Tumor somatic mutation analysis is part of the standard management of metastatic lung cancer. However, physicians often have to deal with small biopsies and consequently with challenging mutation testing. Circulating free DNA (cfDNA) is a promising tool for accessing the tumor genome as a liquid biopsy. Here, we evaluated next-generation sequencing (NGS) on cfDNA samples obtained from a consecutive series of patients for the screening of a range of clinically relevant mutations.
The incidence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is increasing worldwide, and its prevalence is particularly high in some parts of Central Europe. Here we undertake whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing of clear cell RCC (ccRCC), the most common form of the disease, in patients from four different European countries with contrasting disease incidence to explore the underlying genomic architecture of RCC. Our findings support previous reports on frequent aberrations in the epigenetic machinery and PI3K/mTOR signalling, and uncover novel pathways and genes affected by recurrent mutations and abnormal transcriptome patterns including focal adhesion, components of extracellular matrix (ECM) and genes encoding FAT cadherins. Furthermore, a large majority of patients from Romania have an unexpected high frequency of A:T>T:A transversions, consistent with exposure to aristolochic acid (AA). These results show that the processes underlying ccRCC tumorigenesis may vary in different populations and suggest that AA may be an important ccRCC carcinogen in Romania, a finding with major public health implications.
The genetic contribution to the variation in human lifespan is ? 25%. Despite the large number of identified disease-susceptibility loci, it is not known which loci influence population mortality. We performed a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 7729 long-lived individuals of European descent (? 85 years) and 16 121 younger controls (<65 years) followed by replication in an additional set of 13 060 long-lived individuals and 61 156 controls. In addition, we performed a subset analysis in cases aged ? 90 years. We observed genome-wide significant association with longevity, as reflected by survival to ages beyond 90 years, at a novel locus, rs2149954, on chromosome 5q33.3 (OR = 1.10, P = 1.74 × 10(-8)). We also confirmed association of rs4420638 on chromosome 19q13.32 (OR = 0.72, P = 3.40 × 10(-36)), representing the TOMM40/APOE/APOC1 locus. In a prospective meta-analysis (n = 34 103), the minor allele of rs2149954 (T) on chromosome 5q33.3 associates with increased survival (HR = 0.95, P = 0.003). This allele has previously been reported to associate with low blood pressure in middle age. Interestingly, the minor allele (T) associates with decreased cardiovascular mortality risk, independent of blood pressure. We report on the first GWAS-identified longevity locus on chromosome 5q33.3 influencing survival in the general European population. The minor allele of this locus associates with low blood pressure in middle age, although the contribution of this allele to survival may be less dependent on blood pressure. Hence, the pleiotropic mechanisms by which this intragenic variation contributes to lifespan regulation have to be elucidated.
To re-examine the correlation between mtDNA variability and longevity, we examined mtDNAs from samples obtained from over 2200 ultranonagenarians (and an equal number of controls) collected within the framework of the GEHA EU project. The samples were categorized by high-resolution classification, while about 1300 mtDNA molecules (650 ultranonagenarians and an equal number of controls) were completely sequenced. Sequences, unlike standard haplogroup analysis, made possible to evaluate for the first time the cumulative effects of specific, concomitant mtDNA mutations, including those that per se have a low, or very low, impact. In particular, the analysis of the mutations occurring in different OXPHOS complex showed a complex scenario with a different mutation burden in 90+ subjects with respect to controls. These findings suggested that mutations in subunits of the OXPHOS complex I had a beneficial effect on longevity, while the simultaneous presence of mutations in complex I and III (which also occurs in J subhaplogroups involved in LHON) and in complex I and V seemed to be detrimental, likely explaining previous contradictory results. On the whole, our study, which goes beyond haplogroup analysis, suggests that mitochondrial DNA variation does affect human longevity, but its effect is heavily influenced by the interaction between mutations concomitantly occurring on different mtDNA genes.
We present a high-quality genome sequence of a Neanderthal woman from Siberia. We show that her parents were related at the level of half-siblings and that mating among close relatives was common among her recent ancestors. We also sequenced the genome of a Neanderthal from the Caucasus to low coverage. An analysis of the relationships and population history of available archaic genomes and 25 present-day human genomes shows that several gene flow events occurred among Neanderthals, Denisovans and early modern humans, possibly including gene flow into Denisovans from an unknown archaic group. Thus, interbreeding, albeit of low magnitude, occurred among many hominin groups in the Late Pleistocene. In addition, the high-quality Neanderthal genome allows us to establish a definitive list of substitutions that became fixed in modern humans after their separation from the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans.
