[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The highly complex structure of the human brain is strongly shaped by genetic influences1. Subcortical brain regions form circuits with cortical areas to coordinate movement2, learning, memory3 and motivation4, and altered circuits can lead to abnormal behaviour and disease2. To investigate how common genetic variants affect the structure of these brain regions, here we conduct genome-wide association studies of the volumes of seven subcortical regions and the intracranial volume derived from magnetic resonance images of 30,717 individuals from 50 cohorts. We identify five novel genetic variants influencing the volumes of the putamen and caudate nucleus. We also find stronger evidence for three loci with previously established influences on hippocampal volume5 and intracranial volume6. These variants show specific volumetric effects on brain structures rather than global effects across structures. The strongest effects were found for the putamen, where a novel intergenic locus with replicable influence on volume (rs945270; P = 1.08 × 10−33; 0.52% variance explained) showed evidence of altering the expression of the KTN1 gene in both brain and blood tissue. Variants influencing putamen volume clustered near developmental genes that regulate apoptosis, axon guidance and vesicle transport. Identification of these genetic variants provides insight into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help to determine mechanisms of neuropsychiatric dysfunction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background—Human variation in susceptibility to hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension is well recognized. High-altitude residents who do not develop pulmonary hypertension may host protective gene mutations.
Methods and Results—Exome sequencing was conducted on 24 unrelated Kyrgyz highlanders living 2400 to 3800m above sea level, 12 (ten male, mean age 54yrs) with an elevated mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP, mean±SD; 38.7±2.7 mmHg) and 12 (eleven male, mean age 52yrs) with a normal mPAP (19.2±0.6 mmHg), to identify candidate genes that may influence the pulmonary vascular response to hypoxia. A total of 140,789 exomic variants were identified and 26,116 (18.5%) classified as novel or rare. Thirty-three novel or rare potential pathogenic variants (frameshift, essential splice-site and non-synonymous) were found exclusively in either ≥3 subjects with high altitude pulmonary hypertension or ≥3 highlanders with a normal mPAP. A novel missense mutation in GUCY1A3 in 3 subjects with a normal mPAP encodes an α1-A680T soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) variant. Expression of the α1-A680T sGC variant in reporter cells resulted in higher cyclic guanosine monophosphate production compared to the wild type enzyme and the purified α1-A680T sGC exhibited enhanced sensitivity to nitric oxide in vitro.
Conclusions—The α1-A680T soluble guanylate cyclase variant may contribute to protection against high-altitude pulmonary hypertension and supports soluble guanylate cyclase as a pharmacological target for reducing PAP in humans at altitude.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article reviews work published by the ENIGMA Consortium and its Working Groups (http://enigma.ini.usc.edu). It was written collaboratively; P.T. wrote the first draft and all listed authors revised and edited the document for important intellectual content, using Google Docs for parallel editing, and approved it. Some ENIGMA investigators contributed to the design and implementation of ENIGMA or provided data but did not participate in the analysis or writing of this report. A complete listing of ENIGMA investigators is available at http://enigma.ini.usc.edu/publications/the-enigma-consortium-in-review/ For ADNI, some investigators contributed to the design and implementation of ADNI or provided data but did not participate in the analysis or writing of this report. A complete listing of ADNI investigators is available at http://adni.loni.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/how_to_apply/ ADNI_Acknowledgement_List.pdf The work reviewed here was funded by a large number of federal and private agencies worldwide, listed in Stein et al. (2012); the funding for listed consortia is also itemized in Stein et al. (2012).
Brain Imaging and Behavior 01/2014; · 3.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deafness, onychodystrophy, osteodystrophy, mental retardation, and seizures (DOORS) syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive disorder of unknown cause. We aimed to identify the genetic basis of this syndrome by sequencing most coding exons in affected individuals.
