[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common, painful and debilitating disease of articulating joints resulting from the age-associated loss of cartilage. Well-powered genetic studies have identified a number of DNA polymorphisms that are associated with OA susceptibility. Like most complex trait loci, these OA loci are thought to influence disease susceptibility through regulation of gene expression, so called expression quantitative loci, or eQTLs. One mechanism through which eQTLs act is epigenetically, by modulating DNA methylation. In such cases, there are quantitative differences in DNA methylation between the two alleles of the causal polymorphism, with the association signal referred to as a methylation quantitative trait locus, or meQTL. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether the OA susceptibility loci identified to date are functioning as meQTLs by integrating genotype data with whole genome methylation data of cartilage DNA. We investigated potential genotype-methylation correlations within a 1.0-1.5 Mb region surrounding each of 16 OA associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 99 cartilage samples, and identified four that function as meQTLs. Three of these replicated in an additional cohort of up to 62 OA patients. These observations suggest that OA susceptibility loci regulate the level of DNA methylation in cis and provide a mechanistic explanation as to how these loci impact upon OA susceptibility, further increasing our understanding of the role of genetics and epigenetics in this common disease.
Human Molecular Genetics 10/2015; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddv433 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a classical autoimmune liver disease for which effective immunomodulatory therapy is lacking. Here we perform meta-analyses of discovery data sets from genome-wide association studies of European subjects (n=2,764 cases and 10,475 controls) followed by validation genotyping in an independent cohort (n=3,716 cases and 4,261 controls). We discover and validate six previously unknown risk loci for PBC (Pcombined<5 × 10(-8)) and used pathway analysis to identify JAK-STAT/IL12/IL27 signalling and cytokine-cytokine pathways, for which relevant therapies exist.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diseases often cooccur in individuals more often than expected by chance, and may be explained by shared underlying genetic etiology. A common approach to genetic overlap analyses is to use summary genome-wide association study data to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are associated with multiple traits at a selected P-value threshold. However, P-values do not account for differences in power, whereas Bayes’ factors (BFs) do, and may be approximated using summary statistics. We use simulation studies to compare the power of frequentist and Bayesian approaches with overlap analyses, and to decide on appropriate thresholds for comparison between the two methods. It is empirically illustrated that BFs have the advantage over P-values of a decreasing type I error rate as study size increases for single-disease associations. Consequently, the overlap analysis of traits from different-sized studies encounters issues in fair P-value threshold selection, whereas BFs are adjusted automatically. Extensive simulations show that Bayesian overlap analyses tend to have higher power than those that assess association strength with P-values, particularly in low-power scenarios. Calibration tables between BFs and P-values are provided for a range of sample sizes, as well as an approximation approach for sample sizes that are not in the calibration table. Although P-values are sometimes thought more intuitive, these tables assist in removing the opaqueness of Bayesian thresholds and may also be used in the selection of a BF threshold to meet a certain type I error rate. An application of our methods is used to identify variants associated with both obesity and osteoarthritis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified two susceptibility loci for congenital heart disease (CHD) in Han Chinese. Here we identify additional loci by testing promising associations in an extended 3-stage validation consisting of 6,053 CHD cases and 7,410 controls. We find GW significant (P<5.0 × 10(-8)) evidence of 4 additional CHD susceptibility loci at 4q31.22 (rs1400558, upstream of EDNRA, Pall=1.63 × 10(-9)), 9p24.2 (rs7863990, close to SMARCA2, Pall=3.71 × 10(-14)), 12q24.13 (rs2433752, upstream of TBX3 and TBX5, Pall=1.04 × 10(-10)) and 20q12 (rs490514, in PTPRT, Pall=1.20 × 10(-13)). Moreover, the data from previous European GWAS supports that rs490514 is associated with the risk of CHD (P=3.40 × 10(-3)). These results enhance our understanding of CHD susceptibility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In common with several other autoimmune diseases, autoimmune Addison's disease (AAD) is thought to be caused by a combination of deleterious susceptibility polymorphisms in several genes, together with undefined environmental factors and stochastic events. To date, the strongest genomic association with AAD has been with alleles at the HLA locus, DR3-DQ2 and DR4. The contribution of other genetic variants has been inconsistent. We have studied the association of 16 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the CD28-CTLA-4-ICOS genomic locus, in a cohort comprising 691 AAD patients of Norwegian and UK origin with matched controls. We have also performed a meta-analysis including 1002 patients from European countries. The G-allele of SNP rs231775 in CTLA-4 is associated with AAD in Norwegian patients (odds ratio (OR)=1.35 (confidence interval (CI) 1.10-1.66), P=0.004), but not in UK patients. The same allele is associated with AAD in the total European population (OR=1.37 (CI 1.13-1.66), P=0.002). A three-marker haplotype, comprising PROMOTER_1661, rs231726 and rs1896286 was found to be associated with AAD in the Norwegian cohort only (OR 2.43 (CI 1.68-3.51), P=0.00013). This study points to the CTLA-4 gene as a susceptibility locus for the development of AAD, and refines its mapping within the wider genomic locus.Genes and Immunity advance online publication, 23 July 2015; doi:10.1038/gene.2015.27.
