Genomic ancestry, self-reported "color" and quantitative measures of skin pigmentation in Brazilian admixed siblings.
ABSTRACT: A current concern in genetic epidemiology studies in admixed populations is that population stratification can lead to spurious results. The Brazilian census classifies individuals according to self-reported "color", but several studies have demonstrated that stratifying according to "color" is not a useful strategy to control for population structure, due to the dissociation between self-reported "color" and genomic ancestry. We report the results of a study in a group of Brazilian siblings in which we measured skin pigmentation using a reflectometer, and estimated genomic ancestry using 21 Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs). Self-reported "color", according to the Brazilian census, was also available for each participant. This made it possible to evaluate the relationship between self-reported "color" and skin pigmentation, self-reported "color" and genomic ancestry, and skin pigmentation and genomic ancestry. We observed that, although there were significant differences between the three "color" groups in genomic ancestry and skin pigmentation, there was considerable dispersion within each group and substantial overlap between groups. We also saw that there was no good agreement between the "color" categories reported by each member of the sibling pair: 30 out of 86 sibling pairs reported different "color", and in some cases, the sibling reporting the darker "color" category had lighter skin pigmentation. Socioeconomic status was significantly associated with self-reported "color" and genomic ancestry in this sample. This and other studies show that subjective classifications based on self-reported "color", such as the one that is used in the Brazilian census, are inadequate to describe the population structure present in recently admixed populations. Finally, we observed that one of the AIMs included in the panel (rs1426654), which is located in the known pigmentation gene SLC24A5, was strongly associated with skin pigmentation in this sample.
Project description:The Brazilian population was formed by extensive admixture of three different ancestral roots: Amerindians, Europeans and Africans. Our previous work has shown that at an individual level, ancestry, as estimated using molecular markers, was a poor predictor of color in Brazilians. We now investigate if SNPs known to be associated with human skin pigmentation can be used to predict color in Brazilians. For that, we studied the association of fifteen SNPs, previously known to be linked with skin color, in 243 unrelated Brazilian individuals self-identified as White, Browns or Blacks from Rio de Janeiro and 212 unrelated Brazilian individuals self-identified as White or Blacks from São Paulo. The significance of association of SNP genotypes with self-assessed color was evaluated using partial regression analysis. After controlling for ancestry estimates as covariates, only four SNPs remained significantly associated with skin pigmentation: rs1426654 and rs2555364 within SLC24A5, rs16891982 at SLC45A2 and rs1042602 at TYR. These loci are known to be involved in melanin synthesis or transport of melanosomes. We found that neither genotypes of these SNPs, nor their combination with biogeographical ancestry in principal component analysis, could predict self-assessed color in Brazilians at an individual level. However, significant correlations did emerge at group level, demonstrating that even though elements other than skin, eye and hair pigmentation do influence self-assessed color in Brazilians, the sociological act of self-classification is still substantially dependent of genotype at these four SNPs.
Project description:The degree of admixture in Brazil between historically isolated populations is complex and geographically variable. Studies differ as to what the genetic and phenotypic consequences of this mixing have been. In Northeastern Brazil, we enrolled 522 residents of Salvador and 620 of Fortaleza whose distributions of self-declared color were comparable to those in the national census. Using the program Structure and principal components analysis there was a clear correlation between biogeographic ancestry and categories of skin color. This correlation with African ancestry was stronger in Salvador (r=0.585; P<0.001) than in Fortaleza (r=0.236; P<0.001). In Fortaleza, although self-declared blacks had a greater proportion of European ancestry, they had more African ancestry than the other categories. When the populations were analyzed without pseudoancestors, as in some studies, the relationship of 'race' to genetic ancestry tended to diffuse or disappear. The inclusion of different African populations also influenced ancestry estimates. The percentage of unlinked ancestry informative markers in linkage disequilibrium, a measure of population structure, was 3-5 times higher in both Brazilian populations than expected by chance. We propose that certain methods, ascertainment bias and population history of the specific populations surveyed can result in failure to demonstrate a correlation between skin color and genetic ancestry. Population structure in Brazil has important implications for genetic studies, but genetic ancestry is irrelevant for how individuals are treated in society, their health, their income or their inclusion. These track more closely with perceived skin color than genetic ancestry.
