Publications by authors named "John Blangero"

459 Publications

Whole genome sequence analysis of platelet traits in the NHLBI trans-omics for precision medicine initiative.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Sep 6. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Platelets play a key role in thrombosis and hemostasis. Platelet count (PLT) and mean platelet volume (MPV) are highly heritable quantitative traits, with hundreds of genetic signals previously identified, mostly in European ancestry populations. We here utilize whole genome sequencing from NHLBI's Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Initiative (TOPMed) in a large multi-ethnic sample to further explore common and rare variation contributing to PLT (n = 61 200) and MPV (n = 23 485). We identified and replicated secondary signals at MPL (rs532784633) and PECAM1 (rs73345162), both more common in African ancestry populations. We also observed rare variation in Mendelian platelet related disorder genes influencing variation in platelet traits in TOPMed cohorts (not enriched for blood disorders). For example, association of GP9 with lower PLT and higher MPV was partly driven by a pathogenic Bernard-Soulier syndrome variant (rs5030764, p.Asn61Ser), and the signals at TUBB1 and CD36 were partly driven by loss of function variants not annotated as pathogenic in ClinVar (rs199948010 and rs571975065). However, residual signal remained for these gene-based signals after adjusting for lead variants, suggesting that additional variants in Mendelian genes with impacts in general population cohorts remain to be identified. Gene-based signals were also identified at several GWAS identified loci for genes not annotated for Mendelian platelet disorders (PTPRH, TET2, CHEK2), with somatic variation driving the result at TET2. These results highlight the value of whole genome sequencing in populations of diverse genetic ancestry to identify novel regulatory and coding signals, even for well-studied traits like platelet traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab252DOI Listing
September 2021

APOC3 genetic variation, serum triglycerides, and risk of coronary artery disease in Asian Indians, Europeans, and other ethnic groups.

Lipids Health Dis 2021 Sep 21;20(1):113. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, 169857, Singapore.

Background: Hypertriglyceridemia has emerged as a critical coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factor. Rare loss-of-function (LoF) variants in apolipoprotein C-III have been reported to reduce triglycerides (TG) and are cardioprotective in American Indians and Europeans. However, there is a lack of data in other Europeans and non-Europeans. Also, whether genetically increased plasma TG due to ApoC-III is causally associated with increased CAD risk is still unclear and inconsistent. The objectives of this study were to verify the cardioprotective role of earlier reported six LoF variants of APOC3 in South Asians and other multi-ethnic cohorts and to evaluate the causal association of TG raising common variants for increasing CAD risk.

Methods: We performed gene-centric and Mendelian randomization analyses and evaluated the role of genetic variation encompassing APOC3 for affecting circulating TG and the risk for developing CAD.

Results: One rare LoF variant (rs138326449) with a 37% reduction in TG was associated with lowered risk for CAD in Europeans (p = 0.007), but we could not confirm this association in Asian Indians (p = 0.641). Our data could not validate the cardioprotective role of other five LoF variants analysed. A common variant rs5128 in the APOC3 was strongly associated with elevated TG levels showing a p-value 2.8 × 10. Measures of plasma ApoC-III in a small subset of Sikhs revealed a 37% increase in ApoC-III concentrations among homozygous mutant carriers than the wild-type carriers of rs5128. A genetically instrumented per 1SD increment of plasma TG level of 15 mg/dL would cause a mild increase (3%) in the risk for CAD (p = 0.042).

Conclusions: Our results highlight the challenges of inclusion of rare variant information in clinical risk assessment and the generalizability of implementation of ApoC-III inhibition for treating atherosclerotic disease. More studies would be needed to confirm whether genetically raised TG and ApoC-III concentrations would increase CAD risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12944-021-01531-8DOI Listing
September 2021

Population sequencing data reveal a compendium of mutational processes in the human germ line.

Science 2021 08 12;373(6558):1030-1035. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Biological mechanisms underlying human germline mutations remain largely unknown. We statistically decompose variation in the rate and spectra of mutations along the genome using volume-regularized nonnegative matrix factorization. The analysis of a sequencing dataset (TOPMed) reveals nine processes that explain the variation in mutation properties between loci. We provide a biological interpretation for seven of these processes. We associate one process with bulky DNA lesions that are resolved asymmetrically with respect to transcription and replication. Two processes track direction of replication fork and replication timing, respectively. We identify a mutagenic effect of active demethylation primarily acting in regulatory regions and a mutagenic effect of long interspersed nuclear elements. We localize a mutagenic process specific to oocytes from population sequencing data. This process appears transcriptionally asymmetric.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aba7408DOI Listing
August 2021

Association of HIV-1 Infection and Antiretroviral Therapy With Type 2 Diabetes in the Hispanic Population of the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, USA.

