Publications by authors named "Dongbing Lai"

72 Publications

Multi-omics integration analysis identifies novel genes for alcoholism with potential overlap with neurodegenerative diseases.

Nat Commun 2021 08 20;12(1):5071. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Departments of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Identification of causal variants and genes underlying genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci is essential to understand the biology of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and drinks per week (DPW). Multi-omics integration approaches have shown potential for fine mapping complex loci to obtain biological insights to disease mechanisms. In this study, we use multi-omics approaches, to fine-map AUD and DPW associations at single SNP resolution to demonstrate that rs56030824 on chromosome 11 significantly reduces SPI1 mRNA expression in myeloid cells and lowers risk for AUD and DPW. Our analysis also identifies MAPT as a candidate causal gene specifically associated with DPW. Genes prioritized in this study show overlap with causal genes associated with neurodegenerative disorders. Multi-omics integration analyses highlight, genetic similarities and differences between alcohol intake and disordered drinking, suggesting molecular heterogeneity that might inform future targeted functional and cross-species studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25392-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8379159PMC
August 2021

Investigation of convergent and divergent genetic influences underlying schizophrenia and alcohol use disorder.

Psychol Med 2021 Jul 7:1-9. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.

Background: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) frequently co-occur, and large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified significant genetic correlations between these disorders.

Methods: We used the largest published GWAS for AUD (total cases = 77 822) and SCZ (total cases = 46 827) to identify genetic variants that influence both disorders (with either the same or opposite direction of effect) and those that are disorder specific.

Results: We identified 55 independent genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms with the same direction of effect on AUD and SCZ, 8 with robust effects in opposite directions, and 98 with disorder-specific effects. We also found evidence for 12 genes whose pleiotropic associations with AUD and SCZ are consistent with mediation via gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. The genetic covariance between AUD and SCZ was concentrated in genomic regions functional in brain tissues (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Our findings provide further evidence that SCZ shares meaningful genetic overlap with AUD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003329172100266XDOI Listing
July 2021

Mapping Pathways by Which Genetic Risk Influences Adolescent Externalizing Behavior: The Interplay Between Externalizing Polygenic Risk Scores, Parental Knowledge, and Peer Substance Use.

Behav Genet 2021 Sep 12;51(5):543-558. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Box 842018, 806 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA, 23284, USA.

Genetic predispositions and environmental influences both play an important role in adolescent externalizing behavior; however, they are not always independent. To elucidate gene-environment interplay, we examined the interrelationships between externalizing polygenic risk scores, parental knowledge, and peer substance use in impacting adolescent externalizing behavior across two time-points in a high-risk longitudinal sample of 1,200 adolescents (764 European and 436 African ancestry; M = 12.99) from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism. Results from multivariate path analysis indicated that externalizing polygenic scores were directly associated with adolescent externalizing behavior but also indirectly via peer substance use, in the European ancestry sample. No significant polygenic association nor indirect effects of genetic risk were observed in the African ancestry group, likely due to more limited power. Our findings underscore the importance of gene-environment interplay and suggest peer substance use may be a mechanism through which genetic risk influences adolescent externalizing behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10519-021-10067-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8403154PMC
September 2021

Item-Level Genome-Wide Association Study of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in Three Population-Based Cohorts.

Am J Psychiatry 2021 May 14:appiajp202020091390. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin (Mallard, Grotzinger, Harden); Department of Complex Trait Genetics, Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Savage); Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis (Johnson, Anokhin, Agrawal); Department of Psychiatry (Huang, Jennings, Palmer, Sanchez-Roige) and Institute for Genomic Medicine (Palmer), University of California San Diego, La Jolla; Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Richmond (Edwards); Department of Biological Psychiatry, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Hottenga, Nivard, de Geus, Boomsma); Department of Medicine, Division of Genetic Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn. (Gustavson, Davis, Sanchez-Roige); Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (Dick); Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Edenberg) and Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics (Lai), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; Department of Psychiatry, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City (Kramer); Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Meyers, Pandey); Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn. (Davis); Division of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, U.K. (Clarke).

Objective: Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), a 10-item screen for alcohol use disorder (AUD), have elucidated novel loci for alcohol consumption and misuse. However, these studies also revealed that GWASs can be influenced by numerous biases (e.g., measurement error, selection bias), which may have led to inconsistent genetic correlations between alcohol involvement and AUD, as well as paradoxically negative genetic correlations between alcohol involvement and psychiatric disorders and/or medical conditions. The authors used genomic structural equation modeling to elucidate the genetics of alcohol consumption and problematic consequences of alcohol use as measured by AUDIT.

Methods: To explore these unexpected differences in genetic correlations, the authors conducted the first item-level and the largest GWAS of AUDIT items (N=160,824) and applied a multivariate framework to mitigate previous biases.

Results: The authors identified novel patterns of similarity (and dissimilarity) among the AUDIT items and found evidence of a correlated two-factor structure at the genetic level ("consumption" and "problems," r=0.80). Moreover, by applying empirically derived weights to each of the AUDIT items, the authors constructed an aggregate measure of alcohol consumption that was strongly associated with alcohol dependence (r=0.67), moderately associated with several other psychiatric disorders, and no longer positively associated with health and positive socioeconomic outcomes. Lastly, by conducting polygenic analyses in three independent cohorts that differed in their ascertainment and prevalence of AUD, the authors identified novel genetic associations between alcohol consumption, alcohol misuse, and health.

Conclusions: This work further emphasizes the value of AUDIT for both clinical and genetic studies of AUD and the importance of using multivariate methods to study genetic associations that are more closely related to AUD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20091390DOI Listing
May 2021

Genomewide Association Studies of LRRK2 Modifiers of Parkinson's Disease.

Ann Neurol 2021 07 17;90(1):76-88. Epub 2021 May 17.

23andMe, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA.

Objective: The aim of this study was to search for genes/variants that modify the effect of LRRK2 mutations in terms of penetrance and age-at-onset of Parkinson's disease.

