376 research outputs found

    Defects in Human Methionine Synthase in cblG Patients

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    Inborn errors resulting in isolated functional methionine synthase deficiency fall into two complementation groups, cblG and cblE. Using biochemical approaches we demonstrate that one cblG patient has greatly reduced levels of methionine synthase while in another, the enzyme is specifically impaired in the reductive activation cycle. The biochemical data suggested that low levels of methionine synthase activity in the first patient may result from mutations in the catalytic domains of the enzyme, reduced transcription, or generation of unstable message or protein. Using Northern analysis, we demonstrate that the molecular basis for the biochemical phenotype in this patient is associated with greatly diminished steady-state levels of methionine synthase mRNA. The biochemical data on the second patient cell line implicated mutations specific to reductive activation, a function that is housed in the C-terminal AdoMet-binding domain and the intermediate B12-binding domain, in the highly homologous bacterial enzyme. We have detected two mutations in a compound heterozygous state, one that results in conversion of a conserved proline (1173) to a leucine residue and the other a deletion of an isoleucine residue (881). The crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of the Escherichia coli MS predicts that the Pro to Leu mutation could disrupt activation since it is embedded in a sequence that makes direct contacts with the bound AdoMet. Deletion of isoleucine in the B12-binding domain would result in shortening of a β-sheet. Our data provide the first evidence for mutations in the methionine synthase gene being culpable for the cblG phenotype. In addition, they suggest directly that mutations in methionine synthase can lead to elevated homocysteine, implicated both in neural tube defects and in cardiovascular disease

    Replication and exploratory analysis of 24 candidate risk polymorphisms for neural tube defects.

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    BackgroundNeural tube defects (NTDs), which are among the most common congenital malformations, are influenced by environmental and genetic factors. Low maternal folate is the strongest known contributing factor, making variants in genes in the folate metabolic pathway attractive candidates for NTD risk. Multiple studies have identified nominally significant allelic associations with NTDs. We tested whether associations detected in a large Irish cohort could be replicated in an independent population.MethodsReplication tests of 24 nominally significant NTD associations were performed in racially/ethnically matched populations. Family-based tests of fifteen nominally significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were repeated in a cohort of NTD trios (530 cases and their parents) from the United Kingdom, and case-control tests of nine nominally significant SNPs were repeated in a cohort (190 cases, 941 controls) from New York State (NYS). Secondary hypotheses involved evaluating the latter set of nine SNPs for NTD association using alternate case-control models and NTD groupings in white, African American and Hispanic cohorts from NYS.ResultsOf the 24 SNPs tested for replication, ADA rs452159 and MTR rs10925260 were significantly associated with isolated NTDs. Of the secondary tests performed, ARID1A rs11247593 was associated with NTDs in whites, and ALDH1A2 rs7169289 was associated with isolated NTDs in African Americans.ConclusionsWe report a number of associations between SNP genotypes and neural tube defects. These associations were nominally significant before correction for multiple hypothesis testing. These corrections are highly conservative for association studies of untested hypotheses, and may be too conservative for replication studies. We therefore believe the true effect of these four nominally significant SNPs on NTD risk will be more definitively determined by further study in other populations, and eventual meta-analysis

    Investigating Genetic Determinants of Plasma Inositol Status in Adult Humans

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    BACKGROUND: Myo-inositol (MI) is incorporated into numerous biomolecules, including phosphoinositides and inositol phosphates. Disturbance of inositol availability or metabolism is associated with various disorders, including neurological conditions and cancers, while supplemental MI has therapeutic potential in conditions such as depression, polycystic ovary syndrome and congenital anomalies. Inositol status may be influenced by diet, synthesis, transport, utilisation and catabolism. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate potential genetic regulation of circulating MI status and to evaluate correlation of MI concentration with other metabolites. METHODS: Gas chromatography mass spectrometry was used to determine plasma MI concentration of more than 2,000 healthy, young adults (aged 18-28 years) from the Trinity Student Study. Genotyping data was used to test association of plasma MI with SNPs in candidate genes, encoding inositol transporters and synthesising enzymes, and test for genome-wide association. We evaluated potential correlation of plasma MI with D-chiro inositol, glucose and other metabolites by Spearman's rank correlation. RESULTS: Mean plasma MI showed a small but significant difference between males and females (28.5 and 26.9 µM, respectively). Candidate gene analysis revealed several nominally significant associations with plasma MI, most notably for SLC5A11, encoding a sodium-coupled inositol transporter, also known as SMIT2 (sodium-dependent myo-inositol transporter 2). However, these did not survive correction for multiple testing. Subsequent testing for genome-wide association with plasma MI did not identify associations of genome-wide significance (p < 5 × 10-8). However, 8 SNPs exceeded the threshold for suggestive significant association with plasma MI concentration (p < 1 × 10-5), 3 of which were located within or close to genes: MTDH, LAPTM4B and ZP2. We found significant positive correlation of plasma MI concentration with concentration of D-chiro-inositol and several other biochemicals including glucose, methionine, betaine, sarcosine and tryptophan. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest potential for modulation of plasma MI in young adults by variation in SLC5A11 which is worthy of further investigation

