Publications by authors named "Valentina Cipriani"

41 Publications

100,000 Genomes Pilot on Rare-Disease Diagnosis in Health Care - Preliminary Report.

N Engl J Med 2021 11;385(20):1868-1880

From Genomics England (D.S., K.R.S., A.M., E.A.T., E.M.M., A.T., G.C., K.I., L.M., M. Wielscher, A.N., M. Bale, E.B., C.B., H.B., M. Bleda, A. Devereau, D.H., E. Haraldsdottir, Z.H., D.K., C. Patch, D.P., A.M., R. Sultana, M.R., A.L.T.T., C. Tregidgo, C. Turnbull, M. Welland, S. Wood, C.S., E.W., S.L., R.E.F., L.C.D., O.N., I.U.S.L., C.F.W., J.C., R.H.S., T.F., A.R., M.C.), the William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London (D.S., K.R.S., V.C., A.T., L.M., M.R.B., D.K., S. Wood, P.C., J.O.J., T.F., M.C.), University College London (UCL) Institute of Ophthalmology (V.C., G.A., M.M., A.T.M., S. Malka, N.P., P.Y.-W.-M., A.R.W.), UCL Genetics Institute (V.C., N.W.W.), GOSgene (H.J.W.), Genetics and Genomic Medicine Programme (L.V., M.R., M.D., L.C., P. Beales, M.B.-G.), National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) (M.R., S. Grunewald, S.C.-L., F.M., C. Pilkington, L.R.W., L.C., P. Beales, M.B.-G.), Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation Research and Teaching Department (P.A., L.R.W.), Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (N.T.), and Mitochondrial Research Group (S. Rahman), UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UCL Ear Institute (L.V.), the Department of Renal Medicine (D. Bockenhauer), and Institute of Cardiovascular Science (P.E.), UCL, Moorfields Eye Hospital National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust (V.C., G.A., M.M., A.T.M., S. Malka, N.P., A.R.W.), the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (J.V., E.O., J.Y., K. Newland, H.R.M., J.P., N.W.W., H.H.), the Metabolic Unit (L.A., S. Grunewald, S. Rahman), London Centre for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes (M.D.), and the Department of Gastroenterology (N.T.), Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (L.V., D. Bockenhauer, A. Broomfield, M.A.C., T. Lam, E.F., V.G., S.C.-L., F.M., C. Pilkington, R. Quinlivan, C.W., L.R.W., A. Worth, L.C., P. Beales, M.B.-G., R.H.S.), the Clinical Genetics Department (M.R., T.B., C. Compton, C.D., E. Haque, L.I., D.J., S. Mohammed, L.R., S. Rose, D.R., G.S., A.C.S., F.F., M.I.) and St. John's Institute of Dermatology (H.F., R. Sarkany), Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, the Division of Genetics and Epidemiology, Institute of Cancer Research (C. Turnbull), Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery, and Palliative Care (T.B.), Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (M.A.S.), and Division of Medical and Molecular Genetics (M.I.), King's College London, NIHR BRC at Moorfields Eye Hospital (P.Y.-W.-M.), NHS England and NHS Improvement, Skipton House (V.D., A. Douglas, S. Hill), and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Hammersmith Hospital (K. Naresh), London, Open Targets and European Molecular Biology Laboratory-European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton (E.M.M.), the Division of Evolution and Genomic Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health, University of Manchester (J.M.E., S.B., J.C.-S., S.D., G.H., H.B.T., R.T.O., G. Black, W.N.), and the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (J.M.E., Z.H., S.B., J.C.-S., S.D., G.H., G. Black, W.N.), Manchester, the Department of Genetic and Genomic Medicine, Institute of Medical Genetics, Cardiff University, Cardiff (H.J.W.), the Department of Clinical Neurosciences (T.R., W.W., R.H., P.F.C.), the Medical Research Council (MRC) Mitochondrial Biology Unit (T.R., W.W., P.Y.-W.-M., P.F.C.), the Department of Paediatrics (T.R.), the Department of Haematology (K.S., C. Penkett, S. Gräf, R.M., W.H.O., A.R.), the School of Clinical Medicine (K.R., E.L., R.A.F., K.P., F.L.R.), the Department of Medicine (S. Gräf), and Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, Department of Clinical Neurosciences (P.Y.-W.-M.), University of Cambridge, NIHR BioResource, Cambridge University Hospitals (K.S., S.A., R.J., C. Penkett, E.D., S. Gräf, R.M., M.K., J.R.B., P.F.C., W.H.O., F.L.R.), and Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (G.F., P.T., O.S.-B., S. Halsall, K.P., A. Wagner, S.G.M., N.B., M.K.), Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and NIHR Cambridge BRC (M.G.), Congenica (A.H., H.S.), Illumina Cambridge (A. Wolejko, B.H., G. Burns, S. Hunter, R.J.G., S.J.H., D. Bentley), NHS Blood and Transplant (W.H.O.), and Wellcome Sanger Institute (W.H.O.), Cambridge, the Health Economics Research Centre (J. Buchanan, S. Wordsworth) and the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (C. Camps, J.C.T.), University of Oxford, NIHR Oxford BRC (J. Buchanan, S. Wordsworth, J.D., C. Crichton, J.W., K.W., C. Camps, S.P., N.B.A.R., A.S., J.T., J.C.T.), the Oxford Centre for Genomic Medicine (A. de Burca, A.H.N.), and the Departments of Haematology (N.B.A.R.) and Neurology (A.S.), Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford Genetics Laboratories, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Churchill Hospital (C. Campbell, K.G., T. Lester, J.T.), the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (N.K., N.B.A.R., A.O.M.W.) and the Oxford Epilepsy Research Group (A.S.), Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (A.H.N.), University of Oxford, and the Department of Clinical Immunology (S.P.), John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, Peninsula Clinical Genetics Service, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (E.B.), and the University of Exeter Medical School (E.B., C.F.W.), Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (S.E.), Exeter, Newcastle Eye Centre, Royal Victoria Infirmary (A.C.B.), the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, International Centre for Life (V.S., P. Brennan), Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University (G.S.G., R.H., A.M.S., D.M.T., R. Quinton, R.M., R.W.T., J.A.S.), Highly Specialised Mitochondrial Service (G.S.G., A.M.S., D.M.T., R.M., R.W.T.) and Northern Genetics Service (J. Burn), Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (J.A.S.), and NIHR Newcastle BRC (G.S.G., D.M.T., J.A.S.), Newcastle upon Tyne, the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, Institute of Biomedical Research, University of Birmingham (C. Palles), and Birmingham Women's Hospital (D.M.), Birmingham, the Genomic Informatics Group (E.G.S.), University Hospital Southampton (I.K.T.), and the University of Southampton (I.K.T.), Southampton, Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool (A. Douglas), the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol (A.D.M.), and Yorkshire and Humber, Sheffield Children's Hospital, Sheffield (G.W.) - all in the United Kingdom; Fabric Genomics, Oakland (M. Babcock, M.G.R.), and the Ophthalmology Department, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco (A.T.M.) - both in California; the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington, CT (P.N.R.); and the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, Corvallis (M.H.).

