[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common and complex neurodegenerative disease. Age at onset (AAO) of AD is an important component phenotype with a genetic basis, and identification of genes in which variation affects AAO would contribute to identification of factors that affect timing of onset. Increase in AAO through prevention or therapeutic measures would have enormous benefits by delaying AD and its associated morbidities. In this paper, we performed a family-based genome wide association study for AAO of late-onset AD in whole exome sequence data generated in multigenerational families with multiple AD cases. We conducted single marker and gene-based burden tests for common and rare variants, respectively. We combined association analyses with variance component linkage analysis, and with reference to prior studies, in order to enhance evidence of the identified genes. For variants and genes implicated by the association study, we performed a gene-set enrichment analysis to identify potential novel pathways associated with AAO of AD. We found statistically significant association with AAO for three genes (WRN, NTN4, and LAMC3) with common associated variants, and for four genes (SLC8A3, SLC19A3, MADD, and LRRK2) with multiple rare associated variants that have a plausible biological function related to AD. The genes we have identified are in pathways that are strong candidates for involvement in the development of AD pathology and may lead to a better understanding of AD pathogenesis.
No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Genes Brain and Behavior
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders, characterized by impairment in communication and social interactions, and by repetitive behaviors. ASDs are highly heritable, and estimates of the number of risk loci range from hundreds to >1000. We considered 7 extended families (size 12-47 individuals), each with ≥3 individuals affected by ASD. All individuals were genotyped with dense SNP panels. A small subset of each family was typed with whole exome sequence (WES). We used a 3-step approach for variant identification. First, we used family-specific parametric linkage analysis of the SNP data to identify regions of interest. Second, we filtered variants in these regions based on frequency and function, obtaining exactly 200 candidates. Third, we compared two approaches to narrowing this list further. We used information from the SNP data to impute exome variant dosages into those without WES. We regressed affected status on variant allele dosage, using pedigree-based kinship matrices to account for relationships. The p value for the test of the null hypothesis that variant allele dosage is unrelated to phenotype was used to indicate strength of evidence supporting the variant. A cutoff of p = 0.05 gave 28 variants. As an alternative third filter, we required Mendelian inheritance in those with WES, resulting in 70 variants. The imputation- and association-based approach was effective. We identified four strong candidate genes for ASD (SEZ6L, HISPPD1, FEZF1, SAMD11), all of which have been previously implicated in other studies, or have a strong biological argument for their relevance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The R47H variant in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 gene (TREM2), a modulator of the immune response of microglia, is a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer disease (AD) and possibly other neurodegenerative disorders.
To investigate a large family with late-onset AD (LOAD), in which R47H cosegregated with 75% of cases.
This study includes genetic and pathologic studies of families with LOAD from 1985 to 2014. A total of 131 families with LOAD (751 individuals) were included from the University of Washington Alzheimer Disease Research Center. To identify LOAD genes/risk factors in the LOAD123 family with 21 affected members and 12 autopsies, we sequenced 4 exomes. Candidate variants were tested for cosegregation with the disease. TREM2 R47H was genotyped in an additional 130 families with LOAD. We performed clinical and neuropathological assessments of patients with and without R47H and evaluated the variant's effect on brain pathology, cellular morphology, and expression of microglial markers.
We assessed the effect of TREM2 genotype on age at onset and disease duration. We compared Braak and Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease scores, presence of α-synuclein and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 aggregates, and additional vascular or Parkinson pathology in TREM2 R47H carriers vs noncarriers. Microglial activation was assessed by quantitative immunohistochemistry and morphometry.
Twelve of 16 patients with AD in the LOAD123 family carried R47H. Eleven patients with dementia had apolipoprotein E 4 (ApoE4) and R47H genotypes. We also found a rare missense variant, D353N, in a nominated AD risk gene, unc-5 homolog C (UNC5C), in 5 affected individuals in the LOAD123 family. R47H carriers demonstrated a shortened disease duration (mean [SD], 6.7 [2.8] vs 11.1 [6.6] years; 2-tailed t test; P = .04) and more frequent α-synucleinopathy. The panmicroglial marker ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 was decreased in all AD cases and the decrease was most pronounced in R47H carriers (mean [SD], in the hilus: 0.114 [0.13] for R47H_AD vs 0.574 [0.26] for control individuals; 2-tailed t test; P = .005 and vs 0.465 [0.32] for AD; P = .02; in frontal cortex gray matter: 0.006 [0.004] for R47H_AD vs 0.016 [0.01] for AD; P = .04 and vs 0.033 [0.013] for control individuals; P < .001). Major histocompatibility complex class II, a marker of microglial activation, was increased in all patients with AD (AD: 2.5, R47H_AD: 2.7, and control: 1.0; P < .01).
