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  • 1
    Keywords: DISEASE ; kidney ; TRIAL ; HEALTH ; OUTCOMES ; METAANALYSIS ; RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; GENETIC-VARIANTS ; D SUPPLEMENTATION
    Abstract: Background Low plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration is associated with high arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk, but whether this association is causal is unknown. We used a mendelian randomisation approach to test whether 25(OH)D concentration is causally associated with blood pressure and hypertension risk. Methods In this mendelian randomisation study, we generated an allele score (25[OH]D synthesis score) based on variants of genes that affect 25(OH)D synthesis or substrate availability (CYP2R1 and DHCR7), which we used as a proxy for 25(OH)D concentration. We meta-analysed data for up to 108 173 individuals from 35 studies in the D-CarDia collaboration to investigate associations between the allele score and blood pressure measurements. We complemented these analyses with previously published summary statistics from the International Consortium on Blood Pressure (ICBP), the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium, and the Global Blood Pressure Genetics (Global BPGen) consortium. Findings In phenotypic analyses (up to n=49 363), increased 25(OH) D concentration was associated with decreased systolic blood pressure (beta per 10% increase, -0.12 mm Hg, 95% CI -0.20.to -0.04; p=0.003) and reduced odds of hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99; p=0.0003), but not with decreased diastolic blood pressure (beta per 10% increase, -0.02 mm Hg, -0.08 to 0.03; p=0.37). In meta-analyses in which we combined data from D-CarDia and the ICBP (n=146 581, after exclusion of overlapping studies), each 25(OH)D-increasing allele of the synthesis score was associated with a change of -0.10 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (-0.21 to -0.0001; p=0.0498) and a change of -0.08 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (-0.15 to -0.02; p=0.01). When D-CarDia and consortia data for hypertension were meta-analysed together (n=142 255), the synthesis score was associated with a reduced odds of hypertension (OR per allele, 0.98, 0.96-0.99; p=0.001). In instrumental variable analysis, each 10% increase in genetically instrumented 25(OH) D concentration was associated with a change of -0.29 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure (-0.52 to -0.07; p=0.01), a change of -0.37 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (-0.73 to 0.003; p=0.052), and an 8 1% decreased odds of hypertension (OR 0.92, 0.87-0.97; p=0.002). Interpretation Increased plasma concentrations of 25(OH)D might reduce the risk of hypertension. This finding warrants further investigation in an independent, similarly powered study.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24974252
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  • 2
    Keywords: DISEASE ; BREAST ; COMMON VARIANT ; PULMONARY-FIBROSIS ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; TERT ; CANCER SUSCEPTIBILITY LOCI ; 5P15.33 ; IMMEnSE consortium ; 6P21.33
    Abstract: Compelling biological and epidemiological evidences point to a key role of genetic variants of the TERT and TERC genes in cancer development. We analyzed the genetic variability of these two gene regions using samples of 2,267 multiple myeloma (MM) cases and 2,796 healthy controls. We found that a TERT variant, rs2242652, is associated with reduced MM susceptibility (OR=0.81; 95% CI: 0.72-0.92; p=0.001). In addition we measured the leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in a subgroup of 140 cases who were chemotherapy-free at the time of blood donation and 468 controls, and found that MM patients had longer telomeres compared to controls (OR=1.19; 95% CI: 0.63-2.24; p(trend)=0.01 comparing the quartile with the longest LTL versus the shortest LTL). Our data suggest the hypothesis of decreased disease risk by genetic variants that reduce the efficiency of the telomerase complex. This reduced efficiency leads to shorter telomere ends, which in turn may also be a marker of decreased MM risk. What's new? A critical element of cancer cell immortality is the maintenance of telomere length, a process that is influenced in part by genetic variations in telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and telomerase RNA component (TERC). At the TERT locus in particular, certain variations are linked with either increased or decreased risk of a variety of malignancies. In the present study, a variant of TERT known as rs2242652 was associated with reduced risk of multiple myeloma. Compared with controls, patients with multiple myeloma were found to possess longer telomeres, suggesting an association between increased telomere length and increased multiple myeloma risk.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25066524
