Tomi Pastinen

McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (73)991.2 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Most complex disease-associated genetic variants are located in non-coding regions and are therefore thought to be regulatory in nature. Association mapping of differential allelic expression (AE) is a powerful method to identify SNPs with direct cis-regulatory impact (cis-rSNPs). We used AE mapping to identify cis-rSNPs regulating gene expression in 55 and 63 HapMap lymphoblastoid cell lines from a Caucasian and an African population, respectively, 70 fibroblast cell lines, and 188 purified monocyte samples and found 40–60% of these cis-rSNPs to be shared across cell types. We uncover a new class of cis-rSNPs, which disrupt footprint-derived de novo motifs that are predominantly bound by repressive factors and are implicated in disease susceptibility through overlaps with GWAS SNPs. Finally, we provide the proof-of-principle for a new approach for genome-wide functional validation of transcription factor–SNP interactions. By perturbing NFκB action in lymphoblasts, we identified 489 cis-regulated transcripts with altered AE after NFκB perturbation. Altogether, we perform a comprehensive analysis of cis-variation in four cell populations and provide new tools for the identification of functional variants associated to complex diseases.
    Molecular Systems Biology 10/2014; 10(10). · 11.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allele-specific (AS) assessment of chromatin has the potential to elucidate specific cis-regulatory mechanisms, which are predicted to underlie the majority of the known genetic associations to complex disease. However, development of chromatin landscapes at allelic resolution has been challenging since sites of variable signal strength require substantial read depths not commonly applied in sequencing based approaches. In this study, we addressed this by performing parallel analyses of input DNA and chromatin immunoprecipitates (ChIP) on high-density Illumina genotyping arrays. Allele-specificity for the histone modifications H3K4me1, H3K4me3, H3K27ac, H3K27me3, and H3K36me3 was assessed using ChIP samples generated from 14 lymphoblast and 6 fibroblast cell lines. AS-ChIP SNPs were combined into domains and validated using high-confidence ChIP-seq sites. We observed characteristic patterns of allelic-imbalance for each histone-modification around allele-specifically expressed transcripts. Notably, we found H3K4me1 to be significantly anti-correlated with allelic expression (AE) at transcription start sites, indicating H3K4me1 allelic imbalance as a marker of AE. We also found that allelic chromatin domains exhibit population and cell-type specificity as well as heritability within trios. Finally, we observed that a subset of allelic chromatin domains is regulated by DNase I-sensitive quantitative trait loci and that these domains are significantly enriched for genome-wide association studies hits, with autoimmune disease associated SNPs specifically enriched in lymphoblasts. This study provides the first genome-wide maps of allelic-imbalance for five histone marks. Our results provide new insights into the role of chromatin in cis-regulation and highlight the need for high-depth sequencing in ChIP-seq studies along with the need to improve allele-specificity of ChIP-enrichment.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 07/2014; 9(9). · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA methylation plays an essential role in the regulation of gene expression. While its presence near the transcription start site of a gene has been associated with reduced expression, the variation in methylation levels across individuals, its environmental or genetic causes, and its association with gene expression remain poorly understood. We report the joint analysis of sequence variants, gene expression and DNA methylation in primary fibroblast samples derived from a set of 62 unrelated individuals. Approximately 2% of the most variable CpG sites are mappable in cis to sequence variation, usually within 5 kb. Via eQTL analysis with microarray data combined with mapping of allelic expression regions, we obtained a set of 2,770 regions mappable in cis to sequence variation. In 9.5% of these expressed regions, an associated SNP was also a methylation QTL. Methylation and gene expression are often correlated without direct discernible involvement of sequence variation, but not always in the expected direction of negative for promoter CpGs and positive for gene-body CpGs. Population-level correlation between methylation and expression is strongest in a subset of developmentally significant genes, including all four HOX clusters. The presence and sign of this correlation are best predicted using specific chromatin marks rather than position of the CpG site with respect to the gene. Our results indicate a wide variety of relationships between gene expression, DNA methylation and sequence variation in untransformed adult human fibroblasts, with considerable involvement of chromatin features and some discernible involvement of sequence variation.
