Publications by authors named "Massimo Mangino"

236 Publications

Body mass index mediates the effect of the DASH diet on hypertension: Common metabolites underlying the association.

J Hum Nutr Diet 2021 Oct 26. Epub 2021 Oct 26.

Department of Twin Research, King's College London, London, UK.

Background: The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is beneficial in reducing blood pressure; however, this may be a consequence of concurrent weight reduction. In the present study, we investigated whether body mass index (BMI) mediates the association between the DASH diet and hypertension and investigate common metabolic pathways.

Methods: We included 2424 females from the cross-sectional TwinsUK cohort, with blood pressure, BMI and dietary intake measured within 1.01 (SD = 0.68) years and serum metabolomics profiling (591 metabolites). We constructed a mediation model to test the mediation effects of BMI on the total effect of the DASH diet on hypertension. To identify a metabolite panel associated with the DASH diet and BMI, we built random forest models for each trait, and selected the common metabolic contributors using five-fold cross-validation error.

Results: We found that BMI fully mediates the association between the DASH diet and hypertension, explaining 39.1% of the variance in hypertension. We then identified a panel of six common metabolites predicting both the DASH diet and BMI with opposing effects. Interestingly, at the univariate level, the metabolites were also associated with hypertension in the same direction as BMI. The strongest feature, 1-nonadecanoyl-GPC (19:0), was positively associated with the DASH diet (β [SE] = 0.65 [0.12]) and negatively with BMI (β [SE] = -1.34 [0.12]) and hypertension (odds ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.6-0.84).

Conclusions: We highlight the role of BMI in the mechanisms by which the DASH diet influences hypertension and also highlight common metabolic pathways. Further studies should investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms to increase our understanding of the beneficial ways of treating hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12956DOI Listing
October 2021

Plasma N-glycome shows continuous deterioration as the diagnosis of insulin resistance approaches.

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care 2021 09;9(1)

University of Zagreb Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Zagreb, Croatia

Introduction: Prediction of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and its preceding factors, such as insulin resistance (IR), is of great importance as it may allow delay or prevention of onset of the disease. Plasma protein N-glycome has emerged as a promising predictive biomarker. In a prospective longitudinal study, we included patients with a first diagnosis of impaired glucose metabolism (IR or T2DM) to investigate the N-glycosylation's predictive value years before diabetes development.

Research Design And Methods: Plasma protein N-glycome was profiled by hydrophilic interaction ultra-performance liquid chromatography in 534 TwinsUK participants free from disease at baseline. This included 89 participants with incident diagnosis of IR or T2DM during the follow-up period (7.14±3.04 years) whose last sample prior to diagnosis was compared using general linear regression with 445 age-matched unrelated controls. Findings were replicated in an independent cohort. Changes in N-glycome have also been presented in connection with time to diagnosis.

Results: Eight groups of plasma N-glycans were different between incident IR or T2DM cases and controls (p<0.05) after adjusting for multiple testing using Benjamini-Hochberg correction. These differences were noticeable up to 10 years prior to diagnosis and are changing continuously as becoming more expressed toward the diagnosis. The prediction model was built using significant glycan traits, displaying a discriminative performance with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.77.

Conclusions: In addition to previous studies, we showed the diagnostic potential of plasma N-glycome in the prediction of both IR and T2DM development years before the clinical manifestation and indicated the continuous deterioration of N-glycome toward the diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjdrc-2021-002263DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8438737PMC
September 2021

Deciphering osteoarthritis genetics across 826,690 individuals from 9 populations.

Cell 2021 Sep 26;184(18):4784-4818.e17. Epub 2021 Aug 26.

Laboratory for Bone and Joint Diseases, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shimane University, Shimane 693-8501, Japan.

Osteoarthritis affects over 300 million people worldwide. Here, we conduct a genome-wide association study meta-analysis across 826,690 individuals (177,517 with osteoarthritis) and identify 100 independently associated risk variants across 11 osteoarthritis phenotypes, 52 of which have not been associated with the disease before. We report thumb and spine osteoarthritis risk variants and identify differences in genetic effects between weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing joints. We identify sex-specific and early age-at-onset osteoarthritis risk loci. We integrate functional genomics data from primary patient tissues (including articular cartilage, subchondral bone, and osteophytic cartilage) and identify high-confidence effector genes. We provide evidence for genetic correlation with phenotypes related to pain, the main disease symptom, and identify likely causal genes linked to neuronal processes. Our results provide insights into key molecular players in disease processes and highlight attractive drug targets to accelerate translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.07.038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8459317PMC
September 2021

Genetic insights into biological mechanisms governing human ovarian ageing.

Nature 2021 08 4;596(7872):393-397. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

Genome Integrity and Instability Group, Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain.

Reproductive longevity is essential for fertility and influences healthy ageing in women, but insights into its underlying biological mechanisms and treatments to preserve it are limited. Here we identify 290 genetic determinants of ovarian ageing, assessed using normal variation in age at natural menopause (ANM) in about 200,000 women of European ancestry. These common alleles were associated with clinical extremes of ANM; women in the top 1% of genetic susceptibility have an equivalent risk of premature ovarian insufficiency to those carrying monogenic FMR1 premutations. The identified loci implicate a broad range of DNA damage response (DDR) processes and include loss-of-function variants in key DDR-associated genes. Integration with experimental models demonstrates that these DDR processes act across the life-course to shape the ovarian reserve and its rate of depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrate that experimental manipulation of DDR pathways highlighted by human genetics increases fertility and extends reproductive life in mice. Causal inference analyses using the identified genetic variants indicate that extending reproductive life in women improves bone health and reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, but increases the risk of hormone-sensitive cancers. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms that govern ovarian ageing, when they act, and how they might be targeted by therapeutic approaches to extend fertility and prevent disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03779-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611832PMC
August 2021

A Bidirectional Mendelian Randomization Study to evaluate the causal role of reduced blood vitamin D levels with type 2 diabetes risk in South Asians and Europeans.

