[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common and complex neurodegenerative disease. Age at onset (AAO) of AD is an important component phenotype with a genetic basis, and identification of genes in which variation affects AAO would contribute to identification of factors that affect timing of onset. Increase in AAO through prevention or therapeutic measures would have enormous benefits by delaying AD and its associated morbidities. In this paper, we performed a family-based genome wide association study for AAO of late-onset AD in whole exome sequence data generated in multigenerational families with multiple AD cases. We conducted single marker and gene-based burden tests for common and rare variants, respectively. We combined association analyses with variance component linkage analysis, and with reference to prior studies, in order to enhance evidence of the identified genes. For variants and genes implicated by the association study, we performed a gene-set enrichment analysis to identify potential novel pathways associated with AAO of AD. We found statistically significant association with AAO for three genes (WRN, NTN4, and LAMC3) with common associated variants, and for four genes (SLC8A3, SLC19A3, MADD, and LRRK2) with multiple rare associated variants that have a plausible biological function related to AD. The genes we have identified are in pathways that are strong candidates for involvement in the development of AD pathology and may lead to a better understanding of AD pathogenesis.
Genes Brain and Behavior 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/gbb.12250 · 3.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders, characterized by impairment in communication and social interactions, and by repetitive behaviors. ASDs are highly heritable, and estimates of the number of risk loci range from hundreds to >1000. We considered 7 extended families (size 12-47 individuals), each with ≥3 individuals affected by ASD. All individuals were genotyped with dense SNP panels. A small subset of each family was typed with whole exome sequence (WES). We used a 3-step approach for variant identification. First, we used family-specific parametric linkage analysis of the SNP data to identify regions of interest. Second, we filtered variants in these regions based on frequency and function, obtaining exactly 200 candidates. Third, we compared two approaches to narrowing this list further. We used information from the SNP data to impute exome variant dosages into those without WES. We regressed affected status on variant allele dosage, using pedigree-based kinship matrices to account for relationships. The p value for the test of the null hypothesis that variant allele dosage is unrelated to phenotype was used to indicate strength of evidence supporting the variant. A cutoff of p = 0.05 gave 28 variants. As an alternative third filter, we required Mendelian inheritance in those with WES, resulting in 70 variants. The imputation- and association-based approach was effective. We identified four strong candidate genes for ASD (SEZ6L, HISPPD1, FEZF1, SAMD11), all of which have been previously implicated in other studies, or have a strong biological argument for their relevance.
Human Genetics 07/2015; 134(10). DOI:10.1007/s00439-015-1585-y · 4.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The R47H variant in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 gene (TREM2), a modulator of the immune response of microglia, is a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD) and possibly other neurodegenerative disorders.
To investigate a large family with late-onset AD (LOAD), in which R47H cosegregated with 75% of cases.
This study includes genetic and pathologic studies of families with LOAD from 1985 to 2014. A total of 131 families with LOAD (751 individuals) were included from the University of Washington Alzheimer Disease Research Center. To identify LOAD genes/risk factors in the LOAD123 family with 21 affected members and 12 autopsies, we sequenced 4 exomes. Candidate variants were tested for cosegregation with the disease. TREM2 R47H was genotyped in an additional 130 families with LOAD. We performed clinical and neuropathological assessments of patients with and without R47H and evaluated the variant's effect on brain pathology, cellular morphology, and expression of microglial markers.
We assessed the effect of TREM2 genotype on age at onset and disease duration. We compared Braak and Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease scores, presence of α-synuclein and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 aggregates, and additional vascular or Parkinson pathology in TREM2 R47H carriers vs noncarriers. Microglial activation was assessed by quantitative immunohistochemistry and morphometry.
