Growth mixture modelling in families of the Framingham Heart Study.
ABSTRACT: Growth mixture modelling, a less explored method in genetic research, addresses unobserved heterogeneity in population samples. We applied this technique to longitudinal data of the Framingham Heart Study. We examined systolic blood pressure (BP) measures in 1060 males from 692 families and detected three subclasses, which varied significantly in their developmental trajectories over time. The first class consisted of 60 high-risk individuals with elevated BP early in life and a steep increase over time. The second group of 131 individuals displayed first normal BP, but showed a significant increase over time and reached high BP values late in their life time. The largest group of 869 individuals could be considered a normative group with normal BP on all exams. To identify genetic modulators for this phenotype, we tested 2,340 single-nucleotide polymorphisms on chromosome 8 for association with the class membership probabilities of our model. The probability of being in Class 1 was significantly associated with a very rare variant (rs1445404) present in only four individuals from four different families located in the coding region of the gene EYA (eyes absent homolog 1 in Drosophila) (p = 1.39 x 10-13). Mutations in EYA are known to cause brachio-oto-renal syndrome, as well as isolated renal malformations. Renal malformations could cause high BP early in life. This result awaits replication; however, it suggests that analyzing genetic data stratified for high-risk subgroups defined by a unique development over time could be useful for the detection of rare mutations in common multi-factorial diseases.
Project description:Urinary tract malformations constitute the most frequent cause of chronic renal failure in the first two decades of life. Branchio-otic (BO) syndrome is an autosomal dominant developmental disorder characterized by hearing loss. In branchio-oto-renal (BOR) syndrome, malformations of the kidney or urinary tract are associated. Haploinsufficiency for the human gene EYA1, a homologue of the Drosophila gene eyes absent (eya), causes BOR and BO syndromes. We recently mapped a locus for BOR/BO syndrome (BOS3) to human chromosome 14q23.1. Within the 33-megabase critical genetic interval, we located the SIX1, SIX4, and SIX6 genes, which act within a genetic network of EYA and PAX genes to regulate organogenesis. These genes, therefore, represented excellent candidate genes for BOS3. By direct sequencing of exons, we identified three different SIX1 mutations in four BOR/BO kindreds, thus identifying SIX1 as a gene causing BOR and BO syndromes. To elucidate how these mutations cause disease, we analyzed the functional role of these SIX1 mutations with respect to protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions. We demonstrate that all three mutations are crucial for Eya1-Six1 interaction, and the two mutations within the homeodomain region are essential for specific Six1-DNA binding. Identification of SIX1 mutations as causing BOR/BO offers insights into the molecular basis of otic and renal developmental diseases in humans.
Project description:Branchio-oto-renal syndrome (BOR) is an autosomal dominant developmental disorder characterized by hearing loss, branchial arch defects, and renal anomalies. Recently, eight mutations in the SIX1 homeobox gene were discovered in BOR patients. To characterize the effect of SIX1 BOR mutations on the EYA-SIX1-DNA complex, we expressed and purified six of the eight mutants in Escherichia coli. We demonstrate that only the most N-terminal mutation in SIX1 (V17E) completely abolishes SIX1-EYA complex formation, whereas all of the other mutants are able to form a stable complex with EYA. We further show that only the V17E mutant fails to localize EYA to the nucleus and cannot be stabilized by EYA in the cell. The remaining five SIX1 mutants are instead all deficient in DNA binding. In contrast, V17E alone has a DNA binding affinity similar to that of wild type SIX1 in complex with the EYA co-factor. Finally, we show that all SIX1 BOR mutants are defective in transcriptional activation using luciferase reporter assays. Taken together, our experiments demonstrate that the SIX1 BOR mutations contribute to the pathology of the disease through at least two different mechanisms that involve: 1) abolishing the formation of the SIX1-EYA complex or 2) diminishing the ability of SIX1 to bind DNA. Furthermore, our data demonstrate for the first time that EYA: 1) requires the N-terminal region of the SIX1 Six domain for its interaction, 2) increases the level of the SIX1 protein within the cell, and 3) increases the DNA binding affinity of SIX1.
