Publications by authors named "James G Wilson"

260 Publications

Determinants of penetrance and variable expressivity in monogenic metabolic conditions across 77,184 exomes.

Nat Commun 2021 06 9;12(1):3505. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Hundreds of thousands of genetic variants have been reported to cause severe monogenic diseases, but the probability that a variant carrier develops the disease (termed penetrance) is unknown for virtually all of them. Additionally, the clinical utility of common polygenetic variation remains uncertain. Using exome sequencing from 77,184 adult individuals (38,618 multi-ancestral individuals from a type 2 diabetes case-control study and 38,566 participants from the UK Biobank, for whom genotype array data were also available), we apply clinical standard-of-care gene variant curation for eight monogenic metabolic conditions. Rare variants causing monogenic diabetes and dyslipidemias display effect sizes significantly larger than the top 1% of the corresponding polygenic scores. Nevertheless, penetrance estimates for monogenic variant carriers average 60% or lower for most conditions. We assess epidemiologic and genetic factors contributing to risk prediction in monogenic variant carriers, demonstrating that inclusion of polygenic variation significantly improves biomarker estimation for two monogenic dyslipidemias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23556-4DOI Listing
June 2021

Clonal hematopoiesis associated with epigenetic aging and clinical outcomes.

Aging Cell 2021 06 29;20(6):e13366. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) is a common precursor state for blood cancers that most frequently occurs due to mutations in the DNA-methylation modifying enzymes DNMT3A or TET2. We used DNA-methylation array and whole-genome sequencing data from four cohorts together comprising 5522 persons to study the association between CHIP, epigenetic clocks, and health outcomes. CHIP was strongly associated with epigenetic age acceleration, defined as the residual after regressing epigenetic clock age on chronological age, in several clocks, ranging from 1.31 years (GrimAge, p < 8.6 × 10 ) to 3.08 years (EEAA, p < 3.7 × 10 ). Mutations in most CHIP genes except DNA-damage response genes were associated with increases in several measures of age acceleration. CHIP carriers with mutations in multiple genes had the largest increases in age acceleration and decrease in estimated telomere length. Finally, we found that ~40% of CHIP carriers had acceleration >0 in both Hannum and GrimAge (referred to as AgeAccelHG+). This group was at high risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 2.90, p < 4.1 × 10 ) and coronary heart disease (CHD) (hazard ratio 3.24, p < 9.3 × 10 ) compared to those who were CHIP-/AgeAccelHG-. In contrast, the other ~60% of CHIP carriers who were AgeAccelHG- were not at increased risk of these outcomes. In summary, CHIP is strongly linked to age acceleration in multiple clocks, and the combination of CHIP and epigenetic aging may be used to identify a population at high risk for adverse outcomes and who may be a target for clinical interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13366DOI Listing
June 2021

Multiomic Profiling in Black and White Populations Reveals Novel Candidate Pathways in Left Ventricular Hypertrophy and Incident Heart Failure Specific to Black Adults.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Jun 21;14(3):e003191. Epub 2021 May 21.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA (D.H.K., U.A.T., D.N., M.D.B., X.S., M.J.K., D.S., M.H., J.M.R., Z.-Z.C., D.E.C., B.P., J.G.W., R.E.G.).

Background: Increased left ventricular (LV) mass is associated with adverse cardiovascular events including heart failure (HF). Both increased LV mass and HF disproportionately affect Black individuals. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we undertook a proteomic screen in a Black cohort and compared the findings to results from a White cohort.

Methods: We measured 1305 plasma proteins using the SomaScan platform in 1772 Black participants (mean age, 56 years; 62% women) in JHS (Jackson Heart Study) with LV mass assessed by 2-dimensional echocardiography. Incident HF was assessed in 1600 participants. We then compared protein associations in JHS to those observed in White participants from FHS (Framingham Heart Study; mean age, 54 years; 56% women).

Results: In JHS, there were 110 proteins associated with LV mass and 13 proteins associated with incident HF hospitalization with false discovery rate <5% after multivariable adjustment. Several proteins showed expected associations with both LV mass and HF, including NT-proBNP (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide; β=0.04; =2×10; hazard ratio, 1.48; =0.0001). The strongest association with LV mass was novel: LKHA4 (leukotriene-A4 hydrolase; β=0.05; =5×10). This association was confirmed on an alternate proteomics platform and further supported by related metabolomic data. Fractalkine/CX3CL1 (C-X3-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 1) showed a novel association with incident HF (hazard ratio, 1.32; =0.0002). While established biomarkers such as cystatin C and NT-proBNP showed consistent associations in Black and White individuals, LKHA4 and fractalkine were significantly different between the two groups.

Conclusions: We identified several novel biological pathways specific to Black adults hypothesized to contribute to the pathophysiologic cascade of LV hypertrophy and incident HF including LKHA4 and fractalkine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003191DOI Listing
June 2021

Chromosome Xq23 is associated with lower atherogenic lipid concentrations and favorable cardiometabolic indices.

Nat Commun 2021 04 12;12(1):2182. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Cardiology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Healthcare Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.