Twelve of 16 patients with AD in the LOAD123 family carried R47H. Eleven patients with dementia had apolipoprotein E 4 (ApoE4) and R47H genotypes. We also found a rare missense variant, D353N, in a nominated AD risk gene, unc-5 homolog C (UNC5C), in 5 affected individuals in the LOAD123 family. R47H carriers demonstrated a shortened disease duration (mean [SD], 6.7 [2.8] vs 11.1 [6.6] years; 2-tailed t test; P = .04) and more frequent α-synucleinopathy. The panmicroglial marker ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 was decreased in all AD cases and the decrease was most pronounced in R47H carriers (mean [SD], in the hilus: 0.114 [0.13] for R47H_AD vs 0.574 [0.26] for control individuals; 2-tailed t test; P = .005 and vs 0.465 [0.32] for AD; P = .02; in frontal cortex gray matter: 0.006 [0.004] for R47H_AD vs 0.016 [0.01] for AD; P = .04 and vs 0.033 [0.013] for control individuals; P < .001). Major histocompatibility complex class II, a marker of microglial activation, was increased in all patients with AD (AD: 2.5, R47H_AD: 2.7, and control: 1.0; P < .01).
Our results demonstrate a complex genetic landscape of LOAD, even in a single pedigree with an apparent autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. ApoE4, TREM2 R47H, and rare variants in other genes, such as UNC5C D353N, are likely responsible for the notable occurrence of AD in this family. Our findings support the role of the TREM2 receptor in microglial clearance of aggregation-prone proteins that is compromised in R47H carriers and may accelerate the course of disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several risk variants for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). These common variants have replicable but small effects on LOAD risk and generally do not have obvious functional effects. Low-frequency coding variants, not detected by GWAS, are predicted to include functional variants with larger effects on risk. To identify low-frequency coding variants with large effects on LOAD risk, we carried out whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 14 large LOAD families and follow-up analyses of the candidate variants in several large LOAD case-control data sets. A rare variant in PLD3 (phospholipase D3; Val232Met) segregated with disease status in two independent families and doubled risk for Alzheimer's disease in seven independent case-control series with a total of more than 11,000 cases and controls of European descent. Gene-based burden analyses in 4,387 cases and controls of European descent and 302 African American cases and controls, with complete sequence data for PLD3, reveal that several variants in this gene increase risk for Alzheimer's disease in both populations. PLD3 is highly expressed in brain regions that are vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease pathology, including hippocampus and cortex, and is expressed at significantly lower levels in neurons from Alzheimer's disease brains compared to control brains. Overexpression of PLD3 leads to a significant decrease in intracellular amyloid-β precursor protein (APP) and extracellular Aβ42 and Aβ40 (the 42- and 40-residue isoforms of the amyloid-β peptide), and knockdown of PLD3 leads to a significant increase in extracellular Aβ42 and Aβ40. Together, our genetic and functional data indicate that carriers of PLD3 coding variants have a twofold increased risk for LOAD and that PLD3 influences APP processing. This study provides an example of how densely affected families may help to identify rare variants with large effects on risk for disease or other complex traits.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We carried out analyses with the goal of identifying rare variants in exome sequence data that contribute to disease risk for a complex trait. We analyzed a large, 47-member, multigenerational pedigree with 11 cases of autism spectrum disorder, using genotypes from 3 technologies representing increasing resolution: a multiallelic linkage marker panel, a dense diallelic marker panel, and variants from exome sequencing. Genome-scan marker genotypes were available on most subjects, and exome sequence data was available on 5 subjects. We used genome-scan linkage analysis to identify and prioritize the chromosome 22 region of interest, and to select subjects for exome sequencing. Inheritance vectors (IVs) generated by Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis of multilocus marker data were the foundation of most analyses. Genotype imputation used IVs to determine which sequence variants reside on the haplotype that co-segregates with the autism diagnosis. Together with a rare-allele frequency filter, we identified only one rare variant on the risk haplotype, illustrating the potential of this approach to prioritize variants. The associated gene, MYH9, is biologically unlikely, and we speculate that for this complex trait, the key variants may lie outside the exome.