Nutr J 2021 07 27;20(1):71. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Department of Pediatrics, Section of Genetics, College of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 940 Stanton L. Young Blvd., Rm 317 BMSB, OK, 73104, OK City, USA.

Context: Multiple observational studies have reported an inverse relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations (25(OH)D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, the results of short- and long-term interventional trials concerning the relationship between 25(OH)D and T2D risk have been inconsistent.

Objectives And Methods: To evaluate the causal role of reduced blood 25(OH)D in T2D, here we have performed a bidirectional Mendelian randomization study using 59,890 individuals (5,862 T2D cases and 54,028 controls) from European and Asian Indian ancestries. We used six known SNPs, including three T2D SNPs and three vitamin D pathway SNPs, as a genetic instrument to evaluate the causality and direction of the association between T2D and circulating 25(OH)D concentration.

Results: Results of the combined meta-analysis of eight participating studies showed that a composite score of three T2D SNPs would significantly increase T2D risk by an odds ratio (OR) of 1.24, p = 1.82 × 10; Z score 11.86, which, however, had no significant association with 25(OH)D status (Beta -0.02nmol/L ± SE 0.01nmol/L; p = 0.83; Z score -0.21). Likewise, the genetically instrumented composite score of 25(OH)D lowering alleles significantly decreased 25(OH)D concentrations (-2.1nmol/L ± SE 0.1nmol/L, p = 7.92 × 10; Z score -18.68) but was not associated with increased risk for T2D (OR 1.00, p = 0.12; Z score 1.54). However, using 25(OH)D synthesis SNP (DHCR7; rs12785878) as an individual genetic instrument, a per allele reduction of 25(OH)D concentration (-4.2nmol/L ± SE 0.3nmol/L) was predicted to increase T2D risk by 5%, p = 0.004; Z score 2.84. This effect, however, was not seen in other 25(OH)D SNPs (GC rs2282679, CYP2R1 rs12794714) when used as an individual instrument.

Conclusion: Our new data on this bidirectional Mendelian randomization study suggests that genetically instrumented T2D risk does not cause changes in 25(OH)D levels. However, genetically regulated 25(OH)D deficiency due to vitamin D synthesis gene (DHCR7) may influence the risk of T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12937-021-00725-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8314596PMC
July 2021

N-glycosylation of immunoglobulin G predicts incident hypertension.

J Hypertens 2021 Jul 19. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia Department of Twin Research, Kings College London, London, UK Genos Glycoscience Research Laboratory, Zagreb, Croatia Research Unit of Molecular Epidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München Research Center for Environmental Health German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) Institute of Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München Research Center for Environmental Health LMU Munich, IBE-Chair of Epidemiology, Neuherberg, Germany Department of Public Health, University of Split, School of Medicine, Split, Croatia NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation Trust, London Academic Rheumatology Clinical Sciences Building, Nottingham City Hospital, University of Nottingham, Nottingham University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Objectives: Glycosylation of immunoglobulin G (IgG) is an important regulator of the immune system and has been implicated in prevalent hypertension.The aim of this study is to investigate whether the IgG glycome begins to change prior to hypertension diagnosis by analysing the IgG glycome composition in a large population-based female cohort with two independent replication samples.

Methods: We included 989 unrelated cases with incident hypertension and 1628 controls from the TwinsUK cohort (mean follow-up time of 6.3 years) with IgG measured at baseline by ultra-performance liquid chromatography and longitudinal BP measurement available. We replicated our findings in 106 individuals from the 10 001 Dalmatians and 729 from KORA S4. Cox regression mixed models were applied to identify changes in glycan traits preincident hypertension, after adjusting for age, mean arterial pressure, BMI, family relatedness and multiple testing (FDR < 0.1). Significant IgG-incident hypertension associations were replicated in the two independent cohorts by leveraging Cox regression mixed models in the 10 001 Dalmatians and logistic regression models in the KORA cohort.

Results: We identified and replicated four glycan traits, incidence of bisecting GlcNAc, GP4, GP9 and GP21, that are predictive of incident hypertension after adjusting for confoundes and multiple testing [hazard ratio (95% CI) ranging from 0.45 (0.24-0.84) for GP21 to 2.9 (1.5-5.68) for GP4]. We then linearly combined the four replicated glycans and found that the glycan score correlated with incident hypertension, SBP and DBP.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the IgG glycome changes prior to the development of hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002963DOI Listing
July 2021

Genome-wide association studies identify 137 genetic loci for DNA methylation biomarkers of aging.

Genome Biol 2021 06 29;22(1):194. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Biological aging estimators derived from DNA methylation data are heritable and correlate with morbidity and mortality. Consequently, identification of genetic and environmental contributors to the variation in these measures in populations has become a major goal in the field.

