Recent Publications on Schizophrenia, Cocaine Abuse, Childhood IgA Nephropathy, CNV Regions, and Genetic Variants in Metabolic Traits

         January 5, 2011

Happy New Year! Golden Helix customers published 92 papers in 2010 unveiling new associations and novel findings using SNP and Variation Suite – a great feat for all! We anticipate an even more “significant” 2011.

Wrapping up last year, congrats to Subba Rao Indugula, Guangyun Sun, and Ranjan Deka over at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine for their work on “Replication of genetic variants from genome-wide association studies with metabolic traits in an island population of the Adriatic coast of Croatia” recently showcased in the European Journal of Human Genetics. (All abstracts below.)

Also from Ohio, Audrey Papp and Wolfgang Sadee at Ohio State University published “Intronic Polymorphisms Affecting Alternative Splicing of Human Dopamine D2 Receptor Are Associated with Cocaine Abuse” in Neuropsychopharmacology.

On a related note, Neuroscience Letters featured “Are serotonin 3A and 3B receptor genes associated with suicidal behavior in schizophrenia subjects?” by Renan Souza at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health in Toronto, Canada. Plaudits to Vincenzo De Luca for his work on that study.

Hopping across the pond to the University of Basel in Switzerland, customers Christian Vogler and Andreas Papassotiropoulos wrote, “Microarray-Based Maps of Copy-Number Variant Regions in European and Sub-Saharan Populations” now in PLoS ONE.

Finally, two more articles on childhood IgA nephropathy have come from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea. “Linkage and Association Study of Neurotrophins and their receptors as Novel Susceptibility Genes for Childhood IgA Nephropathy” was published in Pediatric Research and “Toll-like receptor 1 gene polymorphisms in childhood IgA nephropathy: a case-control study in the Korean population” was in the International Journal of Immunogenetics.

Congrats to all and here’s to an exceptional 2011!

Replication of genetic variants from genome-wide association studies with metabolic traits in an island population of the Adriatic coast of Croatia
Twenty-two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 10 gene regions previously identified in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were evaluated for association with metabolic traits in a sample from an island population of European descent. We performed a population-based study using 18 anthropometric and biochemical traits considered as continuous variables in a sample of 843 unrelated subjects (360 men and 483 women) aged 18–80 years old from the island of Hvar on the eastern Adriatic coast of Croatia. All eight GWAS SNPs in FTO were significantly associated with weight, body mass index, waist circumference and hip circumference; 20 of the 32 nominal P-values remained significant after permutation testing for multiple corrections. The strongest associations were found between the two TCF7L2 GWAS SNPs with fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c levels, all four P-values remained significant after permutation tests. Nominally significant associations were found between several SNPs and other metabolic traits; however, the significance did not hold after permutation tests. Although the sample size was modest, our study strongly replicated the association of FTO variants with obesity-related measures and TCF7L2 variants with T2D-related traits. The estimated effect sizes of these variants were larger or comparable to published studies. This is likely attributable to the homogenous genetic background of the relatively isolated study population. Access this article

Intronic Polymorphisms Affecting Alternative Splicing of Human Dopamine D2 Receptor Are Associated with Cocaine Abuse
The dopamine receptor D2 (encoded by DRD2) is implicated in susceptibility to mental disorders and cocaine abuse, but mechanisms responsible for this relationship remain uncertain. DRD2 mRNA exists in two main splice isoforms with distinct functions: D2 long (D2L) and D2 short (D2S, lacking exon 6), expressed mainly postsynaptically and presynaptically, respectively. Two intronic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs rs2283265 (intron 5) and rs1076560 (intron 6)) in high linkage disequilibrium (LD) with each other have been reported to alter D2S/D2L splicing and several behavioral traits in human subjects, such as memory processing. To assess the role of DRD2 variants in cocaine abuse, we measured levels of D2S and D2L mRNA in human brain autopsy tissues (prefrontal cortex and putamen) obtained from cocaine abusers and controls, and genotyped a panel of DRD2 SNPs (119 abusers and 95 controls). Robust effects of rs2283265 and rs1076560 on reducing formation of D2S relative to D2L were confirmed. The minor alleles of rs2283265/rs1076560 were considerably more frequent in Caucasians (18%) compared with African Americans (7%). Also, in Caucasians, rs2283265/rs1076560 minor alleles were significantly overrepresented in cocaine abusers compared with controls (rs2283265: 25 to 9%, respectively; p=0.001; OR=3.4 (1.7–7.1)). Several SNPs previously implicated in diverse clinical association studies are in high LD with rs2283265/rs1076560 and could have served as surrogate markers. Our results confirm the role of rs2283265/rs1076560 in D2 alternative splicing and support a strong role in susceptibility to cocaine abuse. Access this article