Front Med (Lausanne) 2021 5;8:676979. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Valley AIDS Council, Harlingen, TX, United States.

The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in South Texas has one of the highest prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the United States (US). We report for the first time the T2D prevalence in persons with HIV (PWH) in the RGV and the interrelationship between T2D, cardiometabolic risk factors, HIV-related indices, and antiretroviral therapies (ART). The PWH in this study received medical care at Valley AIDS Council (VAC) clinic sites located in Harlingen and McAllen, Texas. Henceforth, this cohort will be referred to as Valley AIDS Council Cohort (VACC). Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using retrospective data obtained from 1,827 registries. It included demographic and anthropometric variables, cardiometabolic traits, and HIV-related virological and immunological indices. For descriptive statistics, we used mean values of the quantitative variables from unbalanced visits across 20 months. Robust regression methods were used to determine the associations. For comparisons, we used cardiometabolic trait data obtained from HIV-uninfected San Antonio Mexican American Family Studies (SAMAFS; = 2,498), and the Mexican American population in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HHANES; = 5,989). The prevalence of T2D in VACC was 51% compared to 27% in SAMAFS and 19% in HHANES, respectively. The PWH with T2D in VACC were younger (4.7 years) and had lower BMI (BMI 2.43 units less) when compared to SAMAFS individuals. In contrast, VACC individuals had increased blood pressure and dyslipidemia. The increased T2D prevalence in VACC was independent of BMI. Within the VACC, ART was associated with viral load and CD4+ T cell counts but not with metabolic dysfunction. Notably, we found that individuals with any INSTI combination had higher T2D risk: OR 2.08 (95%CI 1.67, 2.6; < 0.001). In summary, our results suggest that VACC individuals may develop T2D at younger ages independent of obesity. The high burden of T2D in these individuals necessitates rigorously designed longitudinal studies to draw potential causal inferences and develop better treatment regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.676979DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8287129PMC
July 2021

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
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8190084PMC
June 2021

Genetic Overlap Profiles of Cognitive Ability in Psychotic and Affective Illnesses: A Multisite Study of Multiplex Pedigrees.

Biol Psychiatry 2021 09 17;90(6):373-384. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Olin Neuropsychiatric Research Center, Institute of Living, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut.

Background: Cognitive impairment is a key feature of psychiatric illness, making cognition an important tool for exploring of the genetics of illness risk. It remains unclear which measures should be prioritized in pleiotropy-guided research. Here, we generate profiles of genetic overlap between psychotic and affective disorders and cognitive measures in Caucasian and Hispanic groups.

Methods: Data were from 4 samples of extended pedigrees (N = 3046). Coefficient of relationship analyses were used to estimate genetic overlap between illness risk and cognitive ability. Results were meta-analyzed.

Results: Psychosis was characterized by cognitive impairments on all measures with a generalized profile of genetic overlap. General cognitive ability shared greatest genetic overlap with psychosis risk (average endophenotype ranking value [ERV] across samples from a random-effects meta-analysis = 0.32), followed by verbal memory (ERV = 0.24), executive function (ERV = 0.22), and working memory (ERV = 0.21). For bipolar disorder, there was genetic overlap with processing speed (ERV = 0.05) and verbal memory (ERV = 0.11), but these were confined to select samples. Major depressive disorder was characterized by enhanced working and face memory performance, as reflected in significant genetic overlap in 2 samples.

Conclusions: There is substantial genetic overlap between risk for psychosis and a range of cognitive abilities (including general intelligence). Most of these effects are largely stable across of ascertainment strategy and ethnicity. Genetic overlap between affective disorders and cognition, on the other hand, tends to be specific to ascertainment strategy, ethnicity, and cognitive test battery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.03.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8403107PMC
September 2021

Identifying the Lipidomic Effects of a Rare Loss-of-Function Deletion in .

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Jun 22;14(3):e003232. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute (N.B.B., J.M.P., S.K., A.C.L., M.C.M., H.H.H.G., J.L.V., S.W.-B., R.D., J.B., J.E.C.), School of Medicine, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, TX.

