Integration-A Key to Success in the Genetic Dissection of Complex Diseases? Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Complex diseases are polygenic and multifactorial. The outcome of two decades of search for the culprit genes in complex diseases involving the cardiovascular system has been less than satisfactory. Genomic studies using linkage analysis have led so far to the detection of a large number of quantitative trait loci that embed a large number of candidate genes. Transcriptomic studies using differential gene expression profiling and DNA microarrays have also generated hundreds of potential candidate genes. None of these genetic strategies has enabled researchers to reduce the number of genes to a manageable number or to identify the specific culprit genes. We recently proposed that the search for genes involved in complex diseases such as hypertension might benefit from an integration of genomics and transcriptomics as a logical alternative strategy to using either approach alone. We applied this integrated genomic–transcriptomic approach to identify the genes that are involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension in the Sabra rat model of salt susceptibility. We successfully identified seven novel candidate genes for hypertension, an outcome that could not have been achieved by genomics or transcriptomics alone.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006