34 research outputs found

    PCSK6 and Survival in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

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    Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating disease characterized by limited treatment options and high mortality. A better understanding of the molecular drivers of IPF progression is needed. Objectives: To identify and validate molecular determinants of IPF survival. Methods: A staged genome-wide association study was performed using paired genomic and survival data. Stage I cases were drawn from centers across the United States and Europe and stage II cases from Vanderbilt University. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to identify gene variants associated with differential transplantation-free survival (TFS). Stage I variants with nominal significance (P < 5 x 10(-5)) were advanced for stage II testing and meta-analyzed to identify those reaching genome-wide significance (P < 5 x 10(-8)). Downstream analyses were performed for genes and proteins associated with variants reaching genome-wide significance. Measurements and Main Results: After quality controls, 1,481 stage I cases and 397 stage II cases were included in the analysis. After filtering, 9,075,629 variants were tested in stage I, with 158 meeting advancement criteria. Four variants associated with TFS with consistent effect direction were identified in stage II, including one in an intron of PCSK6 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 6) reaching genome-wide significance (hazard ratio, 4.11 [95% confidence interval, 2.54-6.67]; P = 9.45 x 10(-9)). PCSK6 protein was highly expressed in IPF lung parenchyma. PCSK6 lung staining intensity, peripheral blood gene expression, and plasma concentration were associated with reduced TFS. Conclusions: We identified four novel variants associated with IPF survival, including one in PCSK6 that reached genome-wide significance. Downstream analyses suggested that PCSK6 protein plays a potentially important role in IPF progression

    Novel therapeutic strategies for adult obese asthmatics.

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    Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Is Associated with Common Genetic Variants and Limited Rare Variants

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    Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a rare, irreversible, and progressive disease of the lungs. Common genetic variants, in addition to non-genetic factors, have been consistently associated with IPF. Rare variants identified by candidate gene, family-based, and exome studies have also been reported to associate with IPF. However, the extent to which rare variants genome-wide may contribute to the risk of IPF remains unknown. Objectives: We used whole-genome sequencing to investigate the role of rare variants, genome-wide, on IPF risk. Methods: As part of the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine Program, we sequenced 2,180 cases of IPF. Association testing focused on the aggregated effect of rare variants (minor allele frequency ≤0.01) within genes or regions. We also identified individual variants that are influential within genes and estimated the heritability of IPF based on rare and common variants. Measurements and main results: Rare variants in both TERT and RTEL1 were significantly associated with IPF. A single rare variant in each of the TERT and RTEL1 genes was found to consistently influence the aggregated test statistics. There was no significant evidence of association with other previously reported rare variants. The SNP-heritability of IPF was estimated to be 32% (s.e. 3%). Conclusions: Rare variants within the TERT and RTEL1 genes and well-established common variants have the largest contribution to IPF risk overall. Efforts in risk profiling or development of therapies for IPF that focus on TERT, RTEL1, common variants, and environmental risk factors are likely to have the largest impact on this complex disease

    Predicting Influenza and Rhinovirus Infections in Airway Cells Utilizing Volatile Emissions

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    BACKGROUND: Respiratory viral infections are common and potentially devastating to patients with underlying lung disease. Diagnosing viral infections often requires invasive sampling, and interpretation often requires specialized laboratory equipment. Here, we test the hypothesis that a breath test could diagnose influenza and rhinovirus infections using an in vitro model of the human airway. METHODS: Cultured primary human tracheobronchial epithelial cells were infected with either influenza A H1N1 or rhinovirus 1B and compared with healthy control cells. Headspace volatile metabolite measurements of cell cultures were made at 12-hour time points postinfection using a thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. RESULTS: Based on 54 compounds, statistical models distinguished volatile organic compound profiles of influenza- and rhinovirus-infected cells from healthy counterparts. Area under the curve values were 0.94 for influenza, 0.90 for rhinovirus, and 0.75 for controls. Regression analysis predicted how many hours prior cells became infected with a root mean square error of 6.35 hours for influenza- and 3.32 hours for rhinovirus-infected cells. CONCLUSIONS: Volatile biomarkers released by bronchial epithelial cells could not only be used to diagnose whether cells were infected, but also the timing of infection. Our model supports the hypothesis that a breath test could serve to diagnose viral infections

    Specialized sledge dogs accompanied Inuit dispersal across the North American Arctic

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    Domestic dogs have been central to life in the North American Arctic for millennia. The ancestors of the Inuit were the first to introduce the widespread usage of dog sledge transportation technology to the Americas, but whether the Inuit adopted local Palaeo-Inuit dogs or introduced a new dog population to the region remains unknown. To test these hypotheses, we generated mitochondrial DNA and geometric morphometric data of skull and dental elements from a total of 922 North American Arctic dogs and wolves spanning over 4500 years. Our analyses revealed that dogs from Inuit sites dating from 2000 BP possess morphological and genetic signatures that distinguish them from earlier Palaeo-Inuit dogs, and identified a novel mitochondrial clade in eastern Siberia and Alaska. The genetic legacy of these Inuit dogs survives today in modern Arctic sledge dogs despite phenotypic differences between archaeological and modern Arctic dogs. Together, our data reveal that Inuit dogs deriv

    Airway transcriptomic profiling after bronchial thermoplasty

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    Background Bronchial thermoplasty is a nonpharmacological, device-based treatment option for a specific population of severe asthmatic subjects, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. The purpose of this study is to identify potential altered pathways by bronchial thermoplasty using a transcriptomic approach. Methods Patients undergoing bronchial thermoplasty were recruited to the study, and a bronchial brushing sample was obtained before each bronchial thermoplasty session and sent for RNA sequencing. A variance component score test was performed to identify those genes whose expression varied after bronchial thermoplasty sessions. Differential gene expression meta-analysis of severe asthmatic subjects versus controls was performed using public repositories. Overlapping genes were included for downstream pathway and network analyses. Results 12 patients were enrolled in our study. A total of 133 severe asthma cases and 107 healthy controls from the public repositories were included in the meta-analysis. Comparison of differentially expressed genes from our study patients with the public repositories identified eight overlapping genes: AMIGO2, CBX7, NR3C2, SETBP1, SHANK2, SNTB1, STXBP1 and ZNF853. Network analysis of these overlapping genes identified pathways associated with neurophysiological processes. Conclusion We have shown that bronchial thermoplasty treatment alters several gene networks that are important in asthma pathogenesis. These results potentially elucidate the disease-modifying mechanisms of bronchial thermoplasty and provide several targets for further investigation
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