Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 37 in total

  1. Choy MK, Phipps ME
    J. Mol. Evol., 2003 Jul;57(1):38-43.
    PMID: 12962304
    Phylogenetic relationships among 23 nonhuman primate (NHP) major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related gene (MIC) sequences, 54 confirmed human MICA alleles, and 16 human MICE alleles were constructed with methods of sequence analysis. Topology of the phylogenetic tree showed separation between NHP MICs and human MICs. For human MICs, the topology indicated monophyly for the MICB alleles, while MICA alleles were separated into two lineages, LI and LII. Of these, LI MICA alleles shared a common ancestry with gorilla (Ggo) MIC. One conservative amino acid difference and two nonconservative amino acid differences in the alpha3 domain were found between the MICA lineages. The nonconservative amino acid differences might imply structural and functional differences. Transmembrane (TM) trinucleotide-repeat variants were found to be specific to the MICA lineages such as A4, A9, and A10 to LI and A5 to LII. Variants such as A5.1 and A6 were commonly found in both MICA lineages. Based on these analyses, we postulate a polyphyletic origin for MICA alleles and their division into two lineages, LI and LII. As such, there would be 30 alleles in LI and 24 alleles in LII, thereby reducing the current level of polymorphism that exists, based on a presumed monophyletic origin. The lower degree of polymorphism in MICA would then be in line with the rest of the human major histocompatibility complex nonclassical class I genes.
  2. Chai HC, Phipps ME, Chua KH
    Clin. Dev. Immunol., 2012;2012:963730.
    PMID: 21941582 DOI: 10.1155/2012/963730
    SLE is an autoimmune disease that is not uncommon in Malaysia. In contrast to Malays and Indians, the Chinese seem to be most affected. SLE is characterized by deficiency of body's immune response that leads to production of autoantibodies and failure of immune complex clearance. This minireview attempts to summarize the association of several candidate genes with risk for SLE in the Malaysian population and discuss the genetic heterogeneity that exists locally in Asians and in comparison with SLE in Caucasians. Several groups of researchers have been actively investigating genes that are associated with SLE susceptibility in the Malaysian population by screening possible reported candidate genes across the SLE patients and healthy controls. These candidate genes include MHC genes and genes encoding complement components, TNF, FcγR, T-cell receptors, and interleukins. However, most of the polymorphisms investigated in these genes did not show significant associations with susceptibility to SLE in the Malaysian scenario, except for those occurring in MHC genes and genes coding for TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-1RN, and IL-6.
  3. Chai HC, Chua KH, Lim SK, Phipps ME
    J Immunol Res, 2014;2014:529167.
    PMID: 24741605 DOI: 10.1155/2014/529167
    Polymorphisms in genes involved in toll-like receptor/interferon signalling pathways have been reported previously to be associated with SLE in many populations. This study aimed to investigate the role of seven single nucleotide polymorphisms within TNFAIP3, STAT4, and IRF5, which are involved in upstream and downstream pathways of type I interferon production, in SLE in the South East Asian populations. Genotyping of 360 Malaysian SLE patients and 430 normal healthy individuals revealed that minor alleles of STAT4 rs7574865 and rs10168266 were associated with elevated risk of SLE in the Chinese and Malay patients, respectively (P = 0.028, odds ratio (OR) = 1.42; P = 0.035, OR = 1.80, respectively). Polymorphisms in TNFAIP3 and IRF5 did not show significant associations with SLE in any of the ethnicities. Combined analysis of the Malays, Chinese, and Indians for each SNP indicated that STAT4 rs10168266 was significantly associated with the Malaysian SLE as a whole (P = 0.014; OR = 1.435). The meta-analysis of STAT4 rs10168266, which combined the data of other studies and this study, further confirmed its importance as the risk factor for SLE by having pooled OR of 1.559 and P value of <0.001.
    Study site: University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  4. Jinam TA, Phipps ME, Saitou N, Hugo Pan-Asian SNP Consortium
    Hum. Biol., 2013 Feb-Jun;85(1-3):173-88.