Results: Leveraging DNA methylation and SNP data from more than 40,000 individuals, we identify 137 genome-wide significant loci, of which 113 are novel, from genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses of four epigenetic clocks and epigenetic surrogate markers for granulocyte proportions and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 levels, respectively. We find evidence for shared genetic loci associated with the Horvath clock and expression of transcripts encoding genes linked to lipid metabolism and immune function. Notably, these loci are independent of those reported to regulate DNA methylation levels at constituent clock CpGs. A polygenic score for GrimAge acceleration showed strong associations with adiposity-related traits, educational attainment, parental longevity, and C-reactive protein levels.

Conclusion: This study illuminates the genetic architecture underlying epigenetic aging and its shared genetic contributions with lifestyle factors and longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02398-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243879PMC
June 2021

Variants associated with expression have sex-differential effects on lung function.

Wellcome Open Res 2020 24;5:111. Epub 2021 May 24.

Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, UK.

Lung function is highly heritable and differs between the sexes throughout life. However, little is known about sex-differential genetic effects on lung function. We aimed to conduct the first genome-wide genotype-by-sex interaction study on lung function to identify genetic effects that differ between males and females. We tested for interactions between 7,745,864 variants and sex on spirometry-based measures of lung function in UK Biobank (N=303,612), and sought replication in 75,696 independent individuals from the SpiroMeta consortium. Five independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) showed genome-wide significant (P<5x10 ) interactions with sex on lung function, and 21 showed suggestive interactions (P<1x10 ). The strongest signal, from rs7697189 (chr4:145436894) on forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV ) (P=3.15x10 ), was replicated (P=0.016) in SpiroMeta. The C allele increased FEV more in males (untransformed FEV β=0.028 [SE 0.0022] litres) than females (β=0.009 [SE 0.0014] litres), and this effect was not accounted for by differential effects on height, smoking or pubertal age. rs7697189 resides upstream of the hedgehog-interacting protein ( ) gene and was previously associated with lung function and lung expression. We found expression was significantly different between the sexes (P=6.90x10 ), but we could not detect sex differential effects of rs7697189 on expression. We identified a novel genotype-by-sex interaction at a putative enhancer region upstream of the gene. Establishing the mechanism by which SNPs have different effects on lung function in males and females will be important for our understanding of lung health and diseases in both sexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15846.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7938335.2PMC
May 2021

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits.

Nat Genet 2021 06 31;53(6):840-860. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Glycemic traits are used to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic health. To date, most genetic studies of glycemic traits have focused on individuals of European ancestry. Here we aggregated genome-wide association studies comprising up to 281,416 individuals without diabetes (30% non-European ancestry) for whom fasting glucose, 2-h glucose after an oral glucose challenge, glycated hemoglobin and fasting insulin data were available. Trans-ancestry and single-ancestry meta-analyses identified 242 loci (99 novel; P < 5 × 10), 80% of which had no significant evidence of between-ancestry heterogeneity. Analyses restricted to individuals of European ancestry with equivalent sample size would have led to 24 fewer new loci. Compared with single-ancestry analyses, equivalent-sized trans-ancestry fine-mapping reduced the number of estimated variants in 99% credible sets by a median of 37.5%. Genomic-feature, gene-expression and gene-set analyses revealed distinct biological signatures for each trait, highlighting different underlying biological pathways. Our results increase our understanding of diabetes pathophysiology by using trans-ancestry studies for improved power and resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610958PMC
June 2021

Vaccine side-effects and SARS-CoV-2 infection after vaccination in users of the COVID Symptom Study app in the UK: a prospective observational study.

Lancet Infect Dis 2021 07 27;21(7):939-949. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

Background: The Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) and the Oxford-AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) COVID-19 vaccines have shown excellent safety and efficacy in phase 3 trials. We aimed to investigate the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines in a UK community setting.

Methods: In this prospective observational study, we examined the proportion and probability of self-reported systemic and local side-effects within 8 days of vaccination in individuals using the COVID Symptom Study app who received one or two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine or one dose of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. We also compared infection rates in a subset of vaccinated individuals subsequently tested for SARS-CoV-2 with PCR or lateral flow tests with infection rates in unvaccinated controls. All analyses were adjusted by age (≤55 years vs >55 years), sex, health-care worker status (binary variable), obesity (BMI <30 kg/mvs ≥30 kg/m), and comorbidities (binary variable, with or without comorbidities).

Findings: Between Dec 8, and March 10, 2021, 627 383 individuals reported being vaccinated with 655 590 doses: 282 103 received one dose of BNT162b2, of whom 28 207 received a second dose, and 345 280 received one dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Systemic side-effects were reported by 13·5% (38 155 of 282 103) of individuals after the first dose of BNT162b2, by 22·0% (6216 of 28 207) after the second dose of BNT162b2, and by 33·7% (116 473 of 345 280) after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Local side-effects were reported by 71·9% (150 023 of 208 767) of individuals after the first dose of BNT162b2, by 68·5% (9025 of 13 179) after the second dose of BNT162b2, and by 58·7% (104 282 of 177 655) after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Systemic side-effects were more common (1·6 times after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 2·9 times after the first dose of BNT162b2) among individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection than among those without known past infection. Local effects were similarly higher in individuals previously infected than in those without known past infection (1·4 times after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 1·2 times after the first dose of BNT162b2). 3106 of 103 622 vaccinated individuals and 50 340 of 464 356 unvaccinated controls tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Significant reductions in infection risk were seen starting at 12 days after the first dose, reaching 60% (95% CI 49-68) for ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 69% (66-72) for BNT162b2 at 21-44 days and 72% (63-79) for BNT162b2 after 45-59 days.

