Significantly fewer protein functional changing variants for lipid metabolism in Africans than in Europeans.
ABSTRACT: The disorders in metabolism of energy substances are usually related to some diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and cancer, etc. However, the genetic background for these disorders has not been well understood. In this study, we explored the genetic risk differences among human populations in metabolism (catabolism and biosynthesis) of energy substances, including lipids, carbohydrates and amino acids.Two genotype datasets (Hapmap and 1000 Genome) were used for this study. The genetic risks of protein functional changing variants (PFCVs) on genes involved in lipid, carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism were calculated using two genetic risk indices: the total number of PFCVs (Num) and the total possibly harmful score of PFCVs (R). Observations in these two genotype datasets consistently showed that Africans had lower genetic risk in lipid metabolism (both catabolic and biosynthetic processes) compared to Europeans. However this relationship was not observed in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism.Our results suggested that Africans had higher efficiency of utilizing lipids as energy substances than Europeans. In other words, lipids might be more preferred as energy substances in Africans than in Europeans.
Project description:Lower energy expenditure (EE) for physical activity was observed in Africans than in Europeans, which might contribute to the higher prevalence of obesity and more athletic capability in Africans. But it is still unclear why EE is lower among African populations. In this study we tried to explore the genetic mechanism underlying lower EE in Africans. We screened 231 common variants with possibly harmful impact on 182 genes in the catabolic process. The genetic risk, including the total number of mutations and the sum of harmful probabilities, was calculated and analyzed for the screened variants at a population level. Results of the genetic risk among human groups showed that most Africans (3 out of 4 groups) had a significantly smaller genetic risk in the catabolic process than Europeans and Asians, which might result in higher efficiency of generating energy among Africans. In sport competitions, athletes need massive amounts of energy expenditure in a short period of time, so higher efficiency of energy generation might help make African-descendent athletes more powerful. On the other hand, higher efficiency of generating energy might also result in consuming smaller volumes of body mass. As a result, Africans might be more vulnerable to obesity compared to the other races when under the same or similar conditions. Therefore, the smaller genetic risk in the catabolic process might be at the core of understanding lower EE, more athletic capability and higher prevalence of obesity in Africans.
Project description:Leukocyte telomere length (LTL), which reflects telomere length in other somatic tissues, is a complex genetic trait. Eleven SNPs have been shown in genome-wide association studies to be associated with LTL at a genome-wide level of significance within cohorts of European ancestry. It has been observed that LTL is longer in African Americans than in Europeans. The underlying reason for this difference is unknown. Here we show that LTL is significantly longer in sub-Saharan Africans than in both Europeans and African Americans. Based on the 11 LTL-associated alleles and genetic data in phase 3 of the 1000 Genomes Project, we show that the shifts in allele frequency within Europe and between Europe and Africa do not fit the pattern expected by neutral genetic drift. Our findings suggest that differences in LTL within Europeans and between Europeans and Africans is influenced by polygenic adaptation and that differences in LTL between Europeans and Africans might explain, in part, ethnic differences in risks for human diseases that have been linked to LTL.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Birthweight is an important predictor of infant morbidity and mortality, and is associated with cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes in childhood and adulthood. Birthweight and fetal growth show regional and population variations even under similar maternal conditions, and a large proportion of these differences are not explained by environmental factors. Whether and to what extent population genetic variations at key birthweight-associated loci account for the residual birthweight disparities not explained by environmental determinants is unknown. We hypothesized that the cumulative burden of genetic variants with a birthweight-lowering effect (GRB) is different among ancestrally diverse populations. METHODS:Genotype data were extracted from phase 3 of the 1000 Genomes Project for 2504 participants from 26 global populations grouped into five super-populations. GRB was calculated in offspring as the weighted sum of the number of birthweight-lowering genetic variants of 59 autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with birthweight, and comparisons were made between Europeans and non-Europeans. RESULTS:GRB was significantly higher in Africans (mean difference 3.15; 95% confidence interval 2.64, 3.66), admixed Americans (3.02; 2.34, 3.70), East Asians (2.85; 2.29, 3.41), and South Asians (1.07; 0.49, 1.65) compared to Europeans. Birthweight-lowering genetic variants in Africans and East Asians were enriched for rare and frequency-fixed alleles (P < 0.001). African and Asian populations had the greatest deviation from the expectation of the common disease-common variant hyothesis. Compared to Europeans, the GRB of ancestral alleles was significantly higher and that of derived alleles was significantly lower in non-Europeans (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS:The burden of birthweight-lowering genetic variants is higher in Africans and East Asians. This finding is consistent with the high incidence of low birthweight in the two populations. The genetic variants we studied may not be causal and the extent to which they tag the causal variants in non-Europeans is unknown; however, our findings highlight that genetic variations contribute to population differences in birthweight.
