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The genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders is characterized by a large number of small-effect variants located primarily in non-coding regions, suggesting that the underlying causal effects may influence disease risk by modulating gene expression. We provide comprehensive analyses using transcriptome data from an unprecedented collection of tissues to gain pathophysiological insights into the role of the brain, neuroendocrine factors (adrenal gland) and gastrointestinal systems (colon) in psychiatric disorders. In each tissue, we perform PrediXcan analysis and identify trait-associated genes for schizophrenia (n associations = 499; n unique genes = 275), bipolar disorder (n associations = 17; n unique genes = 13), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (n associations = 19; n unique genes = 12) and broad depression (n associations = 41; n unique genes = 31). Importantly, both PrediXcan and summary-data-based Mendelian randomization/heterogeneity in dependent instruments analyses suggest potentially causal genes in non-brain tissues, showing the utility of these tissues for mapping psychiatric disease genetic predisposition. Our analyses further highlight the importance of joint tissue approaches as 76% of the genes were detected only in difficult-to-acquire tissues.
Interpretation of genetic association results is difficult because signals often lack biological context. To generate hypotheses of the functional genetic etiology of complex cardiometabolic traits, we estimated the genetically determined component of gene expression from common variants using PrediXcan (1) and determined genes with differential predicted expression by trait. PrediXcan imputes tissue-specific expression levels from genetic variation using variant-level effect on gene expression in transcriptome data. To explore the value of imputed genetically regulated gene expression (GReX) models across different ancestral populations, we evaluated imputed expression levels for predictive accuracy genome-wide in RNA sequence data in samples drawn from European-ancestry and African-ancestry populations and identified substantial predictive power using European-derived models in a non-European target population. We then tested the association of GReX on 15 cardiometabolic traits including blood lipid levels, body mass index, height, blood pressure, fasting glucose and insulin, RR interval, fibrinogen level, factor VII level and white blood cell and platelet counts in 15 755 individuals across three ancestry groups, resulting in 20 novel gene-phenotype associations reaching experiment-wide significance across ancestries. In addition, we identified 18 significant novel gene-phenotype associations in our ancestry-specific analyses. Top associations were assessed for additional support via query of S-PrediXcan (2) results derived from publicly available genome-wide association studies summary data. Collectively, these findings illustrate the utility of transcriptome-based imputation models for discovery of cardiometabolic effect genes in a diverse dataset.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press.
DA closure is crucial for the transition from fetal to neonatal life. This closure is supported by changes to the DA's signaling and structural properties that distinguish it from neighboring vessels. Examining transcriptional differences between these vessels is key to identifying genes or pathways responsible for DA closure. Several microarray studies have explored the DA transcriptome in animal models but varied experimental designs have led to conflicting results. Thorough transcriptomic analysis of the human DA has yet to be performed. A clear picture of the DA transcriptome is key to guiding future research endeavors, both to allow more targeted treatments in the clinical setting, and to understand the basic biology of DA function. In this review, we use a cross-species cross-platform analysis to consider all available published rodent microarray data and novel human RNAseq data in order to provide high priority candidate genes for consideration in future DA studies.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Arterial stiffening is associated with cognitive impairment and prodromal Alzheimer's disease. This study tested the interaction between arterial stiffening and an Alzheimer's disease genetic risk factor (apolipoprotein E [APOE] genotype) on cognition among older adults. Vanderbilt Memory & Aging Project participants with normal cognition (n = 162, 72 ± 7 years, 29% APOE-ε4 carrier) and mild cognitive impairment (n = 121, 73 ± 8 years, 42% APOE-ε4 carrier) completed neuropsychological assessment and cardiac MRI to assess aortic stiffening using pulse wave velocity (PWV, m/s). Linear regression models stratified by cognitive diagnosis related aortic PWV × APOE-ε4 status to neuropsychological performances, adjusting for demographic and vascular risk factors. PWV × APOE-ε4 related to poorer performance on measures of lexical retrieval (β = -0.29, p = 0.01), executive function (β = -0.44, p = 0.02), and episodic memory (β = -3.07, p = 0.02). Among participants with higher aortic PWV, APOE-ε4 modified the association between central arterial stiffening and cognition, such that carriers had worse performances than noncarriers. Findings add to a growing body of evidence for APOE-vascular interactions on cognition in older adults and warrant further research into less heart-healthy cohorts where the association between PWV and cognition among older adults might be stronger.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) was the first gene identified by genome-wide association studies to correlate with higher body mass index (BMI) and increased odds of obesity. FTO remains the locus with the largest and most replicated effect on body weight, but the mechanism whereby FTO affects body weight and the development of obesity is not fully understood. Here we tested whether FTO is associated with differences in food cravings and a key aspect of dopamine function that has been hypothesized to influence food reward mechanisms. Moreover, as food cravings and dopamine function are known to decline with age, we explored effects of age on relations between FTO and food cravings and dopamine function. Seven-eight healthy subjects between 22 and 83years old completed the Food Cravings Questionnaire and underwent genotyping for FTO rs9939609, the first FTO single nucleotide polymorphism associated with obesity. Compared to TT homozygotes, individuals carrying the obesity-susceptible A allele had higher total food cravings, which correlated with higher BMI. Additionally, food cravings declined with age, but this age effect differed across variants of FTO rs9939609: while TT homozygotes showed the typical age-related decline in food cravings, there was no such decline among A carriers. All subjects were scanned with [18F]fallypride PET to assess a recent proposal that at the neurochemical level FTO alters dopamine D2-like receptor (DRD2) function to influence food reward related mechanisms. However, we observed no evidence of FTO effects on DRD2 availability.