Autosomal genetic analyses of blood lipids have yielded key insights for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, X chromosome genetic variation is understudied for blood lipids in large sample sizes. We now analyze genetic and blood lipid data in a high-coverage whole X chromosome sequencing study of 65,322 multi-ancestry participants and perform replication among 456,893 European participants. Common alleles on chromosome Xq23 are strongly associated with reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (min P = 8.5 × 10), with similar effects for males and females. Chromosome Xq23 lipid-lowering alleles are associated with reduced odds for CHD among 42,545 cases and 591,247 controls (P = 1.7 × 10), and reduced odds for diabetes mellitus type 2 among 54,095 cases and 573,885 controls (P = 1.4 × 10). Although we observe an association with increased BMI, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI is reduced, bioimpedance analyses indicate increased gluteofemoral fat, and abdominal MRI analyses indicate reduced visceral adiposity. Co-localization analyses strongly correlate increased CHRDL1 gene expression, particularly in adipose tissue, with reduced concentrations of blood lipids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22339-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042019PMC
April 2021

Discovery and fine-mapping of height loci via high-density imputation of GWASs in individuals of African ancestry.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 04 12;108(4):564-582. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

The Charles R. Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Although many loci have been associated with height in European ancestry populations, very few have been identified in African ancestry individuals. Furthermore, many of the known loci have yet to be generalized to and fine-mapped within a large-scale African ancestry sample. We performed sex-combined and sex-stratified meta-analyses in up to 52,764 individuals with height and genome-wide genotyping data from the African Ancestry Anthropometry Genetics Consortium (AAAGC). We additionally combined our African ancestry meta-analysis results with published European genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. In the African ancestry analyses, we identified three novel loci (SLC4A3, NCOA2, ECD/FAM149B1) in sex-combined results and two loci (CRB1, KLF6) in women only. In the African plus European sex-combined GWAS, we identified an additional three novel loci (RCCD1, G6PC3, CEP95) which were equally driven by AAAGC and European results. Among 39 genome-wide significant signals at known loci, conditioning index SNPs from European studies identified 20 secondary signals. Two of the 20 new secondary signals and none of the 8 novel loci had minor allele frequencies (MAF) < 5%. Of 802 known European height signals, 643 displayed directionally consistent associations with height, of which 205 were nominally significant (p < 0.05) in the African ancestry sex-combined sample. Furthermore, 148 of 241 loci contained ≤20 variants in the credible sets that jointly account for 99% of the posterior probability of driving the associations. In summary, trans-ethnic meta-analyses revealed novel signals and further improved fine-mapping of putative causal variants in loci shared between African and European ancestry populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.02.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8059339PMC
April 2021

Metabolomic Markers of Southern Dietary Patterns in the Jackson Heart Study.

Mol Nutr Food Res 2021 04 11;65(8):e2000796. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Scope: New biomarkers are needed that are representative of dietary intake.

Methods And Results: We assess metabolites associated with Southern dietary patterns in 1401 Jackson Heart Study participants. Three dietary patterns are empirically derived using principal component analysis: meat and fast food, fish and vegetables, and starchy foods. We randomly select two subsets of the study population: two-third sample for discovery (n = 934) and one-third sample for replication (n = 467). Among the 327 metabolites analyzed, 14 are significantly associated with the meat and fast food dietary pattern, four are significantly associated with the fish and vegetables dietary pattern, and none are associated with the starchy foods dietary pattern in the discovery sample. In the replication sample, nine remain associated with the meat and fast food dietary pattern [indole-3-propanoic acid, C24:0 lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), N-methyl proline, proline betaine, C34:2 phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) plasmalogen, C36:5 PE plasmalogen, C38:5 PE plasmalogen, cotinine, hydroxyproline] and three remain associated with the fish and vegetables dietary pattern [1,7-dimethyluric acid, C22:6 lysophosphatidylethanolamine, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)].

Conclusion: Twelve metabolites are discovered and replicated in association with dietary patterns detected in a Southern U.S. African-American population, which could be useful as biomarkers of Southern dietary patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.202000796DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192080PMC
April 2021

Sequencing of 53,831 diverse genomes from the NHLBI TOPMed Program.

Nature 2021 02 10;590(7845):290-299. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

The Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme seeks to elucidate the genetic architecture and biology of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. The initial phases of the programme focused on whole-genome sequencing of individuals with rich phenotypic data and diverse backgrounds. Here we describe the TOPMed goals and design as well as the available resources and early insights obtained from the sequence data. The resources include a variant browser, a genotype imputation server, and genomic and phenotypic data that are available through dbGaP (Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes). In the first 53,831 TOPMed samples, we detected more than 400 million single-nucleotide and insertion or deletion variants after alignment with the reference genome. Additional previously undescribed variants were detected through assembly of unmapped reads and customized analysis in highly variable loci. Among the more than 400 million detected variants, 97% have frequencies of less than 1% and 46% are singletons that are present in only one individual (53% among unrelated individuals). These rare variants provide insights into mutational processes and recent human evolutionary history. The extensive catalogue of genetic variation in TOPMed studies provides unique opportunities for exploring the contributions of rare and noncoding sequence variants to phenotypic variation. Furthermore, combining TOPMed haplotypes with modern imputation methods improves the power and reach of genome-wide association studies to include variants down to a frequency of approximately 0.01%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03205-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875770PMC
February 2021

Metabolomic Profiles and Heart Failure Risk in Black Adults: Insights From the Jackson Heart Study.