Genes and immunity 07/2015; 16(6). DOI:10.1038/gene.2015.27 · 2.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Autoimmune Addison's disease (AAD) is a rare, highly heritable autoimmune endocrinopathy. It is possible that there may be some highly penetrant variants which confer disease susceptibility that have yet to be discovered.
DNA samples from 23 multiplex AAD pedigrees from the UK and Norway (50 cases, 67 controls) were genotyped on the Affymetrix SNP 6.0 array. Linkage analysis was performed using Merlin. EMMAX was used to carry out a genome-wide association analysis comparing the familial AAD cases to 2706 UK WTCCC controls. To explore some of the linkage findings further, a replication study was performed by genotyping 64 SNPs in two of the four linked regions (chromosomes 7 and 18), on the Sequenom iPlex platform in three European AAD case-control cohorts (1097 cases, 1117 controls). The data were analysed using a meta-analysis approach.
In a parametric analysis, applying a rare dominant model, loci on chromosomes 7, 9 and 18 had LOD scores >2.8. In a non-parametric analysis, a locus corresponding to the HLA region on chromosome 6, known to be associated with AAD, had a LOD score >3.0. In the genome-wide association analysis, a SNP cluster on chromosome 2 and a pair of SNPs on chromosome 6 were associated with AAD (P <5x10-7). A meta-analysis of the replication study data demonstrated that three chromosome 18 SNPs were associated with AAD, including a non-synonymous variant in the NFATC1 gene.
This linkage study has implicated a number of novel chromosomal regions in the pathogenesis of AAD in multiplex AAD families and adds further support to the role of HLA in AAD. The genome-wide association analysis has also identified a region of interest on chromosome 2. A replication study has demonstrated that the NFATC1 gene is worthy of future investigation, however each of the regions identified require further, systematic analysis.
PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0123550. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0123550 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The risk of alcohol-related liver cirrhosis increases with increasing alcohol consumption, but many people with very high intake escape from liver disease. We postulate that susceptibility to alcoholic cirrhosis has a complex genetic component and propose that this can be dissected through a large and sufficiently powered genomewide association study (GWAS).Methods
The GenomALC Consortium comprises researchers from Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States, with a joint aim of exploring the genetic and genomic basis of alcoholic cirrhosis. For this National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism funded study, we are recruiting high-risk drinkers who are either cases (with alcoholic cirrhosis) or controls (drinking comparable amounts over similar time, but free of significant liver disease). Extensive phenotypic data are obtained using semistructured interviews and patient records, and blood samples are collected.ResultsWe have successfully recruited 859 participants including 538 matched case–control samples as of September 2014, using study-specific inclusion–exclusion criteria and data collection protocols. Of these, 580 are cases (442 men and 138 women) and 279 are controls (205 men and 74 women). Duration of excessive drinking was slightly greater in cases than controls and was significantly less in women than men. Cases had significantly lower lifetime alcohol intake than controls. Both cases and controls had a high prevalence of reported parental alcohol problems, but cases were significantly more likely to report that a father with alcohol problems had died from liver disease (odds ratio 2.53, 95% confidence interval 1.31 to 4.87, p = 0.0055).Conclusions
Recruitment of participants for a GWAS of alcoholic cirrhosis has proved feasible across countries with multiple sites. Affected patients often consume less alcohol than unaffected ones, emphasizing the existence of individual vulnerability factors. Cases are more likely to report liver disease in a father with alcohol problems than controls, consistent with a potential genetic component to the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 05/2015; 39(5). DOI:10.1111/acer.12693 · 3.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Decreased insulin sensitivity, also referred to as insulin resistance (IR), is a fundamental abnormality in patients with type 2 diabetes and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. While IR predisposition is heritable, the genetic basis remains largely unknown. The GENEticS of Insulin Sensitivity consortium conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for direct measures of insulin sensitivity, such as euglycemic clamp or insulin suppression test, in 2,764 European individuals, with replication in an additional 2,860 individuals. The presence of a nonsynonymous variant of N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) [rs1208 (803A>G, K268R)] was strongly associated with decreased insulin sensitivity that was independent of BMI. The rs1208 "A" allele was nominally associated with IR-related traits, including increased fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and coronary artery disease. NAT2 acetylates arylamine and hydrazine drugs and carcinogens, but predicted acetylator NAT2 phenotypes were not associated with insulin sensitivity. In a murine adipocyte cell line, silencing of NAT2 ortholog Nat1 decreased insulin-mediated glucose uptake, increased basal and isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis, and decreased adipocyte differentiation, while Nat1 overexpression produced opposite effects. Nat1-deficient mice had elevations in fasting blood glucose, insulin, and triglycerides and decreased insulin sensitivity, as measured by glucose and insulin tolerance tests, with intermediate effects in Nat1 heterozygote mice. Our results support a role for NAT2 in insulin sensitivity.
