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See detailGenome-wide analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number variants in fibromyalgia suggest a role for the central nervous system.
Docampo Martinez, Elisa ULg; Escaramis, Georgia; Gratacos, Monica et al

in Pain (2014), 155(6), 1102-9

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a highly disabling syndrome defined by a low pain threshold and a permanent state of pain. The mechanisms explaining this complex disorder remain unclear, and its genetic factors have ... [more ▼]

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a highly disabling syndrome defined by a low pain threshold and a permanent state of pain. The mechanisms explaining this complex disorder remain unclear, and its genetic factors have not yet been identified. With the aim of elucidating FM genetic susceptibility factors, we selected 313 FM cases having low comorbidities, and we genotyped them on the Illumina 1 million duo array. Genotypic data from 220 control women (Illumina 610k array) was obtained for genome-wide association scan (GWAS) analysis. Copy number variants in FM susceptibility were analyzed by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) experiments on pooled samples using the Agilent 2x400K platform. No single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) reached GWAS association threshold, but 21 of the most associated SNPs were chosen for replication in 952 cases and 644 controls. Four of the SNPs selected for replication showed a nominal association in the joint analysis, and rs11127292 (MYT1L) was found to be associated to FM with low comorbidities (P=4.28x10(-5), odds ratio [95% confidence interval]=0.58 [0.44-0.75]). aCGH detected 5 differentially hybridized regions. They were followed up, and an intronic deletion in NRXN3 was demonstrated to be associated to female cases of FM with low levels of comorbidities (P=.021, odds ratio [95% confidence interval]=1.46 [1.05-2.04]). Both GWAS and aCGH results point to a role for the central nervous system in FM genetic susceptibility. If the proposed FM candidate genes were further validated in replication studies, this would highlight a neurocognitive involvement in agreement with latest reports. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide analysis of the effect of heavy ions bombardment on gene expression and alternative splicing by neuronal cells.
Lambert, Charles ULg; Ernst, Eric; Quintens, R et al

Conference (2012, June 18)

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See detailGenome-wide association analysis identifies susceptibility loci for migraine without aura.
Freilinger, Tobias; Anttila, Verneri; de Vries, Boukje et al

in Nature Genetics (2012), 44(7), 777-82

Migraine without aura is the most common form of migraine, characterized by recurrent disabling headache and associated autonomic symptoms. To identify common genetic variants associated with this ... [more ▼]

Migraine without aura is the most common form of migraine, characterized by recurrent disabling headache and associated autonomic symptoms. To identify common genetic variants associated with this migraine type, we analyzed genome-wide association data of 2,326 clinic-based German and Dutch individuals with migraine without aura and 4,580 population-matched controls. We selected SNPs from 12 loci with 2 or more SNPs associated with P values of <1 x 10(-5) for replication testing in 2,508 individuals with migraine without aura and 2,652 controls. SNPs at two of these loci showed convincing replication: at 1q22 (in MEF2D; replication P = 4.9 x 10(-4); combined P = 7.06 x 10(-11)) and at 3p24 (near TGFBR2; replication P = 1.0 x 10(-4); combined P = 1.17 x 10(-9)). In addition, SNPs at the PHACTR1 and ASTN2 loci showed suggestive evidence of replication (P = 0.01; combined P = 3.20 x 10(-8) and P = 0.02; combined P = 3.86 x 10(-8), respectively). We also replicated associations at two previously reported migraine loci in or near TRPM8 and LRP1. This study identifies the first susceptibility loci for migraine without aura, thereby expanding our knowledge of this debilitating neurological disorder. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide association defines more than 30 distinct susceptibility loci for Crohn's disease
Barrett, Jeffrey C.; Hansoul, Sarah ULg; Nicolae, Dan L. et al

in Nature Genetics (2008), 40(8), 955-62

Several risk factors for Crohn's disease have been identified in recent genome-wide association studies. To advance gene discovery further, we combined data from three studies on Crohn's disease (a total ... [more ▼]

