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Rotterdam, Netherlands

Alves M.M.,Dr. Molewaterplein | Sribudiani Y.,Dr. Molewaterplein | Brouwer R.W.W.,Erasmus Medical Center | Brouwer R.W.W.,Netherlands Bioinformatics Center | And 17 more authors.
Developmental Biology | Year: 2013

Finding genes for complex diseases has been the goal of many genetic studies. Most of these studies have been successful by searching for genes and mutations in rare familial cases, by screening candidate genes and by performing genome wide association studies. However, only a small fraction of the total genetic risk for these complex genetic diseases can be explained by the identified mutations and associated genetic loci. In this review we focus on Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) as an example of a complex genetic disorder. We describe the genes identified in this congenital malformation and postulate that both common 'low penetrant' variants in combination with rare or private 'high penetrant' variants determine the risk on HSCR, and likely, on other complex diseases. We also discuss how new technological advances can be used to gain further insights in the genetic background of complex diseases. Finally, we outline a few steps to develop functional assays in order to determine the involvement of these variants in disease development. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Veenma D.,Dr. Molewaterplein | Brosens E.,Dr. Molewaterplein | De Jong E.,Dr. Molewaterplein | Van De Ven C.,Dr. Molewaterplein | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2012

The occurrence of phenotypic differences between monozygotic (MZ) twins is commonly attributed to environmental factors, assuming that MZ twins have a complete identical genetic make-up. Yet, recently several lines of evidence showed that both genetic and epigenetic factors could have a role in phenotypic discordance after all. A high occurrence of copy number variation (CNV) differences was observed within MZ twin pairs discordant for Parkinson's disease, thereby stressing on the importance of post-zygotic mutations as disease-predisposing events. In this study, the prevalence of discrepant CNVs was analyzed in discordant MZ twins of the Esophageal Atresia (EA) and Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) cohort in the Netherlands. Blood-derived DNA from 11 pairs (7 EA and 4 CDH) was screened using high-resolution SNP arrays. Results showed an identical copy number profile in each twin pair. Mosaic chromosome gain or losses could not be detected either with a detection threshold of 20%. Some of the germ-line structural events demonstrated in five out of eleven twin pairs could function as a susceptible genetic background. For example, the 177-Kb loss of chromosome 10q26 in CDH pair-3 harbors the TCF7L2 gene (Tcf4 protein), which is implicated in the regulation of muscle fiber type development and maturation. In conclusion, discrepant CNVs are not a common cause of twin discordancy in these investigated congenital anomaly cohorts. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

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