Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Systems-wide genetic investigation of blood pressure regulation in the Framingham Heart Study

16.04.2015

A genetic investigation of individuals in the Framingham Heart Study may prove useful to identify novel targets for the prevention or treatment of high blood pressure. The study, which takes a close look at networks of blood pressure-related genes, is published in the journal Molecular Systems Biology.

More than one billion people worldwide suffer from high blood pressure and this contributes significantly to deaths from cardiovascular disease. It is hoped that advances in understanding the genetic basis of how blood pressure is regulated will improve the prediction of susceptibility to cardiovascular disease and also provide insight into how individually tailored treatments for high blood pressure can reduce the risk of disease.

“For more than 50 years the Framingham Heart Study has been an invaluable source of research findings on the contributions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and other factors to the development of cardiovascular disease,” says Daniel Levy, director of the Framingham Heart Study. “More recently we have launched a major initiative to identify and study the genes underlying cardiovascular and other chronic diseases in individuals taking part in the Framingham Heart Study since we believe that this research could lead to new treatments and better strategies for disease prevention.”

Dissecting genetic data to identify molecular alterations that lead to or cause disease is very challenging. In the present work, the authors developed a strategy that combines multiple types of large-scale genetic and molecular data. Specifically, the scientists first looked at a vast collection of gene expression data from 3679 individuals who were not receiving any drug treatment for high blood pressure. As a starting point, they combined information on likely genetic differences contributing to elevated blood pressure by incorporating genome-wide association studies with the gene expression data for all of the individuals they studied. As a next step, the researchers worked from the hypothesis that it would be the surrounding network of certain disease-causing genes that would have the most impact on blood pressure and disease susceptibility. Scientists have known for some time that looking at each gene in isolation is not a powerful enough way to determine how different genes underlie blood pressure and other complex traits. By looking at multiple genes and how they interact, the researchers were able to find four groups of genes linked to blood pressure that warranted further study to reveal key driver genes controlling blood pressure regulation.

“Our work was able to pinpoint several gene networks closely linked to the regulation of blood pressure,” says Tianxiao Huan, one of the lead authors of the study. “As a proof-of-concept, we validated one of these key driver genes, SH2B3, and demonstrated its relationship to hypertension in mice.”

The researchers revealed that mice lacking the Sh2b3 gene had normal blood pressure but showed an exaggerated blood pressure response to treatment with angiotensin-II, a naturally occurring hormone that causes blood vessels to contract. Adding further confidence that Sh2b3 can play a causal role in the dysregulation of blood pressure in humans, the scientists found that the genes predicted to be affected by Sh2b3 greatly overlapped with the set of genes whose expression is indeed affected in the mice that lack the Sh2b3 gene.

“Moving forward, it should be possible to study additional key driver genes in this way, which should help in our efforts to identify novel targets for the prevention and treatment of hypertension,” says Huan.

Integrative network analysis reveals molecular mechanisms of blood pressure regulation

Tianxiao Huan, Qingying Meng, Mohamed A. Saleh, Allison E. Norlander, Roby Joehanes, Jun Zhu, Brian H. Chen, Bin Zhang, Andrew D. Johnson, Saixia Ying, Paul Courchesne, Nalini Raghavachari, Richard Wang, Poching Liu, The International Consortium for Blood Pressure GWAS (ICBP), Christopher J. O'Donnell, Ramachandran Vasan, Peter J. Munson, Meena S.
Madhur, David G. Harrison, Xia Yang, and Daniel Levy

Read the paper:
http://msb.embopress.org/content/11/4/799

Further information on Molecular Systems Biology is available at http://msb.embopress.org

Media Contacts

Barry Whyte
Head | Public Relations and Communications
barry.whyte@embo.org

Maria Polychronidou
Editor, Molecular Systems Biology
Tel: +49 6221 8891 410
maria.polychronidou@embo.org

About EMBO
EMBO is an organization of more than 1700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, conferences and scientific journals disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science and research policy by seeking input and feedback from our community and by following closely the trends in science in Europe.

For more information: www.embo.org 

Yvonne Kaul | EMBO

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>