The Journal of clinical investigation 03/2015; 125(4). DOI:10.1172/JCI74692 · 13.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A body mass index (BMI) >22kg/m2 is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Aboriginal Australians. To identify loci associated with BMI and T2D we undertook a genome-wide association study using 1,075,436 quality-controlled single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped (Illumina 2.5M Duo Beadchip) in 402 individuals in extended pedigrees from a Western Australian Aboriginal community. Imputation using the thousand genomes (1000G) reference panel extended the analysis to 6,724,284 post quality-control autosomal SNPs. No associations achieved genome-wide significance, commonly accepted as P<5x10-8. Nevertheless, genes/pathways in common with other ethnicities were identified despite the arrival of Aboriginal people in Australia >45,000 years ago. The top hit (rs10868204 Pgenotyped = 1.50x10-6; rs11140653 Pimputed_1000G = 2.90x10-7) for BMI lies 5' of NTRK2, the type 2 neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that regulates energy balance downstream of melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). PIK3C2G (rs12816270 Pgenotyped = 8.06x10-6; rs10841048 Pimputed_1000G = 6.28x10-7) was associated with BMI, but not with T2D as reported elsewhere. BMI also associated with CNTNAP2 (rs6960319 Pgenotyped = 4.65x10-5; rs13225016 Pimputed_1000G = 6.57x10-5), previously identified as the strongest gene-by-environment interaction for BMI in African-Americans. The top hit (rs11240074 Pgenotyped = 5.59x10-6, Pimputed_1000G = 5.73x10-6) for T2D lies 5' of BCL9 that, along with TCF7L2, promotes beta-catenin's transcriptional activity in the WNT signaling pathway. Additional hits occurred in genes affecting pancreatic (KCNJ6, KCNA1) and/or GABA (GABRR1, KCNA1) functions. Notable associations observed for genes previously identified at genome-wide significance in other populations included MC4R (Pgenotyped = 4.49x10-4) for BMI and IGF2BP2 Pimputed_1000G = 2.55x10-6) for T2D. Our results may provide novel functional leads in understanding disease pathogenesis in this Australian Aboriginal population.
PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119333. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119333 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies suggest that allergy risk is preferentially transmitted through mothers. This can be due to genomic imprinting, where the phenotype effect of an allele depends on its parental origin, or due to maternal effects reflecting the maternal genome's influence on the child during prenatal development. Loss-of-function mutations in the filaggrin gene (FLG) cause skin barrier deficiency and strongly predispose to atopic dermatitis (AD). We investigated the 4 most prevalent European FLG mutations (c.2282del4, p.R501X, p.R2447X, and p.S3247X) in two samples including 759 and 450 AD families. We used the multinomial and maximum-likelihood approach implemented in the PREMIM/EMIM tool to model parent of origin effects. Beyond the known role of FLG inheritance in AD (R1 meta-analysis = 2.4, P = 1.0 x 10 −36), we observed a strong maternal FLG genotype effect that was consistent in
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies suggest that allergy risk is preferentially transmitted through mothers. This can be due to genomic imprinting, where the phenotype effect of an allele depends on its parental origin, or due to maternal effects reflecting the maternal genome's influence on the child during prenatal development. Loss-of-function mutations in the filaggrin gene (FLG) cause skin barrier deficiency and strongly predispose to atopic dermatitis (AD). We investigated the 4 most prevalent European FLG mutations (c.2282del4, p.R501X, p.R2447X, and p.S3247X) in two samples including 759 and 450 AD families. We used the multinomial and maximum-likelihood approach implemented in the PREMIM/EMIM tool to model parent-of-origin effects. Beyond the known role of FLG inheritance in AD (R1meta-analysis = 2.4, P = 1.0 x 10-36), we observed a strong maternal FLG genotype effect that was consistent in both independent family sets and for all 4 mutations analysed. Overall, children of FLG-carrier mothers had a 1.5-fold increased AD risk (S1 = 1.50, Pmeta-analysis = 8.4 x 10-8). Our data point to two independent and additive effects of FLG mutations: i) carrying a mutation and ii) having a mutation carrier mother. The maternal genotype effect was independent of mutation inheritance and can be seen as a non-genetic transmission of a genetic effect. The FLG maternal effect was observed only when mothers had allergic sensitization (elevated allergen-specific IgE antibody plasma levels), suggesting that FLG mutation-induced systemic immune responses in the mother may influence AD risk in the child. Notably, the maternal effect reported here was stronger than most common genetic risk factors for AD recently identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Our study highlights the power of family-based studies in the identification of new etiological mechanisms and reveals, for the first time, a direct influence of the maternal genotype on the offspring's susceptibility to a common human disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Inherited abnormalities of complement are found in ∼60% of patients with atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS). Such abnormalities are not fully penetrant. In this study, we have estimated the penetrance of the disease in three families with a CFH mutation (c.3643C>G; p. Arg1215Gly) in whom a common lineage is probable. 25 individuals have been affected with aHUS with three peaks of incidence—early childhood (n=6), early adulthood (n=11) and late adulthood (n=8). Eighteen individuals who have not developed aHUS carry the mutation.
Methods We estimated penetrance at the ages of 4, 27, 60 and 70 years as both a binary and a survival trait using MLINK and Mendel. We genotyped susceptibility factors in CFH, CD46 and CFHR1 in affected and unaffected carriers.
Results and Conclusions We found that the estimates of penetrance at the age of 4 years ranged from <0.01 to 0.10, at the age of 27 years from 0.16 to 0.29, at the age of 60 years from 0.39 to 0.51 and at the age of 70 years from 0.44 to 0.64. We found that the CFH haplotype on the allele not carrying the CFH mutation had a significant effect on disease penetrance. In this family, we did not find that the CD46 haplotypes had a significant effect on penetrance.
Journal of Medical Genetics 09/2014; 51(11). DOI:10.1136/jmedgenet-2014-102498 · 6.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: I present a summary of the results and discussions held within the working group on gene-based tests at Genetic Analysis Workshop 18 (GAW18). The main focus of interest in our working group was modeling the action of combinations or "groups" of genetic variants, with a group of variants most often defined as a set of single-nucleotide polymorphisms lying within a known gene. Some contributions investigated the performance of previously proposed methods (particularly rare variant collapsing or burden-type methods) for addressing this question, applied to the GAW18 data, and other contributions developed novel approaches and addressed novel questions. Most approaches were successful in detecting significant effects at MAP4 in the simulated data. No other genetic effects were consistently detected across different analyses. Low power was noted, particularly for those methods that restricted analysis to purely the subset of unrelated individuals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Urofacial syndrome (UFS) is an autosomal recessive congenital disease featuring grimacing and incomplete bladder emptying. Mutations of HPSE2, encoding heparanase 2, a heparanase 1 inhibitor, occur in UFS, but knowledge about the HPSE2 mutation spectrum is limited. Here, seven UFS kindreds with HPSE2 mutations are presented, including one with deleted asparagine 254, suggesting a role for this amino acid, which is conserved in vertebrate orthologs. HPSE2 mutations were absent in 23 non-neurogenic neurogenic bladder probands and, of 439 families with nonsyndromic vesicoureteric reflux, only one carried a putative pathogenic HPSE2 variant. Homozygous Hpse2 mutant mouse bladders contained urine more often than did wild-type organs, phenocopying human UFS. Pelvic ganglia neural cell bodies contained heparanase 1, heparanase 2, and leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains-2 (LRIG2), which is mutated in certain UFS families. In conclusion, heparanase 2 is an autonomic neural protein implicated in bladder emptying, but HPSE2 variants are uncommon in urinary diseases resembling UFS
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 08/2014; 26(4). DOI:10.1681/ASN.2013090961 · 9.34 Impact Factor