Several risk factors for Crohn's disease have been identified in recent genome-wide association studies. To advance gene discovery further, we combined data from three studies on Crohn's disease (a total of 3,230 cases and 4,829 controls) and carried out replication in 3,664 independent cases with a mixture of population-based and family-based controls. The results strongly confirm 11 previously reported loci and provide genome-wide significant evidence for 21 additional loci, including the regions containing STAT3, JAK2, ICOSLG, CDKAL1 and ITLN1. The expanded molecular understanding of the basis of this disease offers promise for informed therapeutic development. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-Wide Association Interaction Analysis for Alzheimer’s Disease
Gusareva, Elena ULg; Carrasquillo, Minerva M.; Bellenguez, Céline et al

in Neurobiology of Aging (2014)

We propose a minimal protocol for exhaustive genome-wide association interaction analysis that involves screening for epistasis over large-scale genomic data combining strengths of different methods and ... [more ▼]

We propose a minimal protocol for exhaustive genome-wide association interaction analysis that involves screening for epistasis over large-scale genomic data combining strengths of different methods and statistical tools. The different steps of this protocol are illustrated on a real-life data application for Alzheimer's disease (AD) (2259 patients and 6017 controls from France). Particularly, in the exhaustive genome-wide epistasis screening we identified AD-associated interacting SNPs-pair from chromosome 6q11.1 (rs6455128, the KHDRBS2 gene) and 13q12.11 (rs7989332, the CRYL1 gene) (p = 0.006, corrected for multiple testing). A replication analysis in the independent AD cohort from Germany (555 patients and 824 controls) confirmed the discovered epistasis signal (p = 0.036). This signal was also supported by a meta-analysis approach in 5 independent AD cohorts that was applied in the context of epistasis for the first time. Transcriptome analysis revealed negative correlation between expression levels of KHDRBS2 and CRYL1 in both the temporal cortex (β = -0.19, p = 0.0006) and cerebellum (β = -0.23, p < 0.0001) brain regions. This is the first time a replicable epistasis associated with AD was identified using a hypothesis free screening approach. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide association interaction analysis for Alzheimer’s disease.
Gusareva, Elena ULg; Bellenguez, C; Cuyvers, E et al

Poster (2014, January 27)

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See detailGenome-wide association interaction analysis for Alzheimer’s disease.
Gusareva, Elena ULg; Bellenguez, C; Cuyvers, E et al

Speech/Talk (2013)

Identification of epistasis is a challenging task that when successful gives new clues to systems-level genetics where the complexity of underling biology of human disease can be better understood. Though ... [more ▼]

Identification of epistasis is a challenging task that when successful gives new clues to systems-level genetics where the complexity of underling biology of human disease can be better understood. Though many novel methods for detecting epistasis have been proposed and many studies for epistasis detection have been conducted, so far few studies can demonstrate replicable epistasis. In the present work, we propose a minimal protocol for exhaustive genome-wide association interaction (GWAI) analysis that involves screening for epistasis over large-scale genomic data combining strengths of different methods and statistical tools. The different steps of this protocol are illustrated on a real-life data application for Alzheimer’s disease (a large cohort of 2259 patients and 6017 controls from France). Using this protocol, we identified AD-associated interacting SNPs-pair from chromosome 6q11.1 (rs6455128, the KHDRBS2 gene) and 13q12.11 (rs7989332, the CRYL1 gene) and male-specific epistasis between SNPs from chromosome 5q34 (rs729149 and rs3733980, the WWC1 gene) and 15q22.2 (rs9806612, rs9302230 and rs7175766, the TLN2 gene). The transcriptome analysis revealed negative correlation between expression levels of KHDRBS2 and CRYL1 in both the temporal cortex and cerebellum brain regions and positive correlation between the expression levels of CRYL1 and WWC1 in the temporal cortex brain region. A replication analysis strategy and a meta-analysis approach in independent data confirmed effects of some of the discovered interactions. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide association interaction analysis for complex diseases: an example on Alzheimer’s disease.
Gusareva, Elena ULg; Cuyvers, E; Colon, S et al

Speech/Talk (2013)

Objectives: Common genetic mutations that can be detected via a genome-wide association (GWA) study and at the same time have a strong contribution to disease risk are fairly limited. Some of the genetic ... [more ▼]