Interpretation: Systemic and local side-effects after BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination occur at frequencies lower than reported in phase 3 trials. Both vaccines decrease the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection after 12 days.

Funding: ZOE Global, National Institute for Health Research, Chronic Disease Research Foundation, National Institutes of Health, UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, UK Research and Innovation, American Gastroenterological Association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00224-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078878PMC
July 2021

Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies Two Novel Loci Associated with Female Stress and Urgency Urinary Incontinence.

J Urol 2021 09 27;206(3):679-687. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Institute for Reproductive and Developmental Biology (IRDB), Imperial College London, UK.

Purpose: Genome-wide association studies have not identified replicable genetic risk loci for stress or urgency urinary incontinence.

Materials And Methods: We carried out a discovery stage, case control, genome-wide association study in 3 independent discovery cohorts of European women (8,979) for stress incontinence, urgency incontinence, and any incontinence phenotypes. We conducted replication in 6 additional studies of European ancestry (4,069). We collected bladder biopsies from women with incontinence (50) to further investigate bladder expression of implicated genes and pathways and used symptom questionnaires for phenotyping. We conducted meta-analyses using inverse variance fixed effects models and whole transcriptome analyses using Affymetrix® arrays with replication with TaqMan® polymerase chain reaction.

Results: In the discovery stage, we identified 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms genotyped or imputed at 5 loci that reached genome-wide significance (p <5×10). In replication, rs138724718 on chromosome 2 near the macrophage receptor with collagenous structure () gene (replication p=0.003) was associated with stress incontinence. In addition, rs34998271 on chromosome 6 near the endothelin 1 () gene (replication p=0.0008) was associated with urgency incontinence. In combined meta-analyses of discovery and replication cohorts, associations with genome-wide significance for these 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms were confirmed. Transcriptomics analyses showed differential expression of 7 of 19 genes in the endothelin pathway between stress and urgency incontinence (p <0.0001).

Conclusions: We uncovered 2 new risk loci near the genes endothelin 1 (), associated with urgency incontinence, and macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (), associated with stress incontinence. These loci are biologically plausible given their roles in smooth muscle contraction and innate host defense, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001822DOI Listing
September 2021

Immune Trait Shifts in Association With Tobacco Smoking: A Study in Healthy Women.

Front Immunol 2021 9;12:637974. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Tobacco smoking is known to impact circulating levels of major immune cells populations, but its effect on specific immune cell subsets remains poorly understood. Here, using high-resolution data from 223 healthy women (25 current and 198 never smokers), we investigated the association between smoking status and 35,651 immune traits capturing immune cell subset frequencies. Our results confirmed that active tobacco smoking is associated with increased frequencies of circulating CD8+ T cells expressing the CD25 activation marker. Moreover, we identified novel associations between smoking status and relative abundances of CD8+ CD25+ memory T cells, CD8+ memory T cells expressing the CCR4 chemokine receptor, and CD4+CD8+ (double-positive) CD25+ T cells. We also observed, in current smokers, a decrease in the relative frequencies of CD4+ T cells expressing the CD38 activation marker and an increase in class-switched memory B cell isotypes IgA, IgG, and IgE. Finally, using data from 135 former female smokers, we showed that the relative frequencies of immune traits associated with active smoking are usually completely restored after smoking cessation, with the exception of subsets of CD8+ and CD8+ memory T cells, which persist partially altered. Our results are consistent with previous findings and provide further evidence on how tobacco smoking shapes leukocyte cell subsets proportion toward chronic inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.637974DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985448PMC
September 2021

High intake of vegetables is linked to lower white blood cell profile and the effect is mediated by the gut microbiome.

BMC Med 2021 02 11;19(1):37. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, St Thomas' Hospital Campus, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, UK.

Background: Chronic inflammation, which can be modulated by diet, is linked to high white blood cell counts and correlates with higher cardiometabolic risk and risk of more severe infections, as in the case of COVID-19.

Methods: Here, we assessed the association between white blood cell profile (lymphocytes, basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils, monocytes and total white blood cells) as markers of chronic inflammation, habitual diet and gut microbiome composition (determined by sequencing of the 16S RNA) in 986 healthy individuals from the PREDICT-1 nutritional intervention study. We then investigated whether the gut microbiome mediates part of the benefits of vegetable intake on lymphocyte counts.

Results: Higher levels of white blood cells, lymphocytes and basophils were all significantly correlated with lower habitual intake of vegetables, with vegetable intake explaining between 3.59 and 6.58% of variation in white blood cells after adjusting for covariates and multiple testing using false discovery rate (q < 0.1). No such association was seen with fruit intake. A mediation analysis found that 20.00% of the effect of vegetable intake on lymphocyte counts was mediated by one bacterial genus, Collinsella, known to increase with the intake of processed foods and previously associated with fatty liver disease. We further correlated white blood cells to other inflammatory markers including IL6 and GlycA, fasting and post-prandial glucose levels and found a significant relationship between inflammation and diet.

Conclusion: A habitual diet high in vegetables, but not fruits, is linked to a lower inflammatory profile for white blood cells, and a fifth of the effect is mediated by the genus Collinsella.

