[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomes of men and women differ in only a limited number of genes located on the sex chromosomes, whereas the transcriptome is far more sex-specific. Identification of sex-biased gene expression will contribute to understanding the molecular basis of sex-differences in complex traits and common diseases.
Sex differences in the human peripheral blood transcriptome were characterized using microarrays in 5,241 subjects, accounting for menopause status and hormonal contraceptive use. Sex-specific expression was observed for 582 autosomal genes, of which 57.7% was upregulated in women (female-biased genes). Female-biased genes were enriched for several immune system GO categories, genes linked to rheumatoid arthritis (16%) and genes regulated by estrogen (18%). Male-biased genes were enriched for genes linked to renal cancer (9%). Sex-differences in gene expression were smaller in postmenopausal women, larger in women using hormonal contraceptives and not caused by sex-specific eQTLs, confirming the role of estrogen in regulating sex-biased genes.
This study indicates that sex-bias in gene expression is extensive and may underlie sex-differences in the prevalence of common diseases.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies have shown association between common variants in the α6-β3 nicotinic receptor subunit gene cluster and nicotine dependence in European Ancestry populations. We investigate whether this generalizes to African Americans, whether the association is specific to nicotine dependence, and whether this region contains additional genetic contributors to nicotine dependence.
We examined consistency of association across studies and race between the α6β3 nicotinic receptor subunit locus and nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine dependence in three independent studies.
United States of America PARTICIPANTS: European Americans and African Americans from three case control studies of substance dependence.
Subjects were evaluated using the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism. Nicotine dependence was determined using the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence.
rs13273442 was significantly associated to nicotine dependence across all three studies in both ancestry groups (OR=0.75, p=5.8 x 10-4 European Americans; OR=0.80, p=0.05 African Americans). No other substance dependence was consistently associated to this variant in either group. Another SNP in the region, rs4952, remains modestly associated with nicotine dependence in the combined data after conditioning on rs13273442.
The common variant rs13273442 in the CHRNB3-CHNRA6 region is significantly associated to nicotine dependence in European Americans and African Americans across studies recruited for nicotine, alcohol, and cocaine dependence. Although these data are modestly powered for other substances, our results provide no evidence that correlates of rs13273442 represent a general substance dependence liability. Additional variants likely account for some of the association of this region to nicotine dependence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of inbreeding on the health of offspring can be studied by measuring genome-wide autozygosity as the proportion of the genome in runs of homozygosity (F roh) and relate F roh to outcomes such as psychiatric phenotypes. To successfully conduct these studies, the main patterns of variation for genome-wide autozygosity between and within populations should be well understood and accounted for. Within population variation was investigated in the Dutch population by comparing autozygosity between religious and non-religious groups. The Netherlands have a history of societal segregation and assortment based on religious affiliation, which may have increased parental relatedness within religious groups. Religion has been associated with several psychiatric phenotypes, such as major depressive disorder (MDD). We investigated whether there is an association between autozygosity and MDD, and the extent to which this association can be explained by religious affiliation. All F roh analyses included adjustment for ancestry-informative principal components (PCs) and geographic factors. Religious affiliation was significantly associated with autozygosity, showing that F roh has the ability to capture within population differences that are not captured by ancestry-informative PCs or geographic factors. The non-religious group had significantly lower F roh values and significantly more MDD cases, leading to a nominally significant negative association between autozygosity and depression. After accounting for religious affiliation, MDD was not associated with F roh, indicating that the relation between MDD and inbreeding was due to stratification. This study shows how past religious assortment and recent secularization can have genetic consequences in a relatively small country. This warrants accounting for the historical social context and its effects on genetic variation in association studies on psychiatric and other related traits.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic variation in a population can be summarized through principal component analysis (PCA) on genome-wide data. PCs derived from such analyses are valuable for genetic association studies, where they can correct for population stratification. We investigated how to capture the genetic population structure in a well-characterized sample from the Netherlands and in a worldwide data set and examined whether (1) removing long-range linkage disequilibrium (LD) regions and LD-based SNP pruning significantly improves correlations between PCs and geography and (2) whether genetic differentiation may have been influenced by migration and/or selection. In the Netherlands, three PCs showed significant correlations with geography, distinguishing between: (1) North and South; (2) East and West; and (3) the middle-band and the rest of the country. The third PC only emerged with minimized LD, which also significantly increased correlations with geography for the other two PCs. In addition to geography, the Dutch North-South PC showed correlations with genome-wide homozygosity (r=0.245), which may reflect a serial-founder effect due to northwards migration, and also with height (♂: r=0.142, ♀: r=0.153). The divergence between subpopulations identified by PCs is partly driven by selection pressures. The first three PCs showed significant signals for diversifying selection (545 SNPs - the majority within 184 genes). The strongest signal was observed between North and South for the functional SNP in HERC2 that determines human blue/brown eye color. Thus, this study demonstrates how to increase ancestry signals in a relatively homogeneous population and how those signals can reveal evolutionary history.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 27 March 2013; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.48.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 03/2013; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variants within the gene cluster encoding α3, α5, and β4 nicotinic receptor subunits are major risk factors for substance dependence. The strongest impact on risk is associated with variation in the CHRNA5 gene, where at least two mechanisms are at work: amino acid variation and altered mRNA expression levels. The risk allele of the non-synonymous variant (rs16969968; D398N) primarily occurs on the haplotype containing the low mRNA expression allele. In populations of European ancestry, there are approximately 50 highly correlated variants in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster and the adjacent PSMA4 gene region that are associated with CHRNA5 mRNA levels. It is not clear which of these variants contribute to the changes in CHRNA5 transcript level. Because populations of African ancestry have reduced linkage disequilibrium among variants spanning this gene cluster, eQTL mapping in subjects of African ancestry could potentially aid in defining the functional variants that affect CHRNA5 mRNA levels. We performed quantitative allele specific gene expression using frontal cortices derived from 49 subjects of African ancestry and 111 subjects of European ancestry. This method measures allele-specific transcript levels in the same individual, which eliminates other biological variation that occurs when comparing expression levels between different samples. This analysis confirmed that substance dependence associated variants have a direct cis-regulatory effect on CHRNA5 transcript levels in human frontal cortices of African and European ancestry and identified 10 highly correlated variants, located in a 9 kb region, that are potential functional variants modifying CHRNA5 mRNA expression levels.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e80204. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have identified genes associated with alcohol-use disorders (AUDs), but the variation in each of these genes explains only a small portion of the genetic vulnerability. The goal of the present study was to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in extended families from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism to identify novel genes affecting risk for alcohol dependence (AD). To maximize the power of the extended family design, we used a quantitative endophenotype, measured in all individuals: number of alcohol-dependence symptoms endorsed (symptom count (SC)). Secondary analyses were performed to determine if the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with SC were also associated with the dichotomous phenotype, DSM-IV AD. This family-based GWAS identified SNPs in C15orf53 that are strongly associated with DSM-IV alcohol-dependence symptom counts (P=4.5 × 10(-8), inflation-corrected P=9.4 × 10(-7)). Results with DSM-IV AD in the regions of interest support our findings with SC, although the associations were less significant. Attempted replications of the most promising association results were conducted in two independent samples: nonoverlapping subjects from the Study of Addiction: Genes and Environment (SAGE) and the Australian Twin Family Study of AUDs (OZALC). Nominal association of C15orf53 with SC was observed in SAGE. The variant that showed strongest association with SC, rs12912251 and its highly correlated variants (D'=1, r(2) 0.95), have previously been associated with risk for bipolar disorder.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 23 October 2012; doi:10.1038/mp.2012.143.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excessive alcohol use is the third leading cause of preventable death and is highly correlated with alcohol dependence, a heritable phenotype. Many genetic factors for alcohol dependence have been found, but many remain unknown. In search of additional genetic factors, we examined the association between Diagnostic and StatisticalManual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) alcohol dependence and all common copy number variations (CNVs) with good reliability in the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment (SAGE).
All participants in SAGE were interviewed using the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism, as a part of 3 contributing studies. A total of 2,610 non-Hispanic European American samples were genotyped on the Illumina Human 1M array. We performed CNV calling by CNVPartition, PennCNV, and QuantiSNP, and only CNVs identified by all 3 software programs were examined. Association was conducted with the CNV (as a deletion/duplication) as well as with probes in the CNV region. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to validate the CNVs in the laboratory.
CNVs in 6q14.1 (p = 1.04 × 10(-6) ) and 5q13.2 (p = 3.37 × 10(-4) ) were significantly associated with alcohol dependence after adjusting multiple tests. On chromosome 5q13.2, there were multiple candidate genes previously associated with various neurological disorders. The region on chromosome 6q14.1 is a gene desert that has been associated with mental retardation and language delay. The CNV in 5q13.2 was validated, whereas only a component of the CNV on 6q14.1 was validated by qPCR. Thus, the CNV on 6q14.1 should be viewed with caution.
This is the first study to show an association between DSM-IV alcohol dependence and CNVs. CNVs in regions previously associated with neurological disorders may be associated with alcohol dependence.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 06/2012; 36(9):1512-8. · 3.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Event-related oscillations (EROs) represent highly heritable neuroelectric correlates of cognitive processes that manifest deficits in alcoholics and in offspring at high risk to develop alcoholism. Theta ERO to targets in the visual oddball task has been shown to be an endophenotype for alcoholism. A family-based genome-wide association study was performed for the frontal theta ERO phenotype using 634 583 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 1560 family members from 117 families densely affected by alcohol use disorders, recruited in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism. Genome-wide significant association was found with several SNPs on chromosome 21 in KCNJ6 (a potassium inward rectifier channel; KIR3.2/GIRK2), with the most significant SNP at P = 4.7 × 10(-10)). The same SNPs were also associated with EROs from central and parietal electrodes, but with less significance, suggesting that the association is frontally focused. One imputed synonymous SNP in exon four, highly correlated with our top three SNPs, was significantly associated with the frontal theta ERO phenotype. These results suggest KCNJ6 or its product GIRK2 account for some of the variations in frontal theta band oscillations. GIRK2 receptor activation contributes to slow inhibitory postsynaptic potentials that modulate neuronal excitability, and therefore influence neuronal networks.
Genes Brain and Behavior 05/2012; 11(6):712-9. · 3.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have identified genes associated with alcohol use disorders, but the
variation in each of these genes explains only a small portion of the genetic vulnerability. The
goal of the present study was to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in extended
families from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) to identify novel
genes affecting risk for alcohol dependence. To maximize the power of the extended family
design we used a quantitative endophenotype, measured in all individuals: number of alcohol
dependence symptoms endorsed (symptom count). Secondary analyses were performed to
determine if the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with symptom count were
also associated with the dichotomous phenotype, DSM-IV alcohol dependence. This familybased
GWAS identified SNPs in C15orf53 that are strongly associated with DSM-IV alcohol
(p=4.5x10-8, inflation corrected p=9.4x10-7). Results with DSM-IV alcohol dependence in the
regions of interest support our findings with symptom count, though the associations were less
significant. Attempted replications of the most promising association results were conducted in
two independent samples: non-overlapping subjects from the Study of Addiction: Genes and
Environment (SAGE) and the Australian twin-family study of alcohol use disorders (OZALC).
Nominal association of C15orf53 with symptom count was observed in SAGE. The variant that
showed strongest association with symptom count, rs12912251 and its highly correlated variants
(D’=1, r2≥ 0.95), have previously been associated with risk for bipolar disorder.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several genome-wide association and candidate gene studies have linked chromosome 15q24-q25.1 (a region including the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster) with alcohol dependence, nicotine dependence and smoking-related illnesses such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. To further examine the impact of these genes on the development of substance use disorders, we tested whether variants within and flanking the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster affect the transition to daily smoking (individuals who smoked cigarettes 4 or more days per week) in a cross sectional sample of adolescents and young adults from the COGA (Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism) families. Subjects were recruited from families affected with alcoholism (either as a first or second degree relative) and the comparison families. Participants completed the SSAGA interview, a comprehensive assessment of alcohol and other substance use and related behaviors. Using the Quantitative trait disequilibrium test (QTDT) significant association was detected between age at onset of daily smoking and variants located upstream of CHRNB4. Multivariate analysis using a Cox proportional hazards model further revealed that these variants significantly predict the age at onset of habitual smoking among daily smokers. These variants were not in high linkage disequilibrium (0.28<r(2)<0.56) with variants that have previously been reported to affect risk for nicotine dependence and smoking related diseases in adults. The data suggests that an age-associated relationship underlies the association of SNPs in CHRNB4 with onset of chronic smoking behaviors in adolescents and young adults and may improve genetic information that will lead to better prevention and intervention for substance use disorders among adolescents and young adults.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33513. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has reduced morbidity and mortality in HIV-1 infection; however HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) persist despite treatment. The reasons for the limited efficacy of ART in the brain are unknown. Here we used functional genomics to determine ART effectiveness in the brain and to identify molecular signatures of HAND under ART. We performed genome-wide microarray analysis using Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 Arrays, real-time PCR, and immunohistochemistry in brain tissues from seven treated and eight untreated HAND patients and six uninfected controls. We also determined brain virus burdens by real-time PCR. Treated and untreated HAND brains had distinct gene expression profiles with ART transcriptomes clustering with HIV-1-negative controls. The molecular disease profile of untreated HAND showed dysregulated expression of 1470 genes at p<0.05, with activation of antiviral and immune responses and suppression of synaptic transmission and neurogenesis. The overall brain transcriptome changes in these patients were independent of histological manifestation of HIV-1 encephalitis and brain virus burdens. Depending on treatment compliance, brain transcriptomes from patients on ART had 83% to 93% fewer dysregulated genes and significantly lower dysregulation of biological pathways compared to untreated patients, with particular improvement indicated for nervous system functions. However a core of about 100 genes remained similarly dysregulated in both treated and untreated patient brain tissues. These genes participate in adaptive immune responses, and in interferon, cell cycle, and myelin pathways. Fluctuations of cellular gene expression in the brain correlated in Pearson's formula analysis with plasma but not brain virus burden. Our results define for the first time an aberrant genome-wide brain transcriptome of untreated HAND and they suggest that antiretroviral treatment can be broadly effective in reducing pathophysiological changes in the brain associated with HAND. Aberrantly expressed transcripts common to untreated and treated HAND may contribute to neurocognitive changes defying ART.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have undertaken a genome-wide analysis of rare copy-number variation (CNV) in 1124 autism spectrum disorder (ASD) families, each comprised of a single proband, unaffected parents, and, in most kindreds, an unaffected sibling. We find significant association of ASD with de novo duplications of 7q11.23, where the reciprocal deletion causes Williams-Beuren syndrome, characterized by a highly social personality. We identify rare recurrent de novo CNVs at five additional regions, including 16p13.2 (encompassing genes USP7 and C16orf72) and Cadherin 13, and implement a rigorous approach to evaluating the statistical significance of these observations. Overall, large de novo CNVs, particularly those encompassing multiple genes, confer substantial risks (OR = 5.6; CI = 2.6-12.0, p = 2.4 × 10(-7)). We estimate there are 130-234 ASD-related CNV regions in the human genome and present compelling evidence, based on cumulative data, for association of rare de novo events at 7q11.23, 15q11.2-13.1, 16p11.2, and Neurexin 1.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Copy number variations (CNVs) are a major source of alterations among individuals and are a potential risk factor in many diseases. Numerous diseases have been linked to deletions and duplications of these chromosomal segments. Data from genome-wide association studies and other microarrays may be used to identify CNVs by several different computer programs, but the reliability of the results has been questioned.
To help researchers reduce the number of false-positive CNVs that need to be followed up with laboratory testing, we evaluated the relative performance of CNVPartition, PennCNV and QuantiSNP, and developed a statistical method for estimating sensitivity and positive predictive values of CNV calls and tested it on 96 duplicate samples in our dataset.
We found that the positive predictive rate increases with the number of probes in the CNV and the size of the CNV, with the highest positive predicted rates in CNVs of at least 500 kb and at least 100 probes. Our analysis also indicates that identifying CNVs reported by multiple programs can greatly improve the reproducibility rate and the positive predicted rate.
Our methods can be used by investigators to identify CNVs in genome-wide data with greater reliability.
Human Heredity 01/2011; 71(3):141-7. · 1.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astrocytes are the major cellular component of the central nervous system (CNS), and they play multiple roles in brain development,
normal brain function, and CNS responses to pathogens and injury. The functional versatility of astrocytes is linked to their
ability to respond to a wide array of biological stimuli through finely orchestrated changes in cellular gene expression.
Dysregulation of gene expression programs, generally by chronic exposure to pathogenic stimuli, may lead to dysfunction of
astrocytes and contribute to neuropathogenesis. Here, we review studies that employ functional genomics to characterize the
effects of HIV-1 and viral pathogenic proteins on cellular gene expression in astrocytes in vitro. We also present the first
microarray analysis of primary mouse astrocytes exposed to HIV-1 in culture. In spite of different experimental conditions
and microarray platforms used, comparison of the astrocyte array data sets reveals several common gene-regulatory changes
that may underlie responses of these cells to HIV-1 and its proteins. We also compared the transcriptional profiles of astrocytes
with those obtained in analyses of brain tissues of patients with HIV-1 dementia and macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency
virus (SIV). Notably, many of the gene characteristics of responses to HIV-1 in cultured astrocytes were also altered in HIV-1
or SIV-infected brains. Functional genomics, in conjunction with other approaches, may help clarify the role of astrocytes
in HIV-1 neuropathogenesis.
Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology 01/2010; 5(1):44-62. · 3.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTIONSaliva may be a viable alternative to blood as a source for DNA, and has the advantage that it is collected noninvasively. This protocol describes the Oragene procedure for DNA extraction from 2-mL saliva samples. It yields high-quality DNA suitable for research and diagnostic applications.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTIONThe availability of high-quality DNA from a large number of individuals is a prerequisite for the success of genetic variation studies. This requirement has spurred major technological advances in DNA extraction methodologies. Twenty years ago, large-scale manual extractions took >3 d to complete. Large-scale preparations can now be completed within 3 h using automated extraction platforms, without the need for toxic reagents and often with higher yields than in the past. This article introduces methods and considerations for the extraction of DNA for genotyping, and for the determination of DNA quantity and quality.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTIONThis protocol describes large-scale DNA extraction from cell pellets using either in-house or commercial (PUREGENE) reagents. The cell pellets are prepared from human lymphoblast cell lines (LCLs) that have been established using the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTIONThis protocol describes the extraction of genomic DNA from whole blood samples (fresh or frozen) and buffy coats. It provides methods for (1) large-scale extraction of DNA using either in-house or commercial (PUREGENE) reagents; (2) mid-scale extraction of DNA using the QIAamp DNA Blood Midi Kit (for 0.5-mL samples); and (3) small-scale extraction of DNA using the QIAamp DNA Blood Mini Kits (for 200-μL samples). Also included are methods for extracting DNA from blood samples that are compromised or clotted. Compromised blood samples include samples that spent more than 3 days in transit, samples that have been stored for more than 1 wk at 4°C, samples that have been stored at -20°C or -70°C, and samples that were collected incorrectly (e.g., not mixed properly). The procedures described here are not high throughput. Potential drawbacks of making them high-throughput are lower recoveries of DNA and possible variability in data quality, thus requiring additional quality assurance and control checks. DNA yields for these methods vary with the number of nucleated cells in the blood sample and the quality of the sample.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In neurons, a variety of extracellular stimuli are capable of inducing transcriptional events that underlie complex processes ranging from learning to disease. The mechanisms linking these long-lasting cellular modifications to behavior remain to be established. Here, we show by microarray analysis that hippocampal activation of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R), which is associated with improved learning and neuroprotection, results in suppression of the transcription factor DBP (albumin D-site-binding protein). Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) based gene expression of DBP in the hippocampus of adult rats caused upregulation of mRNAs encoding constituents of the molecular clock, and the DBP target gene, pyridoxal kinase. Behaviorally, DBP over expression inhibited spatial learning but not memory, and enhanced susceptibility to kainate-induced seizures. This phenotype was paralleled by the activation of MAP kinase in dendritic regions of hippocampal neurons in vivo. These data suggest that DBP may represent an important transcriptional link between GLP-1R activation and neuroplasticity in the hippocampus.
Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 03/2006; 31(2):303-14. · 3.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia and autism are neurodevelopmental disorders with genetic and environmental etiologies. Prenatal viral infection has been associated with both disorders. We investigated the effects of prenatal viral infection on gene regulation in offspring of Balb-c mice using microarray technology. The results showed significant upregulation of 21 genes and downregulation of 18 genes in the affected neonatal brain homogenates spanning gene families affecting cell structure and function, namely, cytosolic chaperone system, HSC70, Bicaudal D, aquaporin 4, carbonic anhydrase 3, glycine receptor, norepinephrine transporter, and myelin basic protein. We also verified the results using QPCR measurements of selected mRNA species. These results show for the first time that prenatal human influenza viral infection on day 9 of pregnancy leads to alterations in a subset of genes in brains of exposed offspring, potentially leading to permanent changes in brain structure and function.