Background: The U.K. 100,000 Genomes Project is in the process of investigating the role of genome sequencing in patients with undiagnosed rare diseases after usual care and the alignment of this research with health care implementation in the U.K. National Health Service. Other parts of this project focus on patients with cancer and infection.

Methods: We conducted a pilot study involving 4660 participants from 2183 families, among whom 161 disorders covering a broad spectrum of rare diseases were present. We collected data on clinical features with the use of Human Phenotype Ontology terms, undertook genome sequencing, applied automated variant prioritization on the basis of applied virtual gene panels and phenotypes, and identified novel pathogenic variants through research analysis.

Results: Diagnostic yields varied among family structures and were highest in family trios (both parents and a proband) and families with larger pedigrees. Diagnostic yields were much higher for disorders likely to have a monogenic cause (35%) than for disorders likely to have a complex cause (11%). Diagnostic yields for intellectual disability, hearing disorders, and vision disorders ranged from 40 to 55%. We made genetic diagnoses in 25% of the probands. A total of 14% of the diagnoses were made by means of the combination of research and automated approaches, which was critical for cases in which we found etiologic noncoding, structural, and mitochondrial genome variants and coding variants poorly covered by exome sequencing. Cohortwide burden testing across 57,000 genomes enabled the discovery of three new disease genes and 19 new associations. Of the genetic diagnoses that we made, 25% had immediate ramifications for clinical decision making for the patients or their relatives.

Conclusions: Our pilot study of genome sequencing in a national health care system showed an increase in diagnostic yield across a range of rare diseases. (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2035790DOI Listing
November 2021

Association of Smoking, Alcohol Consumption, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, and Glycemic Risk Factors With Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Mendelian Randomization Study.

JAMA Ophthalmol 2021 Dec;139(12):1299-1306

Institute of Health Informatics, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Importance: Advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in Western countries. Causal, modifiable risk factors need to be identified to develop preventive measures for advanced AMD.

Objective: To assess whether smoking, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, body mass index, and glycemic traits are associated with increased risk of advanced AMD.

Design, Setting, Participants: This study used 2-sample mendelian randomization. Genetic instruments composed of variants associated with risk factors at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10-8) were obtained from published genome-wide association studies. Summary-level statistics for these instruments were obtained for advanced AMD from the International AMD Genomics Consortium 2016 data set, which consisted of 16 144 individuals with AMD and 17 832 control individuals. Data were analyzed from July 2020 to September 2021.

Exposures: Smoking initiation, smoking cessation, lifetime smoking, age at smoking initiation, alcoholic drinks per week, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, glycated hemoglobin, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Advanced AMD and its subtypes, geographic atrophy (GA), and neovascular AMD.

Results: A 1-SD increase in logodds of genetically predicted smoking initiation was associated with higher risk of advanced AMD (odds ratio [OR], 1.26; 95% CI, 1.13-1.40; P < .001), while a 1-SD increase in logodds of genetically predicted smoking cessation (former vs current smoking) was associated with lower risk of advanced AMD (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.50-0.87; P = .003). Genetically predicted increased lifetime smoking was associated with increased risk of advanced AMD (OR per 1-SD increase in lifetime smoking behavior, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.09-1.59; P = .004). Genetically predicted alcohol consumption was associated with higher risk of GA (OR per 1-SD increase of log-transformed alcoholic drinks per week, 2.70; 95% CI, 1.48-4.94; P = .001). There was insufficient evidence to suggest that genetically predicted blood pressure, body mass index, and glycemic traits were associated with advanced AMD.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study provides genetic evidence that increased alcohol intake may be a causal risk factor for GA. As there are currently no known treatments for GA, this finding has important public health implications. These results also support previous observational studies associating smoking behavior with risk of advanced AMD, thus reinforcing existing public health messages regarding the risk of blindness associated with smoking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2021.4601DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8569599PMC
December 2021

Beyond factor H: The impact of genetic-risk variants for age-related macular degeneration on circulating factor-H-like 1 and factor-H-related protein concentrations.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 08 13;108(8):1385-1400. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre and Division of Cancer Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9NQ, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss; there is strong genetic susceptibility at the complement factor H (CFH) locus. This locus encodes a series of complement regulators: factor H (FH), a splice variant factor-H-like 1 (FHL-1), and five factor-H-related proteins (FHR-1 to FHR-5), all involved in the regulation of complement factor C3b turnover. Little is known about how AMD-associated variants at this locus might influence FHL-1 and FHR protein concentrations. We have used a bespoke targeted mass-spectrometry assay to measure the circulating concentrations of all seven complement regulators and demonstrated elevated concentrations in 352 advanced AMD-affected individuals for all FHR proteins (FHR-1, p = 2.4 × 10; FHR-2, p = 6.0 × 10; FHR-3, p = 1.5 × 10; FHR-4, p = 1.3 × 10; FHR-5, p = 1.9 × 10) and FHL-1 (p = 4.9 × 10) when these individuals were compared to 252 controls, whereas no difference was seen for FH (p = 0.94). Genome-wide association analyses in controls revealed genome-wide-significant signals at the CFH locus for all five FHR proteins, and univariate Mendelian-randomization analyses strongly supported the association of FHR-1, FHR-2, FHR-4, and FHR-5 with AMD susceptibility. These findings provide a strong biochemical explanation for how genetically driven alterations in circulating FHR proteins could be major drivers of AMD and highlight the need for research into FHR protein modulation as a viable therapeutic avenue for AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8387294PMC
August 2021

Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia, Low-grade: "Much ADO About Nothing".

