified four different missense mutations in the single-exon gene MAB21L2 in eight individuals with bilateral eye malformations from five unrelated families via three independent exome sequencing projects. Three mutational events altered the same amino acid (Arg51), and two were identical de novo mutations (c.151C>T [p.Arg51Cys]) in unrelated children with bilateral anophthalmia, intellectual disability, and rhizomelic skeletal dysplasia. c.152G>A (p.Arg51His) segregated with autosomal-dominant bilateral colobomatous microphthalmia in a large multiplex family. The fourth heterozygous mutation (c.145G>A [p.Glu49Lys]) affected an amino acid within two residues of Arg51 in an adult male with bilateral colobomata. In a fifth family, a homozygous mutation (c.740G>A [p.Arg247Gln]) altering a different region of the protein was identified in two male siblings with bilateral retinal colobomata. In mouse embryos, Mab21l2 showed strong expression in the developing eye, pharyngeal arches, and limb bud. As predicted by structural homology, wild-type MAB21L2 bound single-stranded RNA, whereas this activity was lost in all altered forms of the protein. MAB21L2 had no detectable nucleotidyltransferase activity in vitro, and its function remains unknown. Induced expression of wild-type MAB21L2 in human embryonic kidney 293 cells increased phospho-ERK (pERK1/2) signaling. Compared to the wild-type and p.Arg247Gln proteins, the proteins with the Glu49 and Arg51 variants had increased stability. Abnormal persistence of pERK1/2 signaling in MAB21L2-expressing cells during development is a plausible pathogenic mechanism for the heterozygous mutations. The phenotype associated with the homozygous mutation might be a consequence of complete loss of MAB21L2 RNA binding, although the cellular function of this interaction remains unknown.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2014; 94(6):915-923. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for type 1 diabetes (T1D) have successfully identified more than 40 independent T1D associated tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). However, owing to technical limitations of copy number variants (CNVs) genotyping assays, the assessment of the role of CNVs has been limited to the subset of these in high linkage disequilibrium with tag SNPs. The contribution of untagged CNVs, often multi-allelic and difficult to genotype using existing assays, to the heritability of T1D remains an open question. To investigate this issue, we designed a custom comparative genetic hybridization array (aCGH) specifically designed to assay untagged CNV loci identified from a variety of sources. To overcome the technical limitations of the case control design for this class of CNVs, we genotyped the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC) family resource (representing 3,903 transmissions from parents to affected offspring) and used an association testing strategy that does not necessitate obtaining discrete genotypes. Our design targeted 4,309 CNVs, of which 3,410 passed stringent quality control filters. As a positive control, the scan confirmed the known T1D association at the INS locus by direct typing of the 5' variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) locus. Our results clarify the fact that the disease association is indistinguishable from the two main polymorphic allele classes of the INS VNTR, class I-and class III. We also identified novel technical artifacts resulting into spurious associations at the somatically rearranging loci, T cell receptor, TCRA/TCRD and TCRB, and Immunoglobulin heavy chain, IGH, loci on chromosomes 14q11.2, 7q34 and 14q32.33, respectively. However, our data did not identify novel T1D loci. Our results do not support a major role of untagged CNVs in T1D heritability.
