Nuestros investigadores

Gorka Alkorta Aranburu

Publicaciones científicas más recientes (desde 2010)

Autores: Macias, Monica; Alegre, Estíbaliz; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; et al.
ISSN 0278-0240  Vol. 2019  Nº 7954921  2019  págs. 1 - 7
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutational testing in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is usually performed in tumor tissue, although cfDNA (cell-free DNA) could be an alternative. We evaluated EGFR mutations in cfDNA as a complementary tool in patients, who had already known EGFR mutations in tumor tissue and were treated with either EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) or chemotherapy. We obtained plasma samples from 21 advanced NSCLC patients with known EGFR tumor mutations, before and during therapy with EGFR-TKIs and/or chemotherapy. cfDNA was isolated and EGFR mutations were analyzed with the multiple targeted cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2. EGFR mutations were detected at baseline in cfDNA from 57% of patients. The semiquantitative index (SQI) significantly decreased from the baseline (median = 11, IQR = 9.5-13) to the best response (median = 0, IQR = 0-0, p < 0.01), followed by a significant increase at progression (median = 11, IQR = 11-15, p < 0.01) in patients treated with either EGFR-TKIs or chemotherapy. The SQI obtained with the cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2 did not correlate with the concentration in copies/mL determined by droplet digital PCR. Resistance mutation p.T790M was observed at progression in patients with either type of treatment. In conclusion, cfDNA multiple targeted EGFR mutation analysis is useful for treatment monitoring in tissue of EGFR-positive NSCLC patients independently of the drug received.
Autores: Valcarcel-Ocete, L.; Fullaondo, A. ; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; et al.
Revista: PLOS ONE
ISSN 1932-6203  Vol. 13  Nº 5  2018  págs. e0197975
Huntington's disease (HD) age of onset (AO) is mainly determined by the length of the CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene. The remaining AO variability has been attributed to other little-known factors. A factor that has been associated with other neurodegenerative diseases is arterial hypertension (AHT). The aim of this study is to evaluate the contribution of AHT to the AO of HD. We used data from a cohort of 630 European HD patients with adult onset collected by the REGISTRY project of the European Huntington's Disease Network. Multiple linear regression and ANOVA, controlling for the CAG repeat number of the expanded allele (CAGexp) of each patient, were performed to assess the association between the AHT condition and the AO of the motor symptoms (mAO). The results showed a significant association between AHT and mAO, especially when we only considered the patients diagnosed with AHT prior to manifesting any HD signs (pre-HD AHT). Remarkably, despite the low number of cases, those patients developed motor symptoms 5-8 years later than normotensive patients in the most frequent CAGexp range (40-44). AHT is an age related condition and consequently, the age of the patient at the time of data collection could be a confounder variable. However, given that most pre-HD AHT patients included in our study had started treatment with antihypertensive drugs prior to the onset of HD, and that antihypertensive drugs have been suggested to confer a neuroprotective effect in other neurodegenerative diseases, raises the interest in elucidating the impact of AHT and/or AHT treatment in HD age of onset in further studies. A confirmation of our results in a larger sample set would open the possibility to significantly improve HD management.
Autores: Guidugli, L; Johnson, AK; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; et al.
ISSN 0887-6924  Vol. 31  Nº 5  2017  págs. 1226 - 1229
Autores: Infante, E.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; El-Gharbawy, A.;
ISSN 2050-0904  Vol. 5  Nº 8  2017  págs. 1277 - 1283
Key Clinical Message Clinical features are variable in patients with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS). Milder forms exist with structural maintenance of chromosomes 3 (SMC3) mutations. Inherited milder forms of CdLS are uncommon and may be missed if genetic testing is limited to Nipped-B-like protein (NIPBL) and SMC1A. Parental studies should be pursued if there is a history of learning disabilities and/or dysmorphic features.
Autores: Sivam, A.; Wroblewski, K. E.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; et al.
