Displaying all 12 publications

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  1. Benson MD, Khor CC, Gage PJ, Lehmann OJ
    Mol. Vis., 2017;23:952-962.
    PMID: 29296075
    Purpose: To evaluate the ability of a targeted genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genes associated with central corneal thickness (CCT).

    Methods: A targeted GWAS was used to investigate whether ten candidate genes with known roles in corneal development were associated with CCT in two Singaporean populations. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within a 500 kb interval encompassing each candidate were analyzed, and in light of the resulting data, members of the Wnt pathway were subsequently screened using similar methodology.

    Results: Variants within the 500 kb interval encompassing three candidate genes, DKK1 (rs1896368, p=1.32×10-3), DKK2 (rs17510449, p=7.34×10-4), and FOXO1 (rs7326616, p=1.56×10-4 and rs4943785, p=1.19×10-3), were statistically significantly associated with CCT in the Singapore Indian population. DKK2 was statistically significantly associated with CCT in a separate Singapore Malaysian population (rs10015200, p=2.26×10-3). Analysis of Wnt signaling pathway genes in each population demonstrated that TCF7L2 (rs3814573, p=1.18×10-3), RYK (rs6763231, p=1.12×10-3 and rs4854785, p=1.11×10-3), and FZD8 (rs640827, p=5.17×10-4) were statistically significantly associated with CCT.

    Conclusions: The targeted GWAS identified four genes (DKK1, DKK2, RYK, and FZD8) with novel associations with CCT and confirmed known associations with two genes, FOXO1 and TCF7L2. All six participate in the Wnt pathway, supporting a broader role for Wnt signaling in regulating the thickness of the cornea. In parallel, this study demonstrated that a hypothesis-driven candidate gene approach can identify associations in existing GWAS data sets.

