Project description:Mendelian-like inheritance of germline DNA methylation in cancer susceptibility genes has been previously reported. We aimed to scan the genome for heritable methylation marks associated with breast cancer susceptibility by studying 25 Australian multiple-case breast cancer families. Here we report genome-wide DNA methylation measured in 210 peripheral blood DNA samples provided by family members using the Infinium HumanMethylation450. We develop and apply a new statistical method to identify heritable methylation marks based on complex segregation analysis. We estimate carrier probabilities for the 1000 most heritable methylation marks based on family structure, and we use Cox proportional hazards survival analysis to identify 24 methylation marks with corresponding carrier probabilities significantly associated with breast cancer. We replicate an association with breast cancer risk for four of the 24 marks using an independent nested case-control study. Here, we report a novel approach for identifying heritable DNA methylation marks associated with breast cancer risk.
Project description:The body of human genomic and proteomic evidence continues to grow at ever-increasing rates, while annotation efforts struggle to keep pace. A surprisingly small fraction of human genes have clear, documented associations with specific functions, and new functions continue to be found for characterized genes. Here we assembled an integrated collection of diverse genomic and proteomic data for 21,341 human genes and make quantitative associations of each to 4333 Gene Ontology terms. We combined guilt-by-profiling and guilt-by-association approaches to exploit features unique to the data types. Performance was evaluated by cross-validation, prospective validation, and by manual evaluation with the biological literature. Functional-linkage networks were also constructed, and their utility was demonstrated by identifying candidate genes related to a glioma FLN using a seed network from genome-wide association studies. Our annotations are presented-alongside existing validated annotations-in a publicly accessible and searchable web interface.
Project description:The genetic architecture of the craniofacial complex has been the subject of intense scrutiny because of the high frequency of congenital malformations. Numerous animal models have been used to document the early development of the craniofacial complex, but few studies have focused directly on the genetic underpinnings of normal variation in the human craniofacial complex. This study examines 80 quantitative traits derived from lateral cephalographs of 981 participants in the Fels Longitudinal Study, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. Quantitative genetic analyses were conducted using the Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines analytic platform, a maximum-likelihood variance components method that incorporates all familial information for parameter estimation. Heritability estimates were significant and of moderate to high magnitude for all craniofacial traits. Additionally, significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified for 10 traits from the three developmental components (basicranium, splanchnocranium, and neurocranium) of the craniofacial complex. These QTL were found on chromosomes 3, 6, 11, 12, and 14. This study of the genetic architecture of the craniofacial complex elucidates fundamental information of the genetic architecture of the craniofacial complex in humans.
Project description:Multiple nonmalignant cell types in the tumor microenvironment (TME) impact breast cancer risk, metastasis, and response to therapy, yet most heritable mechanisms that influence TME cell function and breast cancer outcomes are largely unknown. Breast cancer risk is ?30% heritable and >170 genetic loci have been associated with breast cancer traits. However, the majority of candidate genes have poorly defined mechanistic roles in breast cancer biology. Research indicates that breast cancer risk modifiers directly impact cancer cells, yet it is equally plausible that some modifier alleles impact the nonmalignant TME. The objective of this review is to examine the list of current breast cancer candidate genes that may modify breast cancer risk and outcome through the TME.
Project description:Retinoblastoma is a rare childhood eye cancer caused by germline or somatic mutations in the RB1 gene. Previous studies observed elevated breast cancer risk among retinoblastoma survivors. However, there has been no research on breast cancer risk in relation to radiation (primarily scatter radiation from the primary treatment) and genetic susceptibility of retinoblastoma survivors.Two groups of retinoblastoma survivors from the US and UK were selected, and breast cancer risk analysed using a case-control methodology, nesting within the respective cohorts, matching on heritability (that is to say, having bilateral retinoblastoma or being unilateral cases with at least one relative with retinoblastoma), and using exact statistical methods. There were a total of 31 cases and 77 controls.Overall there was no significant variation of breast cancer risk with dose (P>0.5). However, there was a pronounced and significant (P=0.047) increase in the risk of breast cancer with increasing radiation dose for non-heritable retinoblastoma patients and a slight and borderline significant (P=0.072) decrease in risk of breast cancer with increasing radiation dose for heritable retinoblastoma patients, implying significant (P=0.024) heterogeneity in radiation risk between the heritable and non-heritable retinoblastoma groups; this was unaffected by the blindness status. There was no significant effect of any type of alkylating-agent chemotherapy on breast cancer risk (P>0.5).There is significant radiation-related risk of breast cancer for non-heritable retinoblastoma survivors but no excess risk for heritable retinoblastoma survivors, and no significant risk overall. However, these results are based on very small numbers of cases; therefore, they must be interpreted with caution.