Am J Surg Pathol 2021 07;45(7):988-996

Department of Pathology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Institute of Biomedical Research (IIB Sant Pau), Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Atypical endometrial hyperplasia (AEH) is considered a precursor of endometrioid carcinoma. The 2020 World Health Organization (WHO) classification divides endometrial hyperplasia into 2 categories: hyperplasia without atypia and atypical hyperplasia/endometrioid intraepithelial neoplasia (EIN); however, this classification does not consider the degree of nuclear atypia. We graded nuclear atypia for estimating the risk of finding carcinoma at hysterectomy. Also, we investigated genes involved in endometrial carcinogenesis including mismatch repair (MMR) genes and ARID1A, PIK3CA, PTEN, KRAS, and CTNNB1. We reviewed 79 biopsies of AEH from 79 patients who underwent hysterectomy within a 1-year interval. Intraobserver and interobserver agreement of grading nuclear atypia and the relationship between the grade of nuclear atypia at biopsy and the findings at hysterectomy were evaluated. Immunohistochemistry for MMR status was performed in all cases and targeted sequencing in 11. Using low-grade versus high-grade nuclear atypia, κ values ranged from 0.74 to 0.91 (89% to 96%) and from 0.72 to 0.81 (87% to 91%) for the intraobserver and the interobserver agreement, respectively. The degree of nuclear atypia at biopsy was highly predictive of the findings at hysterectomy (P=1.6×10-15). Of 53 patients with low-grade AEH, none had carcinoma at hysterectomy, whereas 6 (6/26; 23%) with high-grade AEH in the biopsy also had high-grade AEH in the uterus and 16 (16/26; 61%) had FIGO grade 1 carcinoma. MMR deficiency was found in 3 of the 79 patients. None of the genes showed a mutational load significantly associated with the degree of nuclear atypia. In summary, our data show high reproducibility within and between observers for the diagnosis of low-grade and high-grade AEH. Most cases of AEH had low-grade nuclear atypia and neither high-grade AEH nor carcinoma was encountered in the corresponding hysterectomy specimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAS.0000000000001705DOI Listing
July 2021

Identification of UBAP1 mutations in juvenile hereditary spastic paraplegia in the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Eur J Hum Genet 2020 12 15;28(12):1763-1768. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ, UK.

Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a group of heterogeneous inherited degenerative disorders characterized by lower limb spasticity. Fifty percent of HSP patients remain yet genetically undiagnosed. The 100,000 Genomes Project (100KGP) is a large UK-wide initiative to provide genetic diagnosis to previously undiagnosed patients and families with rare conditions. Over 400 HSP families were recruited to the 100KGP. In order to obtain genetic diagnoses, gene-based burden testing was carried out for rare, predicted pathogenic variants using candidate variants from the Exomiser analysis of the genome sequencing data. A significant gene-disease association was identified for UBAP1 and HSP. Three protein truncating variants were identified in 13 patients from 7 families. All patients presented with juvenile form of pure HSP, with median age at onset 10 years, showing autosomal dominant inheritance or de novo occurrence. Additional clinical features included parkinsonism and learning difficulties, but their association with UBAP1 needs to be established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-00720-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7784862PMC
December 2020

An Improved Phenotype-Driven Tool for Rare Mendelian Variant Prioritization: Benchmarking Exomiser on Real Patient Whole-Exome Data.

Genes (Basel) 2020 04 23;11(4). Epub 2020 Apr 23.

William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.

Next-generation sequencing has revolutionized rare disease diagnostics, but many patients remain without a molecular diagnosis, particularly because many candidate variants usually survive despite strict filtering. Exomiser was launched in 2014 as a Java tool that performs an integrative analysis of patients' sequencing data and their phenotypes encoded with Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) terms. It prioritizes variants by leveraging information on variant frequency, predicted pathogenicity, and gene-phenotype associations derived from human diseases, model organisms, and protein-protein interactions. Early published releases of Exomiser were able to prioritize disease-causative variants as top candidates in up to 97% of simulated whole-exomes. The size of the tested real patient datasets published so far are very limited. Here, we present the latest Exomiser version 12.0.1 with many new features. We assessed the performance using a set of 134 whole-exomes from patients with a range of rare retinal diseases and known molecular diagnosis. Using default settings, Exomiser ranked the correct diagnosed variants as the top candidate in 74% of the dataset and top 5 in 94%; not using the patients' HPO profiles (i.e., variant-only analysis) decreased the performance to 3% and 27%, respectively. In conclusion, Exomiser is an effective support tool for rare Mendelian phenotype-driven variant prioritization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes11040460DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230372PMC
April 2020

Increased circulating levels of Factor H-Related Protein 4 are strongly associated with age-related macular degeneration.

Nat Commun 2020 02 7;11(1):778. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Division of Evolution and Genomic Sciences, Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness. Genetic variants at the chromosome 1q31.3 encompassing the complement factor H (CFH, FH) and CFH related genes (CFHR1-5) are major determinants of AMD susceptibility, but their molecular consequences remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that FHR-4 plays a prominent role in AMD pathogenesis. We show that systemic FHR-4 levels are elevated in AMD (P-value = 7.1 × 10), whereas no difference is seen for FH. Furthermore, FHR-4 accumulates in the choriocapillaris, Bruch's membrane and drusen, and can compete with FH/FHL-1 for C3b binding, preventing FI-mediated C3b cleavage. Critically, the protective allele of the strongest AMD-associated CFH locus variant rs10922109 has the highest association with reduced FHR-4 levels (P-value = 2.2 × 10), independently of the AMD-protective CFHR1-3 deletion, and even in those individuals that carry the high-risk allele of rs1061170 (Y402H). Our findings identify FHR-4 as a key molecular player contributing to complement dysregulation in AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14499-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7005798PMC
February 2020

The Monarch Initiative in 2019: an integrative data and analytic platform connecting phenotypes to genotypes across species.