Background: The identification and understanding of therapeutic targets for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is of fundamental importance given its global health and economic burden. Inhibition of ANGPTL3 (angiopoietin-like 3) has demonstrated a cardioprotective effect, showing promise for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease treatment, and is currently the focus of ongoing clinical trials. Here, we assessed the genetic basis of variation in ANGPTL3 levels in the San Antonio Family Heart Study.

Methods: We assayed ANGPTL3 protein levels in ≈1000 Mexican Americans from extended pedigrees. By drawing upon existing plasma lipidome profiles and genomic data we conducted analyses to understand the genetic basis to variation in ANGPTL3 protein levels, and accordingly the correlation with the plasma lipidome.

Results: In a variance components framework, we identified that variation in ANGPTL3 was significantly heritable (h=0.33, =1.31×10). To explore the genetic basis of this heritability, we conducted a genome-wide linkage scan and identified significant linkage (logarithm of odds =6.18) to a locus on chromosome 1 at 90 centimorgans, corresponding to the gene location. In the genomes of 23 individuals from a single pedigree, we identified a loss-of-function variant, rs398122988 (N121Kfs*2), in , that was significantly associated with lower ANGPTL3 levels (β=-1.69 SD units, =3.367×10), and accounted for the linkage signal at this locus. Given the known role of ANGPTL3 as an inhibitor of endothelial and lipoprotein lipase, we explored the association of ANGPTL3 protein levels and rs398122988 with the plasma lipidome and related phenotypes, identifying novel associations with phosphatidylinositols.

Conclusions: Variation in ANGPTL3 protein levels is heritable and under significant genetic control. Both ANGPTL3 levels and loss-of-function variants in have significant associations with the plasma lipidome. These findings further our understanding of ANGPTL3 as a therapeutic target for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206021PMC
June 2021

Whole-genome sequencing association analysis of quantitative red blood cell phenotypes: The NHLBI TOPMed program.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 05 21;108(5):874-893. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.

Whole-genome sequencing (WGS), a powerful tool for detecting novel coding and non-coding disease-causing variants, has largely been applied to clinical diagnosis of inherited disorders. Here we leveraged WGS data in up to 62,653 ethnically diverse participants from the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program and assessed statistical association of variants with seven red blood cell (RBC) quantitative traits. We discovered 14 single variant-RBC trait associations at 12 genomic loci, which have not been reported previously. Several of the RBC trait-variant associations (RPN1, ELL2, MIDN, HBB, HBA1, PIEZO1, and G6PD) were replicated in independent GWAS datasets imputed to the TOPMed reference panel. Most of these discovered variants are rare/low frequency, and several are observed disproportionately among non-European Ancestry (African, Hispanic/Latino, or East Asian) populations. We identified a 3 bp indel p.Lys2169del (g.88717175_88717177TCT[4]) (common only in the Ashkenazi Jewish population) of PIEZO1, a gene responsible for the Mendelian red cell disorder hereditary xerocytosis (MIM: 194380), associated with higher mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). In stepwise conditional analysis and in gene-based rare variant aggregated association analysis, we identified several of the variants in HBB, HBA1, TMPRSS6, and G6PD that represent the carrier state for known coding, promoter, or splice site loss-of-function variants that cause inherited RBC disorders. Finally, we applied base and nuclease editing to demonstrate that the sentinel variant rs112097551 (nearest gene RPN1) acts through a cis-regulatory element that exerts long-range control of the gene RUVBL1 which is essential for hematopoiesis. Together, these results demonstrate the utility of WGS in ethnically diverse population-based samples and gene editing for expanding knowledge of the genetic architecture of quantitative hematologic traits and suggest a continuum between complex trait and Mendelian red cell disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206199PMC
May 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

Disease Modeling and Disease Gene Discovery in Cardiomyopathies: A Molecular Study of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Generated Cardiomyocytes.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 24;22(7). Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Human Genetics and South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA.

