[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Orofacial clefts are common birth defects with strong evidence for both genetic and environmental causal factors. Candidate gene studies combined with exposures known to influence the outcome provide a highly targeted approach to detecting GxE interactions. We developed a new statistical approach that combines the case-control and offspring-parent triad designs into a "hybrid design" to search for GxE interactions among 334 autosomal cleft candidate genes and maternal first-trimester exposure to smoking, alcohol, coffee, folic acid supplements, dietary folate and vitamin A. The study population comprised 425 case-parent triads of isolated clefts and 562 control-parent triads derived from a nationwide study of orofacial clefts in Norway (1996-2001). A full maximum-likelihood model was used in combination with a Wald test statistic to screen for statistically significant GxE interaction between strata of exposed and unexposed mothers. In addition, we performed pathway-based analyses on 28 detoxification genes and 21 genes involved in folic acid metabolism. With the possible exception of the T-box 4 gene (TBX4) and dietary folate interaction in isolated CPO, there was little evidence overall of GxE interaction in our data. This study is the largest to date aimed at detecting interactions between orofacial clefts candidate genes and well-established risk exposures.
Annals of Human Genetics 05/2012; 76(3):221-36. · 2.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Orofacial clefts are common birth defects of complex etiology, with an excess of males among babies with cleft lip and palate, and an excess of females among those with cleft palate only. Although genes on the X chromosome have been implicated in clefting, there has been no association analysis of X-linked markers.
We added new functionalities in the HAPLIN statistical software to enable association analysis of X-linked markers and an exploration of various causal scenarios relevant to orofacial clefts. Genotypes for 48 SNPs in 18 candidate genes on the X chromosome were analyzed in two population-based samples from Scandinavia (562 Norwegian and 235 Danish case-parent triads). For haplotype analysis, we used a sliding-window approach and assessed isolated cleft lip with or without cleft palate (iCL/P) separately from isolated cleft palate only (iCPO). We tested three statistical models in HAPLIN, allowing for: i) the same relative risk in males and females, ii) sex-specific relative risks, and iii) X-inactivation in females. We found weak but consistent associations with the oral-facial-digital syndrome 1 (OFD1) gene (formerly known as CXORF5) in the Danish iCL/P samples across all models, but not in the Norwegian iCL/P samples. In sex-specific analyses, the association with OFD1 was in male cases only. No analyses showed associations with iCPO in either the Norwegian or the Danish sample.
The association of OFD1 with iCL/P is plausible given the biological relevance of this gene. However, the lack of replication in the Norwegian samples highlights the need to verify these preliminary findings in other large datasets. More generally, the novel analytic methods presented here are widely applicable to investigations of the role of X-linked genes in complex traits.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e39240. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fetal conditions can in principle be affected by the mother's genotype working through the prenatal environment.
Genotypes for 1536 SNPs in 357 cleft candidate genes were available from a previous analysis in which we focused on fetal gene effects. After data-cleaning, genotypes for 1315 SNPs in 334 autosomal genes were available for the current analysis of maternal gene effects. Two complementary statistical methods, TRIMM and HAPLIN, were used to detect multi-marker effects in population-based samples from Norway (562 case-parent and 592 control-parent triads) and Denmark (235 case-parent triads). We analyzed isolated cleft lip with or without cleft palate (iCL/P) and isolated cleft palate only (iCP) separately and assessed replication by looking for genes detected in both populations by both methods. In iCL/P, neither TRIMM nor HAPLIN detected more genes than expected by chance alone; furthermore, the selected genes were not replicated across the two methods. In iCP, however, FLNB was identified by both methods in both populations. Although HIC1 and ZNF189 did not fully satisfy our stringency criterion for replication, they were strongly associated with iCP in TRIMM analyses of the Norwegian triads.
Except for FLNB, HIC1 and ZNF189, maternal genes did not appear to influence the risk of clefting in our data. This is consistent with recent epidemiological findings showing no apparent difference between mother-to-offspring and father-to-offspring recurrence of clefts in these two populations. It is likely that fetal genes make the major genetic contribution to clefting risk in these populations, but we cannot rule out the possibility that maternal genes can affect risk through interactions with specific teratogens or fetal genes.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(7):e11493. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the gene encoding interferon regulatory factor 6 (IRF6) underlie a common form of syndromic clefting known as Van der Woude syndrome. Lip pits and missing teeth are the only additional features distinguishing the syndrome from isolated clefts. Van der Woude syndrome, therefore, provides an excellent model for studying the isolated forms of clefting. From a population-based case-control study of facial clefts in Norway (1996-2001), we selected 377 cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P), 196 cleft palate only (CPO), and 763 control infant-parent triads for analysis. We genotyped six single nucleotide polymorphisms within the IRF6 locus and estimated the relative risks (RR) conferred on the child by alleles and haplotypes of the child and of the mother. On the whole, there were strong statistical associations with CL/P but not CPO in our data. In single-marker analyses, mothers with a double-dose of the 'a'-allele at rs4844880 had an increased risk of having a child with CL/P (RR=1.85, 95% confidence interval: 1.04-3.25; P=0.036). An RR of 0.38 (95% confidence interval: 0.16-0.92; P=0.031) was obtained when the child carried a single-dose of the 'a'-allele at rs2235371 (the p.V274I polymorphism). The P-value for the overall test was <0.001. In haplotype analyses, several of the fetal and maternal haplotype relative risks were statistically significant individually but were not strong enough to show up on the overall test (P=0.113). Taken together, these findings further support a role for IRF6 variants in clefting of the lip and provide specific risk estimates in a Norwegian population.