481 research outputs found

    A genetic contribution from the Far East into Ashkenazi Jews via the ancient Silk Road

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    Contemporary Jews retain a genetic imprint from their Near Eastern ancestry, but obtained substantial genetic components from their neighboring populations during their history. Whether they received any genetic contribution from the Far East remains unknown, but frequent communication with the Chinese has been observed since the Silk Road period. To address this issue, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation from 55,595 Eurasians are analyzed. The existence of some eastern Eurasian haplotypes in eastern Ashkenazi Jews supports an East Asian genetic contribution, likely from Chinese. Further evidence indicates that this connection can be attributed to a gene flow event that occurred less than 1.4 kilo-years ago (kya), which falls within the time frame of the Silk Road scenario and fits well with historical records and archaeological discoveries. This observed genetic contribution from Chinese to Ashkenazi Jews demonstrates that the historical exchange between Ashkenazim and the Far East was not confined to the cultural sphere but also extended to an exchange of genes

    Two specific mutations are prevalent causes of recessive retinitis pigmentosa in North American patients of Jewish ancestry.

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    PURPOSE: Retinitis pigmentosa is a Mendelian disease with a very elevated genetic heterogeneity. Most mutations are responsible for less than 1% of cases, making molecular diagnosis a multigene screening procedure. In this study, we assessed whether direct testing of specific alleles could be a valuable screening approach in cases characterized by prevalent founder mutations. METHODS: We screened 275 North American patients with recessive/isolate retinitis pigmentosa for two mutations: an Alu insertion in the MAK gene and the p.Lys42Glu missense in the DHDDS gene. All patients were unrelated; 35 reported Jewish ancestry and the remainder reported mixed ethnicity. RESULTS: We identified the MAK and DHDDS mutations homozygously in only 2.1% and 0.8%, respectively, of patients of mixed ethnicity, but in 25.7% and 8.6%, respectively, of cases reporting Jewish ancestry. Haplotype analyses revealed that inheritance of the MAK mutation was attributable to a founder effect. CONCLUSION: In contrast to most mutations associated with retinitis pigmentosa-which are, in general, extremely rare-the two alleles investigated here cause disease in approximately one-third of North American patients reporting Jewish ancestry. Therefore, their screening constitutes an alternative procedure to large-scale tests for patients belonging to this ethnic group, especially in time-sensitive situations.Genet Med 17 4, 285-290

    Extended Y chromosome haplotypes resolve multiple and unique lineages of the Jewish priesthood

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    It has been known for over a decade that a majority of men who self report as members of the Jewish priesthood (Cohanim) carry a characteristic Y chromosome haplotype termed the Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH). The CMH has since been used to trace putative Jewish ancestral origins of various populations. However, the limited number of binary and STR Y chromosome markers used previously did not provide the phylogenetic resolution needed to infer the number of independent paternal lineages that are encompassed within the Cohanim or their coalescence times. Accordingly, we have genotyped 75 binary markers and 12 Y-STRs in a sample of 215 Cohanim from diverse Jewish communities, 1,575 Jewish men from across the range of the Jewish Diaspora, and 2,099 non-Jewish men from the Near East, Europe, Central Asia, and India. While Cohanim from diverse backgrounds carry a total of 21 Y chromosome haplogroups, 5 haplogroups account for 79.5% of Cohanim Y chromosomes. The most frequent Cohanim lineage (46.1%) is marked by the recently reported P58 T->C mutation, which is prevalent in the Near East. Based on genotypes at 12 Y-STRs, we identify an extended CMH on the J-P58* background that predominates in both Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Cohanim and is remarkably absent in non-Jews. The estimated divergence time of this lineage based on 17 STRs is 3,190 ± 1,090 years. Notably, the second most frequent Cohanim lineage (J-M410*, 14.4%) contains an extended modal haplotype that is also limited to Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Cohanim and is estimated to be 4.2 ± 1.3 ky old. These results support the hypothesis of a common origin of the CMH in the Near East well before the dispersion of the Jewish people into separate communities, and indicate that the majority of contemporary Jewish priests descend from a limited number of paternal lineages

