[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two themes are emerging regarding the molecular genetic aetiology of intelligence. The first is that intelligence is influenced by many variants and those that are tagged by common single nucleotide polymorphisms account for around 30% of the phenotypic variation. The second, in line with other polygenic traits such as height and schizophrenia, is that these variants are not randomly distributed across the genome but cluster in genes that work together. Less clear is whether the very low range of cognitive ability (intellectual disability) is simply one end of the normal distribution describing individual differences in cognitive ability across a population. Here, we examined 40 genes with a known association with non-syndromic autosomal recessive intellectual disability (NS-ARID) to determine if they are enriched for common variants associated with the normal range of intelligence differences. The current study used the 3511 individuals of the Cognitive Ageing Genetics in England and Scotland (CAGES) consortium. In addition, a text mining analysis was used to identify gene sets biologically related to the NS-ARID set. Gene-based tests indicated that genes implicated in NS-ARID were not significantly enriched for quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with intelligence. These findings suggest that genes in which mutations can have a large and deleterious effect on intelligence are not associated with variation across the range of intelligence differences.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Translocase of Outer Mitochondrial Membrane 40 Homolog and Apolipoprotein E (TOMM40-APOE) locus has been associated with a number of age-related phenotypes in humans including nonpathologic cognitive aging, late-onset Alzheimer's disease, and longevity. Here, we investigate the influence of the TOMM40 intron 6 poly-T variant (rs10524523) on TOMM40 gene expression and cognitive abilities and decline in a cohort of 1613 community-dwelling elderly volunteers who had been followed for changes in cognitive functioning over a period of 14 years (range = 12–18 years). We showed that the shorter length poly-T variants were found to act as a repressor of luciferase gene expression in reporter gene constructs. Expression was reduced to approximately half of that observed for the very long variant. We further observed that the shorter poly-T variant was significantly associated with reduced vocabulary ability and a slower rate of vocabulary decline with age compared to the very long poly-T variants. No significant associations were observed for memory, fluid intelligence or processing speed, although the direction of effect, where the short variant was correlated with reduced ability and slower rate of decline was observed for all tests. Our results indicate that the poly-T variant has the ability to interact with transcription machinery and differentially modulate reporter gene expression and influence vocabulary ability and decline with age.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Neurobiology of aging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inbreeding depression refers to lower fitness among offspring of genetic relatives. This reduced fitness is caused by the inheritance of two identical chromosomal segments (autozygosity) across the genome, which may expose the effects of (partially) recessive deleterious mutations. Even among outbred populations, autozygosity can occur to varying degrees due to cryptic relatedness between parents. Using dense genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data, we examined the degree to which autozygosity associated with measured cognitive ability in an unselected sample of 4854 participants of European ancestry. We used runs of homozygosity—multiple homozygous SNPs in a row—to estimate autozygous tracts across the genome. We found that increased levels of autozygosity predicted lower general cognitive ability, and estimate a drop of 0.6 s.d. among the offspring of first cousins (P=0.003–0.02 depending on the model). This effect came predominantly from long and rare autozygous tracts, which theory predicts as more likely to be deleterious than short and common tracts. Association mapping of autozygous tracts did not reveal any specific regions that were predictive beyond chance after correcting for multiple testing genome wide. The observed effect size is consistent with studies of cognitive decline among offspring of known consanguineous relationships. These findings suggest a role for multiple recessive or partially recessive alleles in general cognitive ability, and that alleles decreasing general cognitive ability have been selected against over evolutionary time.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs) are a heterogeneous group of rare autoimmune diseases characterised by muscle weakness and extramuscular manifestations such as skin rashes and interstitial lung disease. We genotyped 2566 IIM cases of Caucasian descent using the Immunochip; a custom array covering 186 established autoimmune susceptibility loci. The cohort was predominantly comprised of patients with dermatomyositis (DM, n=879), juvenile DM (JDM, n=481), polymyositis (PM, n=931) and inclusion body myositis (n=252) collected from 14 countries through the Myositis Genetics Consortium.
The human leucocyte antigen (HLA) and PTPN22 regions reached genome-wide significance (p<5×10(-8)). Nine regions were associated at a significance level of p<2.25×10(-5), including UBE2L3, CD28 and TRAF6, with evidence of independent effects within STAT4. Analysis of clinical subgroups revealed distinct differences between PM, and DM and JDM. PTPN22 was associated at genome-wide significance with PM, but not DM and JDM, suggesting this effect is driven by PM. Additional suggestive associations including IL18R1 and RGS1 in PM and GSDMB in DM were identified. HLA imputation confirmed that alleles HLA-DRB1*03:01 and HLA-B*08:01 of the 8.1 ancestral haplotype (8.1AH) are most strongly associated with IIM, and provides evidence that amino acids within the HLA, such as HLA-DQB1 position 57 in DM, may explain part of the risk in this locus. Associations with alleles outside the 8.1AH reveal differences between PM, DM and JDM.