Project description:An approximately 6.6-kb region located upstream from the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene and containing its promoter was sequenced in 54 humans (18 Africans, 18 Asians, and 18 Europeans) and in one chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan. Seventy-six polymorphic sites were found among the human sequences and the average nucleotide diversity (pi) was 0.141%, one of the highest among all studies of nuclear sequence variation in humans. Opposite to the pattern observed in the MC1R coding region, in the present region pi is highest in Africans (0.136%) compared to Asians (0.116%) and Europeans (0.122%). The distributions of pi, theta, and Fu and Li's F-statistic are nonuniform along the sequence and among continents. The pattern of genetic variation is consistent with a population expansion in Africans. We also suggest a possible phase of population size reduction in non-Africans and purifying selection acting in the middle subregion and parts of the 5' subregion in Africans. We hypothesize diversifying selection acting on some sites in the 5' and 3' subregions or in the MC1R coding region in Asians and Europeans, though we cannot reject the possibility of relaxation of functional constraints in the MC1R gene in Asians and Europeans. The mutation rate in the sequenced region is 1.65 x 10(-9) per site per year. The age of the most recent common ancestor for this region is similar to that for the other long noncoding regions studied to date, providing evidence for ancient gene genealogies. Our population screening and phylogenetic footprinting suggest potentially important sites for the MC1R promoter function.
Project description:Ethnic groups can display differential genetic susceptibility to infectious diseases. The arthropod-born viral dengue disease is one such disease, with empirical and limited genetic evidence showing that African ancestry may be protective against the haemorrhagic phenotype. Global ancestry analysis based on high-throughput genotyping in admixed populations can be used to test this hypothesis, while admixture mapping can map candidate protective genes. A Cuban dengue fever cohort was genotyped using a 2.5 million SNP chip. Global ancestry was ascertained through ADMIXTURE and used in a fine-matched corrected association study, while local ancestry was inferred by the RFMix algorithm. The expression of candidate genes was evaluated by RT-PCR in a Cuban dengue patient cohort and gene set enrichment analysis was performed in a Thai dengue transcriptome. OSBPL10 and RXRA candidate genes were identified, with most significant SNPs placed in inferred weak enhancers, promoters and lncRNAs. OSBPL10 had significantly lower expression in Africans than Europeans, while for RXRA several SNPs may differentially regulate its transcription between Africans and Europeans. Their expression was confirmed to change through dengue disease progression in Cuban patients and to vary with disease severity in a Thai transcriptome dataset. These genes interact in the LXR/RXR activation pathway that integrates lipid metabolism and immune functions, being a key player in dengue virus entrance into cells, its replication therein and in cytokine production. Knockdown of OSBPL10 expression in THP-1 cells by two shRNAs followed by DENV2 infection tests led to a significant reduction in DENV replication, being a direct functional proof that the lower OSBPL10 expression profile in Africans protects this ancestry against dengue disease.
Project description:Insulin resistance (IR) is a key determinant of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and other metabolic disorders. This genome-wide association study (GWAS) was designed to shed light on the genetic basis of fasting insulin (FI) and IR in 927 non-diabetic African Americans. 5 396 838 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were tested for associations with FI or IR with adjustments for age, sex, body mass index, hypertension status and first two principal components. Genotyped SNPs (n = 12) with P < 5 × 10(-6) in African Americans were carried forward for de novo genotyping in 570 non-diabetic West Africans. We replicated SNPs in or near SC4MOL and TCERG1L in West Africans. The meta-analysis of 1497 African Americans and West Africans yielded genome-wide significant associations for SNPs in the SC4MOL gene: rs17046216 (P = 1.7 × 10(-8) and 2.9 × 10(-8) for FI and IR, respectively); and near the TCERG1L gene with rs7077836 as the top scoring (P = 7.5 × 10(-9) and 4.9 × 10(-10) for FI and IR, respectively). In silico replication in the MAGIC study (n = 37 037) showed weak but significant association (adjusted P-value of 0.0097) for rs34602777 in the MYO5A gene. In addition, we replicated previous GWAS findings for IR and FI in Europeans for GCKR, and for variants in four T2D loci (FTO, IRS1, KLF14 and PPARG) which exert their action via IR. In summary, variants in/near SC4MOL, and TCERG1L were associated with FI and IR in this cohort of African Americans and were replicated in West Africans. SC4MOL is under-expressed in an animal model of T2D and plays a key role in lipid biosynthesis, with implications for the regulation of energy metabolism, obesity and dyslipidemia. TCERG1L is associated with plasma adiponectin, a key modulator of obesity, inflammation, IR and diabetes.
