Unique Allelic eQTL Clusters in Human MHC Haplotypes.
ABSTRACT: The control of gene regulation within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) remains poorly understood, despite several expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) studies revealing an association of MHC gene expression with independent tag-single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). MHC haplotype variation may exert a greater effect on gene expression phenotype than specific single variants. To explore the effect of MHC haplotype sequence diversity on gene expression phenotypes across the MHC, we examined the MHC transcriptomic landscape at haplotype-specific resolution for three prominent MHC haplotypes (A2-B46-DR9, A33-B58-DR3, and A1-B8-DR3) derived from MHC-homozygous B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCLs). We demonstrate that MHC-wide gene expression patterns are dictated by underlying haplotypes, and identify 36 differentially expressed genes. By mapping these haplotype sequence variations to known eQTL, we provide evidence that unique allelic combinations of eQTL, embedded within haplotypes, are correlated with the level of expression of 17 genes. Interestingly, the influence of haplotype sequence on gene expression is not homogenous across the MHC. We show that haplotype sequence polymorphisms within or proximate to HLA-A, HLA-C, C4A, and HLA-DRB regions exert haplotype-specific gene regulatory effects, whereas the expression of genes in other parts of the MHC region are not affected by the haplotype sequence. Overall, we demonstrate that MHC haplotype sequence diversity can impact phenotypic outcome via the alteration of transcriptional variability, indicating that a haplotype-based approach is fundamental for the assessment of trait associations in the MHC.
Project description:To explore the effect of human MHC haplotype on gene expression phenotype across the MHC, we examine the MHC transcriptomic landscape at the haplotype-specific resolution for three prominent MHC haplotypes (A2-B46-DR9, A33-B58-DR3 and A1-B8-DR3) derived from the RNA-sequencing of MHC-homozygous B-LCLs. We demonstrate that MHC-wide gene expression pattern is dictated by the underlying MHC haplotype and identify 37 differentially expressed genes among the haplotypes. Overall design: Comparing gene expression patterns between multiple MHC haplotypes in B-LCLs. A total of 16 libraries were prepared with two libraries generated per cell line.
Project description:Earlier studies have shown that psoriasis in Japan and Thailand is associated with two different major histocompatibility complex (MHC) haplotypes - those bearing HLA-Cw6 and those bearing HLA-Cw1 and HLA-B46. In an independent case-control sample from Thailand, we confirmed the association of psoriasis with both haplotypes. No association was seen in Thai HLA-Cw1 haplotypes lacking HLA-B46, nor was HLA-Cw1 associated with psoriasis in a large Caucasian sample. To assess whether these risk haplotypes share a common origin, we sequenced genomic DNA from a Thai HLA-Cw1-B46 homozygote across the ?300 kb MHC risk interval, and compared it with sequence of a HLA-Cw6-B57 risk haplotype. Three small regions of homology were found, but these regions share equivalent sequence similarity with one or more clearly non-risk haplotypes, and they contain no polymorphism alleles unique to all risk haplotypes. Differences in psoriasis phenotype were also observed, including lower risk of disease, greater nail involvement, and later age at onset in HLA-Cw1-B46 carriers compared with HLA-Cw6 carriers. These findings suggest locus heterogeneity at PSORS1 (psoriasis susceptibility 1), the major psoriasis susceptibility locus in the MHC, with HLA-Cw6 imparting risk in both Caucasians and Asians, and an allele other than HLA-Cw1 on the HLA-Cw1-B46 haplotype acting as an additional risk variant in East Asians.
Project description:The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is recognised as one of the most important genetic regions in relation to common human disease. Advancement in identification of MHC genes that confer susceptibility to disease requires greater knowledge of sequence variation across the complex. Highly duplicated and polymorphic regions of the human genome such as the MHC are, however, somewhat refractory to some whole-genome analysis methods. To address this issue, we are employing a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) cloning strategy to sequence entire MHC haplotypes from consanguineous cell lines as part of the MHC Haplotype Project. Here we present 4.25 Mb of the human haplotype QBL (HLA-A26-B18-Cw5-DR3-DQ2) and compare it with the MHC reference haplotype and with a second haplotype, COX (HLA-A1-B8-Cw7-DR3-DQ2), that shares the same HLA-DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 alleles. We have defined the complete gene, splice variant, and sequence variation contents of all three haplotypes, comprising over 259 annotated loci and over 20,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Certain coding sequences vary significantly between different haplotypes, making them candidates for functional and disease-association studies. Analysis of the two DR3 haplotypes allowed delineation of the shared sequence between two HLA class II-related haplotypes differing in disease associations and the identification of at least one of the sites that mediated the original recombination event. The levels of variation across the MHC were similar to those seen for other HLA-disparate haplotypes, except for a 158-kb segment that contained the HLA-DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 genes and showed very limited polymorphism compatible with identity-by-descent and relatively recent common ancestry (<3,400 generations). These results indicate that the differential disease associations of these two DR3 haplotypes are due to sequence variation outside this central 158-kb segment, and that shuffling of ancestral blocks via recombination is a potential mechanism whereby certain DR-DQ allelic combinations, which presumably have favoured immunological functions, can spread across haplotypes and populations.