    Genome biology 02/2014; 15(2):R37. · 10.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We applied genome-wide allele-specific expression analysis of monocytes from 188 samples. Monocytes were purified from white blood cells of healthy blood donors to detect cis-acting genetic variation that regulates the expression of long non-coding RNAs. We analysed 8929 regions harboring genes for potential long non-coding RNA that were retrieved from data from the ENCODE project. Of these regions, 60% were annotated as intergenic, which implies that they do not overlap with protein-coding genes. Focusing on the intergenic regions, and using stringent analysis of the allele-specific expression data, we detected robust cis-regulatory SNPs in 258 out of 489 informative intergenic regions included in the analysis. The cis-regulatory SNPs that were significantly associated with allele-specific expression of long non-coding RNAs were enriched to enhancer regions marked for active or bivalent, poised chromatin by histone modifications. Out of the lncRNA regions regulated by cis-acting regulatory SNPs, 20% (n = 52) were co-regulated with the closest protein coding gene. We compared the identified cis-regulatory SNPs with those in the catalog of SNPs identified by genome-wide association studies of human diseases and traits. This comparison identified 32 SNPs in loci from genome-wide association studies that displayed a strong association signal with allele-specific expression of non-coding RNAs in monocytes, with p-values ranging from 6.7×10-7 to 9.5×10-89. The identified cis-regulatory SNPs are associated with diseases of the immune system, like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e102612. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most complex disease-associated genetic variants are located in non-coding regions and are therefore thought to be regulatory in nature. Association mapping of differential allelic expression (AE) is a powerful method to identify SNPs with direct cis-regulatory impact (cis-rSNPs). We used AE mapping to identify cis-rSNPs regulating gene expression in 55 and 63 HapMap lymphoblastoid cell lines from a Caucasian and an African population, respectively, 70 fibroblast cell lines, and 188 purified monocyte samples and found 40-60% of these cis-rSNPs to be shared across cell types. We uncover a new class of cis-rSNPs, which disrupt footprint-derived de novo motifs that are predominantly bound by repressive factors and are implicated in disease susceptibility through overlaps with GWAS SNPs. Finally, we provide the proof-of-principle for a new approach for genome-wide functional validation of transcription factor-SNP interactions. By perturbing NFκB action in lymphoblasts, we identified 489 cis-regulated transcripts with altered AE after NFκB perturbation. Altogether, we perform a comprehensive analysis of cis-variation in four cell populations and provide new tools for the identification of functional variants associated to complex diseases.
    Molecular systems biology. 01/2014; 10(10):754.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives We coupled two strategies – trait extremes and genome-wide pooling – to discover a novel BP locus that encodes a previously uncharacterized thiamine transporter. Background Hypertension is a heritable trait that remains the most potent and widespread cardiovascular risk factor, though details of its genetic determination are poorly understood. Methods. Representative genomic DNA pools were created from male and female subjects in the highest and lowest 5th %iles of BP in a primary care population of >50,000 individuals. The peak associated SNPs were typed in individual DNA samples, as well as twins/siblings phenotyped for cardiovascular and autonomic traits. Biochemical properties of the associated transporter were evaluated in cellular assays. Results After chip hybridization and calculation of relative allele scores, the peak associations were typed in individual samples, revealing association of hypertension, SBP, and DBP to the previously uncharacterized solute carrier SLC35F3. The BP genetic association at SLC35F3 was validated by meta-analysis in an independent sample from the original source population, as well as the ICBP (across North America and Western Europe). Sequence homology to a putative yeast thiamine (vitamin B1) transporter prompted us to express human SLC35F3 in E. coli, which catalyzed [3H]-thiamine uptake. SLC35F3 risk allele (T/T) homozygotes displayed decreased erythrocyte thiamine content on microbiological assay. In twin pairs, the SLC35F3 risk allele predicted heritable cardiovascular traits previously associated with thiamine deficiency, including elevated cardiac stroke volume with decreased vascular resistance, and elevated pressor responses to environmental (cold) stress. Allelic expression imbalance (AEI) confirmed that cis-variation at the human SLC35F3 locus influenced expression of that gene, and the AEI peak coincided with the hypertension peak. Conclusions Novel strategies were coupled to position a new hypertension susceptibility locus, uncovering a previously unsuspected thiamine transporter whose genetic variants predicted several disturbances in cardiac and autonomic function. The results have implications for the pathogenesis and treatment of systemic hypertension.