    PLoS Genetics 05/2014; 10(5):e1004367. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defect worldwide and are a leading cause of neonatal mortality. Nonsyndromic atrioventricular septal defects (AVSDs) are an important subtype of CHDs for which the genetic architecture is poorly understood. We performed exome sequencing in 13 parent-offspring trios and 112 unrelated individuals with nonsyndromic AVSDs and identified five rare missense variants (two of which arose de novo) in the highly conserved gene NR2F2, a very significant enrichment (p = 7.7 × 10(-7)) compared to 5,194 control subjects. We identified three additional CHD-affected families with other variants in NR2F2 including a de novo balanced chromosomal translocation, a de novo substitution disrupting a splice donor site, and a 3 bp duplication that cosegregated in a multiplex family. NR2F2 encodes a pleiotropic developmental transcription factor, and decreased dosage of NR2F2 in mice has been shown to result in abnormal development of atrioventricular septa. Via luciferase assays, we showed that all six coding sequence variants observed in individuals significantly alter the activity of NR2F2 on target promoters.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 04/2014; 94(4):574-85. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify further Mendelian causes of intellectual disability (ID), we screened a cohort of 996 individuals with ID for variants in 565 known or candidate genes by using a targeted next-generation sequencing approach. Seven loss-of-function (LoF) mutations-four nonsense (c.1195A>T [p.Lys399(∗)], c.1333C>T [p.Arg445(∗)], c.1866C>G [p.Tyr622(∗)], and c.3001C>T [p.Arg1001(∗)]) and three frameshift (c.2177_2178del [p.Thr726Asnfs(∗)39], c.3771dup [p.Ser1258Glufs(∗)65], and c.3856del [p.Ser1286Leufs(∗)84])-were identified in SETD5, a gene predicted to encode a methyltransferase. All mutations were compatible with de novo dominant inheritance. The affected individuals had moderate to severe ID with additional variable features of brachycephaly; a prominent high forehead with synophrys or striking full and broad eyebrows; a long, thin, and tubular nose; long, narrow upslanting palpebral fissures; and large, fleshy low-set ears. Skeletal anomalies, including significant leg-length discrepancy, were a frequent finding in two individuals. Congenital heart defects, inguinal hernia, or hypospadias were also reported. Behavioral problems, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, hand flapping with ritualized behavior, and autism, were prominent features. SETD5 lies within the critical interval for 3p25 microdeletion syndrome. The individuals with SETD5 mutations showed phenotypic similarity to those previously reported with a deletion in 3p25, and thus loss of SETD5 might be sufficient to account for many of the clinical features observed in this condition. Our findings add to the growing evidence that mutations in genes encoding methyltransferases regulating histone modification are important causes of ID. This analysis provides sufficient evidence that rare de novo LoF mutations in SETD5 are a relatively frequent (0.7%) cause of ID.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 03/2014; · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies, DNA sequencing studies, and other genomic studies are finding an increasing number of genetic variants associated with clinical phenotypes that may be useful in developing diagnostic, preventive, and treatment strategies for individual patients. However, few variants have been integrated into routine clinical practice. The reasons for this are several, but two of the most significant are limited evidence about the clinical implications of the variants and a lack of a comprehensive knowledge base that captures genetic variants, their phenotypic associations, and other pertinent phenotypic information that is openly accessible to clinical groups attempting to interpret sequencing data. As the field of medicine begins to incorporate genome-scale analysis into clinical care, approaches need to be developed for collecting and characterizing data on the clinical implications of variants, developing consensus on their actionability, and making this information available for clinical use. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the Wellcome Trust thus convened a workshop to consider the processes and resources needed to: (1) identify clinically valid genetic variants; (2) decide whether they are actionable and what the action should be; and (3) provide this information for clinical use. This commentary outlines the key discussion points and recommendations from the workshop. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C Seminars in Medical Genetics 03/2014; · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) between highly similar duplicated sequences generates chromosomal deletions, duplications and inversions, which can cause diverse genetic disorders. Little is known about interindividual variation in NAHR rates and the factors that influence this. We estimated the rate of deletion at the CMT1A-REP NAHR hotspot in sperm DNA from 34 male donors, including 16 monozygotic (MZ) co-twins (8 twin pairs) aged 24 to 67 years old. The average NAHR rate was 3.5×10-5 with a seven-fold variation across individuals. Despite good statistical power to detect even a subtle correlation, we observed no relationship between age of unrelated individuals and the rate of NAHR in their sperm, likely reflecting the meiotic-specific origin of these events. We then estimated the heritability of deletion rate by calculating the intraclass correlation (ICC) within MZ co-twins, revealing a significant correlation between MZ co-twins (ICC = 0.784, p = 0.0039), with MZ co-twins being significantly more correlated than unrelated pairs. We showed that this heritability cannot be explained by variation in PRDM9, a known regulator of NAHR, or variation within the NAHR hotspot itself. We also did not detect any correlation between Body Mass Index (BMI), smoking status or alcohol intake and rate of NAHR. Our results suggest that other, as yet unidentified, genetic or environmental factors play a significant role in the regulation of NAHR and are responsible for the extensive variation in the population for the probability of fathering a child with a genomic disorder resulting from a pathogenic deletion.