Trial Registration: The ClinicalTrials.gov registration identifier is NCT03479866 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01913-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875684PMC
February 2021

Self-Reported Symptoms of COVID-19, Including Symptoms Most Predictive of SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Are Heritable.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2020 12;23(6):316-321

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, School of Life Course Sciences, King's College London, London, UK.

Susceptibility to infection such as SARS-CoV-2 may be influenced by host genotype. TwinsUK volunteers (n = 3261) completing the C-19 COVID-19 symptom tracker app allowed classical twin studies of COVID-19 symptoms, including predicted COVID-19, a symptom-based algorithm to predict true infection, derived from app users tested for SARS-CoV-2. We found heritability of 49% (32-64%) for delirium; 34% (20-47%) for diarrhea; 31% (8-52%) for fatigue; 19% (0-38%) for anosmia; 46% (31-60%) for skipped meals and 31% (11-48%) for predicted COVID-19. Heritability estimates were not affected by cohabiting or by social deprivation. The results suggest the importance of host genetics in the risk of clinical manifestations of COVID-19 and provide grounds for planning genome-wide association studies to establish specific genes involved in viral infectivity and the host immune response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2020.85DOI Listing
December 2020

Variation in the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 locus alters morning plasma cortisol, hepatic corticosteroid binding globulin expression, gene expression in peripheral tissues, and risk of cardiovascular disease.

J Hum Genet 2021 Jun 20;66(6):625-636. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Centre for Global Health Research, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG, Scotland.

The stress hormone cortisol modulates fuel metabolism, cardiovascular homoeostasis, mood, inflammation and cognition. The CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) consortium previously identified a single locus associated with morning plasma cortisol. Identifying additional genetic variants that explain more of the variance in cortisol could provide new insights into cortisol biology and provide statistical power to test the causative role of cortisol in common diseases. The CORNET consortium extended its genome-wide association meta-analysis for morning plasma cortisol from 12,597 to 25,314 subjects and from ~2.2 M to ~7 M SNPs, in 17 population-based cohorts of European ancestries. We confirmed the genetic association with SERPINA6/SERPINA1. This locus contains genes encoding corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and α1-antitrypsin. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analyses undertaken in the STARNET cohort of 600 individuals showed that specific genetic variants within the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 locus influence expression of SERPINA6 rather than SERPINA1 in the liver. Moreover, trans-eQTL analysis demonstrated effects on adipose tissue gene expression, suggesting that variations in CBG levels have an effect on delivery of cortisol to peripheral tissues. Two-sample Mendelian randomisation analyses provided evidence that each genetically-determined standard deviation (SD) increase in morning plasma cortisol was associated with increased odds of chronic ischaemic heart disease (0.32, 95% CI 0.06-0.59) and myocardial infarction (0.21, 95% CI 0.00-0.43) in UK Biobank and similarly in CARDIoGRAMplusC4D. These findings reveal a causative pathway for CBG in determining cortisol action in peripheral tissues and thereby contributing to the aetiology of cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s10038-020-00895-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8144017PMC
June 2021

Genetic and Environmental Influences of Dietary Indices in a UK Female Twin Cohort.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2020 12 18;23(6):330-337. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

A healthy diet is associated with the improvement or maintenance of health parameters, and several indices have been proposed to assess diet quality comprehensively. Twin studies have found that some specific foods, nutrients and food patterns have a heritable component; however, the heritability of overall dietary intake has not yet been estimated. Here, we compute heritability estimates of the nine most common dietary indices utilized in nutritional epidemiology. We analyzed 2590 female twins from TwinsUK (653 monozygotic [MZ] and 642 dizygotic [DZ] pairs) who completed a 131-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Heritability estimates were computed using structural equation models (SEM) adjusting for body mass index (BMI), smoking status, Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), physical activity, menopausal status, energy and alcohol intake. The AE model was the best-fitting model for most of the analyzed dietary scores (seven out of nine), with heritability estimates ranging from 10.1% (95% CI [.02, .18]) for the Dietary Reference Values (DRV) to 42.7% (95% CI [.36, .49]) for the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (A-HEI). The ACE model was the best-fitting model for the Healthy Diet Indicator (HDI) and Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) with heritability estimates of 5.4% (95% CI [-.17, .28]) and 25.4% (95% CI [.05, .46]), respectively. Here, we find that all analyzed dietary indices have a heritable component, suggesting that there is a genetic predisposition regulating what you eat. Future studies should explore genes underlying dietary indices to further understand the genetic disposition toward diet-related health parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2020.84DOI Listing
December 2020

Differential associations between diet quality scores and markers of cardiovascular health in women: cross-sectional analyses from TwinsUK.

Br J Nutr 2021 Oct 10;126(7):1017-1027. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, King's College London, LondonSE1 9NH, UK.