  2. Vithana EN, Aung T, Khor CC, Cornes BK, Tay WT, Sim X, et al.
    Hum. Mol. Genet., 2011 Feb 15;20(4):649-58.
    PMID: 21098505 DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddq511
    Central corneal thickness (CCT) is a risk factor of glaucoma, the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The identification of genetic determinants affecting CCT in the normal population will provide insights into the mechanisms underlying the association between CCT and glaucoma, as well as the pathogenesis of glaucoma itself. We conducted two genome-wide association studies for CCT in 5080 individuals drawn from two ethnic populations in Singapore (2538 Indian and 2542 Malays) and identified novel genetic loci significantly associated with CCT (COL8A2 rs96067, p(meta) = 5.40 × 10⁻¹³, interval of RXRA-COL5A1 rs1536478, p(meta) = 3.05 × 10⁻⁹). We confirmed the involvement of a previously reported gene for CCT and brittle cornea syndrome (ZNF469) [rs9938149 (p(meta) = 1.63 × 10⁻¹⁶) and rs12447690 (p(meta) = 1.92 × 10⁻¹⁴)]. Evidence of association exceeding the formal threshold for genome-wide significance was observed at rs7044529, an SNP located within COL5A1 when data from this study (n = 5080, P = 0.0012) were considered together with all published data (reflecting an additional 7349 individuals, p(Fisher) = 1.5 × 10⁻⁹). These findings implicate the involvement of collagen genes influencing CCT and thus, possibly the pathogenesis of glaucoma.
  3. Foo JN, Tan LC, Liany H, Koh TH, Irwan ID, Ng YY, et al.
    Hum. Mol. Genet., 2014 Jul 15;23(14):3891-7.
    PMID: 24565865 DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddu086
    To evaluate the contribution of non-synonymous-coding variants of known familial and genome-wide association studies (GWAS)-linked genes for Parkinson's disease (PD) to PD risk in the East Asian population, we sequenced all the coding exons of 39 PD-related disease genes and evaluated the accumulation of rare non-synonymous-coding variants in 375 early-onset PD cases and 399 controls. We also genotyped 782 non-synonymous-coding variants of these genes in 710 late-onset PD cases and 9046 population controls. Significant enrichment of LRRK2 variants was observed in both early- and late-onset PD (odds ratio = 1.58; 95% confidence interval = 1.29-1.93; P = 8.05 × 10(-6)). Moderate enrichment was also observed in FGF20, MCCC1, GBA and ITGA8. Half of the rare variants anticipated to cause loss of function of these genes were present in healthy controls. Overall, non-synonymous-coding variants of known familial and GWAS-linked genes appear to make a limited contribution to PD risk, suggesting that clinical sequencing of these genes will provide limited information for risk prediction and molecular diagnosis.
  4. Wong LP, Ong RT, Poh WT, Liu X, Chen P, Li R, et al.
    Am. J. Hum. Genet., 2013 Jan 10;92(1):52-66.
    PMID: 23290073 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.12.005
    Whole-genome sequencing across multiple samples in a population provides an unprecedented opportunity for comprehensively characterizing the polymorphic variants in the population. Although the 1000 Genomes Project (1KGP) has offered brief insights into the value of population-level sequencing, the low coverage has compromised the ability to confidently detect rare and low-frequency variants. In addition, the composition of populations in the 1KGP is not complete, despite the fact that the study design has been extended to more than 2,500 samples from more than 20 population groups. The Malays are one of the Austronesian groups predominantly present in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and the Singapore Sequencing Malay Project (SSMP) aims to perform deep whole-genome sequencing of 100 healthy Malays. By sequencing at a minimum of 30× coverage, we have illustrated the higher sensitivity at detecting low-frequency and rare variants and the ability to investigate the presence of hotspots of functional mutations. Compared to the low-pass sequencing in the 1KGP, the deeper coverage allows more functional variants to be identified for each person. A comparison of the fidelity of genotype imputation of Malays indicated that a population-specific reference panel, such as the SSMP, outperforms a cosmopolitan panel with larger number of individuals for common SNPs. For lower-frequency (<5%) markers, a larger number of individuals might have to be whole-genome sequenced so that the accuracy currently afforded by the 1KGP can be achieved. The SSMP data are expected to be the benchmark for evaluating the value of deep population-level sequencing versus low-pass sequencing, especially in populations that are poorly represented in population-genetics studies.
  5. Liu X, Lu D, Saw WY, Shaw PJ, Wangkumhang P, Ngamphiw C, et al.
    Eur. J. Hum. Genet., 2017 04;25(4):499-508.
    PMID: 28098149 DOI: 10.1038/ejhg.2016.181
    The Asian Diversity Project (ADP) assembled 37 cosmopolitan and ethnic minority populations in Asia that have been densely genotyped across over half a million markers to study patterns of genetic diversity and positive natural selection. We performed population structure analyses of the ADP populations and divided these populations into four major groups based on their genographic information. By applying a highly sensitive algorithm haploPS to locate genomic signatures of positive selection, 140 distinct genomic regions exhibiting evidence of positive selection in at least one population were identified. We examined the extent of signal sharing for regions that were selected in multiple populations and observed that populations clustered in a similar fashion to that of how the ancestry clades were phylogenetically defined. In particular, populations predominantly located in South Asia underwent considerably different adaptation as compared with populations from the other geographical regions. Signatures of positive selection present in multiple geographical regions were predicted to be older and have emerged prior to the separation of the populations in the different regions. In contrast, selection signals present in a single population group tended to be of lower frequencies and thus can be attributed to recent evolutionary events.
  6. Li Z, Xia Y, Feng LN, Chen JR, Li HM, Cui J, et al.
    Lancet Oncol., 2016 Sep;17(9):1240-7.
    PMID: 27470079 DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30148-6
    BACKGROUND: Extranodal natural killer T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL), nasal type, is a rare and aggressive malignancy that occurs predominantly in Asian and Latin American populations. Although Epstein-Barr virus infection is a known risk factor, other risk factors and the pathogenesis of NKTCL are not well understood. We aimed to identify common genetic variants affecting individual risk of NKTCL.

    METHODS: We did a genome-wide association study of 189 patients with extranodal NKTCL, nasal type (WHO classification criteria; cases) and 957 controls from Guangdong province, southern China. We validated our findings in four independent case-control series, including 75 cases from Guangdong province and 296 controls from Hong Kong, 65 cases and 983 controls from Guangdong province, 125 cases and 1110 controls from Beijing (northern China), and 60 cases and 2476 controls from Singapore. We used imputation and conditional logistic regression analyses to fine-map the associations. We also did a meta-analysis of the replication series and of the entire dataset.

    FINDINGS: Associations exceeding the genome-wide significance threshold (p<5 × 10(-8)) were seen at 51 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) mapping to the class II MHC region on chromosome 6, with rs9277378 (located in HLA-DPB1) having the strongest association with NKTCL susceptibility (p=4·21 × 10(-19), odds ratio [OR] 1·84 [95% CI 1·61-2·11] in meta-analysis of entire dataset). Imputation-based fine-mapping across the class II MHC region suggests that four aminoacid residues (Gly84-Gly85-Pro86-Met87) in near-complete linkage disequilibrium at the edge of the peptide-binding groove of HLA-DPB1 could account for most of the association between the rs9277378*A risk allele and NKTCL susceptibility (OR 2·38, p value for haplotype 2·32 × 10(-14)). This association is distinct from MHC associations with Epstein-Barr virus infection.