    Preliminary Report: Missense mutations in the APOL gene family are associated with end stage kidney disease risk previously attributed to the MYH9 gene

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    MYH9 has been proposed as a major genetic risk locus for a spectrum of non-diabetic end stage kidney disease (ESKD). We use recently released sequences from the 1000 Genomes Project to identify two western African specific missense mutations (S342G and I384M) in the neighbouring APOL1 gene, and demonstrate that these are more strongly associated with ESKD than previously reported MYH9 variants. We also show that the distribution of these risk variants in African populations is consistent with the pattern of African ancestry ESKD risk previously attributed to the MYH9 gene. Additional associations were also found among other members of the APOL gene family, and we propose that ESKD risk is caused by western African variants in members of the APOL gene family, which evolved to confer protection against pathogens, such as Trypanosoma.Comment: 25 pages, 6 figure

    Reconstructing Druze population history

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    The Druze are an aggregate of communities in the Levant and Near East living almost exclusively in the mountains of Syria, Lebanon and Israel whose ~1000 year old religion formally opposes mixed marriages and conversions. Despite increasing interest in genetics of the population structure of the Druze, their population history remains unknown. We investigated the genetic relationships between Israeli Druze and both modern and ancient populations. We evaluated our findings in light of three hypotheses purporting to explain Druze history that posit Arabian, Persian or mixed Near Eastern-Levantine roots. The biogeographical analysis localised proto-Druze to the mountainous regions of southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq and southeast Syria and their descendants clustered along a trajectory between these two regions. The mixed Near Eastern-Middle Eastern localisation of the Druze, shown using both modern and ancient DNA data, is distinct from that of neighbouring Syrians, Palestinians and most of the Lebanese, who exhibit a high affinity to the Levant. Druze biogeographic affinity, migration patterns, time of emergence and genetic similarity to Near Eastern populations are highly suggestive of Armenian-Turkish ancestries for the proto-Druze

    Counting the Founders: The Matrilineal Genetic Ancestry of the Jewish Diaspora

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    The history of the Jewish Diaspora dates back to the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests in the Levant, followed by complex demographic and migratory trajectories over the ensuing millennia which pose a serious challenge to unraveling population genetic patterns. Here we ask whether phylogenetic analysis, based on highly resolved mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) phylogenies can discern among maternal ancestries of the Diaspora. Accordingly, 1,142 samples from 14 different non-Ashkenazi Jewish communities were analyzed. A list of complete mtDNA sequences was established for all variants present at high frequency in the communities studied, along with high-resolution genotyping of all samples. Unlike the previously reported pattern observed among Ashkenazi Jews, the numerically major portion of the non-Ashkenazi Jews, currently estimated at 5 million people and comprised of the Moroccan, Iraqi, Iranian and Iberian Exile Jewish communities showed no evidence for a narrow founder effect, which did however characterize the smaller and more remote Belmonte, Indian and the two Caucasus communities. The Indian and Ethiopian Jewish sample sets suggested local female introgression, while mtDNAs in all other communities studied belong to a well-characterized West Eurasian pool of maternal lineages. Absence of sub-Saharan African mtDNA lineages among the North African Jewish communities suggests negligible or low level of admixture with females of the host populations among whom the African haplogroup (Hg) L0-L3 sub-clades variants are common. In contrast, the North African and Iberian Exile Jewish communities show influence of putative Iberian admixture as documented by mtDNA Hg HV0 variants. These findings highlight striking differences in the demographic history of the widespread Jewish Diaspora

    MtDNA population variation in Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic fatigue syndrome in two populations: a study of mildly deleterious variants

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    Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating condition. There is growing interest in a possible etiologic or pathogenic role of mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in ME/CFS. Supporting such a link, fatigue is common and often severe in patients with mitochondrial disease. We investigate the role of mtDNA variation in ME/CFS. No proven pathogenic mtDNA mutations were found. We then investigated population variation. Two cohorts were analysed, one from the UK (n = 89 moderately affected; 29 severely affected) and the other from South Africa (n = 143 moderately affected). For both cohorts, ME/CFS patients had an excess of individuals without a mildly deleterious population variant. The differences in population variation might reflect a mechanism important to the pathophysiology of ME/CFS

