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Expression Quantitative Trait Locus Mapping in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

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Otero-Núñez, Pablo 
Wharton, John 
Swietlik, Emilia M 


Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) can provide a link between disease susceptibility variants discovered by genetic association studies and biology. To date, eQTL mapping studies have been primarily conducted in healthy individuals from population-based cohorts. Genetic effects have been known to be context-specific and vary with changing environmental stimuli. We conducted a transcriptome- and genome-wide eQTL mapping study in a cohort of patients with idiopathic or heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) using RNA sequencing (RNAseq) data from whole blood. We sought confirmation from three published population-based eQTL studies, including the GTEx Project, and followed up potentially novel eQTL not observed in the general population. In total, we identified 2314 eQTL of which 90% were cis-acting and 75% were confirmed by at least one of the published studies. While we observed a higher GWAS trait colocalization rate among confirmed eQTL, colocalisation rate of novel eQTL reported for lung-related phenotypes was twice as high as that of confirmed eQTL. Functional enrichment analysis of genes with novel eQTL in PAH highlighted immune-related processes, a suspected contributor to PAH. These potentially novel eQTL specific to or active in PAH could be useful in understanding genetic risk factors for other diseases that share common mechanisms with PAH.



blood, eQTL, expression quantitative trait locus, genetics, pulmonary arterial hypertension, Base Sequence, Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, Female, Genetic Association Studies, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genome, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Male, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Quantitative Trait Loci, Sequence Analysis, RNA, Transcriptome

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Genes (Basel)

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British Heart Foundation (None)
Medical Research Council (MR/K020919/1)
British Heart Foundation (None)
British Heart Foundation (None)