ISSN 0379-864X  Vol. 41  Nº 4  2016  págs. 293 - 299
Olfactory dysfunction is a common complaint among physician visits. Olfactory loss affects quality of life and impairs function and activities of daily living. The purpose of our study was to assess the degree of odor identification associated with mental health. Olfactory function was measured using the brief smell identification test. Depressive symptoms were measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Loneliness was assessed by the de Jong-Gierveld Loneliness Scale. Cognition was measured by a battery of 19 cognitive tests. The frequency of olfactory dysfunction in our study was similar to 40%. Older subjects had worse olfactory performance, as previously found. More loneliness was associated with worse odor identification. Similarly, symptoms of depression were associated with worse olfaction (among men). Although better global cognitive function was strongly associated with better odor identification, after controlling for multiple factors, the associations with depression and loneliness were unchanged. Clinicians should assess these mental health conditions when treating older patients who present with olfactory deficits.
Autores: Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Sukhanova, M.; Carmody, D.; et al.
ISSN 0334-018X  Vol. 29  Nº 5  2016  págs. 523 - 531
Background: We evaluated a methylation-specific multiplex-ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA) assay for the molecular diagnosis of transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM) caused by 6q24 abnormalities and assessed the clinical utility of using this assay in combination with next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis for diagnosing patients with neonatal diabetes (NDM). Methods: We performed MS-MLPA in 18 control samples and 42 retrospective NDM cases with normal bi-parental inheritance of chromosome 6. Next, we evaluated 22 prospective patients by combining NGS analysis of 11 NDM genes and the MS-MLPA assay. Results: 6q24 aberrations were identified in all controls and in 19% of patients with normal bi-parental inheritance of chromosome 6. The MS-MLPA/NGS combined approach identified a genetic cause in similar to 64% of patients with NDM of unknown etiology. Conclusions: MS-MLPA is a reliable method to identify all known 6q24 abnormalities and comprehensive testing of all causes reveals a causal mutation in similar to 64% of patients.
Autores: Nakagome, S.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Amato, R.; et al.
ISSN 0737-4038  Vol. 33  Nº 3  2016  págs. 657 - 669
Genetic variation harbors signatures of natural selection driven by selective pressures that are often unknown. Estimating the ages of selection signals may allow reconstructing the history of environmental changes that shaped human phenotypes and diseases. We have developed an approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) approach to estimate allele ages under a model of selection on new mutations and under demographic models appropriate for human populations. We have applied it to two resequencing data sets: An ultra-high depth data set from a relatively small sample of unrelated individuals and a lower depth data set in a larger sample with transmission information. In addition to evaluating the accuracy of our method based on simulations, for each SNP, we assessed the consistency between the posterior probabilities estimated by the ABC approach and the ancient DNA record, finding good agreement between the two types of data and methods. Applying this ABC approach to data for eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we were able to rule out an onset of selection prior to the dispersal out-of-Africa for three of them and more recent than the spread of agriculture for an additional three SNPs.
Autores: Valcárcel-Ocete, L.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Iriondo, M.; et al.
Revista: PLOS ONE
ISSN 1932-6203  Vol. 10  Nº 7  2015  págs. e0131573
Age of onset (AO) of Huntington disease (HD) is mainly determined by the length of the CAG repeat expansion (CAGexp) in exon 1 of the HTT gene. Additional genetic variation has been suggested to contribute to AO, although the mechanism by which it could affect AO is presently unknown. The aim of this study is to explore the contribution of candidate genetic factors to HD AO in order to gain insight into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying this disorder. For that purpose, two AO definitions were used: the earliest age with unequivocal signs of HD (earliest AO or eAO), and the first motor symptoms age (motor AO or mAO). Multiple linear regression analyses were performed between genetic variation within 20 candidate genes and eAO or mAO, using DNA and clinical information of 253 HD patients from REGISTRY project. Gene expression analyses were carried out by RT-qPCR with an independent sample of 35 HD patients from Basque Country Hospitals. We found suggestive association signals between HD eAO and/or mAO and genetic variation within the E2F2, ATF7IP, GRIN2A, GRIN2B, LINC01559, HIP1 and GRIK2 genes. Among them, the most significant was the association between eAO and rs2742976, mapping to the promoter region of E2F2 transcription factor. Furthermore, rs2742976 T allele patient carriers exhibited significantly lower lymphocyte E2F2 gene expression, suggesting a possible implication of E2F2-dependent transcriptional activity in HD pathogenesis. Thus, E2F2 emerges as a new potential HD AO modifier factor.