Are serotonin 3A and 3B receptor genes associated with suicidal behavior in schizophrenia subjects?
Suicide is a major contributor to the morbidity and mortality of schizophrenia, accounting for approximately 10% of deaths in these patients. Genetic factors have been reported to modulate the risk for suicide, although the precise mechanism and magnitude of the genetic contribution are unknown. Further, suicide attempters present abnormalities in the serotonergic system. We evaluated whether genetic variants in the serotonin receptors HTR3A (rs897692, rs1150226, rs1176724, rs2276302, rs3737457, rs897687 and rs1176713) and HTR3B (rs3758987, rs10502180, rs11606194, rs17116121, rs1176744, rs17116138, rs2276307, rs3782025 and rs1176761) were susceptibility components for suicidal behavior in 154 Caucasians schizophrenia subjects (20.1% of suicide attempters). In a second step, we compared haplotype and gene–gene interaction approaches because both genes are located in the chromosome 11q23 approximately 28 Kbp apart. We did not observe allelic or genotypic associations. Six haplotypes were nominally significant associated with suicide. Gene–gene interaction using Helix Tree software showed two nominally significant interactions reproduced by haplotype association. Likewise, haplotypes composed by the markers included in the best multidimensional reduction three-locus model were nominally significant. Our results suggest that HTR3A and HTR3A polymorphisms may not play a major role in the susceptibility for suicidal behavior in schizophrenia subjects. Moreover, gene–gene interaction and haplotype association may have consistent results for genes located in the same chromosome. Access this article

Microarray-Based Maps of Copy-Number Variant Regions in European and Sub-Saharan Populations
The genetic basis of phenotypic variation can be partially explained by the presence of copy-number variations (CNVs). Currently available methods for CNV assessment include high-density single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarrays that have become an indispensable tool in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, insufficient concordance rates between different CNV assessment methods call for cautious interpretation of results from CNV-based genetic association studies. Here we provide a cross-population, microarray-based map of copy-number variant regions (CNVRs) to enable reliable interpretation of CNV association findings. We used the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 to scan the genomes of 1167 individuals from two ethnically distinct populations (Europe, N = 717; Rwanda, N = 450). Three different CNV-finding algorithms were tested and compared for sensitivity, specificity, and feasibility. Two algorithms were subsequently used to construct CNVR maps, which were also validated by processing subsamples with additional microarray platforms (Illumina 1M-Duo BeadChip, Nimblegen 385K aCGH array) and by comparing our data with publicly available information. Both algorithms detected a total of 42669 CNVs, 74% of which clustered in 385 CNVRs of a cross-population map. These CNVRs overlap with 862 annotated genes and account for approximately 3.3% of the haploid human genome. We created comprehensive cross-populational CNVR-maps. They represent an extendable framework that can leverage the detection of common CNVs and additionally assist in interpreting CNV-based association studies. Access this article

Linkage and Association Study of Neurotrophins and their receptors as Novel Susceptibility Genes for Childhood IgA Nephropathy
Neurotrophins (NTs) and their receptors (NTRs) are known to be important for pathogenesis of various inflammatory diseases that occur in not only neuronal but also non-neuronal tissues, including kidney. Here, we investigated association between childhood IgA nephropathy (IgAN) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes encoding NTs [nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)] and NTRs [nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) and neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor 1-3 (NTRK1-3)]. The genotyping data of 197 patients and 289 control subjects revealed significant association between NGF SNP rs11102930 and presence of IgAN. Patient subgroup analysis revealed that that the presence of nephrotic range proteinuria (> 40 mg/m2/hr) was associated with rs6334 of NTRK1, and rs11030104, rs7103411, rs7103873, and rs6484320 of BDNF. Significant genotype differences were observed in podocyte foot process effacement for rs1187321 and rs1187323 of NTRK2. Furthermore, some SNPs showed significantly different genotype distribution between patients with or without pathologically advanced disease markers, specifically in rs6334 of NTRK1. Our results suggest that SNPs of NTs and NTRs are associated with susceptibility, pathological advancement, podocyte foot process effacement, and development of proteinuria in childhood IgAN. Access this article

Toll-like receptor 1 gene polymorphisms in childhood IgA nephropathy: a case-control study in the Korean population
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are innate immune mediators that stimulate nuclear factor kappa B and the inflammatory cytokines. TLR1 is expressed in renal tubular epithelial cells when the kidney is injured, but the role of TLR1 gene in glomerulonephritis has not been clearly elucidated. We aimed to investigate the association of TLR1 polymorphisms with immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) in children. One hundred and ninety pediatric patients with biopsy-proven IgAN and 283 healthy control subjects were enrolled. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms of TLR1 gene [rs4833095 (missense, Asn248Ser) and rs5743557 (promoter, −414C/T)] were selected and genotyped by direct sequencing. For rs4833095, the C/T genotype in the codominant model (vs. the T/T genotype) [odds ratio (OR) = 2.11, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.21–3.69, P = 0.009] and the genotype containing C allele (C/T and C/C) in the dominant model (vs. the T/T genotype) (OR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.16–3.34, P = 0.012) were associated with an increased risk of IgAN. For rs5743557, the T/T genotype in the codominant model (vs. the C/C genotype) (OR = 1.74, 95% CI: 1.02–2.96, P = 0.041) appeared to be associated with IgAN risk. In haplotype analysis, the CT haplotype revealed an association with IgAN (codominant model, OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.06–1.80, P = 0.017; dominant model, OR = 1.76, 95% CI: 1.16–2.67, P = 0.008). After Bonferroni correction, the association of the genotypes of rs4833095 and the CT haplotype with IgAN risk remained significant. These findings suggest that TLR1 gene polymorphisms may affect IgAN susceptibility in Korean children. Access this article

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