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Analysis of phenotype–genotype connection: the story of dissecting disease pathogenesis in genomic era in China, and beyond

By Yan Shen, Qi Xu, Zeguang Han, Han Liu and Guang-Biao Zhou


DNA is the ultimate depository of biological complexity. Thus, in order to understand life and gain insights into disease pathogenesis, genetic information embedded in the sequence of DNA base pairs comprising chromosomes should be deciphered. The stories of investigating the association between phenotype and genotype in China and other countries further demonstrate that genomics can serve as a probe for disease biology. We now know that in Mendelian disorders, one gene is not only a dictator of one phenotype but also a dictator of two or more distinct disorders. Dissecting genetic abnormalities of complex diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, mental diseases, coronary heart disease and cancer, may unravel the complicated networks and crosstalks, and help to simplify the complexity of the disease. The transcriptome and proteomic analysis for medicine not only deepen our understanding of disease pathogenesis, but also provide novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Taken together, genomic research offers a new opportunity for determining how diseases occur, by taking advantage of experiments of nature and a growing array of sophisticated research tools to identify the molecular abnormalities underlying disease processes. We should be ready for the advent of genomic medicine, and put the genome into the doctors' bag, so that we can help patients to conquer diseases

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: The Royal Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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