Through a search of available case studies and communication with collaborators, we identified families that included at least one individual with at least three of the five main features of the DOORS syndrome: deafness, onychodystrophy, osteodystrophy, intellectual disability, and seizures. Participants were recruited from 26 centres in 17 countries. Families described in this study were enrolled between Dec 1, 2010, and March 1, 2013. Collaborating physicians enrolling participants obtained clinical information and DNA samples from the affected child and both parents if possible. We did whole-exome sequencing in affected individuals as they were enrolled, until we identified a candidate gene, and Sanger sequencing to confirm mutations. We did expression studies in human fibroblasts from one individual by real-time PCR and western blot analysis, and in mouse tissues by immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR.
26 families were included in the study. We did exome sequencing in the first 17 enrolled families; we screened for TBC1D24 by Sanger sequencing in subsequent families. We identified TBC1D24 mutations in 11 individuals from nine families (by exome sequencing in seven families, and Sanger sequencing in two families). 18 families had individuals with all five main features of DOORS syndrome, and TBC1D24 mutations were identified in half of these families. The seizure types in individuals with TBC1D24 mutations included generalised tonic-clonic, complex partial, focal clonic, and infantile spasms. Of the 18 individuals with DOORS syndrome from 17 families without TBC1D24 mutations, eight did not have seizures and three did not have deafness. In expression studies, some mutations abrogated TBC1D24 mRNA stability. We also detected Tbc1d24 expression in mouse phalangeal chondrocytes and calvaria, which suggests a role of TBC1D24 in skeletogenesis.
Our findings suggest that mutations in TBC1D24 seem to be an important cause of DOORS syndrome and can cause diverse phenotypes. Thus, individuals with DOORS syndrome without deafness and seizures but with the other features should still be screened for TBC1D24 mutations. More information is needed to understand the cellular roles of TBC1D24 and identify the genes responsible for DOORS phenotypes in individuals who do not have a mutation in TBC1D24.
US National Institutes of Health, the CIHR (Canada), the NIHR (UK), the Wellcome Trust, the Henry Smith Charity, and Action Medical Research.
The Lancet Neurology 11/2013; · 21.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diamond-Blackfan anaemia (DBA) is caused by inactivating mutations in ribosomal protein (RP) genes, with mutations in 13 of the 80 RP genes accounting for 50-60% of cases. The remaining 40-50% cases may harbour mutations in one of the remaining RP genes, but the very low frequencies render conventional genetic screening as challenging. We, therefore, applied custom enrichment technology combined with high-throughput sequencing to screen all 80 RP genes. Using this approach, we identified and validated inactivating mutations in 15/17 (88%) DBA patients. Target enrichment combined with high-throughput sequencing is a robust and improved methodology for the genetic diagnosis of DBA.
British Journal of Haematology 05/2013; · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:Familial hypercholesterolemia is a common Mendelian disorder associated with early-onset coronary heart disease that can be treated by cholesterol-lowering drugs. The majority of cases in the United Kingdom are currently without a molecular diagnosis, which is partly due to the cost and time associated with standard screening techniques. The main purpose of this study was to test the sensitivity and specificity of two next-generation sequencing protocols for genetic diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia.Methods:Libraries were prepared for next-generation sequencing by two target enrichment protocols; one using the SureSelect Target Enrichment System and the other using the PCR-based Access Array platform.Results:In the validation cohort, both protocols showed 100% specificity, whereas the sensitivity for short variant detection was 100% for the SureSelect Target Enrichment and 98% for the Access Array protocol. Large deletions/duplications were only detected using the SureSelect Target Enrichment protocol. In the prospective cohort, the mutation detection rate using the Access Array was highest in patients with clinically definite familial hypercholesterolemia (67%), followed by patients with possible familial hypercholesterolemia (26%).Conclusion:We have shown the potential of target enrichment methods combined with next-generation sequencing for molecular diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia. Adopting these assays for patients with suspected familial hypercholesterolemia could improve cost-effectiveness and increase the overall number of patients with a molecular diagnosis.Genet Med advance online publication 16 May 2013Genetics in Medicine (2013); doi:10.1038/gim.2013.55.
Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 05/2013; · 3.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epilepsy comprises several syndromes, amongst the most common being mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis. Seizures in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis are typically drug-resistant, and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is frequently associated with important co-morbidities, mandating the search for better understanding and treatment. The cause of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is unknown, but there is an association with childhood febrile seizures. Several rarer epilepsies featuring febrile seizures are caused by mutations in SCN1A, which encodes a brain-expressed sodium channel subunit targeted by many anti-epileptic drugs. We undertook a genome-wide association study in 1018 people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and 7552 control subjects, with validation in an independent sample set comprising 959 people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and 3591 control subjects. To dissect out variants related to a history of febrile seizures, we tested cases with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with (overall n = 757) and without (overall n = 803) a history of febrile seizures. Meta-analysis revealed a genome-wide significant association for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures at the sodium channel gene cluster on chromosome 2q24.3 [rs7587026, within an intron of the SCN1A gene, P = 3.36 x 10-9, odds ratio (A) = 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.26-1.59]. In a cohort of 172 individuals with febrile seizures, who did not develop epilepsy during prospective follow-up to age 13 years, and 6456 controls, no association was found for rs7587026 and febrile seizures. These findings suggest SCN1A involvement in a common epilepsy syndrome, give new direction to biological understanding of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures, and open avenues for investigation of prognostic factors and possible prevention of epilepsy in some children with febrile seizures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identifying genetic variants influencing human brain structures may reveal new biological mechanisms underlying cognition and neuropsychiatric illness. The volume of the hippocampus is a biomarker of incipient Alzheimer's disease and is reduced in schizophrenia, major depression and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Whereas many brain imaging phenotypes are highly heritable, identifying and replicating genetic influences has been difficult, as small effects and the high costs of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have led to underpowered studies. Here we report genome-wide association meta-analyses and replication for mean bilateral hippocampal, total brain and intracranial volumes from a large multinational consortium. The intergenic variant rs7294919 was associated with hippocampal volume (12q24.22; N = 21,151; P = 6.70 × 10(-16)) and the expression levels of the positional candidate gene TESC in brain tissue. Additionally, rs10784502, located within HMGA2, was associated with intracranial volume (12q14.3; N = 15,782; P = 1.12 × 10(-12)). We also identified a suggestive association with total brain volume at rs10494373 within DDR2 (1q23.3; N = 6,500; P = 5.81 × 10(-7)).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identifying genetic variants influencing human brain structures may reveal new biological mechanisms underlying cognition and neuropsychiatric illness. The volume of the hippocampus is a biomarker of incipient Alzheimer's disease and is reduced in schizophrenia, major depression and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Whereas many brain imaging phenotypes are highly heritable, identifying and replicating genetic influences has been difficult, as small effects and the high costs of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have led to underpowered studies. Here we report genome-wide association meta-analyses and replication for mean bilateral hippocampal, total brain and intracranial volumes from a large multinational consortium. The intergenic variant rs7294919 was associated with hippocampal volume (12q24.22; N = 21,151; P = 6.70 × 10−16) and the expression levels of the positional candidate gene TESC in brain tissue. Additionally, rs10784502, located within HMGA2, was associated with intracranial volume (12q14.3; N = 15,782; P = 1.12 × 10−12). We also identified a suggestive association with total brain volume at rs10494373 within DDR2 (1q23.3; N = 6,500; P = 5.81 × 10−7).