    PMID: 24297225
    Southeast Asia houses various culturally and linguistically diverse ethnic groups. In Malaysia, where the Malay, Chinese, and Indian ethnic groups form the majority, there exist minority groups such as the "negritos" who are believed to be descendants of the earliest settlers of Southeast Asia. Here we report patterns of genetic substructure and admixture in two Malaysian negrito populations (Jehai and Kensiu), using ~50,000 genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. We found traces of recent admixture in both the negrito populations, particularly in the Jehai, with the Malay through principal component analysis and STRUCTURE analysis software, which suggested that the admixture was as recent as one generation ago. We also identified significantly differentiated nonsynonymous SNPs and haplotype blocks related to intracellular transport, metabolic processes, and detection of stimulus. These results highlight the different levels of admixture experienced by the two Malaysian negritos. Delineating admixture and differentiated genomic regions should be of importance in designing and interpretation of molecular anthropology and disease association studies.
  5. Mohd-Yusuf Y, Phipps ME, Chow SK, Yeap SS
    Immunol. Lett., 2011 Sep 30;139(1-2):68-72.
    PMID: 21658414 DOI: 10.1016/j.imlet.2011.05.001
    We investigated the association of the HLA genes in Malaysian patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and their associations with the clinical manifestations in 160 SLE patients (99 Chinese and 61 Malays) and 107 healthy control individuals (58 Chinese and 49 Malays) were studied. Sequence specific primer amplification (PCR-SSP) phototyping techniques were used to analyse 25 HLA-A allele groups, 31 HLA-DR allele groups and 9 HLA-DQ allele groups. Appreciable increases in allele frequencies of HLA-A*11, DRB1*0701, DRB1*1601-1606, DRB5*01-02 and DQB1*05, and decrease in HLA-DRB1*1101-1121, 1411, DRB1*1201-3, DRB1*1301-22, DRB3*0101, 0201, 0202, 0203, 0301 and DQB1*0301, 1304 in SLE patients compared with healthy control individuals. However, after Bonferroni correction (p(c)<0.05) only HLA-A*1101, 1102, DRB5*01-02, DQB1*05, DRB1*1201-3, DRB3*0101, 0201, 0202, 0203, 0301 and DQB1*0301, 0304 remained significant. Allele frequencies of DRB1*0701 and DRB4*0101101, 0102, 0103, DQB1*05, DRB1*1301-22, DRB3*0101, 0201, 0202, 0203, 0301 and DQB1*0301, 0304 were significantly increased in Malay SLE patients compared with healthy control individuals. In contrast, Chinese SLE patients had increased allele frequencies of DRB1*1601-1606, DQB1*05, DRB1*1201-3, DRB3*0101, 0201, 0202, 0203, 0301, DRB3*0101, 0201, 0202, 0203, 0301 and DQB1*0301, 0304 compared with healthy control individuals. HLA-A*6801-02 and DRB1*1601-1606 frequencies appeared elevated in a subset of patients with serositis and DRB1* 0401-1122 frequency was elevated in those displaying neurologic disorder. However, unequivocal evidence of these associations would require investigation of substantially larger cohorts. On the whole, our findings suggest that HLA allele associations with SLE are race specific in Malays and Chinese.
    Study site: SLE clinic, University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  6. Jinam TA, Saitou N, Edo J, Mahmood A, Phipps ME
    Tissue Antigens, 2010 Feb;75(2):151-8.
