Kadazans, the largest indigenous group in Sabah, northern Borneo, were surveyed for glyoxalase I, phosphoglucomutase I, red cell acid phosphatase, esterase D, adenosine deaminase, soluble glutamate pyruvate transaminase, soluble glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, uridine monophosphate kinase, adenylate kinase, peptidase B and D, superoxide dismutase, C5, group specific component, haptoglobin and transferrin. Kadazans were found to be polymorphic for GLO I, PGM I, RCAP, esterase D, ADA, s-Gpt, 6PGD, UMPK, Gc, C5, haptoglobin and peptidase B. Rare variants were found for transferrin and peptidase D. No variant was found for s-Got, SOD and AK.
Human alcohol dehydrogenase ADH2 and ADH3 were investigated in liver and stomach specimens of Chinese and Indians from West Malaysia. Eight-nine percent of the Chinese carry the atypical ADH2 type, a proportion very similar to that reported in Japanese. However, among 43 Indian specimens there was not a single case of atypical ADH2. In Indians, the gene frequency of ADH13 is 0.64 and of ADH23 0.36, similar to the frequencies in Caucasians, whereas in Chinese, the gene frequency for ADH13 and ADH23 is 0.91 and 0.09, respectively. We also report some unusual enzymatic characteristics in the course of our study.
Malaysians of Malay, Chinese, and Indian ancestries were electrophoretically phenotyped for Amy1 and saliva esterase region 1 (Set-1) from saliva, Amy2 from plasma, soluble and mitochondrial GOT and PGM3 from leukocyte and placenta. Kadazans and Bajaus, the indigenous people of Sabah, East Malaysia were surveyed for Amy2. Three types of variants were observed for Amy1, one type for Amy2. Only Indians were found to be polymorphic for Amy1. Two GOTs 2-1 and three GOTm 2-1 variants were found among 281 Chinese while three GOTm 2-1 variants were found among 311 Malays. Malaysian Malays, Chinese, and Indians were found to be polymorphic for Set-1 and PGM3. The gene frequencies in Malays are Set-1F=0.601 +/- 0.021, Set-1S = 0.399 +/- 0.021; PGM13 = 0.788 +/- 0.020, PGM23 = 0.212 +/- 0.020; in Chinese Set-1F = 0.497 +/- 0.028, Set-1S = 0.503 +/- 0.028; PGM13 = 0.745 +/- 0.24, PGM23 = 0.255 +/- 0.024; in Indians, Set-1F = 0.449 +/- 0.031, Set-1S = 0.551 +/- 0.031; PGM13 = 0.755 +/- 0.029, PGM23 = 0.245 +/- 0.029.
A rare electrophoretic variant of superoxide dismutase (SOD) was found in one Filipino of 146 Filipinos, 1382 Malaysians and 816 Indonesians examined. The variant consists of two usual bands and two slower migrating bands similar to those reported earlier. Superoxide dismutase variants are common among people of certain localized regions in Europe, however, this is the first report of such a variant occurring in people of non-European origin.
It has been reported that studies of the genetic consequences of inbreeding should adopt a different strategy in populations having a relatively old inbreeding history and where inbreeding levels have varied over time. This contention is tested with a series of 39,495 single-birth records from Bombay, India, collected in a World Health Organization survey on congenital malformations. Our analysis reveals that: 1. the incidence of major malformations is significantly higher among the inbred offspring (1.34%) as compared to that among non-inbred ones (0,81%)--a finding at variance with a previous study in the same area; 2. the inbreeding effect on perinatal mortality (stillbirths and mortality during the first few days of life) is also found to be significant. In view of the above findings, the genetic load as disclosed by inbreeding is computed for perinatal mortality, major malformations and pooling these together. A + B, the measure of the number of lethal equivalents per gamete, is found to be at variance with other reports. Such variability can be ascribed to non-genetic factors. Supporting evidence collected from Brazil and Malaysia in the same survey is also presented.