Methods: We performed the first genomewide association study of penetrance and age-at-onset of Parkinson's disease in LRRK2 mutation carriers (776 cases and 1,103 non-cases at their last evaluation). Cox proportional hazard models and linear mixed models were used to identify modifiers of penetrance and age-at-onset of LRRK2 mutations, respectively. We also investigated whether a polygenic risk score derived from a published genomewide association study of Parkinson's disease was able to explain variability in penetrance and age-at-onset in LRRK2 mutation carriers.

Results: A variant located in the intronic region of CORO1C on chromosome 12 (rs77395454; p value = 2.5E-08, beta = 1.27, SE = 0.23, risk allele: C) met genomewide significance for the penetrance model. Co-immunoprecipitation analyses of LRRK2 and CORO1C supported an interaction between these 2 proteins. A region on chromosome 3, within a previously reported linkage peak for Parkinson's disease susceptibility, showed suggestive associations in both models (penetrance top variant: p value = 1.1E-07; age-at-onset top variant: p value = 9.3E-07). A polygenic risk score derived from publicly available Parkinson's disease summary statistics was a significant predictor of penetrance, but not of age-at-onset.

Interpretation: This study suggests that variants within or near CORO1C may modify the penetrance of LRRK2 mutations. In addition, common Parkinson's disease associated variants collectively increase the penetrance of LRRK2 mutations. ANN NEUROL 2021;90:82-94.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.26094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8252519PMC
July 2021

Integration of evidence across human and model organism studies: A meeting report.

Genes Brain Behav 2021 Apr 23:e12738. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, West Haven, Connecticut, USA.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and Joint Institute for Biological Sciences at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory hosted a meeting attended by a diverse group of scientists with expertise in substance use disorders (SUDs), computational biology, and FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability) data sharing. The meeting's objective was to discuss and evaluate better strategies to integrate genetic, epigenetic, and 'omics data across human and model organisms to achieve deeper mechanistic insight into SUDs. Specific topics were to (a) evaluate the current state of substance use genetics and genomics research and fundamental gaps, (b) identify opportunities and challenges of integration and sharing across species and data types, (c) identify current tools and resources for integration of genetic, epigenetic, and phenotypic data, (d) discuss steps and impediment related to data integration, and (e) outline future steps to support more effective collaboration-particularly between animal model research communities and human genetics and clinical research teams. This review summarizes key facets of this catalytic discussion with a focus on new opportunities and gaps in resources and knowledge on SUDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12738DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8365690PMC
April 2021

Identification of Functional Genetic Variants Associated With Alcohol Dependence and Related Phenotypes Using a High-Throughput Assay.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2020 12 17;44(12):2494-2518. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

From the, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, (KST, HJE), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of alcohol dependence (AD) and related phenotypes have identified multiple loci, but the functional variants underlying the loci have in most cases not been identified. Noncoding variants can influence phenotype by affecting gene expression; for example, variants in the 3' untranslated regions (3'UTR) can affect gene expression posttranscriptionally.

Methods: We adapted a high-throughput assay known as PASSPORT-seq (parallel assessment of polymorphisms in miRNA target sites by sequencing) to identify among variants associated with AD and related phenotypes those that cause differential expression in neuronal cell lines. Based upon meta-analyses of alcohol-related traits in African American and European Americans in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, we tested 296 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs with meta-analysis p values ≤ 0.001) that were located in 3'UTRs.

Results: We identified 60 SNPs that affected gene expression (false discovery rate [FDR] < 0.05) in SH-SY5Y cells and 92 that affected expression in SK-N-BE(2) cells. Among these, 30 SNPs altered RNA levels in the same direction in both cell lines. Many of these SNPs reside in the binding sites of miRNAs and RNA-binding proteins and are expression quantitative trait loci of genes including KIF6,FRMD4A,CADM2,ADD2,PLK2, and GAS7.

Conclusion: The SNPs identified in the PASSPORT-seq assay are functional variants that might affect the risk for AD and related phenotypes. Our study provides insights into gene regulation in AD and demonstrates the value of PASSPORT-seq as a tool to screen genetic variants in GWAS loci for one potential mechanism of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acer.14492DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725989PMC
December 2020

A large-scale genome-wide association study meta-analysis of cannabis use disorder.

Lancet Psychiatry 2020 12 20;7(12):1032-1045. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Background: Variation in liability to cannabis use disorder has a strong genetic component (estimated twin and family heritability about 50-70%) and is associated with negative outcomes, including increased risk of psychopathology. The aim of the study was to conduct a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify novel genetic variants associated with cannabis use disorder.

Methods: To conduct this GWAS meta-analysis of cannabis use disorder and identify associations with genetic loci, we used samples from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Substance Use Disorders working group, iPSYCH, and deCODE (20 916 case samples, 363 116 control samples in total), contrasting cannabis use disorder cases with controls. To examine the genetic overlap between cannabis use disorder and 22 traits of interest (chosen because of previously published phenotypic correlations [eg, psychiatric disorders] or hypothesised associations [eg, chronotype] with cannabis use disorder), we used linkage disequilibrium score regression to calculate genetic correlations.

Findings: We identified two genome-wide significant loci: a novel chromosome 7 locus (FOXP2, lead single-nucleotide polymorphism [SNP] rs7783012; odds ratio [OR] 1·11, 95% CI 1·07-1·15, p=1·84 × 10) and the previously identified chromosome 8 locus (near CHRNA2 and EPHX2, lead SNP rs4732724; OR 0·89, 95% CI 0·86-0·93, p=6·46 × 10). Cannabis use disorder and cannabis use were genetically correlated (r 0·50, p=1·50 × 10), but they showed significantly different genetic correlations with 12 of the 22 traits we tested, suggesting at least partially different genetic underpinnings of cannabis use and cannabis use disorder. Cannabis use disorder was positively genetically correlated with other psychopathology, including ADHD, major depression, and schizophrenia.

Interpretation: These findings support the theory that cannabis use disorder has shared genetic liability with other psychopathology, and there is a distinction between genetic liability to cannabis use and cannabis use disorder.