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 01/2014; · 14.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Embryonal tumors with multilayered rosettes (ETMRs) are rare, deadly pediatric brain tumors characterized by high-level amplification of the microRNA cluster C19MC. We performed integrated genetic and epigenetic analyses of 12 ETMR samples and identified, in all cases, C19MC fusions to TTYH1 driving expression of the microRNAs. ETMR tumors, cell lines and xenografts showed a specific DNA methylation pattern distinct from those of other tumors and normal tissues. We detected extreme overexpression of a previously uncharacterized isoform of DNMT3B originating at an alternative promoter that is active only in the first weeks of neural tube development. Transcriptional and immunohistochemical analyses suggest that C19MC-dependent DNMT3B deregulation is mediated by RBL2, a known repressor of DNMT3B. Transfection with individual C19MC microRNAs resulted in DNMT3B upregulation and RBL2 downregulation in cultured cells. Our data suggest a potential oncogenic re-engagement of an early developmental program in ETMR via epigenetic alteration mediated by an embryonic, brain-specific DNMT3B isoform.
    Nature Genetics 12/2013; · 35.21 Impact Factor
  • Nature Biotechnology 12/2013; 31(12):1082. · 32.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) results in the silencing of most genes on one X chromosome, yielding mono-allelic expression in individual cells. However, random XCI results in expression of both alleles in most females. Allelic imbalance has been used genome-wide to detect mono-allelically expressed genes. Analysis of X-linked allelic imbalance in females with skewed XCI offers the opportunity to identify genes that escape XCI with bi-allelic expression in contrast to those with mono-allelic expression and which are therefore subject to XCI. We determine XCI status for 409 genes, all of which have at least five informative females in our dataset. The majority of genes are subject to XCI and genes that escape from XCI show a continuum of expression from the inactive X. Inactive X expression corresponds to differences in the level of histone modification detected by allelic imbalance after chromatin immunoprecipitation. Differences in XCI between populations and between cell lines derived from different tissues are observed. We demonstrate that allelic imbalance can be used to determine an inactivation status for X-linked genes, even without completely non-random XCI. There is a range of expression from the inactive X. Genes escaping XCI, including those that do so in only a subset of females, cluster together, demonstrating that XCI and location on the X chromosome are related. In addition to revealing mechanisms involved in cis-gene regulation, determining which genes escape XCI can expand our understanding of the contributions of X-linked genes to sexual dimorphism.
    Genome biology 11/2013; 14(11):R122. · 10.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although aberrant DNA methylation has been observed previously in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the patterns of differential methylation have not been comprehensively determined in all subtypes of ALL on a genome-wide scale. The relationship between DNA methylation, cytogenetic background, drug resistance and relapse in ALL is poorly understood. We surveyed the DNA methylation levels of 435,941 CpG sites in samples from 764 children at diagnosis of ALL and from 27 children at relapse. This survey uncovered four characteristic methylation signatures. First, compared with control blood cells, the methylomes of ALL cells shared 9,406 predominantly hypermethylated CpG sites, independent of cytogenetic background. Second, each cytogenetic subtype of ALL displayed a unique set of hyper- and hypomethylated CpG sites. The CpG sites that constituted these two signatures differed in their functional genomic enrichment to regions with marks of active or repressed chromatin. Third, we identified subtype-specific differential methylation in promoter and enhancer regions that were strongly correlated with gene expression. Fourth, a set of 6,612 CpG sites was predominantly hypermethylated in ALL cells at relapse, compared with matched samples at diagnosis. Analysis of relapse-free survival identified CpG sites with subtype-specific differential methylation that divided the patients into different risk groups, depending on their methylation status. Our results suggest an important biological role for DNA methylation in the differences between ALL subtypes and in their clinical outcome after treatment.
