Clare Turnbull and Nazneen Rahman
In recent years, our understanding of genetic predisposition to breast cancer has advanced significantly. Three classes of predisposition factors, categorized by their associated risks of breast cancer, are currently known. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are high-penetrance breast cancer predisposition genes identified by genome-wide linkage analysis and positional cloning. Mutational screening of genes functionally related to BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 has revealed four genes, CHEK2, ATM, BRIP1, and PALB2; mutations in these genes are rare and confer an intermediate risk of breast cancer. Association studies have further identified eight common variants associated with low-penetrance breast cancer predisposition. Despite these discoveries, most of the familial risk of breast cancer remains unexplained. In this review, we describe the known genetic predisposition factors, expound on the methods by which they were identified, and consider how further technological and intellectual advances may assist in identifying the remaining genetic factors underlying breast cancer susceptibility.African Genetic Diversity: Implications for Human Demographic History, Modern Human Origins, and Complex Disease Mapping
Michael C. Campbell and Sarah A. Tishkoff
Comparative studies of ethnically diverse human populations, particularly in Africa, are important for reconstructing human evolutionary history and for understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic adaptation and complex disease. African populations are characterized by greater levels of genetic diversity, extensive population substructure, and less linkage disequilibrium (LD) among loci compared to non-African populations. Africans also possess a number of genetic adaptations that have evolved in response to diverse climates and diets, as well as exposure to infectious disease. This review summarizes patterns and the evolutionary origins of genetic diversity present in African populations, as well as their implications for the mapping of complex traits, including disease susceptibility.this one looks especially good:
Positive Selection in the Human Genome: From Genome Scans to Biological Significance
Vol. 9: 143-160
Here we review the evidence for positive selection in the human genome and its role in human evolution and population differentiation. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of genome-wide scans to identify adaptively evolving loci in the human genome. Attention is now turning to understanding the biological relevance and adaptive significance of the regions identified as being subject to recent positive selection. Examples of adaptively evolving loci are discussed, specifically LCT and FOXP2. Comprehensive studies of these loci also provide information about the functional relevance of the selected alleles. We discuss current studies examining the role of positive selection in shaping copy number variation and noncoding genomic regions and highlight challenges presented by the study of positive selection in the human genome.