We describe the variation in copy number of a ~ 10 kb region overlapping the long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA) gene, TTTY22, within the IR3 inverted repeat on the short arm of the human Y chromosome, leading to individuals with 0-3 copies of this region in the general population. Variation of this CNV is common, with 266 individuals having 0 copies, 943 (including the reference sequence) having 1, 23 having 2 copies, and two having 3 copies, and was validated by breakpoint PCR, fibre-FISH, and 10× Genomics Chromium linked-read sequencing in subsets of 1234 individuals from the 1000 Genomes Project. Mapping the changes in copy number to the phylogeny of these Y chromosomes previously established by the Project identified at least 20 mutational events, and investigation of flanking paralogous sequence variants showed that the mutations involved flanking sequences in 18 of these, and could extend over > 30 kb of DNA. While either gene conversion or double crossover between misaligned sister chromatids could formally explain the 0-2 copy events, gene conversion is the more likely mechanism, and these events include the longest non-allelic gene conversion reported thus far. Chromosomes with three copies of this CNV have arisen just once in our data set via another mechanism: duplication of 420 kb that places the third copy 230 kb proximal to the existing proximal copy. Our results establish gene conversion as a previously under-appreciated mechanism of generating copy number changes in humans and reveal the exceptionally large size of the conversion events that can occur.
Southeast Asia (SEA) is enriched with a complex history of peopling. Malaysia, which is located at the crossroads of SEA, has been recognized as one of the hubs for early human migration. To unravel the genomic complexity of the native inhabitants of Malaysia, we sequenced 12 samples from 3 indigenous populations from Peninsular Malaysia and 4 native populations from North Borneo to a high coverage of 28-37×. We showed that the Negritos from Peninsular Malaysia shared a common ancestor with the East Asians, but exhibited some level of gene flow from South Asia, while the North Borneo populations exhibited closer genetic affinity towards East Asians than the Malays. The analysis of time of divergence suggested that ancestors of Negrito were the earliest settlers in the Malay Peninsula, whom first separated from the Papuans ~ 50-33 thousand years ago (kya), followed by East Asian (~ 40-15 kya), while the divergence time frame between North Borneo and East Asia populations predates the Austronesian expansion period implies a possible pre-Neolithic colonization. Substantial Neanderthal ancestry was confirmed in our genomes, as was observed in other East Asians. However, no significant difference was observed, in terms of the proportion of Denisovan gene flow into these native inhabitants from Malaysia. Judging from the similar amount of introgression in the Southeast Asians and East Asians, our findings suggest that the Denisovan gene flow may have occurred before the divergence of these populations and that the shared similarities are likely an ancestral component.
There are two very different interpretations of the prehistory of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA), with genetic evidence invoked in support of both. The "out-of-Taiwan" model proposes a major Late Holocene expansion of Neolithic Austronesian speakers from Taiwan. An alternative, proposing that Late Glacial/postglacial sea-level rises triggered largely autochthonous dispersals, accounts for some otherwise enigmatic genetic patterns, but fails to explain the Austronesian language dispersal. Combining mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome and genome-wide data, we performed the most comprehensive analysis of the region to date, obtaining highly consistent results across all three systems and allowing us to reconcile the models. We infer a primarily common ancestry for Taiwan/ISEA populations established before the Neolithic, but also detected clear signals of two minor Late Holocene migrations, probably representing Neolithic input from both Mainland Southeast Asia and South China, via Taiwan. This latter may therefore have mediated the Austronesian language dispersal, implying small-scale migration and language shift rather than large-scale expansion.
Obesity is a complex and multifactorial disease that occurs as a result of the interaction between "obesogenic" environmental factors and genetic components. Although the genetic component of obesity is clear from the heritability studies, the genetic basis remains largely elusive. Successes have been achieved in identifying the causal genes for monogenic obesity using animal models and linkage studies, but these approaches are not fruitful for polygenic obesity. The developments of genome-wide association approach have brought breakthrough discovery of genetic variants for polygenic obesity where tens of new susceptibility loci were identified. However, the common SNPs only accounted for a proportion of heritability. The arrival of NGS technologies and completion of 1000 Genomes Project have brought other new methods to dissect the genetic architecture of obesity, for example, the use of exome genotyping arrays and deep sequencing of candidate loci identified from GWAS to study rare variants. In this review, we summarize and discuss the developments of these genetic approaches in human obesity.