Project description:Radix Astragali (RA) herb with warm property and significant "tonifying qi" effects is indicated for the syndrome of internal cold due to Yang deficiency. The purpose of this research was to explore effects of Radix Astragali (RA) through PPAR signaling pathway on gene expression profiles related to energy metabolism in rats with the Yang-deficiency cold (YDC) syndrome, for identifying the pathological mechanism of Yang-deficiency cold (YDC) syndrome and the effects mechanism of RA. The results indicated that RA could significantly increase body weight (BM), cold and heat tendency (CT), overall temperature (OT), rectum temperature (RT), toe temperature (TT), energy intake (EI), and V(O2)/V(CO2) ratio (which indicates basal metabolism, BM) (P<0.05), enhancing the depressed metabolic function in YDC syndrome model rat. Our data also indicated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to energy metabolism involving lipids, carbohydrates, and amino acids metabolic process; the expression of CPT-1 and FABP4 (ap2) was improved; PPAR, Glycolysis, Wnt, cAMP, MAPK, AMPK, and fatty acid degradation signaling pathway may be related to energy metabolism. However, the Chinese herbal medicine RA plays a certain role in promoting the metabolism of substances and energy in rats by its warming and beneficial effect. Our results suggest that the mechanism underlying the function of RA may take effect through the regulation of PPAR signaling pathway and related gene expression. Lipids, carbohydrates, and amino acids metabolic process may be affected to adjust the reduced metabolic function in the model animals. In general, results indicate that RA could promote energy metabolism in rats with the YDC syndrome via PPAR signaling pathway regulating the expression of CPT-1 and FABP4 (ap2), which reflected the warm and qi tonifying properties of RA.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Abdominal fat has been identified as a risk marker of cardiometabolic disease independent of overall adiposity. However, it is not clear whether there are ethnic disparities in this risk. We investigated the associations of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) with cardiometabolic risk factors in three ethnic diverse populations of Inuit, Africans and Europeans. DESIGN:Cross-sectional pooled study. SETTING:Greenland, Kenya and Denmark. METHODS:A total of 5113 participants (2933 Inuit, 1397 Africans and 783 Europeans) from three studies in Greenland, Kenya and Denmark were included. Measurements included abdominal fat distribution assessed by ultrasound, oral glucose tolerance test, hepatic insulin resistance, blood pressure and lipids. The associations were analysed using multiple linear regressions. RESULTS:Across ethnic group and gender, an increase in VAT of 1 SD was associated with higher levels of hepatic insulin resistance (ranging from 14% to 28%), triglycerides (8% to 16%) and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, -1.0 to -0.05 mmol/L) independent of body mass index. VAT showed positive associations with most of the other cardiometabolic risk factors in Inuit and Europeans, but not in Africans. In contrast, SAT was mainly associated with the outcomes in Inuit and Africans. Of notice was that higher SAT was associated with higher HDL-C in African men (0.11?mmol/L, 95% CI: 0.03 to 0.18) and with lower HDL-C in Inuit (-0.07?mmol/L, 95% CI: -0.12 to -0.02), but not in European men (-0.02?mmol/L, 95% CI: -0.09 to 0.05). Generally weaker associations were observed for women. Furthermore, the absolute levels of several of the cardiometabolic outcomes differed between the ethnic groups. CONCLUSIONS:VAT and SAT were associated with several of the cardiometabolic risk factors beyond overall adiposity. Some of these associations were specific to ethnicity, suggesting that ethnicity plays a role in the pathway from abdominal fat to selected cardiometabolic risk factors.
Project description:There is established clinical evidence for differences in drug response, cure rates and survival outcomes between different ethnic populations, but the causes are poorly understood. Differences in frequencies of functional genetic variants in key drug response and metabolism genes may significantly influence drug response differences in different populations. To assess this, we genotyped 1330 individuals of African (n=372) and European (n=958) descent for 4535 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 350 key drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and toxicity genes. Important and remarkable differences in the distribution of genetic variants were observed between Africans and Europeans and among the African populations. These could translate into significant differences in drug efficacy and safety profiles, and also in the required dose to achieve the desired therapeutic effect in different populations. Our data points to the need for population-specific genetic variation in personalizing medicine and care.
Project description:Skin lightening among Eurasians is thought to have been a convergence occurring independently in Europe and East Asia as an adaptation to high latitude environments. Among Europeans, several genes responsible for such lightening have been found, but the information available for East Asians is much more limited. Here, a genome-wide comparison between dark-skinned Africans and Austro-Asiatic speaking aborigines and light-skinned northern Han Chinese identified the pigmentation gene OCA2, showing unusually deep allelic divergence between these groups. An amino acid substitution (His615Arg) of OCA2 prevalent in most East Asian populations-but absent in Africans and Europeans-was significantly associated with skin lightening among northern Han Chinese. Further transgenic and targeted gene modification analyses of zebrafish and mouse both exhibited the phenotypic effect of the OCA2 variant manifesting decreased melanin production. These results indicate that OCA2 plays an important role in the convergent skin lightening of East Asians during recent human evolution.