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Elevated serum urate levels can cause gout, an excruciating disease with suboptimal treatment. Previous GWAS identified common variants with modest effects on serum urate. Here we report large-scale whole-exome sequencing association studies of serum urate and kidney function among ≤19,517 European ancestry and African-American individuals. We identify aggregate associations of low-frequency damaging variants in the urate transporters SLC22A12 (URAT1; p = 1.3 × 10) and SLC2A9 (p = 4.5 × 10). Gout risk in rare SLC22A12 variant carriers is halved (OR = 0.5, p = 4.9 × 10). Selected rare variants in SLC22A12 are validated in transport studies, confirming three as loss-of-function (R325W, R405C, and T467M) and illustrating the therapeutic potential of the new URAT1-blocker lesinurad. In SLC2A9, mapping of rare variants of large effects onto the predicted protein structure reveals new residues that may affect urate binding. These findings provide new insights into the genetic architecture of serum urate, and highlight molecular targets in SLC22A12 and SLC2A9 for lowering serum urate and preventing gout.
Genome-wide association studies have identified numerous variants associated with lipid levels; yet, the majority are located in non-coding regions with unclear mechanisms. In the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Family Study (IRASFS), heritability estimates suggest a strong genetic basis: low-density lipoprotein (LDL, h = 0.50), high-density lipoprotein (HDL, h = 0.57), total cholesterol (TC, h = 0.53), and triglyceride (TG, h = 0.42) levels. Exome sequencing of 1,205 Mexican Americans (90 pedigrees) from the IRASFS identified 548,889 variants and association and linkage analyses with lipid levels were performed. One genome-wide significant signal was detected in APOA5 with TG (rs651821, P = 3.67 × 10, LOD = 2.36, MAF = 14.2%). In addition, two correlated SNPs (r = 1.0) rs189547099 (P = 6.31 × 10, LOD = 3.13, MAF = 0.50%) and chr4:157997598 (P = 6.31 × 10, LOD = 3.13, MAF = 0.50%) reached exome-wide significance (P < 9.11 × 10). rs189547099 is an intronic SNP in FNIP2 and SNP chr4:157997598 is intronic in GLRB. Linkage analysis revealed 46 SNPs with a LOD > 3 with the strongest signal at rs1141070 (LOD = 4.30, P = 0.33, MAF = 21.6%) in DFFB. A total of 53 nominally associated variants (P < 5.00 × 10, MAF ≥ 1.0%) were selected for replication in six Mexican-American cohorts (N = 3,280). The strongest signal observed was a synonymous variant (rs1160983, P = 4.44 × 10, MAF = 2.7%) in TOMM40. Beyond primary findings, previously reported lipid loci were fine-mapped using exome sequencing in IRASFS. These results support that exome sequencing complements and extends insights into the genetics of lipid levels.
We screened variants on an exome-focused genotyping array in >300,000 participants (replication in >280,000 participants) and identified 444 independent variants in 250 loci significantly associated with total cholesterol (TC), high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and/or triglycerides (TG). At two loci (JAK2 and A1CF), experimental analysis in mice showed lipid changes consistent with the human data. We also found that: (i) beta-thalassemia trait carriers displayed lower TC and were protected from coronary artery disease (CAD); (ii) excluding the CETP locus, there was not a predictable relationship between plasma HDL-C and risk for age-related macular degeneration; (iii) only some mechanisms of lowering LDL-C appeared to increase risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D); and (iv) TG-lowering alleles involved in hepatic production of TG-rich lipoproteins (TM6SF2 and PNPLA3) tracked with higher liver fat, higher risk for T2D, and lower risk for CAD, whereas TG-lowering alleles involved in peripheral lipolysis (LPL and ANGPTL4) had no effect on liver fat but decreased risks for both T2D and CAD.