Project description:Kynureninase is a member of a large family of catalytically diverse but structurally homologous pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) dependent enzymes known as the aspartate aminotransferase superfamily or alpha-family. The Homo sapiens and other eukaryotic constitutive kynureninases preferentially catalyze the hydrolytic cleavage of 3-hydroxy-l-kynurenine to produce 3-hydroxyanthranilate and l-alanine, while l-kynurenine is the substrate of many prokaryotic inducible kynureninases. The human enzyme was cloned with an N-terminal hexahistidine tag, expressed, and purified from a bacterial expression system using Ni metal ion affinity chromatography. Kinetic characterization of the recombinant enzyme reveals classic Michaelis-Menten behavior, with a Km of 28.3 +/- 1.9 microM and a specific activity of 1.75 micromol min-1 mg-1 for 3-hydroxy-dl-kynurenine. Crystals of recombinant kynureninase that diffracted to 2.0 A were obtained, and the atomic structure of the PLP-bound holoenzyme was determined by molecular replacement using the Pseudomonas fluorescens kynureninase structure (PDB entry 1qz9) as the phasing model. A structural superposition with the P. fluorescens kynureninase revealed that these two structures resemble the "open" and "closed" conformations of aspartate aminotransferase. The comparison illustrates the dynamic nature of these proteins' small domains and reveals a role for Arg-434 similar to its role in other AAT alpha-family members. Docking of 3-hydroxy-l-kynurenine into the human kynureninase active site suggests that Asn-333 and His-102 are involved in substrate binding and molecular discrimination between inducible and constitutive kynureninase substrates.
Project description:Anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens, AMH) began spreading across Eurasia from Africa and adjacent Southwest Asia about 50,000-55,000 years ago (ca 50-55 ka). Some have argued that human genetic, fossil, and archaeological data indicate one or more prior dispersals, possibly as early as 120 ka. A recently reported age estimate of 65 ka for Madjedbebe, an archaeological site in northern Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea), if correct, offers what might be the strongest support yet presented for a pre-55-ka African AMH exodus. We review evidence for AMH arrival on an arc spanning South China through Sahul and then evaluate data from Madjedbebe. We find that an age estimate of >50 ka for this site is unlikely to be valid. While AMH may have moved far beyond Africa well before 50-55 ka, data from the region of interest offered in support of this idea are not compelling.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mammographic density (MD) is a strong and heritable intermediate phenotype of breast cancer, but much of its genetic variation remains unexplained. METHODS:We conducted a genetic association study of volumetric MD in a Swedish mammography screening cohort (n = 9498) to identify novel MD loci. Associations with volumetric MD phenotypes (percent dense volume, absolute dense volume, and absolute nondense volume) were estimated using linear regression adjusting for age, body mass index, menopausal status, and six principal components. We also estimated the proportion of MD variance explained by additive contributions from single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP-based heritability [h2SNP]) in 4948 participants of the cohort. RESULTS:In total, three novel MD loci were identified (at P < 5 × 10-?8): one for percent dense volume (HABP2) and two for the absolute dense volume (INHBB, LINC01483). INHBB is an established locus for ER-negative breast cancer, and HABP2 and LINC01483 represent putative new breast cancer susceptibility loci, because both loci were associated with breast cancer in available meta-analysis data including 122,977 breast cancer cases and 105,974 control subjects (P < 0.05). h2SNP (SE) estimates for percent dense, absolute dense, and nondense volume were 0.29 (0.07), 0.31 (0.07), and 0.25 (0.07), respectively. Corresponding ratios of h2SNP to previously observed narrow-sense h2 estimates in the same cohort were 0.46, 0.72, and 0.41, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:These findings provide new insights into the genetic basis of MD and biological mechanisms linking MD to breast cancer risk. Apart from identifying three novel loci, we demonstrate that at least 25% of the MD variance is explained by common genetic variation with h2SNP/h2 ratios varying between dense and nondense MD components.