Project description:The goal of this study was to develop and implement methodology that would aid in the analysis of extended high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) major histocompatibility complex (MHC) haplotypes combined with human leucocyte antigen (HLA) alleles in relation to type 1 diabetes risk.High-density SNP genotype data (2918 SNPs) across the MHC from the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (1240 families), in addition to HLA data, were processed into haplotypes using PedCheck and Merlin, and extended DR3 haplotypes were analysed.With this large dense set of SNPs, the conservation of DR3-B8-A1 (8.1) haplotypes spanned the MHC (>/=99% SNP identity). Forty-seven individuals homozygous for the 8.1 haplotype also shared the same homozygous genotype at four 'sentinel' SNPs (rs2157678 'T', rs3130380 'A', rs3094628 'C' and rs3130352 'T'). Conservation extended from HLA-DQB1 to the telomeric end of the SNP panels (3.4 Mb total). In addition, we found that the 8.1 haplotype is associated with lower risk than other DR3 haplotypes by both haplotypic and genotypic analyses [haplotype: p = 0.009, odds ratio (OR) = 0.65; genotype: p = 6.3 x 10(-5), OR = 0.27]. The 8.1 haplotype (from genotypic analyses) is associated with lower risk than the high-risk DR3-B18-A30 haplotype (p = 0.01, OR = 0.23), but the DR3-B18-A30 haplotype did not differ from other non-8.1 DR3 haplotypes relative to diabetes association.The 8.1 haplotype demonstrates extreme conservation (>3.4 Mb) and is associated with significantly lower risk for type 1 diabetes than other DR3 haplotypes.
Project description:Distinct regions of long-range genetic fixation in the human MHC region, known as conserved extended haplotypes (CEHs), possess unique genomic characteristics and are strongly associated with numerous diseases. While CEHs appear to be homogeneous by SNP analysis, the nature of fine variations within their genomic structure is unknown. Using multiple, MHC-homozygous cell lines, we demonstrate extensive sequence conservation in two common Asian MHC haplotypes: A33-B58-DR3 and A2-B46-DR9. However, characterization of phase-resolved MHC haplotypes revealed unique intra-CEH patterns of variation and uncovered 127 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) which are missing from public databases. We further show that the strong linkage disequilibrium structure within the human MHC that typically confounds precise identification of genetic features can be resolved using intra-CEH variants, as evidenced by rs3129063 and rs448489, which affect expression of ZFP57, a gene important in methylation and epigenetic regulation. This study demonstrates an improved strategy that can be used towards genetic dissection of diseases.
Project description:Genetic variants can confer risk to complex genetic diseases by modulating gene expression through changes to the epigenome. To assess the degree to which genetic variants influence epigenome activity, we integrate epigenetic and genotypic data from lupus patient lymphoblastoid cell lines to identify variants that induce allelic imbalance in the magnitude of histone post-translational modifications, referred to herein as histone quantitative trait loci (hQTLs). We demonstrate that enhancer hQTLs are enriched on autoimmune disease risk haplotypes and disproportionately influence gene expression variability compared with non-hQTL variants in strong linkage disequilibrium. We show that the epigenome regulates HLA class II genes differently in individuals who carry HLA-DR3 or HLA-DR15 haplotypes, resulting in differential 3D chromatin conformation and gene expression. Finally, we identify significant expression QTL (eQTL) x hQTL interactions that reveal substructure within eQTL gene expression, suggesting potential implications for functional genomic studies that leverage eQTL data for subject selection and stratification.