CVD is the leading cause of death worldwide and, after dementia, is the second biggest cause of death for women. In England, it accounts for one in four of all deaths. Lifestyle modifications represent the primary route both to reduce CVD risk factors and prevent CVD outcomes. Diet constitutes one of the key modifiable risk factors in the aetiology of CVD. We investigated the relationship between nine main dietary indices and a comprehensive range of CVD risk factors in 2590 women from TwinsUK. After adjustment for multiple testing, we found that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was inversely correlated with some of the most common CVD risk factors (BMI, visceral fat (VF), TAG, insulin, homoeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR) and atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) risk) with PFDR ranging from 6·28 × 10-7 to 5·63 × 10-4. Similar association patterns were detected across most of the dietary indices analysed. In our post hoc investigation, to determine if any specific food groups were driving associations between the DASH score and markers of cardiometabolic risk, we found that increased BMI, VF, HOMA2-IR, ASCVD risk, insulin and TAG levels were directly correlated with red meat consumption (PFDR ranging from 4·65 × 10-9 to 7·98 × 10-3) and inversely correlated with whole-grain cereal consumption (PFDR ranging from 1·26 × 10-6 to 8·28 × 10-3). Our findings revealed that the DASH diet is associated with a more favourable CVD risk profile, suggesting that this diet may be a candidate dietary pattern to supplement current UK dietary recommendations for CVD prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S000711452000495XDOI Listing
October 2021

Genome-wide association study identifies 48 common genetic variants associated with handedness.

Nat Hum Behav 2021 01 28;5(1):59-70. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Institute of Biological Psychiatry, Mental Health Services of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Handedness has been extensively studied because of its relationship with language and the over-representation of left-handers in some neurodevelopmental disorders. Using data from the UK Biobank, 23andMe and the International Handedness Consortium, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of handedness (N = 1,766,671). We found 41 loci associated (P < 5 × 10) with left-handedness and 7 associated with ambidexterity. Tissue-enrichment analysis implicated the CNS in the aetiology of handedness. Pathways including regulation of microtubules and brain morphology were also highlighted. We found suggestive positive genetic correlations between left-handedness and neuropsychiatric traits, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Furthermore, the genetic correlation between left-handedness and ambidexterity is low (r = 0.26), which implies that these traits are largely influenced by different genetic mechanisms. Our findings suggest that handedness is highly polygenic and that the genetic variants that predispose to left-handedness may underlie part of the association with some psychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-00956-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116623PMC
January 2021

Probable delirium is a presenting symptom of COVID-19 in frail, older adults: a cohort study of 322 hospitalised and 535 community-based older adults.

Age Ageing 2021 01;50(1):40-48

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, St Thomas' Hospital, London, SE1 7EH, UK.

Background: Frailty, increased vulnerability to physiological stressors, is associated with adverse outcomes. COVID-19 exhibits a more severe disease course in older, comorbid adults. Awareness of atypical presentations is critical to facilitate early identification.

Objective: To assess how frailty affects presenting COVID-19 symptoms in older adults.

Design: Observational cohort study of hospitalised older patients and self-report data for community-based older adults.

Setting: Admissions to St Thomas' Hospital, London with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Community-based data for older adults using the COVID Symptom Study mobile application.

Subjects: Hospital cohort: patients aged 65 and over (n = 322); unscheduled hospital admission between 1 March 2020 and 5 May 2020; COVID-19 confirmed by RT-PCR of nasopharyngeal swab. Community-based cohort: participants aged 65 and over enrolled in the COVID Symptom Study (n = 535); reported test-positive for COVID-19 from 24 March (application launch) to 8 May 2020.

Methods: Multivariable logistic regression analysis performed on age-matched samples from hospital and community-based cohorts to ascertain association of frailty with symptoms of confirmed COVID-19.

Results: Hospital cohort: significantly higher prevalence of probable delirium in the frail sample, with no difference in fever or cough. Community-based cohort: significantly higher prevalence of possible delirium in frailer, older adults and fatigue and shortness of breath.

Conclusions: This is the first study demonstrating higher prevalence of probable delirium as a COVID-19 symptom in older adults with frailty compared to other older adults. This emphasises need for systematic frailty assessment and screening for delirium in acutely ill older patients in hospital and community settings. Clinicians should suspect COVID-19 in frail adults with delirium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7543251PMC
January 2021

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

Dietary Influence on Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure in the TwinsUK Cohort.

Nutrients 2020 Jul 17;12(7). Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Department of Twin Research, King's College London, St Thomas' Hospital Campus, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7EH, UK.

Nutrition plays a key role in blood pressure (BP) regulation. Here, we examine associations between nutrient intakes and BP in a large predominantly female population-based cohort. We assessed the correlation between 45 nutrients (from food frequency questionnaires) and systolic BP/diastolic BP (SBP/DBP) in 3889 individuals from TwinsUK not on hypertensive treatments and replicated in an independent subset of monozygotic twins discordant for nutrient intake (17-242 pairs). Results from both analyses were meta-analysed. For significant nutrients, we calculated heritability using structural equation modelling. We identified and replicated 15 nutrients associated with SBP, 9 also being associated with DBP, adjusting for covariates and multiple testing. 14 of those had a heritable component (: 27.1-57.6%). Strong associations with SBP were observed for riboflavin (Beta(SE) = -1.49(0.38), = 1.00 × 10) and tryptophan (-0.31(0.01), = 5 × 10), while with DBP for alcohol (0.05(0.07), = 1.00 × 10) and lactose (-0.05(0.0), = 1.3 × 10). Two multivariable nutrient scores, combining independently SBP/DBP-associated nutrients, explained 22% of the variance in SBP and 13.6% of the variance in DBP. Moreover, bivariate heritability analysis suggested that nutrients and BP share some genetic influences. We confirm current understanding and extend the panel of dietary nutrients implicated in BP regulation underscoring the value of nutrient focused dietary research in preventing and managing hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12072130DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400881PMC
July 2020

Consumption of Stilbenes and Flavonoids is Linked to Reduced Risk of Obesity Independently of Fiber Intake.