Project description:SIX1 interacts with EYA to form a bipartite transcription factor essential for mammalian development. Loss of function of this complex causes branchio-oto-renal (BOR) syndrome, whereas re-expression of SIX1 or EYA promotes metastasis. Here we describe the 2.0-Å structure of SIX1 bound to EYA2, which suggests a new DNA-binding mechanism for SIX1 and provides a rationale for the effect of BOR syndrome mutations. The structure also reveals that SIX1 uses predominantly a single helix to interact with EYA. Substitution of a single amino acid in this helix is sufficient to disrupt SIX1-EYA interaction, SIX1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis in mouse models. Given that SIX1 and EYA are overexpressed in many tumor types, our data indicate that targeting the SIX1-EYA complex may be a potent approach to inhibit tumor progression in multiple cancer types.
Project description:Apparent treatment resistant hypertension (aTRH) is highly prevalent in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) and entails worse cardiovascular prognosis. The impact of aTRH and long-term achievement of recommended blood pressure (BP) values on renal outcome remains largely unknown. We assessed the role of aTRH and BP on the development of chronic kidney disease in patients with T2D and hypertension in real-life clinical practice.Clinical records from a total of 29 923 patients with T2D and hypertension, with normal baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate and regular visits during a 4-year follow-up, were retrieved and analyzed. The association between time-updated BP control (ie, 75% of visits with BP <140/90 mm Hg) and the occurrence of estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 and/or a reduction ?30% from baseline was assessed. At baseline, 17% of patients had aTRH. Over the 4-year follow-up, 19% developed low estimated glomerular filtration rate and 12% an estimated glomerular filtration rate reduction ?30% from baseline. Patients with aTRH showed an increased risk of developing both renal outcomes (adjusted odds ratio, 1.31 and 1.43; P<0.001 respectively), as compared with those with non-aTRH. No association was found between BP control and renal outcomes in non-aTRH, whereas in aTRH, BP control was associated with a 30% (P=0.036) greater risk of developing the renal end points.ATRH entails a worse renal prognosis in T2D with hypertension. BP control is not associated with a more-favorable renal outcome in aTRH. The relationship between time-updated BP and renal function seems to be J-shaped, with optimal systolic BP values between 120 and 140 mm Hg.
Project description:The VATER/VACTERL association is typically defined by the presence of at least 3 of the following congenital malformations: Vertebral anomalies, Anal atresia, Cardiac malformations, Tracheo-Esophageal fistula, Renal anomalies, and Limb abnormalities. The involvement of genetic factors in the development of this rare association is suggested by reports of familial occurrence, the increased prevalence of component features among first-degree relatives of affected individuals, high concordance rates among monozygotic twins, chromosomal (micro-)aberrations or single gene mutations in individuals with the VATER/VACTERL phenotype, as well as murine knock-out models. Despite substantial efforts over the past decade, the genetic etiology of the VATER/VACTERL association in most instances remains elusive. The application of new genomic technologies such as high-resolution copy number variation studies or next-generation exome sequencing might lead to the identification of some of these causes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hereditary hearing impairment (HHI) is a heterogeneous class of disorders that shows various patterns of inheritance and involves a multitude of different genes. Mutations in the EYA4 gene are responsible for postlingual, progressive, autosomal dominant hearing loss at the DFNA10 locus. EYA4 is orthologous to the Drosophila gene eya ("eyes absent"), a key regulator of eye formation. EYA4 plays an important role in several developmental processes. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Here we report a Hungarian family displaying sensorineural, progressive hearing impairment. The family comprising four generations with 11 affected and 8 unaffected members was subjected to genome-wide linkage analysis and candidate gene sequencing. RESULTS: By linkage analysis, the chromosomal region 6q22.3 was shown to segregate with the disease. Mutation analysis of the EYA4 gene, which maps to 6q22.3, revealed an insertion of 4 bp (1558insTTTG) in all affected family members. This insertion creates a frameshift and results in a stop codon at position 379. Hence, nearly the complete "eya homologous region" (eyaHR), which is essential for the protein function, would be deleted in the mutant EYA4 protein if the transcription were found to be stable. CONCLUSIONS: This family is the third one linked to DFNA10 and revealing a mutation in the EYA4 gene. In all three families, the mutations are localized in different regions of the eyaHR, suggesting that this protein contains several functional subregions with different tissue-specific importance.
