[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole-genome sequencing enables complete characterization of genetic variation, but geographic clustering of rare alleles demands many diverse populations be studied. Here we describe the Genome of the Netherlands (GoNL) Project, in which we sequenced the whole genomes of 250 Dutch parent-offspring families and constructed a haplotype map of 20.4 million single-nucleotide variants and 1.2 million insertions and deletions. The intermediate coverage (~13×) and trio design enabled extensive characterization of structural variation, including midsize events (30–500 bp) previously poorly catalogued and de novo mutations. We demonstrate that the quality of the haplotypes boosts imputation accuracy in independent samples, especially for lower frequency alleles. Population genetic analyses demonstrate fine-scale structure across the country and support multiple ancient migrations, consistent with historical changes in sea level and flooding. The GoNL Project illustrates how single-population whole-genome sequencing can provide detailed characterization of genetic variation and may guide the design of future population studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many common variants associated with complex traits, low-frequency and rare variants have not been interrogated in a comprehensive manner. Imputation from dense reference panels, such as the 1000 Genomes Project (1000G), enables testing of ungenotyped variants for association. Here we present the results of imputation using a large, new population-specific panel: the Genome of The Netherlands (GoNL). We benchmarked the performance of the 1000G and GoNL reference sets by comparing imputation genotypes with 'true' genotypes typed on ImmunoChip in three European populations (Dutch, British, and Italian). GoNL showed significant improvement in the imputation quality for rare variants (MAF 0.05–0.5%) compared with 1000G. In Dutch samples, the mean observed Pearson correlation, r 2 , increased from 0.61 to 0.71. We also saw improved imputation accuracy for other European populations (in the British samples, r 2 improved from 0.58 to 0.65, and in the Italians from 0.43 to 0.47). A combined reference set comprising 1000G and GoNL improved the imputation of rare variants even further. The Italian samples benefitted the most from this combined reference (the mean r 2 increased from 0.47 to 0.50). We conclude that the creation of a large population-specific reference is advantageous for imputing rare variants and that a combined reference panel across multiple populations yields the best imputation results. European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 4 June 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.19
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 06/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coffee, one of the most popular beverages in the world, contains many different physiologically active compounds with a potential impact on people's health. Despite the recent attention given to the genetic basis of its consumption, very little has been done in understanding genes influencing coffee preference among different individuals. Given its markedly bitter taste, we decided to verify if bitter receptor genes (TAS2Rs) variants affect coffee liking. In this light, 4066 people from different parts of Europe and Central Asia filled in a field questionnaire on coffee liking. They have been consequently recruited and included in the study. Eighty-eight SNPs covering the 25 TAS2R genes were selected from the available imputed ones and used to run association analysis for coffee liking. A significant association was detected with three SNP: one synonymous and two functional variants (W35S and H212R) on the TAS2R43 gene. Both variants have been shown to greatly reduce in vitro protein activity. Surprisingly the wild type allele, which corresponds to the functional form of the protein, is associated to higher liking of coffee. Since the hTAS2R43 receptor is sensible to caffeine, we verified if the detected variants produced differences in caffeine bitter perception on a subsample of people coming from the FVG cohort. We found a significant association between differences in caffeine perception and the H212R variant but not with the W35S, which suggests that the effect of the TAS2R43 gene on coffee liking is mediated by caffeine and in particular by the H212R variant. No other significant association was found with other TAS2R genes. In conclusion, the present study opens new perspectives in the understanding of coffee liking. Further studies are needed to clarify the role of the TAS2R43 gene in coffee hedonics and to identify which other genes and pathways are involved in its genetics.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e92065. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The heritability of borderline personality (BP) features has been established in multiple twin and family studies. Using data from the borderline subscale of the Personality Assessment Inventory Borderline Features Scale (PAI-BOR) collected in two Dutch cohorts (N=7125), the Netherlands Twin Register and The Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety, we show that heritability of the PAI-BOR total score using genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) is estimated at 23%, and that the genetic variance is substantially higher in affect instability items compared with the other three subscales of the PAI-BOR (42.7% vs non-significant estimates for self-harm, negative relations and identity problems). We present results from a first genome-wide association study of BP features, which shows a promising signal on chromosome 5 corresponding to SERINC5, a protein involved in myelination. Reduced myelination has been suggested as possibly having a role in the development of psychiatric disorders characterized by lack of social interaction. The signal was confirmed in a third independent Dutch cohort drawn from the Erasmus Rucphen Family study (N=1301). Our analyses were complemented by investigating the heterogeneity that was implied by the differences in genetic variance components in the four subscales of the PAI-BOR. These analyses show that the association of SNPs tagging SERINC5 differs substantially across the 24 items of the PAI-BOR. Further, using reverse regression we showed that the effects were present only in subjects with higher scores on the PAI-BOR. Taken together, these results suggest that future genome-wide analyses can benefit substantially by taking into account the phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of BP features.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 27 August 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.109.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Within the Netherlands a national network of biobanks has been established (Biobanking and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure-Netherlands (BBMRI-NL)) as a national node of the European BBMRI. One of the aims of BBMRI-NL is to enrich biobanks with different types of molecular and phenotype data. Here, we describe the Genome of the Netherlands (GoNL), one of the projects within BBMRI-NL. GoNL is a whole-genome-sequencing project in a representative sample consisting of 250 trio-families from all provinces in the Netherlands, which aims to characterize DNA sequence variation in the Dutch population. The parent-offspring trios include adult individuals ranging in age from 19 to 87 years (mean=53 years; SD=16 years) from birth cohorts 1910-1994. Sequencing was done on blood-derived DNA from uncultured cells and accomplished coverage was 14-15x. The family-based design represents a unique resource to assess the frequency of regional variants, accurately reconstruct haplotypes by family-based phasing, characterize short indels and complex structural variants, and establish the rate of de novo mutational events. GoNL will also serve as a reference panel for imputation in the available genome-wide association studies in Dutch and other cohorts to refine association signals and uncover population-specific variants. GoNL will create a catalog of human genetic variation in this sample that is uniquely characterized with respect to micro-geographic location and a wide range of phenotypes. The resource will be made available to the research and medical community to guide the interpretation of sequencing projects. The present paper summarizes the global characteristics of the project.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 29 May 2013; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.118.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 05/2013; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interindividual variation in mean leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is associated with cancer and several age-associated diseases. We report here a genome-wide meta-analysis of 37,684 individuals with replication of selected variants in an additional 10,739 individuals. We identified seven loci, including five new loci, associated with mean LTL (P < 5 × 10(-8)). Five of the loci contain candidate genes (TERC, TERT, NAF1, OBFC1 and RTEL1) that are known to be involved in telomere biology. Lead SNPs at two loci (TERC and TERT) associate with several cancers and other diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Moreover, a genetic risk score analysis combining lead variants at all 7 loci in 22,233 coronary artery disease cases and 64,762 controls showed an association of the alleles associated with shorter LTL with increased risk of coronary artery disease (21% (95% confidence interval, 5-35%) per standard deviation in LTL, P = 0.014). Our findings support a causal role of telomere-length variation in some age-related diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visual refractive errors are complex genetic traits with a largely unknown etiology. To date, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of moderate size have identified several novel risk markers for refractive error, measured here as mean spherical equivalent. We performed a GWAS using a total of 7,280 samples from 5 cohorts: the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS); the KORA study ("Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg"); the Framingham Eye Study (FES); the Ogliastra Genetic Park-Talana (OGP-Talana) Study; and the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Genotyping was performed on Illumina and Affymetrix platforms with additional markers imputed to the HapMap II reference panel. We identified a new genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 16 (rs10500355, p=3.9 x 10-9) in a combined discovery and replication set (26,953 samples). This SNP is located within the RBFOX1 gene which is a neuron-specific splicing factor regulating a wide range of alternative splicing events implicated in neuronal development and maturation, including transcription factors, other splicing factors and synaptic proteins.