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  • 3
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; BINDING ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; ESTROGEN-RECEPTOR-ALPHA ; CONFER SUSCEPTIBILITY ; RISK LOCUS ; COMMON VARIANTS ; FUNCTIONAL VARIANTS ; FOXA1 ; ANALYSES REVEAL
    Abstract: We recently identified a novel susceptibility variant, rs865686, for estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer at 9q31.2. Here, we report a fine-mapping analysis of the 9q31.2 susceptibility locus using 43 160 cases and 42 600 controls of European ancestry ascertained from 52 studies and a further 5795 cases and 6624 controls of Asian ancestry from nine studies. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs676256 was most strongly associated with risk in Europeans (odds ratios [OR] = 0.90 [0.88-0.92]; P-value = 1.58 x 10(-25)). This SNP is one of a cluster of highly correlated variants, including rs865686, that spans 14.5 kb. We identified two additional independent association signals demarcated by SNPs rs10816625 (OR = 1.12 [1.08-1.17]; P-value = 7.89 x 10(-09)) and rs13294895 (OR = 1.09 [1.06-1.12]; P-value = 2.97 x 10(-11)). SNP rs10816625, but not rs13294895, was also associated with risk of breast cancer in Asian individuals (OR = 1.12 [1.06-1.18]; P-value = 2.77 x 10(-05)). Functional genomic annotation using data derived from breast cancer cell-line models indicates that these SNPs localise to putative enhancer elements that bind known drivers of hormone-dependent breast cancer, including ER-alpha, FOXA1 and GATA-3. In vitro analyses indicate that rs10816625 and rs13294895 have allele-specific effects on enhancer activity and suggest chromatin interactions with the KLF4 gene locus. These results demonstrate the power of dense genotyping in large studies to identify independent susceptibility variants. Analysis of associations using subjects with different ancestry, combined with bioinformatic and genomic characterisation, can provide strong evidence for the likely causative alleles and their functional basis.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25652398
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  • 4
    Keywords: CELLS ; GROWTH ; IN-VIVO ; ASSOCIATION ; PHASE ; CYCLIN D1 EXPRESSION ; FACTOR-BINDING PROTEIN-5 ; FUNCTIONAL VARIANTS ; FOXA1
    Abstract: GWAS have identified a breast cancer susceptibility locus on 2q35. Here we report the fine mapping of this locus using data from 101,943 subjects from 50 case-control studies. We genotype 276 SNPs using the 'iCOGS' genotyping array and impute genotypes for a further 1,284 using 1000 Genomes Project data. All but two, strongly correlated SNPs (rs4442975 G/T and rs6721996 G/A) are excluded as candidate causal variants at odds against 〉100:1. The best functional candidate, rs4442975, is associated with oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) disease with an odds ratio (OR) in Europeans of 0.85 (95% confidence interval = 0.84 - 0.87; P = 1.7 x 10(-43)) per t-allele. This SNP flanks a transcriptional enhancer that physically interacts with the promoter of IGFBP5 (encoding insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5) and displays allele-specific gene expression, FOXA1 binding and chromatin looping. Evidence suggests that the g-allele confers increased breast cancer susceptibility through relative downregulation of IGFBP5, a gene with known roles in breast cell biology.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25248036
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  • 5
    Keywords: APOPTOSIS ; GENES ; TUMORS ; ACTIVATION ; PROMOTER ; SUBTYPES ; susceptibility loci ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CYCLIN D1 EXPRESSION ; FUNCTIONAL VARIANTS
    Abstract: Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have revealed SNP rs889312 on 5q11.2 to be associated with breast cancer risk in women of European ancestry. In an attempt to identify the biologically relevant variants, we analyzed 909 genetic variants across 5q11.2 in 103,991 breast cancer individuals and control individuals from 52 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Multiple logistic regression analyses identified three independent risk signals: the strongest associations were with 15 correlated variants (iCHAV1), where the minor allele of the best candidate, rs62355902, associated with significantly increased risks of both estrogen-receptor-positive (ER-: odds ratio [OR] = 1.