Publications by authors named "Julian R Homburger"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Paths and timings of the peopling of Polynesia inferred from genomic networks.

Nature 2021 09 22;597(7877):522-526. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO)-Advanced Genomics Unit (UGA), CINVESTAV, Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Polynesia was settled in a series of extraordinary voyages across an ocean spanning one third of the Earth, but the sequences of islands settled remain unknown and their timings disputed. Currently, several centuries separate the dates suggested by different archaeological surveys. Here, using genome-wide data from merely 430 modern individuals from 21 key Pacific island populations and novel ancestry-specific computational analyses, we unravel the detailed genetic history of this vast, dispersed island network. Our reconstruction of the branching Polynesian migration sequence reveals a serial founder expansion, characterized by directional loss of variants, that originated in Samoa and spread first through the Cook Islands (Rarotonga), then to the Society (Tōtaiete mā) Islands (11th century), the western Austral (Tuha'a Pae) Islands and Tuāmotu Archipelago (12th century), and finally to the widely separated, but genetically connected, megalithic statue-building cultures of the Marquesas (Te Henua 'Enana) Islands in the north, Raivavae in the south, and Easter Island (Rapa Nui), the easternmost of the Polynesian islands, settled in approximately AD 1200 via Mangareva.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03902-8DOI Listing
September 2021

Model-driven mitigation measures for reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 09;118(39)

Scientific Affairs, Color Health, Burlingame, CA 94010.

Reopening schools is an urgent priority as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. To explore the risks associated with returning to in-person learning and the value of mitigation measures, we developed stochastic, network-based models of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in primary and secondary schools. We find that a number of mitigation measures, alone or in concert, may reduce risk to acceptable levels. Student cohorting, in which students are divided into two separate populations that attend in-person classes on alternating schedules, can reduce both the likelihood and the size of outbreaks. Proactive testing of teachers and staff can help catch introductions early, before they spread widely through the school. In secondary schools, where the students are more susceptible to infection and have different patterns of social interaction, control is more difficult. Especially in these settings, planners should also consider testing students once or twice weekly. Vaccinating teachers and staff protects these individuals and may have a protective effect on students as well. Other mitigations, including mask wearing, social distancing, and increased ventilation, remain a crucial component of any reopening plan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2108909118DOI Listing
September 2021

Polygenic background modifies penetrance of monogenic variants for tier 1 genomic conditions.

Nat Commun 2020 08 20;11(1):3635. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Center for Genomic Medicine, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Genetic variation can predispose to disease both through (i) monogenic risk variants that disrupt a physiologic pathway with large effect on disease and (ii) polygenic risk that involves many variants of small effect in different pathways. Few studies have explored the interplay between monogenic and polygenic risk. Here, we study 80,928 individuals to examine whether polygenic background can modify penetrance of disease in tier 1 genomic conditions - familial hypercholesterolemia, hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, and Lynch syndrome. Among carriers of a monogenic risk variant, we estimate substantial gradients in disease risk based on polygenic background - the probability of disease by age 75 years ranged from 17% to 78% for coronary artery disease, 13% to 76% for breast cancer, and 11% to 80% for colon cancer. We propose that accounting for polygenic background is likely to increase accuracy of risk estimation for individuals who inherit a monogenic risk variant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17374-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7441381PMC
August 2020

Native American gene flow into Polynesia predating Easter Island settlement.

Nature 2020 07 8;583(7817):572-577. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Center for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics (CEHG), Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

The possibility of voyaging contact between prehistoric Polynesian and Native American populations has long intrigued researchers. Proponents have pointed to the existence of New World crops, such as the sweet potato and bottle gourd, in the Polynesian archaeological record, but nowhere else outside the pre-Columbian Americas, while critics have argued that these botanical dispersals need not have been human mediated. The Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl controversially suggested that prehistoric South American populations had an important role in the settlement of east Polynesia and particularly of Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Several limited molecular genetic studies have reached opposing conclusions, and the possibility continues to be as hotly contested today as it was when first suggested. Here we analyse genome-wide variation in individuals from islands across Polynesia for signs of Native American admixture, analysing 807 individuals from 17 island populations and 15 Pacific coast Native American groups. We find conclusive evidence for prehistoric contact of Polynesian individuals with Native American individuals (around AD 1200) contemporaneous with the settlement of remote Oceania. Our analyses suggest strongly that a single contact event occurred in eastern Polynesia, before the settlement of Rapa Nui, between Polynesian individuals and a Native American group most closely related to the indigenous inhabitants of present-day Colombia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2487-2DOI Listing
July 2020

Low coverage whole genome sequencing enables accurate assessment of common variants and calculation of genome-wide polygenic scores.