    INTERPRETATION: To our knowledge, this is the first time that a genetic variant conferring an NKTCL risk is noted at genome-wide significance. This finding underlines the importance of HLA-DP antigen presentation in the pathogenesis of NKTCL.

    FUNDING: Top-Notch Young Talents Program of China, Special Support Program of Guangdong, Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (20110171120099), Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-11-0529), National Medical Research Council of Singapore (TCR12DEC005), Tanoto Foundation Professorship in Medical Oncology, New Century Foundation Limited, Ling Foundation, Singapore National Cancer Centre Research Fund, and the US National Institutes of Health (1R01AR062886, 5U01GM092691-04, and 1R01AR063759-01A1).

  7. Lin GW, Xu C, Chen K, Huang HQ, Chen J, Song B, et al.
    Lancet Oncol., 2020 Feb;21(2):306-316.
    PMID: 31879220 DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(19)30799-5
    BACKGROUND: Extranodal natural killer T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL; nasal type) is an aggressive malignancy with a particularly high prevalence in Asian and Latin American populations. Epstein-Barr virus infection has a role in the pathogenesis of NKTCL, and HLA-DPB1 variants are risk factors for the disease. We aimed to identify additional novel genetic variants affecting risk of NKTCL.

    METHODS: We did a genome-wide association study of NKTCL in multiple populations from east Asia. We recruited a discovery cohort of 700 cases with NKTCL and 7752 controls without NKTCL of Han Chinese ancestry from 19 centres in southern, central, and northern regions of China, and four independent replication samples including 717 cases and 12 650 controls. Three of these independent samples (451 cases and 5301 controls) were from eight centres in the same regions of southern, central, and northern China, and the fourth (266 cases and 7349 controls) was from 11 centres in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea. All cases had primary NKTCL that was confirmed histopathologically, and matching with controls was based on geographical region and self-reported ancestry. Logistic regression analysis was done independently by geographical regions, followed by fixed-effect meta-analyses, to identify susceptibility loci. Bioinformatic approaches, including expression quantitative trait loci, binding motif and transcriptome analyses, and biological experiments were done to fine-map and explore the functional relevance of genome-wide association loci to the development of NKTCL.

    FINDINGS: Genetic data were gathered between Jan 1, 2008, and Jan 23, 2019. Meta-analysis of all samples (a total of 1417 cases and 20 402 controls) identified two novel loci significantly associated with NKTCL: IL18RAP on 2q12.1 (rs13015714; p=2·83 × 10-16; odds ratio 1·39 [95% CI 1·28-1·50]) and HLA-DRB1 on 6p21.3 (rs9271588; 9·35 × 10-26 1·53 [1·41-1·65]). Fine-mapping and experimental analyses showed that rs1420106 at the promoter of IL18RAP was highly correlated with rs13015714, and the rs1420106-A risk variant had an upregulatory effect on IL18RAP expression. Cell growth assays in two NKTCL cell lines (YT and SNK-6 cells) showed that knockdown of IL18RAP inhibited cell proliferation by cell cycle arrest in NKTCL cells. Haplotype association analysis showed that haplotype 47F-67I was associated with reduced risk of NKTCL, whereas 47Y-67L was associated with increased risk of NKTCL. These two positions are component parts of the peptide-binding pocket 7 (P7) of the HLA-DR heterodimer, suggesting that these alterations might account for the association at HLA-DRB1, independent of the previously reported HLA-DPB1 variants.

    INTERPRETATION: Our findings provide new insights into the development of NKTCL by showing the importance of inflammation and immune regulation through the IL18-IL18RAP axis and antigen presentation involving HLA-DRB1, which might help to identify potential therapeutic targets. Taken in combination with additional genetic and other risk factors, our results could potentially be used to stratify people at high risk of NKTCL for targeted prevention.

    FUNDING: Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Program, National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Program for Support of Top-Notch Young Professionals, Chang Jiang Scholars Program, Singapore Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council, Tanoto Foundation, National Research Foundation Singapore, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Recruitment Program for Young Professionals of China, First Affiliated Hospital and Army Medical University, US National Institutes of Health, and US National Cancer Institute.

