Brief Overview of a Decade of Genome-Wide Association Studies on Primary Hypertension.
ABSTRACT: Primary hypertension is widely believed to be a complex polygenic disorder with the manifestation influenced by the interactions of genomic and environmental factors making identification of susceptibility genes a major challenge. With major advancement in high-throughput genotyping technology, genome-wide association study (GWAS) has become a powerful tool for researchers studying genetically complex diseases. GWASs work through revealing links between DNA sequence variation and a disease or trait with biomedical importance. The human genome is a very long DNA sequence which consists of billions of nucleotides arranged in a unique way. A single base-pair change in the DNA sequence is known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). With the help of modern genotyping techniques such as chip-based genotyping arrays, thousands of SNPs can be genotyped easily. Large-scale GWASs, in which more than half a million of common SNPs are genotyped and analyzed for disease association in hundreds of thousands of cases and controls, have been broadly successful in identifying SNPs associated with heart diseases, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and psychiatric disorders. It is however still debatable whether GWAS is the best approach for hypertension. The following is a brief overview on the outcomes of a decade of GWASs on primary hypertension.
Project description:Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have successfully identified thousands of susceptibility loci for human complex diseases. However, missing heritability is still a challenging problem. Considering most GWAS loci are located in regulatory elements, we recently developed a pipeline named functional disease-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) prediction (FDSP), to predict novel susceptibility loci for complex diseases based on the interpretation of regulatory features and published GWAS results with machine learning. When applied to type 2 diabetes and hypertension, the predicted susceptibility loci by FDSP were proved to be capable of explaining additional heritability. In addition, potential target genes of the predicted positive SNPs were significantly enriched in disease-related pathways. Our results suggested that taking regulatory features into consideration might be a useful way to address the missing heritability problem. We hope FDSP could offer help for the identification of novel susceptibility loci for complex diseases.
Project description:Numerous recent studies have suggested that phenotypic effects of DNA sequence variants can be mediated or modulated by their epigenetic marks, such as allele-skewed DNA modification (ASM). Using Affymetrix SNP microarrays, we performed a comprehensive search of ASM effects in human post-mortem brain and sperm samples (total n = 256) from individuals with major psychosis and control individuals. Depending on the phenotypic category of the brain samples, 1.4%-7.5% of interrogated SNPs exhibited ASM effects. Next, we investigated ASM in the context of genetic studies of schizophrenia and detected that brain ASM SNPs were significantly overrepresented among sub-threshold SNPs from a schizophrenia genome-wide association study (GWAS). Brain ASM SNPs showed a much stronger enrichment in a schizophrenia GWAS than in 17 large GWASs of non-psychiatric diseases and traits, arguing that ASM effects are at least partially tissue specific. Studies of germline and control brain ASM SNPs supported a causal association between ASM and schizophrenia. Finally, significantly higher proportions of ASM SNPs than of non-ASM SNPs were detected at loci exhibiting epigenetic signatures of enhancers and promoters, and they were overrepresented within transcription factor binding regions and DNase I hypersensitive sites. All of these findings collectively indicate that ASM SNPs should be prioritized in follow-up GWASs.
Project description:Regulatory and coding variants are known to be enriched with associations identified by genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of complex disease, but their contributions to trait heritability are currently unknown. We applied variance-component methods to imputed genotype data for 11 common diseases to partition the heritability explained by genotyped SNPs (hg(2)) across functional categories (while accounting for shared variance due to linkage disequilibrium). Extensive simulations showed that in contrast to current estimates from GWAS summary statistics, the variance-component approach partitions heritability accurately under a wide range of complex-disease architectures. Across the 11 diseases DNaseI hypersensitivity sites (DHSs) from 217 cell types spanned 16% of imputed SNPs (and 24% of genotyped SNPs) but explained an average of 79% (SE = 8%) of hg(2) from imputed SNPs (5.1× enrichment; p = 3.7 × 10(-17)) and 38% (SE = 4%) of hg(2) from genotyped SNPs (1.6× enrichment, p = 1.0 × 10(-4)). Further enrichment was observed at enhancer DHSs and cell-type-specific DHSs. In contrast, coding variants, which span 1% of the genome, explained <10% of hg(2) despite having the highest enrichment. We replicated these findings but found no significant contribution from rare coding variants in independent schizophrenia cohorts genotyped on GWAS and exome chips. Our results highlight the value of analyzing components of heritability to unravel the functional architecture of common disease.