Objectives: Common genetic mutations that can be detected via a genome-wide association (GWA) study and at the same time have a strong contribution to disease risk are fairly limited. Some of the genetic variants in humans are either rare, thus more difficult to be identified, or they are common, but exert relatively small or even no individual effects that are masked or enhanced by one or several genes. The discovery of interacting genetic variants, possibly explaining part of the hidden genetic heritability, requires the development of sophisticated strategies and bioinformatics tools. Methods: In the present study, we propose a minimal protocol for genome-wide association interaction (GWAI) analysis that involves screening over large-scale genomic data in the search for epistatic or synergetic effects. The different steps of this minimal protocol are illustrated on a real-life data application for Alzheimer disease (AlzD) (large human cohort of 2,259 cases and 6,017 controls from France) and the pros and cons of the approaches are discussed. Results: Using the protocol, we identified two pairs of AlzD-associated interacting SNPs: from chromosome 6q11.1 and 13q12.11 and male-specific epistasis between SNPs from chromosome 5q34 and 15q22.2. Conclusion: In the present work we developed and applied an epistasis detection protocol to perform a comprehensive genome-wide search for AlzD-associated epistatic effects, hereby combining the strengths of different strategies, methods and statistical tools. It is the first time an epistasis study of this magnitude has been conducted in the context of AlzD. We show the advantages of viewing and analyzing data from different angles. A replication analysis strategy adapted to the epistasis detection context, as well as a meta-analytic approach confirmed effects of the discovered interactions. Apart from the biological and clinical importance, the present work offers a roadmap for future investigations in the field of epistasis detection and interpretation. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide association study for milk fatty acid composition using cow versus bull data
Bastin, Catherine ULg; Gengler, Nicolas ULg; Soyeurt, Hélène ULg et al

in Book of Astracts of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (2012)

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See detailGenome-wide association study identifies sequence variants within the DAB2IP gene conferring susceptibility to abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Gretarsdottir, Solveig; Baas, Annette F.; Thorleifsson, G. et al

in Nature Genetics (2010)

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See detailGenome-wide association study of migraine implicates a common susceptibility variant on 8q22.1.
Anttila, Verneri; Stefansson, Hreinn; Kallela, Mikko et al

in Nature Genetics (2010), 42(10), 869-73

Migraine is a common episodic neurological disorder, typically presenting with recurrent attacks of severe headache and autonomic dysfunction. Apart from rare monogenic subtypes, no genetic or molecular ... [more ▼]

Migraine is a common episodic neurological disorder, typically presenting with recurrent attacks of severe headache and autonomic dysfunction. Apart from rare monogenic subtypes, no genetic or molecular markers for migraine have been convincingly established. We identified the minor allele of rs1835740 on chromosome 8q22.1 to be associated with migraine (P = 5.38 x 10, odds ratio = 1.23, 95% CI 1.150-1.324) in a genome-wide association study of 2,731 migraine cases ascertained from three European headache clinics and 10,747 population-matched controls. The association was replicated in 3,202 cases and 40,062 controls for an overall meta-analysis P value of 1.69 x 10(1)(1) (odds ratio = 1.18, 95% CI 1.127-1.244). rs1835740 is located between MTDH (astrocyte elevated gene 1, also known as AEG-1) and PGCP (encoding plasma glutamate carboxypeptidase). In an expression quantitative trait study in lymphoblastoid cell lines, transcript levels of the MTDH were found to have a significant correlation to rs1835740 (P = 3.96 x 10, permuted threshold for genome-wide significance 7.7 x 10. To our knowledge, our data establish rs1835740 as the first genetic risk factor for migraine. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-Wide Copy Number Variation Scan Identifies Complement Component C4 as Novel Susceptibility Gene for Crohn's Disease.
Cleynen, Isabelle; Konings, Peter; Robberecht, Caroline et al

in Inflammatory bowel diseases (2015)