Human Heredity 01/2012; 74(3-4):153-64. DOI:10.1159/000346560 · 1.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Structural variations in the chromosome 22q11.2 region mediated by nonallelic homologous recombination result in 22q11.2 deletion (del22q11.2) and 22q11.2 duplication (dup22q11.2) syndromes. The majority of del22q11.2 cases have facial and cardiac malformations, immunologic impairments, specific cognitive profile and increased risk for schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The phenotype of dup22q11.2 is frequently without physical features but includes the spectrum of neurocognitive abnormalities. Although there is substantial evidence that haploinsufficiency for TBX1 plays a role in the physical features of del22q11.2, it is not known which gene(s) in the critical 1.5 Mb region are responsible for the observed spectrum of behavioral phenotypes. We identified an individual with a balanced translocation 46,XY,t(1;22)(p36.1;q11.2) and a behavioral phenotype characterized by cognitive impairment, autism, and schizophrenia in the absence of congenital malformations. Using somatic cell hybrids and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) we mapped the chromosome-22 breakpoint within intron 7 of the GNB1L gene. Copy number evaluations and direct DNA sequencing of GNB1L in 271 schizophrenia and 513 autism cases revealed dup22q11.2 in two families with autism and private GNB1L missense variants in conserved residues in three families (P = 0.036). The identified missense variants affect residues in the WD40 repeat domains and are predicted to have deleterious effects on the protein. Prior studies provided evidence that GNB1L may have a role in schizophrenia. Our findings support involvement of GNB1L in ASDs as well.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 01/2012; 159B(1):61-71. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.b.32002 · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While numerous studies have implicated copy number variants (CNVs) in a range of neurological phenotypes, the impact relative to disease severity has been difficult to ascertain due to small sample sizes, lack of phenotypic details, and heterogeneity in platforms used for discovery. Using a customized microarray enriched for genomic hotspots, we assayed for large CNVs among 1,227 individuals with various neurological deficits including dyslexia (376), sporadic autism (350), and intellectual disability (ID) (501), as well as 337 controls. We show that the frequency of large CNVs (>1 Mbp) is significantly greater for ID-associated phenotypes compared to autism (p = 9.58 × 10(-11), odds ratio = 4.59), dyslexia (p = 3.81 × 10(-18), odds ratio = 14.45), or controls (p = 2.75 × 10(-17), odds ratio = 13.71). There is a striking difference in the frequency of rare CNVs (>50 kbp) in autism (10%, p = 2.4 × 10(-6), odds ratio = 6) or ID (16%, p = 3.55 × 10(-12), odds ratio = 10) compared to dyslexia (2%) with essentially no difference in large CNV burden among dyslexia patients compared to controls. Rare CNVs were more likely to arise de novo (64%) in ID when compared to autism (40%) or dyslexia (0%). We observed a significantly increased large CNV burden in individuals with ID and multiple congenital anomalies (MCA) compared to ID alone (p = 0.001, odds ratio = 2.54). Our data suggest that large CNV burden positively correlates with the severity of childhood disability: ID with MCA being most severely affected and dyslexics being indistinguishable from controls. When autism without ID was considered separately, the increase in CNV burden was modest compared to controls (p = 0.07, odds ratio = 2.33).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two functionally related genes, FOXP2 and CNTNAP2, influence language abilities in families with rare syndromic and common nonsyndromic forms of impaired language, respectively. We investigated whether these genes are associated with component phenotypes of dyslexia and measures of sequential motor ability. Quantitative transmission disequilibrium testing (QTDT) and linear association modeling were used to evaluate associations with measures of phonological memory (nonword repetition, NWR), expressive language (sentence repetition), reading (real word reading efficiency, RWRE; word attack, WATT), and timed sequential motor activities (rapid alternating place of articulation, RAPA; finger succession in the dominant hand, FS-D) in 188 family trios with a child with dyslexia. Consistent with a prior study of language impairment, QTDT in dyslexia