Human Molecular Genetics 03/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Refractive error is the most common eye disorder worldwide and is a prominent cause of blindness. Myopia affects over 30% of Western populations and up to 80% of Asians. The CREAM consortium conducted genome-wide meta-analyses, including 37,382 individuals from 27 studies of European ancestry and 8,376 from 5 Asian cohorts. We identified 16 new loci for refractive error in individuals of European ancestry, of which 8 were shared with Asians. Combined analysis identified 8 additional associated loci. The new loci include candidate genes with functions in neurotransmission (GRIA4), ion transport (KCNQ5), retinoic acid metabolism (RDH5), extracellular matrix remodeling (LAMA2 and BMP2) and eye development (SIX6 and PRSS56). We also confirmed previously reported associations with GJD2 and RASGRF1. Risk score analysis using associated SNPs showed a tenfold increased risk of myopia for individuals carrying the highest genetic load. Our results, based on a large meta-analysis across independent multiancestry studies, considerably advance understanding of the mechanisms involved in refractive error and myopia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The 9p21.3 locus is strongly associated with the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and with type 2 diabetes (T2D). We investigated the association of 9p21.3 variants with severity of CAD (defined by the number of vessel diseased [VD]) in the presence and absence of T2D. METHODS: We tested 11 9p21.3-variants for association in a white Italian study (N = 2,908), and carried out replication in 2 independent white populations, a German study (N = 2,028) and a Canadian Study (N=950). SNP association and permutation analyses were conducted. RESULTS: We identified two 9p21.3-variants, rs4977574 (P < 4x10-4) and rs2383207 (P < 1.5x10-3) that were associated with severity of CAD in subjects without T2D. Association of rs4977574 with severity of CAD was confirmed in the Canadian Study. Results from subgroup analysis among patients with T2D showed an interaction between rs10738610 and T2D with P = 4.82x10-2. Further investigation showed that rs10738610 (P < 1.99x10-2) was found to be significantly associated with severity of CAD in subjects with T2D. CONCLUSIONS: The 9p21.3 locus is significantly associated with severity of CAD. The number of associations of 9p21.3 variants with severity of CAD is variable to the presence and absence of T2D. In a CAD-susceptible region of 115 kb, there is only one variant associated with the severity of coronary vessel disease in the presence of type 2 diabetes.
BMC Medical Genetics 01/2013; 14(1):11. · 2.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, Prokopenko and colleagues provide novel evidence for causal relationship between adiposity and heart failure and increased liver enzymes using a Mendelian randomization study design.
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[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myopia is a complex genetic disorder and a common cause of visual impairment among working age adults. Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci on chromosomes 15q14 and 15q25 in Caucasian populations of European ancestry. Here, we present a confirmation and meta-analysis study in which we assessed whether these two loci are also associated with myopia in other populations. The study population comprised 31 cohorts from the Consortium of Refractive Error and Myopia (CREAM) representing 4 different continents with 55,177 individuals; 42,845 Caucasians and 12,332 Asians. We performed a meta-analysis of 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on 15q14 and 5 SNPs on 15q25 using linear regression analysis with spherical equivalent as a quantitative outcome, adjusted for age and sex. We calculated the odds ratio (OR) of myopia versus hyperopia for carriers of the top-SNP alleles using a fixed effects meta-analysis. At locus 15q14, all SNPs were significantly replicated, with the lowest P value 3.87 × 10(-12) for SNP rs634990 in Caucasians, and 9.65 × 10(-4) for rs8032019 in Asians. The overall meta-analysis provided P value 9.20 × 10(-23) for the top SNP rs634990. The risk of myopia versus hyperopia was OR 1.88 (95 % CI 1.64, 2.16, P < 0.001) for homozygous carriers of the risk allele at the top SNP rs634990, and OR 1.33 (95 % CI 1.19, 1.49, P < 0.001) for heterozygous carriers. SNPs at locus 15q25 did not replicate significantly (P value 5.81 × 10(-2) for top SNP rs939661). We conclude that common variants at chromosome 15q14 influence susceptibility for myopia in Caucasian and Asian populations world-wide.
Human Genetics 06/2012; 131(9):1467-80. · 4.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Various modeling methods have been proposed to estimate the potential predictive ability of polygenic risk variants that predispose to various common diseases. However, it is unknown whether differences between them affect their conclusions on predictive ability. We reviewed input parameters, assumptions and output of the five most common methods and compared their estimates of the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) using hypothetical data representing effect sizes and frequencies of genetic variants, population disease risk and number of variants. To assess the accuracy of the estimated AUCs, we aimed to reproduce the AUCs of published empirical studies. All methods assumed that the combined effect of genetic variants on disease risk followed a multiplicative risk model of independent genetic effects, but they either assumed per allele, per genotype or dominant/recessive effects for the genetic variants. Modeling strategy and input parameters differed. Methods used simulation analysis or analytical formulas with effect sizes quantified by odds ratios (ORs) or relative risks. Estimated AUC values were similar for lower ORs (<1.2). When AUCs were larger (>0.7) due to variants with strong effects, differences in estimated AUCs between methods increased. The simulation methods accurately reproduced the AUC values of empirical studies, but the analytical methods did not. We conclude that despite differences in input parameters, the modeling methods estimate similar AUC for realistic values of the ORs. When one or more variants have stronger effects and AUC values are higher, the simulation methods tend to be more accurate.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 30 May 2012; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.89.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 05/2012; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phospho- and sphingolipids are crucial cellular and intracellular compounds. These lipids are required for active transport, a number of enzymatic processes, membrane formation, and cell signalling. Disruption of their metabolism leads to several diseases, with diverse neurological, psychiatric, and metabolic consequences. A large number of phospholipid and sphingolipid species can be detected and measured in human plasma. We conducted a meta-analysis of five European family-based genome-wide association studies (N = 4034) on plasma levels of 24 sphingomyelins (SPM), 9 ceramides (CER), 57 phosphatidylcholines (PC), 20 lysophosphatidylcholines (LPC), 27 phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), and 16 PE-based plasmalogens (PLPE), as well as their proportions in each major class. This effort yielded 25 genome-wide significant loci for phospholipids (smallest P-value = 9.88×10−204) and 10 loci for sphingolipids (smallest P-value = 3.10×10−57). After a correction for multiple comparisons (P-value
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent genome-wide association (GWA) studies described 95 loci controlling serum lipid levels. These common variants explain ∼25% of the heritability of the phenotypes. To date, no unbiased screen for gene-environment interactions for circulating lipids has been reported. We screened for variants that modify the relationship between known epidemiological risk factors and circulating lipid levels in a meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) data from 18 population-based cohorts with European ancestry (maximum N = 32,225). We collected 8 further cohorts (N = 17,102) for replication, and rs6448771 on 4p15 demonstrated genome-wide significant interaction with waist-to-hip-ratio (WHR) on total cholesterol (TC) with a combined P-value of 4.79×10(-9). There were two potential candidate genes in the region, PCDH7 and CCKAR, with differential expression levels for rs6448771 genotypes in adipose tissue. The effect of WHR on TC was strongest for individuals carrying two copies of G allele, for whom a one standard deviation (sd) difference in WHR corresponds to 0.19 sd difference in TC concentration, while for A allele homozygous the difference was 0.12 sd. Our findings may open up possibilities for targeted intervention strategies for people characterized by specific genomic profiles. However, more refined measures of both body-fat distribution and metabolic measures are needed to understand how their joint dynamics are modified by the newly found locus.