Nucleic Acids Res 2020 01;48(D1):D704-D715

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

In biology and biomedicine, relating phenotypic outcomes with genetic variation and environmental factors remains a challenge: patient phenotypes may not match known diseases, candidate variants may be in genes that haven't been characterized, research organisms may not recapitulate human or veterinary diseases, environmental factors affecting disease outcomes are unknown or undocumented, and many resources must be queried to find potentially significant phenotypic associations. The Monarch Initiative (https://monarchinitiative.org) integrates information on genes, variants, genotypes, phenotypes and diseases in a variety of species, and allows powerful ontology-based search. We develop many widely adopted ontologies that together enable sophisticated computational analysis, mechanistic discovery and diagnostics of Mendelian diseases. Our algorithms and tools are widely used to identify animal models of human disease through phenotypic similarity, for differential diagnostics and to facilitate translational research. Launched in 2015, Monarch has grown with regards to data (new organisms, more sources, better modeling); new API and standards; ontologies (new Mondo unified disease ontology, improvements to ontologies such as HPO and uPheno); user interface (a redesigned website); and community development. Monarch data, algorithms and tools are being used and extended by resources such as GA4GH and NCATS Translator, among others, to aid mechanistic discovery and diagnostics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz997DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7056945PMC
January 2020

Association study of single nucleotide polymorphisms in IL-10 and IL-17 genes with the severity of microbial keratitis.

Cont Lens Anterior Eye 2019 12 5;42(6):658-661. Epub 2019 Jul 5.

School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of NSW, Sydney 2052, Australia.

Purpose: Exploratory analysis to assess the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the interleukin (IL) 10 and IL-17 genes with severity of contact lens keratitis.

Methods: This was a retrospective case control study of 88 contact lens keratitis cases (25 severe) and 185 healthy contact lens wearers recruited from studies conducted at Moorfields Eye Hospital and in Australia-wide during 2003-2005. Buccal swab samples were collected on Whatman FTA cards and mailed by post for DNA extraction and SNP genotyping. IL-10 (rs1800871; rs1800896; rs1800872) and IL-17 (rs1800871; rs1800896; rs1800872) SNPs were screened by pyrosequencing. Genetic association analyses were performed via Cochran-Armitage trend tests and logistic regression models using PLINK software.

Results: None of the SNPs tested showed evidence of association with severity of contact lens keratitis at P <  0.05. Nevertheless, minor allele G in SNP rs2397084 of the IL-17F gene was associated with increased risk of severe MK, with OR=2.1 (95% CI=0.9-4.8, P = 0.066).

Conclusion: Our study cannot exclude with confidence that genetic variation in the IL-17 F proinflammatory cytokine is associated with more severe outcomes of MK. However, there is general body of information that the IL-17 pathway is important in the mechanisms of MK. Studies with larger power and the expanded array of laboratory tools will elucidate the exact role of IL-17 in MK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2019.06.007DOI Listing
December 2019

Unique noncoding variants upstream of PRDM13 are associated with a spectrum of developmental retinal dystrophies including progressive bifocal chorioretinal atrophy.

Hum Mutat 2019 05 14;40(5):578-587. Epub 2019 Feb 14.

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

The autosomal dominant progressive bifocal chorioretinal atrophy (PBCRA) disease locus has been mapped to chromosome 6q14-16.2 that overlaps the North Carolina macular dystrophy (NCMD) locus MCDR1. NCMD is a nonprogressive developmental macular dystrophy, in which variants upstream of PRDM13 have been implicated. Whole genome sequencing was performed to interrogate structural variants (SVs) and single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in eight individuals, six affected individuals from two families with PBCRA, and two individuals from an additional family with a related developmental macular dystrophy. A SNV (chr6:100,046,804T>C), located 7.8 kb upstream of the PRDM13 gene, was shared by all PBCRA-affected individuals in the disease locus. Haplotype analysis suggested that the variant arose independently in the two families. The two affected individuals from Family 3 were screened for rare variants in the PBCRA and NCMD loci. This revealed a de novo variant in the proband, 21 bp from the first SNV (chr6:100,046,783A>C). This study expands the noncoding variant spectrum upstream of PRDM13 and suggests altered spatio-temporal expression of PRDM13 as a candidate disease mechanism in the phenotypically distinct but related conditions, NCMD and PBCRA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23715DOI Listing
May 2019

Expansion of the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) knowledge base and resources.

Nucleic Acids Res 2019 01;47(D1):D1018-D1027

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington, CT 06032, USA.

The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO)-a standardized vocabulary of phenotypic abnormalities associated with 7000+ diseases-is used by thousands of researchers, clinicians, informaticians and electronic health record systems around the world. Its detailed descriptions of clinical abnormalities and computable disease definitions have made HPO the de facto standard for deep phenotyping in the field of rare disease. The HPO's interoperability with other ontologies has enabled it to be used to improve diagnostic accuracy by incorporating model organism data. It also plays a key role in the popular Exomiser tool, which identifies potential disease-causing variants from whole-exome or whole-genome sequencing data. Since the HPO was first introduced in 2008, its users have become both more numerous and more diverse. To meet these emerging needs, the project has added new content, language translations, mappings and computational tooling, as well as integrations with external community data. The HPO continues to collaborate with clinical adopters to improve specific areas of the ontology and extend standardized disease descriptions. The newly redesigned HPO website (www.human-phenotype-ontology.org) simplifies browsing terms and exploring clinical features, diseases, and human genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky1105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6324074PMC
January 2019

Y chromosome mosaicism is associated with age-related macular degeneration.

Eur J Hum Genet 2019 01 29;27(1):36-41. Epub 2018 Aug 29.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in industrialised countries, and thereby a major individual but also a socio-economic burden. Y chromosome loss in nucleated blood cells has been implicated in age-related diseases such as Alzheimer disease and was shown to be caused by increasing age, smoking and genetic factors. Mosaic loss of Y chromosome (mLOY) in peripheral blood was estimated from normalised dosages of genotyping chip data covering the male-specific region of the Y chromosome. After quality control, we assessed the association of mLOY on AMD risk in 5772 male cases and 6732 male controls. In controls the prevalence of mLOY increased significantly with age, which is consistent with previous reports. Importantly, mLOY was associated with late-stage AMD with genome-wide significance (OR: 1.332 [95% CI: 1.206; 1.472], P = 1.60e-08), independent of age, the AMD genetic risk score and the first two principle components of ancestry. Additionally conditioning on smoking behaviour had no influence on the observed association strength. mLOY was strongest associated in individuals aged between 65 and 75 years. Taken together, mLOY is significantly associated with risk for AMD, independent of known and potential confounding factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-018-0238-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303255PMC
January 2019

Duplication events downstream of IRX1 cause North Carolina macular dystrophy at the MCDR3 locus.