    PMID: 20003135 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0039.2009.01417.x
    This is the first report of high-resolution human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing in four indigenous groups in Malaysia. A total of 99 normal, healthy participants representing the Negrito (Jehai and Kensiu), Proto-Malay (Temuan) and a native group of Borneo (Bidayuh) were typed for HLA-A, -B, -DRB1 and -DQB1 genes using sequence-based typing. Eleven HLA-A, 26 HLA-B, 16 HLA-DRB1 and 14 HLA-DQB1 alleles were detected, including a new allele, HLA-B*3589 in the Jehai. Highly frequent alleles were A*2407, B*1513, B*1801, DRB1*0901, DRB1*1202, DRB1*1502, DQB1*0303 and DQB1*0502. Principal component analysis based on high-resolution HLA-A, -B and -DRB1 allele frequencies showed close affinities among all four groups, including the Negritos, with other Southeast Asian populations. These results showed the scope of HLA diversity in these indigenous minority groups and may prove beneficial for future disease association, anthropological and forensic studies.
  7. Noor SM, Phipps ME, Fong MY, Chan LL
    Med J Malaysia, 2007 Mar;62(1):23-6.
    PMID: 17682565 MyJurnal
    Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a treatment option for malignant and non-malignant disorders in children. For children with no HLA-matched sibling or related stem cell donors, there is the option of unrelated cord blood donors. At the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Kuala Lumpur, the first unrelated cord blood transplantation (CBT) was performed in October 1997. All unrelated CBT performed in UMMC relied on cord blood units imported from overseas. DNA typing with variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) loci was done to qualitatively evaluate engraftment in 15 unrelated CBT. In all the fifteen cases that were evaluated, molecular evidence of engraftment or non-engraftment correlated with the clinical findings.
  8. Dunn DS, Choy MK, Phipps ME, Kulski JK
    Tissue Antigens, 2007 Aug;70(2):136-43.
    PMID: 17610418
    The frequency and association of polymorphic Alu insertions (POALINs) with human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class I genes within the class I genomic region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) have been reported previously for three populations: the Australian Caucasian, Japanese and north-eastern Thai populations. Here, we report on the individual insertion frequency of the five POALINs within the MHC class I region, their HLA-A and HLA-B associations, the POALIN haplotype frequencies and the HLA-A/POALIN four-loci haplotype frequencies in the Malaysian Chinese population. The phylogenetic relationship of the four populations based on the five POALIN allele frequencies was also examined. In the Malaysian Chinese population, the POALIN AluyHG was present at the highest frequency (0.560), followed by AluyHJ (0.300), AluyMICB (0.170), AluyTF (0.040) and AluyHF (0.030). The most frequent five-loci POALIN haplotype of the 16 inferred haplotypes was the AluyHG single insertion haplotype at a frequency of 0.489. Strong associations were present between AluyHJ and HLA-A24, HLA-A33 and HLA-A11 and between AluyHG and HLA-A2, HLA-A24 and HLA-A11, and these were reflected by the inferred haplotype frequencies constructed from the combination of the HLA-A locus and the AluyHG, AluyHJ and AluyHF loci. The strongest association of AluyMICB was with the HLA-B54 allele (five of five), whereas the associations with the other 17 HLA-B alleles were weak, moderate or undetermined. Phylogenetic analysis of the five POALIN allele frequencies places the Malaysian Chinese closest to the Japanese and north-eastern Thai populations in the same cluster and separate to the Australian Caucasian population. The MHC POALINs are confirmed in this study to be informative genetic markers in lineage (haplotype) analysis, population genetics and evolutionary relationships, especially in studying the MHC genomic region.
  9. Chai HC, Phipps ME, Othman I, Tan LP, Chua KH
    Lupus, 2013 Feb;22(2):198-204.
    PMID: 23257407 DOI: 10.1177/0961203312470183
    BACKGROUND: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antigens and genes have long been reported associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility in many populations. With the advance in technologies such as genome-wide association studies, many newly discovered SLE-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been reported in recent years. These include HLA-DRB1/HLA-DQA1 rs9271366 and HLA-DQB1/HLA-DQA2 rs9275328. Our aim was to investigate these SNPs in a Malaysian SLE cohort.
    MATERIALS AND METHODS: SNPs rs9271366 and rs9275328 were screened across 790 Malaysian citizens from three ethnic groups (360 patients and 430 healthy volunteers) by Taqman SNP genotyping assays. Allele and genotyping frequencies, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, Fisher's exact test and odds ratio were calculated for each SNP and ethnic group. Linkage disequilibrium and interaction between the two SNPs were also evaluated.
