Nature Genetics publishes the very highest quality research in genetics. It encompasses genetic and functional genomic studies on human traits and on other model organisms, including mouse, fly, nematode and yeast. Current emphasis is on the genetic basis for common and complex diseases and on the functional mechanism, architecture and evolution of gene networks, studied by experimental perturbation.
We wholeheartedly endorse this new journal concentrating on variants causing and associated with disease and trait phenotypes, especially the Data Report format for rapid publication and the database dissemination of the full spectrum of findings from a single familial variant to a comprehensive locus review.
The histone-modifying PRC2 complex has an ambiguous role in cancer, bearing both oncogenic and tumor-suppressive features depending on cell type. Studies of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) have now identified loss-of-function mutations altering PRC2 subunits, leading to the amplification of Ras-driven transcription and conferring vulnerability to BRD4 inhibitors.
A new study identifies rare mutations in SPRTN that cause a novel progeroid syndrome. The results point to an unexpected function of SPRTN and bring insight to the mechanisms that link premature aging and cancer.
A new study identifies homozygous missense mutations in SGOL1, which encodes a component of the cohesin complex, in a newly described disorder termed Chronic Atrial and Intestinal Dysrhythmia (CAID) syndrome. These findings implicate cohesin in the regulation of intrinsic cardiac and intestinal rhythm and further expand the growing group of disorders termed the cohesinopathies.
William Lee and colleagues present a systematic analysis of noncoding somatic
mutations in 863 tumor samples representing over 20 cancer types. They identify new
mutation hotspots as well as genes with frequent mutations in their promoter
regions, including WDR74 and SDHD.
Jorge Reis-Filho and colleagues identify recurrent mutations in PRKD1 in 73% of polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma, a malignant tumor of the minor salivary glands. The mutations cause activation of the PRKD1 serine-threonine kinase.
Chetan Bettegowda, Bert Vogelstein and colleagues identify somatic mutations of SUZ12 in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors from individuals with and without neurofibromatosis. SUZ12 encodes a chromatin-modifying protein and is located adjacent to the NF1 gene on chromosome 17q11. The data support a 'three-hit' model of tumor suppression.
Timothy Frayling, Joel Hirschhorn, Peter Visscher and colleagues report a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for adult height in 253,288 individuals. They identify 697 variants in 423 loci significantly associated with adult height and find that these variants cluster in pathways involved in growth and together explain one-fifth of the heritability for this trait.
Ali Gharavi and colleagues report a genome-wide association analysis of IgA nephropathy in over 20,000 individuals of European and East Asian ancestry. They identify genome-wide significant signals at three new loci near VAV3, CARD9 and ITGAM-ITGAX and correlations between genetic risk and pathogen diversity.
The Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network reports a large multicenter association study for severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum in 11,890 cases and 17,441 controls from 12 locations in Africa, Asia and Oceania. They examine 27 loci previously associated with severe malaria and replicate associations at the HBB, ABO, ATP2B4, G6PD and CD40LG loci, but they fail to replicate other previously reported associations.
Fernando González-Candelas and colleagues report the whole-genome sequencing of 69 Legionella pneumophila strains linked to recurrent outbreaks in Alcoy, Spain, over the course of 11 years. They characterize the evolution and epidemiology of this environmental pathogen.
Xiaowen Sun and colleagues report the whole-genome sequencing of the common carp, Cyprinus carpio. They also resequenced 33 representative accessions from a worldwide collection and provide insights into population structure and evolution.
Sanwen Huang and colleagues report a comprehensive analysis of genetic variation in tomato based on the genome sequencing of 360 distinct accessions. The work provides insights into the history of tomato domestication and represents a rich resource for studying the genetic basis of trait variation in this important crop plant.
Ping Chi and colleagues identify recurrent inactivating mutations in the PRC2 core components EED and SUZ12 in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. They further show that PRC2 loss is associated with loss of H3K27 trimethylation and aberrant expression of PRC2 target genes and downstream pathways.
James Cerhan and colleagues report genome-wide association and meta-analysis studies to identify genetic susceptibility loci for diffuse large B cell lymphoma. They identify four loci that influence genetic susceptibility to this B cell malignancy.
Kristijan Ramadan and colleagues report the identification of three individuals from two families with biallelic inactivating mutations in SPRTN causing early onset hepatocellular carcinoma and defects in the DNA replication stress response. Functional studies confirmed critical roles for SPRTN in G2/M checkpoint response and DNA replication.
Gregor Andelfinger and colleagues identify mutations in SGOL1 that cause a novel cohesinopathy characterized by chronic atrial and intestinal dysrhythmia, termed CAID syndrome. SGOL1 encodes a component of the cohesin complex, suggesting that cardiac and gut rhythm are regulated by this complex.