BACKGROUND: The genetic component of Crohn's disease (CD) is well known, with 140 susceptibility loci identified so far. In addition to single nucleotide polymorphisms typically studied in genome-wide ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The genetic component of Crohn's disease (CD) is well known, with 140 susceptibility loci identified so far. In addition to single nucleotide polymorphisms typically studied in genome-wide scans, copy number variation is responsible for a large proportion of human genetic variation. METHODS: We performed a genome-wide search for copy number variants associated with CD using array comparative genomic hybridization. One of the found regions was validated independently through real-time PCR. Serum levels of the found gene were measured in patients and control subjects. RESULTS: We found copy number differences for the C4S and C4L gene variants of complement component C4 in the central major histocompatibility complex region on chromosome 6p21. Specifically, we saw that CD patients tend to have lower C4L and higher C4S copies than control subjects (P = 5.00 x 10 and P = 9.11 x 10), which was independent of known associated classical HLA I and II alleles (P = 7.68 x 10 and P = 6.29 x 10). Although C4 serum levels were not different between patients and control subjects, the relationship between C4 copy number and serum level was different for patients and control subjects with higher copy numbers leading to higher serum concentrations in control subjects, compared with CD patients (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: C4 is part of the classical activation pathway of the complement system, which is important for (auto)immunity. Low C4L or high C4S copy number, and corresponding effects on C4 serum level, could lead to an exaggerated response against infections, possibly leading to (auto)immune disease. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide Determinants of Proviral Targeting, Clonal Abundance and Expression in Natural HTLV-1 Infection.
Melamed, Anat; Laydon, Daniel J.; Gillet, Nicolas ULg et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2013), 9(3), 1003271

The regulation of proviral latency is a central problem in retrovirology. We postulate that the genomic integration site of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) determines the pattern of expression ... [more ▼]

The regulation of proviral latency is a central problem in retrovirology. We postulate that the genomic integration site of human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) determines the pattern of expression of the provirus, which in turn determines the abundance and pathogenic potential of infected T cell clones in vivo. We recently developed a high-throughput method for the genome-wide amplification, identification and quantification of proviral integration sites. Here, we used this protocol to test two hypotheses. First, that binding sites for transcription factors and chromatin remodelling factors in the genome flanking the proviral integration site of HTLV-1 are associated with integration targeting, spontaneous proviral expression, and in vivo clonal abundance. Second, that the transcriptional orientation of the HTLV-1 provirus relative to that of the nearest host gene determines spontaneous proviral expression and in vivo clonal abundance. Integration targeting was strongly associated with the presence of a binding site for specific host transcription factors, especially STAT1 and p53. The presence of the chromatin remodelling factors BRG1 and INI1 and certain host transcription factors either upstream or downstream of the provirus was associated respectively with silencing or spontaneous expression of the provirus. Cells expressing HTLV-1 Tax protein were significantly more frequent in clones of low abundance in vivo. We conclude that transcriptional interference and chromatin remodelling are critical determinants of proviral latency in natural HTLV-1 infection. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide environmental interaction analysis using multidimensional data reduction principles to identify asthma pharmacogenetic loci in relation to corticosteroid therapy
Van Lishout, François ULg; Bessonov, Kyrylo ULg; Duan, Quingling et al

Poster (2013, October 25)

Genome-wide gene-environment (GxE) and gene-gene (GxG) interaction studies share a lot of challenges via the common genetic component they involve. GWEI studies may therefore benefit from the abundance of ... [more ▼]

Genome-wide gene-environment (GxE) and gene-gene (GxG) interaction studies share a lot of challenges via the common genetic component they involve. GWEI studies may therefore benefit from the abundance of methodologies that are available in the context of genome-wide epistasis detection methods. One of these is Model-Based Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (MB-MDR), which does not make any assumption about the genetic inheritance model. MB-MDR involves reducing a high-dimensional GxE space to GxE factor levels that either exhibit high or low or no evidence for their association to disease outcome. In contrast to logistic regression and random forests, MB-MDR can be used to detect GxE interactions in the absence of any main effects or when sample sizes are too small to be able to model all main and GxE interaction effects. In this ongoing study, we demonstrate the opportunities and challenges of MB-MDR for genome-wide GxE interaction analysis and analyzed the difference in prebronchodilator FEV1 following 8 weeks of inhaled corticosteroid therapy, for 565 pediatric Caucasian CAMP (ages 5-12) from the SHARE project. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide Epistasis Screening for Alzheimer‘s Disease
Gusareva, Elena ULg; Bellenguez, C; Sleegers, K et al