  8. Nongpiur ME, Khor CC, Jia H, Cornes BK, Chen LJ, Qiao C, et al.
    PLoS Genet., 2014 Mar;10(3):e1004089.
    PMID: 24603532 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004089
    Anterior chamber depth (ACD) is a key anatomical risk factor for primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG). We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on ACD to discover novel genes for PACG on a total of 5,308 population-based individuals of Asian descent. Genome-wide significant association was observed at a sequence variant within ABCC5 (rs1401999; per-allele effect size =  -0.045 mm, P = 8.17 × 10(-9)). This locus was associated with an increase in risk of PACG in a separate case-control study of 4,276 PACG cases and 18,801 controls (per-allele OR = 1.13 [95% CI: 1.06-1.22], P = 0.00046). The association was strengthened when a sub-group of controls with open angles were included in the analysis (per-allele OR = 1.30, P = 7.45 × 10(-9); 3,458 cases vs. 3,831 controls). Our findings suggest that the increase in PACG risk could in part be mediated by genetic sequence variants influencing anterior chamber dimensions.
  9. Vithana EN, Khor CC, Qiao C, Nongpiur ME, George R, Chen LJ, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2012 Oct;44(10):1142-1146.
    PMID: 22922875 DOI: 10.1038/ng.2390
    Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) is a major cause of blindness worldwide. We conducted a genome-wide association study including 1,854 PACG cases and 9,608 controls across 5 sample collections in Asia. Replication experiments were conducted in 1,917 PACG cases and 8,943 controls collected from a further 6 sample collections. We report significant associations at three new loci: rs11024102 in PLEKHA7 (per-allele odds ratio (OR)=1.22; P=5.33×10(-12)), rs3753841 in COL11A1 (per-allele OR=1.20; P=9.22×10(-10)) and rs1015213 located between PCMTD1 and ST18 on chromosome 8q (per-allele OR=1.50; P=3.29×10(-9)). Our findings, accumulated across these independent worldwide collections, suggest possible mechanisms explaining the pathogenesis of PACG.
  10. Li Z, Allingham RR, Nakano M, Jia L, Chen Y, Ikeda Y, et al.
    Hum. Mol. Genet., 2015 Jul 1;24(13):3880-92.
    PMID: 25861811 DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddv128
    Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), a major cause of blindness worldwide, is a complex disease with a significant genetic contribution. We performed Exome Array (Illumina) analysis on 3504 POAG cases and 9746 controls with replication of the most significant findings in 9173 POAG cases and 26 780 controls across 18 collections of Asian, African and European descent. Apart from confirming strong evidence of association at CDKN2B-AS1 (rs2157719 [G], odds ratio [OR] = 0.71, P = 2.81 × 10(-33)), we observed one SNP showing significant association to POAG (CDC7-TGFBR3 rs1192415, ORG-allele = 1.13, Pmeta = 1.60 × 10(-8)). This particular SNP has previously been shown to be strongly associated with optic disc area and vertical cup-to-disc ratio, which are regarded as glaucoma-related quantitative traits. Our study now extends this by directly implicating it in POAG disease pathogenesis.
  11. Li J, Lindström LS, Foo JN, Rafiq S, Schmidt MK, Pharoah PD, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2014 Jun 17;5:4051.
    PMID: 24937182 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5051
    Large population-based registry studies have shown that breast cancer prognosis is inherited. Here we analyse single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes implicated in human immunology and inflammation as candidates for prognostic markers of breast cancer survival involving 1,804 oestrogen receptor (ER)-negative patients treated with chemotherapy (279 events) from 14 European studies in a prior large-scale genotyping experiment, which is part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS) initiative. We carry out replication using Asian COGS samples (n=522, 53 events) and the Prospective Study of Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary breast cancer (POSH) study (n=315, 108 events). Rs4458204_A near CCL20 (2q36.3) is found to be associated with breast cancer-specific death at a genome-wide significant level (n=2,641, 440 events, combined allelic hazard ratio (HR)=1.81 (1.49-2.19); P for trend=1.90 × 10(-9)). Such survival-associated variants can represent ideal targets for tailored therapeutics, and may also enhance our current prognostic prediction capabilities.
  12. Khor CC, Do T, Jia H, Nakano M, George R, Abu-Amero K, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2016 May;48(5):556-62.
    PMID: 27064256 DOI: 10.1038/ng.3540
    Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) is a major cause of blindness worldwide. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) followed by replication in a combined total of 10,503 PACG cases and 29,567 controls drawn from 24 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. We observed significant evidence of disease association at five new genetic loci upon meta-analysis of all patient collections. These loci are at EPDR1 rs3816415 (odds ratio (OR) = 1.24, P = 5.94 × 10(-15)), CHAT rs1258267 (OR = 1.22, P = 2.85 × 10(-16)), GLIS3 rs736893 (OR = 1.18, P = 1.43 × 10(-14)), FERMT2 rs7494379 (OR = 1.14, P = 3.43 × 10(-11)), and DPM2-FAM102A rs3739821 (OR = 1.15, P = 8.32 × 10(-12)). We also confirmed significant association at three previously described loci (P < 5 × 10(-8) for each sentinel SNP at PLEKHA7, COL11A1, and PCMTD1-ST18), providing new insights into the biology of PACG.
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