    RESULTS: The minor allele G and its homozygous genotype GG of HLA-DRB1/HLA-DQA1 rs9271366 significantly increased the SLE susceptibility in Malaysian patients, including those of Malay and Chinese ethnicity (odds ratio (OR) > 1, p 
  10. Kong KF, Yeap SS, Chow SK, Phipps ME
    Autoimmunity, 2002 Jul;35(4):235-9.
    PMID: 12482190
    Worldwide population studies have generally agreed that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with a group of HLA-DRB1 alleles which share a common amino acid sequence at residues 70-74. This represents the first study to investigate the association of HLA-DRB1 genes with susceptibility to RA amongst Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnic groups in Malaysia. One hundred and thirty three RA patients and one hundred and sixty seven healthy controls were recruited. The HLA-DRB1 alleles were studied using the Phototyping method. The subtypes of HLA-DR4 were detected by "high resolution" PCR-SSP DRB1*04 typing techniques. The prevalence of HLA-DRB1*0405 was significantly higher in Malay patients with RA than in healthy controls (28.9 vs. 8.3%, p = 0.0016, OR = 4.48, 95% CI = 1.26-16.69). Similarly, DRB1*0405 was more common in Chinese RA patients than in controls (30.0 vs. 6.7%, p = 0.0029, OR = 6.00, 95% CI = 1.67-23.48). In addition, DRB1*0901 was a predisposing factor (32.0 vs. 6.7%,p = 0.0015, OR = 6.59, 95% CI = 1.85-25.64) and *0301/04 had a protective role (4.0vs. 25.0%, p = 0.00562, OR = 0.13, 95% CI = 0.02-0.62) in Malaysian Chinese RA. RA in Indians was associated with DRB1*1001 (51.1 vs. 8.5%,p = 0.00002, OR = 11.24, 95% CI = 3.13-44.18). DRB1*0701 (13.3 vs. 42.6%,p = 0.0022, OR = 2.73, 95% CI = 1.40-5.37) may have a protective effect. Therefore, in the Malaysian population, RA is primarily associated with the QRRAA motif, and we suggest that genetic factors play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of RA, compared to environmental factors.
  11. Yap SN, Phipps ME, Manivasagar M, Tan SY, Bosco JJ
    Lupus, 1999;8(4):305-10.
    PMID: 10413210 DOI: 10.1191/096120399678847876
    SLE is an autoimmune and polygenic disorder characterized by an accumulation and deposition of immune complexes. Several studies have indicated differential impact of FcgammaR polymorphism genotypes in different ethnic groups studied. The Fc receptor for IgG class IIA gene (FcgammaRIIA) occurs in two allelic forms. The allele FcgammaRIIA-H131 encodes a receptor with a histidine at the 131 amino acid position; the other allele FcgammaRIIA-R131 encodes an arginine. This polymorphism is believed to determine the affinity of the receptor for hIgG2 in immune complexes. FcgammaRIIA-H131 has a higher capacity for hIgG2 compared to FcgammaRIIA-R131 as measured by in vitro studies of insoluble immune complex clearance. We have investigated the polymorphism for FcgammaRIIA using a novel polymerase chain reaction-allele specific primer (PCR-ASP) method designed specifically to distinguish the two allelic forms. Our studies were based on 175 Chinese and 50 Malays SLE patients as well as 108 and 50 ethnically matched healthy controls for the respective groups. Analysis of the data (chi2 test with Yates correction factors and odds ratios) revealed that there were no significant differences between SLE patients and controls. We have not found evidence of a protective effect conferred by FcgammaRIIA-H131 in the ethnic groups studied.
  12. Yap SN, Phipps ME, Manivasagar M, Bosco JJ
    Immunol. Lett., 1999 Jun 01;68(2-3):295-300.
