[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although there are many methods available for inferring copy-number variants (CNVs) from next-generation sequence data, there remains a need for a system that is computationally efficient but that retains good sensitivity and specificity across all types of CNVs. Here, we introduce a new method, estimation by read depth with single-nucleotide variants (ERDS), and use various approaches to compare its performance to other methods. We found that for common CNVs and high-coverage genomes, ERDS performs as well as the best method currently available (Genome STRiP), whereas for rare CNVs and high-coverage genomes, ERDS performs better than any available method. Importantly, ERDS accommodates both unique and highly amplified regions of the genome and does so without requiring separate alignments for calling CNVs and other variants. These comparisons show that for genomes sequenced at high coverage, ERDS provides a computationally convenient method that calls CNVs as well as or better than any currently available method.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2012; 91(3):408-21. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder with strong heritability and marked heterogeneity in symptoms, course, and treatment response. There is strong interest in identifying genetic risk factors that can help to elucidate the pathophysiology and that might result in the development of improved treatments. Linkage and genome-wide association studies (GWASs) suggest that the genetic basis of schizophrenia is heterogeneous. However, it remains unclear whether the underlying genetic variants are mostly moderately rare and can be identified by the genotyping of variants observed in sequenced cases in large follow-up cohorts or whether they will typically be much rarer and therefore more effectively identified by gene-based methods that seek to combine candidate variants. Here, we consider 166 persons who have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and who have had either their genomes or their exomes sequenced to high coverage. From these data, we selected 5,155 variants that were further evaluated in an independent cohort of 2,617 cases and 1,800 controls. No single variant showed a study-wide significant association in the initial or follow-up cohorts. However, we identified a number of case-specific variants, some of which might be real risk factors for schizophrenia, and these can be readily interrogated in other data sets. Our results indicate that schizophrenia risk is unlikely to be predominantly influenced by variants just outside the range detectable by GWASs. Rather, multiple rarer genetic variants must contribute substantially to the predisposition to schizophrenia, suggesting that both very large sample sizes and gene-based association tests will be required for securely identifying genetic risk factors.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2012; 91(2):303-12. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) is a complex disease with high heritability, but little is known about its genetic architecture. Rare copy-number variants have been found to explain nearly 3% of individuals with IGE; however, it remains unclear whether variants with moderate effect size and frequencies below what are reliably detected with genome-wide association studies contribute significantly to disease risk. In this study, we compare the exome sequences of 118 individuals with IGE and 242 controls of European ancestry by using next-generation sequencing. The exome-sequenced epilepsy cases include study subjects with two forms of IGE, including juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (n = 93) and absence epilepsy (n = 25). However, our discovery strategy did not assume common genetic control between the subtypes of IGE considered. In the sequence data, as expected, no variants were significantly associated with the IGE phenotype or more specific IGE diagnoses. We then selected 3,897 candidate epilepsy-susceptibility variants from the sequence data and genotyped them in a larger set of 878 individuals with IGE and 1,830 controls. Again, no variant achieved statistical significance. However, 1,935 variants were observed exclusively in cases either as heterozygous or homozygous genotypes. It is likely that this set of variants includes real risk factors. The lack of significant association evidence of single variants with disease in this two-stage approach emphasizes the high genetic heterogeneity of epilepsy disorders, suggests that the impact of any individual single-nucleotide variant in this disease is small, and indicates that gene-based approaches might be more successful for future sequencing studies of epilepsy predisposition.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2012; 91(2):293-302. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is a rare, severe neurodevelopmental syndrome characterized by recurrent hemiplegic episodes and distinct neurological manifestations. AHC is usually a sporadic disorder and has unknown etiology. We used exome sequencing of seven patients with AHC and their unaffected parents to identify de novo nonsynonymous mutations in ATP1A3 in all seven individuals. In a subsequent sequence analysis of ATP1A3 in 98 other patients with AHC, we found that ATP1A3 mutations were likely to be responsible for at least 74% of the cases; we also identified one inherited mutation in a case of familial AHC. Notably, most AHC cases are caused by one of seven recurrent ATP1A3 mutations, one of which was observed in 36 patients. Unlike ATP1A3 mutations that cause rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism, AHC-causing mutations in this gene caused consistent reductions in ATPase activity without affecting the level of protein expression. This work identifies de novo ATP1A3 mutations as the primary cause of AHC and offers insight into disease pathophysiology by expanding the spectrum of phenotypes associated with mutations in ATP1A3.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic variation of inosine triphosphatase (ITPA) causing an accumulation of inosine triphosphate (ITP) has been shown to protect patients against ribavirin (RBV)-induced anemia during treatment for chronic hepatitis C infection by genome-wide association study (GWAS). However, the biologic mechanism by which this occurs is unknown.
