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1.
  • Agler, Caryline, et al. (författare)
  • Canine Hereditary Ataxia in Old English Sheepdogs and Gordon Setters Is Associated with a Defect in the Autophagy Gene Encoding RAB24
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: PLOS Genetics. - 1553-7390 .- 1553-7404. ; 10:2, s. e1003991-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Old English Sheepdogs and Gordon Setters suffer from a juvenile onset, autosomal recessive form of canine hereditary ataxia primarily affecting the Purkinje neuron of the cerebellar cortex. The clinical and histological characteristics are analogous to hereditary ataxias in humans. Linkage and genome-wide association studies on a cohort of related Old English Sheepdogs identified a region on CFA4 strongly associated with the disease phenotype. Targeted sequence capture and next generation sequencing of the region identified an A to C single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located at position 113 in exon 1 of an autophagy gene, RAB24, that segregated with the phenotype. Genotyping of six additional breeds of dogs affected with hereditary ataxia identified the same polymorphism in affected Gordon Setters that segregated perfectly with phenotype. The other breeds tested did not have the polymorphism. Genome-wide SNP genotyping of Gordon Setters identified a 1.9 MB region with an identical haplotype to affected Old English Sheepdogs. Histopathology, immunohistochemistry and ultrastructural evaluation of the brains of affected dogs from both breeds identified dramatic Purkinje neuron loss with axonal spheroids, accumulation of autophagosomes, ubiquitin positive inclusions and a diffuse increase in cytoplasmic neuronal ubiquitin staining. These findings recapitulate the changes reported in mice with induced neuron-specific autophagy defects. Taken together, our results suggest that a defect in RAB24, a gene associated with autophagy, is highly associated with and may contribute to canine hereditary ataxia in Old English Sheepdogs and Gordon Setters. This finding suggests that detailed investigation of autophagy pathways should be undertaken in human hereditary ataxia. Author Summary Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the most important causes of decline in an aging population. An important subset of these diseases are known as the hereditary ataxias, familial neurodegenerative diseases that affect the cerebellum causing progressive gait disturbance in both humans and dogs. We identified a mutation in RAB24, a gene associated with autophagy, in Old English Sheepdogs and Gordon Setters with hereditary ataxia. Autophagy is a process by which cell proteins and organelles are removed and recycled and its critical role in maintenance of the continued health of cells is becoming clear. We evaluated the brains of affected dogs and identified accumulations of autophagosomes within the cerebellum, suggesting a defect in the autophagy pathway. Our results suggest that a defect in the autophagy pathway results in neuronal death in a naturally occurring disease in dogs. The autophagy pathway should be investigated in human hereditary ataxia and may represent a therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases.
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2.
  • Ahmad, Shafqat, et al. (författare)
  • Gene x physical activity interactions in obesity : combined analysis of 111,421 individuals of European ancestry
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: ; 9:7, s. e1003607-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Numerous obesity loci have been identified using genome-wide association studies. A UK study indicated that physical activity may attenuate the cumulative effect of 12 of these loci, but replication studies are lacking. Therefore, we tested whether the aggregate effect of these loci is diminished in adults of European ancestry reporting high levels of physical activity. Twelve obesity-susceptibility loci were genotyped or imputed in 111,421 participants. A genetic risk score (GRS) was calculated by summing the BMI-associated alleles of each genetic variant. Physical activity was assessed using self-administered questionnaires. Multiplicative interactions between the GRS and physical activity on BMI were tested in linear and logistic regression models in each cohort, with adjustment for age, age(2), sex, study center (for multicenter studies), and the marginal terms for physical activity and the GRS. These results were combined using meta-analysis weighted by cohort sample size. The meta-analysis yielded a statistically significant GRS x physical activity interaction effect estimate (P-interaction = 0.015). However, a statistically significant interaction effect was only apparent in North American cohorts (n = 39,810, P-interaction = 0.014 vs. n = 71,611, P-interaction = 0.275 for Europeans). In secondary analyses, both the FTO rs1121980 (P-interaction = 0.003) and the SEC16B rs10913469 (P-interaction = 0.025) variants showed evidence of SNP x physical activity interactions. This meta-analysis of 111,421 individuals provides further support for an interaction between physical activity and a GRS in obesity disposition, although these findings hinge on the inclusion of cohorts from North America, indicating that these results are either population-specific or non-causal.
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3.
  • Ahsan, Muhammad, et al. (författare)
  • The relative contribution of DNA methylation and genetic variants on protein biomarkers for human diseases.