This work represents the largest IIM genetic study to date, reveals new insights into the genetic architecture of these rare diseases and suggests different predominating pathophysiology in different clinical subgroups.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Annals of the rheumatic diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypothyroidism is a complex clinical condition found in both humans and dogs, thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In this study we present a multi-breed analysis of predisposing genetic risk factors for hypothyroidism in dogs using three high-risk breeds—the Gordon Setter, Hovawart and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Using a genome-wide association approach and meta-analysis, we identified a major hypothyroidism risk locus shared by these breeds on chromosome 12 (p = 2.1x10-11). Further characterisa-tion of the candidate region revealed a shared ~167 kb risk haplotype (4,915,018–5,081,823 bp), tagged by two SNPs in almost complete linkage disequilibrium. This breed-shared risk haplotype includes three genes (LHFPL5, SRPK1 and SLC26A8) and does not extend to the dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) class II gene cluster located in the vicinity. These three genes have not been identified as candidate genes for hypothyroid disease previously, but have functions that could potentially contribute to the development of the disease. Our results implicate the potential involvement of novel genes and pathways for the development of canine hypothyroidism, raising new possibilities for screening, breeding programmes and treatments in dogs. This study may also contribute to our understanding of the genetic etiology of human hypothyroid disease, which is one of the most common endocrine disorders in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autoimmune muscle diseases (myositis) comprise a group of complex phenotypes influenced by genetic and environmental factors. To identify genetic risk factors in patients of European ancestry, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the major myositis phenotypes in a total of 1710 cases, which included 705 adult dermatomyositis, 473 juvenile dermatomyositis, 532 polymyositis and 202 adult dermatomyositis, juvenile dermatomyositis or polymyositis patients with anti-histidyl-tRNA synthetase (anti-Jo-1) autoantibodies, and compared them with 4724 controls. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms showing strong associations (P<5 × 10(-8)) in GWAS were identified in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region for all myositis phenotypes together, as well as for the four clinical and autoantibody phenotypes studied separately. Imputation and regression analyses found that alleles comprising the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) 8.1 ancestral haplotype (AH8.1) defined essentially all the genetic risk in the phenotypes studied. Although the HLA DRB1*03:01 allele showed slightly stronger associations with adult and juvenile dermatomyositis, and HLA B*08:01 with polymyositis and anti-Jo-1 autoantibody-positive myositis, multiple alleles of AH8.1 were required for the full risk effects. Our findings establish that alleles of the AH8.1 comprise the primary genetic risk factors associated with the major myositis phenotypes in geographically diverse Caucasian populations.Genes and Immunity advance online publication, 20 August 2015; doi:10.1038/gene.2015.28.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Genes and immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Administration of insulin for treatment of diabetes mellitus in dogs can stimulate an immune response, with a proportion of animals developing anti-insulin antibodies (AIA). For an IgG antibody response to occur, this would require B cell presentation of insulin peptides by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules, encoded by dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) genes, in order to receive T-cell help for class switching. DLA genes are highly polymorphic in the dog population and vary from breed to breed. The aim of the present study was to evaluate AIA reactivity in diabetic dogs of different breeds and to investigate whether DLA genes influence AIA status.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
[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.
No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Genes and immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beagles are commonly used in vaccine trials as part of the regulatory approval process. Genetic restriction within this breed and the impact this might have on vaccine responses is rarely considered. This study was designed to characterise diversity of dog leucocyte antigen (DLA) class II genes in a breeding colony of laboratory Beagles, whose offspring are used in vaccine studies. DLA haplotypes were determined by PCR and sequence-based typing from genomic DNA extracted from blood. Breeding colony Beagles demonstrated significantly different DLA haplotype frequencies in comparison with pet Beagles and both groups showed limited DLA diversity. Restricted DLA class II genetic variability within Beagles might result in selective antigen presentation and vaccine responses that are not necessarily representative of those seen in other dog breeds.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · The Veterinary Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives/HypothesisAge-related hearing loss has a genetic component, but there have been limited genetic studies in this field. Both N-acetyltransferase 2 and apolipoprotein E genes have previously been associated. However, these studies have either used small sample sizes, examined a limited number of polymorphisms, or have produced conflicting results. Here we use a haplotype tagging approach to determine association with age-related hearing loss and investigate epistasis between these two genes.Study DesignCandidate gene association study of a continuous phenotype.Methods
We investigated haplotype tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms in the N-acetyltransferase 2 gene and the presence/absence of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele for association with age-related hearing loss in a cohort of 265 Caucasian elderly volunteers from Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. Hearing phenotypes were generated using principal component analysis of the hearing threshold levels for the better ear (severity, slope, and concavity). Genotype data for the N-acetyltransferase 2 gene was obtained from existing genome-wide association study data from the Illumina 610-Quadv1 chip. Apolipoprotein E genotyping was performed using Sequenom technology. Linear regression analysis was performed using Plink and Stata software.ResultsNo significant associations (P value, > 0.05) were observed between the N-acetyltransferase 2 or apolipoprotein E gene polymorphisms and any hearing factor. No significant association was observed for epistasis analysis of apolipoprotein E ε4 and the N-acetyltransferase 2 single nucleotide polymorphism rs1799930 (NAT2*6A).Conclusion
We found no evidence to support that either N-acetyltransferase 2 or apolipoprotein E gene polymorphisms are associated with age-related hearing loss in a cohort of 265 elderly volunteers.Level of EvidenceN/A. Laryngoscope, 2014
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The Laryngoscope
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background / Purpose:
The focus of this investigation was to elucidate molecular mimicry as a plausible model for idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM) aetiology through systematic, computational experimentation using a previously developed molecular mimicry identification pipeline package.
The investigation found no direct association between molecular mimicry and IIM, however, the investigation successfully identified a catalogue of mimicry candidates possessed by bacterial, protist and viral infectious agent which can provide a platform for further analysis, not only for IIM, but for a range of diseases associated with these infectious agents where molecular mimicry is a theorised pathogenesis.