We examined whether ITP can be used by adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) in human erythrocytes or recombinant human adenylosuccinate synthase (ADSS). RBV-induced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) reduction in erythrocytes was compared with the genetically determined low or normal activity of ITPA, leading respectively to high or normal ITP levels.
Although ITP is not used directly by human erythrocyte ATPase, it can be used for ATP biosynthesis via ADSS in place of guanosine triphosphate (GTP). With RBV challenge, erythrocyte ATP reduction was more severe in the wild-type ITPA genotype than in the hemolysis protective ITPA genotype. This difference also remains after inhibiting adenosine uptake using nitrobenzylmercaptopurine riboside (NBMPR). Interestingly, the alleviation of ATP reduction by the hemolysis protective ITPA genotype was canceled by the ADSS inhibitor 6-mercaptoethanol (6-MP).
ITP confers protection against RBV-induced ATP reduction by substituting for erythrocyte GTP, which is depleted by RBV, in the biosynthesis of ATP. Because patients with excess ITP appear largely protected against anemia, these results confirm that RBV-induced anemia is due primarily to the effect of the drug on GTP and consequently ATP levels in erythrocytes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of twenty human genomes to evaluate the prospects for identifying rare functional variants that contribute to a phenotype of interest. We sequenced at high coverage ten "case" genomes from individuals with severe hemophilia A and ten "control" genomes. We summarize the number of genetic variants emerging from a study of this magnitude, and provide a proof of concept for the identification of rare and highly-penetrant functional variants by confirming that the cause of hemophilia A is easily recognizable in this data set. We also show that the number of novel single nucleotide variants (SNVs) discovered per genome seems to stabilize at about 144,000 new variants per genome, after the first 15 individuals have been sequenced. Finally, we find that, on average, each genome carries 165 homozygous protein-truncating or stop loss variants in genes representing a diverse set of pathways.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although more than 2,400 genes have been shown to contain variants that cause Mendelian disease, there are still several thousand such diseases yet to be molecularly defined. The ability of new whole-genome sequencing technologies to rapidly indentify most of the genetic variants in any given genome opens an exciting opportunity to identify these disease genes. Here we sequenced the whole genome of a single patient with the dominant Mendelian disease, metachondromatosis (OMIM 156250), and used partial linkage data from her small family to focus our search for the responsible variant. In the proband, we identified an 11 bp deletion in exon four of PTPN11, which alters frame, results in premature translation termination, and co-segregates with the phenotype. In a second metachondromatosis family, we confirmed our result by identifying a nonsense mutation in exon 4 of PTPN11 that also co-segregates with the phenotype. Sequencing PTPN11 exon 4 in 469 controls showed no such protein truncating variants, supporting the pathogenicity of these two mutations. This combination of a new technology and a classical genetic approach provides a powerful strategy to discover the genes responsible for unexplained Mendelian disorders.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deletions at 16p13.11 are associated with schizophrenia, mental retardation, and most recently idiopathic generalized epilepsy. To evaluate the role of 16p13.11 deletions, as well as other structural variation, in epilepsy disorders, we used genome-wide screens to identify copy number variation in 3812 patients with a diverse spectrum of epilepsy syndromes and in 1299 neurologically-normal controls. Large deletions (> 100 kb) at 16p13.11 were observed in 23 patients, whereas no control had a deletion greater than 16 kb. Patients, even those with identically sized 16p13.11 deletions, presented with highly variable epilepsy phenotypes. For a subset of patients with a 16p13.11 deletion, we show a consistent reduction of expression for included genes, suggesting that haploinsufficiency might contribute to pathogenicity. We also investigated another possible mechanism of pathogenicity by using hybridization-based capture and next-generation sequencing of the homologous chromosome for ten 16p13.11-deletion patients to look for unmasked recessive mutations. Follow-up genotyping of suggestive polymorphisms failed to identify any convincing recessive-acting mutations in the homologous interval corresponding to the deletion. The observation that two of the 16p13.11 deletions were larger than 2 Mb in size led us to screen for other large deletions. We found 12 additional genomic regions harboring deletions > 2 Mb in epilepsy patients, and none in controls. Additional evaluation is needed to characterize the role of these exceedingly large, non-locus-specific deletions in epilepsy. Collectively, these data implicate 16p13.11 and possibly other large deletions as risk factors for a wide range of epilepsy disorders, and they appear to point toward haploinsufficiency as a contributor to the pathogenicity of deletions.