    Genome biology 09/2013; 14(9):r105. · 10.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The search for expression quantitative trait loci has traditionally centred entirely on the process of transcription, whereas variants with effects on messenger RNA translation have not been systematically studied. Here we present a high-throughput approach for measuring translational cis-regulation in the human genome. Using ribosomal association as proxy for translational efficiency of polymorphic messenger RNAs, we test the ratio of polysomal/non-polysomal messenger RNA level as a quantitative trait for association with single nucleotide polymorphisms on the same messenger RNA transcript. We identify one important ribosomal distribution effect, from rs1131017 in the 5'-untranslated region of RPS26, that is in high linkage disequilibrium with the 12q13 locus for susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. The effect on translation is confirmed at the protein level by quantitative western blots, both ex vivo and after in vitro translation. Our results are a proof-of-principle that allelic effects on translation can be detected at a transcriptome-wide scale.
    Nature Communications 07/2013; 4:2260. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While regulatory programs are extensively studied at the level of transcription, elements that are involved in regulation of post-transcriptional processes are largely unknown, and methods for systematic identification of these elements are in early stages. Here, using a novel computational framework, we have integrated sequence information with several functional genomics data sets to characterize conserved regulatory programs of trypanosomatids, a group of eukaryotes that almost entirely rely on post-transcriptional processes for regulation of mRNA abundance. This analysis revealed a complex network of linear and structural RNA elements that potentially govern mRNA abundance across different life stages and environmental conditions. Furthermore, we show that the conserved regulatory network that we have identified is responsive to chemical perturbation of several biological functions in trypanosomatids. We have further characterized one of the most abundant regulatory RNA elements that we discovered, an AU-rich element (ARE) that can be found in 3' untranslated region of many trypanosomatid genes. Using bioinformatics approaches as well as in vitro and in vivo experiments, we have identified three ELAV-like homologs, including the developmentally critical protein TbRBP6, which regulate abundance of a large number of trypanosomatid ARE-containing transcripts. Together, these studies lay out a roadmap for characterization of mechanisms that modulate development and metabolic pathways in trypanosomatids.
    Nucleic Acids Research 07/2013; · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-B ALL) is the most common pediatric cancer. Although the genetic determinants underlying disease onset remain unclear, epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation are suggested to contribute significantly to leukemogenesis. Using the Illumina 450k array we assessed DNA methylation in matched tumor-normal samples of 46 childhood pre-B ALL patients, extending single CpG-site resolution analysis of the pre-B ALL methylome beyond CpG-islands (CGIs). Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of CpG-site neighborhood, gene, or miRNA gene associated methylation levels separated the tumor cohort according to major pre-B ALL subtypes, and methylation in CGIs, CGI shores, and in regions around the transcription start site was found to significantly correlate with transcript expression. Focusing on samples carrying the t(12;21) ETV6-RUNX1 fusion we identified 119 subtype-specific high-confidence marker CpG-loci. Pathway analyses linked the CpG-loci associated genes with hematopoiesis and cancer. Further integration with whole transcriptome data showed the effects of methylation on expression of 17 potential drivers of leukemogenesis. Independent validation of array methylation and sequencing-derived transcript expression with Sequenom Epityper technology and quantitative real-time RT-PCR, respectively, indicates >80% empirical accuracy of our genome-wide findings. In summary, genome-wide DNA methylation profiling enabled us to separate pre-B ALL according to major subtypes, to map epigenetic biomarkers specific for the t(12;21) subtype, and through a combined methylome and transcriptome approach to identify downstream effects on candidate drivers of leukemogenesis.
