Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

gwas Related Abstracts

3 Genome-Wide Significant SNPs Proximal to Nicotinic Receptor Genes Impact Cognition in Schizophrenia

Authors: Mohammad Ahangari


Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder with symptoms that include cognitive deficits and nicotine has been suggested to have an effect on cognition. In recent years, the advents of Genome-Wide Association Studies(GWAS) has evolved our understanding about the genetic causes of complex disorders such as schizophrenia and studying the role of genome-wide significant genes could potentially lead to the development of new therapeutic agents for treatment of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. The current study identified six Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) from schizophrenia and smoking GWAS that are located on or in close proximity to the nicotinic receptor gene cluster (CHRN) and studied their association with cognition in an Irish sample of 1297 cases and controls using linear regression analysis. Further on, the interaction between CHRN gene cluster and Dopamine receptor D2 gene (DRD2) during working memory was investigated. The effect of these polymorphisms on nicotinic and dopaminergic neurotransmission, which is disrupted in schizophrenia, have been characterized in terms of their effects on memory, attention, social cognition and IQ as measured by a neuropsychological test battery and significant effects in two polymorphisms were found across global IQ domain of the test battery.

Keywords: Cognition, Schizophrenia, gwas, Dopamine, nicotine, SNPs

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2 Generalized Correlation Coefficient in Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Cognitive Ability in Twins

Authors: Afsaneh Mohammadnejad, Marianne Nygaard, Jan Baumbach, Shuxia Li, Weilong Li, Jesper Lund, Jacob v. B. Hjelmborg, Lene Christensen, Qihua Tan


Cognitive impairment in the elderly is a key issue affecting the quality of life. Despite a strong genetic background in cognition, only a limited number of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been found. These explain a small proportion of the genetic component of cognitive function, thus leaving a large proportion unaccounted for. We hypothesize that one reason for this missing heritability is the misspecified modeling in data analysis concerning phenotype distribution as well as the relationship between SNP dosage and the phenotype of interest. In an attempt to overcome these issues, we introduced a model-free method based on the generalized correlation coefficient (GCC) in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of cognitive function in twin samples and compared its performance with two popular linear regression models. The GCC-based GWAS identified two genome-wide significant (P-value < 5e-8) SNPs; rs2904650 near ZDHHC2 on chromosome 8 and rs111256489 near CD6 on chromosome 11. The kinship model also detected two genome-wide significant SNPs, rs112169253 on chromosome 4 and rs17417920 on chromosome 7, whereas no genome-wide significant SNPs were found by the linear mixed model (LME). Compared to the linear models, more meaningful biological pathways like GABA receptor activation, ion channel transport, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, and the renin-angiotensin system were found to be enriched by SNPs from GCC. The GCC model outperformed the linear regression models by identifying more genome-wide significant genetic variants and more meaningful biological pathways related to cognitive function. Moreover, GCC-based GWAS was robust in handling genetically related twin samples, which is an important feature in handling genetic confounding in association studies.

Keywords: Cognition, gwas, twins, generalized correlation coefficient

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1 Elucidating the Genetic Determinism of Seed Protein Plasticity in Response to the Environment Using Medicago truncatula

Authors: K. Cartelier, D. Aime, V. Vernoud, J. Buitink, J. M. Prosperi, K. Gallardo, C. Le Signor


Legumes can produce protein-rich seeds without nitrogen fertilizer through root symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Rich in lysine, these proteins are used for human nutrition and animal feed. However, the instability of seed protein yield and quality due to environmental fluctuations limits the wider use of legumes such as pea. Breeding efforts are needed to optimize and stabilize seed nutritional value, which requires to identify the genetic determinism of seed protein plasticity in response to the environment. Towards this goal, we have studied the plasticity of protein content and composition of seeds from a collection of 200 Medicago truncatula ecotypes grown under four controlled conditions (optimal, drought, and winter/spring sowing). A quantitative analysis of one-dimensional protein profiles of these mature seeds was performed and plasticity indices were calculated from each abundant protein band. Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) from these data identified major GWAS hotspots, from which a list of candidate genes was obtained. A Gene Ontology Enrichment Analysis revealed an over-representation of genes involved in several amino acid metabolic pathways. This led us to propose that environmental variations are likely to modulate amino acid balance, thus impacting seed protein composition. The selection of candidate genes for controlling the plasticity of seed protein composition was refined using transcriptomics data from developing Medicago truncatula seeds. The pea orthologs of key genes were identified for functional studies by mean of TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes) lines in this crop. We will present how this study highlighted mechanisms that could govern seed protein plasticity, providing new cues towards the stabilization of legume seed quality.

Keywords: Plasticity, Seed, gwas, Medicago truncatula, storage proteins

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