showed evidence of CNTNAP2 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) association with NWR. For FOXP2, we provide the first evidence for SNP association with component phenotypes of dyslexia, specifically NWR and RWRE but not WATT. In addition, FOXP2 SNP associations with both RAPA and FS-D were observed. Our results confirm the role of CNTNAP2 in NWR in a dyslexia sample and motivate new questions about the effects of FOXP2 in neurodevelopmental disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While numerous studies have implicated copy number variants (CNVs) in a range of neurological phenotypes, the impact relative to disease severity has been difficult to ascertain due to small sample sizes, lack of phenotypic details, and heterogeneity in platforms used for discovery. Using a customized microarray enriched for genomic hotspots, we assayed for large CNVs among 1,227 individuals with various neurological deficits including dyslexia (376), sporadic autism (350), and intellectual disability (ID) (501), as well as 337 controls. We show that the frequency of large CNVs (>1 Mbp) is significantly greater for ID-associated phenotypes compared to autism (p = 9.58x10(-11), odds ratio = 4.59), dyslexia (p = 3.81x10(-18), odds ratio = 14.45), or controls (p = 2.75x10(-17), odds ratio = 13.71). There is a striking difference in the frequency of rare CNVs (>50 kbp) in autism (10%, p = 2.4x10(-6), odds ratio = 6) or ID (16%, p = 3.55x10(-12), odds ratio = 10) compared to dyslexia (2%) with essentially no difference in large CNV burden among dyslexia patients compared to controls. Rare CNVs were more likely to arise de novo (64%) in ID when compared to autism (40%) or dyslexia (0%). We observed a significantly increased large CNV burden in individuals with ID and multiple congenital anomalies (MCA) compared to ID alone (p = 0.001, odds ratio = 2.54). Our data suggest that large CNV burden positively correlates with the severity of childhood disability: ID with MCA being most severely affected and dyslexics being indistinguishable from controls. When autism without ID was considered separately, the increase in CNV burden was modest compared to controls (p = 0.07, odds ratio = 2.33).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The detection of copy number variants (CNVs) and the results of CNV-disease association studies rely on how CNVs are defined, and because array-based technologies can only infer CNVs, CNV-calling algorithms can produce vastly different findings. Several authors have noted the large-scale variability between CNV-detection methods, as well as the substantial false positive and false negative rates associated with those methods. In this study, we use variations of four common algorithms for CNV detection (PennCNV, QuantiSNP, HMMSeg, and cnvPartition) and two definitions of overlap (any overlap and an overlap of at least 40% of the smaller CNV) to illustrate the effects of varying algorithms and definitions of overlap on CNV discovery.
We used a 56 K Illumina genotyping array enriched for CNV regions to generate hybridization intensities and allele frequencies for 48 Caucasian schizophrenia cases and 48 age-, ethnicity-, and gender-matched control subjects. No algorithm found a difference in CNV burden between the two groups. However, the total number of CNVs called ranged from 102 to 3,765 across algorithms. The mean CNV size ranged from 46 kb to 787 kb, and the average number of CNVs per subject ranged from 1 to 39. The number of novel CNVs not previously reported in normal subjects ranged from 0 to 212.
Motivated by the availability of multiple publicly available genome-wide SNP arrays, investigators are conducting numerous analyses to identify putative additional CNVs in complex genetic disorders. However, the number of CNVs identified in array-based studies, and whether these CNVs are novel or valid, will depend on the algorithm(s) used. Thus, given the variety of methods used, there will be many false positives and false negatives. Both guidelines for the identification of CNVs inferred from high-density arrays and the establishment of a gold standard for validation of CNVs are needed.
PLoS ONE 12/2010; 5(12):e14456. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0014456 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The completion of the human genome sequence has spurred investigation of the genetic contribution to substance dependence. In this article some of the recent scientific evidence for genetic determinants of opioid and cocaine dependence is reviewed.