Funding: National Institute of Mental Health; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; National Institute on Drug Abuse; Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine and the Centre for Integrative Sequencing; The European Commission, Horizon 2020; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Health Research Council of New Zealand; National Institute on Aging; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium; UK Research and Innovation Medical Research Council (UKRI MRC); The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation; National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia; Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program of the University of California; Families for Borderline Personality Disorder Research (Beth and Rob Elliott) 2018 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant; The National Child Health Research Foundation (Cure Kids); The Canterbury Medical Research Foundation; The New Zealand Lottery Grants Board; The University of Otago; The Carney Centre for Pharmacogenomics; The James Hume Bequest Fund; National Institutes of Health: Genes, Environment and Health Initiative; National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute; The William T Grant Foundation; Australian Research Council; The Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation; The VISN 1 and VISN 4 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Centers of the US Department of Veterans Affairs; The 5th Framework Programme (FP-5) GenomEUtwin Project; The Lundbeck Foundation; NIH-funded Shared Instrumentation Grant S10RR025141; Clinical Translational Sciences Award grants; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30339-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7674631PMC
December 2020

Epigenetic changes on rat chromosome 4 contribute to disparate alcohol drinking behavior in alcohol-preferring and -nonpreferring rats.

Alcohol 2020 12 14;89:103-112. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, United States. Electronic address:

Background: Paternal alcohol abuse is a well-recognized risk factor for the development of an alcohol use disorder (AUD). In addition to genetic and environmental risk factors, heritable epigenetic factors also have been proposed to play a key role in the development of AUD. However, it is not clear whether epigenetic factors contribute to the genetic inheritance in families affected by AUD. We used reciprocal crosses of the alcohol-preferring (P) and -nonpreferring (NP) rat lines to test whether epigenetic factors also impacted alcohol drinking in up to two generations of offspring.

Methods: F1 offspring derived by reciprocal breeding of P and NP rats were tested for differences in alcohol consumption using a free-choice protocol of 10% ethanol, 20% ethanol, and water that were available concurrently. In a separate experiment, an F2 population was tested for alcohol consumption not only due to genetic differences. These rats were generated from inbred P (iP) and iNP rat lines that were reciprocally bred to produce genetically identical F1 offspring that remained alcohol-naïve. Intercrosses of the F1 generation animals produced the F2 generation. Alcohol consumption was then assessed in the F2 generation using a standard two-bottle choice protocol, and was analyzed using genome-wide linkage analysis. Alcohol consumption measures were also analyzed for sex differences.

Results: Average alcohol consumption was higher in the F1 offspring of P vs. NP sires and in the F2 offspring of F0 iP vs. iNP grandsires. Linkage analyses showed the maximum LOD scores for alcohol consumption in both male and female offspring were on chromosome 4 (Chr 4). The LOD score for both sexes considered together was higher when the grandsire was iP vs. iNP (5.0 vs. 3.35, respectively). Furthermore, the F2 population displayed enhanced alcohol consumption when the P alleles from the F0 sire were present.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that epigenetic and/or non-genetic factors mapping to rat chromosome 4 contribute to a transgenerational paternal effect on alcohol consumption in the P and NP rat model of AUD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alcohol.2020.08.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722131PMC
December 2020

Testing influences of APOE and BDNF genes and heart failure on cognitive function.

Heart Lung 2021 Jan - Feb;50(1):51-58. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing, 600 Barnhill Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε2, ε4 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met alleles have been associated with cognition. Associations of these alleles with cognition in heart failure (HF) and influences of HF across the cognitive spectrum (i.e., cognitively normal to Alzheimer's dementia [AD]) remain unexplored.

Objectives: To investigate influences of APOE ε2, ε4, BDNF Met and HF on cognition among participants across the cognitive spectrum.

Methods: Genetic association study using national databases (N = 7,166).

Results: APOE ε2 frequencies were similar across the cognitive spectrum among participants with HF. APOE ε4 frequency was lower among participants with HF and AD than non-HF participants with AD. BDNF Met frequencies did not differ across the spectrum. HF was associated with worse attention and language. In the HF subsample, ε4 was associated with worse memory.

Conclusion: Associations between APOE and cognition may differ in HF but need to be tested in a larger sample.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2020.06.014DOI Listing
April 2021

Genome-wide admixture mapping of DSM-IV alcohol dependence, criterion count, and the self-rating of the effects of ethanol in African American populations.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2021 04 11;186(3):151-161. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

African Americans (AA) have lower prevalence of alcohol dependence and higher subjective response to alcohol than European Americans. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified genes/variants associated with alcohol dependence specifically in AA; however, the sample sizes are still not large enough to detect variants with small effects. Admixture mapping is an alternative way to identify alcohol dependence genes/variants that may be unique to AA. In this study, we performed the first admixture mapping of DSM-IV alcohol dependence diagnosis, DSM-IV alcohol dependence criterion count, and two scores from the self-rating of effects of ethanol (SRE) as measures of response to alcohol: the first five times of using alcohol (SRE-5) and average of SRE across three times (SRE-T). Findings revealed a region on chromosome 4 that was genome-wide significant for SRE-5 (p value = 4.18E-05). Fine mapping did not identify a single causal variant to be associated with SRE-5; instead, conditional analysis concluded that multiple variants collectively explained the admixture mapping signal. PPARGC1A, a gene that has been linked to alcohol consumption in previous studies, is located in this region. Our finding suggests that admixture mapping is a useful tool to identify genes/variants that may have been missed by current GWAS approaches in admixed populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32805DOI Listing
April 2021

Genomewide Meta-Analysis Validates a Role for S1PR1 in Microtubule Targeting Agent-Induced Sensory Peripheral Neuropathy.

Clin Pharmacol Ther 2020 09 2;108(3):625-634. Epub 2020 Aug 2.

Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

Microtubule targeting agents (MTAs) are anticancer therapies commonly prescribed for breast cancer and other solid tumors. Sensory peripheral neuropathy (PN) is the major dose-limiting toxicity for MTAs and can limit clinical efficacy. The current pharmacogenomic study aimed to identify genetic variations that explain patient susceptibility and drive mechanisms underlying development of MTA-induced PN. A meta-analysis of genomewide association studies (GWAS) from two clinical cohorts treated with MTAs (Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 40502 and CALGB 40101) was conducted using a Cox regression model with cumulative dose to first instance of grade 2 or higher PN. Summary statistics from a GWAS of European subjects (n = 469) in CALGB 40502 that estimated cause-specific risk of PN were meta-analyzed with those from a previously published GWAS of European ancestry (n = 855) from CALGB 40101 that estimated the risk of PN. Novel single nucleotide polymorphisms in an enhancer region downstream of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1 encoding S1PR ; e.g., rs74497159, β per allele log hazard ratio (95% confidence interval (CI)) = 0.591 (0.254-0.928), β per allele log hazard ratio (95% CI) = 0.693 (0.334-1.053); P  = 3.62 × 10 ) were the most highly ranked associations based on P values with risk of developing grade 2 and higher PN. In silico functional analysis identified multiple regulatory elements and potential enhancer activity for S1PR1 within this genomic region. Inhibition of S1PR function in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived human sensory neurons shows partial protection against paclitaxel-induced neurite damage. These pharmacogenetic findings further support ongoing clinical evaluations to target S1PR as a therapeutic strategy for prevention and/or treatment of MTA-induced neuropathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpt.1958DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718413PMC
September 2020

A genome-wide association study of interhemispheric theta EEG coherence: implications for neural connectivity and alcohol use behavior.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 May 20. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of Psychiatry and the Henri Begleiter Neurodynamics Laboratory, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, 11203, USA.

Aberrant connectivity of large-scale brain networks has been observed among individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) as well as in those at risk, suggesting deficits in neural communication between brain regions in the liability to develop AUD. Electroencephalographical (EEG) coherence, which measures the degree of synchrony between brain regions, may be a useful measure of connectivity patterns in neural networks for studying the genetics of AUD. In 8810 individuals (6644 of European and 2166 of African ancestry) from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), we performed a Multi-Trait Analyses of genome-wide association studies (MTAG) on parietal resting-state theta (3-7 Hz) EEG coherence, which previously have been associated with AUD. We also examined developmental effects of GWAS findings on trajectories of neural connectivity in a longitudinal subsample of 2316 adolescent/young adult offspring from COGA families (ages 12-30) and examined the functional and clinical significance of GWAS variants. Six correlated single nucleotide polymorphisms located in a brain-expressed lincRNA (ENSG00000266213) on chromosome 18q23 were associated with posterior interhemispheric low theta EEG coherence (3-5 Hz). These same variants were also associated with alcohol use behavior and posterior corpus callosum volume, both in a subset of COGA and in the UK Biobank. Analyses in the subsample of COGA offspring indicated that the association of rs12954372 with low theta EEG coherence occurred only in females, most prominently between ages 25 and 30 (p < 2 × 10). Converging data provide support for the role of genetic variants on chromosome 18q23 in regulating neural connectivity and alcohol use behavior, potentially via dysregulated myelination. While findings were less robust, genome-wide associations were also observed with rs151174000 and parieto-frontal low theta coherence, rs14429078 and parieto-occipital interhemispheric high theta coherence, and rs116445911 with centro-parietal low theta coherence. These novel genetic findings highlight the utility of the endophenotype approach in enhancing our understanding of mechanisms underlying addiction susceptibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0777-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8503860PMC
May 2020

Leveraging genome-wide data to investigate differences between opioid use vs. opioid dependence in 41,176 individuals from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 08 26;25(8):1673-1687. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

To provide insights into the biology of opioid dependence (OD) and opioid use (i.e., exposure, OE), we completed a genome-wide analysis comparing 4503 OD cases, 4173 opioid-exposed controls, and 32,500 opioid-unexposed controls, including participants of European and African descent (EUR and AFR, respectively). Among the variants identified, rs9291211 was associated with OE (exposed vs. unexposed controls; EUR z = -5.39, p = 7.2 × 10). This variant regulates the transcriptomic profiles of SLC30A9 and BEND4 in multiple brain tissues and was previously associated with depression, alcohol consumption, and neuroticism. A phenome-wide scan of rs9291211 in the UK Biobank (N > 360,000) found association of this variant with propensity to use dietary supplements (p = 1.68 × 10). With respect to the same OE phenotype in the gene-based analysis, we identified SDCCAG8 (EUR + AFR z = 4.69, p = 10), which was previously associated with educational attainment, risk-taking behaviors, and schizophrenia. In addition, rs201123820 showed a genome-wide significant difference between OD cases and unexposed controls (AFR z = 5.55, p = 2.9 × 10) and a significant association with musculoskeletal disorders in the UK Biobank (p = 4.88 × 10). A polygenic risk score (PRS) based on a GWAS of risk-tolerance (n = 466,571) was positively associated with OD (OD vs. unexposed controls, p = 8.1 × 10; OD cases vs. exposed controls, p = 0.054) and OE (exposed vs. unexposed controls, p = 3.6 × 10). A PRS based on a GWAS of neuroticism (n = 390,278) was positively associated with OD (OD vs. unexposed controls, p = 3.2 × 10; OD vs. exposed controls, p = 0.002) but not with OE (p = 0.67). Our analyses highlight the difference between dependence and exposure and the importance of considering the definition of controls in studies of addiction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0677-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7392789PMC
August 2020

Shared genetic risk between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes: Evidence from genome-wide association studies.

Addict Biol 2021 01 16;26(1):e12880. Epub 2020 Feb 16.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

Eating disorders and substance use disorders frequently co-occur. Twin studies reveal shared genetic variance between liabilities to eating disorders and substance use, with the strongest associations between symptoms of bulimia nervosa and problem alcohol use (genetic correlation [r ], twin-based = 0.23-0.53). We estimated the genetic correlation between eating disorder and substance use and disorder phenotypes using data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Four eating disorder phenotypes (anorexia nervosa [AN], AN with binge eating, AN without binge eating, and a bulimia nervosa factor score), and eight substance-use-related phenotypes (drinks per week, alcohol use disorder [AUD], smoking initiation, current smoking, cigarettes per day, nicotine dependence, cannabis initiation, and cannabis use disorder) from eight studies were included. Significant genetic correlations were adjusted for variants associated with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. Total study sample sizes per phenotype ranged from ~2400 to ~537 000 individuals. We used linkage disequilibrium score regression to calculate single nucleotide polymorphism-based genetic correlations between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes. Significant positive genetic associations emerged between AUD and AN (r = 0.18; false discovery rate q = 0.0006), cannabis initiation and AN (r = 0.23; q < 0.0001), and cannabis initiation and AN with binge eating (r = 0.27; q = 0.0016). Conversely, significant negative genetic correlations were observed between three nondiagnostic smoking phenotypes (smoking initiation, current smoking, and cigarettes per day) and AN without binge eating (r = -0.19 to -0.23; qs < 0.04). The genetic correlation between AUD and AN was no longer significant after co-varying for major depressive disorder loci. The patterns of association between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes highlights the potentially complex and substance-specific relationships among these behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/adb.12880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429266PMC
January 2021

Polygenic contributions to alcohol use and alcohol use disorders across population-based and clinically ascertained samples.