Nutrients 2020 Jun 23;12(6). Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, St Thomas' Hospital Campus, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7EH, UK.

Background: Polyphenol consumption is implicated in gut microbiome composition and improved metabolic outcomes, but it is unclear whether the effect is independent of dietary fiber.

Methods: We investigated the links between (poly)phenol intake, gut microbiome composition (16s RNA) and obesity independently of fiber intake in UK women ( = 1810) and in a small group of UK men ( = 64).

Results: (Poly)phenol intakes correlated with microbiome alpha diversity (Shannon Index) after adjusting for confounders and fiber intake. Moreover, flavonoid intake was significantly correlated with the abundance of , (a genus known to improve physical performance), and stilbene intake with that of butyrate-producing bacteria ( and . Stilbene and flavonoid intake also correlated with lower odds of prevalent obesity ( Odds Ratio (95% Confidence Interval) (OR(95%CI)) = 0.80 (0.73, 0.87), = 4.90 × 10; : OR(95%CI) = 0.77 (0.65, 0.91), = 0.002). Formal mediation analyses revealed that gut microbiome mediates ~11% of the total effect of flavonoid and stilbene intake on prevalent obesity.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of (poly)phenol consumption for optimal human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12061871DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7353284PMC
June 2020

Serum metabolites reflecting gut microbiome alpha diversity predict type 2 diabetes.

Gut Microbes 2020 11 24;11(6):1632-1642. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, Kings College London , London, UK.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with reduced gut microbiome diversity, although the cause is unclear. Metabolites generated by gut microbes also appear to be causative factors in T2D. We therefore searched for serum metabolites predictive of gut microbiome diversity in 1018 females from TwinsUK with concurrent metabolomic profiling and microbiome composition. We generated a Microbial Metabolites Diversity (MMD) score of six circulating metabolites that explained over 18% of the variance in microbiome alpha diversity. Moreover, the MMD score was associated with a significantly lower odds of prevalent (OR[95%CI] = 0.22[0.07;0.70], P = .01) and incident T2D (HR[95%CI] = 0.31[0.11,0.90], P = .03). We replicated our results in 1522 individuals from the ARIC study (prevalent T2D: OR[95%CI] = 0.79[0.64,0.96], P = .02, incident T2D: HR[95%CI] = 0.87[0.79,0.95], P = .003). The MMD score mediated 28%[15%,94%] of the total effect of gut microbiome on T2D after adjusting for confounders. Metabolites predicting higher microbiome diversity included 3-phenylpropionate(hydrocinnamate), indolepropionate, cinnamoylglycine and 5-alpha-pregnan-3beta,20 alpha-diol monosulfate(2) of which indolepropionate and phenylpropionate have already been linked to lower incidence of T2D. Metabolites correlating with lower microbial diversity included glutarate and imidazole propionate, of which the latter has been implicated in insulin resistance. Our results suggest that the effect of gut microbiome diversity on T2D is largely mediated by microbial metabolites, which might be modifiable by diet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2020.1778261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7524143PMC
November 2020

Human postprandial responses to food and potential for precision nutrition.

Nat Med 2020 06 11;26(6):964-973. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Department of Twins Research & Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

Metabolic responses to food influence risk of cardiometabolic disease, but large-scale high-resolution studies are lacking. We recruited n = 1,002 twins and unrelated healthy adults in the United Kingdom to the PREDICT 1 study and assessed postprandial metabolic responses in a clinical setting and at home. We observed large inter-individual variability (as measured by the population coefficient of variation (s.d./mean, %)) in postprandial responses of blood triglyceride (103%), glucose (68%) and insulin (59%) following identical meals. Person-specific factors, such as gut microbiome, had a greater influence (7.1% of variance) than did meal macronutrients (3.6%) for postprandial lipemia, but not for postprandial glycemia (6.0% and 15.4%, respectively); genetic variants had a modest impact on predictions (9.5% for glucose, 0.8% for triglyceride, 0.2% for C-peptide). Findings were independently validated in a US cohort (n = 100 people). We developed a machine-learning model that predicted both triglyceride (r = 0.47) and glycemic (r = 0.77) responses to food intake. These findings may be informative for developing personalized diet strategies. The ClinicalTrials.gov registration identifier is NCT03479866.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0934-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8265154PMC
June 2020

Multi-ancestry GWAS of the electrocardiographic PR interval identifies 202 loci underlying cardiac conduction.

Nat Commun 2020 05 21;11(1):2542. Epub 2020 May 21.

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

The electrocardiographic PR interval reflects atrioventricular conduction, and is associated with conduction abnormalities, pacemaker implantation, atrial fibrillation (AF), and cardiovascular mortality. Here we report a multi-ancestry (N = 293,051) genome-wide association meta-analysis for the PR interval, discovering 202 loci of which 141 have not previously been reported. Variants at identified loci increase the percentage of heritability explained, from 33.5% to 62.6%. We observe enrichment for cardiac muscle developmental/contractile and cytoskeletal genes, highlighting key regulation processes for atrioventricular conduction. Additionally, 8 loci not previously reported harbor genes underlying inherited arrhythmic syndromes and/or cardiomyopathies suggesting a role for these genes in cardiovascular pathology in the general population. We show that polygenic predisposition to PR interval duration is an endophenotype for cardiovascular disease, including distal conduction disease, AF, and atrioventricular pre-excitation. These findings advance our understanding of the polygenic basis of cardiac conduction, and the genetic relationship between PR interval duration and cardiovascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15706-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7242331PMC
May 2020

Real-time tracking of self-reported symptoms to predict potential COVID-19.

