A new restless legs syndrome locus on chromosome 14 recently has been reported in one family of Italian origin. Our study aimed to replicate this finding and determine the importance of this locus in the French Canadian population. Markers spanning the region were genotyped in 14 large families and linkage assessed using two-point and multipoint logarithm of odds scores. Possible linkage to this locus was found in one of our kindreds providing support for the existence of this locus and indicating that this locus may be responsible for a small fraction of French Canadian restless legs syndrome.
Previous studies have suggested that a locus predisposing to specific reading disability (dyslexia) resides on chromosome 6p23-p21.3. We investigated 79 families having at least two siblings affected with phonological coding dyslexia, the most common form of reading disability (617 people genotyped, 294 affected), and we tested for linkage with the genetic markers reported to be linked to dyslexia in those studies. No evidence for linkage was found by LOD score analysis or affected-sib-pair methods. However, using the affected-pedigree-member (APM) method, we detected significant evidence for linkage and/or association with some markers when we used published allele frequencies with weighting of rarer alleles. APM results were not significant when we used marker allele frequencies estimated from parents. Furthermore, results were not significant with the more robust SIMIBD method using either published or parental marker frequencies. Finally, family-based association analysis using the AFBAC program showed no evidence for association with any marker. We conclude that the APM method should be used only with extreme caution, because it appears to have generated false-positive results. In summary, using a large data set with high power to detect linkage, we were unable to find evidence for linkage or association between phonological coding dyslexia and chromosome 6p markers.
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Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Institute for Human Genetics and Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
Among US Latinas and Mexican women, those with higher European ancestry have increased risk of breast cancer. We combined an admixture mapping and genome-wide association mapping approach to search for genomic regions that may explain this observation. Latina women with breast cancer (n= 1497) and Latina controls (n= 1272) were genotyped using Affymetrix and Illumina arrays. We inferred locus-specific genetic ancestry and compared the ancestry between cases and controls. We also performed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) association analyses in regions of interest. Correction for multiple-hypothesis testing was conducted using permutations (P(corrected)). We identified one region where genetic ancestry was significantly associated with breast cancer risk: 6q25 [odds ratio (OR) per Indigenous American chromosome 0.75, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.65-0.85, P= 1.1 × 10(-5), P(corrected)= 0.02]. A second region on 11p15 showed a trend towards association (OR per Indigenous American chromosome 0.77, 95% CI: 0.68-0.87, P= 4.3 × 10(-5), P(corrected)= 0.08). In both regions, breast cancer risk decreased with higher Indigenous American ancestry in concordance with observations made on global ancestry. The peak of the 6q25 signal includes the estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) gene and 5' region, a locus previously implicated in breast cancer. Genome-wide association analysis found that a multi-SNP model explained the admixture signal in both regions. Our results confirm that the association between genetic ancestry and breast cancer risk in US Latinas is partly due to genetic differences between populations of European and Indigenous Americans origin. Fine-mapping within the 6q25 and possibly the 11p15 loci will lead to the discovery of the biologically functional variant/s behind this association.
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Two mutations in the DNA mismatch repair gene MLH1, referred to as mutations 1 and 2, are frequent among Finnish kindreds with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). In order to assess the ages and origins of these mutations, we constructed a map of 15 microsatellite markers around MLH1 and used this information in haplotype analyses of 19 kindreds with mutation 1 and 6 kindreds with mutation 2. All kindreds with mutation 1 showed a single allele for the intragenic marker D3S1611 that was not observed on any unaffected chromosome. They also shared portions of a haplotype of 4-15 markers encompassing 2.0-19.0 cM around MLH1. All kindreds with mutation 2 shared another allele for D3S1611 and a conserved haplotype of 5-14 markers spanning 2.0-15.0 cM around MLH1. The degree of haplotype conservation was used to estimate the ages of these two mutations. While some recessive disease genes have been estimated to have existed and spread for as long as thousands of generations worldwide and hundreds of generations in the Finnish population, our analyses suggest that the spread of mutation 1 started 16-43 generations (400-1,075 years) ago and that of mutation 2 some 5-21 generations (125-525 years) ago. These datings are compatible with our genealogical results identifying a common ancestor born in the 16th and 18th century, respectively. Overall, our results indicate that all Finnish kindreds studied to date showing either mutation 1 or mutation 2 are due to single ancestral founding mutations relatively recent in origin in the population. Alternatively, the mutations arose elsewhere earlier and were introduced in Finland more recently.