Project description:Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have proven highly effective, identifying hundreds of associations across numerous complex diseases. These studies typically test hundreds of thousands of variations and identify hundreds of potential associations. However, to date, follow-up attempts have generally only concentrated on just the few most significant initial associations, leaving the majority of true associations in any GWAS study without replication. Here, we present a substantially more comprehensive follow-up of the first genome-wide association screen performed in multiple sclerosis (MS), a complex genetic disease with central nervous system inflammation. We genotyped approximately 30 000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that demonstrated mild-to-moderate levels of significance (P < or = 0.10) in the initial GWAS in an independent set of 1343 MS cases and 1379 controls. We further replicated several of the most significant findings in another independent data set of 2164 MS cases and 2016 controls. We find considerable evidence for a number of novel susceptibility loci including KIF21B [rs12122721, combined P = 6.56 x 10(-10), odds ratio (OR) = 1.22] and TMEM39A (rs1132200, P = 3.09 x 10(-8), OR = 1.24), both of which meet genome-wide significance. Both of these loci were overlooked in the initial replication, despite being among the top 3000 ( approximately 1%) SNP hits in the original screen.
Project description:Only a small proportion of genetic variation in complex traits has been explained by SNPs from genome-wide association studies (GWASs). We report the results from two GWASs for serum markers of iron status (serum iron, serum transferrin, transferrin saturation with iron, and serum ferritin), which are important in iron overload (e.g., hemochromatosis) and deficiency (e.g., anemia) conditions. We performed two GWASs on samples of Australians of European descent. In the first GWAS, 411 adolescent twins and their siblings were genotyped with 100K SNPs. rs1830084, 10.8 kb 3' of TF, was significantly associated with serum transferrin (p total association test = 1.0 x 10(-9); p within-family test = 2.2 x 10(-5)). In the second GWAS on an independent sample of 459 female monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs genotyped with 300K SNPs, we found rs3811647 (within intron 11 of TF, HapMap CEU r(2) with rs1830084 = 0.86) was significantly associated with serum transferrin (p = 3.0 x 10(-15)). In the second GWAS, we found two additional and independent SNPs on TF (rs1799852 and rs2280673) and confirmed the known C282Y mutation in HFE to be independently associated with serum transferrin. The three variants in TF (rs3811647, rs1799852 and rs2280673) plus the HFE C282Y mutation explained approximately 40% of genetic variation in serum transferrin (p = 7.8 x 10(-25)). These findings are potentially important for our understanding of iron metabolism and of regulation of hepatic protein secretion, and also strongly support the hypothesis that the genetic architecture of some endophenotypes may be simpler than that of disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Over the relatively short history of Genome Wide Association Studies (GWASs), hundreds of GWASs have been published and thousands of disease risk-associated SNPs have been identified. Summary statistics from the conducted GWASs are often available and can be used to identify SNP features associated with the level of GWAS statistical significance. Those features could be used to select SNPs from gray zones (SNPs that are nominally significant but do not reach the genome-wide level of significance) for targeted analyses. METHODS:We used summary statistics from recently published breast and lung cancer and scleroderma GWASs to explore the association between the level of the GWAS statistical significance and the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) status of the SNP. Data from the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project (GTEx) were used to identify eQTL SNPs. RESULTS:We found that SNPs reported as eQTLs were more significant in GWAS (higher -log10p) regardless of the tissue specificity of the eQTL. Pan-tissue eQTLs (those reported as eQTLs in multiple tissues) tended to be more significant in the GWAS compared to those reported as eQTL in only one tissue type. eQTL density in the ±5?kb adjacent region of a given SNP was also positively associated with the level of GWAS statistical significance regardless of the eQTL status of the SNP. We found that SNPs located in the regions of high eQTL density were more likely to be located in regulatory elements (transcription factor or miRNA binding sites). When SNPs were stratified by the level of statistical significance, the proportion of eQTLs was positively associated with the mean level of statistical significance in the group. The association curve reaches a plateau around -log10p???5. The observed associations suggest that quasi-significant SNPs (10-?5?<?p?<?5?×?10-?8) and SNPs at the genome wide level of statistical significance (p?<?5?×?10-?8) may have a similar proportions of risk associated SNPs. CONCLUSIONS:The results of this study indicate that the SNP's eQTL status, as well as eQTL density in the adjacent region are positively associated with the level of statistical significance of the SNP in GWAS.
