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Ramos P.S.,Medical University of South Carolina | Shaftman S.R.,Medical University of South Carolina | Ward R.C.,Medical University of South Carolina | Langefeld C.D.,Center for Public Health Genomics
Autoimmune Diseases | Year: 2014

The reasons for the ethnic disparities in the prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the relative high frequency of SLE risk alleles in the population are not fully understood. Population genetic factors such as natural selection alter allele frequencies over generations and may help explain the persistence of such common risk variants in the population and the differential risk of SLE. In order to better understand the genetic basis of SLE that might be due to natural selection, a total of 74 genomic regions with compelling evidence for association with SLE were tested for evidence of recent positive selection in the HapMap and HGDP populations, using population differentiation, allele frequency, and haplotype-based tests. Consistent signs of positive selection across different studies and statistical methods were observed at several SLE-associated loci, including PTPN22, TNFSF4, TET3-DGUOK, TNIP1, UHRF1BP1, BLK, and ITGAM genes. This study is the first to evaluate and report that several SLE-associated regions show signs of positive natural selection. These results provide corroborating evidence in support of recent positive selection as one mechanism underlying the elevated population frequency of SLE risk loci and supports future research that integrates signals of natural selection to help identify functional SLE risk alleles. © 2014 Paula S. Ramos et al. Source

Furlotte N.A.,University of California at Los Angeles | Kang E.Y.,University of California at Los Angeles | Van Nas A.,University of California at Los Angeles | Farber C.R.,Center for Public Health Genomics | And 2 more authors.
Genetics | Year: 2012

Genetic studies in mouse models have played an integral role in the discovery of the mechanisms underlying many human diseases. The primary mode of discovery has been the application of linkage analysis to mouse crosses. This approach results in high power to identify regions that affect traits, but in low resolution, making it difficult to identify the precise genomic location harboring the causal variant. Recently, a panel of mice referred to as the hybrid mouse diversity panel (HMDP) has been developed to overcome this problem. However, power in this panel is limited by the availability of inbred strains. Previous studies have suggested combining results across multiple panels as a means to increase power, but the methods employed may not be well suited to structured populations, such as the HMDP. In this article, we introduce a meta-analysis-based method that may be used to combine HMDP studies with F2 cross studies to gain power, while increasing resolution. Due to the drastically different genetic structure of F2s and the HMDP, the best way to combine two studies for a given SNP depends on the strain distribution pattern in each study. We show that combining results, while accounting for these patterns, leads to increased power and resolution. Using our method to map bone mineral density, we find that two previously implicated loci are replicated with increased significance and that the size of the associated is decreased. We also map HDL cholesterol and show a dramatic increase in the significance of a previously identified result. © 2012 by the Genetics Society of America. Source

Ramos P.S.,Medical University of South Carolina | Shedlock A.M.,College of Charleston | Shedlock A.M.,Medical University of South Carolina | Langefeld C.D.,Center for Public Health Genomics
Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2015

Human genetic diversity is the result of population genetic forces. This genetic variation influences disease risk and contributes to health disparities. Autoimmune diseases (ADs) are a family of complex heterogeneous disorders with similar underlying mechanisms characterized by immune responses against self. Collectively, ADs are common, exhibit gender and ethnic disparities, and increasing incidence. As natural selection is an important influence on human genetic variation, and immune function genes are enriched for signals of positive selection, it is thought that the prevalence of AD risk alleles seen in different population is partially the result of differing selective pressures (for example, due to pathogens). With the advent of high-throughput technologies, new analytical methodologies and large-scale projects, evidence for the role of natural selection in contributing to the heritable component of ADs keeps growing. This review summarizes the genetic regions associated with susceptibility to different ADs and concomitant evidence for selection, including known agents of selection exerting selective pressure in these regions. Examples of specific adaptive variants with phenotypic effects are included as an evidence of natural selection increasing AD susceptibility. Many of the complexities of gene effects in different ADs can be explained by population genetics phenomena. Integrating AD susceptibility studies with population genetics to investigate how natural selection has contributed to genetic variation that influences disease risk will help to identify functional variants and elucidate biological mechanisms. As such, the study of population genetics in human population holds untapped potential for elucidating the genetic causes of human disease and more rapidly focusing to personalized medicine. © 2015 The Japan Society of Human Genetics All rights reserved. Source

Palmer N.D.,Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research | Palmer N.D.,Diabetes Research Center | Ng M.C.Y.,Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research | Ng M.C.Y.,Diabetes Research Center | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Type 2 diabetes (T2D)-associated end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) is a complex disorder resulting from the combined influence of genetic and environmental factors. This study contains a comprehensive genetic analysis of putative nephropathy loci in 965 African American (AA) cases with T2D-ESKD and 1029 AA population-based controls extending prior findings. Analysis was based on 4,341 directly genotyped and imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 22 nephropathy candidate genes. After admixture adjustment and correction for multiple comparisons, 37 SNPs across eight loci were significantly associated (1.6E-05 Source

Ramos P.S.,Medical University of South Carolina | Sajuthi S.,Center for Public Health Genomics | Langefeld C.D.,Center for Public Health Genomics | Walker S.J.,Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Molecular Autism | Year: 2012

Background: A growing number of clinical and basic research studies have implicated immunological abnormalities as being associated with and potentially responsible for the cognitive and behavioral deficits seen in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children. Here we test the hypothesis that immune-related gene loci are associated with ASD. Findings: We identified 2,012 genes of known immune-function via Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Family-based tests of association were computed on the 22,904 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the 2,012 immunerelated genes on 1,510 trios available at the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) repository. Several SNPs in immune-related genes remained statistically significantly associated with ASD after adjusting for multiple comparisons. Specifically, we observed significant associations in the CD99 molecule-like 2 region (CD99L2, rs11796490, P = 4.01 × 10 -06, OR = 0.68 (0.58-0.80)), in the jumonji AT rich interactive domain 2 (JARID2) gene (rs13193457, P = 2.71 × 10-06, OR = 0.61 (0.49-0.75)), and in the thyroid peroxidase gene (TPO) (rs1514687, P = 5.72 × 10-06, OR = 1.46 (1.24-1.72)). Conclusions: This study suggests that despite the lack of a general enrichment of SNPs in immune function genes in ASD children, several novel genes with known immune functions are associated with ASD. © 2012 Ramos et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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