The in vitro modeling of cardiac development and cardiomyopathies in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (CMs) provides opportunities to aid the discovery of genetic, molecular, and developmental changes that are causal to, or influence, cardiomyopathies and related diseases. To better understand the functional and disease modeling potential of iPSC-differentiated CMs and to provide a proof of principle for large, epidemiological-scale disease gene discovery approaches into cardiomyopathies, well-characterized CMs, generated from validated iPSCs of 12 individuals who belong to four sibships, and one of whom reported a major adverse cardiac event (MACE), were analyzed by genome-wide mRNA sequencing. The generated CMs expressed CM-specific genes and were highly concordant in their total expressed transcriptome across the 12 samples (correlation coefficient at 95% CI =0.92 ± 0.02). The functional annotation and enrichment analysis of the 2116 genes that were significantly upregulated in CMs suggest that generated CMs have a transcriptomic and functional profile of immature atrial-like CMs; however, the CMs-upregulated transcriptome also showed high overlap and significant enrichment in primary cardiomyocyte (-value = 4.36 × 10), primary heart tissue (-value = 1.37 × 10) and cardiomyopathy (-value = 1.13 × 10) associated gene sets. Modeling the effect of MACE in the generated CMs-upregulated transcriptome identified gene expression phenotypes consistent with the predisposition of the MACE-affected sibship to arrhythmia, prothrombotic, and atherosclerosis risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073311DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8037452PMC
March 2021

Genetic influences on externalizing psychopathology overlap with cognitive functioning and show developmental variation.

Eur Psychiatry 2021 Mar 31;64(1):e29. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Questions remain regarding whether genetic influences on early life psychopathology overlap with cognition and show developmental variation.

Methods: Using data from 9,421 individuals aged 8-21 from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort, factors of psychopathology were generated using a bifactor model of item-level data from a psychiatric interview. Five orthogonal factors were generated: anxious-misery (mood and anxiety), externalizing (attention deficit hyperactivity and conduct disorder), fear (phobias), psychosis-spectrum, and a general factor. Genetic analyses were conducted on a subsample of 4,662 individuals of European American ancestry. A genetic relatedness matrix was used to estimate heritability of these factors, and genetic correlations with executive function, episodic memory, complex reasoning, social cognition, motor speed, and general cognitive ability. Gene × Age analyses determined whether genetic influences on these factors show developmental variation.

Results: Externalizing was heritable (h2 = 0.46, p = 1 × 10-6), but not anxious-misery (h2 = 0.09, p = 0.183), fear (h2 = 0.04, p = 0.337), psychosis-spectrum (h2 = 0.00, p = 0.494), or general psychopathology (h2 = 0.21, p = 0.040). Externalizing showed genetic overlap with face memory (ρg = -0.412, p = 0.004), verbal reasoning (ρg = -0.485, p = 0.001), spatial reasoning (ρg = -0.426, p = 0.010), motor speed (ρg = 0.659, p = 1x10-4), verbal knowledge (ρg = -0.314, p = 0.002), and general cognitive ability (g)(ρg = -0.394, p = 0.002). Gene × Age analyses revealed decreasing genetic variance (γg = -0.146, p = 0.004) and increasing environmental variance (γe = 0.059, p = 0.009) on externalizing.

Conclusions: Cognitive impairment may be a useful endophenotype of externalizing psychopathology and, therefore, help elucidate its pathophysiological underpinnings. Decreasing genetic variance suggests that gene discovery efforts may be more fruitful in children than adolescents or young adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1192/j.eurpsy.2021.21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080212PMC
March 2021

Efficient Generation of Functional Hepatocytes from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Disease Modeling and Disease Gene Discovery.

Methods Mol Biol 2021 Mar 27. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Department of Human Genetics and South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, Brownsville, TX, USA.

In vitro hepatocyte cell models are being used to study the pathogenesis of liver disease and in the discovery and preclinical stages of drug development. The culture of hepatic cell lines and primary hepatocytes as in vitro cell models has been carried out for several decades. However, hepatic cell lines (hepatic carcinoma generated or immortalized) have limited accuracy when recapitulating complex physiological functions of the liver. Additionally, primary hepatocytes sourced from human cadavers or medical biopsies are difficult to obtain due to sourcing limitations, particularly for large-scale population studies or in applications requiring large number of cells. Hepatocyte cultures differentiated from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSCs) overcome in large part the limitations of traditional hepatocyte in vitro models. In this chapter, we described an efficient protocol routinely used in our laboratory to differentiate human iPSCs into functional hepatocyte cultures for in vitro modeling of liver function and disease. The protocol uses a three-stage differentiation strategy to generate functional hepatocytes from human iPSCs. The differentiated cells show characteristic hepatocyte morphology including flat and polygonal shape, distinct round nuclei, and presence of biliary canaliculi and they express hepatic markers alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), albumin (ALB), E-cadherin (CHD1), hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4α), and actin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/7651_2021_375DOI Listing
March 2021