Poster (2013, March)

Objectives: Alzheimer disease (AlzD) is a complex, progressive neurodegenerative disease where dementia symptoms (memory and other intellectual abilities loss) gradually worsen over a number of years. The ... [more ▼]

Objectives: Alzheimer disease (AlzD) is a complex, progressive neurodegenerative disease where dementia symptoms (memory and other intellectual abilities loss) gradually worsen over a number of years. The disease is characterized by the neuropathologic findings of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques that accumulate in vulnerable brain regions. AlzD is inherited as complex trait and appears to be highly heritable with 58-79 percent attributable to genetic factors. So far, although a number of main-effect genes have been identified, only a fraction of AlzD cases can be explained by specific gene mutations. In our study we performed an exhaustive and selective genome-wide screening for SNP-SNP interactions associated with AlzD in a large case/control cohort to reveal hidden heritability that can be accounted for by epistasis. Methods: We developed a minimal protocol for genome-wide association interaction (GWAI) analysis that involves screening over large-scale genomic data in the search for epistatic or synergetic effects. The protocol was applied on a large human cohort of 2,259 cases AlzD cases and 6,017 healthy controls from France to search for AlzD-associated epistasic effects. Results: In the exhaustive genome-wide screening, we identified two pairs of AlzD-associated interacting SNPs from chromosomes 6q11.1 and 13q12.11, and male-specific epistasis between SNPs from chromosomes 5q34 and 15q22.2. In the selective epistasis search, screening over the candidate genes for AlzD previously reported to be in interaction, we replicated seven out of twelve AlzD-associated gene pairs (INS / PPARA, IL1A / PPARA, IL10 / PPARA, TF / HFE, MTHFR / IL6, ABCA1 / NPC1, LRP1 / MAPT). Conclusion: It is the first time an epistasis study of this magnitude has been conducted in the context of AlzD. We show the advantages of viewing and analyzing data from different angles. A replication analysis strategy adapted to the epistasis detection context, as well as a meta-analytic approach confirmed effects of the discovered interactions. Apart from the biological and clinical importance, the present work offers a roadmap for future investigations in the field of epistasis detection and interpretation. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide epistasis screening for asthma associated traits
Gusareva, Elena ULg; Huyghe, Jeroen; Van Steen, Kristel ULg

Poster (2011, August 01)

Genome-wide association (GWA) studies of asthma and associated traits have identified numerous genes. A substantial portion of the heritability of these traits remains unexplained. Some variants, not ... [more ▼]

Genome-wide association (GWA) studies of asthma and associated traits have identified numerous genes. A substantial portion of the heritability of these traits remains unexplained. Some variants, not detectable via main effects GWA study may manifest themselves only in interaction with other variants. To search for interacting genes involved in regulation of asthma associated traits (total IgE, eosinophils, FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC) we performed GWA epistasis screening in two family groups of asthma patients:CAMP (Childhood Asthma Management Program:814 cases and 467 trios) and CARE (Childhood Asthma Research and Education:796 cases and 338 trios) [dbGaP accession number phs000166.v1.p1.c1]. Individuals were genotyped with the Aymetrix 6.0 array. After quality control 574922 and 575010 SNPs in CAMP and CARE respectively, were tested with FBAT. No main effects genome-wide significant associations were found. We prioritized candidate pairs of SNPs for MB-MDR epistasis screening using Biofilter leading to 7632 SNPs for CAMP and 7603 SNPs for CARE. The most significant pair-wise interaction was identified between SNPs from loci 7p21.1 and 12q23.3 influencing eosinophil level in asthmatics. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide epistasis screening for Crohns’ disease
Gusareva, Elena ULg; Van Steen, Kristel ULg

Poster (2011, September 19)