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: ; 13:9
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Associations between epigenetic alterations and disease status have been identified for many diseases. However, there is no strong evidence that epigenetic alterations are directly causal for disease pathogenesis. In this study, we combined SNP and DNA methylation data with measurements of protein biomarkers for cancer, inflammation or cardiovascular disease, to investigate the relative contribution of genetic and epigenetic variation on biomarker levels. A total of 121 protein biomarkers were measured and analyzed in relation to DNA methylation at 470,000 genomic positions and to over 10 million SNPs. We performed epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) and genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyses, and integrated biomarker, DNA methylation and SNP data using between 698 and 1033 samples depending on data availability for the different analyses. We identified 124 and 45 loci (Bonferroni adjusted P < 0.05) with effect sizes up to 0.22 standard units' change per 1% change in DNA methylation levels and up to four standard units' change per copy of the effective allele in the EWAS and GWAS respectively. Most GWAS loci were cis-regulatory whereas most EWAS loci were located in trans. Eleven EWAS loci were associated with multiple biomarkers, including one in NLRC5 associated with CXCL11, CXCL9, IL-12, and IL-18 levels. All EWAS signals that overlapped with a GWAS locus were driven by underlying genetic variants and three EWAS signals were confounded by smoking. While some cis-regulatory SNPs for biomarkers appeared to have an effect also on DNA methylation levels, cis-regulatory SNPs for DNA methylation were not observed to affect biomarker levels. We present associations between protein biomarker and DNA methylation levels at numerous loci in the genome. The associations are likely to reflect the underlying pattern of genetic variants, specific environmental exposures, or represent secondary effects to the pathogenesis of disease.
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4.
  • Ameur, Adam, et al. (författare)
  • Ultra-deep sequencing of mouse mitochondrial DNA : Mutational patterns and their origins
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: PLoS Genetics. - 1553-7390 .- 1553-7404. ; 7:3, s. e1002028-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Somatic mutations of mtDNA are implicated in the aging process, but there is no universally accepted method for their accurate quantification. We have used ultra-deep sequencing to study genome-wide mtDNA mutation load in the liver of normally- and prematurely-aging mice. Mice that are homozygous for an allele expressing a proof-reading-deficient mtDNA polymerase (mtDNA mutator mice) have 10-times-higher point mutation loads than their wildtype siblings. In addition, the mtDNA mutator mice have increased levels of a truncated linear mtDNA molecule, resulting in decreased sequence coverage in the deleted region. In contrast, circular mtDNA molecules with large deletions occur at extremely low frequencies in mtDNA mutator mice and can therefore not drive the premature aging phenotype. Sequence analysis shows that the main proportion of the mutation load in heterozygous mtDNA mutator mice and their wildtype siblings is inherited from their heterozygous mothers consistent with germline transmission. We found no increase in levels of point mutations or deletions in wildtype C57Bl/6N mice with increasing age, thus questioning the causative role of these changes in aging. In addition, there was no increased frequency of transversion mutations with time in any of the studied genotypes, arguing against oxidative damage as a major cause of mtDNA mutations. Our results from studies of mice thus indicate that most somatic mtDNA mutations occur as replication errors during development and do not result from damage accumulation in adult life.
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5.
  • Arendt, Maja Louise, et al. (författare)
  • Genome-Wide Association Study of Golden Retrievers Identifies Germ-Line Risk Factors Predisposing to Mast Cell Tumours
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: ; 11:11
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Canine mast cell tumours (CMCT) are one of the most common skin tumours in dogs with a major impact on canine health. Certain breeds have a higher risk of developing mast cell tumours, suggesting that underlying predisposing germ-line genetic factors play a role in the development of this disease. The genetic risk factors are largely unknown, although somatic mutations in the oncogene C-KIT have been detected in a proportion of CMCT, making CMCT a comparative model for mastocytosis in humans where C-KIT mutations are frequent. We have performed a genome wide association study in golden retrievers from two continents and identified separate regions in the genome associated with risk of CMCT in the two populations. Sequence capture of associated regions and subsequent fine mapping in a larger cohort of dogs identified a SNP associated with development of CMCT in the GNAI2 gene (p = 2.2x10(-16)), introducing an alternative splice form of this gene resulting in a truncated protein. In addition, disease associated haplotypes harbouring the hyaluronidase genes HYAL1, HYAL2 and HYAL3 on cfa20 and HYAL4, SPAM1 and HYALP1 on cfa14 were identified as separate risk factors in European and US golden retrievers, respectively, suggesting that turnover of hyaluronan plays an important role in the development of CMCT.