Genome Med 2019 11 26;11(1):74. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

Center for Genomic Medicine and Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Simches Research Building | CPZN 6.256, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.

Background: Inherited susceptibility to common, complex diseases may be caused by rare, pathogenic variants ("monogenic") or by the cumulative effect of numerous common variants ("polygenic"). Comprehensive genome interpretation should enable assessment for both monogenic and polygenic components of inherited risk. The traditional approach requires two distinct genetic testing technologies-high coverage sequencing of known genes to detect monogenic variants and a genome-wide genotyping array followed by imputation to calculate genome-wide polygenic scores (GPSs). We assessed the feasibility and accuracy of using low coverage whole genome sequencing (lcWGS) as an alternative to genotyping arrays to calculate GPSs.

Methods: First, we performed downsampling and imputation of WGS data from ten individuals to assess concordance with known genotypes. Second, we assessed the correlation between GPSs for 3 common diseases-coronary artery disease (CAD), breast cancer (BC), and atrial fibrillation (AF)-calculated using lcWGS and genotyping array in 184 samples. Third, we assessed concordance of lcWGS-based genotype calls and GPS calculation in 120 individuals with known genotypes, selected to reflect diverse ancestral backgrounds. Fourth, we assessed the relationship between GPSs calculated using lcWGS and disease phenotypes in a cohort of 11,502 individuals of European ancestry.

Results: We found imputation accuracy r values of greater than 0.90 for all ten samples-including those of African and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry-with lcWGS data at 0.5×. GPSs calculated using lcWGS and genotyping array followed by imputation in 184 individuals were highly correlated for each of the 3 common diseases (r = 0.93-0.97) with similar score distributions. Using lcWGS data from 120 individuals of diverse ancestral backgrounds, we found similar results with respect to imputation accuracy and GPS correlations. Finally, we calculated GPSs for CAD, BC, and AF using lcWGS in 11,502 individuals of European ancestry, confirming odds ratios per standard deviation increment ranging 1.28 to 1.59, consistent with previous studies.

Conclusions: lcWGS is an alternative technology to genotyping arrays for common genetic variant assessment and GPS calculation. lcWGS provides comparable imputation accuracy while also overcoming the ascertainment bias inherent to variant selection in genotyping array design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-019-0682-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6880438PMC
November 2019

Genomic insights into the origin and diversification of late maritime hunter-gatherers from the Chilean Patagonia.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 04 9;115(17):E4006-E4012. Epub 2018 Apr 9.

Human Genetics Program, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago 8380453, Chile;

Patagonia was the last region of the Americas reached by humans who entered the continent from Siberia ∼15,000-20,000 y ago. Despite recent genomic approaches to reconstruct the continental evolutionary history, regional characterization of ancient and modern genomes remains understudied. Exploring the genomic diversity within Patagonia is not just a valuable strategy to gain a better understanding of the history and diversification of human populations in the southernmost tip of the Americas, but it would also improve the representation of Native American diversity in global databases of human variation. Here, we present genome data from four modern populations from Central Southern Chile and Patagonia ( = 61) and four ancient maritime individuals from Patagonia (∼1,000 y old). Both the modern and ancient individuals studied in this work have a greater genetic affinity with other modern Native Americans than to any non-American population, showing within South America a clear structure between major geographical regions. Native Patagonian Kawéskar and Yámana showed the highest genetic affinity with the ancient individuals, indicating genetic continuity in the region during the past 1,000 y before present, together with an important agreement between the ethnic affiliation and historical distribution of both groups. Lastly, the ancient maritime individuals were genetically equidistant to a ∼200-y-old terrestrial hunter-gatherer from Tierra del Fuego, which supports a model with an initial separation of a common ancestral group to both maritime populations from a terrestrial population, with a later diversification of the maritime groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1715688115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5924884PMC
April 2018

Origins and genetic legacies of the Caribbean Taino.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018 03 20;115(10):2341-2346. Epub 2018 Feb 20.

Center for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark;

The Caribbean was one of the last parts of the Americas to be settled by humans, but how and when the islands were first occupied remains a matter of debate. Ancient DNA can help answering these questions, but the work has been hampered by poor DNA preservation. We report the genome sequence of a 1,000-year-old Lucayan Taino individual recovered from the site of Preacher's Cave in the Bahamas. We sequenced her genome to 12.4-fold coverage and show that she is genetically most closely related to present-day Arawakan speakers from northern South America, suggesting that the ancestors of the Lucayans originated there. Further, we find no evidence for recent inbreeding or isolation in the ancient genome, suggesting that the Lucayans had a relatively large effective population size. Finally, we show that the native American components in some present-day Caribbean genomes are closely related to the ancient Taino, demonstrating an element of continuity between precontact populations and present-day Latino populations in the Caribbean.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1716839115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877975PMC
March 2018

Feasibility of Obtaining Measures of Lifestyle From a Smartphone App: The MyHeart Counts Cardiovascular Health Study.

