Human gene copy number spectra analysis in congenital heart malformations

Physiol Genomics. 2012 May 1;44(9):518-41. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00013.2012. Epub 2012 Feb 7.


The clinical significance of copy number variants (CNVs) in congenital heart disease (CHD) continues to be a challenge. Although CNVs including genes can confer disease risk, relationships between gene dosage and phenotype are still being defined. Our goal was to perform a quantitative analysis of CNVs involving 100 well-defined CHD risk genes identified through previously published human association studies in subjects with anatomically defined cardiac malformations. A novel analytical approach permitting CNV gene frequency "spectra" to be computed over prespecified regions to determine phenotype-gene dosage relationships was employed. CNVs in subjects with CHD (n = 945), subphenotyped into 40 groups and verified in accordance with the European Paediatric Cardiac Code, were compared with two control groups, a disease-free cohort (n = 2,026) and a population with coronary artery disease (n = 880). Gains (≥200 kb) and losses (≥100 kb) were determined over 100 CHD risk genes and compared using a Barnard exact test. Six subphenotypes showed significant enrichment (P ≤ 0.05), including aortic stenosis (valvar), atrioventricular canal (partial), atrioventricular septal defect with tetralogy of Fallot, subaortic stenosis, tetralogy of Fallot, and truncus arteriosus. Furthermore, CNV gene frequency spectra were enriched (P ≤ 0.05) for losses at: FKBP6, ELN, GTF2IRD1, GATA4, CRKL, TBX1, ATRX, GPC3, BCOR, ZIC3, FLNA and MID1; and gains at: PRKAB2, FMO5, CHD1L, BCL9, ACP6, GJA5, HRAS, GATA6 and RUNX1. Of CHD subjects, 14% had causal chromosomal abnormalities, and 4.3% had likely causal (significantly enriched), large, rare CNVs. CNV frequency spectra combined with precision phenotyping may lead to increased molecular understanding of etiologic pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms*
  • Biological Specimen Banks
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • DNA Copy Number Variations*
  • Female
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Gene Expression Profiling* / methods
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Phenotype
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult