[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disease incidences increase with age, but the molecular characteristics of ageing that lead to increased disease susceptibility remain inadequately understood. Here we perform a whole-blood gene expression meta-analysis in 14,983 individuals of European ancestry (including replication) and identify 1,497 genes that are differentially expressed with chronological age. The age-associated genes do not harbor more age-associated CpG-methylation sites than other genes, but are instead enriched for the presence of potentially functional CpG-methylation sites in enhancer and insulator regions that associate with both chronological age and gene expression levels. We further used the gene expression profiles to calculate the 'transcriptomic age' of an individual, and show that differences between transcriptomic age and chronological age are associated with biological features linked to ageing, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, fasting glucose, and body mass index. The transcriptomic prediction model adds biological relevance and complements existing epigenetic prediction models, and can be used by others to calculate transcriptomic age in external cohorts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 100 genetic variants contributing to BMI, a measure of body size, or waist-to-hip ratio (adjusted for BMI, WHRadjBMI), a measure of body shape. Body size and shape change as people grow older and these changes differ substantially between men and women. To systematically screen for age- and/or sex-specific effects of genetic variants on BMI and WHRadjBMI, we performed meta-analyses of 114 studies (up to 320,485 individuals of European descent) with genome-wide chip and/or Metabochip data by the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium. Each study tested the association of up to ~2.8M SNPs with BMI and WHRadjBMI in four strata (men 50y, men >50y, women 50y, women >50y) and summary statistics were combined in stratum-specific meta-analyses. We then screened for variants that showed age-specific effects (G x AGE), sex-specific effects (G x SEX) or age-specific effects that differed between men and women (G x AGE x SEX). For BMI, we identified 15 loci (11 previously established for main effects, four novel) that showed signifi- cant (FDR<5%) age-specific effects, of which 11 had larger effects in younger (<50y) than in older adults (!50y). No sex-dependent effects were identified for BMI. For WHRadjBMI, we identified 44 loci (27 previously established for main effects, 17 novel) with sex-specific effects, of which 28 showed larger effects in women than in men, five showed larger effects in men than in women, and 11 showed opposite effects between sexes. No age-dependent effects were identified for WHRadjBMI. This is the first genome-wide interaction meta-analy- sis to report convincing evidence of age-dependent genetic effects on BMI. In addition, we confirm the sex-specificity of genetic effects on WHRadjBMI. These results may provide further insights into the biology that underlies weight change with age or the sexually dimor- phism of body shape.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 100 genetic variants contributing to BMI, a measure of body size, or waist-to-hip ratio (adjusted for BMI, WHRadjBMI), a measure of body shape. Body size and shape change as people grow older and these changes differ substantially between men and women. To systematically screen for age- and/or sex-specific effects of genetic variants on BMI and WHRadjBMI, we performed meta-analyses of 114 studies (up to 320,485 individuals of European descent) with genome-wide chip and/or Metabochip data by the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium. Each study tested the association of up to ~2.8M SNPs with BMI and WHRadjBMI in four strata (men ≤50y, men >50y, women ≤50y, women >50y) and summary statistics were combined in stratum-specific meta-analyses. We then screened for variants that showed age-specific effects (G x AGE), sex-specific effects (G x SEX) or age-specific effects that differed between men and women (G x AGE x SEX). For BMI, we identified 15 loci (11 previously established for main effects, four novel) that showed significant (FDR<5%) age-specific effects, of which 11 had larger effects in younger (<50y) than in older adults (≥50y). No sex-dependent effects were identified for BMI. For WHRadjBMI, we identified 44 loci (27 previously established for main effects, 17 novel) with sex-specific effects, of which 28 showed larger effects in women than in men, five showed larger effects in men than in women, and 11 showed opposite effects between sexes. No age-dependent effects were identified for WHRadjBMI. This is the first genome-wide interaction meta-analysis to report convincing evidence of age-dependent genetic effects on BMI. In addition, we confirm the sex-specificity of genetic effects on WHRadjBMI. These results may provide further insights into the biology that underlies weight change with age or the sexually dimorphism of body shape.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common reproductive disorder in women, yet there is little consensus regarding its aetiology. Here we perform a genome-wide association study of PCOS in up to 5,184 self-reported cases of White European ancestry and 82,759 controls, with follow-up in a further â 1/42,000 clinically validated cases and â 1/4100,000 controls. We identify six signals for PCOS at genome-wide statistical significance (P<5 × 10 â '8), in/near genes ERBB4/HER4, YAP1, THADA, FSHB, RAD50 and KRR1. Variants in/near three of the four epidermal growth factor receptor genes (ERBB2/HER2, ERBB3/HER3 and ERBB4/HER4) are associated with PCOS at or near genome-wide significance. Mendelian randomization analyses indicate causal roles in PCOS aetiology for higher BMI (P=2.5 × 10 â '9), higher insulin resistance (P=6 × 10 â '4) and lower serum sex hormone binding globulin concentrations (P=5 × 10 â '4). Furthermore, genetic susceptibility to later menopause is associated with higher PCOS risk (P=1.6 × 10 â '8) and PCOS-susceptibility alleles are associated with higher serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations in girls (P=8.9 × 10 â '5). This large-scale study implicates an aetiological role of the epidermal growth factor receptors, infers causal mechanisms relevant to clinical management and prevention, and suggests balancing selection mechanisms involved in PCOS risk.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Recently, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and Barrett's esophagus (BE) were identified; rs10419226 (CRTC1), rs11789015 (BARX1), rs2687201 (FOXP1), rs2178146 (FOXF1), rs3111601 (FOXF1), and rs9936833 (FOXF1). These findings indicate that genetic susceptibility could play a role in the initiation of EAC in BE patients. The aim of this study was to validate the association between these previously identified SNPs and the risk of EAC in an independent and large case-control study.
Six SNPs found to be associated with EAC and BE were genotyped by a multiplex SNaPshot analysis in 1071 EAC patients diagnosed and treated in the Netherlands. Allele frequencies were compared to a control group derived from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based prospective cohort study (n = 6206). Logistic regression analysis and meta-analysis were performed to calculate odds ratios (OR).
Rs10419226 (CRTC1) showed a significantly increased EAC risk for the minor allele (OR = 1.17, P = 0.001), and rs11789015 (BARX1) showed a significantly decreased risk for the minor allele (OR = 0.85, P = 0.004) in the logistic regression analysis. The meta-analysis of the original GWAS and the current study revealed an improved level of significance for rs10419226 (CRTC1) (OR = 1.18, P = 6.66 × 10(-10)) and rs11789015 (BARX1) (OR = 0.83, P = 1.13 × 10(-8)).
This independent and large Dutch case-control study confirms the association of rs10419226 (CRTC1) and rs11789015 (BARX1) with the risk of EAC. These findings suggest a contribution of the patient genetic make-up to the development of EAC and might contribute to gain more insight in the etiology of this cancer.
Journal of Carcinogenesis 05/2015; 14(5). DOI:10.4103/1477-3163.157441.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Longevity is an extremely complex phenotype that is determined by environment, life style and genetics. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have been a powerful tool to identify the genetic origin of other complex outcome with a similar heritability. In this chapter we discuss the findings all GWAS of longevity conducted to date. Various cut-off to define longevity have been used varying from 85+, 90+ and 100+ years and the impact of these difference are addressed in this chapter. The only consistent association emerging from GWAS to data is the APOE gene that has been already identified as a candidate gene. Although (GWAS) have identified biologically plausible genes and pathways, no new loci for longevity have been conclusively proven. A reason for not finding any replicated associations for longevity could be the complexity of the phenotype, although heterogeneity also underlies many other traits for which GWAS has been successful. One may argue that rare variants explain the high heritability of longevity and the segregation of the trait in families. Yet, whole genome analyses of GWAS data still suggest that over 80 % of the heritability is explained by common variants. Although findings of GWAS to date have been disappointing, there is ample opportunity to improve the statistical power of studies to find common variants with small effects. In the near future, joining of the published studies and new ones emerging may bring to surface new loci.
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 04/2015; 847:107-125. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4939-2404-2_5 · 1.96 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variation in body iron is associated with or causes diseases, including anaemia and iron overload. Here, we analyse genetic association data on biochemical markers of iron status from 11 European-population studies, with replication in eight additional cohorts (total up to 48,972 subjects). We find 11 genome-wide-significant (P<5 × 10(-8)) loci, some including known iron-related genes (HFE, SLC40A1, TF, TFR2, TFRC, TMPRSS6) and others novel (ABO, ARNTL, FADS2, NAT2, TEX14). SNPs at ARNTL, TF, and TFR2 affect iron markers in HFE C282Y homozygotes at risk for hemochromatosis. There is substantial overlap between our iron loci and loci affecting erythrocyte and lipid phenotypes. These results will facilitate investigation of the roles of iron in disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress and inflammation are major contributors to accelerated age-related relative telomere length (RTL) shortening. Both conditions are strongly linked to leptin and adiponectin, the most prominent adipocyte-derived protein hormones. As high leptin levels and low levels of adiponectin have been implicated in inflammation, one expects adiponectin to be positively associated with RTL while leptin should be negatively associated. Within the ENGAGE consortium, we investigated the association of RTL with adiponectin and leptin in seven independent cohorts with a total of 11,448 participants. We performed partial correlation analysis on Z-transformed RTL and LN-transformed leptin/adiponectin, adjusting for age and sex. In extended models we adjusted for body mass index (BMI) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Adiponectin showed a borderline significant association with RTL. This appeared to be determined by a single study and when the outlier study was removed, this association disappeared. The association between RTL and leptin was highly significant (r = -0.05; p = 1.81 × 10(-7)). Additional adjustment for BMI or CRP did not change the results. Sex-stratified analysis revealed no difference between men and women. Our study suggests that high leptin levels are associated with short RTL.
European Journal of Epidemiology 07/2014; 29(9). DOI:10.1007/s10654-014-9940-1 · 5.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genetic contribution to the variation in human lifespan is approximately 25%. Despite the large number of identified disease-susceptibility loci, it is not known which loci influence population mortality.We performed a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 7729 long-lived individuals of European descent (≥ 85 years) and 16121 younger controls (< 65 years) followed by replication in an additional set of 13060 long-lived individuals and 61156 controls. In addition, we performed a subset analysis in cases≥90 years.We observed genome-wide significant association with longevity, as reflected by survival to ages beyond 90 years, at a novel locus, rs2149954, on chromosome 5q33.3 (OR=1.10, P =1.74 x 10(-8)). We also confirmed association of rs4420638 on chromosome 19q13.32 (OR=0.72, P=3.40 x 10(-36)), representing the TOMM40/APOE/APOC1 locus. In a prospective meta-analysis (n=34103) the minor allele of rs2149954 (T) on chromosome 5q33.3 associates with increased survival (HR=0.95, P=0.003). This allele has previously been reported to associate with low blood pressure in middle age. Interestingly, the minor allele (T) associates with decreased cardiovascular mortality risk, independent of blood pressure.We report on the first GWAS-identified longevity locus on chromosome 5q33.3 influencing survival in the general European population. The minor allele of this locus associates with low blood pressure in middle age, although the contribution of this allele to survival may be less dependent on blood pressure. Hence, the pleiotropic mechanisms by which this intragenic variation contributes to lifespan regulation have to be elucidated.
Human Molecular Genetics 03/2014; 23(16). DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu139 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) are common, affecting 2-5% of the general population. Individuals with positive thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAbs) have an increased risk of autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's thyroiditis), as well as autoimmune hyperthyroidism (Graves' disease). As the possible causative genes of TPOAbs and AITD remain largely unknown, we performed GWAS meta-analyses in 18,297 individuals for TPOAb-positivity (1769 TPOAb-positives and 16,528 TPOAb-negatives) and in 12,353 individuals for TPOAb serum levels, with replication in 8,990 individuals. Significant associations (P<5×10(-8)) were detected at TPO-rs11675434, ATXN2-rs653178, and BACH2-rs10944479 for TPOAb-positivity, and at TPO-rs11675434, MAGI3-rs1230666, and KALRN-rs2010099 for TPOAb levels. Individual and combined effects (genetic risk scores) of these variants on (subclinical) hypo- and hyperthyroidism, goiter and thyroid cancer were studied. Individuals with a high genetic risk score had, besides an increased risk of TPOAb-positivity (OR: 2.18, 95% CI 1.68-2.81, P = 8.1×10(-8)), a higher risk of increased thyroid-stimulating hormone levels (OR: 1.51, 95% CI 1.26-1.82, P = 2.9×10(-6)), as well as a decreased risk of goiter (OR: 0.77, 95% CI 0.66-0.89, P = 6.5×10(-4)). The MAGI3 and BACH2 variants were associated with an increased risk of hyperthyroidism, which was replicated in an independent cohort of patients with Graves' disease (OR: 1.37, 95% CI 1.22-1.54, P = 1.2×10(-7) and OR: 1.25, 95% CI 1.12-1.39, P = 6.2×10(-5)). The MAGI3 variant was also associated with an increased risk of hypothyroidism (OR: 1.57, 95% CI 1.18-2.10, P = 1.9×10(-3)). This first GWAS meta-analysis for TPOAbs identified five newly associated loci, three of which were also associated with clinical thyroid disease. With these markers we identified a large subgroup in the general population with a substantially increased risk of TPOAbs. The results provide insight into why individuals with thyroid autoimmunity do or do not eventually develop thyroid disease, and these markers may therefore predict which TPOAb-positives are particularly at risk of developing clinical thyroid dysfunction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human leukocyte telomere length (LTL) decreases with age and shorter LTL has previously been associated with increased prospective mortality. However, it is not clear whether LTL merely marks the health status of an individual by its association with parameters of immune function, for example, or whether telomere shortening also contributes causally to lifespan variation in humans.
We measured LTL in 870 nonagenarian siblings (mean age 93 years), 1580 of their offspring and 725 spouses thereof (mean age 59 years) from the Leiden Longevity Study (LLS).
We found that shorter LTL is associated with increased prospective mortality in middle (30-80 years; hazard ratio (HR) = 0.75, P = 0.001) and highly advanced age (≥90 years; HR = 0.92, P = 0.028), and show that this association cannot be explained by the association of LTL with the immune-related markers insulin-like growth factor 1 to insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 molar ratio, C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, cytomegalovirus serostatus or white blood cell counts. We found no difference in LTL between the middle-aged LLS offspring and their spouses (β = 0.006, P = 0.932). Neither did we observe an association of LTL-associated genetic variants with mortality in a prospective meta-analysis of multiple cohorts (n = 8165).
We confirm LTL to be a marker of prospective mortality in middle and highly advanced age and additionally show that this association could not be explained by the association of LTL with various immune-related markers. Furthermore, the approaches performed here do not further support the hypothesis that LTL variation contributes to the genetic propensity for longevity.
International Journal of Epidemiology 01/2014; 43(3). DOI:10.1093/ije/dyt267 · 9.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several clinical studies suggest the involvement of premature aging processes in COPD. Using an epidemiological approach we studied whether accelerated aging indicated by telomere length, a marker of biological age, is associated with COPD and asthma, and whether intrinsic age-related processes contribute to the inter-individual variability of lung function.Our meta-analysis of 14 studies included 934 COPD cases with 15,846 controls defined according to GLI criteria (or 1,189 COPD cases according to GOLD), 2,834 asthma cases with 28,195 controls, and spirometric parameters (FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC) of 12,595 individuals. Associations with telomere length were tested by linear regression, adjusting for age, sex, and smoking status.We observed negative associations between telomere length and asthma (β= -0.0452, p=0.024) as well as COPD (β= -0.0982, p=0.001), with associations being stronger and more significant when using GLI in comparison to GOLD. In both diseases, effects were stronger in females compared to males. The investigation of spirometric indices showed positive associations between telomere length and FEV1 (p=1.07×10(-7)), FVC (p=2.07×10(-5)), and their ratio FEV1/FVC (p=5.27×10(-3)). The effect was somewhat weaker in apparently healthy subjects compared to COPD or asthma patients.Our results provide indirect evidence for the hypothesis that cellular senescence may contribute to the pathogenesis of COPD and asthma and that lung function may reflect biological aging primarily due to intrinsic processes which are likely to be aggravated in lung diseases.
European Respiratory Journal 12/2013; 43(4). DOI:10.1183/09031936.00046213 · 7.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether 57 genetic risk loci recently identified in a large-scale genome-wide association study in adult patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are also associated with a risk for pediatric-onset MS and whether they can predict MS diagnosis in children presenting with acquired demyelinating syndromes (ADS).
We included 188 children with ADS, of whom 53 were diagnosed with MS, 466 patients with adult-onset MS, and 2,046 adult controls in our cohort study. Weighted genetic risk scores (wGRS) were calculated to evaluate genetic effects.
Mean wGRS was significantly higher for patients with pediatric-onset MS (7.32 ± 0.53) as compared with patients with monophasic ADS (7.10 ± 0.47, p = 0.01) and controls (7.11 ± 0.53, p < 0.01). We found no difference in mean wGRS of participants with monophasic ADS (7.10 ± 0.47) and controls (7.11 ± 0.53). The ability of the wGRS for the 57 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to discriminate between children with MS and those with monophasic ADS was moderate (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.64), but improved with the addition of sex and HLA-DRB1*15 (AUC = 0.70). The combined effect of 57 SNPs exceeded the effect of HLA-DRB1*15 alone in our risk models for pediatric- and adult-onset MS.
The previously reported 57 SNPs for adult-onset MS also confer increased susceptibility to pediatric-onset MS, but not to monophasic ADS.