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) affects about one in 3,500 people in all ethnic groups. Most NF1 patients have private loss-of-function mutations scattered along the NF1 gene. Here, we present an original NF1 investigation strategy and report a comprehensive mutation analysis of 565 unrelated patients from the NF-France Network. A NF1 mutation was identified in 546 of the 565 patients, giving a mutation detection rate of 97%. The combined cDNA/DNA approach showed that a significant proportion of NF1 missense mutations (30%) were deleterious by affecting pre-mRNA splicing. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification allowed the identification of restricted rearrangements that would have been missed if only sequencing or microsatellite analysis had been performed. In four unrelated families, we identified two distinct NF1 mutations within the same family. This fortuitous association points out the need to perform an exhaustive NF1 screening in the case of molecular discordant-related patients. A genotype-phenotype study was performed in patients harboring a truncating (N = 368), in-frame splicing (N = 36), or missense (N = 35) mutation. The association analysis of these mutation types with 12 common NF1 clinical features confirmed a weak contribution of the allelic heterogeneity of the NF1 mutation to the NF1 variable expressivity.
Clear evidence exists for heritability of human longevity, and much interest is focused on identifying genes associated with longer lives. To identify such longevity alleles, we performed the largest genome-wide linkage scan thus far reported. Linkage analyses included 2118 nonagenarian Caucasian sibling pairs that have been enrolled in 15 study centers of 11 European countries as part of the Genetics of Healthy Aging (GEHA) project. In the joint linkage analyses, we observed four regions that show linkage with longevity; chromosome 14q11.2 (LOD = 3.47), chromosome 17q12-q22 (LOD = 2.95), chromosome 19p13.3-p13.11 (LOD = 3.76), and chromosome 19q13.11-q13.32 (LOD = 3.57). To fine map these regions linked to longevity, we performed association analysis using GWAS data in a subgroup of 1228 unrelated nonagenarian and 1907 geographically matched controls. Using a fixed-effect meta-analysis approach, rs4420638 at the TOMM40/APOE/APOC1 gene locus showed significant association with longevity (P-value = 9.6 × 10(-8) ). By combined modeling of linkage and association, we showed that association of longevity with APOE?4 and APOE?2 alleles explain the linkage at 19q13.11-q13.32 with P-value = 0.02 and P-value = 1.0 × 10(-5) , respectively. In the largest linkage scan thus far performed for human familial longevity, we confirm that the APOE locus is a longevity gene and that additional longevity loci may be identified at 14q11.2, 17q12-q22, and 19p13.3-p13.11. As the latter linkage results are not explained by common variants, we suggest that rare variants play an important role in human familial longevity.
We conducted a case-control genome-wide association study (GWAS) of human longevity, comparing 664,472 autosomal SNPs in 763 long-lived individuals (LLI; mean age: 99.7 years) and 1085 controls (mean age: 60.2 years) from Germany. Only one association, namely that of SNP rs4420638 near the APOC1 gene, achieved genome-wide significance (allele-based P=1.8×10(-10)). However, logistic regression analysis revealed that this association, which was replicated in an independent German sample, is fully explicable by linkage disequilibrium with the APOE allele ?4, the only variant hitherto established as a major genetic determinant of survival into old age. Our GWAS failed to identify any additional autosomal susceptibility genes. One explanation for this lack of success in our study would be that GWAS provide only limited statistical power for a polygenic phenotype with loci of small effect such as human longevity. A recent GWAS in Dutch LLI independently confirmed the APOE-longevity association, thus strengthening the conclusion that this locus is a very, if not the most, important genetic factor influencing longevity.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful in identifying common genetic variation involved in susceptibility to etiologically complex disease. We conducted a GWAS to identify common genetic variation involved in susceptibility to upper aero-digestive tract (UADT) cancers. Genome-wide genotyping was carried out using the Illumina HumanHap300 beadchips in 2,091 UADT cancer cases and 3,513 controls from two large European multi-centre UADT cancer studies, as well as 4,821 generic controls. The 19 top-ranked variants were investigated further in an additional 6,514 UADT cancer cases and 7,892 controls of European descent from an additional 13 UADT cancer studies participating in the INHANCE consortium. Five common variants presented evidence for significant association in the combined analysis (p ? 5 × 10??). Two novel variants were identified, a 4q21 variant (rs1494961, p?=?1×10??) located near DNA repair related genes HEL308 and FAM175A (or Abraxas) and a 12q24 variant (rs4767364, p =2 × 10??) located in an extended linkage disequilibrium region that contains multiple genes including the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene. Three remaining variants are located in the ADH gene cluster and were identified previously in a candidate gene study involving some of these samples. The association between these three variants and UADT cancers was independently replicated in 5,092 UADT cancer cases and 6,794 controls non-overlapping samples presented here (rs1573496-ADH7, p = 5 × 10??); rs1229984-ADH1B, p = 7 × 10??; and rs698-ADH1C, p = 0.02). These results implicate two variants at 4q21 and 12q24 and further highlight three ADH variants in UADT cancer susceptibility.