Project description:The MHC region is highly associated with autoimmune and infectious diseases. Here we conduct an in-depth interrogation of associations between genetic variation, gene expression and disease. We create a comprehensive map of regulatory variation in the MHC region using WGS from 419 individuals to call eight-digit HLA types and RNA-seq data from matched iPSCs. Building on this regulatory map, we explored GWAS signals for 4083 traits, detecting colocalization for 180 disease loci with eQTLs. We show that eQTL analyses taking HLA type haplotypes into account have substantially greater power compared with only using single variants. We examined the association between the 8.1 ancestral haplotype and delayed colonization in Cystic Fibrosis, postulating that downregulation of RNF5 expression is the likely causal mechanism. Our study provides insights into the genetic architecture of the MHC region and pinpoints disease associations that are due to differential expression of HLA genes and non-HLA genes.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Historically, extended haplotypes have been defined using only a few data points, such as alleles for several HLA genes in the MHC. High-density SNP data, and the increasing affordability of whole genome SNP typing, creates the opportunity to define higher resolution extended haplotypes. This drives the need for new tools that support quantification and visualization of extended haplotypes as defined by as many as 2000 SNPs. Confronted with high-density SNP data across the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) for 2,300 complete families, compiled by the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC), we developed software for studying extended haplotypes.<h4>Methods</h4>The software, called ExHap (Extended Haplotype), uses a similarity measurement we term congruence to identify and quantify long-range allele identity. Using ExHap, we analyzed congruence in both the T1DGC data and family-phased data from the International HapMap Project.<h4>Results</h4>Congruent chromosomes from the T1DGC data have between 96.5% and 99.9% allele identity over 1,818 SNPs spanning 2.64 megabases of the MHC (HLA-DRB1 to HLA-A). Thirty-three of 132 DQ-DR-B-A defined haplotype groups have > 50% congruent chromosomes in this region. For example, 92% of chromosomes within the DR3-B8-A1 haplotype are congruent from HLA-DRB1 to HLA-A (99.8% allele identity). We also applied ExHap to all 22 autosomes for both CEU and YRI cohorts from the International HapMap Project, identifying multiple candidate extended haplotypes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Long-range congruence is not unique to the MHC region. Patterns of allele identity on phased chromosomes provide a simple, straightforward approach to visually and quantitatively inspect complex long-range structural patterns in the genome. Such patterns aid the biologist in appreciating genetic similarities and differences across cohorts, and can lead to hypothesis generation for subsequent studies.
Project description:Smoking behavior has been associated in two independent European cohorts with the most common Caucasian human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotype (A1-B8-DR3). We aimed to test whether polymorphic members of the two odorant receptor (OR) clusters within the extended HLA complex might be responsible for the observed association, by genotyping a cohort of Hungarian women in which the mentioned association had been found. One hundred and eighty HLA haplotypes from Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain families were analyzed in silico to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within OR genes that are in linkage disequilibrium with the A1-B8-DR3 haplotype, as well as with two other haplotypes indirectly linked to smoking behavior. A nonsynonymous SNP within the OR12D3 gene (rs3749971(T)) was found to be linked to the A1-B8-DR3 haplotype. This polymorphism leads to a (97)Thr --> Ile exchange that affects a putative ligand binding region of the OR12D3 protein. Smoking was found to be associated in the Hungarian cohort with the rs3749971(T) allele (p = 1.05 x 10(-2)), with higher significance than with A1-B8-DR3 (p = 2.38 x 10(-2)). Our results link smoking to a distinct OR allele, and demonstrate that the rs3749971(T) polymorphism is associated with the HLA haplotype-dependent differential recognition of cigarette smoke components, at least among Caucasian women.
Project description:The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC, 6p21) codes for traditional HLA and other host response related genes. The polymorphic HLA-DRB1 gene in MHC Class II has been associated with several complex diseases. In this study we focus on MHC haplotype structures in the Finnish population. We explore the variability of extended HLA-DRB1 haplotypes in relation to the other traditional HLA genes and a selected group of MHC class III genes. A total of 150 healthy Finnish individuals were included in the study. Subjects were genotyped for HLA alleles (HLA-A, -B, -DRB1, -DQB1, and -DPB1). The polymorphism of TNF, LTA, C4, BTNL2 and HLA-DRA genes was studied with 74 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism). The C4A and C4B gene copy numbers and a 2-bp silencing insertion at exon 29 in C4A gene were analysed with quantitative genomic realtime-PCR. The allele frequencies for each locus were calculated and haplotypes were constructed using both the traditional HLA alleles and SNP blocks. The most frequent Finnish A?B?DR -haplotype, uncommon in elsewhere in Europe, was A*03?B*35?DRB1*01?01. The second most common haplotype was a common European ancestral haplotype AH 8.1 (A*01?B*08?DRB1*03?01). Extended haplotypes containing HLA-B, TNF block, C4 and HLA-DPB1 strongly increased the number of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes showing variability in the extended HLA-DRB1 haplotype structures. On the contrary, BTNL2 block and HLA-DQB1 were more conserved showing linkage with the HLA-DRB1 alleles. We show that the use of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes rather than single HLA-DRB1 alleles is advantageous when studying the polymorphisms and LD patters of the MHC region. For disease association studies the HLA-DRB1 haplotypes with various MHC markers allows us to cluster haplotypes with functionally important gene variants such as C4 deficiency and cytokines TNF and LTA, and provides hypotheses for further assessment. Our study corroborates the importance of studying population-specific MHC haplotypes.