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.21-1.27, p(trend) = 5.7 3 10(-44)) and estrogen-receptor-negative (ER-: OR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.05-1.15, p(trend) = 3.0 x 10(-4)) tumors. After adjustment for rs62355902, we found evidence of association of a further 173 variants (iCHAV2) containing three subsets with a range of effects (the strongest was rs113317823 [p(cond) = 1.61 x 10(-5)]) and five variants composing iCHAV3 (lead rs11949391; ER-: OR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.87-0.93, p(cond) = 1.4 x 10(-4)). Twenty-six percent of the prioritized candidate variants coincided with four putative regulatory elements that interact with the MAP3K1 promoter through chromatin looping and affect MAP3K1 promoter activity. Functional analysis indicated that the cancer risk alleles of four candidates (rs74345699 and rs62355900 [iCHAV1], rs16886397 [iCHAV2a], and rs17432750 [iCHAV3]) increased MAP3K1 transcriptional activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed diminished GATA3 binding to the minor (cancer-protective) allele of rs17432750, indicating a mechanism for its action. We propose that the cancer risk alleles act to increase MAP3K1 expression in vivo and might promote breast cancer cell survival.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25529635
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  • 6
    Keywords: DISEASE ; GENE ; VARIANTS ; susceptibility loci ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; ENHANCERS ; CASP8
    Abstract: Previous studies have suggested that polymorphisms in CASP8 on chromosome 2 are associated with breast cancer risk. To clarify the role of CASP8 in breast cancer susceptibility, we carried out dense genotyping of this region in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning a 1 Mb region around CASP8 were genotyped in 46 450 breast cancer cases and 42 600 controls of European origin from 41 studies participating in the BCAC as part of a custom genotyping array experiment (iCOGS). Missing genotypes and SNPs were imputed and, after quality exclusions, 501 typed and 1232 imputed SNPs were included in logistic regression models adjusting for study and ancestry principal components. The SNPs retained in the final model were investigated further in data from nine genome-wide association studies (GWAS) comprising in total 10 052 case and 12 575 control subjects. The most significant association signal observed in European subjects was for the imputed intronic SNP rs1830298 in ALS2CR12 (telomeric to CASP8), with per allele odds ratio and 95% confidence interval [OR (95% confidence interval, Cl)] for the minor allele of 1.05(1.03-1.07), P = 1 x 10(-5). Three additional independent signals from intronic SNPs were identified, in CASP8 (rs36043647), ALS2CR11 (rs59278883) and CFLAR (rs7558475). The association with rs1830298 was replicated in the imputed results from the combined GWAS (P = 3 x 10(-6)), yielding a combined OR (95% Cl) of 1.06(1.04-1.08), P = 1 x 10(-9). Analyses of gene expression associations in peripheral blood and normal breast tissue indicate that CASP8 might be the target gene, suggesting a mechanism involving apoptosis.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25168388
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  • 7
    Keywords: DISEASE ; MORTALITY ; PROTEIN ; MARKERS ; antioxidants ; inflammation ; OLDER-ADULTS ; PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE BATTERY ; CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH ; GRIP STRENGTH
    Abstract: Background: Oxidative stress (OS) and inflammatory biomarkers have been postulated to be important factors in the development of age-related diseases. While causes of frailty are complex and multidimensional based on the interaction of genetic, biological, physical, and environmental factors, the biological basis of frailty has been difficult to establish. Objective: In this study, we aimed to assess the possible association between different OS and inflammatory biomarkers and frailty. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis was performed among 2,518 subjects participating in a large population-based cohort study on aging conducted in Germany. Frailty was assessed as proposed by Fried et al. [J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2001; 56: M146-M156]. OS biomarkers, biological antioxidant potential (BAP), derivate of reactive oxygen metabolites (d-ROM) and total thiol levels (TTL), and an established biomarker of inflammation Creactive protein (CRP) were measured by spectrophotometry and immunoturbidimetry. Logistic regression models were performed to assess the relationship between the OS biomarkers and frailty status. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to quantify the associations. Results: Mean levels of d-ROM, TTL, and CRP differed between frail and non-frail participants (p values 〈0.0001). Comparing highest and lowest quartiles of the biomarkers, statistically significant positive associations with frailty were observed for d-ROM (OR: 2.02, 95% CI: 1.25-3.25) and CRP (OR: 3.15, 95% CI: 2.00-4.96), respectively, after controlling for age and sex. An inverse statistically significant association with frailty was observed for TTL (OR: 0.42, 95% CI: 0.25-0.69). Conclusion: The strong associations with OS biomarkers and CRP support a major role of OS and inflammation in the development of frailty, which should be followed up in further longitudinal studies on frailty.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25924722