Psychol Med 2021 05 20;51(7):1147-1156. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.

Background: Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.

Methods: We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.

Results: In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47-0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10-8-1.0 × 10-10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10-8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10-6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10-11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10-7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10-16).

Conclusions: AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291719004045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7405725PMC
May 2021

A regulatory variant of CHRM3 is associated with cannabis-induced hallucinations in European Americans.

Transl Psychiatry 2019 11 18;9(1):309. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

Division of Human Genetics, Department of Psychiatry, VA CT Healthcare Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Cannabis, the most widely used illicit drug, can induce hallucinations. Our understanding of the biology of cannabis-induced hallucinations (Ca-HL) is limited. We used the Semi-Structured Assessment for Drug Dependence and Alcoholism (SSADDA) to identify cannabis-induced hallucinations (Ca-HL) among long-term cannabis users (used cannabis ≥1 year and ≥100 times). A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted by analyzing European Americans (EAs) and African Americans (AAs) in Yale-Penn 1 and 2 cohorts individually, then meta-analyzing the two cohorts within population. In the meta-analysis of Yale-Penn EAs (n = 1917), one genome-wide significant (GWS) signal emerged at the CHRM3 locus, represented by rs115455482 (P = 1.66 × 10), rs74722579 (P = 2.81 × 10), and rs1938228 (P = 1.57 × 10); signals were GWS in Yale-Penn 1 EAs (n = 1092) and nominally significant in Yale-Penn 2 EAs (n = 825). Two SNPs, rs115455482 and rs74722579, were available from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism data (COGA; 3630 long-term cannabis users). The signals did not replicate, but when meta-analyzing Yale-Penn and COGA EAs, the two SNPs' association signals were increased (meta-P-values 1.32 × 10 and 2.60 × 10, respectively; n = 4291). There were no significant findings in AAs, but in the AA meta-analysis (n = 3624), nominal significance was seen for rs74722579. The rs115455482*T risk allele was associated with lower CHRM3 expression in the thalamus. CHRM3 was co-expressed with three psychosis risk genes (GABAG2, CHRNA4, and HRH3) in the thalamus and other human brain tissues and mouse GABAergic neurons. This work provides strong evidence for the association of CHRM3 with Ca-HL and provides insight into the potential involvement of thalamus for this trait.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0639-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6861240PMC
November 2019

Exome-chip association analysis of intracranial aneurysms.

Neurology 2020 02 15;94(5):e481-e488. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

From the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (F.N.G.v.H., G.J.E.R., Y.M.R.), Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Department of Cardiology (J.v.S.), Department of Medical Genetics (P.I.W.d.B.), Centre for Molecular Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology (M.L.B., I.V., P.I.W.d.B.), Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands; Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics (D.L., T.F.), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; and Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine (J.B., D.W.), University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, OH.

Objective: To investigate to what extent low-frequency genetic variants (with minor allele frequencies <5%) affect the risk of intracranial aneurysms (IAs).

Methods: One thousand fifty-six patients with IA and 2,097 population-based controls from the Netherlands were genotyped with the Illumina HumanExome BeadChip. After quality control (QC) of samples and single nucleotide variants (SNVs), we conducted a single variant analysis using the Fisher exact test. We also performed the variable threshold (VT) test and the sequence kernel association test (SKAT) at different minor allele count (MAC) thresholds of >5 and >0 to test the hypothesis that multiple variants within the same gene are associated with IA risk. Significant results were tested in a replication cohort of 425 patients with IA and 311 controls, and results of the 2 cohorts were combined in a meta-analysis.

Results: After QC, 995 patients with IA and 2,080 controls remained for further analysis. The single variant analysis comprising 46,534 SNVs did not identify significant loci at the genome-wide level. The gene-based tests showed a statistically significant association for fibulin 2 () (best = 1 × 10 for the VT test, MAC >5). Associations were not statistically significant in the independent but smaller replication cohort ( > 0.57) but became slightly stronger in a meta-analysis of the 2 cohorts (best = 4.8 × 10 for the SKAT, MAC ≥1).

Conclusion: Gene-based tests indicated an association for , a gene encoding an extracellular matrix protein implicated in vascular wall remodeling, but independent validation in larger cohorts is warranted. We did not identify any significant associations for single low-frequency genetic variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000008665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7080288PMC
February 2020

Psychosocial moderation of polygenic risk for cannabis involvement: the role of trauma exposure and frequency of religious service attendance.

Transl Psychiatry 2019 10 21;9(1):269. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.