    Cancer Research 05/2013; · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BRCA1-associated breast and ovarian cancer risks can be modified by common genetic variants. To identify further cancer risk-modifying loci, we performed a multi-stage GWAS of 11,705 BRCA1 carriers (of whom 5,920 were diagnosed with breast and 1,839 were diagnosed with ovarian cancer), with a further replication in an additional sample of 2,646 BRCA1 carriers. We identified a novel breast cancer risk modifier locus at 1q32 for BRCA1 carriers (rs2290854, P = 2.7×10(-8), HR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.09-1.20). In addition, we identified two novel ovarian cancer risk modifier loci: 17q21.31 (rs17631303, P = 1.4×10(-8), HR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.17-1.38) and 4q32.3 (rs4691139, P = 3.4×10(-8), HR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.17-1.38). The 4q32.3 locus was not associated with ovarian cancer risk in the general population or BRCA2 carriers, suggesting a BRCA1-specific association. The 17q21.31 locus was also associated with ovarian cancer risk in 8,211 BRCA2 carriers (P = 2×10(-4)). These loci may lead to an improved understanding of the etiology of breast and ovarian tumors in BRCA1 carriers. Based on the joint distribution of the known BRCA1 breast cancer risk-modifying loci, we estimated that the breast cancer lifetime risks for the 5% of BRCA1 carriers at lowest risk are 28%-50% compared to 81%-100% for the 5% at highest risk. Similarly, based on the known ovarian cancer risk-modifying loci, the 5% of BRCA1 carriers at lowest risk have an estimated lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer of 28% or lower, whereas the 5% at highest risk will have a risk of 63% or higher. Such differences in risk may have important implications for risk prediction and clinical management for BRCA1 carriers.
    PLoS Genetics 03/2013; 9(3):e1003212. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the commonest cause of death. Here, we report an association analysis in 63,746 CAD cases and 130,681 controls identifying 15 loci reaching genome-wide significance, taking the number of susceptibility loci for CAD to 46, and a further 104 independent variants (r2 < 0.2) strongly associated with CAD at a 5% false discovery rate (FDR). Together, these variants explain approximately 10.6% of CAD heritability. Of the 46 genome-wide significant lead SNPs, 12 show a significant association with a lipid trait, and 5 show a significant association with blood pressure, but none is significantly associated with diabetes. Network analysis with 233 candidate genes (loci at 10% FDR) generated 5 interaction networks comprising 85% of these putative genes involved in CAD. The four most significant pathways mapping to these networks are linked to lipid metabolism and inflammation, underscoring the causal role of these activities in the genetic etiology of CAD. Our study provides insights into the genetic basis of CAD and identifies key biological pathways.
    Nature Genetics 12/2012; 45(1):25. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the commonest cause of death. Here, we report an association analysis in 63,746 CAD cases and 130,681 controls identifying 15 loci reaching genome-wide significance, taking the number of susceptibility loci for CAD to 46, and a further 104 independent variants (r(2) < 0.2) strongly associated with CAD at a 5% false discovery rate (FDR). Together, these variants explain approximately 10.6% of CAD heritability. Of the 46 genome-wide significant lead SNPs, 12 show a significant association with a lipid trait, and 5 show a significant association with blood pressure, but none is significantly associated with diabetes. Network analysis with 233 candidate genes (loci at 10% FDR) generated 5 interaction networks comprising 85% of these putative genes involved in CAD. The four most significant pathways mapping to these networks are linked to lipid metabolism and inflammation, underscoring the causal role of these activities in the genetic etiology of CAD. Our study provides insights into the genetic basis of CAD and identifies key biological pathways.