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  • 8
    Keywords: DISEASE ; POPULATION ; RISK ; POLYMORPHISMS ; IDENTIFICATION ; METAANALYSIS ; telomere length ; LOCI ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; 5P15.33
    Abstract: A small number of common susceptibility loci have been identified for pancreatic cancer, one of which is marked by rs401681 in the TERT-CLPTM1L gene region on chromosome 5p15.33. Because this region is characterized by low linkage disequilibrium, we sought to identify whether additional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could be related to pancreatic cancer risk, independently of rs401681. We performed an in-depth analysis of genetic variability of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and the telomerase RNA component (TERC) genes, in 5,550 subjects with pancreatic cancer and 7,585 controls from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) and the PanScan consortia. We identified a significant association between a variant in TERT and pancreatic cancer risk (rs2853677, odds ratio = 0.85; 95% confidence interval = 0.80-0.90, p = 8.3 x 10(-8)). Additional analysis adjusting rs2853677 for rs401681 indicated that the two SNPs are independently associated with pancreatic cancer risk, as suggested by the low linkage disequilibrium between them (r(2) = 0.07, D = 0.28). Three additional SNPs in TERT reached statistical significance after correction for multiple testing: rs2736100 (p = 3.0 x 10(-5)), rs4583925 (p = 4.0 x 10(-5)) and rs2735948 (p = 5.0 x 10(-5)). In conclusion, we confirmed that the TERT locus is associated with pancreatic cancer risk, possibly through several independent variants. What's new? Most pancreatic cancer patients do not survive long after diagnosis, and, so far, there are not many genetic markers to help screen for the disease. In search of genetic predictors of pancreatic cancer, the authors zoomed in on a region linked to susceptibility to the disease. They measured the frequency of different variants of two genes, telomerase reverse transcriptase and telomerase RNA component, among thousands of pancreatic cancer patients and controls. They identified several variants of the TERT gene that indicate a boosted pancreatic cancer risk, and which may develop into useful prognostic tools.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25940397
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  • 9
    Keywords: CELLS ; DISEASE ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; VARIANTS ; REVEALS ; BREAST-CANCER RISK ; METAANALYSIS ; WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CENTRAL PRECOCIOUS PUBERTY ; HUMAN PREFRONTAL CORTEX
    Abstract: Age at menarche is a marker of timing of puberty in females. It varies widely between individuals, is a heritable trait and is associated with risks for obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and all-causemortality(1). Studies of rare human disorders of puberty and animal models point to a complex hypothalamic-pituitary-hormonal regulation(2,3), but the mechanisms that determine pubertal timing and underlie its links to disease risk remain unclear. Here, using genome-wide and custom-genotyping arrays in up to 182,416 women of European descent from 57 studies, we found robust evidence (P 〈 5 x 10(-8)) for 123 signals at 106 genomic loci associated with age at menarche. Many loci were associated with other pubertal traits in both sexes, and there was substantial overlap with genes implicated in body mass index and various diseases, including rare disorders of puberty. Menarche signals were enriched in imprinted regions, with three loci (DLK1-WDR25, MKRN3-MAGEL2 and KCNK9) demonstrating parent-of-origin-specific associations concordant with known parental expression patterns. Pathway analyses implicated nuclear hormone receptors, particularly retinoic acid and gamma-aminobutyric acid-B2 receptor signalling, among novel mechanisms that regulate pubertal timing in humans. Our findings suggest a genetic architecture involving at least hundreds of common variants in the coordinated timing of the pubertal transition.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25231870
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