Project description:BY VIRTUE OF BEING THE PRODUCT OF THE GENETIC ADMIXTURE OF THREE ANCESTRAL ROOTS: Europeans, Africans, and Amerindians, the present-day Brazilian population displays very high levels of genomic diversity, which have important pharmacogenetic/-genomic (PGx) implications. Recognition of this fact has prompted the creation of the Brazilian Pharmacogenomics Network (Refargen), a nationwide consortium of research groups, with the mission to provide leadership in PGx research and education in Brazil, with a population heath impact. Here, we present original data and review published results from a Refargen comprehensive study of the distribution of PGx polymorphisms in a representative cohort of the Brazilian people, comprising 1,034 healthy, unrelated adults, self-identified as white, brown, or black, according to the Color categories adopted by the Brazilian Census. Multinomial log-linear regression analysis was applied to infer the statistical association between allele, genotype, and haplotype distributions among Brazilians (response variables) and self-reported Color, geographical region, and biogeographical ancestry (explanatory variables), whereas Wright's F(ST) statistics was used to assess the extent of PGx divergence among different strata of the Brazilian population. Major PGx implications of these findings are: first, extrapolation of data from relatively well-defined ethnic groups is clearly not applicable to the majority of Brazilians; second, the frequency distribution of polymorphisms in several pharmacogenes of clinical relevance (e.g., ABCB1, CYP3A5, CYP2C9, VKORC) varies continuously among Brazilians and is not captured by race/Color self-identification; third, the intrinsic heterogeneity of the Brazilian population must be acknowledged in the design and interpretation of PGx studies in order to avoid spurious conclusions based on improper matching of study cohorts.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The Black population in the US is heterogeneous but is often treated as monolithic in research, with skin pigmentation being the primary indicator of racial classification. Objective: This paper examines the differences among Blacks by comparing genetic ancestry, skin color and social attainment of 259 residents across four US cities-Norman, Oklahoma; Cincinnati, Ohio; Harlem, New York; and Washington, District of Columbia. METHODS:Participants were recruited between 2004 and 2006 at community-based forums. Cross-sectional data were analyzed using chi-square tests, correlation analyses and logistic regression. RESULTS:There were variations in ancestry, melanin index and social attainment across some cities. Overall, men with darker skin color, and women with lighter skin color were significantly more likely to be married. Darker skin individuals with significantly more West African ancestry reported attainment of graduate degrees, and professional occupations than lighter skin individuals. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest differences in skin pigmentation by geography and support regional variations in ancestry of US Blacks. Biomedical research should consider genetic ancestry and local historical/social context rather than relying solely on skin pigmentation as a proxy for race.
Project description:The influence of self-reported "race/color", geographical origin and genetic ancestry on the distribution of three functional CYP3A5 polymorphisms, their imputed haplotypes and inferred phenotypes was examined in 909 healthy, adult Brazilians, self-identified as White, Brown or Black ("race/color" categories of the Brazilian census). The cohort was genotyped for CYP3A5*3 (rs776746), CYP3A5*6 (rs10264272) and CYP3A5*7 (rs41303343), CYP3A5 haplotypes were imputed and CYP3A5 metabolizer phenotypes were inferred according to the number of defective CYP3A5 alleles. Estimates of the individual proportions of Amerindian, African and European ancestry were available for the entire cohort. Multinomial log-linear regression models were applied to infer the statistical association between the distribution of CYP3A5 alleles, haplotypes and phenotypes (response variables), and self-reported Color, geographical region and ancestry (explanatory variables). We found that Color per se or in combination with geographical region associates significantly with the distribution of CYP3A5 variant alleles and CYP3A5 metabolizer phenotypes, whereas geographical region per se influences the frequency distribution of CYP3A5 variant alleles. The odds of having the default CYP3A5*3 allele and the poor metabolizer phenotype increases continuously with the increase of European ancestry and decrease of African ancestry. The opposite trend is observed in relation to CYP3A5*6, CYP3A5*7, the default CYP3A5*1 allele, and both the extensive and intermediate phenotypes. No significant effect of Amerindian ancestry on the distribution of CYP3A5 alleles or phenotypes was observed. In conclusion, this study strongly supports the notion that the intrinsic heterogeneity of the Brazilian population must be acknowledged in the design and interpretation of pharmacogenomic studies, and dealt with as a continuous variable, rather than proportioned in arbitrary categories that do not capture the diversity of the population. The relevance of this work extrapolates the Brazilian borders, and extends to other admixed peoples of the Americas, with ancestral roots in Europe, Africa and the American continent.