1q21.1 distal copy number variants are associated with cerebral and cognitive alterations in humans.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 03 22;11(1):182. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Low-frequency 1q21.1 distal deletion and duplication copy number variant (CNV) carriers are predisposed to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism and intellectual disability. Human carriers display a high prevalence of micro- and macrocephaly in deletion and duplication carriers, respectively. The underlying brain structural diversity remains largely unknown. We systematically called CNVs in 38 cohorts from the large-scale ENIGMA-CNV collaboration and the UK Biobank and identified 28 1q21.1 distal deletion and 22 duplication carriers and 37,088 non-carriers (48% male) derived from 15 distinct magnetic resonance imaging scanner sites. With standardized methods, we compared subcortical and cortical brain measures (all) and cognitive performance (UK Biobank only) between carrier groups also testing for mediation of brain structure on cognition. We identified positive dosage effects of copy number on intracranial volume (ICV) and total cortical surface area, with the largest effects in frontal and cingulate cortices, and negative dosage effects on caudate and hippocampal volumes. The carriers displayed distinct cognitive deficit profiles in cognitive tasks from the UK Biobank with intermediate decreases in duplication carriers and somewhat larger in deletion carriers-the latter potentially mediated by ICV or cortical surface area. These results shed light on pathobiological mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders, by demonstrating gene dose effect on specific brain structures and effect on cognitive function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01213-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985307PMC
March 2021

Robust, flexible, and scalable tests for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium across diverse ancestries.

Genetics 2021 May;218(1)

Department of Biochemistry, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.

Traditional Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) tests (the χ2 test and the exact test) have long been used as a metric for evaluating genotype quality, as technical artifacts leading to incorrect genotype calls often can be identified as deviations from HWE. However, in data sets composed of individuals from diverse ancestries, HWE can be violated even without genotyping error, complicating the use of HWE testing to assess genotype data quality. In this manuscript, we present the Robust Unified Test for HWE (RUTH) to test for HWE while accounting for population structure and genotype uncertainty, and to evaluate the impact of population heterogeneity and genotype uncertainty on the standard HWE tests and alternative methods using simulated and real sequence data sets. Our results demonstrate that ignoring population structure or genotype uncertainty in HWE tests can inflate false-positive rates by many orders of magnitude. Our evaluations demonstrate different tradeoffs between false positives and statistical power across the methods, with RUTH consistently among the best across all evaluations. RUTH is implemented as a practical and scalable software tool to rapidly perform HWE tests across millions of markers and hundreds of thousands of individuals while supporting standard VCF/BCF formats. RUTH is publicly available at https://www.github.com/statgen/ruth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/genetics/iyab044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8128395PMC
May 2021

Transcriptomic Profiling of Fibropapillomatosis in Green Sea Turtles () From South Texas.

Front Immunol 2021 24;12:630988. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, TX, United States.

Sea turtle fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a tumor promoting disease that is one of several threats globally to endangered sea turtle populations. The prevalence of FP is highest in green sea turtle () populations, and historically has shown considerable temporal growth. FP tumors can significantly affect the ability of turtles to forage for food and avoid predation and can grow to debilitating sizes. In the current study, based in South Texas, we have applied transcriptome sequencing to FP tumors and healthy control tissue to study the gene expression profiles of FP. By identifying differentially expressed turtle genes in FP, and matching these genes to their closest human ortholog we draw on the wealth of human based knowledge, specifically human cancer, to identify new insights into the biology of sea turtle FP. We show that several genes aberrantly expressed in FP tumors have known tumor promoting biology in humans, including and , and provide support that disruption of the Wnt signaling pathway is a feature of FP. Further, we profiled the expression of current targets of immune checkpoint inhibitors from human oncology in FP tumors and identified potential candidates for future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.630988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7943941PMC
September 2021

Searching for Imaging Biomarkers of Psychotic Dysconnectivity.

Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2020 Dec 16. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, Institute of Living, Hartford, Connecticut.

Background: Progress in precision psychiatry is predicated on identifying reliable individual-level diagnostic biomarkers. For psychosis, measures of structural and functional connectivity could be promising biomarkers given consistent reports of dysconnectivity across psychotic disorders using magnetic resonance imaging.

Methods: We leveraged data from four independent cohorts of patients with psychosis and control subjects with observations from approximately 800 individuals. We used group-level analyses and two supervised machine learning algorithms (support vector machines and ridge regression) to test within-, between-, and across-sample classification performance of white matter and resting-state connectivity metrics.

