Table_4_Integrative Genomics Analysis Unravels Tissue-Specific Pathways, Networks, and Key Regulators of Blood Pressure Regulation.XLSX (37.66 kB)
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Table_4_Integrative Genomics Analysis Unravels Tissue-Specific Pathways, Networks, and Key Regulators of Blood Pressure Regulation.XLSX

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posted on 12.03.2019, 04:08 authored by Yuqi Zhao, Montgomery Blencowe, Xingyi Shi, Le Shu, Candace Levian, In Sook Ahn, Stuart K. Kim, Tianxiao Huan, Daniel Levy, Xia Yang

Blood pressure (BP) is a highly heritable trait and a major cardiovascular disease risk factor. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a number of susceptibility loci for systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure. However, a large portion of the heritability cannot be explained by the top GWAS loci and a comprehensive understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms is still lacking. Here, we utilized an integrative genomics approach that leveraged multiple genetic and genomic datasets including (a) GWAS for SBP and DBP from the International Consortium for Blood Pressure (ICBP), (b) expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) from genetics of gene expression studies of human tissues related to BP, (c) knowledge-driven biological pathways, and (d) data-driven tissue-specific regulatory gene networks. Integration of these multidimensional datasets revealed tens of pathways and gene subnetworks in vascular tissues, liver, adipose, blood, and brain functionally associated with DBP and SBP. Diverse processes such as platelet production, insulin secretion/signaling, protein catabolism, cell adhesion and junction, immune and inflammation, and cardiac/smooth muscle contraction, were shared between DBP and SBP. Furthermore, “Wnt signaling” and “mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling” pathways were found to be unique to SBP, while “cytokine network”, and “tryptophan catabolism” to DBP. Incorporation of gene regulatory networks in our analysis informed on key regulator genes that orchestrate tissue-specific subnetworks of genes whose variants together explain ~20% of BP heritability. Our results shed light on the complex mechanisms underlying BP regulation and highlight potential novel targets and pathways for hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

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