Peninsular Malaysia is a strategic region which might have played an important role in the initial peopling and subsequent human migrations in Asia. However, the genetic diversity and history of human populations--especially indigenous populations--inhabiting this area remain poorly understood. Here, we conducted a genome-wide study using over 900,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four major Malaysian ethnic groups (MEGs; Malay, Proto-Malay, Senoi and Negrito), and made comparisons of 17 world-wide populations. Our data revealed that Peninsular Malaysia has greater genetic diversity corresponding to its role as a contact zone of both early and recent human migrations in Asia. However, each single Orang Asli (indigenous) group was less diverse with a smaller effective population size (N(e)) than a European or an East Asian population, indicating a substantial isolation of some duration for these groups. All four MEGs were genetically more similar to Asian populations than to other continental groups, and the divergence time between MEGs and East Asian populations (12,000--6,000 years ago) was also much shorter than that between East Asians and Europeans. Thus, Malaysian Orang Asli groups, despite their significantly different features, may share a common origin with the other Asian groups. Nevertheless, we identified traces of recent gene flow from non-Asians to MEGs. Finally, natural selection signatures were detected in a batch of genes associated with immune response, human height, skin pigmentation, hair and facial morphology and blood pressure in MEGs. Notable examples include SYN3 which is associated with human height in all Orang Asli groups, a height-related gene (PNPT1) and two blood pressure-related genes (CDH13 and PAX5) in Negritos. We conclude that a long isolation period, subsequent gene flow and local adaptations have jointly shaped the genetic architectures of MEGs, and this study provides insight into the peopling and human migration history in Southeast Asia.
High-frequency action potentials are mediated by voltage-gated sodium channels, composed of one large α subunit and two small β subunits, encoded mainly by SCN1A, SCN2A, SCN3A, SCN1B, and SCN2B genes in the brain. These play a key role in epilepsy, with the most commonly mutated gene in epilepsy being SCN1A. We examined whether polymorphisms in the above genes affect epilepsy risk in 1,529 epilepsy patients and 1,935 controls from four ethnicities or locations: Malay, Indian, and Chinese, all from Malaysia, and Chinese from Hong Kong. Of patients, 19 % were idiopathic, 42 % symptomatic, and 40 % cryptogenic. We genotyped 43 polymorphisms: 27 in Hong Kong, 28 in Malaysia, and 12 in both locations. The strongest association with epilepsy was rs3812718, or SCN1A IVS5N+5G>A: odds ratio (OR) = 0.85 for allele G (p = 0.0009) and 0.73 for genotype GG versus AA (p = 0.003). The OR was between 0.76 and 0.87 for all ethnicities. Meta-analysis confirmed the association (OR = 0.81 and p = 0.002 for G, and OR = 0.67 and p = 0.007 for GG versus AA), which appeared particularly strong for Indians and for febrile seizures. Allele G affects splicing and speeds recovery from inactivation. Since SCN1A is preferentially expressed in inhibitory neurons, G may decrease epilepsy risk. SCN1A rs10188577 displayed OR = 1.20 for allele C (p = 0.003); SCN2A rs12467383 had OR = 1.16 for allele A (p = 0.01), and displayed linkage disequilibrium with rs2082366 (r (2) = 0.67), whose genotypes tended toward association with SCN2A brain expression (p = 0.10). SCN1A rs2298771 was associated in Indians (OR = 0.56, p = 0.005) and SCN2B rs602594 with idiopathic epilepsy (OR = 0.62, p = 0.002). Therefore, sodium channel polymorphisms are associated with epilepsy.
Amelogenin paralogs on Chromosome X (AMELX) and Y (AMELY) are commonly used sexing markers. Interstitial deletion of Yp involving the AMELY locus has previously been reported. The combined frequency of the AMELY null allele in Singapore and Malaysia populations is 2.7%, 0.6% in Indian and Malay ethnic groups respectively. It is absent among 541 Chinese screened. The null allele in this study belongs to 3 Y haplogroups; J2e1 (85.7%), F* (9.5%) and D* (4.8%). Low and high-resolution STS mapping, followed by sequence analysis of breakpoint junction confirmed a large deletion of 3 to 3.7-Mb located at the Yp11.2 region. Both breakpoints were located in TSPY repeat arrays, suggesting a non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) mechanism of deletion. All regional null samples shared identical breakpoint sequences according to their haplogroup affiliation, providing molecular evidence of a common ancestry origin for each haplogroup, and at least 3 independent deletion events recurred in history. The estimated ages based on Y-SNP and STR analysis were approximately 13.5 +/- 3.1 kyears and approximately 0.9 +/- 0.9 kyears for the J2e1 and F* mutations, respectively. A novel polymorphism G > A at Y-GATA-H4 locus in complete linkage disequilibrium with J2e1 null mutations is a more recent event. This work re-emphasizes the need to include other sexing markers for gender determination in certain regional populations. The frequency difference among global populations suggests it constitutes another structural variation locus of human chromosome Y. The breakpoint sequences provide further information to a better understanding of the NAHR mechanism and DNA rearrangements due to higher order genomic architecture.