Autores: Carmody, D.; Park, S. Y.; Ye, H.; et al.
ISSN 0022-2593  Vol. 52  Nº 9  2015  págs. 612 - 616
BACKGROUND: Diabetes in neonates usually has a monogenic aetiology; however, the cause remains unknown in 20-30%. Heterozygous INS mutations represent one of the most common gene causes of neonatal diabetes mellitus. METHODS: Clinical and functional characterisation of a novel homozygous intronic mutation (c.187+241G>A) in the insulin gene in a child identified through the Monogenic Diabetes Registry ( RESULTS: The proband had insulin-requiring diabetes from birth. Ultrasonography revealed a structurally normal pancreas and C-peptide was undetectable despite readily detectable amylin, suggesting the presence of dysfunctional ß cells. Whole-exome sequencing revealed the novel mutation. In silico analysis predicted a mutant mRNA product resulting from preferential recognition of a newly created splice site. Wild-type and mutant human insulin gene constructs were derived and transiently expressed in INS-1 cells. We confirmed the predicted transcript and found an additional transcript created via an ectopic splice acceptor site. CONCLUSIONS: Dominant INS mutations cause diabetes via a mutated translational product causing endoplasmic reticulum stress. We describe a novel mechanism of diabetes, without ß cell death, due to creation of two unstable mutant transcripts predicted to undergo nonsense and non-stop-mediated decay, respectively. Our discovery may have broader implications for those with insulin deficiency later in life.
Autores: Livne, O. E.; Han, L.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; et al.
ISSN 1553-7358  Vol. 11  Nº 3  2015  págs. e1004139
Founder populations and large pedigrees offer many well-known advantages for genetic mapping studies, including cost-efficient study designs. Here, we describe PRIMAL (PedigRee IMputation ALgorithm), a fast and accurate pedigree-based phasing and imputation algorithm for founder populations. PRIMAL incorporates both existing and original ideas, such as a novel indexing strategy of Identity-By-Descent (IBD) segments based on clique graphs. We were able to impute the genomes of 1,317 South Dakota Hutterites, who had genome-wide genotypes for ~300,000 common single nucleotide variants (SNVs), from 98 whole genome sequences. Using a combination of pedigree-based and LD-based imputation, we were able to assign 87% of genotypes with >99% accuracy over the full range of allele frequencies. Using the IBD cliques we were also able to infer the parental origin of 83% of alleles, and genotypes of deceased recent ancestors for whom no genotype information was available. This imputed data set will enable us to better study the relative contribution of rare and common variants on human phenotypes, as well as parental origin effect of disease risk alleles in >1,000 individuals at minimal cost.
Autores: Dong, J.; Yang, J.; Tranah, G.; et al.