Cannabis use and disorders (CUD) are influenced by multiple genetic variants of small effect and by the psychosocial environment. However, this information has not been effectively incorporated into studies of gene-environment interaction (GxE). Polygenic risk scores (PRS) that aggregate the effects of genetic variants can aid in identifying the links between genetic risk and psychosocial factors. Using data from the Pasman et al. GWAS of cannabis use (meta-analysis of data from the International Cannabis Consortium and UK Biobank), we constructed PRS in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) participants of European (N: 7591) and African (N: 3359) ancestry. The primary analyses included only individuals of European ancestry, reflecting the ancestral composition of the discovery GWAS from which the PRS was derived. Secondary analyses included the African ancestry sample. Associations of PRS with cannabis use and DSM-5 CUD symptom count (CUDsx) and interactions with trauma exposure and frequency of religious service attendance were examined. Models were adjusted for sex, birth cohort, genotype array, and ancestry. Robustness models were adjusted for cross-term interactions. Higher PRS were associated with a greater likelihood of cannabis use and with CUDsx among participants of European ancestry (p < 0.05 and p < 0.1 thresholds, respectively). PRS only influenced cannabis use among those exposed to trauma (R: 0.011 among the trauma exposed vs. R: 0.002 in unexposed). PRS less consistently influenced cannabis use among those who attend religious services less frequently; PRS × religious service attendance effects were attenuated when cross-term interactions with ancestry and sex were included in the model. Polygenic liability to cannabis use was related to cannabis use and, less robustly, progression to symptoms of CUD. This study provides the first evidence of PRS × trauma for cannabis use and demonstrates that ignoring important aspects of the psychosocial environment may mask genetic influences on polygenic traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0598-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6803671PMC
October 2019

Allele-specific expression and high-throughput reporter assay reveal functional genetic variants associated with alcohol use disorders.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 04 2;26(4):1142-1151. Epub 2019 Sep 2.

Department of Medical & Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of complex traits, such as alcohol use disorders (AUD), usually identify variants in non-coding regions and cannot by themselves distinguish whether the associated variants are functional or in linkage disequilibrium with the functional variants. Transcriptome studies can identify genes whose expression differs between alcoholics and controls. To test which variants associated with AUD may cause expression differences, we integrated data from deep RNA-seq and GWAS of four postmortem brain regions from 30 subjects with AUD and 30 controls to analyze allele-specific expression (ASE). We identified 88 genes with differential ASE in subjects with AUD compared to controls. Next, to test one potential mechanism contributing to the differential ASE, we analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 3' untranslated regions (3'UTR) of these genes. Of the 88 genes with differential ASE, 61 genes contained 437 SNPs in the 3'UTR with at least one heterozygote among the subjects studied. Using a modified PASSPORT-seq (parallel assessment of polymorphisms in miRNA target-sites by sequencing) assay, we identified 25 SNPs that affected RNA levels in a consistent manner in two neuroblastoma cell lines, SH-SY5Y and SK-N-BE(2). Many of these SNPs are in binding sites of miRNAs and RNA-binding proteins, indicating that these SNPs are likely causal variants of AUD-associated differential ASE. In sum, we demonstrate that a combination of computational and experimental approaches provides a powerful strategy to uncover functionally relevant variants associated with the risk for AUD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-019-0508-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7050407PMC
April 2021

Genome-wide association studies of the self-rating of effects of ethanol (SRE).

Addict Biol 2020 03 3;25(2):e12800. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego Medical School, San Diego, California.

The level of response (LR) to alcohol as measured with the Self-Report of the Effects of Alcohol Retrospective Questionnaire (SRE) evaluates the number of standard drinks usually required for up to four effects. The need for a higher number of drinks for effects is genetically influenced and predicts higher risks for heavy drinking and alcohol problems. We conducted genome-wide association study (GWAS) in the African-American (COGA-AA, N = 1527 from 309 families) and European-American (COGA-EA, N = 4723 from 956 families) subsamples of the Collaborative Studies on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) for two SRE scores: SRE-T (average of first five times of drinking, the period of heaviest drinking, and the most recent 3 months of consumption) and SRE-5 (the first five times of drinking). We then meta-analyzed the two COGA subsamples (COGA-AA + EA). Both SRE-T and SRE-5 were modestly heritable (h : 21%-31%) and genetically correlated with alcohol dependence (AD) and DSM-IV AD criterion count (r : 0.35-0.76). Genome-wide significant associations were observed (SRE-T: chromosomes 6, rs140154945, COGA-EA P = 3.30E-08 and 11, rs10647170, COGA-AA+EA P = 3.53E-09; SRE-5: chromosome13, rs4770359, COGA-AA P = 2.92E-08). Chromosome 11 was replicated in an EA dataset from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism intramural program. In silico functional analyses and RNA expression analyses suggest that the chromosome 6 locus is an eQTL for KIF25. Polygenic risk scores derived using the COGA SRE-T and SRE-5 GWAS predicted 0.47% to 2.48% of variances in AD and DSM-IV AD criterion count in independent datasets. This study highlights the genetic contribution of alcohol response phenotypes to the etiology of alcohol use disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/adb.12800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6940552PMC
March 2020

Genome-wide association study identifies loci associated with liability to alcohol and drug dependence that is associated with variability in reward-related ventral striatum activity in African- and European-Americans.

Genes Brain Behav 2019 07 11;18(6):e12580. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri.

Genetic influences on alcohol and drug dependence partially overlap, however, specific loci underlying this overlap remain unclear. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of a phenotype representing alcohol or illicit drug dependence (ANYDEP) among 7291 European-Americans (EA; 2927 cases) and 3132 African-Americans (AA: 1315 cases) participating in the family-based Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism. ANYDEP was heritable (h in EA = 0.60, AA = 0.37). The AA GWAS identified three regions with genome-wide significant (GWS; P < 5E-08) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosomes 3 (rs34066662, rs58801820) and 13 (rs75168521, rs78886294), and an insertion-deletion on chromosome 5 (chr5:141988181). No polymorphisms reached GWS in the EA. One GWS region (chromosome 1: rs1890881) emerged from a trans-ancestral meta-analysis (EA + AA) of ANYDEP, and was attributable to alcohol dependence in both samples. Four genes (AA: CRKL, DZIP3, SBK3; EA: P2RX6) and four sets of genes were significantly enriched within biological pathways for hemostasis and signal transduction. GWS signals did not replicate in two independent samples but there was weak evidence for association between rs1890881 and alcohol intake in the UK Biobank. Among 118 AA and 481 EA individuals from the Duke Neurogenetics Study, rs75168521 and rs1890881 genotypes were associated with variability in reward-related ventral striatum activation. This study identified novel loci for substance dependence and provides preliminary evidence that these variants are also associated with individual differences in neural reward reactivity. Gene discovery efforts in non-European samples with distinct patterns of substance use may lead to the identification of novel ancestry-specific genetic markers of risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12580DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6726116PMC
July 2019

Genome-wide association studies of alcohol dependence, DSM-IV criterion count and individual criteria.

