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      Sizing up human height variation

      Nature Genetics
      Springer Science and Business Media LLC

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          Many sequence variants affecting diversity of adult human height.

          Adult human height is one of the classical complex human traits. We searched for sequence variants that affect height by scanning the genomes of 25,174 Icelanders, 2,876 Dutch, 1,770 European Americans and 1,148 African Americans. We then combined these results with previously published results from the Diabetes Genetics Initiative on 3,024 Scandinavians and tested a selected subset of SNPs in 5,517 Danes. We identified 27 regions of the genome with one or more sequence variants showing significant association with height. The estimated effects per allele of these variants ranged between 0.3 and 0.6 cm and, taken together, they explain around 3.7% of the population variation in height. The genes neighboring the identified loci cluster in biological processes related to skeletal development and mitosis. Association to three previously reported loci are replicated in our analyses, and the strongest association was with SNPs in the ZBTB38 gene.
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            A systematic genetic assessment of 1,433 sequence variants of unknown clinical significance in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer-predisposition genes.

            Mutation screening of the breast and ovarian cancer-predisposition genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 is becoming an increasingly important part of clinical practice. Classification of rare nontruncating sequence variants in these genes is problematic, because it is not known whether these subtle changes alter function sufficiently to predispose cells to cancer development. Using data from the Myriad Genetic Laboratories database of nearly 70,000 full-sequence tests, we assessed the clinical significance of 1,433 sequence variants of unknown significance (VUSs) in the BRCA genes. Three independent measures were employed in the assessment: co-occurrence in trans of a VUS with known deleterious mutations; detailed analysis, by logistic regression, of personal and family history of cancer in VUS-carrying probands; and, in a subset of probands, an analysis of cosegregation with disease in pedigrees. For each of these factors, a likelihood ratio was computed under the hypothesis that the VUSs were equivalent to an "average" deleterious mutation, compared with neutral, with respect to risk. The likelihood ratios derived from each component were combined to provide an overall assessment for each VUS. A total of 133 VUSs had odds of at least 100 : 1 in favor of neutrality with respect to risk, whereas 43 had odds of at least 20 : 1 in favor of being deleterious. VUSs with evidence in favor of causality were those that were predicted to affect splicing, fell at positions that are highly conserved among BRCA orthologs, and were more likely to be located in specific domains of the proteins. In addition to their utility for improved genetics counseling of patients and their families, the global assessment reported here will be invaluable for validation of functional assays, structural models, and in silico analyses.
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              Common variants in the GDF5-UQCC region are associated with variation in human height.

              Identifying genetic variants that influence human height will advance our understanding of skeletal growth and development. Several rare genetic variants have been convincingly and reproducibly associated with height in mendelian syndromes, and common variants in the transcription factor gene HMGA2 are associated with variation in height in the general population. Here we report genome-wide association analyses, using genotyped and imputed markers, of 6,669 individuals from Finland and Sardinia, and follow-up analyses in an additional 28,801 individuals. We show that common variants in the osteoarthritis-associated locus GDF5-UQCC contribute to variation in height with an estimated additive effect of 0.44 cm (overall P < 10(-15)). Our results indicate that there may be a link between the genetic basis of height and osteoarthritis, potentially mediated through alterations in bone growth and development.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Genetics
                Nat Genet
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1061-4036
                1546-1718
                May 2008
                May 2008
                : 40
                : 5
                : 489-490
                Article
                10.1038/ng0508-489
                18443579
                903ec3c0-309d-436c-892e-e97912caa7cb
                © 2008

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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