ISSN 0025-7974  Vol. 94  Nº 47  2015  págs. e1892
Olfactory dysfunction is common among older adults and affects their safety, nutrition, quality of life, and mortality. More importantly, the decreased sense of smell is an early symptom of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson disease (PD) and Alzheimer disease. However, the genetic determinants for the sense of smell have been poorly investigated. We here performed the first genome-wide meta-analysis on the sense of smell among 6252 US older adults of European descent from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, the Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC) study, and the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project (ROS/MAP). Genome-wide association study analysis was performed first by individual cohorts and then meta-analyzed using fixed-effect models with inverse variance weights. Although no SNPs reached genome-wide statistical significance, we identified 13 loci with suggestive evidence for an association with the sense of smell (Pmeta < 1 × 10). Of these, 2 SNPs at chromosome 17q21.31 (rs199443 in NSF, P = 3.02 × 10; and rs2732614 in KIAA1267-LRRC37A, P = 6.65 × 10) exhibited cis effects on the expression of microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT, 17q21.31) in 447 frontal-cortex samples obtained postmortem and profiled by RNA-seq (P < 1 × 10). Gene-based and pathway-enrichment analyses further implicated MAPT in regulating the sense of smell in older adults. Similar results were obtained after excluding participants who reported a physician-diagnosed PD or use of PD medications. In conclusion, we provide preliminary evidence that the MAPT locus may play a role in regulating the sense of smell in older adults and therefore offer a potential genetic link between poor sense of smell and major neurodegenerative diseases.
Autores: Muñoz-Fuentes, V.; Marcet-Ortega, M.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; et al.
ISSN 0737-4038  Vol. 32  Nº 2  2015  págs. 510 - 523
Recombination rates vary in intensity and location at the species, individual, sex and chromosome levels. Despite the fundamental biological importance of this process, the selective forces that operate to shape recombination rate and patterns are unclear. Domestication offers a unique opportunity to study the interplay between recombination and selection. In domesticates, intense selection for particular traits is imposed on small populations over many generations, resulting in organisms that differ, sometimes dramatically, in morphology and physiology from their wild ancestor. Although earlier studies suggested increased recombination rate in domesticates, a formal comparison of recombination rates between domestic mammals and their wild congeners was missing. In order to determine broad-scale recombination rate, we used immunolabeling detection of MLH1 foci as crossover markers in spermatocytes in three pairs of closely related wild and domestic species (dog and wolf, goat and ibex, and sheep and mouflon). In the three pairs, and contrary to previous suggestions, our data show that contemporary recombination rate is higher in the wild species. Subsequently, we inferred recombination breakpoints in sequence data for 16 genomic regions in dogs and wolves, each containing a locus associated with a dog phenotype potentially under selection during domestication. No difference in the number and distribution of recombination breakpoints was found between dogs and wolves. We conclude that our data indicate that strong directional selection did not result in changes in recombination in domestic mammals, and that both upper and lower bounds for crossover rates may be tightly regulated.
Autores: Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Carmody, D.; Cheng, Y. W.; et al.
ISSN 1096-7192  Vol. 113  Nº 4  2014  págs. 315 - 320
Single gene mutations that primarily affect pancreatic ß-cell function account for approximately 1-2% of all cases of diabetes. Overlapping clinical features with common forms of diabetes makes diagnosis of monogenic diabetes challenging. A genetic diagnosis often leads to significant alterations in treatment, allows better prediction of disease prognosis and progression, and has implications for family members. Currently, genetic testing for monogenic diabetes relies on selection of appropriate individual genes for analysis based on the availability of often-limited phenotypic information, decreasing the likelihood of making a genetic diagnosis. We thus developed a targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) assay for the detection of mutations in 36 genes known to cause monogenic forms of diabetes, including transient or permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM or PNDM), maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) and rare syndromic forms of diabetes. A total of 95 patient samples were analyzed: 19 with known causal mutations and 76 with a clinically suggestive phenotype but lacking a genetic diagnosis. All previously identified mutations were detected, validating our assay. Pathogenic sequence changes were identified in 19 out of 76 (25%) patients: 7 of 32 (22%) NDM cases, and 12 of 44 (27%) MODY cases. In 2 NDM patients the causal mutation was not expected as consanguinity was not reported and there were no clinical features aside from diabetes. A 3 year old patient with NDM diagnosed at 3 months of age, who previously tested negative for INS, KCNJ11 and ABCC8 mutations, was found to carry a novel homozygous mutation in EIF2AK3 (associated with Wolcott-Rallison syndrome), a gene not previously suspected because consanguinity, delayed growth, abnormal bone development and hepatic complications had not been reported. Similarly, another infant without a history of consanguinity was found to have a homozygous GCK mutation causing PNDM at birth. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of multi-gene panel analysis in uncovering molecular diagnoses in patients with monogenic forms of diabetes.