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6.
  • Ayllon, Fernando, et al. (författare)
  • The vgll3 Locus Controls Age at Maturity in Wild and Domesticated Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.) Males
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: PLoS Genetics. - 1553-7390 .- 1553-7404. ; 11:11
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Wild and domesticated Atlantic salmon males display large variation for sea age at sexual maturation, which varies between 1-5 years. Previous studies have uncovered a genetic predisposition for variation of age at maturity with moderate heritability, thus suggesting a polygenic or complex nature of this trait. The aim of this study was to identify associated genetic loci, genes and ultimately specific sequence variants conferring sea age at maturity in salmon. We performed a genome wide association study (GWAS) using a pool sequencing approach (20 individuals per river and phenotype) of male salmon returning to rivers as sexually mature either after one sea winter (2009) or three sea winters (2011) in six rivers in Norway. The study revealed one major selective sweep, which covered 76 significant SNPs in which 74 were found in a 370 kb region of chromosome 25. Genotyping other smolt year classes of wild and domesticated salmon confirmed this finding. Genotyping domesticated fish narrowed the haplotype region to four SNPs covering 2386 bp, containing the vgll3 gene, including two missense mutations explaining 33-36% phenotypic variation. A single locus was found to have a highly significant role in governing sea age at maturation in this species. The SNPs identified may be both used as markers to guide breeding for late maturity in salmon aquaculture and in monitoring programs of wild salmon. Interestingly, a SNP in proximity of the VGLL3 gene in humans (Homo sapiens), has previously been linked to age at puberty suggesting a conserved mechanism for timing of puberty in vertebrates.
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7.
  • Baranowska, Izabella, et al. (författare)
  • Sensory ataxic neuropathy in golden retriever dogs is caused by a deletion in the mitochondrial tRNATyr gene
  • 2009
  • Ingår i: PLoS Genetics. - 1553-7390 .- 1553-7404. ; 5:5, s. e1000499-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Sensory ataxic neuropathy (SAN) is a recently identified neurological disorder in golden retrievers. Pedigree analysis revealed that all affected dogs belong to one maternal lineage, and a statistical analysis showed that the disorder has a mitochondrial origin. A one base pair deletion in the mitochondrial tRNA(Tyr) gene was identified at position 5304 in affected dogs after re-sequencing the complete mitochondrial genome of seven individuals. The deletion was not found among dogs representing 18 different breeds or in six wolves, ruling out this as a common polymorphism. The mutation could be traced back to a common ancestor of all affected dogs that lived in the 1970s. We used a quantitative oligonucleotide ligation assay to establish the degree of heteroplasmy in blood and tissue samples from affected dogs and controls. Affected dogs and their first to fourth degree relatives had 0-11% wild-type (wt) sequence, while more distant relatives ranged between 5% and 60% wt sequence and all unrelated golden retrievers had 100% wt sequence. Northern blot analysis showed that tRNA(Tyr) had a 10-fold lower steady-state level in affected dogs compared with controls. Four out of five affected dogs showed decreases in mitochondrial ATP production rates and respiratory chain enzyme activities together with morphological alterations in muscle tissue, resembling the changes reported in human mitochondrial pathology. Altogether, these results provide conclusive evidence that the deletion in the mitochondrial tRNA(Tyr) gene is the causative mutation for SAN.
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8.
  • Beaudoin, Melissa, et al. (författare)
  • Deep Resequencing of GWAS Loci Identifies Rare Variants in CARD9, IL23R and RNF186 That Are Associated with Ulcerative Colitis
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: PLOS Genetics. - : Public Library of Science (PLoS). - 1553-7390 .- 1553-7404. ; 9:9
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Genome-wide association studies and follow-up meta-analyses in Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) have recently identified 163 disease-associated loci that meet genome-wide significance for these two inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). These discoveries have already had a tremendous impact on our understanding of the genetic architecture of these diseases and have directed functional studies that have revealed some of the biological functions that are important to IBD (e.g. autophagy). Nonetheless, these loci can only explain a small proportion of disease variance (similar to 14% in CD and 7.5% in UC), suggesting that not only are additional loci to be found but that the known loci may contain high effect rare risk variants that have gone undetected by GWAS. To test this, we have used a targeted sequencing approach in 200 UC cases and 150 healthy controls (HC), all of French Canadian descent, to study 55 genes in regions associated with UC. We performed follow-up genotyping of 42 rare non-synonymous variants in independent case-control cohorts (totaling 14,435 UC cases and 20,204 HC). Our results confirmed significant association to rare non-synonymous coding variants in both IL23R and CARD9, previously identified from sequencing of CD loci, as well as identified a novel association in RNF186. With the exception of CARD9 (OR = 0.39), the rare non-synonymous variants identified were of moderate effect (OR = 1.49 for RNF186 and OR = 0.79 for IL23R). RNF186 encodes a protein with a RING domain having predicted E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase activity and two transmembrane domains. Importantly, the disease-coding variant is located in the ubiquitin ligase domain. Finally, our results suggest that rare variants in genes identified by genome-wide association in UC are unlikely to contribute significantly to the overall variance for the disease. Rather, these are expected to help focus functional studies of the corresponding disease loci.