Genes Brain Behav 2019 07 4;18(6):e12579. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of alcohol dependence (AD) have reliably identified variation within alcohol metabolizing genes (eg, ADH1B) but have inconsistently located other signals, which may be partially attributable to symptom heterogeneity underlying the disorder. We conducted GWAS of DSM-IV AD (primary analysis), DSM-IV AD criterion count (secondary analysis), and individual dependence criteria (tertiary analysis) among 7418 (1121 families) European American (EA) individuals from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA). Trans-ancestral meta-analyses combined these results with data from 3175 (585 families) African-American (AA) individuals from COGA. In the EA GWAS, three loci were genome-wide significant: rs1229984 in ADH1B for AD criterion count (P = 4.16E-11) and Desire to cut drinking (P = 1.21E-11); rs188227250 (chromosome 8, Drinking more than intended, P = 6.72E-09); rs1912461 (chromosome 15, Time spent drinking, P = 1.77E-08). In the trans-ancestral meta-analysis, rs1229984 was associated with multiple phenotypes and two additional loci were genome-wide significant: rs61826952 (chromosome 1, DSM-IV AD, P = 8.42E-11); rs7597960 (chromosome 2, Time spent drinking, P = 1.22E-08). Associations with rs1229984 and rs18822750 were replicated in independent datasets. Polygenic risk scores derived from the EA GWAS of AD predicted AD in two EA datasets (P < .01; 0.61%-1.82% of variance). Identified novel variants (ie, rs1912461, rs61826952) were associated with differential central evoked theta power (loss - gain; P = .0037) and reward-related ventral striatum reactivity (P = .008), respectively. This study suggests that studying individual criteria may unveil new insights into the genetic etiology of AD liability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12579DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6612573PMC
July 2019

The Genetic Relationship Between Alcohol Consumption and Aspects of Problem Drinking in an Ascertained Sample.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2019 06 21;43(6):1113-1125. Epub 2019 May 21.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri.

Background: Genomewide association studies (GWAS) have begun to identify loci related to alcohol consumption, but little is known about whether this genetic propensity overlaps with specific indices of problem drinking in ascertained samples.

Methods: In 6,731 European Americans who had been exposed to alcohol, we examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) from a GWAS of weekly alcohol consumption in the UK Biobank predicted variance in 6 alcohol-related phenotypes: alcohol use, maximum drinks within 24 hours (MAXD), total score on the Self-Rating of the Effects of Ethanol Questionnaire (SRE-T), DSM-IV alcohol dependence (DSM4AD), DSM-5 alcohol use disorder symptom counts (DSM5AUDSX), and reduction/cessation of problematic drinking. We also examined the extent to which an single nucleotide polymorphism (rs1229984) in ADH1B, which is strongly associated with both alcohol consumption and dependence, contributed to the polygenic association with these phenotypes and whether PRS interacted with sex, age, or family history of alcoholism to predict alcohol-related outcomes. We performed mixed-effect regression analyses, with family membership and recruitment site included as random effects, as well as survival modeling of age of onset of DSM4AD.

Results: PRS for alcohol consumption significantly predicted variance in 5 of the 6 outcomes: alcohol use (Δmarginal R  = 1.39%, Δ area under the curve [AUC] = 0.011), DSM4AD (Δmarginal R  = 0.56%; ΔAUC = 0.003), DSM5AUDSX (Δmarginal R  = 0.49%), MAXD (Δmarginal R  = 0.31%), and SRE-T (Δmarginal R  = 0.22%). PRS were also associated with onset of DSM4AD (hazard ratio = 1.11, p = 2.08e-5). The inclusion of rs1229984 attenuated the effects of the alcohol consumption PRS, particularly for DSM4AD and DSM5AUDSX, but the PRS continued to exert an independent effect for all 5 alcohol measures (Δmarginal R after controlling for ADH1B = 0.14 to 1.22%). Interactions between PRS and sex, age, or family history were nonsignificant.

Conclusions: Genetic propensity for typical alcohol consumption was associated with alcohol use and was also associated with 4 of the additional 5 outcomes, though the variance explained in this sample was modest. Future GWAS that focus on the multifaceted nature of AUD, which goes beyond consumption, might reveal additional information regarding the polygenic underpinnings of problem drinking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acer.14064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6560626PMC
June 2019

Exome Chip Meta-analysis Fine Maps Causal Variants and Elucidates the Genetic Architecture of Rare Coding Variants in Smoking and Alcohol Use.

Biol Psychiatry 2019 06 6;85(11):946-955. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Background: Smoking and alcohol use have been associated with common genetic variants in multiple loci. Rare variants within these loci hold promise in the identification of biological mechanisms in substance use. Exome arrays and genotype imputation can now efficiently genotype rare nonsynonymous and loss of function variants. Such variants are expected to have deleterious functional consequences and to contribute to disease risk.

Methods: We analyzed ∼250,000 rare variants from 16 independent studies genotyped with exome arrays and augmented this dataset with imputed data from the UK Biobank. Associations were tested for five phenotypes: cigarettes per day, pack-years, smoking initiation, age of smoking initiation, and alcoholic drinks per week. We conducted stratified heritability analyses, single-variant tests, and gene-based burden tests of nonsynonymous/loss-of-function coding variants. We performed a novel fine-mapping analysis to winnow the number of putative causal variants within associated loci.

Results: Meta-analytic sample sizes ranged from 152,348 to 433,216, depending on the phenotype. Rare coding variation explained 1.1% to 2.2% of phenotypic variance, reflecting 11% to 18% of the total single nucleotide polymorphism heritability of these phenotypes. We identified 171 genome-wide associated loci across all phenotypes. Fine mapping identified putative causal variants with double base-pair resolution at 24 of these loci, and between three and 10 variants for 65 loci. Twenty loci contained rare coding variants in the 95% credible intervals.