    PLoS Genetics 03/2014; 10(3):e1004195. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The genetic aetiology of non-aneuploid fetal structural abnormalities is typically investigated by karyotyping and array-based detection of microscopically detectable rearrangements, and submicroscopic copy number variants (CNVs), which collectively yield a pathogenic finding in up to 10% of cases. We propose that exome sequencing may substantially increase the identification of underlying aetiologies.We performed exome sequencing on a cohort of 30 non-aneuploid fetuses and neonates (along with their parents) with diverse structural abnormalities first identified by prenatal ultrasound. We identified candidate pathogenic variants with a range of inheritance models, and evaluated these in the context of detailed phenotypic information.We identified 35 de novo single nucleotide variants (SNVs), small indels, deletions or duplications, of which three (accounting for 10% of the cohort) are highly likely to be causative. These are de novo missense variants in FGFR3 and COL2A1, and a de novo 16·8 kb deletion that includes most of OFD1. In five further cases (17%) we identified de novo or inherited recessive or X-linked variants in plausible candidate genes, which require additional validation to determine pathogenicity.Our diagnostic yield of 10% is comparable to, and supplementary to, the diagnostic yield of existing microarray testing for large chromosomal rearrangements and targeted CNV detection. The de novo nature of these events could enable couples to be counselled as to their low recurrence risk. This study outlines the way for a substantial improvement in the diagnostic yield of prenatal genetic abnormalities through the application of next generation sequencing.
    Human Molecular Genetics 01/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent advances in sequencing technology allow data on the human genome to be generated more quickly and in greater detail than ever before. Such detail includes findings that may be of significance to the health of the research participant involved. Although research studies generally do not feed back information on clinically significant findings (CSFs) to participants, this stance is increasingly being questioned. There may be difficulties and risks in feeding clinically significant information back to research participants, however, the UK10K consortium sought to address these by creating a detailed management pathway. This was not intended to create any obligation upon the researchers to feed back any CSFs they discovered. Instead, it provides a mechanism to ensure that any such findings can be passed on to the participant where appropriate. This paper describes this mechanism and the specific criteria, which must be fulfilled in order for a finding and participant to qualify for feedback. This mechanism could be used by future research consortia, and may also assist in the development of sound principles for dealing with CSFs.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 15 January 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.290.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 01/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Several copy number variants (CNVs) have been implicated as susceptibility factors for schizophrenia (SZ). Some of these same CNVs also increase risk for autism spectrum disorders, suggesting an etiologic overlap between these conditions. Recently, de novo duplications of a region on chromosome 7q11.23 were associated with autism spectrum disorders. The reciprocal deletion of this region causes Williams-Beuren syndrome. Methods We assayed an Ashkenazi Jewish cohort of 554 SZ cases and 1014 controls for genome-wide CNV. An excess of large rare and de novo CNVs were observed, including a 1.4 Mb duplication on chromosome 7q11.23 identified in two unrelated patients. To test whether this 7q11.23 duplication is also associated with SZ, we obtained data for 14,387 SZ cases and 28,139 controls from seven additional studies with high-resolution genome-wide CNV detection. We performed a meta-analysis, correcting for study population of origin, to assess whether the duplication is associated with SZ. Results We found duplications at 7q11.23 in 11 of 14,387 SZ cases with only 1 in 28,139 control subjects (unadjusted odds ratio 21.52, 95% confidence interval: 3.13–922.6, p value 5.5 × 10−5; adjusted odds ratio 10.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.46–79.62, p value .007). Of three SZ duplication carriers with detailed retrospective data, all showed social anxiety and language delay premorbid to SZ onset, consistent with both human studies and animal models of the 7q11.23 duplication. Conclusions We have identified a new CNV associated with SZ. Reciprocal duplication of the Williams-Beuren syndrome deletion at chromosome 7q11.23 confers an approximately tenfold increase in risk for SZ.
    Biological psychiatry 01/2014; 75(5):371–377. · 8.93 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

15k Citations
2,433.67 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2014
    • Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
      • Cancer Genome Project
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2000–2014
    • University of Cambridge
      • • Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
      • • McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
      • • Department of Pathology
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007–2011
    • SickKids
      • Centre of Applied Genomics (TCAG)
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Human Genetics
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 2009
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • Department of Molecular & Human Genetics
      Houston, TX, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1999–2004
    • University of Leicester
      • Department of Genetics
      Leicester, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2003
    • University of Oxford
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Oxford, ENG, United Kingdom