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9.
  • Bell, Jordana T, et al. (författare)
  • Epigenome-wide scans identify differentially methylated regions for age and age-related phenotypes in a healthy ageing population.
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: PLoS Genetics. - 1553-7390 .- 1553-7404. ; 8:4
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Age-related changes in DNA methylation have been implicated in cellular senescence and longevity, yet the causes and functional consequences of these variants remain unclear. To elucidate the role of age-related epigenetic changes in healthy ageing and potential longevity, we tested for association between whole-blood DNA methylation patterns in 172 female twins aged 32 to 80 with age and age-related phenotypes. Twin-based DNA methylation levels at 26,690 CpG-sites showed evidence for mean genome-wide heritability of 18%, which was supported by the identification of 1,537 CpG-sites with methylation QTLs in cis at FDR 5%. We performed genome-wide analyses to discover differentially methylated regions (DMRs) for sixteen age-related phenotypes (ap-DMRs) and chronological age (a-DMRs). Epigenome-wide association scans (EWAS) identified age-related phenotype DMRs (ap-DMRs) associated with LDL (STAT5A), lung function (WT1), and maternal longevity (ARL4A, TBX20). In contrast, EWAS for chronological age identified hundreds of predominantly hyper-methylated age DMRs (490 a-DMRs at FDR 5%), of which only one (TBX20) was also associated with an age-related phenotype. Therefore, the majority of age-related changes in DNA methylation are not associated with phenotypic measures of healthy ageing in later life. We replicated a large proportion of a-DMRs in a sample of 44 younger adult MZ twins aged 20 to 61, suggesting that a-DMRs may initiate at an earlier age. We next explored potential genetic and environmental mechanisms underlying a-DMRs and ap-DMRs. Genome-wide overlap across cis-meQTLs, genotype-phenotype associations, and EWAS ap-DMRs identified CpG-sites that had cis-meQTLs with evidence for genotype-phenotype association, where the CpG-site was also an ap-DMR for the same phenotype. Monozygotic twin methylation difference analyses identified one potential environmentally-mediated ap-DMR associated with total cholesterol and LDL (CSMD1). Our results suggest that in a small set of genes DNA methylation may be a candidate mechanism of mediating not only environmental, but also genetic effects on age-related phenotypes.
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10.
  • Berger, Juerg, et al. (författare)
  • Systematic identification of genes that regulate neuronal wiring in the Drosophila visual system
  • 2008
  • Ingår i: PLOS GENET. - 1553-7390 .- 1553-7404. ; 4:5, s. e1000085-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Forward genetic screens in model organisms are an attractive means to identify those genes involved in any complex biological process, including neural circuit assembly. Although mutagenesis screens are readily performed to saturation, gene identification rarely is, being limited by the considerable effort generally required for positional cloning. Here, we apply a systematic positional cloning strategy to identify many of the genes required for neuronal wiring in the Drosophila visual system. From a large-scale forward genetic screen selecting for visual system wiring defects with a normal retinal pattern, we recovered 122 mutations in 42 genetic loci. For 6 of these loci, the underlying genetic lesions were previously identified using traditional methods. Using SNP-based mapping approaches, we have now identified 30 additional genes. Neuronal phenotypes have not previously been reported for 20 of these genes, and no mutant phenotype has been previously described for 5 genes. The genes encode a variety of proteins implicated in cellular processes such as gene regulation, cytoskeletal dynamics, axonal transport, and cell signalling. We conducted a comprehensive phenotypic analysis of 35 genes, scoring wiring defects according to 33 criteria. This work demonstrates the feasibility of combining large-scale gene identification with large-scale mutagenesis in Drosophila, and provides a comprehensive overview of the molecular mechanisms that regulate visual system wiring.
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