Our results demonstrate a complex genetic landscape of LOAD, even in a single pedigree with an apparent autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. ApoE4, TREM2 R47H, and rare variants in other genes, such as UNC5C D353N, are likely responsible for the notable occurrence of AD in this family. Our findings support the role of the TREM2 receptor in microglial clearance of aggregation-prone proteins that is compromised in R47H carriers and may accelerate the course of disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several risk variants for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). These common variants have replicable but small effects on LOAD risk and generally do not have obvious functional effects. Low-frequency coding variants, not detected by GWAS, are predicted to include functional variants with larger effects on risk. To identify low-frequency coding variants with large effects on LOAD risk, we carried out whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 14 large LOAD families and follow-up analyses of the candidate variants in several large LOAD case-control data sets. A rare variant in PLD3 (phospholipase D3; Val232Met) segregated with disease status in two independent families and doubled risk for Alzheimer's disease in seven independent case-control series with a total of more than 11,000 cases and controls of European descent. Gene-based burden analyses in 4,387 cases and controls of European descent and 302 African American cases and controls, with complete sequence data for PLD3, reveal that several variants in this gene increase risk for Alzheimer's disease in both populations. PLD3 is highly expressed in brain regions that are vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease pathology, including hippocampus and cortex, and is expressed at significantly lower levels in neurons from Alzheimer's disease brains compared to control brains. Overexpression of PLD3 leads to a significant decrease in intracellular amyloid-β precursor protein (APP) and extracellular Aβ42 and Aβ40 (the 42- and 40-residue isoforms of the amyloid-β peptide), and knockdown of PLD3 leads to a significant increase in extracellular Aβ42 and Aβ40. Together, our genetic and functional data indicate that carriers of PLD3 coding variants have a twofold increased risk for LOAD and that PLD3 influences APP processing. This study provides an example of how densely affected families may help to identify rare variants with large effects on risk for disease or other complex traits.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We carried out analyses with the goal of identifying rare variants in exome sequence data that contribute to disease risk for a complex trait. We analyzed a large, 47-member, multigenerational pedigree with 11 cases of autism spectrum disorder, using genotypes from 3 technologies representing increasing resolution: a multiallelic linkage marker panel, a dense diallelic marker panel, and variants from exome sequencing. Genome-scan marker genotypes were available on most subjects, and exome sequence data was available on 5 subjects. We used genome-scan linkage analysis to identify and prioritize the chromosome 22 region of interest, and to select subjects for exome sequencing. Inheritance vectors (IVs) generated by Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis of multilocus marker data were the foundation of most analyses. Genotype imputation used IVs to determine which sequence variants reside on the haplotype that co-segregates with the autism diagnosis. Together with a rare-allele frequency filter, we identified only one rare variant on the risk haplotype, illustrating the potential of this approach to prioritize variants. The associated gene, MYH9, is biologically unlikely, and we speculate that for this complex trait, the key variants may lie outside the exome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Structural variations in the chromosome 22q11.2 region mediated by nonallelic homologous recombination result in 22q11.2 deletion (del22q11.2) and 22q11.2 duplication (dup22q11.2) syndromes. The majority of del22q11.2 cases have facial and cardiac malformations, immunologic impairments, specific cognitive profile and increased risk for schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The phenotype of dup22q11.2 is frequently without physical features but includes the spectrum of neurocognitive abnormalities. Although there is substantial evidence that haploinsufficiency for TBX1 plays a role in the physical features of del22q11.2, it is not known which gene(s) in the critical 1.5 Mb region are responsible for the observed spectrum of behavioral phenotypes. We identified an individual with a balanced translocation 46,XY,t(1;22)(p36.1;q11.2) and a behavioral phenotype characterized by cognitive impairment, autism, and schizophrenia in the absence of congenital malformations. Using somatic cell hybrids and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) we mapped the chromosome-22 breakpoint within intron 7 of the GNB1L gene. Copy number evaluations and direct DNA sequencing of GNB1L in 271 schizophrenia and 513 autism cases revealed dup22q11.2 in two families with autism and private GNB1L missense variants in conserved residues in three families (P = 0.036). The identified missense variants affect residues in the WD40 repeat domains and are predicted to have deleterious effects on the protein. Prior studies provided evidence that GNB1L may have a role in schizophrenia. Our findings support involvement of GNB1L in ASDs as well.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: (A) Comparison of rare CNV rates in the cohorts studied. (B) Rare CNVs in dyslexia, autism, and ID. (C) Inheritance of rare CNVs in the disease cohorts. (D) Individuals with two rare copy number variants (two hits).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical details of cases with idiopathic ID. Clinical features of individuals with ID are shown. These individuals were recruited and evaluated at the IRCCS Associazione Oasi Maria Santissima, Troina.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Confirmation of CNVs arrays using custom high-density arrays. Validation of CNVs identified using NimbleGen hotspotv1 arrays (12×135 K) using a higher density 3×720K NimbleGen or 2×400K Agilent arrays.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diagnostic yield of different microarray reports from literature. Histograms show the number of rare CNVs (usually disease-associated) observed under different diagnostic centers. Data is shown for sample sizes >50. Data obtained from Table 2 of Miller et al., AJHG.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromosomal regions and probes targeted in the hotspot chip. List of all regions targeted in the hotspot chip. The list is derived from the original curation of segmental duplication regions and genomic hotspots from Bailey et al, 2002 .
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: (A) Characteristics of dyslexia cases from UW. Dyslexia measurements and scores of children tested at the UW. WATT- WRMT-R Woodcock Reading Mastery Test – Revised; Word Attack subtest. A measure of untimed reading of single non-words. WRAT3sp - Wide Range Achievement Tests – Third Addition; Spelling subtest. Spelling of single words from dictation in writing. WIAT(2)sp - Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (2nd edition); Spelling subtest. Spelling of single words from dictation in writing. WID - WRMT-R Woodcock Reading Mastery Test – Revised; Word Identification subtest. A measure of untimed reading of single words. (B) Characteristics of dyslexia cases recruited from Atlanta. Gender, phenotype and age of children recruited from the Atlanta collection is shown.