503 research outputs found

    Obesity genes: so close and yet so far...

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    Little is known about genetic variants that predispose individuals toward leanness or fatness. This minireview highlights recent advances in the study of human populations, animal models and synergistic efforts as described by De Luca and colleagues in BMC Genetics, which are beginning to harvest low-hanging fruit in the search for obesity genes

    Recent advances in understanding the genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes

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    Genome-wide association (GWAS) and sequencing studies are providing new insights into the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the inter-individual variation in glycemic traits, including levels of glucose, insulin, proinsulin and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). At the end of 2011, established loci (P 0.05] variants in increasingly large sample sizes from populations around the world, and in trans-ancestry studies that successfully combine data from diverse populations. Most recently, advances in sequencing have led to the discovery of four loci for T2D or glycemic traits based on low-frequency (0.005 < MAF ≤ 0.05) variants, and additional low-frequency, potentially functional variants have been identified at GWAS loci. Established published loci now total ∼88 for T2D and 83 for one or more glycemic traits, and many additional loci likely remain to be discovered. Future studies will build on these successes by identifying additional loci and by determining the pathogenic effects of the underlying variants and genes

    Finding genes and variants for lipid levels after genome-wide association analysis

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    We review the main findings from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for levels of HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, including approaches to identify the functional variant(s) or gene(s). We discuss study design and challenges related to whole genome or exome sequencing to identify novel genes and variants

    What Will Diabetes Genomes Tell Us?

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    A new generation of genetic studies of diabetes is underway. Following from initial genome-wide association (GWA) studies, more recent approaches have used genotyping arrays of more densely spaced markers, imputation of ungenotyped variants based on improved reference haplotype panels, and sequencing of protein-coding exomes and whole genomes. Experimental and statistical advances make possible the identification of novel variants and loci contributing to trait variation and disease risk. Integration of sequence variants with functional analysis is critical to interpreting the consequences of identified variants. We briefly review these methods and technologies and describe how they will continue to expand our understanding of the genetic risk factors and underlying biology of diabetes

    HUGIn: Hi-C Unifying Genomic Interrogator

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    Motivation: High throughput chromatin conformation capture (3C) technologies, such as Hi-C and ChIA-PET, have the potential to elucidate the functional roles of non-coding variants. However, most of published genome-wide unbiased chromatin organization studies have used cultured cell lines, limiting their generalizability. Results: We developed a web browser, HUGIn, to visualize Hi-C data generated from 21 human primary tissues and cell lines. HUGIn enables assessment of chromatin contacts both constitutive across and specific to tissue(s) and/or cell line(s) at any genomic loci, including GWAS SNPs, eQTLs and cis-regulatory elements, facilitating the understanding of both GWAS and eQTL results and functional genomics data. Availability and implementation: HUGIn is available at http://yunliweb.its.unc.edu/HUGIn. Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]. Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online

    The Metabolic Syndrome in Men study: a resource for studies of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases

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    The Metabolic Syndrome in Men (METSIM) study is a population-based study including 10,197 Finnish men examined in 2005–2010. The aim of the study is to investigate nongenetic and genetic factors associated with the risk of T2D and CVD, and with cardiovascular risk factors. The protocol includes a detailed phenotyping of the participants, an oral glucose tolerance test, fasting laboratory measurements including proton NMR measurements, mass spectometry metabolomics, adipose tissue biopsies from 1,400 participants, and a stool sample. In our ongoing follow-up study, we have, to date, reexamined 6,496 participants. Extensive genotyping and exome sequencing have been performed for essentially all METSIM participants, and >2,000 METSIM participants have been whole-genome sequenced. We have identified several nongenetic markers associated with the development of diabetes and cardiovascular events, and participated in several genetic association studies to identify gene variants associated with diabetes, hyperglycemia, and cardiovascular risk factors. The generation of a phenotype and genotype resource in the METSIM study allows us to proceed toward a “systems genetics” approach, which includes statistical methods to quantitate and integrate intermediate phenotypes, such as transcript, protein, or metabolite levels, to provide a global view of the molecular architecture of complex traits

    Strategies to fine-map genetic associations with lipid levels by combining epigenomic annotations and liver-specific transcription profiles