Project description:Eya proteins are essential co-activators of the Six family of transcription factors and contain a unique tyrosine phosphatase domain belonging to the haloacid dehalogenase family of phosphatases. The phosphatase activity of Eya is important for the transcription of a subset of Six1-target genes, and also directs cells to the repair rather than apoptosis pathway upon DNA damage. Furthermore, Eya phosphatase activity has been shown to mediate transformation, invasion, migration, and metastasis of breast cancer cells, making it a potential new drug target for breast cancer. We have previously identified a class of N-arylidenebenzohydrazide compounds that specifically inhibit the Eya2 phosphatase. Herein, we demonstrate that these compounds are reversible inhibitors that selectively inhibit the phosphatase activity of Eya2, but not Eya3. Our mutagenesis results suggest that this class of compounds does not bind to the active site and the binding does not require the coordination with Mg(2+). Moreover, these compounds likely bind within a site on the opposite face of the active site, and function as allosteric inhibitors. We also demonstrate that this class of compounds inhibits Eya2 phosphatase-mediated cell migration, setting the foundation for these molecules to be developed into chemical probes for understanding the specific function of the Eya2 phosphatase and to serve as a prototype for the development of Eya2 phosphatase specific anti-cancer drugs.
Project description:Branchio-oto-renal syndrome (BOR) is an autosomal dominant developmental disorder characterized by the association of branchial arch defects, hearing loss, and renal anomalies. Mutations in EYA1 are known to cause BOR. More recently, mutations in SIX1, which interacts with EYA1, were identified as an additional cause of BOR. A second member of the SIX family of proteins, unc-39 (SIX5), has also been reported to directly interact with eya-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans. We hypothesized that this interaction would be conserved in humans and that interactors of EYA1 represent good candidate genes for BOR. We therefore screened a cohort of 95 patients with BOR for mutations in SIX5. Four different heterozygous missense mutations were identified in five individuals. Functional analyses of these mutations demonstrated that two mutations affect EYA1-SIX5 binding and the ability of SIX5 or the EYA1-SIX5 complex to activate gene transcription. We thereby identified heterozygous mutations in SIX5 as a novel cause of BOR.
Project description:In Bilateria, Pax6, Six, Eya and Dach families of transcription factors underlie the development and evolution of morphologically and phyletically distinct eyes, including the compound eyes in Drosophila and the camera-type eyes in vertebrates, indicating that bilaterian eyes evolved under the strong influence of ancestral developmental gene regulation. However the conservation in eye developmental genetics deeper in the Eumetazoa, and the origin of the conserved gene regulatory apparatus controlling eye development remain unclear due to limited comparative developmental data from Cnidaria. Here we show in the eye-bearing scyphozoan cnidarian Aurelia that the ectodermal photosensory domain of the developing medusa sensory structure known as the rhopalium expresses sine oculis (so)/six1/2 and eyes absent/eya, but not optix/six3/6 or pax (A&B). In addition, the so and eya co-expression domain encompasses the region of active cell proliferation, neurogenesis, and mechanoreceptor development in rhopalia. Consistent with the role of so and eya in rhopalial development, developmental transcriptome data across Aurelia life cycle stages show upregulation of so and eya, but not optix or pax (A&B), during medusa formation. Moreover, pax6 and dach are absent in the Aurelia genome, and thus are not required for eye development in Aurelia. Our data are consistent with so and eya, but not optix, pax or dach, having conserved functions in sensory structure specification across Eumetazoa. The lability of developmental components including Pax genes relative to so-eya is consistent with a model of sense organ development and evolution that involved the lineage specific modification of a combinatorial code that specifies animal sense organs.
Project description:Drosophila eye specification and development relies on a collection of transcription factors termed the retinal determination gene network (RDGN). Two members of this network, Eyes absent (EYA) and Sine oculis (SO), form a transcriptional complex in which EYA provides the transactivation function while SO provides the DNA binding activity. EYA also functions as a protein tyrosine phosphatase, raising the question of whether transcriptional output is dependent or independent of phosphatase activity. To explore this, we used microarrays together with binding site analysis, quantitative real-time PCR, chromatin immunoprecipitation, genetics and in vivo expression analysis to identify new EYA-SO targets. In parallel, we examined the expression profiles of tissue expressing phosphatase mutant eya and found that reducing phosphatase activity did not globally impair transcriptional output. Among the targets identified by our analysis was the cell cycle regulatory gene, string (stg), suggesting that EYA and SO may influence cell proliferation through transcriptional regulation of stg. Future investigation into the regulation of stg and other EYA-SO targets identified in this study will help elucidate the transcriptional circuitries whereby output from the RDGN integrates with other signaling inputs to coordinate retinal development.