Sci Rep 2017 08 8;7(1):7512. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK.

Autosomal dominant North Carolina macular dystrophy (NCMD) is believed to represent a failure of macular development. The disorder has been linked to two loci, MCDR1 (chromosome 6q16) and MCDR3 (chromosome 5p15-p13). Recently, non-coding variants upstream of PRDM13 (MCDR1) and a duplication including IRX1 (MCDR3) have been identified. However, the underlying disease-causing mechanism remains uncertain. Through a combination of sequencing studies on eighteen NCMD families, we report two novel overlapping duplications at the MCDR3 locus, in a gene desert downstream of IRX1 and upstream of ADAMTS16. One duplication of 43 kb was identified in nine families (with evidence for a shared ancestral haplotype), and another one of 45 kb was found in a single family. Three families carry the previously reported V2 variant (MCDR1), while five remain unsolved. The MCDR3 locus is thus refined to a shared region of 39 kb that contains DNAse hypersensitive sites active at a restricted time window during retinal development. Publicly available data confirmed expression of IRX1 and ADAMTS16 in human fetal retina, with IRX1 preferentially expressed in fetal macula. These findings represent a major advance in our understanding of the molecular genetics of NCMD and provide insights into the genetic pathways involved in human macular development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-06387-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5548758PMC
August 2017

Association of C-Reactive Protein Genetic Polymorphisms With Late Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

JAMA Ophthalmol 2017 09;135(9):909-916

Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, England.

Importance: C-reactive protein (CRP) is a circulating inflammatory marker associated with late age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It remains uncertain whether the association between CRP concentrations and AMD is causal.

Objective: To assess whether CRP (OMIM 123260) single-nucleotide polymorphisms that influence circulating CRP concentrations are associated with late AMD.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Participants in 2 UK, hospital-based, case-control studies (Cambridge AMD study and Moorfields Eye Hospital AMD study) and 1 pan-European, cross-sectional, population-based study (the European Eye [EUREYE] Study) were recruited between November 6, 2000, and April 30, 2007. Participants underwent dilated stereo-digital fundus photography graded according to the International Classification of Age-related Maculopathy and Macular Degeneration. There were 1727 cases of late AMD (1151 neovascular, 384 geographic atrophy, and 192 mixed [neovascular AMD and geographic atrophy]) and 1153 controls. Early AMD cases (n = 574) were included only from the EUREYE Study. Data analysis was performed from August 1 to November 30, 2016. Four common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs1205, rs1130864, rs1800947, and rs3093077) were selected based on demonstrated influence on circulating CRP concentrations in the literature. In one study, genotyping of rs3093077 failed, and rs1800947 was typed in only 1 study.

Main Outcomes And Measures: A genetic multiplicative model was used for the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms with late AMD adjusted for age and sex.

Results: Among the 1727 patients with late AMD, the mean (SD) age was 78.7 (7.4) years, and 668 (38.7%) were men. The mean (SD) age of the controls was 74.9 (7.0) years, and 510 (44.2%) were men. In the pooled results of all 3 studies, neither rs1205 (odds ratio [OR], 0.99; 95% CI, 0.86-1.14) nor rs1130864 (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.83-1.11) was associated with late AMD. For geographic atrophy, rs1205 had an OR of 0.91 (95% CI, 0.74-1.13) and rs1130864 had an OR of 0.94 (95% CI, 0.76-1.16). For neovascular AMD, rs1205 had an OR of 1.01 (95% CI, 0.87-1.19) and rs1130864 had an OR of 0.99 (95% CI, 0.84-1.16). There was no association of rs3093077 and rs1800947 with late AMD or any late AMD phenotype. There were no significant findings for early AMD.

Conclusions And Relevance: Our results do not support a causal association between CRP concentrations and AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2017.2191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5710541PMC
September 2017

Genome-wide linkage and haplotype sharing analysis implicates the MCDR3 locus as a candidate region for a developmental macular disorder in association with digit abnormalities.

Ophthalmic Genet 2017 12 2;38(6):511-519. Epub 2017 Mar 2.

d Service d'Exploration de la Vision CHU , Lille , France.

Background: Developmental macular disorders are a heterogeneous group of rare retinal conditions that can cause significant visual impairment from childhood. Among these disorders, autosomal dominant North Carolina macular dystrophy (NCMD) has been mapped to 6q16 (MCDR1) with recent support for a non-coding disease mechanism of PRDM13. A second locus on 5p15-5p13 (MCDR3) has been implicated in a similar phenotype, but the disease-causing mechanism still remains unknown.

Methods: Two families affected by a dominant developmental macular disorder that closely resembles NCMD in association with digit abnormalities were included in the study. Family members with available DNA were genotyped using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 250K Sty array. A parametric multipoint linkage analysis assuming a fully penetrant dominant model was performed using MERLIN. Haplotype sharing analysis was carried out using the non-parametric Homozygosity Haplotype method. Whole-exome sequencing was conducted on selected affected individuals.

Results: Linkage analysis excluded MCDR1 from the candidate regions (LOD < -2). There was suggestive linkage (LOD = 2.7) at two loci, including 9p24.1 and 5p15.32 that overlapped with MCDR3. The haplotype sharing analysis in one of the families revealed a 5 cM shared IBD segment at 5p15.32 (p value = 0.004). Whole-exome sequencing did not provide conclusive evidence for disease-causing alleles.

Conclusions: These findings do not exclude that this phenotype may be allelic with NCMD MCDR3 at 5p15 and leave the possibility of a non-coding disease mechanism, in keeping with recent findings on 6q16. Further studies, including whole-genome sequencing, may help elucidate the underlying genetic cause of this phenotype and shed light on macular development and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13816810.2017.1289544DOI Listing
December 2017

Benign Yellow Dot Maculopathy: A New Macular Phenotype.

Ophthalmology 2017 07 31;124(7):1004-1013. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom; UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, United Kingdom; Ophthalmology Department, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Purpose: To describe a novel macular phenotype that is associated with normal visual function.