Circ Heart Fail 2021 Jan 19;14(1):e007275. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (U.A.T., D.H.K., T.Z., D.N., D.E.C., J.M.R., Z.-Z.C., B.P., M.D.B., X.S., C.S., J.G.W., R.E.G.).

Background: Heart failure (HF) is a heterogeneous disease characterized by significant metabolic disturbances; however, the breadth of metabolic dysfunction before the onset of overt disease is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to determine the association of circulating metabolites with incident HF to uncover novel metabolic pathways to disease.

Methods: We performed targeted plasma metabolomic profiling in a deeply phenotyped group of Black adults from the JHS (Jackson Heart Study; n=2199). We related metabolites associated with incident HF to established etiological mechanisms, including increased left ventricular mass index and incident coronary heart disease. Furthermore, we evaluated differential associations of metabolites with HF with preserved ejection fraction versus HF with reduced ejection fraction.

Results: Metabolites associated with incident HF included products of posttranscriptional modifications of RNA, as well as polyamine and nitric oxide metabolism. A subset of metabolite-HF associations was independent of well-established HF pathways such as increased left ventricular mass index and incident coronary heart disease and included homoarginine (per 1 SD increase in metabolite level, hazard ratio, 0.77; =1.2×10), diacetylspermine (hazard ratio, 1.34; =3.4×10), and uridine (hazard ratio, 0.79; , 3×10). Furthermore, metabolites involved in pyrimidine metabolism (orotic acid) and collagen turnover (-methylproline) among others were part of a distinct metabolic signature that differentiated individuals with HF with preserved ejection fraction versus HF with reduced ejection fraction.

Conclusions: The integration of clinical phenotyping with plasma metabolomic profiling uncovered novel metabolic processes in nontraditional disease pathways underlying the heterogeneity of HF development in Black adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.120.007275DOI Listing
January 2021

Association of Sickle Cell Trait With Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease Among African American Individuals.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 01 4;4(1):e2030435. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson.

Importance: The incidence of and mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) are substantially higher among African American individuals compared with non-Hispanic White individuals, even after adjusting for traditional factors associated with CHD. The unexplained excess risk might be due to genetic factors related to African ancestry that are associated with a higher risk of CHD, such as the heterozygous state for the sickle cell variant or sickle cell trait (SCT).

Objective: To evaluate whether there is an association between SCT and the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) or composite CHD outcomes in African American individuals.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study included 5 large, prospective, population-based cohorts of African American individuals in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. The follow-up periods included in this study were 1993 and 1998 to 2014 for the WHI study, 2003 to 2014 for the REGARDS study, 2002 to 2016 for the MESA, 2002 to 2015 for the JHS, and 1987 to 2016 for the ARIC study. Data analysis began in October 2013 and was completed in October 2020.

Exposures: Sickle cell trait status was evaluated by either direct genotyping or high-quality imputation of rs334 (the sickle cell variant). Participants with sickle cell disease and those with a history of CHD were excluded from the analyses.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Incident MI, defined as adjudicated nonfatal or fatal MI, and incident CHD, defined as adjudicated nonfatal MI, fatal MI, coronary revascularization procedures, or death due to CHD. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratio for incident MI or CHD comparing SCT carriers with noncarriers. Models were adjusted for age, sex (except for the WHI study), study site or region of residence, hypertension status or systolic blood pressure, type 1 or 2 diabetes, serum high-density lipoprotein level, total cholesterol level, and global ancestry (estimated from principal components analysis).

Results: A total of 23 197 African American men (29.8%) and women (70.2%) were included in the combined sample, of whom 1781 had SCT (7.7% prevalence). Mean (SD) ages at baseline were 61.2 (6.9) years in the WHI study (n = 5904), 64.0 (9.3) years in the REGARDS study (n = 10 714), 62.0 (10.0) years in the MESA (n = 1556), 50.3 (12.0) years in the JHS (n = 2175), and 53.2 (5.8) years in the ARIC study (n = 2848). There were no significant differences in the distribution of traditional factors associated with cardiovascular disease by SCT status within cohorts. A combined total of 1034 participants (76 with SCT) had incident MI, and 1714 (137 with SCT) had the composite CHD outcome. The meta-analyzed crude incidence rate of MI did not differ by SCT status and was 3.8 per 1000 person-years (95% CI, 3.3-4.5 per 1000 person-years) among those with SCT and 3.6 per 1000 person-years (95% CI, 2.7-5.1 per 1000 person-years) among those without SCT. For the composite CHD outcome, these rates were 7.3 per 1000 person-years (95% CI, 5.5-9.7 per 1000 person-years) among those with SCT and 6.0 per 1000 person-years (95% CI, 4.9-7.4 per 1000 person-years) among those without SCT. Meta-analysis of the 5 study results showed that SCT status was not significantly associated with MI (hazard ratio, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.81-1.32) or the composite CHD outcome (hazard ratio, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.92-1.47).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, there was not an association between SCT and increased risk of MI or CHD in African American individuals. These disorders may not be associated with sickle cell trait-related sudden death in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.30435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7786247PMC
January 2021

Loss-of-function genomic variants highlight potential therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease.