Nat Med 2020 07 11;26(7):1037-1040. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

A total of 2,618,862 participants reported their potential symptoms of COVID-19 on a smartphone-based app. Among the 18,401 who had undergone a SARS-CoV-2 test, the proportion of participants who reported loss of smell and taste was higher in those with a positive test result (4,668 of 7,178 individuals; 65.03%) than in those with a negative test result (2,436 of 11,223 participants; 21.71%) (odds ratio = 6.74; 95% confidence interval = 6.31-7.21). A model combining symptoms to predict probable infection was applied to the data from all app users who reported symptoms (805,753) and predicted that 140,312 (17.42%) participants are likely to have COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0916-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7751267PMC
July 2020

Dysregulated Antibody, Natural Killer Cell and Immune Mediator Profiles in Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases.

Cells 2020 03 9;9(3). Epub 2020 Mar 9.

St John's Institute of Dermatology, School of Basic & Medical Biosciences, King's College London, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK.

The pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) is poorly understood and the association between different immune features and the germline variants involved in AITD are yet unclear. We previously observed systemic depletion of IgG core fucosylation and antennary α1,2 fucosylation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in AITD, correlated with anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) levels. Fucose depletion is known to potentiate strong antibody-mediated NK cell activation and enhanced target antigen-expressing cell killing. In autoimmunity, this may translate to autoantibody-mediated immune cell recruitment and attack of self-antigen expressing normal tissues. Hence, we investigated the crosstalk between immune cell traits, secreted proteins, genetic variants and the glycosylation patterns of serum IgG, in a multi-omic and cross-sectional study of 622 individuals from the TwinsUK cohort, 172 of whom were diagnosed with AITD. We observed associations between two genetic variants (rs505922 and rs687621), AITD status, the secretion of Desmoglein-2 protein, and the profile of two IgG N-glycan traits in AITD, but further studies need to be performed to better understand their crosstalk in AITD. On the other side, enhanced afucosylated IgG was positively associated with activatory CD335 CD314 CD158b NK cell subsets. Increased levels of the apoptosis and inflammation markers Caspase-2 and Interleukin-1α positively associated with AITD. Two genetic variants associated with AITD, rs1521 and rs3094228, were also associated with altered expression of the thyrocyte-expressed ligands known to recognize the NK cell immunoreceptors CD314 and CD158b. Our analyses reveal a combination of heightened Fc-active IgG antibodies, effector cells, cytokines and apoptotic signals in AITD, and AITD genetic variants associated with altered expression of thyrocyte-expressed ligands to NK cell immunoreceptors. Together, TPOAb responses, dysregulated immune features, germline variants associated with immunoactivity profiles, are consistent with a positive autoreactive antibody-dependent NK cell-mediated immune response likely drawn to the thyroid gland in AITD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9030665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7140647PMC
March 2020

Glycosylation of immunoglobulin G is regulated by a large network of genes pleiotropic with inflammatory diseases.

Sci Adv 2020 02 19;6(8):eaax0301. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

MRC Human Genetics Unit, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Effector functions of immunoglobulin G (IgG) are regulated by the composition of a glycan moiety, thus affecting activity of the immune system. Aberrant glycosylation of IgG has been observed in many diseases, but little is understood about the underlying mechanisms. We performed a genome-wide association study of IgG N-glycosylation ( = 8090) and, using a data-driven network approach, suggested how associated loci form a functional network. We confirmed in vitro that knockdown of decreases the expression of fucosyltransferase FUT8, resulting in increased levels of fucosylated glycans, and suggest that RUNX1 and RUNX3, together with SMARCB1, regulate expression of glycosyltransferase MGAT3. We also show that variants affecting the expression of genes involved in the regulation of glycoenzymes colocalize with variants affecting risk for inflammatory diseases. This study provides new evidence that variation in key transcription factors coupled with regulatory variation in glycogenes modifies IgG glycosylation and has influence on inflammatory diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aax0301DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7030929PMC
February 2020

Genome-wide Association Analysis in Humans Links Nucleotide Metabolism to Leukocyte Telomere Length.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 03 27;106(3):389-404. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, LE3 9QP, United Kingdom; NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, LE3 9QP, United Kingdom.

Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a heritable biomarker of genomic aging. In this study, we perform a genome-wide meta-analysis of LTL by pooling densely genotyped and imputed association results across large-scale European-descent studies including up to 78,592 individuals. We identify 49 genomic regions at a false dicovery rate (FDR) < 0.05 threshold and prioritize genes at 31, with five highlighting nucleotide metabolism as an important regulator of LTL. We report six genome-wide significant loci in or near SENP7, MOB1B, CARMIL1, PRRC2A, TERF2, and RFWD3, and our results support recently identified PARP1, POT1, ATM, and MPHOSPH6 loci. Phenome-wide analyses in >350,000 UK Biobank participants suggest that genetically shorter telomere length increases the risk of hypothyroidism and decreases the risk of thyroid cancer, lymphoma, and a range of proliferative conditions. Our results replicate previously reported associations with increased risk of coronary artery disease and lower risk for multiple cancer types. Our findings substantially expand current knowledge on genes that regulate LTL and their impact on human health and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.02.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7058826PMC
March 2020
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