Design: Retrospective, observational case series.

Participants: Thirty-six affected individuals from 23 unrelated families.

Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients who had a characteristic macular phenotype. Subjects underwent a full ocular examination, electrophysiologic studies, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), and fundus autofluorescence imaging. Genomic analyses were performed using haplotype sharing analysis and whole-exome sequencing.

Main Outcome Measures: Visual acuity, retinal features, electroretinography, and whole-exome sequencing.

Results: Twenty-six of 36 subjects were female. The median age of subjects at presentation was 15 years (range, 5-59 years). The majority of subjects were asymptomatic and presented after a routine eye examination (22/36 subjects) or after screening because of a positive family history (13/36 subjects) or by another ophthalmologist (1/36 subjects). Of the 3 symptomatic subjects, 2 had reduced visual acuity secondary to nonorganic visual loss and bilateral ametropic amblyopia with strabismus. Visual acuity was 0.18 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) or better in 30 of 33 subjects. Color vision was normal in all subjects tested, except for the subject with nonorganic visual loss. All subjects had bilateral symmetric multiple yellow dots at the macula. In the majority of subjects, these were evenly distributed throughout the fovea, but in 9 subjects they were concentrated in the nasal parafoveal area. The dots were hyperautofluorescent on fundus autofluorescence imaging. The OCT imaging was generally normal, but in 6 subjects subtle irregularities at the inner segment ellipsoid band were seen. Electrophysiologic studies identified normal macular function in 17 of 19 subjects and normal full-field retinal function in all subjects. Whole-exome analysis across 3 unrelated families found no pathogenic variants in known macular dystrophy genes. Haplotype sharing analysis in 1 family excluded linkage with the North Carolina macular dystrophy (MCDR1) locus.

Conclusions: A new retinal phenotype is described, which is characterized by bilateral multiple early-onset yellow dots at the macula. Visual function is normal, and the condition is nonprogressive. In familial cases, the phenotype seems to be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, but a causative gene is yet to be ascertained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2017.02.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5503697PMC
July 2017

Phenopolis: an open platform for harmonization and analysis of genetic and phenotypic data.

Bioinformatics 2017 Aug;33(15):2421-2423

UCL Genetics Institute, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Summary: Phenopolis is an open-source web server providing an intuitive interface to genetic and phenotypic databases. It integrates analysis tools such as variant filtering and gene prioritization based on phenotype. The Phenopolis platform will accelerate clinical diagnosis, gene discovery and encourage wider adoption of the Human Phenotype Ontology in the study of rare genetic diseases.

Availability And Implementation: A demo of the website is available at https://phenopolis.github.io . If you wish to install a local copy, source code and installation instruction are available at https://github.com/phenopolis . The software is implemented using Python, MongoDB, HTML/Javascript and various bash shell scripts.

Contact: [email protected]

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btx147DOI Listing
August 2017

The Human Phenotype Ontology in 2017.

Nucleic Acids Res 2017 01 28;45(D1):D865-D876. Epub 2016 Nov 28.

John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, Institute of Genetic Medicine, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Deep phenotyping has been defined as the precise and comprehensive analysis of phenotypic abnormalities in which the individual components of the phenotype are observed and described. The three components of the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO; www.human-phenotype-ontology.org) project are the phenotype vocabulary, disease-phenotype annotations and the algorithms that operate on these. These components are being used for computational deep phenotyping and precision medicine as well as integration of clinical data into translational research. The HPO is being increasingly adopted as a standard for phenotypic abnormalities by diverse groups such as international rare disease organizations, registries, clinical labs, biomedical resources, and clinical software tools and will thereby contribute toward nascent efforts at global data exchange for identifying disease etiologies. This update article reviews the progress of the HPO project since the debut Nucleic Acids Research database article in 2014, including specific areas of expansion such as common (complex) disease, new algorithms for phenotype driven genomic discovery and diagnostics, integration of cross-species mapping efforts with the Mammalian Phenotype Ontology, an improved quality control pipeline, and the addition of patient-friendly terminology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkw1039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5210535PMC
January 2017

Analysis of copy number variation at DMBT1 and age-related macular degeneration.

BMC Med Genet 2016 07 15;17(1):44. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.

Background: DMBT1 is a gene that shows extensive copy number variation (CNV) that alters the number of bacteria-binding domains in the protein and has been shown to activate the complement pathway. It lies next to the ARMS2/HTRA1 genes in a region of chromosome 10q26, where single nucleotide variants have been strongly associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the commonest cause of blindness in Western populations. Complement activation is thought to be a key factor in the pathogenesis of this condition. We sought to investigate whether DMBT1 CNV plays any role in the susceptibility to AMD.

Methods: We analysed long-range linkage disequilibrium of DMBT1 CNV1 and CNV2 with flanking single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using our previously published CNV and HapMap Phase 3 SNP data in the CEPH Europeans from Utah (CEU). We then typed a large cohort of 860 AMD patients and 419 examined age-matched controls for copy number at DMBT1 CNV1 and CNV2 and combined these data with copy numbers from a further 480 unexamined controls.

Results: We found weak linkage disequilibrium between DMBT1 CNV1 and CNV2 with the SNPs rs1474526 and rs714816 in the HTRA1/ARMS2 region. By directly analysing copy number variation, we found no evidence of association of CNV1 or CNV2 with AMD.

Conclusions: We have shown that copy number variation at DMBT1 does not affect risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and can therefore be ruled out from future studies investigating the association of structural variation at 10q26 with AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12881-016-0311-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946147PMC
July 2016

A large genome-wide association study of age-related macular degeneration highlights contributions of rare and common variants.

Nat Genet 2016 Feb 21;48(2):134-43. Epub 2015 Dec 21.