Nat Commun 2020 12 18;11(1):6417. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, Department of Pediatrics and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, CA, USA.

Pharmaceutical drugs targeting dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease (CVD) may increase the risk of fatty liver disease and other metabolic disorders. To identify potential novel CVD drug targets without these adverse effects, we perform genome-wide analyses of participants in the HUNT Study in Norway (n = 69,479) to search for protein-altering variants with beneficial impact on quantitative blood traits related to cardiovascular disease, but without detrimental impact on liver function. We identify 76 (11 previously unreported) presumed causal protein-altering variants associated with one or more CVD- or liver-related blood traits. Nine of the variants are predicted to result in loss-of-function of the protein. This includes ZNF529:p.K405X, which is associated with decreased low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (P = 1.3 × 10) without being associated with liver enzymes or non-fasting blood glucose. Silencing of ZNF529 in human hepatoma cells results in upregulation of LDL receptor and increased LDL uptake in the cells. This suggests that inhibition of ZNF529 or its gene product should be prioritized as a novel candidate drug target for treating dyslipidemia and associated CVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20086-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749177PMC
December 2020

Mining a GWAS of Severe Covid-19.

N Engl J Med 2020 12 24;383(26):2589. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2025747DOI Listing
December 2020

Meta-analysis uncovers genome-wide significant variants for rapid kidney function decline.

Kidney Int 2021 04 31;99(4):926-939. Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Division of Nephrology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA; Kidney Research Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Rapid decline of glomerular filtration rate estimated from creatinine (eGFRcrea) is associated with severe clinical endpoints. In contrast to cross-sectionally assessed eGFRcrea, the genetic basis for rapid eGFRcrea decline is largely unknown. To help define this, we meta-analyzed 42 genome-wide association studies from the Chronic Kidney Diseases Genetics Consortium and United Kingdom Biobank to identify genetic loci for rapid eGFRcrea decline. Two definitions of eGFRcrea decline were used: 3 mL/min/1.73m/year or more ("Rapid3"; encompassing 34,874 cases, 107,090 controls) and eGFRcrea decline 25% or more and eGFRcrea under 60 mL/min/1.73m at follow-up among those with eGFRcrea 60 mL/min/1.73m or more at baseline ("CKDi25"; encompassing 19,901 cases, 175,244 controls). Seven independent variants were identified across six loci for Rapid3 and/or CKDi25: consisting of five variants at four loci with genome-wide significance (near UMOD-PDILT (2), PRKAG2, WDR72, OR2S2) and two variants among 265 known eGFRcrea variants (near GATM, LARP4B). All these loci were novel for Rapid3 and/or CKDi25 and our bioinformatic follow-up prioritized variants and genes underneath these loci. The OR2S2 locus is novel for any eGFRcrea trait including interesting candidates. For the five genome-wide significant lead variants, we found supporting effects for annual change in blood urea nitrogen or cystatin-based eGFR, but not for GATM or LARP4B. Individuals at high compared to those at low genetic risk (8-14 vs. 0-5 adverse alleles) had a 1.20-fold increased risk of acute kidney injury (95% confidence interval 1.08-1.33). Thus, our identified loci for rapid kidney function decline may help prioritize therapeutic targets and identify mechanisms and individuals at risk for sustained deterioration of kidney function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2020.09.030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010357PMC
April 2021

Inherited causes of clonal haematopoiesis in 97,691 whole genomes.

Nature 2020 10 14;586(7831):763-768. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Age is the dominant risk factor for most chronic human diseases, but the mechanisms through which ageing confers this risk are largely unknown. The age-related acquisition of somatic mutations that lead to clonal expansion in regenerating haematopoietic stem cell populations has recently been associated with both haematological cancer and coronary heart disease-this phenomenon is termed clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP). Simultaneous analyses of germline and somatic whole-genome sequences provide the opportunity to identify root causes of CHIP. Here we analyse high-coverage whole-genome sequences from 97,691 participants of diverse ancestries in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Trans-omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme, and identify 4,229 individuals with CHIP. We identify associations with blood cell, lipid and inflammatory traits that are specific to different CHIP driver genes. Association of a genome-wide set of germline genetic variants enabled the identification of three genetic loci associated with CHIP status, including one locus at TET2 that was specific to individuals of African ancestry. In silico-informed in vitro evaluation of the TET2 germline locus enabled the identification of a causal variant that disrupts a TET2 distal enhancer, resulting in increased self-renewal of haematopoietic stem cells. Overall, we observe that germline genetic variation shapes haematopoietic stem cell function, leading to CHIP through mechanisms that are specific to clonal haematopoiesis as well as shared mechanisms that lead to somatic mutations across tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2819-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944936PMC
October 2020

Whole genome sequence analysis of pulmonary function and COPD in 19,996 multi-ethnic participants.