    Parental diabetes status reveals association of mitochondrial DNA haplogroup J1 with type 2 diabetes

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Although mitochondrial dysfunction is consistently manifested in patients with Type 2 Diabetes mellitus (T2DM), the association of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variants with T2DM varies among populations. These differences might stem from differing environmental influences among populations. However, other potentially important considerations emanate from the very nature of mitochondrial genetics, namely the notable high degree of partitioning in the distribution of human mtDNA variants among populations, as well as the interaction of mtDNA and nuclear DNA-encoded factors working in concert to govern mitochondrial function. We hypothesized that association of mtDNA genetic variants with T2DM could be revealed while controlling for the effect of additional inherited factors, reflected in family history information.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>To test this hypothesis we set out to investigate whether mtDNA genetic variants will be differentially associated with T2DM depending on the diabetes status of the parents. To this end, association of mtDNA genetic backgrounds (haplogroups) with T2DM was assessed in 1055 Jewish patients with and without T2DM parents ('DP' and 'HP', respectively).</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Haplogroup J1 was found to be 2.4 fold under-represented in the 'HP' patients (p = 0.0035). These results are consistent with a previous observation made in Finnish T2DM patients. Moreover, assessing the haplogroup distribution in 'DP' versus 'HP' patients having diabetic siblings revealed that haplogroup J1 was virtually absent in the 'HP' group.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>These results imply the involvement of inherited factors, which modulate the susceptibility of haplogroup J1 to T2DM.</p

    Paradoxical effects of Worrisome Thoughts Suppression: the influence of depressive mood

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    Thought suppression increases the persistence of unwanted idiosyncratic worries thoughts when individuals try to suppress them. The failure of suppression may contribute to the development and maintenance of emotional disorders. Depressive people seem particulary prone to engage in unsuccessful mental control strategies such as thought suppression. Worry has been reported to be elevated in depressed individuals and a dysphoric mood may also contribute for the failure of suppression. No studies examine, however, the suppression of worisome thoughts in individuals with depressive symptoms. To investigate the suppression effects of worrisome thoughts, 46 participants were selected according to the cut-off score of a depressive symptomatology scale and they were divided in two groups (subclinical and nonclinical group). All the individuals took part in an experimental paradigm of thought suppression. The results of the mixed factorial analysis of variance revealed an increased frequency of worrisome thoughts during the suppression phase on depending of the depressive symptoms. These findings confirm that depressive mood can reduce the success of suppression.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Ashkenazi Jewish Centenarians Do Not Demonstrate Enrichment in Mitochondrial Haplogroup J

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    BACKGROUND: Association of mitochondrial haplogroup J with longevity has been reported in several population subgroups. While studies from northern Italy and Finland, have described a higher frequency of haplogroup J among centenarians in comparison to non-centenarian, several other studies could not replicate these results and suggested various explanations for the discrepancy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have evaluated haplogroup frequencies among Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians using two different sets of matched controls. No difference was observed in the haplogroup J frequencies between the centenarians or either matched control group, despite adequate statistical power to detect such a difference. Furthermore, the lack of association was robust to population substructure in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. Given this discrepancy with the previous reported associations in the northern Italian and the Finnish populations, we conducted re-analysis of these previously published data, which supported one of several possible explanations: i) inadequate matching of cases and controls; ii) inadequate adjustment for multiple comparison testing; iii) cryptic population stratification. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There does not exist a universal association of mitochondrial haplogroup J with longevity across all population groups. Reported associations in specialized populations may reflect genetic or other interactions specific to those populations or else cryptic confounding influences, such as inadequate matching attributable to population substructure, which are of general relevance to all studies of the possible association of mitochondrial DNA haplogroups with common complex phenotypes
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