The GLC1A locus for autosomal dominant primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) with juvenile onset (before 20 years) has been mapped to chromosome 1q21-q31. Recently, a French-Canadian family was described in which both juvenile-onset and middle-age or early-onset POAG were observed and linked to GLC1A. We now describe a second POAG family with variable age of onset (range 11-51, median 36 years of age). Linkage to GLC1A was established with a maximum lod score of 6.21 at the D1S452 locus. A recombination event in a severely glaucomatous patient restricted the distal boundary of the GLC1A interval proximal to the AFM154xc9 marker. This study strengthens the idea that early-onset POAG may also be determined by the GLC1A genetic region.
In humans, chromosome-number abnormalities have been associated with altered recombination and increased maternal age. Therefore, age-related effects on recombination are of major importance, especially in relation to the mechanisms involved in human trisomies. Here, we examine the relationship between maternal age and recombination rate in humans. We localized crossovers at high resolution by using over 600,000 markers genotyped in a panel of 69 French-Canadian pedigrees, revealing recombination events in 195 maternal meioses. Overall, we observed the general patterns of variation in fine-scale recombination rates previously reported in humans. However, we make the first observation of a significant decrease in recombination rates with advancing maternal age in humans, likely driven by chromosome-specific effects. The effect appears to be localized in the middle section of chromosomal arms and near subtelomeric regions. We postulate that, for some chromosomes, protection against non-disjunction provided by recombination becomes less efficient with advancing maternal age, which can be partly responsible for the higher rates of aneuploidy in older women. We propose a model that reconciles our findings with reported associations between maternal age and recombination in cases of trisomies.
The discovery of a functional polymorphism within the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) has not only strengthened the hypotheses implicating DRD4 in the etiology of neuropyschiatric disorders, but also provided a genetic marker for testing these hypotheses. The possibility of the dopamine D4 receptor as a candidate gene for schizophrenia was investigated in a large Swedish kindred segregating for schizophrenia. Linkage to schizophrenia was tested by linkage analyses of 6 polymorphic markers (at 4 loci) in chromosome 11p15.5 including the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) and the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) loci. Schizophrenia was excluded from close linkage to the DRD4 locus using two of the polymorphisms located within the dopamine D4 receptor gene. The first DRD4 polymorphism consists of variation in the number of a 48 bp imperfect direct repeat in the third exon; the second consists of a variable number of repeated G nucleotides in the first intron. In addition, some of the individuals homozygous for four or seven copies of 48 bp repeat alleles were tested for previously reported sequence variation among repeats. No single haplotype of the DRD4 alleles or haplotype of other markers in chromosome 11p15.5 was found to be common to the schizophrenic individuals in this family. Therefore, we find no evidence for linkage of the D4 receptor, or this region of 11p15.5, with genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia in this kindred.
Comparison of different metrics, using three large samples of haplotypes from different populations, demonstrates that rho is the most efficient measure of association between pairs of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Pairwise data can be modeled, using composite likelihood, to describe the decline in linkage disequilibrium with distance (the Malecot model). The evidence from more isolated populations (Finland, Sardinia) suggests that linkage disequilibrium extends to 427-893 kb but, even in samples representative of large heterogeneous populations, such as CEPH, the extent is 385 kb or greater. This suggests that isolated populations are not essential for linkage disequilibrium mapping of common diseases with SNPs. The in parameter of the Malecot model (recombination and time), evaluated at each SNP, indicates regions of the genome with extensive and less extensive disequilibrium (low and high values of in respectively). When plotted against the physical map, the regions with extensive and less extensive linkage disequilibrium may correspond to recombination cold and hot spots. This is discussed in relation to the Xq25 cytogenetic band and the HFE gene region.
Allergic rhinitis is a common disease of complex inheritance and is characterised by mucosal inflammation caused by allergen exposure. The genetics of closely related phenotypes such as asthma, atopy and to some extend atopic dermatitis has attracted attention in recent years. Genetic reports of allergic rhinitis on the contrary have as yet been most sparse. To identify candidate regions holding genes for allergic rhinitis we performed a total genome-scan on affected sib-pair families. From 100 Danish sib-pair families selected for allergy, families containing sib-pairs matching a phenotype definition of both clinical allergic rhinitis and confirmed specific allergy were chosen. Thirty-three affected sib-pair families qualified for the scan that was undertaken using 446 microsatellite markers. Non-parametric linkage results were obtained from MAPMAKER/SIBS computer program. The study revealed one major candidate region on chromosome 4q24-q27 (LOD=2.83) and eight minor candidate regions 2q12-q33, 3q13, 4p15-q12, 5q13-q15, 6p24-p23, 12p13, 22q13, and Xp21 (LOD=1.04-1.63) likely to contain susceptibility genes for allergic rhinitis. Our findings did not support a previous report of linkage of allergic rhinitis to chromosome 12q14-q24 but they added positive evidence to the asthma and atopy candidate regions 2q33 and 6p23. Further identification of the specific genes involved in allergic rhinitis will give opportunities for improved diagnosis and treatment.