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Articles by D. A Nickerson
Total Records ( 2 ) for D. A Nickerson
  H. C Mefford , G. M Cooper , T Zerr , J. D Smith , C Baker , N Shafer , E. C Thorland , C Skinner , C. E Schwartz , D. A Nickerson and E. E. Eichler
 

Copy-number variants (CNVs) are substantial contributors to human disease. A central challenge in CNV-disease association studies is to characterize the pathogenicity of rare and possibly incompletely penetrant events, which requires the accurate detection of rare CNVs in large numbers of individuals. Cost and throughput issues limit our ability to perform these studies. We have adapted the Illumina BeadXpress SNP genotyping assay and developed an algorithm, SNP-Conditional OUTlier detection (SCOUT), to rapidly and accurately detect both rare and common CNVs in large cohorts. This approach is customizable, cost effective, highly parallelized, and largely automated. We applied this method to screen 69 loci in 1105 children with unexplained intellectual disability, identifying pathogenic variants in 3.1% of these individuals and potentially pathogenic variants in an additional 2.3%. We identified seven individuals (0.7%) with a deletion of 16p11.2, which has been previously associated with autism. Our results widen the phenotypic spectrum of these deletions to include intellectual disability without autism. We also detected 1.65–3.4 Mbp duplications at 16p13.11 in 1.1% of affected individuals and 350 kbp deletions at 15q11.2, near the Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome critical region, in 0.8% of affected individuals. Compared to published CNVs in controls they are significantly (P = 4.7 x 10–5 and 0.003, respectively) enriched in these children, supporting previously published hypotheses that they are neurocognitive disease risk factors. More generally, this approach offers a previously unavailable balance between customization, cost, and throughput for analysis of CNVs and should prove valuable for targeted CNV detection in both research and diagnostic settings.

  A Itsara , H Wu , J. D Smith , D. A Nickerson , I Romieu , S. J London and E. E. Eichler
 

While copy number variation (CNV) is an active area of research, de novo mutation rates within human populations are not well characterized. By focusing on large (>100 kbp) events, we estimate the rate of de novo CNV formation in humans by analyzing 4394 transmissions from human pedigrees with and without neurocognitive disease. We show that a significant limitation in directly measuring genome-wide CNV mutation is accessing DNA derived from primary tissues as opposed to cell lines. We conservatively estimated the genome-wide CNV mutation rate using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarrays to analyze whole-blood derived DNA from asthmatic trios, a collection in which we observed no elevation in the prevalence of large CNVs. At a resolution of ~30 kb, nine de novo CNVs were observed from 772 transmissions, corresponding to a mutation rate of µ = 1.2 x 10–2 CNVs per genome per transmission (µ = 6.5 x 10–3 for CNVs >500 kb). Combined with previous estimates of CNV prevalence and assuming a model of mutation-selection balance, we estimate significant purifying selection for large (>500 kb) events at the genome-wide level to be s = 0.16. Supporting this, we identify de novo CNVs in 717 multiplex autism pedigrees from the AGRE collection and observe a fourfold enrichment (P = 1.4 x 10–3) for de novo CNVs in cases of multiplex autism versus unaffected siblings, suggesting that many de novo CNV mutations contribute a subtle, but significant risk for autism. We observe no parental bias in the origin or transmission of CNVs among any of the cohorts studied.

 
 
 
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