Project description:Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and its present population, in excess of 190;million, is highly heterogeneous, as a result of centuries of admixture between Amerindians, Europeans, and Sub-Saharan Africans. The estimated individual proportions of biogeographical ancestry vary widely and continuously among Brazilians: most individuals, irrespective of self-identification as White, Brown or Black - the major categories of the Brazilian Census "race/color" system - have significant degrees of European and African ancestry, while a sizeable number display also Amerindian ancestry. These features have important pharmacogenetic (PGx) implications: first, extrapolation of PGx data from relatively well-defined ethnic groups is clearly not applicable to the majority of Brazilians; second, the frequency distribution of polymorphisms in pharmacogenes (e.g., CYP3A5, CYP2C9, GSTM1, ABCB1, GSTM3, VKORC, etc) varies continuously among Brazilians and is not captured by race/color self-identification; third, the intrinsic heterogeneity of the Brazilian population must be acknowledged in the design and interpretation of PGx studies in order to avoid spurious conclusions based on improper matching of study cohorts. The peculiarities of PGx in Brazilians are illustrated with data for different therapeutic groups, such as anticoagulants, HIV protease inhibitors and non-steroidal antinflammatory drugs, and the challenges and advantages created by population admixture for the study and implementation of PGx are discussed. PGx data for Amerindian groups and Brazilian-born, first-generation Japanese are presented to illustrate the rich diversity of the Brazilian population. Finally, I introduce the reader to the Brazilian Pharmacogenetic Network or Refargen, a nation-wide consortium of research groups, with the mission to provide leadership in PGx research and education in Brazil, with a population health impact.
Project description:Awareness of individual risk may encourage improved prevention and early detection of melanoma.We evaluated the accuracy of self-reported pigmentation and nevus phenotype compared with clinical assessment, and examined agreement between nevus counts from selected anatomical regions. The sample included 456 cases with invasive cutaneous melanoma diagnosed between ages 18 to 39 years and 538 controls from the population-based Australian Melanoma Family Study. Participants completed a questionnaire about their pigmentation and nevus phenotype, and attended a dermatologic skin examination.There was strong agreement between self-reported and clinical assessment of eye color [?, = 0.78; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.74-0.81]; and moderate agreement for hair color (? = 0.46; 95% CI, 0.42-0.50). Agreement between self-reported skin color and spectrophotometer-derived measurements was poor (? = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.08-0.16) to moderate (Spearman correlation rs = -0.37; 95% CI, -0.32 to -0.42). Participants tended to underestimate their nevus counts and pigmentation; men were more likely to underreport their skin color. The rs was 0.43 (95% CI, 0.38-0.49) comparing clinical total body nevus counts with self-reported nevus categories. There was good agreement between total body nevus counts and site-specific nevus counts, particularly on both arms.Young adults have suboptimal accuracy when assessing important risk characteristics including nevus numbers and pigmentation. Measuring nevus count on the arms is a good predictor of full body nevus count.These results have implications for the likely success of targeted public health programs that rely on self-assessment of these factors.