    PMID: 10424435
    The neutrophil antigen (NA)1 and 2 is coded by two recognized allelic forms of Fc gamma receptor IIIB (FcgammaRIIIB). FcgammaRIIIb is a low affinity receptor and preferentially removes immune complexes from the circulation. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune and polygenic disorder characterized by accumulation of autoimmune complexes. The majority of SLE patients in our medical center are of Chinese ethnicity, followed by Malay and Indian. Recently, studies have focussed on the Fc receptors in different ethnic groups and their relation to SLE. We chose to study the gene distribution of this receptor in the Chinese and Malays population in Malaysia. We designed a polymerase chain reaction allele specific primers (PCR-ASP) method to distinguish the two allelic forms. Genomic DNA was isolated from the peripheral blood of 183 Chinese and 55 Malays SLE patients as well as 100 Chinese and 50 Malays healthy controls. Genotyping of Chinese SLE patients revealed that the gene frequencies for FcgammaRIIIB-NA1 and FcgammaRIIIB-NA2 were 0.648 and 0.347, while in the ethnically matched healthy controls they were 0.68 and 0.32, respectively. One out of the 183 Chinese SLE patients was identified as a NA-null due to the absence of PCR product for both alleles. The FcgammaRIIIB-NA1 and FcgammaRIIIB-NA2 allele frequencies for both the Malays SLE and healthy controls were 0.62 and 0.38.
  13. Tagore D, Aghakhanian F, Naidu R, Phipps ME, Basu A
    BMC Biol, 2021 Mar 29;19(1):61.
    PMID: 33781248 DOI: 10.1186/s12915-021-00981-x
    BACKGROUND: The demographic history of South and Southeast Asia (S&SEA) is complex and contentious, with multiple waves of human migration. Some of the earliest footfalls were of the ancestors of modern Austroasiatic (AA) language speakers. Understanding the history of the AA language family, comprising of over 150 languages and their speakers distributed across broad geographical region in isolated small populations of various sizes, can help shed light on the peopling of S&SEA. Here we investigated the genetic relatedness of two AA groups, their relationship with other ethno-linguistically distinct populations, and the relationship of these groups with ancient genomes of individuals living in S&SEA at different time periods, to infer about the demographic history of this region.

    RESULTS: We analyzed 1451 extant genomes, 189 AAs from India and Malaysia, and 43 ancient genomes from S&SEA. Population structure analysis reveals neither language nor geography appropriately correlates with genetic diversity. The inconsistency between "language and genetics" or "geography and genetics" can largely be attributed to ancient admixture with East Asian populations. We estimated a pre-Neolithic origin of AA language speakers, with shared ancestry between Indian and Malaysian populations until about 470 generations ago, contesting the existing model of Neolithic expansion of the AA culture. We observed a spatio-temporal transition in the genetic ancestry of SEA with genetic contribution from East Asia significantly increasing in the post-Neolithic period.

    CONCLUSION: Our study shows that contrary to assumptions in many previous studies and despite having linguistic commonality, Indian AAs have a distinct genomic structure compared to Malaysian AAs. This linguistic-genetic discordance is reflective of the complex history of population migration and admixture shaping the genomic landscape of S&SEA. We postulate that pre-Neolithic ancestors of today's AAs were widespread in S&SEA, and the fragmentation and dissipation of the population have largely been a resultant of multiple migrations of East Asian farmers during the Neolithic period. It also highlights the resilience of AAs in continuing to speak their language in spite of checkered population distribution and possible dominance from other linguistic groups.

  14. Mokhtar SS, Marshall CR, Phipps ME, Thiruvahindrapuram B, Lionel AC, Scherer SW, et al.
    PLoS One, 2014;9(6):e100371.