An electronic search of the medical literature was conducted to locate published studies relevant to the genetics of opioid and cocaine dependence. The collected information judged to be most pertinent is described and discussed.
Genetic epidemiologic studies support a high degree of heritable vulnerability for both opioid and cocaine dependence. Polymorphisms in the genes coding for dopamine receptors and transporter, opioid receptors, endogenous opioid peptides, cannabinoid receptors, and serotonin receptors and transporter all appear to be associated with the phenotypic expression of this vulnerability once opioids or cocaine are consumed.
Despite this initial progress, identification of specific genes and quantification of associated risk for the expression of each gene remain to be elucidated. While alteration of an individual's genome to change the phenotype seems remote, future interventions for treatment of opioid and cocaine dependence may include precise medications targeted to block the effects of proteins that have been identified through genetic research.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have established strong linkage evidence that supports mapping autosomal-dominant sensory/motor neuropathy with ataxia (SMNA) to chromosome 7q22-q32. SMNA is a rare neurological disorder whose phenotype encompasses both the central and the peripheral nervous system. In order to identify a gene responsible for SMNA, we have undertaken a comprehensive genomic evaluation of the region of linkage, including evaluation for repeat expansion and small deletions or duplications, capillary sequencing of candidate genes, and massively parallel sequencing of all coding exons. We excluded repeat expansion and small deletions or duplications as causative, and through microarray-based hybrid capture and massively parallel short-read sequencing, we identified a nonsynonymous variant in the human interferon-related developmental regulator gene 1 (IFRD1) as a disease-causing candidate. Sequence conservation, animal models, and protein structure evaluation support the involvement of IFRD1 in SMNA. Mutation analysis of IFRD1 in additional patients with similar phenotypes is needed for demonstration of causality and further evaluation of its importance in neurological diseases.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2009; 84(5):692-7. DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.04.008 · 10.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autism has the highest estimated heritability (>90%) among behaviorally defined neuropsychiatric disorders. Rapidly advancing genomic technologies and large international collaborations have increased our understanding of the molecular genetic causes of autism. Pharmacogenomic approaches are currently being applied in two single-gene disorders, fragile X syndrome and Rett syndrome, which capture many aspects of the autistic phenotype. This review describes the current state of the genetics of autism and suggests how to extend pharmacological principles pioneered in fragile X and Rett to the broader group of patients with autism.
Personalized Medicine 11/2008; 5(6):599-607. DOI:10.2217/17410518.104.22.1689 · 1.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the genetic architecture of dyslexia and identify the locations of genes involved, we performed linkage analyses in multigenerational families using a phonological memory phenotype--Nonword Repetition (NWR). A genome scan was first performed on 438 people from 51 families (DS-1) and linkage was assessed using variance components (VC), Bayesian oligogenic (BO), and parametric analyses. For replication, the genome scan and analyses were repeated on 693 people from 93 families (DS-2). For the combined set (DS-C), analyses were performed with all three methods in the regions that were identified in both samples. In DS-1, regions on chromosomes 4p, 6q, 12p, 17q, and 22q exceeded our initial threshold for linkage, with 17q providing a parametric LOD score of 3.2. Analysis with DS-2 confirmed the locations on chromosomes 4p and 12p. The strongest VC and BO signals in both samples were on chromosome 4p in DS-C, with a parametric multipoint LOD(max) of 2.36 for the 4p locus. Our linkage analyses of NWR in dyslexia provide suggestive and reproducible evidence for linkage to 4p12 and 12p in both samples, and significant evidence for linkage to 17q in one of the samples. These results warrant further studies of phonological memory and chromosomal regions identified here in other datasets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dyslexia is a common heterogeneous disorder with a significant genetic component. Multiple studies have replicated the evidence for linkage between variously