Autores: Jeong, C.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Basnyat, B.; et al.
ISSN 2041-1723  Vol. 5  2014  págs. 3281
Admixture is recognized as a widespread feature of human populations, renewing interest in the possibility that genetic exchange can facilitate adaptations to new environments. Studies of Tibetans revealed candidates for high-altitude adaptations in the EGLN1 and EPAS1 genes, associated with lower haemoglobin concentration. However, the history of these variants or that of Tibetans remains poorly understood. Here we analyse genotype data for the Nepalese Sherpa, and find that Tibetans are a mixture of ancestral populations related to the Sherpa and Han Chinese. EGLN1 and EPAS1 genes show a striking enrichment of high-altitude ancestry in the Tibetan genome, indicating that migrants from low altitude acquired adaptive alleles from the highlanders. Accordingly, the Sherpa and Tibetans share adaptive haemoglobin traits. This admixture-mediated adaptation shares important features with adaptive introgression. Therefore, we identify a novel mechanism, beyond selection on new mutations or on standing variation, through which populations can adapt to local environments.
Autores: Lundgrin, E.L.; Janocha, A. J.; Koch, C. D.; et al.
Revista: BLOOD
ISSN 0006-4971  Vol. 122  Nº 11  2013  págs. 1989 - 1991
Autores: Reich, D.; Patterson, N.; Campbell, D.; et al.
Revista: NATURE
ISSN 0028-0836  Vol. 488  Nº 7411  2012  págs. 370 - 374
The peopling of the Americas has been the subject of extensive genetic, archaeological and linguistic research; however, central questions remain unresolved. One contentious issue is whether the settlement occurred by means of a single migration or multiple streams of migration from Siberia. The pattern of dispersals within the Americas is also poorly understood. To address these questions at a higher resolution than was previously possible, we assembled data from 52 Native American and 17 Siberian groups genotyped at 364,470 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Here we show that Native Americans descend from at least three streams of Asian gene flow. Most descend entirely from a single ancestral population that we call 'First American'. However, speakers of Eskimo-Aleut languages from the Arctic inherit almost half their ancestry from a second stream of Asian gene flow, and the Na-Dene-speaking Chipewyan from Canada inherit roughly one-tenth of their ancestry from a third stream. We show that the initial peopling followed a southward expansion facilitated by the coast, with sequential population splits and little gene flow after divergence, especially in South America. A major exception is in Chibchan speakers on both sides of the Panama isthmus, who have ancestry from both North and South America.
Autores: Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Beall, C. M.; Witonsky, D. B.; et al.
ISSN 1553-7390  Vol. 8  Nº 12  2012  págs. e1003110
Although hypoxia is a major stress on physiological processes, several human populations have survived for millennia at high altitudes, suggesting that they have adapted to hypoxic conditions. This hypothesis was recently corroborated by studies of Tibetan highlanders, which showed that polymorphisms in candidate genes show signatures of natural selection as well as well-replicated association signals for variation in hemoglobin levels. We extended genomic analysis to two Ethiopian ethnic groups: Amhara and Oromo. For each ethnic group, we sampled low and high altitude residents, thus allowing genetic and phenotypic comparisons across altitudes and across ethnic groups. Genome-wide SNP genotype data were collected in these samples by using Illumina arrays. We find that variants associated with hemoglobin variation among Tibetans or other variants at the same loci do not influence the trait in Ethiopians. However, in the Amhara, SNP rs10803083 is associated with hemoglobin levels at genome-wide levels of significance. No significant genotype association was observed for oxygen saturation levels in either ethnic group. Approaches based on allele frequency divergence did not detect outliers in candidate hypoxia genes, but the most differentiated variants between high- and lowlanders have a clear role in pathogen defense. Interestingly, a significant excess of allele frequency divergence was consistently detected for genes involved in cell cycle control and DNA damage and repair, thus pointing to new pathways for high altitude adaptations. Finally, a comparison of CpG methylation levels between high- and lowlanders found several significant signals at individual genes in the Oromo.