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Haptoglobin (HP) protein plays a critical role in binding and removing free hemoglobin from blood. A deletion in the HP gene affects the protein structure and function. A recent study developed a novel method to impute this variant and discovered significant association of this variant with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels among European descendants. In the present study, we investigated this variant among 3608 Chinese women. Consistent with findings from Europeans, we found significant associations between the deletion with lower cholesterol levels; women homozygous for the deletion allele (HP1-HP1), had a lower level of total cholesterol (-4.24 mg dl, P=0.02) and LDL cholesterol (-3.43 mg dl, P=0.03) than those not carrying the deletion allele (HP2-HP2). Especially, women carrying the HP1S-HP1S, had an even lower level of total cholesterol (-5.59 mg dl, P=7.0 × 10) and LDL cholesterol (-4.68 mg dl, P=8.0 × 10) compared to those carrying HP2-HP2. These associations remained significant after an adjustment for an established cholesterol level-related variant, rs2000999. Our study extends the previous findings regarding the association of HP structure variant with blood cholesterol levels to East Asians and affirms the validity of the new methodology for assessing HP structure variation.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a highly heterogeneous disease displaying considerable interfamilial and intrafamilial phenotypic variation, including disease severity, age of onset, and disease progression. This poorly understood variance raises the possibility of genetic modifier effects, particularly in MYBPC3-associated HCM.In a large consanguineous Chinese HCM family, we identified 8 members harboring the MYBPC3 c.3624delC (p.Lys1209Serfs) disease-causing mutation, but with very disparate phenotypes. Genotyping ruled out the modifying effect of previously described variants in renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Afterwards, we screened for modifying variants in all known causing genes and closely related genes for cardiomyopathy and channelopathy by performing targeted next-generation sequencing. For first time, we showed that a c.1598C>T (p.Ser533Leu) mutation in voltage-dependent l-type calcium channel subunit beta-2 (CACNB2) was present in all severely affected HCM patients, but not in those moderately affected or genotype-positive phenotype-negative patients. This CACNB2 p.Ser533Leu mutation is extremely conserved in evolution, and was not found in 550 healthy controls.Our results suggest that CACNB2 is a possible candidate genetic modifier of MYBPC3-associated familial HCM, but more genetic evidence and functional experiments are needed to confirm.
Solute carrier family 7, member 2 (SLC7A2) gene encodes a protein called cationic amino acid transporter 2, which mediates the transport of arginine, lysine and ornithine. l-Arginine is necessary for cancer development and progression, including an important role in colorectal cancer pathogenesis. Furthermore, previous studies found that both calcium and magnesium inhibit the transport of arginine. Thus, calcium, magnesium or calcium:magnesium intake ratio may interact with polymorphisms in the SLC7A2 gene in association with colorectal cancer. We conducted a two-phase case-control study within the Tennessee Colorectal Polyps Study. In the first phase, 23 tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the SLC7A2 gene were included for 725 colorectal adenoma cases and 755 controls. In the second phase conducted in an independent set of 607 cases and 2113 controls, we replicated the significant findings in the first phase. We observed that rs2720574 significantly interacted with calcium:magnesium intake ratio in association with odds of adenoma, particularly multiple/advanced adenoma. In the combined analysis, among those with a calcium:magnesium intake ratio below 2.78, individuals who carried GC/CC genotypes demonstrated higher odds of adenoma [OR (95% CI):1.36 (1.11-1.68)] and multiple/advanced adenoma [OR (95% CI): 1.68 (1.28, 2.20)] than those who carried the GG genotype. The P values for interactions between calcium:magnesium intake ratio and rs2720574 were .002 for all adenomas and <.001 for multiple/advanced adenoma. Among those with the GG genotype, a high calcium:magnesium ratio was associated with increased odds of colorectal adenoma [OR (95% CI): 1.73 (1.27-2.36)] and advanced/multiple adenomas [1.62 (1.05-2.50)], whereas among those with the GC/CC genotypes, high calcium:magnesium ratio was related to reduced odds of colorectal adenoma [0.64 (0.42-0.99)] and advanced/multiple adenomas [0.55 (0.31-1.00)].
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Helicobacter pylori infection triggers a cascade of inflammatory stages that may lead to the appearance of non-atrophic gastritis, multifocal atrophic, intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia, and cancer. Deleted in malignant brain tumors 1 (DMBT1) belongs to the group of secreted scavenger receptor cysteine-rich proteins and is considered to be involved in host defense by binding to pathogens. Initial studies showed its deletion and loss of expression in a variety of tumors but the role of this gene in tumor development is not completely understood. Here, we examined the role of DMBT1 in gastric precancerous lesions in Caucasian, African American and Hispanic individuals as well as in the development of gastric pathology in a mouse model of H. pylori infection. We found that in 3 different populations, mucosal DMBT1 expression was significantly increased (2.5 fold) in individuals with dysplasia compared to multifocal atrophic gastritis without intestinal metaplasia; the increase was also observed in individuals with advanced gastritis and positive H. pylori infection. In our animal model, H. pylori infection of Dmbt1-/- mice resulted in significantly higher levels of gastritis, more extensive mucous metaplasia and reduced Il33 expression levels in the gastric mucosa compared to H. pylori-infected wild type mice. Our data in the animal model suggest that in response to H. pylori infection DMBT1 may mediate mucosal protection reducing the risk of developing gastric precancerous lesions. However, the increased expression in human gastric precancerous lesions points to a more complex role of DMBT1 in gastric carcinogenesis.