Department of Ophthalmology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, with limited therapeutic options. Here we report on a study of >12 million variants, including 163,714 directly genotyped, mostly rare, protein-altering variants. Analyzing 16,144 patients and 17,832 controls, we identify 52 independently associated common and rare variants (P < 5 × 10(-8)) distributed across 34 loci. Although wet and dry AMD subtypes exhibit predominantly shared genetics, we identify the first genetic association signal specific to wet AMD, near MMP9 (difference P value = 4.1 × 10(-10)). Very rare coding variants (frequency <0.1%) in CFH, CFI and TIMP3 suggest causal roles for these genes, as does a splice variant in SLC16A8. Our results support the hypothesis that rare coding variants can pinpoint causal genes within known genetic loci and illustrate that applying the approach systematically to detect new loci requires extremely large sample sizes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3448DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4745342PMC
February 2016

Ophthalmic statistics note 7: multiple hypothesis testing—to adjust or not to adjust.

Br J Ophthalmol 2015 Sep 25;99(9):1155-7. Epub 2015 Jun 25.

UCL Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit, University College London, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjophthalmol-2015-306784DOI Listing
September 2015

Natural history and retinal structure in patients with Usher syndrome type 1 owing to MYO7A mutation.

Ophthalmology 2014 Feb 5;121(2):580-7. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, United Kingdom; Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Purpose: To evaluate the phenotypic variability and natural history of ocular disease in a cohort of 28 individuals with MYO7A-related disease. Mutations in the MYO7A gene are the most common cause of Usher syndrome type 1, characterized by profound congenital deafness, vestibular arreflexia, and progressive retinal degeneration.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Participants: Twenty-eight patients from 26 families (age range, 3-65 years; median, 32) with 2 likely disease-causing variants in MYO7A.

Methods: Clinical investigations included fundus photography, optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence (FAF) imaging, and audiologic and vestibular assessments. Longitudinal visual acuity and FAF data (over a 3-year period) were available for 20 and 10 study subjects, respectively.

Main Outcome Measures: Clinical, structural, and functional characteristics.

Results: All patients with MYO7A mutations presented with features consistent with Usher type 1. The median visual acuity for the cohort was 0.39 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR; range, 0.0-2.7) and visual acuity in logMAR correlated with age (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, r = 0.71; P<0.0001). Survival analysis revealed that acuity ≤ 0.22 logMAR was maintained in 50% of studied subjects until age 33.9; legal blindness based on loss of acuity (≥ 1.00 logMAR) or loss of field (≤ 20°) was reached at a median age of 40.6 years. Three distinct patterns were observed on FAF imaging: 13 of 22 patients tested had relatively preserved foveal autofluorescence surrounded by a ring of high density, 4 of 22 had increased signal in the fovea with no obvious hyperautofluorescent ring, and 5 of 22 had widespread hypoautofluorescence corresponding to retinal pigment epithelial atrophy. Despite a number of cases presenting with a milder phenotype, there seemed to be no obvious genotype-phenotype correlation.

Conclusions: MYO7A-related ocular disease is variable. Central vision typically remains preserved at least until the third decade of life, with 50% of affected individuals reaching legal blindness by 40 years of age. Distinct phenotypic subsets were identified on FAF imaging. A specific allele, previously reported in nonsyndromic deafness, may be associated with a mild retinopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2013.09.017DOI Listing
February 2014

Identification of a rare coding variant in complement 3 associated with age-related macular degeneration.

Nat Genet 2013 Nov 15;45(11):1375-9. Epub 2013 Sep 15.

1] Department of Biostatistics, Center for Statistical Genetics, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. [2].

Macular degeneration is a common cause of blindness in the elderly. To identify rare coding variants associated with a large increase in risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), we sequenced 2,335 cases and 789 controls in 10 candidate loci (57 genes). To increase power, we augmented our control set with ancestry-matched exome-sequenced controls. An analysis of coding variation in 2,268 AMD cases and 2,268 ancestry-matched controls identified 2 large-effect rare variants: previously described p.Arg1210Cys encoded in the CFH gene (case frequency (fcase) = 0.51%; control frequency (fcontrol) = 0.02%; odds ratio (OR) = 23.11) and newly identified p.Lys155Gln encoded in the C3 gene (fcase = 1.06%; fcontrol = 0.39%; OR = 2.68). The variants suggest decreased inhibition of C3 by complement factor H, resulting in increased activation of the alternative complement pathway, as a key component of disease biology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2758DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3812337PMC
November 2013

Seven new loci associated with age-related macular degeneration.

Nat Genet 2013 Apr 3;45(4):433-9, 439e1-2. Epub 2013 Mar 3.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness in older individuals. To accelerate the understanding of AMD biology and help design new therapies, we executed a collaborative genome-wide association study, including >17,100 advanced AMD cases and >60,000 controls of European and Asian ancestry. We identified 19 loci associated at P < 5 × 10(-8). These loci show enrichment for genes involved in the regulation of complement activity, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis. Our results include seven loci with associations reaching P < 5 × 10(-8) for the first time, near the genes COL8A1-FILIP1L, IER3-DDR1, SLC16A8, TGFBR1, RAD51B, ADAMTS9 and B3GALTL. A genetic risk score combining SNP genotypes from all loci showed similar ability to distinguish cases and controls in all samples examined. Our findings provide new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3739472PMC
April 2013

Genome-wide association study of age-related macular degeneration identifies associated variants in the TNXB-FKBPL-NOTCH4 region of chromosome 6p21.3.

Hum Mol Genet 2012 Sep 13;21(18):4138-50. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London EC1V 9EL, UK.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of visual loss in Western populations. Susceptibility is influenced by age, environmental and genetic factors. Known genetic risk loci do not account for all the heritability. We therefore carried out a genome-wide association study of AMD in the UK population with 893 cases of advanced AMD and 2199 controls. This showed an association with the well-established AMD risk loci ARMS2 (age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2)-HTRA1 (HtrA serine peptidase 1) (P =2.7 × 10(-72)), CFH (complement factor H) (P =2.3 × 10(-47)), C2 (complement component 2)-CFB (complement factor B) (P =5.2 × 10(-9)), C3 (complement component 3) (P =2.2 × 10(-3)) and CFI (P =3.6 × 10(-3)) and with more recently reported risk loci at VEGFA (P =1.2 × 10(-3)) and LIPC (hepatic lipase) (P =0.04). Using a replication sample of 1411 advanced AMD cases and 1431 examined controls, we confirmed a novel association between AMD and single-nucleotide polymorphisms on chromosome 6p21.3 at TNXB (tenascin XB)-FKBPL (FK506 binding protein like) [rs12153855/rs9391734; discovery P =4.3 × 10(-7), replication P =3.0 × 10(-4), combined P =1.3 × 10(-9), odds ratio (OR) = 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3-1.6] and the neighbouring gene NOTCH4 (Notch 4) (rs2071277; discovery P =3.2 × 10(-8), replication P =3.8 × 10(-5), combined P =2.0 × 10(-11), OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.2-1.4). These associations remained significant in conditional analyses which included the adjacent C2-CFB locus. TNXB, FKBPL and NOTCH4 are all plausible AMD susceptibility genes, but further research will be needed to identify the causal variants and determine whether any of these genes are involved in the pathogenesis of AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/dds225DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428154PMC
September 2012