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    Characterization of the epigenome promises to yield the functional elements buried in the human genome sequence, thus helping to annotate non-coding DNA polymorphisms with regulatory functions. Here, we develop two novel strategies to combine epigenomic data with transcriptomic profiles in humans or mice to prioritize potential candidate SNPs associated with lipid levels by genome-wide association study (GWAS). First, after confirming that lipid-associated loci that are also expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in human livers are enriched for ENCODE regulatory marks in the human hepatocellular HepG2 cell line, we prioritize candidate SNPs based on the number of these marks that overlap the variant position. This method recognized the known SORT1 rs12740374 regulatory SNP associated with LDL-cholesterol, and highlighted candidate functional SNPs at 15 additional lipid loci. In the second strategy, we combine ENCODE chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput DNA sequencing (ChIP-seq) data and liver expression datasets from knockout mice lacking specific transcription factors. This approach identified SNPs in specific transcription factor binding sites that are located near target genes of these transcription factors. We show that FOXA2 transcription factor binding sites are enriched at lipid-associated loci and experimentally validate that alleles of one such proxy SNP located near the FOXA2 target gene BIRC5 show allelic differences in FOXA2-DNA binding and enhancer activity. These methods can be used to generate testable hypotheses for many non-coding SNPs associated with complex diseases or traits

    Removing reference mapping biases using limited or no genotype data identifies allelic differences in protein binding at disease-associated loci

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    Abstract Background Genetic variation can alter transcriptional regulatory activity contributing to variation in complex traits and risk of disease, but identifying individual variants that affect regulatory activity has been challenging. Quantitative sequence-based experiments such as ChIP-seq and DNase-seq can detect sites of allelic imbalance where alleles contribute disproportionately to the overall signal suggesting allelic differences in regulatory activity. Methods We created an allelic imbalance detection pipeline, AA-ALIGNER, to remove reference mapping biases influencing allelic imbalance detection and evaluate accuracy of allelic imbalance predictions in the absence of complete genotype data. Using the sequence aligner, GSNAP, and varying amounts of genotype information to remove mapping biases we investigated the accuracy of allelic imbalance detection (binomial test) in CREB1 ChIP-seq reads from the GM12878 cell line. Additionally we thoroughly evaluated the influence of experimental and analytical parameters on imbalance detection. Results Compared to imbalances identified using complete genotypes, using imputed partial sample genotypes, AA-ALIGNER detected >95 % of imbalances with >90 % accuracy. AA-ALIGNER performed nearly as well using common variants when genotypes were unknown. In contrast, predicting additional heterozygous sites and imbalances using the sequence data led to >50 % false positive rates. We evaluated effects of experimental data characteristics and key analytical parameter settings on imbalance detection. Overall, total base coverage and signal dispersion across the genome most affected our ability to detect imbalances, while parameters such as imbalance significance, imputation quality thresholds, and alignment mismatches had little effect. To assess the biological relevance of imbalance predictions, we used electrophoretic mobility shift assays to functionally test for predicted allelic differences in CREB1 binding in the GM12878 lymphoblast cell line. Six of nine tested variants exhibited allelic differences in binding. Two of these variants, rs2382818 and rs713875, are located within inflammatory bowel disease-associated loci. Conclusions AA-ALIGNER accurately detects allelic imbalance in quantitative sequence data using partial genotypes or common variants filling a critical methodological gap in these analyses, as full genotypes are rarely available. Importantly, we demonstrate how experimental and analytical features impact imbalance detection providing guidance for similar future studies

    A comprehensive SNP and indel imputability database

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    Motivation: Genotype imputation has become an indispensible step in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Imputation accuracy, directly influencing downstream analysis, has shown to be improved using re-sequencing-based reference panels; however, this comes at the cost of high computational burden due to the huge number of potentially imputable markers (tens of millions) discovered through sequencing a large number of individuals. Therefore, there is an increasing need for access to imputation quality information without actually conducting imputation. To facilitate this process, we have established a publicly available SNP and indel imputability database, aiming to provide direct access to imputation accuracy information for markers identified by the 1000 Genomes Project across four major populations and covering multiple GWAS genotyping platforms
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