Nat Commun 2020 10 14;11(1):5182. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

The Institute for Translational Genomics and Population Sciences, The Department of Pediatrics, The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA, 90502, USA.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diagnosed by reduced lung function, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. We performed whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis of lung function and COPD in a multi-ethnic sample of 11,497 participants from population- and family-based studies, and 8499 individuals from COPD-enriched studies in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program. We identify at genome-wide significance 10 known GWAS loci and 22 distinct, previously unreported loci, including two common variant signals from stratified analysis of African Americans. Four novel common variants within the regions of PIAS1, RGN (two variants) and FTO show evidence of replication in the UK Biobank (European ancestry n ~ 320,000), while colocalization analyses leveraging multi-omic data from GTEx and TOPMed identify potential molecular mechanisms underlying four of the 22 novel loci. Our study demonstrates the value of performing WGS analyses and multi-omic follow-up in cohorts of diverse ancestry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18334-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598941PMC
October 2020

Circulating testican-2 is a podocyte-derived marker of kidney health.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 10 21;117(40):25026-25035. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114;

In addition to their fundamental role in clearance, the kidneys release select molecules into the circulation, but whether any of these anabolic functions provides insight on kidney health is unknown. Using aptamer-based proteomics, we characterized arterial (A)-to-renal venous (V) gradients for >1,300 proteins in 22 individuals who underwent invasive sampling. Although most of the proteins that changed significantly decreased from A to V, consistent with renal clearance, several were found to increase, the most significant of which was testican-2. To assess the clinical implications of these physiologic findings, we examined proteomic data in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS), an African-American cohort ( = 1,928), with replication in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS), a White cohort ( = 1,621). In both populations, testican-2 had a strong, positive correlation with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). In addition, higher baseline testican-2 levels were associated with a lower rate of eGFR decline in models adjusted for age, gender, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, body mass index, baseline eGFR, and albuminuria. Glomerular expression of testican-2 in human kidneys was demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy, while single-cell RNA sequencing of human kidneys showed expression of the cognate gene, , exclusively in podocytes. In vitro, testican-2 increased glomerular endothelial tube formation and motility, raising the possibility that its secretion has a functional role within the glomerulus. Taken together, our findings identify testican-2 as a podocyte-derived biomarker of kidney health and prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2009606117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7547280PMC
October 2020

Genetic Studies of Leptin Concentrations Implicate Leptin in the Regulation of Early Adiposity.

Diabetes 2020 12 11;69(12):2806-2818. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Leptin influences food intake by informing the brain about the status of body fat stores. Rare mutations associated with congenital leptin deficiency cause severe early-onset obesity that can be mitigated by administering leptin. However, the role of genetic regulation of leptin in polygenic obesity remains poorly understood. We performed an exome-based analysis in up to 57,232 individuals of diverse ancestries to identify genetic variants that influence adiposity-adjusted leptin concentrations. We identify five novel variants, including four missense variants, in , , , and , and one intergenic variant near The missense variant Val94Met (rs17151919) in was common in individuals of African ancestry only, and its association with lower leptin concentrations was specific to this ancestry ( = 2 × 10, = 3,901). Using in vitro analyses, we show that the Met94 allele decreases leptin secretion. We also show that the Met94 allele is associated with higher BMI in young African-ancestry children but not in adults, suggesting that leptin regulates early adiposity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db20-0070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7679778PMC
December 2020

Dynamic incorporation of multiple in silico functional annotations empowers rare variant association analysis of large whole-genome sequencing studies at scale.

Nat Genet 2020 09 24;52(9):969-983. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Department of Data Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Large-scale whole-genome sequencing studies have enabled the analysis of rare variants (RVs) associated with complex phenotypes. Commonly used RV association tests have limited scope to leverage variant functions. We propose STAAR (variant-set test for association using annotation information), a scalable and powerful RV association test method that effectively incorporates both variant categories and multiple complementary annotations using a dynamic weighting scheme. For the latter, we introduce 'annotation principal components', multidimensional summaries of in silico variant annotations. STAAR accounts for population structure and relatedness and is scalable for analyzing very large cohort and biobank whole-genome sequencing studies of continuous and dichotomous traits. We applied STAAR to identify RVs associated with four lipid traits in 12,316 discovery and 17,822 replication samples from the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program. We discovered and replicated new RV associations, including disruptive missense RVs of NPC1L1 and an intergenic region near APOC1P1 associated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0676-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7483769PMC
September 2020

Genome-Wide Association Study Meta-Analysis of Stroke in 22 000 Individuals of African Descent Identifies Novel Associations With Stroke.

Stroke 2020 08 22;51(8):2454-2463. Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC (C.D.L., C.L.).

Background And Purpose: Stroke is a complex disease with multiple genetic and environmental risk factors. Blacks endure a nearly 2-fold greater risk of stroke and are 2× to 3× more likely to die from stroke than European Americans.

Methods: The COMPASS (Consortium of Minority Population Genome-Wide Association Studies of Stroke) has conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of stroke in >22 000 individuals of African ancestry (3734 cases, 18 317 controls) from 13 cohorts.

Results: In meta-analyses, we identified one single nucleotide polymorphism (rs55931441) near the gene that reached genome-wide significance (=4.62×10) and an additional 29 variants with suggestive evidence of association (<1×10), representing 24 unique loci. For validation, a look-up analysis for a 100 kb region flanking the COMPASS single nucleotide polymorphism was performed in SiGN (Stroke Genetics Network) Europeans, SiGN Hispanics, and METASTROKE (Europeans). Using a stringent Bonferroni correction value of 2.08×10 (0.05/24 unique loci), we were able to validate associations at the locus in both SiGN (=8.18×10) and METASTROKE (=1.72×10) European populations. Overall, 16 of 24 loci showed evidence for validation across multiple populations. Previous studies have reported associations between variants in the gene and lipids, C-reactive protein, and risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Suggestive associations with variants in the and genes represent potential novel ischemic stroke loci.