defined phenotypes of dyslexia and chromosomal regions on 15q21 (DYX1) and 6p22.2 (DYX2). Based on association studies and the possibility for functional significance of several polymorphisms, candidate genes responsible for the observed linkage signal have been proposed-DYX1C1 for 15q21, and KIAA0319 and DCDC2 for 6p22.2. We investigated the evidence for contribution of these candidate genes to dyslexia in our sample of multigenerational families. Our previous quantitative linkage analyses in this dataset provided supportive evidence for linkage of dyslexia to the locus on chromosome 15, but not to the locus on chromosome 6. In the current study, we used probands from 191 families for a case control analysis, and proband-parent trios for family-based TDT analyses. The observation of weak evidence for transmission disequilibrium for one of the two studied polymorphisms in DYX1C1 suggests involvement of this gene in dyslexia in our dataset. We did not find evidence for the association of KIAA0319 or DCDC2 alleles to dyslexia in our sample. We observed a slight tendency for an intronic deletion in DCDC2 to be associated with worse performance on some quantitative measures of dyslexia in the probands in our sample, but not in their parents.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 06/2007; 144B(4):556-60. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.b.30471 · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dyslexia is a common learning disability exhibited as a delay in acquiring reading skills despite adequate intelligence and instruction. Reading single real words (real-word reading, RWR) is especially impaired in many dyslexics. We performed a genome scan, using variance components (VC) linkage analysis and Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) joint segregation and linkage analysis, for three quantitative measures of RWR in 108 multigenerational families, with follow up of the strongest signals with parametric LOD score analyses. We used single-word reading efficiency (SWE) to assess speed and accuracy of RWR, and word identification (WID) to assess accuracy alone. Adjusting SWE for WID provided a third measure of RWR efficiency. All three methods of analysis identified a strong linkage signal for SWE on chromosome 13q. Based on multipoint analysis with 13 markers we obtained a MCMC intensity ratio (IR) of 53.2 (chromosome-wide P < 0.004), a VC LOD score of 2.29, and a parametric LOD score of 2.94, based on a quantitative-trait model from MCMC segregation analysis (SA). A weaker signal for SWE on chromosome 2q occurred in the same location as a significant linkage peak seen previously in a scan for phonological decoding. MCMC oligogenic SA identified three models of transmission for WID, which could be assigned to two distinct linkage peaks on chromosomes 12 and 15. Taken together, these results indicate a locus for efficiency and accuracy of RWR on chromosome 13, and a complex model for inheritance of RWR accuracy with loci on chromosomes 12 and 15.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 01/2006; 141B(1):15-27. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.b.30245 · 3.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dyslexia is a common and complex developmental disorder manifested by unexpected difficulty in learning to read. Multiple different measures are used for diagnosis, and may reflect different biological pathways related to the disorder. Impaired phonological decoding (translation of written words without meaning cues into spoken words) is thought to be a core deficit. We present a genome scan of two continuous measures of phonological decoding ability: phonemic decoding efficiency (PDE) and word attack (WA). PDE measures both accuracy and speed of phonological decoding, whereas WA measures accuracy alone. Multipoint variance component linkage analyses (VC) and Markov chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) multipoint joint linkage and segregation analyses were performed on 108 families. A strong signal was observed on chromosome 2 for PDE using both VC (LOD=2.65) and MCMC methods (intensity ratio (IR)=32.1). The IR is an estimate of the ratio of the posterior to prior probability of linkage in MCMC analysis. The chromosome 2 signal was not seen for WA. More detailed mapping with additional markers provided statistically significant evidence for linkage of PDE to chromosome 2, with VC-LOD=3.0 and IR=59.6 at D2S1399. Parametric analyses of PDE, using a model obtained by complex segregation analysis, provided a multipoint maximum LOD=2.89. The consistency of results from three analytic approaches provides strong evidence for a locus on chromosome 2 that influences speed but not accuracy of phonological decoding.