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 05/2010; 86(5):707-18. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We performed a whole-genome association study of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) set point among a cohort of African Americans (n = 515), and an intronic single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the HLA-B gene showed one of the strongest associations. We use a subset of patients to demonstrate that this SNP reflects the effect of the HLA-B*5703 allele, which shows a genome-wide statistically significant association with viral load set point (P = 5.6 x 10(-10)). These analyses therefore confirm a member of the HLA-B*57 group of alleles as the most important common variant that influences viral load variation in African Americans, which is consistent with what has been observed for individuals of European ancestry, among whom the most important common variant is HLA-B*5701.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 03/2010; 201(8):1141-9. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects 170 million people worldwide and is an important cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. The standard of care therapy combines pegylated interferon (pegIFN) alpha and ribavirin (RBV), and is associated with a range of treatment-limiting adverse effects. One of the most important of these is RBV-induced haemolytic anaemia, which affects most patients and is severe enough to require dose modification in up to 15% of patients. Here we show that genetic variants leading to inosine triphosphatase deficiency, a condition not thought to be clinically important, protect against haemolytic anaemia in hepatitis-C-infected patients receiving RBV.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To extend the understanding of host genetic determinants of HIV-1 control, we performed a genome-wide association study in a cohort of 2,554 infected Caucasian subjects. The study was powered to detect common genetic variants explaining down to 1.3% of the variability in viral load at set point. We provide overwhelming confirmation of three associations previously reported in a genome-wide study and show further independent effects of both common and rare variants in the Major Histocompatibility Complex region (MHC). We also examined the polymorphisms reported in previous candidate gene studies and fail to support a role for any variant outside of the MHC or the chemokine receptor cluster on chromosome 3. In addition, we evaluated functional variants, copy-number polymorphisms, epistatic interactions, and biological pathways. This study thus represents a comprehensive assessment of common human genetic variation in HIV-1 control in Caucasians.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate systematically in real clinical settings whether functional genetic variations in drug metabolizing enzymes influence optimized doses, efficacy, and safety of antipsychotic medications.
DNA was collected from 750 patients with chronic schizophrenia treated with five antipsychotic drugs (olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, ziprasidone, and perphenazine) as part of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness study. Doses for each of the medicines were optimized to 1, 2, 3, or 4x units in identically appearing capsules in a double-blind design. We analyzed 25 known functional genetic variants in the major and minor metabolizing enzymes for each medication. These variants were tested for association with optimized dose and other relevant clinical outcomes.
None of the tested variants showed a nominally significant main effect in association with any of the tested phenotypes in European-Americans, African-Americans, or all patients. Even after accounting for potential covariates, no genetic variant was found to be associated with dosing, efficacy, overall tolerability, or tardive dyskinesia.
There are no strong associations between common functional genetic variants in drug metabolizing enzymes and dosing, safety, or efficacy of leading antipsychotics, strongly suggesting merely modest effects on the use of these medicines in most patients in typical clinical settings.
Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 10/2008; 10(10):720-9. · 3.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It was recently suggested that the Kibra polymorphism rs17070145 has a strong effect on multiple episodic memory tasks in humans. We attempted to replicate this using two cohorts of European genetic origin (n = 319 and n = 365). We found no association with either the original SNP or a set of tagging SNPs in the Kibra gene with multiple verbal memory tasks, including one that was an exact replication (Auditory Verbal Learning Task, AVLT). These results suggest that Kibra does not have a strong and general effect on human memory.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 08/2008; 147B(5):667-8. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Epilepsy Genetics (EPIGEN) Consortium was established to undertake genetic mapping analyses with augmented statistical power to detect variants that influence the development and treatment of common forms of epilepsy.
We examined common variations across 279 prime candidate genes in 2717 case and 1118 control samples collected at four independent research centres (in the UK, Ireland, Finland, and Australia). Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and combined set-association analyses were used to examine the contribution of genetic variation in the candidate genes to various forms of epilepsy.
We did not identify clear, indisputable common genetic risk factors that contribute to selected epilepsy subphenotypes across multiple populations. Nor did we identify risk factors for the general all-epilepsy phenotype. However, set-association analysis on the most significant p values, assessed under permutation, suggested the contribution of numerous SNPs to disease predisposition in an apparent population-specific manner. Variations in the genes KCNAB1, GABRR2, KCNMB4, SYN2, and ALDH5A1 were most notable.
The underlying genetic component to sporadic epilepsy is clearly complex. Results suggest that many SNPs contribute to disease predisposition in an apparently population-specific manner. However, subtle differences in phenotyping across cohorts, combined with a poor understanding of how the underlying genetic component to epilepsy aligns with current phenotypic classifications, might also account for apparent population-specific genetic risk factors. Variations across five genes warrant further study in independent cohorts to clarify the tentative association.
The Lancet Neurology 12/2007; 6(11):970-80. · 23.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding why some people establish and maintain effective control of HIV-1 and others do not is a priority in the effort to develop new treatments for HIV/AIDS. Using a whole-genome association strategy, we identified polymorphisms that explain nearly 15% of the variation among individuals in viral load during the asymptomatic set-point period of infection. One of these is found within an endogenous retroviral element and is associated with major histocompatibility allele human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B*5701, whereas a second is located near the HLA-C gene. An additional analysis of the time to HIV disease progression implicated two genes, one of which encodes an RNA polymerase I subunit. These findings emphasize the importance of studying human genetic variation as a guide to combating infectious agents.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genetic basis of variation in human cognitive abilities is poorly understood. RIMS1 encodes a synapse active-zone protein with important roles in the maintenance of normal synaptic function: mice lacking this protein have greatly reduced learning ability and memory function.
An established paradigm examining the structural and functional effects of mutations in genes expressed in the eye and the brain was used to study a kindred with an inherited retinal dystrophy due to RIMS1 mutation. Materials and
Neuropsychological tests and high-resolution MRI brain scanning were undertaken in the kindred. In a population cohort, neuropsychological scores were associated with common variation in RIMS1. Additionally, RIMS1 was sequenced in top-scoring individuals. Evolution of RIMS1 was assessed, and its expression in developing human brain was studied.
Affected individuals showed significantly enhanced cognitive abilities across a range of domains. Analysis suggests that factors other than RIMS1 mutation were unlikely to explain enhanced cognition. No association with common variation and verbal IQ was found in the population cohort, and no other mutations in RIMS1 were detected in the highest scoring individuals from this cohort. RIMS1 protein is expressed in developing human brain, but RIMS1 does not seem to have been subjected to accelerated evolution in man.
A possible role for RIMS1 in the enhancement of cognitive function at least in this kindred is suggested. Although further work is clearly required to explore these findings before a role for RIMS1 in human cognition can be formally accepted, the findings suggest that genetic mutation may enhance human cognition in some cases.
Journal of Medical Genetics 07/2007; 44(6):373-80. · 5.70 Impact Factor