    PMID: 24956385 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100371
    Copy number variation (CNV) has been recognized as a major contributor to human genome diversity. It plays an important role in determining phenotypes and has been associated with a number of common and complex diseases. However CNV data from diverse populations is still limited. Here we report the first investigation of CNV in the indigenous populations from Peninsular Malaysia. We genotyped 34 Negrito genomes from Peninsular Malaysia using the Affymetrix SNP 6.0 microarray and identified 48 putative novel CNVs, consisting of 24 gains and 24 losses, of which 5 were identified in at least 2 unrelated samples. These CNVs appear unique to the Negrito population and were absent in the DGV, HapMap3 and Singapore Genome Variation Project (SGVP) datasets. Analysis of gene ontology revealed that genes within these CNVs were enriched in the immune system (GO:0002376), response to stimulus mechanisms (GO:0050896), the metabolic pathways (GO:0001852), as well as regulation of transcription (GO:0006355). Copy number gains in CNV regions (CNVRs) enriched with genes were significantly higher than the losses (P value <0.001). In view of the small population size, relative isolation and semi-nomadic lifestyles of this community, we speculate that these CNVs may be attributed to recent local adaptation of Negritos from Peninsular Malaysia.
  15. Ahmad B, Khalid BA, Quek KF, Anuar Z, Phipps ME
    Med J Malaysia, 2013 Aug;68(4):309-14.
    PMID: 24145258 MyJurnal
    A cross-sectional study involving seven Orang Asli
    settlements located in three different states in Peninsular
    Malaysia; Johor, Selangor and Perak.
  16. Jinam TA, Phipps ME, Indran M, Kuppusamy UR, Mahmood AA, Hong LC, et al.
    Ethn Health, 2008 Jun;13(3):277-87.
    PMID: 18568977 DOI: 10.1080/13557850801930478
    Health scenarios are constantly evolving, particularly in developing countries but little is known regarding the health status of indigenous groups in Malaysia. This study aims to elucidate the current health status in four indigenous populations in the country, who by and large been left out of mainstream healthcare developments.
  17. Yeap SS, Mohd A, Kumar G, Kong KF, Chow SK, Goh EM, et al.
    Autoimmunity, 2007 May;40(3):187-90.
    PMID: 17453717 DOI: 10.1080/08916930701233755
    To assess the relationship between the HLA-DRB1 genes with disease severity as assessed by radiological erosions in Malaysian patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

    In this cross-sectional study, we studied 61 RA patients who fulfilled the ACR criteria for the diagnosis of RA. HLA-DRB1 genotyping was performed by sequence specific primer (SSP) - PCR. Radiological grading and erosive score of the hands and wrists was calculated according to the Larsen-Dale method. Demographic data and treatment given to the patients were obtained from their case records.

    Fifty-six females and five males were studied from three ethnic groups. In 57 patients with erosions, rheumatoid factor was detected in 80%, HLA-DR4 in 40%, HLA-DRB1*0405 in 24% and shared epitope (SE) in 31%. The median delay in starting DMARDs was 24 months. The presence of rheumatoid factor, HLA-DR4 and HLA-DRB1*0405 were not significantly associated with a worse erosive score. Patients who possessed the SE had a higher erosive scores, compared to those who did not (p = 0.05). Concurrently, a delay in starting DMARD was associated with a high erosive score (p = 0.023, r = 0.348). However, after adjustment for the delay in starting DMARD, SE was no longer significantly associated with the erosive score.

    In these patients, the delay in starting DMARDs had a greater influence on the erosive score than SE alone. Whilst we cannot discount the contribution of the SE presence, we would advocate early usage of DMARDs in every RA patient to reduce joint erosions and future disability.
  18. Aghakhanian F, Yunus Y, Naidu R, Jinam T, Manica A, Hoh BP, et al.
    Genome Biol Evol, 2015 May;7(5):1206-15.