Results: Although we replicated group-level differences in brain connectivity, individual-level classification was suboptimal. Classification performance within samples was variable across folds (highest area under the curve [AUC] range = 0.30) and across datasets (average support vector machine AUC range = 0.50; average ridge regression AUC range = 0.18). Classification performance between samples was similarly variable or resulted in AUC values of approximately 0.65, indicating a lack of model generalizability. Furthermore, collapsing across samples (resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, N = 888; diffusion tensor imaging, N = 860) did not improve model performance (maximal AUC = 0.67). Ridge regression models generally outperformed support vector machine models, although classification performance was still suboptimal in terms of clinical relevance. Adjusting for demographic covariates did not greatly affect results.

Conclusions: Connectivity measures were not suitable as diagnostic biomarkers for psychosis as assessed in this study. Our results do not negate that other approaches may be more successful, although it is clear that a systematic approach to individual-level classification with large independent validation samples is necessary to properly vet neuroimaging features as diagnostic biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.12.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206251PMC
December 2020

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

Further evidence supporting a potential role for ADH1B in obesity.

Sci Rep 2021 01 21;11(1):1932. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute Department of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg/Harlingen/Brownsville, TX, USA.

Insulin is an essential hormone that regulates glucose homeostasis and metabolism. Insulin resistance (IR) arises when tissues fail to respond to insulin, and it leads to serious health problems including Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). Obesity is a major contributor to the development of IR and T2D. We previously showed that gene expression of alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) was inversely correlated with obesity and IR in subcutaneous adipose tissue of Mexican Americans. In the current study, a meta-analysis of the relationship between ADH1B expression and BMI in Mexican Americans, African Americans, Europeans, and Pima Indians verified that BMI was increased with decreased ADH1B expression. Using established human subcutaneous pre-adipocyte cell lines derived from lean (BMI < 30 kg m) or obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg m) donors, we found that ADH1B protein expression increased substantially during differentiation, and overexpression of ADH1B inhibited fatty acid binding protein expression. Mature adipocytes from lean donors expressed ADH1B at higher levels than obese donors. Insulin further induced ADH1B protein expression as well as enzyme activity. Knockdown of ADH1B expression decreased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Our findings suggest that ADH1B is involved in the proper development and metabolic activity of adipose tissues and this function is suppressed by obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80563-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820614PMC
January 2021

Serum carotenoids and Pediatric Metabolic Index predict insulin sensitivity in Mexican American children.

Sci Rep 2021 01 13;11(1):871. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Department of Food Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.

High concentrations of carotenoids are protective against cardiometabolic risk traits (CMTs) in adults and children. We recently showed in non-diabetic Mexican American (MA) children that serum α-carotene and β-carotene are inversely correlated with obesity measures and triglycerides and positively with HDL cholesterol and that they were under strong genetic influences. Additionally, we previously described a Pediatric Metabolic Index (PMI) that helps in the identification of children who are at risk for cardiometabolic diseases. Here, we quantified serum lycopene and β-cryptoxanthin concentrations in approximately 580 children from MA families using an ultraperformance liquid chromatography-photodiode array and determined their heritabilities and correlations with CMTs. Using response surface methodology (RSM), we determined two-way interactions of carotenoids and PMI on Matsuda insulin sensitivity index (ISI). The concentrations of lycopene and β-cryptoxanthin were highly heritable [h = 0.98, P = 7 × 10 and h = 0.58, P = 1 × 10]. We found significant (P ≤ 0.05) negative phenotypic correlations between β-cryptoxanthin and five CMTs: body mass index (- 0.22), waist circumference (- 0.25), triglycerides (- 0.18), fat mass (- 0.23), fasting glucose (- 0.09), and positive correlations with HDL cholesterol (0.29). In contrast, lycopene only showed a significant negative correlation with fasting glucose (- 0.08) and a positive correlation with HDL cholesterol (0.18). Importantly, we found that common genetic influences significantly contributed to the observed phenotypic correlations. RSM showed that increased serum concentrations of α- and β-carotenoids rather than that of β-cryptoxanthin or lycopene had maximal effects on ISI. In summary, our findings suggest that the serum carotenoids are under strong additive genetic influences and may have differential effects on susceptibility to CMTs in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79387-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7806924PMC
January 2021

Associations of cannabis use disorder with cognition, brain structure, and brain function in African Americans.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 04 19;42(6):1727-1741. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