So far, no common environmental and/or phenotypic factor has been associated with melanoma and renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The known risk factors for melanoma include sun exposure, pigmentation and nevus phenotypes; risk factors associated with RCC include smoking, obesity and hypertension. A recent study of coexisting melanoma and RCC in the same patients supports a genetic predisposition underlying the association between these two cancers. The microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) has been proposed to act as a melanoma oncogene; it also stimulates the transcription of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF1A), the pathway of which is targeted by kidney cancer susceptibility genes. We therefore proposed that MITF might have a role in conferring a genetic predisposition to co-occurring melanoma and RCC. Here we identify a germline missense substitution in MITF (Mi-E318K) that occurred at a significantly higher frequency in genetically enriched patients affected with melanoma, RCC or both cancers, when compared with controls. Overall, Mi-E318K carriers had a higher than fivefold increased risk of developing melanoma, RCC or both cancers. Codon 318 is located in a small-ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) consensus site (?KXE) and Mi-E318K severely impaired SUMOylation of MITF. Mi-E318K enhanced MITF protein binding to the HIF1A promoter and increased its transcriptional activity compared to wild-type MITF. Further, we observed a global increase in Mi-E318K-occupied loci. In an RCC cell line, gene expression profiling identified a Mi-E318K signature related to cell growth, proliferation and inflammation. Lastly, the mutant protein enhanced melanocytic and renal cell clonogenicity, migration and invasion, consistent with a gain-of-function role in tumorigenesis. Our data provide insights into the link between SUMOylation, transcription and cancer.
There is extensive evidence that increases in blood and tissue concentrations of steroid hormones and of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) are associated with breast cancer risk. However, studies of common variation in genes involved in steroid hormone and IGF-I metabolism have yet to provide convincing evidence that such variants predict breast cancer risk. The Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) is a collaboration of large US and European cohorts. We genotyped 1416 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 37 steroid hormone metabolism genes and 24 IGF-I pathway genes in 6292 cases of breast cancer and 8135 controls, mostly Caucasian, postmenopausal women from the BPC3. We also imputed 3921 additional SNPs in the regions of interest. None of the SNPs tested was significantly associated with breast cancer risk, after correction for multiple comparisons. The results remained null when cases and controls were stratified by age at diagnosis/recruitment, advanced or nonadvanced disease, body mass index, with or without in situ cases; or restricted to Caucasians. Among 770 estrogen receptor-negative cases, an SNP located 3 of growth hormone receptor (GHR) was marginally associated with increased risk after correction for multiple testing (P(trend) = 1.5 × 10(-4)). We found no significant overall associations between breast cancer and common germline variation in 61 genes involved in steroid hormone and IGF-I metabolism in this large, comprehensive study. Although previous studies have shown that variations in these genes can influence endogenous hormone levels, the magnitude of the effect of single SNPs does not appear to be sufficient to alter breast cancer risk.
We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in 3,772 affected individuals (cases) and 8,505 controls of European background from 11 studies and followed up 6 SNPs in 3 replication studies of 2,198 cases and 4,918 controls. Two loci on the regions of 2p21 and 11q13.3 were associated with RCC susceptibility below genome-wide significance. Two correlated variants (r² = 0.99 in controls), rs11894252 (P = 1.8 × 10??) and rs7579899 (P = 2.3 × 10??), map to EPAS1 on 2p21, which encodes hypoxia-inducible-factor-2 alpha, a transcription factor previously implicated in RCC. The second locus, rs7105934, at 11q13.3, contains no characterized genes (P = 7.8 × 10?¹?). In addition, we observed a promising association on 12q24.31 for rs4765623, which maps to SCARB1, the scavenger receptor class B, member 1 gene (P = 2.6 × 10??). Our study reports previously unidentified genomic regions associated with RCC risk that may lead to new etiological insights.
The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) was launched to coordinate large-scale cancer genome studies in tumours from 50 different cancer types and/or subtypes that are of clinical and societal importance across the globe. Systematic studies of more than 25,000 cancer genomes at the genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic levels will reveal the repertoire of oncogenic mutations, uncover traces of the mutagenic influences, define clinically relevant subtypes for prognosis and therapeutic management, and enable the development of new cancer therapies.
Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) has been suggested as a plausible candidate gene for human longevity due to its modulation of cardiovascular disease risk, by preventing oxidation of atherogenic low-density lipoprotein. The role of the PON1 192 Q/R polymorphism has been analyzed for association with survival at old age in several populations, albeit with controversial results. To reconcile the conflicting evidence, we performed a large association study with two samples of 2357 Germans and 1025 French, respectively. We combined our results with those from seven previous studies in the largest and most comprehensive meta-analysis on PON1 192 Q/R and longevity to-date, to include a total of 9580 individuals. No significant association of PON1 192 Q/R with longevity was observed, for either R allele or carriership. This finding relied on very large sample sizes, is supported by different analysis methods and is therefore considered very robust. Moreover, we have investigated a potential interaction of PON1 192 Q/R with APOE epsilon4 using data from four populations. Whereas a significant result was found in the German sample, this could not be confirmed in the other examined groups. Our large-scale meta-analysis provided no evidence that the PON1 192 Q/R polymorphism is associated with longevity, but this does not exclude the possibility of population-specific effects due to the influence of, and interaction between, different genetic and/or environmental factors (e.g. diet).
Twin studies have shown that longevity in humans is moderately heritable with a genetic component of 25-32%. Experimental model organisms point to the existence of core survival and anti-ageing pathways that have been conserved throughout evolution. It has been shown that mutations in single genes involved in these pathways can either delay or accelerate the ageing process and that many of these genes and pathways are also present in humans. Here, we performed a targeted investigation of selected genes (i) involved in longevity pathways (insulin receptor/insulin-like growth factor-I signaling and energy metabolism, intracellular signaling, apoptosis and stress response) and (ii) in which mutations lead to genetic perturbations in animal models or human diseases. Altogether, we tested 500 nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 343 candidate genes for association with the longevity phenotype in a German sample comprising about 400 centenarians and an equal number of younger control subjects. Thus, this study presents one of the largest candidate studies in human genetic longevity research conducted to-date. The three top-ranking markers, which are located in the genes DUSP6, NALP1 and PERP, revealed p-values?0.01 in the allelic case-control comparisons. Although the association signals in Germans were not replicated in an independent French sample, the large number of analysis results is deemed a valuable reference point for further genetic studies.
Here we integrate the de novo assembly of an Asian and an African genome with the NCBI reference human genome, as a step toward constructing the human pan-genome. We identified approximately 5 Mb of novel sequences not present in the reference genome in each of these assemblies. Most novel sequences are individual or population specific, as revealed by their comparison to all available human DNA sequence and by PCR validation using the human genome diversity cell line panel. We found novel sequences present in patterns consistent with known human migration paths. Cross-species conservation analysis of predicted genes indicated that the novel sequences contain potentially functional coding regions. We estimate that a complete human pan-genome would contain approximately 19-40 Mb of novel sequence not present in the extant reference genome. The extensive amount of novel sequence contributing to the genetic variation of the pan-genome indicates the importance of using complete genome sequencing and de novo assembly.
Human longevity is heritable with a genetic component of 25-32%. Variation in genes regulating the levels of somatic maintenance and DNA repair functions is thought to modulate the aging process and to contribute to survival at advanced age. We tested 92 non-synonymous SNPs in 49 DNA repair genes for a possible association with longevity in a sample of 395 German centenarians and 411 controls. The obtained association signal in exonuclease 1 (EXO1) was further investigated by fine mapping and mutation detection, leading to the identification of the functionally relevant SNP rs1776180. Our detailed analyses revealed that the C allele of this promoter SNP is significantly enriched in female centenarians. This finding replicated in 455 female French centenarians and 109 controls. The C allele leads to the loss of a binding site for the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor E47, resulting in higher EXO1 expression. Thus, we have detected a hitherto undescribed role for E47 as a negative regulator of EXO1 transcription and a genetic variant in the EXO1 promoter that counteracts the E47-mediated repression of the gene. Given the survival advantage that is associated with the C allele of rs1776180, EXO1 can be considered a candidate for a novel longevity-enabling gene.