Conclusions: These findings represent the most thorough investigation of genetic determinants of stroke in individuals of African descent, to date.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.029123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7387190PMC
August 2020

The Association of ARMC5 with the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System, Blood Pressure, and Glycemia in African Americans.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 08;105(8)

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Context: Armadillo repeat containing 5 (ARMC5) on chromosome 16 is an adrenal gland tumor suppressor gene associated with primary aldosteronism, especially among African Americans (AAs). We examined the association of ARMC5 variants with aldosterone, plasma renin activity (PRA), blood pressure, glucose, and glycosylated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in community-dwelling AAs.

Methods: The Jackson Heart Study is a prospective cardiovascular cohort study in AAs with baseline data collection from 2000 to 2004. Kernel machine method was used to perform a single joint test to analyze for an overall association between the phenotypes of interest (aldosterone, PRA, systolic and diastolic blood pressure [SBP, DBP], glucose, and HbA1c) and the ARMC5 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) adjusted for age, sex, BMI, and medications; followed by Baysian Lasso methodology to identify sets of SNVs in terms of associated haplotypes with specific phenotypes.

Results: Among 3223 participants (62% female; mean age 55.6 (SD ± 12.8) years), the average SBP and DBP were 127 and 76 mmHg, respectively. The average fasting plasma glucose and HbA1c were 101 mg/dL and 6.0%, respectively. ARMC5 variants were associated with all 6 phenotypes. Haplotype TCGCC (ch16:31476015-31476093) was negatively associated, whereas haplotype CCCCTTGCG (ch16:31477195-31477460) was positively associated with SBP, DBP, and glucose. Haplotypes GGACG (ch16:31477790-31478013) and ACGCG (ch16:31477834-31478113) were negatively associated with aldosterone and positively associated with HbA1c and glucose, respectively. Haplotype GCGCGAGC (ch16:31471193-ch16:31473597(rs114871627) was positively associated with PRA and negatively associated with HbA1c.

Conclusions: ARMC5 variants are associated with aldosterone, PRA, blood pressure, fasting glucose, and HbA1c in community-dwelling AAs, suggesting that germline mutations in ARMC5 may underlie cardiometabolic disease in AAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7308077PMC
August 2020

Smoking-by-genotype interaction in type 2 diabetes risk and fasting glucose.

PLoS One 2020 7;15(5):e0230815. Epub 2020 May 7.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States of America.

Smoking is a potentially causal behavioral risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D), but not all smokers develop T2D. It is unknown whether genetic factors partially explain this variation. We performed genome-environment-wide interaction studies to identify loci exhibiting potential interaction with baseline smoking status (ever vs. never) on incident T2D and fasting glucose (FG). Analyses were performed in participants of European (EA) and African ancestry (AA) separately. Discovery analyses were conducted using genotype data from the 50,000-single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) ITMAT-Broad-CARe (IBC) array in 5 cohorts from from the Candidate Gene Association Resource Consortium (n = 23,189). Replication was performed in up to 16 studies from the Cohorts for Heart Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium (n = 74,584). In meta-analysis of discovery and replication estimates, 5 SNPs met at least one criterion for potential interaction with smoking on incident T2D at p<1x10-7 (adjusted for multiple hypothesis-testing with the IBC array). Two SNPs had significant joint effects in the overall model and significant main effects only in one smoking stratum: rs140637 (FBN1) in AA individuals had a significant main effect only among smokers, and rs1444261 (closest gene C2orf63) in EA individuals had a significant main effect only among nonsmokers. Three additional SNPs were identified as having potential interaction by exhibiting a significant main effects only in smokers: rs1801232 (CUBN) in AA individuals, rs12243326 (TCF7L2) in EA individuals, and rs4132670 (TCF7L2) in EA individuals. No SNP met significance for potential interaction with smoking on baseline FG. The identification of these loci provides evidence for genetic interactions with smoking exposure that may explain some of the heterogeneity in the association between smoking and T2D.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230815PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7205201PMC
August 2020

Sleep Characteristics and Measures of Glucose Metabolism in Blacks: The Jackson Heart Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2020 05 28;9(9):e013209. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston MA.