Project description:Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified many SNPs associated with various common diseases. Understanding the biological functions of these identified SNP associations requires identifying disease/trait relevant tissues or cell types. Here, we develop a network method, CoCoNet, to facilitate the identification of trait-relevant tissues or cell types. Different from existing approaches, CoCoNet incorporates tissue-specific gene co-expression networks constructed from either bulk or single cell RNA sequencing (RNAseq) studies with GWAS data for trait-tissue inference. In particular, CoCoNet relies on a covariance regression network model to express gene-level effect measurements for the given GWAS trait as a function of the tissue-specific co-expression adjacency matrix. With a composite likelihood-based inference algorithm, CoCoNet is scalable to tens of thousands of genes. We validate the performance of CoCoNet through extensive simulations. We apply CoCoNet for an in-depth analysis of four neurological disorders and four autoimmune diseases, where we integrate the corresponding GWASs with bulk RNAseq data from 38 tissues and single cell RNAseq data from 10 cell types. In the real data applications, we show how CoCoNet can help identify specific glial cell types relevant for neurological disorders and identify disease-targeted colon tissues as relevant for autoimmune diseases.
Project description:Recent Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have identified four low-penetrance ovarian cancer susceptibility loci. We hypothesized that further moderate- or low-penetrance variants exist among the subset of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) not well tagged by the genotyping arrays used in the previous studies, which would account for some of the remaining risk. We therefore conducted a time- and cost-effective stage 1 GWAS on 342 invasive serous cases and 643 controls genotyped on pooled DNA using the high-density Illumina 1M-Duo array. We followed up 20 of the most significantly associated SNPs, which are not well tagged by the lower density arrays used by the published GWAS, and genotyping them on individual DNA. Most of the top 20 SNPs were clearly validated by individually genotyping the samples used in the pools. However, none of the 20 SNPs replicated when tested for association in a much larger stage 2 set of 4,651 cases and 6,966 controls from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Given that most of the top 20 SNPs from pooling were validated in the same samples by individual genotyping, the lack of replication is likely to be due to the relatively small sample size in our stage 1 GWAS rather than due to problems with the pooling approach. We conclude that there are unlikely to be any moderate or large effects on ovarian cancer risk untagged by less dense arrays. However, our study lacked power to make clear statements on the existence of hitherto untagged small-effect variants.
Project description:Common diseases such as endometriosis (ED), Alzheimer's disease (AD) and multiple sclerosis (MS) account for a significant proportion of the health care burden in many countries. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) for these diseases have identified a number of individual genetic variants contributing to the risk of those diseases. However, the effect size for most variants is small and collectively the known variants explain only a small proportion of the estimated heritability. We used a linear mixed model to fit all single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) simultaneously, and estimated genetic variances on the liability scale using SNPs from GWASs in unrelated individuals for these three diseases. For each of the three diseases, case and control samples were not all genotyped in the same laboratory. We demonstrate that a careful analysis can obtain robust estimates, but also that insufficient quality control (QC) of SNPs can lead to spurious results and that too stringent QC is likely to remove real genetic signals. Our estimates show that common SNPs on commercially available genotyping chips capture significant variation contributing to liability for all three diseases. The estimated proportion of total variation tagged by all SNPs was 0.26 (SE 0.04) for ED, 0.24 (SE 0.03) for AD and 0.30 (SE 0.03) for MS. Further, we partitioned the genetic variance explained into five categories by a minor allele frequency (MAF), by chromosomes and gene annotation. We provide strong evidence that a substantial proportion of variation in liability is explained by common SNPs, and thereby give insights into the genetic architecture of the diseases.
Project description:The first genome wide association study (GWAS) for childhood asthma identified a novel major susceptibility locus on chromosome 17q21 harboring the ORMDL3 gene, but the role of previous asthma candidate genes was not specifically analyzed in this GWAS. We systematically identified 89 SNPs in 14 candidate genes previously associated with asthma in >3 independent study populations. We re-genotyped 39 SNPs in these genes not covered by GWAS performed in 703 asthmatics and 658 reference children. Genotyping data were compared to imputation data derived from Illumina HumanHap300 chip genotyping. Results were combined to analyze 566 SNPs covering all 14 candidate gene loci. Genotyped polymorphisms in ADAM33, GSTP1 and VDR showed effects with p-values <0.0035 (corrected for multiple testing). Combining genotyping and imputation, polymorphisms in DPP10, EDN1, IL12B, IL13, IL4, IL4R and TNF showed associations at a significance level between p?=?0.05 and p?=?0.0035. These data indicate that (a) GWAS coverage is insufficient for many asthma candidate genes, (b) imputation based on these data is reliable but incomplete, and (c) SNPs in three previously identified asthma candidate genes replicate in our GWAS population with significance after correction for multiple testing in 14 genes.