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

Although previous studies have highlighted associations of cannabis use with cognition and brain morphometry, critical questions remain with regard to the association between cannabis use and brain structural and functional connectivity. In a cross-sectional community sample of 205 African Americans (age 18-70) we tested for associations of cannabis use disorder (CUD, n = 57) with multi-domain cognitive measures and structural, diffusion, and resting state brain-imaging phenotypes. Post hoc model evidence was computed with Bayes factors (BF) and posterior probabilities of association (PPA) to account for multiple testing. General cognitive functioning, verbal intelligence, verbal memory, working memory, and motor speed were lower in the CUD group compared with non-users (p < .011; 1.9 < BF < 3,217). CUD was associated with altered functional connectivity in a network comprising the motor-hand region in the superior parietal gyri and the anterior insula (p < .04). These differences were not explained by alcohol, other drug use, or education. No associations with CUD were observed in cortical thickness, cortical surface area, subcortical or cerebellar volumes (0.12 < BF < 1.5), or graph-theoretical metrics of resting state connectivity (PPA < 0.01). In a large sample collected irrespective of cannabis used to minimize recruitment bias, we confirm the literature on poorer cognitive functioning in CUD, and an absence of volumetric brain differences between CUD and non-CUD. We did not find evidence for or against a disruption of structural connectivity, whereas we did find localized resting state functional dysconnectivity in CUD. There was sufficient proof, however, that organization of functional connectivity as determined via graph metrics does not differ between CUD and non-user group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25324DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7978126PMC
April 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

Using the Schmahmann Syndrome Scale to Assess Cognitive Impairment in Young Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: a Hypothesis-Generating Report.

Cerebellum 2021 Apr 7;20(2):295-299. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

Research Imaging Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr, San Antonio, TX, 78229, USA.

The posterior cerebellum is the most significantly compromised brain structure in individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS) (Hum Brain Mapp 40(12):3575-3588, 2019). In light of this, we hypothesized that cognitive decline reported in patients with MetS is likely related to posterior cerebellar atrophy. In this study, we performed a post hoc analyses using T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in the form of voxel-wise tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS), biometric, and psychometric data from young participants with (n = 52, aged 18-35 years) and without MetS (n = 52, aged 18-35 years). To test the predictive value of components of the Schmahmann syndrome scale (SSS), also known as the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome scale, we used structural equation modeling to adapt available psychometric scores in our participant sample to the SSS and compare them to the composite score of all psychometric data available. Our key findings point to a statistically significant correlation between TBSS fractional anisotropy (FA) values from DTI and adapted SSS psychometric scores in individuals with MetS (r = .139, 95% CI = 0.009, .345). This suggests that the SSS could be applied to assess cognitive and likely neuroanatomical effects associated with MetS. We strongly suggest that future work aimed at investigating the neurocognitive effects of MetS and related comorbidities (i.e., dyslipidemia, diabetes, obesity) would benefit from implementing and further exploring the validity of the SSS in this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12311-020-01212-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005432PMC
April 2021

Acanthosis nigricans as a composite marker of cardiometabolic risk and its complex association with obesity and insulin resistance in Mexican American children.

PLoS One 2020 15;15(10):e0240467. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Department of Human Genetics and South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg and Brownsville, TX, United States of America.

Aim: Acanthosis nigricans (AN) is a strong correlate of obesity and is considered a marker of insulin resistance (IR). AN is associated with various other cardiometabolic risk factors (CMRFs). However, the direct causal relationship of IR with AN in obesity has been debated. Therefore, we aimed to examine the complex causal relationships among the troika of AN, obesity, and IR in Mexican Americans (MAs).

Methods: We used data from 670 non-diabetic MA children, aged 6-17 years (49% girls). AN (prevalence 33%) severity scores (range 0-5) were used as a quasi-quantitative trait (AN-q) for analysis. We used the program SOLAR for determining phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations between AN-q and CMRFs (e.g., BMI, HOMA-IR, lipids, blood pressure, hs-C-reactive protein (CRP), and Harvard physical fitness score (PFS)). The genetic and environmental correlations were subsequently used in mediation analysis (AMOS program). Model comparisons were made using goodness-of-fit indexes.