Background Characterizing associations of sleep characteristics with blood-glucose-level factors among blacks may clarify the underlying mechanisms of impaired glucose metabolism and help identify treatment targets to prevent diabetes mellitus in blacks. Methods and Results Cross-sectional analyses were conducted in 789 blacks who completed home sleep apnea testing and 7-day wrist actigraphy in 2012-2016. Sleep-disordered breathing measurements included respiratory event index associated with 4% oxygen desaturation and minimum oxygen saturation. Sleep patterns on actigraphy included fragmented sleep indices. Associations between sleep characteristics (8 exposures) and measures of glucose metabolism (3 outcomes) were determined using multivariable linear regression. Mean (SD) age of the participants was 63 (11) years; 581 (74%) were women; 198 (25%) were diabetes mellitus, and 158 (20%) were taking antihyperglycemic medication. After multivariable adjustment, including antihyperglycemic medication use, the betas (95% CI) for fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c, respectively, for each SD higher level were 0.13 (0.02, 0.24) mmol/L and 1.11 (0.42, 1.79) mmol/mol for respiratory event index associated with 4% oxygen desaturation and 0.16 (0.05, 0.27) mmol/L and 0.77 (0.10, 1.43) mmol/mol for fragmented sleep indices. Among 589 participants without diabetes mellitus, the betas (95% CI) for homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance for each SD higher level were 1.09 (1.03, 1.16) for respiratory event index associated with 4% oxygen desaturation, 0.90 (0.85, 0.96) for minimum oxygen saturation, and 1.07 (1.01, 1.13) for fragmented sleep indices. Conclusions Sleep-disordered breathing, overnight hypoxemia, and sleep fragmentation were associated with higher blood glucose levels among blacks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.013209DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7428566PMC
May 2020

A missense variant in Mitochondrial Amidoxime Reducing Component 1 gene and protection against liver disease.

PLoS Genet 2020 04 13;16(4):e1008629. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Analyzing 12,361 all-cause cirrhosis cases and 790,095 controls from eight cohorts, we identify a common missense variant in the Mitochondrial Amidoxime Reducing Component 1 gene (MARC1 p.A165T) that associates with protection from all-cause cirrhosis (OR 0.91, p = 2.3*10-11). This same variant also associates with lower levels of hepatic fat on computed tomographic imaging and lower odds of physician-diagnosed fatty liver as well as lower blood levels of alanine transaminase (-0.025 SD, 3.7*10-43), alkaline phosphatase (-0.025 SD, 1.2*10-37), total cholesterol (-0.030 SD, p = 1.9*10-36) and LDL cholesterol (-0.027 SD, p = 5.1*10-30) levels. We identified a series of additional MARC1 alleles (low-frequency missense p.M187K and rare protein-truncating p.R200Ter) that also associated with lower cholesterol levels, liver enzyme levels and reduced risk of cirrhosis (0 cirrhosis cases for 238 R200Ter carriers versus 17,046 cases of cirrhosis among 759,027 non-carriers, p = 0.04) suggesting that deficiency of the MARC1 enzyme may lower blood cholesterol levels and protect against cirrhosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008629DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7200007PMC
April 2020

Interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10) and cardiovascular disease in African Americans.

PLoS One 2020 2;15(4):e0231013. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Department of Genetics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States of America.

Biomarkers of chronic inflammation (such as C-reactive protein) have long been associated with cardiovascular disease and mortality; however, biomarkers involved in antiviral cytokine induction and adaptive immune system activation remain largely unexamined. We hypothesized the cytokine interferon gamma inducible protein 10 (IP-10) would be associated with clinical and subclinical cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in African Americans. We assessed these associations in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) cohort and the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. There was a modest association of IP-10 with higher odds of left ventricular hypertrophy (OR = 1.20 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03, 1.41) per standard deviation (SD) higher natural log-transformed IP-10 in JHS). We did not observe associations with ankle brachial index, intima-media thickness, or arterial calcification. Each SD higher increment of ln-transformed IP-10 concentration was associated with incident heart failure (hazard ratio (HR) 1.26; 95% CI 1.11, 1.42, p = 4x10-4) in JHS, and with overall mortality in both JHS (HR 1.12 per SD, 95% CI 1.03, 1.21, p = 7.5x10-3) and REGARDS (HR 1.31 per SD, 95% CI 1.10, 1.55, p = 2.0 x 10-3), adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and C-reactive protein. However, we found no association between IP-10 and stroke or coronary heart disease. These results suggest a role of IP-10 in heart failure and mortality risk independent of C-reactive protein. Further research is needed to investigate how the body's response to chronic viral infection may mediate heart failure and overall mortality risk in African Americans.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0231013PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7117698PMC
July 2020

Association of West African ancestry and blood pressure control among African Americans taking antihypertensive medication in the Jackson Heart Study.

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2020 02 12;22(2):157-166. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Division of Health System Innovation and Research, Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

African Americans have a wide range of continental genetic ancestry. It is unclear whether racial differences in blood pressure (BP) control are related to ancestral background. The authors analyzed data from the Jackson Heart Study, a cohort exclusively comprised of self-identified African Americans, to assess the association between estimated West African ancestry (WAA) and BP control (systolic and diastolic BP < 140/90 mm Hg). Three nested modified Poisson regression models were used to calculate prevalence ratios for BP control associated with the three upper quartiles, separately, vs the lowest quartile of West African ancestry. The authors analyzed data from 1658 participants with hypertension who reported taking all of their antihypertensive medications in the previous 24 hours. WAA was estimated using 389 ancestry informative markers and categorized into quartiles (Q1: <73.7%, Q2: >73.7%-81.0%, Q3: >81.0%-86.3%, and Q4: >86.3%). The proportion of participants with controlled BP in the lowest-to-highest WAA quartile was 75.2%, 76.1%, 76.6%, and 74.4%. The prevalence ratios (95% CI) for controlled BP comparing Q2, Q3, and Q4 to Q1 of WAA were 1.00 (0.93-1.08), 1.02 (0.94-1.10), and 0.99 (0.91-1.07), respectively. Among African Americans in the Jackson Heart Study taking antihypertensive medication, BP control rates did not differ across quartiles of WAA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jch.13824DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7219977PMC
February 2020

Coagulation factor VIII: Relationship to cardiovascular disease risk and whole genome sequence and epigenome-wide analysis in African Americans.