Most genome-wide association studies have been of European individuals, even though most genetic variation in humans is seen only in non-European samples. To search for novel loci associated with blood lipid levels and clarify the mechanism of action at previously identified lipid loci, we used an exome array to examine protein-coding genetic variants in 47,532 East Asian individuals. We identified 255 variants at 41 loci that reached chip-wide significance, including 3 novel loci and 14 East Asian-specific coding variant associations. After a meta-analysis including >300,000 European samples, we identified an additional nine novel loci. Sixteen genes were identified by protein-altering variants in both East Asians and Europeans, and thus are likely to be functional genes. Our data demonstrate that most of the low-frequency or rare coding variants associated with lipids are population specific, and that examining genomic data across diverse ancestries may facilitate the identification of functional genes at associated loci.
We hypothesize that the relative mitochondria copy number (MTCN) can be estimated by comparing the abundance of mitochondrial DNA to nuclear DNA reads using high throughput sequencing data. To test this hypothesis, we examined relative MTCN across 13 breast cancer cell lines using the RT-PCR based NovaQUANT Human Mitochondrial to Nuclear DNA Ratio Kit as the gold standard. Six distinct computational approaches were used to estimate the relative MTCN in order to compare to the RT-PCR measurements. The results demonstrate that relative MTCN correlates well with the RT-PCR measurements using exome sequencing data, but not RNA-seq data. Through analysis of copy number variants (CNVs) in The Cancer Genome Atlas, we show that the two nuclear genes used in the NovaQUANT assay to represent the nuclear genome often experience CNVs in tumor cells, questioning the accuracy of this gold-standard method when it is applied to tumor cells.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Family-based methods are a potentially powerful tool to identify trait-defining genetic variants in extended families, particularly when used to complement conventional association analysis. We utilized two-point linkage analysis and single variant association analysis to evaluate whole exome sequencing (WES) data from 1205 Hispanic Americans (78 families) from the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Family Study. WES identified 211,612 variants above the minor allele frequency threshold of ≥0.005. These variants were tested for linkage and/or association with 50 cardiometabolic traits after quality control checks. Two-point linkage analysis yielded 10,580,600 logarithm of the odds (LOD) scores with 1148 LOD scores ≥3, 183 LOD scores ≥4, and 29 LOD scores ≥5. The maximal novel LOD score was 5.50 for rs2289043:T>C, in UNC5C with subcutaneous adipose tissue volume. Association analysis identified 13 variants attaining genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10 ), with the strongest association between rs651821:C>T in APOA5 and triglyceride levels (P = 3.67 × 10 ). Overall, there was a 5.2-fold increase in the number of informative variants detected by WES compared to exome chip analysis in this population, nearly 30% of which were novel variants relative to the Database of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (dbSNP) build 138. Thus, integration of results from two-point linkage and single-variant association analysis from WES data enabled identification of novel signals potentially contributing to cardiometabolic traits.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/University College London.
Genome-wide association studies have identified >50 common variants associated with kidney function, but these variants do not fully explain the variation in eGFR. We performed a two-stage meta-analysis of associations between genotypes from the Illumina exome array and eGFR on the basis of serum creatinine (eGFRcrea) among participants of European ancestry from the CKDGen Consortium (: 111,666; : 48,343). In single-variant analyses, we identified single nucleotide polymorphisms at seven new loci associated with eGFRcrea (, , and ; <3.7×10), of which most were common and annotated as nonsynonymous variants. Gene-based analysis identified associations of functional rare variants in three genes with eGFRcrea, including a novel association with the SOS Ras/Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 2 gene, (=5.4×10 by sequence kernel association test). Experimental follow-up in zebrafish embryos revealed changes in glomerular gene expression and renal tubule morphology in the embryonic kidney of and -knockdowns. These developmental abnormalities associated with altered blood clearance rate and heightened prevalence of edema. This study expands the number of loci associated with kidney function and identifies novel genes with potential roles in kidney formation.
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Nephrology.