Results: Heritability of AN-q was 0.75 (p<0.0001). It was positively/significantly (p<0.05) correlated with traits such as BMI, HOMA-IR, and CRP, and negatively with HDL-C and PFS. Of the models tested, indirect mediation analysis of BMI→HOMA-IR→AN-q yielded lower goodness-of-fit than a partial mediation model where BMI explained the relationship with both HOMA-IR and AN-q simultaneously. Using complex models, BMI was associated with AN-q and IR mediating most of the CMRFs; but no relationship between IR and AN-q.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that obesity explains the association of IR with AN, but no causal relationship between IR and AN in Mexican American children.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0240467PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7561152PMC
December 2020

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

Role of miRNA-mRNA Interaction in Neural Stem Cell Differentiation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Sep 23;21(19). Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Human Genetics and South Texas Diabetes and Obesity Institute, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA.

miRNA regulates the expression of protein coding genes and plays a regulatory role in human development and disease. The human iPSCs and their differentiated progenies provide a unique opportunity to identify these miRNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms. To identify miRNA-mRNA regulatory interactions in human nervous system development, well characterized NSCs were differentiated from six validated iPSC lines and analyzed for differentially expressed (DE) miRNome and transcriptome by RNA sequencing. Following the criteria, moderated statistics, FDR-corrected -value ≤ 0.05 and fold change-absolute (FC-abs) ≥2.0, 51 miRNAs and 4033 mRNAs were found to be significantly DE between iPSCs and NSCs. The miRNA target prediction analysis identified 513 interactions between 30 miRNA families (mapped to 51 DE miRNAs) and 456 DE mRNAs that were paradoxically oppositely expressed. These 513 interactions were highly enriched in nervous system development functions (154 mRNAs; FDR-adjusted -value range: 8.06 × 10-1.44 × 10). Furthermore, we have shown that the upregulated miR-10a-5p, miR-30c-5p, miR23-3p, miR130a-3p and miR-17-5p miRNA families were predicted to down-regulate several genes associated with the differentiation of neurons, neurite outgrowth and synapse formation, suggesting their role in promoting the self-renewal of undifferentiated NSCs. This study also provides a comprehensive characterization of iPSC-generated NSCs as dorsal neuroepithelium, important for their potential use in in vitro modeling of human brain development and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21196980DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7582477PMC
September 2020

The reliability and heritability of cortical folds and their genetic correlations across hemispheres.

Commun Biol 2020 09 15;3(1):510. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Imaging Genetics Center, Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Marina del Rey, CA, USA.

Cortical folds help drive the parcellation of the human cortex into functionally specific regions. Variations in the length, depth, width, and surface area of these sulcal landmarks have been associated with disease, and may be genetically mediated. Before estimating the heritability of sulcal variation, the extent to which these metrics can be reliably extracted from in-vivo MRI must be established. Using four independent test-retest datasets, we found high reliability across the brain (intraclass correlation interquartile range: 0.65-0.85). Heritability estimates were derived for three family-based cohorts using variance components analysis and pooled (total N > 3000); the overall sulcal heritability pattern was correlated to that derived for a large population cohort (N > 9000) calculated using genomic complex trait analysis. Overall, sulcal width was the most heritable metric, and earlier forming sulci showed higher heritability. The inter-hemispheric genetic correlations were high, yet select sulci showed incomplete pleiotropy, suggesting hemisphere-specific genetic influences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01163-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7493906PMC
September 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

A White Matter Connection of Schizophrenia and Alzheimer's Disease.

Schizophr Bull 2021 01;47(1):197-206

Department of Psychiatry, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Schizophrenia (SZ) is a severe psychiatric illness associated with an elevated risk for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). Both SZ and AD have white matter abnormalities and cognitive deficits as core disease features. We hypothesized that aging in SZ patients may be associated with the development of cerebral white matter deficit patterns similar to those observed in AD. We identified and replicated aging-related increases in the similarity between white matter deficit patterns in patients with SZ and AD. The white matter "regional vulnerability index" (RVI) for AD was significantly higher in SZ patients compared with healthy controls in both the independent discovery (Cohen's d = 0.44, P = 1·10-5, N = 173 patients/230 control) and replication (Cohen's d = 0.78, P = 9·10-7, N = 122 patients/64 controls) samples. The degree of overlap with the AD deficit pattern was significantly correlated with age in patients (r = .21 and .29, P < .01 in discovery and replication cohorts, respectively) but not in controls. Elevated RVI-AD was significantly associated with cognitive measures in both SZ and AD. Disease and cognitive specificities were also tested in patients with mild cognitive impairment and showed intermediate overlap. SZ and AD have diverse etiologies and clinical courses; our findings suggest that white matter deficits may represent a key intersecting point for these 2 otherwise distinct diseases. Identifying mechanisms underlying this white matter deficit pattern may yield preventative and treatment targets for cognitive deficits in both SZ and AD patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbaa078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7825012PMC
January 2021
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