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      Worldwide population differentiation at disease-associated SNPs

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          Abstract

          Background

          Recent genome-wide association (GWA) studies have provided compelling evidence of association between genetic variants and common complex diseases. These studies have made use of cases and controls almost exclusively from populations of European ancestry and little is known about the frequency of risk alleles in other populations. The present study addresses the transferability of disease associations across human populations by examining levels of population differentiation at disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

          Methods

          We genotyped ~1000 individuals from 53 populations worldwide at 25 SNPs which show robust association with 6 complex human diseases (Crohn's disease, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease and obesity). Allele frequency differences between populations for these SNPs were measured using Fst. The Fst values for the disease-associated SNPs were compared to Fst values from 2750 random SNPs typed in the same set of individuals.

          Results

          On average, disease SNPs are not significantly more differentiated between populations than random SNPs in the genome. Risk allele frequencies, however, do show substantial variation across human populations and may contribute to differences in disease prevalence between populations. We demonstrate that, in some cases, risk allele frequency differences are unusually high compared to random SNPs and may be due to the action of local (i.e. geographically-restricted) positive natural selection. Moreover, some risk alleles were absent or fixed in a population, which implies that risk alleles identified in one population do not necessarily account for disease prevalence in all human populations.

          Conclusion

          Although differences in risk allele frequencies between human populations are not unusually large and are thus likely not due to positive local selection, there is substantial variation in risk allele frequencies between populations which may account for differences in disease prevalence between human populations.

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          Most cited references 46

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          A genome-wide association study identifies novel risk loci for type 2 diabetes.

          Type 2 diabetes mellitus results from the interaction of environmental factors with a combination of genetic variants, most of which were hitherto unknown. A systematic search for these variants was recently made possible by the development of high-density arrays that permit the genotyping of hundreds of thousands of polymorphisms. We tested 392,935 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in a French case-control cohort. Markers with the most significant difference in genotype frequencies between cases of type 2 diabetes and controls were fast-tracked for testing in a second cohort. This identified four loci containing variants that confer type 2 diabetes risk, in addition to confirming the known association with the TCF7L2 gene. These loci include a non-synonymous polymorphism in the zinc transporter SLC30A8, which is expressed exclusively in insulin-producing beta-cells, and two linkage disequilibrium blocks that contain genes potentially involved in beta-cell development or function (IDE-KIF11-HHEX and EXT2-ALX4). These associations explain a substantial portion of disease risk and constitute proof of principle for the genome-wide approach to the elucidation of complex genetic traits.
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            Genomewide association analysis of coronary artery disease.

            Modern genotyping platforms permit a systematic search for inherited components of complex diseases. We performed a joint analysis of two genomewide association studies of coronary artery disease. We first identified chromosomal loci that were strongly associated with coronary artery disease in the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) study (which involved 1926 case subjects with coronary artery disease and 2938 controls) and looked for replication in the German MI [Myocardial Infarction] Family Study (which involved 875 case subjects with myocardial infarction and 1644 controls). Data on other single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were significantly associated with coronary artery disease in either study (P 80%) of a true association: chromosomes 1p13.3 (rs599839), 1q41 (rs17465637), 10q11.21 (rs501120), and 15q22.33 (rs17228212). We identified several genetic loci that, individually and in aggregate, substantially affect the risk of development of coronary artery disease. Copyright 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Robust associations of four new chromosome regions from genome-wide analyses of type 1 diabetes.

              The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) primary genome-wide association (GWA) scan on seven diseases, including the multifactorial autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes (T1D), shows associations at P < 5 x 10(-7) between T1D and six chromosome regions: 12q24, 12q13, 16p13, 18p11, 12p13 and 4q27. Here, we attempted to validate these and six other top findings in 4,000 individuals with T1D, 5,000 controls and 2,997 family trios independent of the WTCCC study. We confirmed unequivocally the associations of 12q24, 12q13, 16p13 and 18p11 (P(follow-up)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Med Genomics
                BMC Medical Genomics
                BioMed Central
                1755-8794
                2008
                4 June 2008
                : 1
                : 22
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Statistics, Oxford University, 1 South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3TG, UK
                [3 ]Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7BN, UK
                [4 ]MRC CAiTE Centre, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2PR, UK
                [5 ]Institute for Genomic Diversity, Cornell University, 175 Biotechnology Building, Ithaca, NY 14853-2703, USA
                Article
                1755-8794-1-22
                10.1186/1755-8794-1-22
                2440747
                18533027
                Copyright © 2008 Myles et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Genetics

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