The gene encoding apolipoprotein E (APOE) on chromosome 19 is the only confirmed susceptibility locus for late-onset Alzheimers disease. To identify other risk loci, we conducted a large genome-wide association study of 2,032 individuals from France with Alzheimers disease (cases) and 5,328 controls. Markers outside APOE with suggestive evidence of association (P < 10(-5)) were examined in collections from Belgium, Finland, Italy and Spain totaling 3,978 Alzheimers disease cases and 3,297 controls. Two loci gave replicated evidence of association: one within CLU (also called APOJ), encoding clusterin or apolipoprotein J, on chromosome 8 (rs11136000, OR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.81-0.90, P = 7.5 x 10(-9) for combined data) and the other within CR1, encoding the complement component (3b/4b) receptor 1, on chromosome 1 (rs6656401, OR = 1.21, 95% CI 1.14-1.29, P = 3.7 x 10(-9) for combined data). Previous biological studies support roles of CLU and CR1 in the clearance of beta amyloid (Abeta) peptide, the principal constituent of amyloid plaques, which are one of the major brain lesions of individuals with Alzheimers disease.
The 11p15.5 chromosomal region (2.8 Mb) is of particular interest as it encloses five genes (HRAS1, SIRT3, TH, INS and IGF2), the variability of which was found to be associated with life extension by association studies. Mostly important, the above genes are homologous of genes that modulate lifespan in model organisms. We scanned the area in four European sample groups for a total of 1321 centenarians and 1140 younger subjects, who shared with centenarians ethnicity and geographical origin, with a set of 239 SNPs. No significant results (P<0.05) have been found on the earlier associated loci (ie, TH, IGF2, INS and HRAS1), and this study could not confirm the earlier findings on each of those genes. A meta-analysis was carried out on the SIRT3 SNP data; a total number of 2461 samples were included, but no positive association was found except for one SNP having a significant effect (rs939915). The same meta-analysis approach has been applied to the other 229 markers, and six SNPs have been found significant for the frequent genotype (rs4073591, DEAF1-rs4073590, KRTAP5-6-rs11040489, rs4930001, TSPAN32-rs800140 and rs16928120). This experience, although unable to confirm the earlier findings of the literature, highlights all the common difficulties of such studies in human longevity. Despite the rather negative findings presented here, the results derived from unprecedented studies involving such a large number of centenarians should be disseminated, thus contributing to set up adequate strategies to disentangle complex and likely heterogeneous phenotypes.
The human forkhead box O3A gene (FOXO3A) encodes an evolutionarily conserved key regulator of the insulin-IGF1 signaling pathway that is known to influence metabolism and lifespan in model organisms. A recent study described 3 SNPs in the FOXO3A gene that were statistically significantly associated with longevity in a discovery sample of long-lived men of Japanese ancestry [Willcox et al. (2008) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:13987-13992]. However, this finding required replication in an independent population. Here, we have investigated 16 known FOXO3A SNPs in an extensive collection of 1,762 German centenarians/nonagenarians and younger controls and provide evidence that polymorphisms in this gene were indeed associated with the ability to attain exceptional old age. The FOXO3A association was considerably stronger in centenarians than in nonagenarians, highlighting the importance of centenarians for genetic longevity research. Our study extended the initial finding observed in Japanese men to women and indicates that both genders were likely to be equally affected by variation in FOXO3A. Replication in a French centenarian sample generated a trend that supported the previous results. Our findings confirmed the initial discovery in the Japanese sample and indicate FOXO3A as a susceptibility gene for prolonged survival in humans.
VKORC1 (vitamin K epoxide reductase complex subunit 1, 16p11.2) is the main genetic determinant of human response to oral anticoagulants of antivitamin K type (AVK). This gene was recently suggested to be a putative target of positive selection in East Asian populations. In this study, we genotyped the HGDP-CEPH Panel for six VKORC1 SNPs and downloaded chromosome 16 genotypes from the HGDP-CEPH database in order to characterize the geographic distribution of footprints of positive selection within and around this locus. A unique VKORC1 haplotype carrying the promoter mutation associated with AVK sensitivity showed especially high frequencies in all the 17 HGDP-CEPH East Asian population samples. VKORC1 and 24 neighboring genes were found to lie in a 505 kb region of strong linkage disequilibrium in these populations. Patterns of allele frequency differentiation and haplotype structure suggest that this genomic region has been submitted to a near complete selective sweep in all East Asian populations and only in this geographic area. The most extreme scores of the different selection tests are found within a smaller 45 kb region that contains VKORC1 and three other genes (BCKDK, MYST1 (KAT8), and PRSS8) with different functions. Because of the strong linkage disequilibrium, it is not possible to determine if VKORC1 or one of the three other genes is the target of this strong positive selection that could explain present-day differences among human populations in AVK dose requirement. Our results show that the extended region surrounding a presumable single target of positive selection should be analyzed for genetic variation in a wide range of genetically diverse populations in order to account for other neighboring and confounding selective events and the hitchhiking effect.
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