    Assessing the genetic association between vitamin B6 metabolism and genetic generalized epilepsy

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    Altered vitamin B6 metabolism due to pathogenic variants in the gene PNPO causes early onset epileptic encephalopathy, which can be treated with high doses of vitamin B6. We recently reported that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence PNPO expression in the brain are associated with genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE). However, it is not known whether any of these GGE-associated SNPs influence vitamin B6 metabolite levels. Such an influence would suggest that vitamin B6 could play a role in GGE therapy. Here, we performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to assess the influence of GGE associated genetic variants on measures of vitamin B6 metabolism in blood plasma in 2232 healthy individuals. We also asked if SNPs that influence vitamin B6 were associated with GGE in 3122 affected individuals and 20,244 controls. Our GWAS of vitamin B6 metabolites reproduced a previous association and found a novel genome-wide significant locus. The SNPs in these loci were not associated with GGE. We found that 84 GGE-associated SNPs influence expression levels of PNPO in the brain as well as in blood. However, these SNPs were not associated with vitamin B6 metabolism in plasma. By leveraging polygenic risk scoring (PRS), we found suggestive evidence of higher catabolism and lower levels of the active and transport forms of vitamin B6 in GGE, although these findings require further replication

    Radiation dose reduction at a price: the effectiveness of a male gonadal shield during helical CT scans

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    BACKGROUND: It is estimated that 60 million computed tomography (CT) scans were performed during 2006, with approximately 11% of those performed on children age 0–15 years. Various types of gonadal shielding have been evaluated for reducing exposure to the gonads. The purpose of this study was to quantify the radiation dose reduction to the gonads and its effect on image quality when a wrap-around male pediatric gonad shield was used during CT scanning. This information is obtained to assist the attending radiologist in the decision to utilize such male gonadal shields in pediatric imaging practice. METHODS: The dose reduction to the gonads was measured for both direct radiation and for indirect scattered radiation from the abdomen. A 6 cm(3 )ion chamber (Model 10X5-6, Radcal Corporation, Monrovia, CA) was placed on a Humanoid real bone pelvic phantom at a position of the male gonads. When exposure measurements with shielding were made, a 1 mm lead wrap-around gonadal shield was placed around the ion chamber sensitive volume. RESULTS: The use of the shields reduced scatter dose to the gonads by a factor of about 2 with no appreciable loss of image quality. The shields reduced the direct beam dose by a factor of about 35 at the expense of extremely poor CT image quality due to severe streak artifacts. CONCLUSION: Images in the direct exposure case are not useful due to these severe artifacts and the difficulties in positioning these shields on patients in the scatter exposure case may not be warranted by the small absolute reduction in scatter dose unless it is expected that the patient will be subjected to numerous future CT scans

    Chromosome Xq23 Is Associated with Lower Atherogenic Lipid Concentrations and Favorable Cardiometabolic Indices

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    Autosomal genetic analyses of blood lipids have yielded key insights for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, X chromosome genetic variation is understudied for blood lipids in large sample sizes. We now analyze genetic and blood lipid data in a high-coverage whole X chromosome sequencing study of 65,322 multi-ancestry participants and perform replication among 456,893 European participants. Common alleles on chromosome Xq23 are strongly associated with reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (min P = 8.5 × 10−72), with similar effects for males and females. Chromosome Xq23 lipid-lowering alleles are associated with reduced odds for CHD among 42,545 cases and 591,247 controls (P = 1.7 × 10−4), and reduced odds for diabetes mellitus type 2 among 54,095 cases and 573,885 controls (P = 1.4 × 10−5). Although we observe an association with increased BMI, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI is reduced, bioimpedance analyses indicate increased gluteofemoral fat, and abdominal MRI analyses indicate reduced visceral adiposity. Co-localization analyses strongly correlate increased CHRDL1 gene expression, particularly in adipose tissue, with reduced concentrations of blood lipids

    Rare Coding Variants in RCN3 Are Associated with Blood Pressure

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    BACKGROUND: While large genome-wide association studies have identified nearly one thousand loci associated with variation in blood pressure, rare variant identification is still a challenge. In family-based cohorts, genome-wide linkage scans have been successful in identifying rare genetic variants for blood pressure. This study aims to identify low frequency and rare genetic variants within previously reported linkage regions on chromosomes 1 and 19 in African American families from the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program. Genetic association analyses weighted by linkage evidence were completed with whole genome sequencing data within and across TOPMed ancestral groups consisting of 60,388 individuals of European, African, East Asian, Hispanic, and Samoan ancestries. RESULTS: Associations of low frequency and rare variants in RCN3 and multiple other genes were observed for blood pressure traits in TOPMed samples. The association of low frequency and rare coding variants in RCN3 was further replicated in UK Biobank samples (N = 403,522), and reached genome-wide significance for diastolic blood pressure (p = 2.01 × 10− 7). CONCLUSIONS: Low frequency and rare variants in RCN3 contributes blood pressure variation. This study demonstrates that focusing association analyses in linkage regions greatly reduces multiple-testing burden and improves power to identify novel rare variants associated with blood pressure traits
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