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The commonly prescribed antiepileptic drug phenytoin has a narrow therapeutic range and wide interindividual variability in clearance explained in part by CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 coding variants. After finding a paradoxically low urinary phenytoin metabolite (S)/(R) ratio in subjects receiving phenytoin maintenance therapy with a CYP2C9*1/*1 and CYP2C19*1/*2 genotype, we hypothesized that CYP2C9 regulatory polymorphisms (rPMs), G-3089A and -2663delTG, in linkage disequilibrium with CYP2C19*2 were responsible. These rPMs explained as much as 10% of the variation in phenytoin maintenance dose in epileptic patients, but were not correlated with other patients' warfarin dose requirements or with phenytoin metabolite ratio in human liver microsomes. We hypothesized the rPMs affected CYP2C9 induction by phenytoin, a pregnane X receptor (PXR), and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) activator. Transfection studies showed that CYP2C9 reporters with wild-type versus variant alleles had similar basal activity but significantly greater phenytoin induction by cotransfected PXR, CAR, and Nrf2 and less Yin Yang 1 transcription factor repression. Phenytoin induction of CYP2C9 was greater in human hepatocytes with the CYP2C9 wild type versus variant haplotype. Therefore, CYP2C9 rPMs affect phenytoin-dependent induction of CYP2C9 and phenytoin metabolism in humans, with an effect size comparable with that for CYP2C9*2 and 2C9*3. These findings may also be relevant to the clinical use of other PXR, CAR, and Nrf2 activators.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 10/2009; 332(2):599-611. · 3.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Six candidate gene studies report a genetic association of DNA variants within the paraoxonase locus with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, several other large studies, including five genome-wide association studies, have not duplicated this finding.
We conducted a meta-analysis of 10 published studies and one unpublished study of the paraoxonase locus, encompassing 4,037 ALS cases and 4,609 controls, including genome-wide association data from 2,018 ALS cases and 2,425 controls.
The combined fixed effects odds ratio (OR) for rs662 (PON1 Q192R) was 1.09 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.16, p = 0.01); the genotypic OR for RR homozygotes at Q192R was 1.25 (95% CI, 1.07-1.45, p = 0.0004); the combined OR for rs854560 (PON1 L55M) was 0.97 (95% CI, 0.86-1.10, p = 0.62); the OR for rs10487132 (PON2) was 1.08 (95% CI, 0.92-1.27, p = 0.35). Although the rs662 polymorphism reached a nominal level of significance, no polymorphism was significant after multiple testing correction. In the subanalysis of samples with genome-wide data from which population outliers were removed, rs662 had an OR of 1.06 (95% CI, 0.97-1.16, p = 0.22).
In contrast to previous positive smaller studies, our genetic meta-analysis showed no significant association of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with the PON locus. This is the largest meta-analysis of a candidate gene in ALS to date and the first ALS meta-analysis to include data from whole genome association studies. The findings reinforce the need for much larger and more collaborative investigations of the genetic determinants of ALS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is largely unknown, but genetic factors are thought to play a significant role in determining susceptibility to motor neuron degeneration. To identify genetic variants altering risk of ALS, we undertook a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS): we followed our initial GWAS of 545 066 SNPs in 553 individuals with ALS and 2338 controls by testing the 7600 most associated SNPs from the first stage in three independent cohorts consisting of 2160 cases and 3008 controls. None of the SNPs selected for replication exceeded the Bonferroni threshold for significance. The two most significantly associated SNPs, rs2708909 and rs2708851 [odds ratio (OR) = 1.17 and 1.18, and P-values = 6.98 x 10(-7) and 1.16 x 10(-6)], were located on chromosome 7p13.3 within a 175 kb linkage disequilibrium block containing the SUNC1, HUS1 and C7orf57 genes. These associations did not achieve genome-wide significance in the original cohort and failed to replicate in an additional independent cohort of 989 US cases and 327 controls (OR = 1.18 and 1.19, P-values = 0.08 and 0.06, respectively). Thus, we chose to cautiously interpret our data as hypothesis-generating requiring additional confirmation, especially as all previously reported loci for ALS have failed to replicate successfully. Indeed, the three loci (FGGY, ITPR2 and DPP6) identified in previous GWAS of sporadic ALS were not significantly associated with disease in our study. Our findings suggest that ALS is more genetically and clinically heterogeneous than previously recognized. Genotype data from our study have been made available online to facilitate such future endeavors.