Mutations in the ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCA1 underlie Tangier disease and familial hypoalphaliproteinemia (FHA), disorders that are characterised by reduced high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentration and cholesterol efflux, and increased coronary artery disease (CAD). We explored if polymorphisms in the ABCA1 gene are associated with CAD and variations in plasma lipid levels, especially HDL-C, and whether the associations may depend on ethnicity. Male cases and controls from the Singapore Chinese, Malay and Indian populations were genotyped for five ABCA1 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Various single-locus frequency distribution differences between cases and controls were detected in different ethnic groups: the promoter -14C>T in Indians, exon 18 M883I in Malays, and 3'-untranslated (UTR) region 8994A>G in Chinese. For the Malay population, certain haplotypes carrying the I825- A (exon 17) and M883- G alleles were more frequent among cases than controls, whereas the converse was true for the alternative configuration of V825- G and I883- A, and this association was reinforced in multi-locus disequilibrium analysis that utilized genotypic data. In the healthy controls, associations were found for -14C>T genotypes with HDL-C in Chinese; 237indelG (5'UTR) with apolipoprotein A1 (apoA1) in Malays and total cholesterol (TC) in Indians; M883I with lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] in Malays and apolipoprotein B (apoB) in Chinese; and 8994A>G with Lp(a) in Malays, and TC, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) as well as apoB in Indians. While genotype-phenotype associations were not reproduced across populations and loci, V825I and M883I were clearly associated with CAD status in Malays with no effects on HDL-C or apoA1.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a heterogeneous enzyme abnormality with high frequency in tropical areas. We performed population screening and molecular studies of G6PD variants to clarify their distribution and features in Southeast Asia. A total of 4317 participants (2019 males, 2298 females) from 16 ethnic groups in Myanmar, Lao in Laos, and Amboinese in Indonesia were screened with a single-step screening method. The prevalence of G6PD-deficient males ranged from 0% (the Akha) to 10.8% (the Shan). These G6PD-deficient individuals and 12 G6PD-deficient patients who had been diagnosed at hospitals in Indonesia and Malaysia were subjected to molecular analysis by a combination of polymerase-chain-reaction-based single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing. Ten different missense mutations were identified in 63 G6PD-deficient individuals (50 hemizygotes, 11 heterozygotes, and 2 homozygotes) from 14 ethnic groups. One missense mutation (1291 G-->A) found in an Indonesian Chinese, viz., G6PD Surabaya, was previously unknown. The 487 G-->A (G6PD Mahidol) mutation was widely seen in Myanmar, 383 T-->C (G6PD Vanua Lava) was specifically found among Amboinese, 871 G-->A (G6PD Viangchan) was observed mainly in Lao, and 592 C-->T (G6PD Coimbra) was found in Malaysian aborigines (Orang Asli). The other five mutations, 95 A-->G (G6PD Gaohe), 1003 G-->A (G6PD Chatham), 1360 C-->T (G6PD Union), 1376 G-->T (G6PD Canton), and 1388 G-->A (G6PD Kaiping) were identified mostly in accordance with distributions reported previously.
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), an autosomal dominant disease characterized by neoplasia of the parathyroid glands, anterior pituitary and endocrine pancreas, is rarely reported in Asian populations. The MEN1 gene, mapped to chromosome 11q13 but yet to be cloned, has been found to be homogeneous in Caucasian populations through linkage analysis. Here, two previously unreported Asian kindreds with MEN1 are described; linkage analysis using microsatellite polymorphic markers in the MEN1 region was carried out. The first kindred, of Mongolian-Chinese origin, is a multigeneration family with over 150 living members, eight of whom are affected to date. The second kindred is of Chinese origin consisting of four affected members. Linkage to chromosome 11q13 was confirmed in both kindreds, supporting evidence for genetic homogeneity. A recombination in the larger kindred localizes the gene distal to marker D11S956, consistent with its placement from previous studies. We also show that it is feasible to use these markers for predictive testing, as four gene carriers were detected in 13 family members with unknown disease status in the first kindred.
Apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)] exhibits a genetic size polymorphism explaining about 40% of the variability in lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] concentration in Tyroleans. Lp(a) concentrations and apo(a) phenotypes were determined in 7 ethnic groups (Tyrolean, Icelandic, Hungarian, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Black Sudanese) and the effects of the apo(a) size polymorphism on Lp(a) levels were estimated in each group. Average Lp(a) concentrations were highly significantly different among these populations, with the Chinese (7.0 mg/dl) having the lowest and the Sudanese (46 mg/dl) the highest levels. Apo(a) phenotype and derived apo(a) allele frequencies were also significantly different among the populations. Apo(a) isoform effects on Lp(a) levels were not significantly different among populations. Lp(a) levels were however roughly twice as high in the same phenotypes in the Indians, and several times as high in the Sudanese, compared with Caucasians. The size variation of apo(a) explains from 0.77 (Malays) to only 0.19 (Sudanese) of the total variability in Lp(a) levels. Together these data show (I) that there is considerable heterogeneity of the Lp(a) polymorphism among populations, (II) that differences in apo(a) allele frequencies alone do not explain the differences in Lp(a) levels among populations and (III) that in some populations, e.g. Sudanese Blacks, Lp(a) levels are mainly determined by factors that are different from the apo(a) size polymorphism.
Most of the population in certain areas of Melanesia have one alpha-globin gene deletion (alpha thal2). It is thought that the high frequencies of alpha thal2 in this population is due to a selective advantage given by malaria infection to carriers of alpha thal2. We are interested in neighboring Polynesia which, although adjacent to Melanesia, has always been free of malaria due to the absence of the vector anopheles. We studied 60 Polynesian Samoans and 150 Malaysians by restriction endonuclease gene mapping using Eco RI, Bam HI, and Bgl II and hybridization to 32P-labeled alpha-globin gene probe. Seven among the 60 (11.7%) Samoans had triplicated alpha-globin loci type 1, while none had alpha thal2. On digestion with Bgl II the third alpha-globin gene was found in an additional 3.7 kb fragment in all seven Samoans with triplicated alpha-globin loci, while digestion with Bam HI produced an abnormal elongated 18.2 kb fragment carrying alpha-globin genes in addition to the normal 14.5 kb fragment. None of the Polynesian Samoans had alpha thal2 or alpha thal1. Only two of the Malaysians had triplicated alpha-globin loci.
Hereditary ovalocytosis/elliptocytosis occurs in polymorphic frequencies among several Malaysian populations and also in Melanesia. Although the condition has been described as an autosomal dominant, Melanesian family studies suggest that it is inherited recessively. Based on 75 Orang Asli families, it is shown that the Malaysian form of elliptocytosis is most likely inherited as an autosomal dominant. It appears, therefore, that either the inference of recessive inheritance in Melanesians is incorrect or that the ovalocytosis/elliptocytosis phenotypes are due to distinct genetic entities in the two regions.
Malays, Chinese, and Indians from Peninsular Malaysia; Ibans and Bidayuh from Sarawak State; Kadazans from Sabah State, Northern Borneo; and Bataks, Minangkabau, and Javanese from North Sumatra, Indonesia, were subtyped for transferrin C by polyacrylamide gel isoelectric focusing. All nine populations studied are polymorphic for two alleles, TfCl and TfC2, TfC3 was polymorphic in six populations and present as a rare variant in the other three. The frequency of TfC1 ranged from 0.855 in Bidayuh to 0.711 in Javanese, that of TfC2 from 0.231 in Indians to 0.113 in Bidayuh, and that of TfC3 from 0.030 in Javanese and Chinese to 0.008 in Bidayuh. TfDchi is polymorphic in all the populations that we studied except in Minangkabau, in whom it is present as a rare variant, and in Indians, in whom it is absent.