JAMA Cardiol 2017 01;2(1):67-76

Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California2Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California4Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

Importance: Studies have established the importance of physical activity and fitness, yet limited data exist on the associations between objective, real-world physical activity patterns, fitness, sleep, and cardiovascular health.

Objectives: To assess the feasibility of obtaining measures of physical activity, fitness, and sleep from smartphones and to gain insights into activity patterns associated with life satisfaction and self-reported disease.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The MyHeart Counts smartphone app was made available in March 2015, and prospective participants downloaded the free app between March and October 2015. In this smartphone-based study of cardiovascular health, participants recorded physical activity, filled out health questionnaires, and completed a 6-minute walk test. The app was available to download within the United States.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The feasibility of consent and data collection entirely on a smartphone, the use of machine learning to cluster participants, and the associations between activity patterns, life satisfaction, and self-reported disease.

Results: From the launch to the time of the data freeze for this study (March to October 2015), the number of individuals (self-selected) who consented to participate was 48 968, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their median age was 36 years (interquartile range, 27-50 years), and 82.2% (30 338 male, 6556 female, 10 other, and 3115 unknown) were male. In total, 40 017 (81.7% of those who consented) uploaded data. Among those who consented, 20 345 individuals (41.5%) completed 4 of the 7 days of motion data collection, and 4552 individuals (9.3%) completed all 7 days. Among those who consented, 40 017 (81.7%) filled out some portion of the questionnaires, and 4990 (10.2%) completed the 6-minute walk test, made available only at the end of 7 days. The Heart Age Questionnaire, also available after 7 days, required entering lipid values and age 40 to 79 years (among 17 245 individuals, 43.1% of participants). Consequently, 1334 (2.7%) of those who consented completed all fields needed to compute heart age and a 10-year risk score. Physical activity was detected for a mean (SD) of 14.5% (8.0%) of individuals' total recorded time. Physical activity patterns were identified by cluster analysis. A pattern of lower overall activity but more frequent transitions between active and inactive states was associated with equivalent self-reported cardiovascular disease as a pattern of higher overall activity with fewer transitions. Individuals' perception of their activity and risk bore little relation to sensor-estimated activity or calculated cardiovascular risk.

Conclusions And Relevance: A smartphone-based study of cardiovascular health is feasible, and improvements in participant diversity and engagement will maximize yield from consented participants. Large-scale, real-world assessment of physical activity, fitness, and sleep using mobile devices may be a useful addition to future population health studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2016.4395DOI Listing
January 2017

In Vivo Post-Cardiac Arrest Myocardial Dysfunction Is Supported by Ca2+/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II-Mediated Calcium Long-Term Potentiation and Mitigated by Alda-1, an Agonist of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Type 2.

Circulation 2016 09 31;134(13):961-977. Epub 2016 Aug 31.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Background: Survival after sudden cardiac arrest is limited by postarrest myocardial dysfunction, but understanding of this phenomenon is constrained by a lack of data from a physiological model of disease. In this study, we established an in vivo model of cardiac arrest and resuscitation, characterized the biology of the associated myocardial dysfunction, and tested novel therapeutic strategies.

Methods: We developed rodent models of in vivo postarrest myocardial dysfunction using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation resuscitation followed by invasive hemodynamics measurement. In postarrest isolated cardiomyocytes, we assessed mechanical load and Ca(2) (+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) simultaneously using the microcarbon fiber technique and observed reduced function and myofilament calcium sensitivity. We used a novel fiberoptic catheter imaging system and a genetically encoded calcium sensor, GCaMP6f, to image CICR in vivo.

Results: We found potentiation of CICR in isolated cells from this extracorporeal membrane oxygenation model and in cells isolated from an ischemia/reperfusion Langendorff model perfused with oxygenated blood from an arrested animal but not when reperfused in saline. We established that CICR potentiation begins in vivo. The augmented CICR observed after arrest was mediated by the activation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Increased phosphorylation of CaMKII, phospholamban, and ryanodine receptor 2 was detected in the postarrest period. Exogenous adrenergic activation in vivo recapitulated Ca(2+) potentiation but was associated with lesser CaMKII activation. Because oxidative stress and aldehydic adduct formation were high after arrest, we tested a small-molecule activator of aldehyde dehydrogenase type 2, Alda-1, which reduced oxidative stress, restored calcium and CaMKII homeostasis, and improved cardiac function and postarrest outcome in vivo.