This study describes a 13-yr-old girl with orthostatic intolerance, respiratory weakness, multiple endocrine abnormalities, pancreatic insufficiency, and multiorgan failure involving the gut and bladder. Exome sequencing revealed a de novo, loss-of-function allele in , the gene encoding the Na-K-2Cl cotransporter-1. The 11-bp deletion in exon 22 results in frameshift (p.Val1026Phe*2) and truncation of the carboxy-terminal tail of the cotransporter. Preliminary studies in heterologous expression systems demonstrate that the mutation leads to a nonfunctional transporter, which is expressed and trafficked to the plasma membrane alongside wild-type NKCC1. The truncated protein, visible at higher molecular sizes, indicates either enhanced dimerization or misfolded aggregate. No significant dominant-negative effect was observed. K transport experiments performed in fibroblasts from the patient showed reduced total and NKCC1-mediated K influx. The absence of a bumetanide effect on K influx in patient fibroblasts only under hypertonic conditions suggests a deficit in NKCC1 regulation. We propose that disruption in NKCC1 function might affect sensory afferents and/or smooth muscle cells, as their functions depend on NKCC1 creating a Cl gradient across the plasma membrane. This Cl gradient allows the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor or other Cl channels to depolarize the membrane affecting processes such as neurotransmission or cell contraction. Under this hypothesis, disrupted sensory and smooth muscle function in a diverse set of tissues could explain the patient's phenotype.
BACKGROUND - The burden of subclinical atherosclerosis in asymptomatic individuals is heritable and associated with elevated risk of developing clinical coronary heart disease. We sought to identify genetic variants in protein-coding regions associated with subclinical atherosclerosis and the risk of subsequent coronary heart disease.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We studied a total of 25 109 European ancestry and African ancestry participants with coronary artery calcification (CAC) measured by cardiac computed tomography and 52 869 participants with common carotid intima-media thickness measured by ultrasonography within the CHARGE Consortium (Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology). Participants were genotyped for 247 870 DNA sequence variants (231 539 in exons) across the genome. A meta-analysis of exome-wide association studies was performed across cohorts for CAC and carotid intima-media thickness. APOB p.Arg3527Gln was associated with 4-fold excess CAC (P=3×10). The APOE ε2 allele (p.Arg176Cys) was associated with both 22.3% reduced CAC (P=1×10) and 1.4% reduced carotid intima-media thickness (P=4×10) in carriers compared with noncarriers. In secondary analyses conditioning on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, the ε2 protective association with CAC, although attenuated, remained strongly significant. Additionally, the presence of ε2 was associated with reduced risk for coronary heart disease (odds ratio 0.77; P=1×10).
CONCLUSIONS - Exome-wide association meta-analysis demonstrates that protein-coding variants in APOB and APOE associate with subclinical atherosclerosis. APOE ε2 represents the first significant association for multiple subclinical atherosclerosis traits across multiple ethnicities, as well as clinical coronary heart disease.
© 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.
Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) of cancer are increasingly being used to assess putative driver mutations identified by large-scale sequencing of human cancer genomes. To accurately interpret experiments that introduce additional mutations, an understanding of the somatic genetic profile and evolution of GEMM tumors is necessary. Here, we performed whole-exome sequencing of tumors from three GEMMs of lung adenocarcinoma driven by mutant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), mutant Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (Kras), or overexpression of MYC proto-oncogene. Tumors from EGFR- and Kras-driven models exhibited, respectively, 0.02 and 0.07 nonsynonymous mutations per megabase, a dramatically lower average mutational frequency than observed in human lung adenocarcinomas. Tumors from models driven by strong cancer drivers (mutant EGFR and Kras) harbored few mutations in known cancer genes, whereas tumors driven by MYC, a weaker initiating oncogene in the murine lung, acquired recurrent clonal oncogenic Kras mutations. In addition, although EGFR- and Kras-driven models both exhibited recurrent whole-chromosome DNA copy number alterations, the specific chromosomes altered by gain or loss were different in each model. These data demonstrate that GEMM tumors exhibit relatively simple somatic genotypes compared with human cancers of a similar type, making these autochthonous model systems useful for additive engineering approaches to assess the potential of novel mutations on tumorigenesis, cancer progression, and drug sensitivity.