    PMID: 25877615 DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evv065
    Indigenous populations of Malaysia known as Orang Asli (OA) show huge morphological, anthropological, and linguistic diversity. However, the genetic history of these populations remained obscure. We performed a high-density array genotyping using over 2 million single nucleotide polymorphisms in three major groups of Negrito, Senoi, and Proto-Malay. Structural analyses indicated that although all OA groups are genetically closest to East Asian (EA) populations, they are substantially distinct. We identified a genetic affinity between Andamanese and Malaysian Negritos which may suggest an ancient link between these two groups. We also showed that Senoi and Proto-Malay may be admixtures between Negrito and EA populations. Formal admixture tests provided evidence of gene flow between Austro-Asiatic-speaking OAs and populations from Southeast Asia (SEA) and South China which suggest a widespread presence of these people in SEA before Austronesian expansion. Elevated linkage disequilibrium (LD) and enriched homozygosity found in OAs reflect isolation and bottlenecks experienced. Estimates based on Ne and LD indicated that these populations diverged from East Asians during the late Pleistocene (14.5 to 8 KYA). The continuum in divergence time from Negritos to Senoi and Proto-Malay in combination with ancestral markers provides evidences of multiple waves of migration into SEA starting with the first Out-of-Africa dispersals followed by Early Train and subsequent Austronesian expansions.
  19. Fu R, Mokhtar SS, Phipps ME, Hoh BP, Xu S
    Eur J Hum Genet, 2018 06;26(6):886-897.
    PMID: 29476164 DOI: 10.1038/s41431-018-0120-8
    Copy number variations (CNVs) are genomic structural variations that result from the deletion or duplication of large genomic segments. The characterization of CNVs is largely underrepresented, particularly those of indigenous populations, such as the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia. In the present study, we first characterized the genome-wide CNVs of four major native populations from Peninsular Malaysia, including the Malays and three Orang Asli populations; namely, Proto-Malay, Senoi, and Negrito (collectively called PM). We subsequently assessed the distribution of CNVs across the four populations. The resulting global CNV map revealed 3102 CNVs, with an average of more than 100 CNVs per individual. We identified genes harboring CNVs that are highly differentiated between PM and global populations, indicating that these genes are predominantly enriched in immune responses and defense functions, including APOBEC3A_B, beta-defensin genes, and CCL3L1, followed by other biological functions, such as drug and toxin metabolism and responses to radiation, suggesting some attributions between CNV variations and adaptations of the PM groups to the local environmental conditions of tropical rainforests.
  20. Yeo LF, Aghakhanian FF, Tan JSY, Gan HM, Phipps ME
    F1000Res, 2019;8:175.
    PMID: 31275564 DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.17706.3
    Background: The indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia, also known as Orang Asli, have gradually been urbanized. A shift towards non-communicable diseases commonly associated with sedentary lifestyles have been reported in many tribes. This study engaged with a semi-urbanized Temiar tribe from Kampong Pos Piah, Perak, who are experiencing an epidemiological transition. Methods:  Weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure, HbA1C and lipid levels were measured as indicators of cardio-metabolic health. DNA was extracted from saliva using salting-out method followed by PCR amplification of the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene and sequencing on Illumina MiSeq. Microbiome analysis was conducted on Qiime v1.9. Statistical analysis was conducted using Qiime v1.9 and R.   Results: The study revealed that 60.4% of the Temiar community were overweight/obese, with a higher prevalence among women. HbA1C levels showed that 45% of Temiar had pre-diabetes. Insulin resistance was identified in 21% of Temiar by using a surrogate marker, TG/HDL. In total, 56.5% of Temiar were pre-hypertensive, and the condition was prevalent across all age-groups. The saliva microbiome profiles of Temiar revealed significant differences by gender, BMI, abdominal obesity as well as smoking status. The relative abundance of the genus Bifidobacterium was increased in men whereas the genera  Prevotella, Capnocytophaga, Leptotrichia, Neisseria and Streptococcus were increased in women. Proteobacteria was significantly depleted in smokers. Conclusions: Temiar from Pos Piah had a high prevalence of cardio-metabolic risks, including general and abdominal obesity, pre-diabetes, prehypertension and hypertension. This phenomenon has not been previously reported in this tribe. The saliva microbiome profiles were significantly different for individuals of different gender, BMI, abdominal obesity and smoking status.
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