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Who Are the Okinawans? Ancestry, Genome Diversity, and Implications for the Genetic Study of Human Longevity From a Geographically Isolated Population
The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (2014)
  • Nasrine Bendjilali, Rowan University
  • Wen-Chi Hsueh
  • Qimei He
  • D. Craig Willcox
  • Caroline M. Nievergelt
  • Timothy A. Donlon
  • Pui-Yan Kwok
  • Makoto Suzuki
  • Bradley J. Willcox
Abstract
Isolated populations have advantages for genetic studies of longevity from decreased haplotype diversity and long-range linkage disequilibrium. This permits smaller sample sizes without loss of power, among other utilities. Little is known about the genome of the Okinawans, a potential population isolate, recognized for longevity. Therefore, we assessed genetic diversity, structure, and admixture in Okinawans, and compared this with Caucasians, Chinese, Japanese, and Africans from HapMap II, genotyped on the same Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 500K array. Principal component analysis, haplotype coverage, and linkage disequilibrium decay revealed a distinct Okinawan genome—more homogeneity, less haplotype diversity, and longer range linkage disequilibrium. Population structure and admixture analyses utilizing 52 global reference populations from the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel demonstrated that Okinawans clustered almost exclusively with East Asians. Sibling relative risk (λs) analysis revealed that siblings of Okinawan centenarians have 3.11 times (females) and 3.77 times (males) more likelihood of centenarianism. These findings suggest that Okinawans are genetically distinct and share several characteristics of a population isolate, which are prone to develop extreme phenotypes (eg, longevity) from genetic drift, natural selection, and population bottlenecks. These data support further exploration of genetic influence on longevity in the Okinawans.
Keywords
  • Okinawa,
  • Longevity,
  • Ancestry,
  • Genome diversity,
  • HapMap
Disciplines
Publication Date
December, 2014
DOI
10.1093/gerona/glt203
Citation Information
Nasrine Bendjilali, Wen-Chi Hsueh, Qimei He, D. Craig Willcox, et al.. "Who Are the Okinawans? Ancestry, Genome Diversity, and Implications for the Genetic Study of Human Longevity From a Geographically Isolated Population" The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences Vol. 69 Iss. 12 (2014) p. 1474 - 1484 ISSN: 1079-5006
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nasrine-bendjilali/6/