Genome-wide association (GWA) studies of Crohn's disease have identified numerous genes. However, a substantial portion of the heritability of this disease remains unexplained. Some gene variants, not ... [more ▼]

Genome-wide association (GWA) studies of Crohn's disease have identified numerous genes. However, a substantial portion of the heritability of this disease remains unexplained. Some gene variants, not detectable via main effects GWA study, may manifest themselves only in interaction with other variants. To search for interacting genes involved in the regulation of Crohn's disease, we performed GWA epistasis screening in a large human cohort (1851 cases/2938 controls) belonging to the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC). All subjects were genotyped with the GeneChip 500K Mapping Array Set (Affymetrix chip). SNPs that passed our quality control (359,479 SNPs) were processed in Biofilter (a software package that looks for candidate epistatic genes contributing to disease risk) giving rise to 14,185 SNPs. Subsequent MB-MDR epistasis screening discovered four pairs of interacting SNPs on chromosome 4q35.1 and eight pairs on chromosome 11q23.2. The identified pairs of SNPs were confirmed with synergy-based measures. Notably, despite their mapping to the same genomic regions, the interacting SNPs were not in LD (r^2 < 0.5). Our findings support the idea of close chromosomal localization of two pairs of interacting genes that are involved in development of Crohn's disease. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide hydroxymethylcytosine pattern changes in response to oxidative stress.
Delatte, Benjamin; Jeschke, Jana; Defrance, Matthieu et al

in Scientific reports (2015), 5

The TET enzymes convert methylcytosine to the newly discovered base hydroxymethylcytosine. While recent reports suggest that TETs may play a role in response to oxidative stress, this role remains ... [more ▼]

The TET enzymes convert methylcytosine to the newly discovered base hydroxymethylcytosine. While recent reports suggest that TETs may play a role in response to oxidative stress, this role remains uncertain, and results lack in vivo models. Here we show a global decrease of hydroxymethylcytosine in cells treated with buthionine sulfoximine, and in mice depleted for the major antioxidant enzymes GPx1 and 2. Furthermore, genome-wide profiling revealed differentially hydroxymethylated regions in coding genes, and intriguingly in microRNA genes, both involved in response to oxidative stress. These results thus suggest a profound effect of in vivo oxidative stress on the global hydroxymethylome. [less ▲]

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See detailA genome-wide linkage study of individuals with high scores on NEO personality traits
Amin, Najaf; Schuur, M.; Gusareva, Elena ULg et al

in Molecular Psychiatry (2011)

The NEO-Five-Factor Inventory divides human personality traits into five dimensions: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness and agreeableness. In this study, we sought to identify regions ... [more ▼]

The NEO-Five-Factor Inventory divides human personality traits into five dimensions: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness and agreeableness. In this study, we sought to identify regions harboring genes with large effects on the five NEO personality traits by performing genome-wide linkage analysis of individuals scoring in the extremes of these traits ( > 90th percentile). Affected-only linkage analysis was performed using an Illumina 6K linkage array in a family-based study, the Erasmus Rucphen Family study. We subsequently determined whether distinct, segregating haplotypes found with linkage analysis were associated with the trait of interest in the population. Finally, a dense single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping array (Illumina 318K) was used to search for copy number variations (CNVs) in the associated regions. In the families with extreme phenotype scores, we found significant evidence of linkage for conscientiousness to 20p13 (rs1434789, log of odds (LOD) = 5.86) and suggestive evidence of linkage (LOD > 2.8) for neuroticism to 19q, 21q and 22q, extraversion to 1p, 1q, 9p and12q, openness to 12q and 19q, and agreeableness to 2p, 6q, 17q and 21q. Further analysis determined haplotypes in 21q22 for neuroticism (P-values = 0.009, 0.007), in 17q24 for agreeableness (marginal P-value = 0.018) and in 20p13 for conscientiousness (marginal P-values = 0.058, 0.038) segregating in families with large contributions to the LOD scores. No evidence for CNVs in any of the associated regions was found. Our findings imply that there may be genes with relatively large effects involved in personality traits, which may be identified with next-generation sequencing techniques. [less ▲]

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