Human Molecular Genetics 03/2009; 18(8):1524-32. · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It was recently shown that the genetic distinction between self-identified Ashkenazi Jewish and non-Jewish individuals is a prominent component of genome-wide patterns of genetic variation in European Americans. No study however has yet assessed how accurately self-identified (Ashkenazi) Jewish ancestry can be inferred from genomic information, nor whether the degree of Jewish ancestry can be inferred among individuals with fewer than four Jewish grandparents.
Using a principal components analysis, we found that the individuals with full Jewish ancestry formed a clearly distinct cluster from those individuals with no Jewish ancestry. Using the position on the first principal component axis, every single individual with self-reported full Jewish ancestry had a higher score than any individual with no Jewish ancestry.
Here we show that within Americans of European ancestry there is a perfect genetic corollary of Jewish ancestry which, in principle, would permit near perfect genetic inference of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. In fact, even subjects with a single Jewish grandparent can be statistically distinguished from those without Jewish ancestry. We also found that subjects with Jewish ancestry were slightly more heterozygous than the subjects with no Jewish ancestry, suggesting that the genetic distinction between Jews and non-Jews may be more attributable to a Near-Eastern origin for Jewish populations than to population bottlenecks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating neurodegenerative disease, most likely results from complex genetic and environmental interactions. Although a number of association studies have been performed in an effort to find genetic components of sporadic ALS, most of them resulted in inconsistent findings due to a small number of genes investigated in relatively small sample sizes, while the replication of results was rarely attempted. Defects in retrograde axonal transport, vesicle trafficking and xenobiotic metabolism have been implicated in neurodegeneration and motor neuron death both in human disease and animal models. To assess the role of common genetic variation in these pathways in susceptibility to sporadic ALS, we performed a pathway-based candidate gene case-control association study with replication. Furthermore, we determined reliability of whole genome amplified DNA in a large-scale association study. In the first stage of the study, 1277 putative functional and tagging SNPs in 134 genes spanning 8.7 Mb were genotyped in 822 British sporadic ALS patients and 872 controls using whole genome amplified DNA. To detect variants with modest effect size and discriminate among false positive findings 19 SNPs showing a trend of association in the initial screen were genotyped in a replication sample of 580 German sporadic ALS patients and 361 controls. We did not detect strong evidence of association with any of the genes investigated in the discovery sample (lowest uncorrected P-value 0.00037, lowest permutation corrected P-value 0.353). None of the suggestive associations was replicated in a second sample, further excluding variants with moderate effect size. We conclude that common variation in the investigated pathways is unlikely to have a major effect on susceptibility to sporadic ALS. The genotyping efficiency was only slightly decreased ( approximately 1%) and genotyping quality was not affected using whole genome amplified DNA. It is reliable for large scale genotyping studies of diseases such as ALS, where DNA sample collections are limited because of low disease prevalence and short survival time.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cause of sporadic ALS is currently unknown. Despite evidence for a role for genetics, no common genetic variants have been unequivocally linked to sporadic ALS. We sought to identify genetic variants associated with an increased or decreased risk for developing ALS in a cohort of American sporadic cases.
We undertook a genome-wide association study using publicly available samples from 276 patients with sporadic ALS and 271 neurologically normal controls. 555 352 unique SNPs were assayed in each sample using the Illumina Infinium II HumanHap550 SNP chip.
More than 300 million genotypes were produced in 547 participants. These raw genotype data are freely available on the internet and represent the first publicly accessible SNP data for ALS cases. 34 SNPs with a p value less than 0.0001 (two degrees of freedom) were found, although none of these reached significance after Bonferroni correction.
We generated publicly available genotype data for sporadic ALS patients and controls. No single locus was definitively associated with increased risk of developing disease, although potentially associated candidate SNPs were identified.
The Lancet Neurology 05/2007; 6(4):322-8. · 21.82 Impact Factor