    Nature Genetics 12/2012; 45(1):25. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the commonest cause of death. Here, we report an association analysis in 63,746 CAD cases and 130,681 controls identifying 15 loci reaching genome-wide significance, taking the number of susceptibility loci for CAD to 46, and a further 104 independent variants (r2 < 0.2) strongly associated with CAD at a 5% false discovery rate (FDR). Together, these variants explain approximately 10.6% of CAD heritability. Of the 46 genome-wide significant lead SNPs, 12 show a significant association with a lipid trait, and 5 show a significant association with blood pressure, but none is significantly associated with diabetes. Network analysis with 233 candidate genes (loci at 10% FDR) generated 5 interaction networks comprising 85% of these putative genes involved in CAD. The four most significant pathways mapping to these networks are linked to lipid metabolism and inflammation, underscoring the causal role of these activities in the genetic etiology of CAD. Our study provides insights into the genetic basis of CAD and identifies key biological pathways.
    Nature Genetics 12/2012; 45(1):25. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual dimorphism in various bone phenotypes, including bone mineral density (BMD), is widely observed; however, the extent to which genes explain these sex differences is unclear. To identify variants with different effects by sex, we examined gene-by-sex autosomal interactions genome-wide, and performed expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis and bioinformatics network analysis. We conducted an autosomal genome-wide meta-analysis of gene-by-sex interaction on lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) BMD in 25,353 individuals from 8 cohorts. In a second stage, we followed up the 12 top single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; p < 1 × 10(-5) ) in an additional set of 24,763 individuals. Gene-by-sex interaction and sex-specific effects were examined in these 12 SNPs. We detected one novel genome-wide significant interaction associated with LS-BMD at the Chr3p26.1-p25.1 locus, near the GRM7 gene (male effect = 0.02 and p = 3.0 × 10(-5) ; female effect = -0.007 and p = 3.3 × 10(-2) ), and 11 suggestive loci associated with either FN- or LS-BMD in discovery cohorts. However, there was no evidence for genome-wide significant (p < 5 × 10(-8) ) gene-by-sex interaction in the joint analysis of discovery and replication cohorts. Despite the large collaborative effort, no genome-wide significant evidence for gene-by-sex interaction was found to influence BMD variation in this screen of autosomal markers. If they exist, gene-by-sex interactions for BMD probably have weak effects, accounting for less than 0.08% of the variation in these traits per implicated SNP. © 2012 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 06/2012; 27(10):2051-64. · 6.04 Impact Factor
  • The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 04/2012; 130(2):533-5. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone mineral density (BMD) is the most widely used predictor of fracture risk. We performed the largest meta-analysis to date on lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD, including 17 genome-wide association studies and 32,961 individuals of European and east Asian ancestry. We tested the top BMD-associated markers for replication in 50,933 independent subjects and for association with risk of low-trauma fracture in 31,016 individuals with a history of fracture (cases) and 102,444 controls. We identified 56 loci (32 new) associated with BMD at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10(-8)). Several of these factors cluster within the RANK-RANKL-OPG, mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, endochondral ossification and Wnt signaling pathways. However, we also discovered loci that were localized to genes not known to have a role in bone biology. Fourteen BMD-associated loci were also associated with fracture risk (P < 5 × 10(-4), Bonferroni corrected), of which six reached P < 5 × 10(-8), including at 18p11.21 (FAM210A), 7q21.3 (SLC25A13), 11q13.2 (LRP5), 4q22.1 (MEPE), 2p16.2 (SPTBN1) and 10q21.1 (DKK1). These findings shed light on the genetic architecture and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying BMD variation and fracture susceptibility.
    Nature Genetics 04/2012; 44(5):491-501. · 35.21 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
991.20 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2014
    • McGill University
      • • Department of Human Genetics
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2012
    • Uppsala University
      • Department of Medical Sciences
      Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2004–2006
    • University of California, Irvine
      • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      Irvine, CA, United States