J Thromb Haemost 2020 06 20;18(6):1335-1347. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Background: Prospective studies have suggested higher factor VIII (FVIII) levels are an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. However, limited information, including on genetic and epigenetic contributors to FVIII variation, is available specifically among African Americans (AAs), who have higher FVIII levels than Europeans.

Objectives: We measured FVIII levels in ~3400 AAs from the community-based Jackson Heart Study and assessed genetic, epigenetic, and epidemiological correlates of FVIII, as well as incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) associations.

Methods: We assessed cross-sectional associations of FVIII with CVD risk factors as well as incident CHD, stroke, heart failure, and mortality associations. We additionally assessed associations with TOPMed whole genome sequencing data and an epigenome-wide methylation array.

Results: Our results confirmed associations between FVIII and risk of incident CHD events and total mortality in AAs; mortality associations were largely independent of traditional risk factors. We also demonstrate an association of FVIII with incident heart failure, independent of B-type natriuretic peptide. Two genomic regions were strongly associated with FVIII (ABO and VWF). The index variant at VWF is specific to individuals of African descent and is distinct from the previously reported European VWF association signal. Epigenome-wide association analysis showed significant FVIII associations with several CpG sites in the ABO region. However, after adjusting for ABO genetic variants, ABO CpG sites were not significant.

Conclusions: Larger sample sizes of AAs will be required to discover additional genetic and epigenetic contributors to FVIII phenotypic variation, which may have consequences for CVD health disparities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.14741DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7274883PMC
June 2020

Association of HLA-DRB1∗09:01 with tIgE levels among African-ancestry individuals with asthma.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2020 07 22;146(1):147-155. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colo.

Background: Asthma is a complex chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. Association studies between HLA and asthma were first reported in the 1970s, and yet, the precise role of HLA alleles in asthma is not fully understood. Numerous genome-wide association studies were recently conducted on asthma, but were always limited to simple genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and not complex HLA gene polymorphisms (alleles/haplotypes), therefore not capturing the biological relevance of this complex locus for asthma pathogenesis.

Objective: To run the first HLA-centric association study with asthma and specific asthma-related phenotypes in a large cohort of African-ancestry individuals.

Methods: We collected high-density genomics data for the Consortium on Asthma among African-ancestry Populations in the Americas (N = 4993) participants. Using computer-intensive machine-learning attribute bagging methods to infer HLA alleles, and Easy-HLA to infer HLA 5-gene haplotypes, we conducted a high-throughput HLA-centric association study of asthma susceptibility and total serum IgE (tIgE) levels in subjects with and without asthma.

Results: Among the 1607 individuals with asthma, 972 had available tIgE levels, with a mean tIgE level of 198.7 IU/mL. We could not identify any association with asthma susceptibility. However, we showed that HLA-DRB1∗09:01 was associated with increased tIgE levels (P = 8.5 × 10; weighted effect size, 0.51 [0.15-0.87]).

Conclusions: We identified for the first time an HLA allele associated with tIgE levels in African-ancestry individuals with asthma. Our report emphasizes that by leveraging powerful computational machine-learning methods, specific/extreme phenotypes, and population diversity, we can explore HLA gene polymorphisms in depth and reveal the full extent of complex disease associations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.01.011DOI Listing
July 2020

De novo mutations across 1,465 diverse genomes reveal mutational insights and reductions in the Amish founder population.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 02 21;117(5):2560-2569. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201;

De novo mutations (DNMs), or mutations that appear in an individual despite not being seen in their parents, are an important source of genetic variation whose impact is relevant to studies of human evolution, genetics, and disease. Utilizing high-coverage whole-genome sequencing data as part of the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program, we called 93,325 single-nucleotide DNMs across 1,465 trios from an array of diverse human populations, and used them to directly estimate and analyze DNM counts, rates, and spectra. We find a significant positive correlation between local recombination rate and local DNM rate, and that DNM rate explains a substantial portion (8.98 to 34.92%, depending on the model) of the genome-wide variation in population-level genetic variation from 41K unrelated TOPMed samples. Genome-wide heterozygosity does correlate with DNM rate, but only explains <1% of variation. While we are underpowered to see small differences, we do not find significant differences in DNM rate between individuals of European, African, and Latino ancestry, nor across ancestrally distinct segments within admixed individuals. However, we did find significantly fewer DNMs in Amish individuals, even when compared with other Europeans, and even after accounting for parental age and sequencing center. Specifically, we found significant reductions in the number of C→A and T→C mutations in the Amish, which seem to underpin their overall reduction in DNMs. Finally, we calculated near-zero estimates of narrow sense heritability (), which suggest that variation in DNM rate is significantly shaped by nonadditive genetic effects and the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1902766117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7007577PMC
February 2020