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  • 1
    Keywords: RISK ; ALLELES ; GENETIC SUSCEPTIBILITY ; LOCI ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CONFER SUSCEPTIBILITY ; COMMON VARIANTS ; EPISTASIS ; IDENTIFIES 2 ; ERAP1
    Abstract: Part of the substantial unexplained familial aggregation of breast cancer may be due to interactions between common variants, but few studies have had adequate statistical power to detect interactions of realistic magnitude. We aimed to assess all two-way interactions in breast cancer susceptibility between 70 917 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selected primarily based on prior evidence of a marginal effect. Thirty-eight international studies contributed data for 46 450 breast cancer cases and 42 461 controls of European origin as part of a multi-consortium project (COGS). First, SNPs were preselected based on evidence (P 〈 0.01) of a per-allele main effect, and all two-way combinations of those were evaluated by a per-allele (1 d.f.) test for interaction using logistic regression. Second, all 2.5 billion possible two-SNP combinations were evaluated using Boolean operation-based screening and testing, and SNP pairs with the strongest evidence of interaction (P 〈 10(-4)) were selected for more careful assessment by logistic regression. Under the first approach, 3277 SNPs were preselected, but an evaluation of all possible two-SNP combinations (1 d.f.) identified no interactions at P 〈 10(-8). Results from the second analytic approach were consistent with those from the first (P 〉 10(-10)). In summary, we observed little evidence of two-way SNP interactions in breast cancer susceptibility, despite the large number of SNPs with potential marginal effects considered and the very large sample size. This finding may have important implications for risk prediction, simplifying the modelling required. Further comprehensive, large-scale genome-wide interaction studies may identify novel interacting loci if the inherent logistic and computational challenges can be overcome.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24242184
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    Keywords: RISK ; OVARIAN-CANCER ; BRCA2 MUTATIONS ; SINGLE-NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISMS ; ALLELES ; LOCI ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CONFER SUSCEPTIBILITY ; COMMON VARIANTS ; IDENTIFIES 2
    Abstract: Background: Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies in women. Genome-wide association studies have identified FGFR2 as a breast cancer susceptibility gene. Common variation in other fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors might also modify risk. We tested this hypothesis by studying genotyped single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and imputed SNPs in FGFR1, FGFR3, FGFR4 and FGFRL1 in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. Methods: Data were combined from 49 studies, including 53 835 cases and 50 156 controls, of which 89 050 (46 450 cases and 42 600 controls) were of European ancestry, 12 893 (6269 cases and 6624 controls) of Asian and 2048 (1116 cases and 932 controls) of African ancestry. Associations with risk of breast cancer, overall and by disease sub-type, were assessed using unconditional logistic regression. Results: Little evidence of association with breast cancer risk was observed for SNPs in the FGF receptor genes. The strongest evidence in European women was for rs743682 in FGFR3; the estimated per-allele odds ratio was 1.05 (95% confidence interval 1.02-1.09, P=0.0020), which is substantially lower than that observed for SNPs in FGFR2. Conclusion: Our results suggest that common variants in the other FGF receptors are not associated with risk of breast cancer to the degree observed for FGFR2.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24548884
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  • 5
    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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  • 6
    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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  • 7
    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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  • 8
    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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  • 9
    Keywords: RISK ; VARIANTS ; METAANALYSIS ; ALLELES ; LOCI ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CONFER SUSCEPTIBILITY ; IDENTIFIES 2 ; 5P12
    Abstract: Candidate variant association studies have been largely unsuccessful in identifying common breast cancer susceptibility variants, although most studies have been underpowered to detect associations of a realistic magnitude. We assessed 41 common non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) for which evidence of association with breast cancer risk had been previously reported. Case-control data were combined from 38 studies of white European women (46,450 cases and 42,600 controls) and analysed using unconditional logistic regression. Strong evidence of association was observed for three nsSNPs: ATXN7-K264R at 3p21 (rs1053338, per-allele OR=1.07, 95%CI=1.04-1.10, P=2.9x10-6), AKAP9-M463I at 7q21 (rs6964587, OR=1.05, 95%CI=1.03-1.07, P=1.7x10-6) and NEK10-L513S at 3p24 (rs10510592, OR=1.10, 95%CI=1.07-1.12, P=5.1x10-17). The first two associations reached genome-wide statistical significance in a combined analysis of available data, including independent data from nine GWAS: for ATXN7-K264R, OR=1.07 (95%CI=1.05-1.10, P=1.0x10-8); for AKAP9-M463I, OR=1.05 (95%CI=1.04-1.07, P=2.0x10-10). Further analysis of other common variants in these two regions suggested that intronic SNPs nearby are more strongly associated with disease risk. We have thus identified a novel susceptibility locus at 3p21, and confirmed previous suggestive evidence that rs6964587 at 7q21 is associated with risk. The third locus, rs10510592, is located in an established breast cancer susceptibility region; the association was substantially attenuated after adjustment for the known genome-wide association study (GWAS) hit. Thus, each of the associated nsSNPs is likely to be a marker for another, non-coding, variant causally related to breast cancer risk. Further fine-mapping and functional studies are required to identify the underlying risk-modifying variants and the genes through which they act.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24943594
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