N-glycosylation of the mammalian dipeptidyl aminopeptidase-like protein 10 (DPP10) regulates trafficking and interaction with Kv4 channels.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2012 Jun 22;44(6):876-85. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Department of Health Sciences and Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Autoimmune Diseases (IRCAD), Università del Piemonte Orientale A. Avogadro, Via Solaroli 17, 28100 Novara, Italy.

The dipeptidyl aminopeptidase-like protein 10 (DPP10) is a type II transmembrane protein homologue to the serine protease DPPIV/CD26 but enzymatically inactive. In the mammalian brain, DPP10 forms a complex with voltage-gated potassium channels of the Kv4 family, regulating their cell surface expression and biophysical properties. DPP10 is a glycoprotein containing eight predicted N-glycosylation sites in the extracellular domain. In this study we investigated the role of N-glycosylation on DPP10 trafficking and functional activity. Using site-directed mutagenesis (N to Q) we showed that N-glycosylation occured at six positions. Glycosylation at these specific residues was necessary for DPP10 trafficking to the plasma membrane as observed by flow cytometry. The surface expression levels of the substitutions N90Q, N119Q, N257Q and N342Q were reduced by more than 60%. Hence the interaction with the Kv4.3/KChIP2a channel complex was disrupted preventing the hastening effect of wild type DPP10 on current kinetics. Interestingly, N257 was crucial for this function and its substitution to glutamine completely blocked DPP10 sorting to the cell surface and prevented DPP10 dimerization. In summary, we demonstrated that glycosylation was necessary for both DPP10 trafficking to the cell surface and functional interaction with Kv4 channels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2012.02.011DOI Listing
June 2012

Complement factor H genetic variant and age-related macular degeneration: effect size, modifiers and relationship to disease subtype.

Int J Epidemiol 2012 Feb 13;41(1):250-62. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Centre for Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Medicine, University College London, London, UK.

Background: Variation in the complement factor H gene (CFH) is associated with risk of late age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Previous studies have been case-control studies in populations of European ancestry with little differentiation in AMD subtype, and insufficient power to confirm or refute effect modification by smoking.

Methods: To precisely quantify the association of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs1061170, 'Y402H') with risk of AMD among studies with differing study designs, participant ancestry and AMD grade and to investigate effect modification by smoking, we report two unpublished genetic association studies (n = 2759) combined with data from 24 published studies (26 studies, 26,494 individuals, including 14,174 cases of AMD) of European ancestry, 10 of which provided individual-level data used to test gene-smoking interaction; and 16 published studies from non-European ancestry.

Results: In individuals of European ancestry, there was a significant association between Y402H and late-AMD with a per-allele odds ratio (OR) of 2.27 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.10-2.45; P = 1.1 x 10(-161)]. There was no evidence of effect modification by smoking (P = 0.75). The frequency of Y402H varied by ancestral origin and the association with AMD in non-Europeans was less clear, limited by paucity of studies.

Conclusion: The Y402H variant confers a 2-fold higher risk of late-AMD per copy in individuals of European descent. This was stable to stratification by study design and AMD classification and not modified by smoking. The lack of association in non-Europeans requires further verification. These findings are of direct relevance for disease prediction. New research is needed to ascertain if differences in circulating levels, expression or activity of factor H protein explain the genetic association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyr204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3304526PMC
February 2012

Proteome profile and biological activity of caprine, bovine and human milk fat globules.

Mol Biosyst 2012 Apr 21;8(4):967-74. Epub 2011 Dec 21.

Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale, Viale T. Michel, 11, 15121 Alessandria, Italy.

Upon combining bidimensional electrophoresis with monodimensional separation, a more comprehensive analysis of the milk fat globule membrane has been obtained. The proteomic profile of caprine milk fat globules revealed the presence of butyrophilin, lactadherin and perilipin as the major proteins, they were also associated to bovine and human milk fat globule membranes. Xanthine dehydrogenase/oxidase has been detected only in monodimensional gels. Biological activity of milk fat globules has been evaluated in Caco2-cells, as a representative model of the intestinal barrier. The increase of cell viability was indicative of a potential nutraceutical role for the whole milk fat globule, suggesting a possible employment in milk formula preparation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c2mb05400kDOI Listing
April 2012

Genetic variation in complement regulators and susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration.

Immunobiology 2012 Feb 5;217(2):158-61. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Institute of Ophthalmology, Department of Genetics, University College London, 11-43 Bath Street, London, UK.

Objectives: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the commonest cause of blindness in Western populations. Risk is influenced by age, genetic and environmental factors. Complement activation appears to be important in the pathogenesis and associations have been found between AMD and genetic variations in complement regulators such as complement factor H. We therefore investigated other complement regulators for association with AMD.

Methods: We carried out a case-control study to test for association between AMD and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the genes encoding complement factor P (CFP, properdin), CD46 (membrane cofactor protein, MCP), CD55 (decay accelerating factor, DAF) and CD59 (protectin). All cases and controls were examined by an ophthalmologist and had independent grading of fundus photographs to confirm their disease status.

Results: 20 SNPs were genotyped in 446 cases and 262 controls. For two SNPs with p-values approaching significance additional subjects were genotyped to increase the numbers to 622 cases and 359 controls. There was no evidence of association between AMD and any of the SNPs typed in CFP, CD46, CD55 or CD59.

Conclusions: In a case-control sample that has shown the well established associations between AMD and variants in CFH, CFB and C3 there was absence of association with SNPs in CFP, CD46, CD55 and CD59. This suggests that these are not important susceptibility genes for AMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.imbio.2011.09.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3657157PMC
February 2012
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