Conclusions: Cardiac arrest and reperfusion lead to CaMKII activation and calcium long-term potentiation, which support cardiomyocyte contractility in the face of impaired postarrest myofilament calcium sensitivity. Alda-1 mitigates these effects, normalizes calcium cycling, and improves outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.021618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5040468PMC
September 2016

Multidimensional structure-function relationships in human β-cardiac myosin from population-scale genetic variation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016 06 31;113(24):6701-6. Epub 2016 May 31.

Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305; Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305;

Myosin motors are the fundamental force-generating elements of muscle contraction. Variation in the human β-cardiac myosin heavy chain gene (MYH7) can lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heritable disease characterized by cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. How specific myosin variants alter motor function or clinical expression of disease remains incompletely understood. Here, we combine structural models of myosin from multiple stages of its chemomechanical cycle, exome sequencing data from two population cohorts of 60,706 and 42,930 individuals, and genetic and phenotypic data from 2,913 patients with HCM to identify regions of disease enrichment within β-cardiac myosin. We first developed computational models of the human β-cardiac myosin protein before and after the myosin power stroke. Then, using a spatial scan statistic modified to analyze genetic variation in protein 3D space, we found significant enrichment of disease-associated variants in the converter, a kinetic domain that transduces force from the catalytic domain to the lever arm to accomplish the power stroke. Focusing our analysis on surface-exposed residues, we identified a larger region significantly enriched for disease-associated variants that contains both the converter domain and residues on a single flat surface on the myosin head described as the myosin mesa. Notably, patients with HCM with variants in the enriched regions have earlier disease onset than patients who have HCM with variants elsewhere. Our study provides a model for integrating protein structure, large-scale genetic sequencing, and detailed phenotypic data to reveal insight into time-shifted protein structures and genetic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1606950113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4914177PMC
June 2016

Genomic Insights into the Ancestry and Demographic History of South America.

PLoS Genet 2015 Dec 4;11(12):e1005602. Epub 2015 Dec 4.

Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America.

South America has a complex demographic history shaped by multiple migration and admixture events in pre- and post-colonial times. Settled over 14,000 years ago by Native Americans, South America has experienced migrations of European and African individuals, similar to other regions in the Americas. However, the timing and magnitude of these events resulted in markedly different patterns of admixture throughout Latin America. We use genome-wide SNP data for 437 admixed individuals from 5 countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina) to explore the population structure and demographic history of South American Latinos. We combined these data with population reference panels from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to perform global ancestry analysis and infer the subcontinental origin of the European and Native American ancestry components of the admixed individuals. By applying ancestry-specific PCA analyses we find that most of the European ancestry in South American Latinos is from the Iberian Peninsula; however, many individuals trace their ancestry back to Italy, especially within Argentina. We find a strong gradient in the Native American ancestry component of South American Latinos associated with country of origin and the geography of local indigenous populations. For example, Native American genomic segments in Peruvians show greater affinities with Andean indigenous peoples like Quechua and Aymara, whereas Native American haplotypes from Colombians tend to cluster with Amazonian and coastal tribes from northern South America. Using ancestry tract length analysis we modeled post-colonial South American migration history as the youngest in Latin America during European colonization (9-14 generations ago), with an additional strong pulse of European migration occurring between 3 and 9 generations ago. These genetic footprints can impact our understanding of population-level differences in biomedical traits and, thus, inform future medical genetic studies in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005602DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4670080PMC
December 2015

POPULATION GENETICS. Genomic evidence for the Pleistocene and recent population history of Native Americans.

Science 2015 Aug 21;349(6250):aab3884. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.

How and when the Americas were populated remains contentious. Using ancient and modern genome-wide data, we found that the ancestors of all present-day Native Americans, including Athabascans and Amerindians, entered the Americas as a single migration wave from Siberia no earlier than 23 thousand years ago (ka) and after no more than an 8000-year isolation period in Beringia. After their arrival to the Americas, ancestral Native Americans diversified into two basal genetic branches around 13 ka, one that is now dispersed across North and South America and the other restricted to North America. Subsequent gene flow resulted in some Native Americans sharing ancestry with present-day East Asians (including Siberians) and, more distantly, Australo-Melanesians. Putative "Paleoamerican" relict populations, including the historical Mexican Pericúes and South American Fuego-Patagonians, are not directly related to modern Australo-Melanesians as suggested by the Paleoamerican Model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aab3884DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4733658PMC
August 2015
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