Autores: Hancock, M. A. ; Witonsky, D. B.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; et al.
ISSN 1553-7390  Vol. 7  Nº 4  2011  págs. e1001375
Humans inhabit a remarkably diverse range of environments, and adaptation through natural selection has likely played a central role in the capacity to survive and thrive in extreme climates. Unlike numerous studies that used only population genetic data to search for evidence of selection, here we scan the human genome for selection signals by identifying the SNPs with the strongest correlations between allele frequencies and climate across 61 worldwide populations. We find a striking enrichment of genic and nonsynonymous SNPs relative to non-genic SNPs among those that are strongly correlated with these climate variables. Among the most extreme signals, several overlap with those from GWAS, including SNPs associated with pigmentation and autoimmune diseases. Further, we find an enrichment of strong signals in gene sets related to UV radiation, infection and immunity, and cancer. Our results imply that adaptations to climate shaped the spatial distribution of variation in humans.
Autores: Hancock, A. M.; Witonsky, D. B.; Ehler, E.; et al.
ISSN 0027-8424  Vol. 107  Nº Suppl 2  2010  págs. 8924 - 8930
Human populations use a variety of subsistence strategies to exploit an exceptionally broad range of ecoregions and dietary components. These aspects of human environments have changed dramatically during human evolution, giving rise to new selective pressures. To understand the genetic basis of human adaptations, we combine population genetics data with ecological information to detect variants that increased in frequency in response to new selective pressures. Our approach detects SNPs that show concordant differences in allele frequencies across populations with respect to specific aspects of the environment. Genic and especially nonsynonymous SNPs are overrepresented among those most strongly correlated with environmental variables. This provides genome-wide evidence for selection due to changes in ecoregion, diet, and subsistence. We find particularly strong signals associated with polar ecoregions, with foraging, and with a diet rich in roots and tubers. Interestingly, several of the strongest signals overlap with those implicated in energy metabolism phenotypes from genome-wide association studies, including SNPs influencing glucose levels and susceptibility to type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, several pathways, including those of starch and sucrose metabolism, are enriched for strong signals of adaptations to a diet rich in roots and tubers, whereas signals associated with polar ecoregions are overrepresented in genes associated with energy metabolism pathways.
Autores: Hancock, A, M.; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Witonsky, D, B.; et al.
ISSN 0962-8436  Vol. 365  Nº 1552  2010  págs. 2459 - 2468
Humans show tremendous phenotypic diversity across geographically distributed populations, and much of this diversity undoubtedly results from genetic adaptations to different environmental pressures. The availability of genome-wide genetic variation data from densely sampled populations offers unprecedented opportunities for identifying the loci responsible for these adaptations and for elucidating the genetic architecture of human adaptive traits. Several approaches have been used to detect signals of selection in human populations, and these approaches differ in the assumptions they make about the underlying mode of selection. We contrast the results of approaches based on haplotype structure and differentiation of allele frequencies to those from a method for identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms strongly correlated with environmental variables. Although the first group of approaches tends to detect new beneficial alleles that were driven to high frequencies by selection, the environmental correlation approach has power to identify alleles that experienced small shifts in frequency owing to selection. We suggest that the first group of approaches tends to identify only variants with relatively strong phenotypic effects, whereas the environmental correlation methods can detect variants that make smaller contributions to an adaptive trait.