Project description:The current U.S. population represents an amalgam of individuals originating mainly from four continental regions (Africa, Europe, Asia and America). To study the genetic ancestry and compare with self-declared ancestry we have analyzed paternally, maternally and bi-parentally inherited DNA markers sensitive for indicating continental genetic ancestry in all four major U.S. American groups. We found that self-declared U.S. Hispanics and U.S. African Americans tend to show variable degrees of continental genetic admixture among the three genetic systems, with evidence for a marked sex-biased admixture history. Moreover, for these two groups we observed significant regional variation across the country in genetic admixture. In contrast, self-declared U.S. European and U.S. Asian Americans were genetically more homogeneous at the continental ancestry level. Two autosomal ancestry-sensitive markers located in skin pigmentation candidate genes showed significant differences in self-declared U.S. African Americans or U.S. European Americans, relative to their assumed parental populations from Africa or Europe. This provides genetic support for the importance of skin color in the complex process of ancestry identification.
Project description:This review explores the limitations of self-reported race, ethnicity, and genetic ancestry in biomedical research. Various terminologies are used to classify human differences in genomic research including race, ethnicity, and ancestry. Although race and ethnicity are related, race refers to a person's physical appearance, such as skin color and eye color. Ethnicity, on the other hand, refers to communality in cultural heritage, language, social practice, traditions, and geopolitical factors. Genetic ancestry inferred using ancestry informative markers (AIMs) is based on genetic/genomic data. Phenotype-based race/ethnicity information and data computed using AIMs often disagree. For example, self-reporting African Americans can have drastically different levels of African or European ancestry. Genetic analysis of individual ancestry shows that some self-identified African Americans have up to 99% of European ancestry, whereas some self-identified European Americans have substantial admixture from African ancestry. Similarly, African ancestry in the Latino population varies between 3% in Mexican Americans to 16% in Puerto Ricans. The implication of this is that, in African American or Latino populations, self-reported ancestry may not be as accurate as direct assessment of individual genomic information in predicting treatment outcomes. To better understand human genetic variation in the context of health disparities, we suggest using "ancestry" (or biogeographical ancestry) to describe actual genetic variation, "race" to describe health disparity in societies characterized by racial categories, and "ethnicity" to describe traditions, lifestyle, diet, and values. We also suggest using ancestry informative markers for precise characterization of individuals' biological ancestry. Understanding the sources of human genetic variation and the causes of health disparities could lead to interventions that would improve the health of all individuals.
Project description:The Brazilian population is considered to be highly admixed. The main contributing ancestral populations were European and African, with Amerindians contributing to a lesser extent. The aims of this study were to provide a resource for determining and quantifying individual continental ancestry using the smallest number of SNPs possible, thus allowing for a cost- and time-efficient strategy for genomic ancestry determination. We identified and validated a minimum set of 192 ancestry informative markers (AIMs) for the genetic ancestry determination of Brazilian populations. These markers were selected on the basis of their distribution throughout the human genome, and their capacity of being genotyped on widely available commercial platforms. We analyzed genotyping data from 6487 individuals belonging to three Brazilian cohorts. Estimates of individual admixture using this 192 AIM panels were highly correlated with estimates using ~370?000 genome-wide SNPs: 91%, 92%, and 74% of, respectively, African, European, and Native American ancestry components. Besides that, 192 AIMs are well distributed among populations from these ancestral continents, allowing greater freedom in future studies with this panel regarding the choice of reference populations. We also observed that genetic ancestry inferred by AIMs provides similar association results to the one obtained using ancestry inferred by genomic data (370?K SNPs) in a simple regression model with rs1426654, related to skin pigmentation, genotypes as dependent variable. In conclusion, these markers can be used to identify and accurately quantify ancestry of Latin Americans or US Hispanics/Latino individuals, in particular in the context of fine-mapping strategies that require the quantification of continental ancestry in thousands of individuals.