Conclusions: Rare coding variation significantly contributes to the heritability of smoking and alcohol use. Fine-mapping genome-wide association study loci identifies specific variants contributing to the biological etiology of substance use behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.11.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6534468PMC
June 2019

Meta-analysis of up to 622,409 individuals identifies 40 novel smoking behaviour associated genetic loci.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 10 7;25(10):2392-2409. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Department of Complex Trait Genetics, Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Smoking is a major heritable and modifiable risk factor for many diseases, including cancer, common respiratory disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Fourteen genetic loci have previously been associated with smoking behaviour-related traits. We tested up to 235,116 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) on the exome-array for association with smoking initiation, cigarettes per day, pack-years, and smoking cessation in a fixed effects meta-analysis of up to 61 studies (up to 346,813 participants). In a subset of 112,811 participants, a further one million SNVs were also genotyped and tested for association with the four smoking behaviour traits. SNV-trait associations with P < 5 × 10 in either analysis were taken forward for replication in up to 275,596 independent participants from UK Biobank. Lastly, a meta-analysis of the discovery and replication studies was performed. Sixteen SNVs were associated with at least one of the smoking behaviour traits (P < 5 × 10) in the discovery samples. Ten novel SNVs, including rs12616219 near TMEM182, were followed-up and five of them (rs462779 in REV3L, rs12780116 in CNNM2, rs1190736 in GPR101, rs11539157 in PJA1, and rs12616219 near TMEM182) replicated at a Bonferroni significance threshold (P < 4.5 × 10) with consistent direction of effect. A further 35 SNVs were associated with smoking behaviour traits in the discovery plus replication meta-analysis (up to 622,409 participants) including a rare SNV, rs150493199, in CCDC141 and two low-frequency SNVs in CEP350 and HDGFRP2. Functional follow-up implied that decreased expression of REV3L may lower the probability of smoking initiation. The novel loci will facilitate understanding the genetic aetiology of smoking behaviour and may lead to the identification of potential drug targets for smoking prevention and/or cessation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-018-0313-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7515840PMC
October 2020

Transancestral GWAS of alcohol dependence reveals common genetic underpinnings with psychiatric disorders.

Nat Neurosci 2018 12 26;21(12):1656-1669. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

NIH/NIAAA, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Liability to alcohol dependence (AD) is heritable, but little is known about its complex polygenic architecture or its genetic relationship with other disorders. To discover loci associated with AD and characterize the relationship between AD and other psychiatric and behavioral outcomes, we carried out the largest genome-wide association study to date of DSM-IV-diagnosed AD. Genome-wide data on 14,904 individuals with AD and 37,944 controls from 28 case-control and family-based studies were meta-analyzed, stratified by genetic ancestry (European, n = 46,568; African, n = 6,280). Independent, genome-wide significant effects of different ADH1B variants were identified in European (rs1229984; P = 9.8 × 10) and African ancestries (rs2066702; P = 2.2 × 10). Significant genetic correlations were observed with 17 phenotypes, including schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, depression, and use of cigarettes and cannabis. The genetic underpinnings of AD only partially overlap with those for alcohol consumption, underscoring the genetic distinction between pathological and nonpathological drinking behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41593-018-0275-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6430207PMC
December 2018

Meta-Analysis of Genetic Influences on Initial Alcohol Sensitivity.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2018 12 28;42(12):2349-2359. Epub 2018 Oct 28.

Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

Background: Previous studies indicate that low initial sensitivity to alcohol may be a risk factor for later alcohol misuse. Evidence suggests that initial sensitivity is influenced by genetic factors, but few molecular genetic studies have been reported.

Methods: We conducted a meta-analysis of 2 population-based genome-wide association studies of the Self-Rating of the Effects of Alcohol scale. Our final sample consisted of 7,339 individuals (82.3% of European descent; 59.2% female) who reported having used alcohol at least 5 times. In addition, we estimated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based heritability and conducted a series of secondary aggregate genetic analyses.

Results: No individual locus reached genome-wide significance. Gene and set based analyses, both overall and using tissue-specific expression data, yielded largely null results, and genes previously implicated in alcohol problems and consumption were overall not associated with initial sensitivity. Only 1 gene set, related to hormone signaling and including core clock genes, survived correction for multiple testing. A meta-analysis of SNP-based heritability resulted in a modest estimate of  = 0.19 (SE = 0.10), though this was driven by 1 sample (N = 3,683,  = 0.36, SE = 0.14, p = 0.04). No significant genetic correlations with other relevant outcomes were observed.

Conclusions: Findings yielded only modest support for a genetic component underlying initial alcohol sensitivity. Results suggest that its biological underpinnings may diverge somewhat from that of other alcohol outcomes and may be related to core clock genes or other aspects of hormone signaling. Larger samples, ideally of prospectively assessed samples, are likely necessary to improve gene identification efforts and confirm the current findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acer.13896DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6286211PMC
December 2018

Genetic Variants Associated with Circulating Fibroblast Growth Factor 23.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2018 10 14;29(10):2583-2592. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Kidney Research Institute, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Background: Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), a bone-derived hormone that regulates phosphorus and vitamin D metabolism, contributes to the pathogenesis of mineral and bone disorders in CKD and is an emerging cardiovascular risk factor. Central elements of FGF23 regulation remain incompletely understood; genetic variation may help explain interindividual differences.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of circulating FGF23 concentrations among 16,624 participants of European ancestry from seven cohort studies, excluding participants with eGFR<30 ml/min per 1.73 m to focus on FGF23 under normal conditions. We evaluated the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with natural log-transformed FGF23 concentration, adjusted for age, sex, study site, and principal components of ancestry. A second model additionally adjusted for BMI and eGFR.

Results: We discovered 154 SNPs from five independent regions associated with FGF23 concentration. The SNP with the strongest association, rs17216707 (=3.0×10), lies upstream of , which encodes the primary catabolic enzyme for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Each additional copy of the T allele at this locus is associated with 5% higher FGF23 concentration. Another locus strongly associated with variations in FGF23 concentration is rs11741640, within and upstream of (a gene involved in renal phosphate transport). Additional adjustment for BMI and eGFR did not materially alter the magnitude of these associations. Another top locus (within , the ABO blood group transferase gene) was no longer statistically significant at the genome-wide level.

Conclusions: Common genetic variants located near genes involved in vitamin D metabolism and renal phosphate transport are associated with differences in circulating FGF23 concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2018020192DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6171267PMC
October 2018
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