Each monthly episode will discuss recent publications in the fields of genomics and precision medicine of cardiovascular disease.
Jane Ferguson: Hi there. Welcome to Getting Personal: Omics of the Heart, the podcast from Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine. I'm Jane Ferguson, and this is Episode 36 from February 2020.
First up, we have “Identification of Circulating Proteins Associated with Blood Pressure Using Mendelian Randomization” from Sébastien Thériault, Guillaume Paré, and colleagues from McMaster University in Ontario. They set out to assess whether they could identify protein biomarkers of hypertension using a Mendelian randomization approach. They analyzed data from a genome-wide association study of 227 biomarkers which were profiled on a custom Luminex-based platform in over 4,000 diabetic or prediabetic participants of the origin trial.
They constructed genetic predictors of each protein and then used these as instruments for Mendelian randomization. They obtained systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements in almost 70,000 individuals, in addition to mean arterial pressure and pulse pressure in over 74,000 individuals, all European ancestry with GWAS data, as part of the International Consortium for Blood Pressure.
Out of the 227 biomarkers tested, six of them were significantly associated with blood pressure traits by Mendelian randomization after correction for multiple testing. These included known biomarkers such as NT-proBNP, but also novel associations including urokinase-type plasminogen activator, adrenomedullin, interleukin-16, cellular fibronectin and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3. They validated all of the associations apart from IL-16 in over 300,000 participants in UK Biobank. They probed associations with other cardiovascular risk markers and found that NT-proBNP associated with large artery atherosclerotic stroke, IGFBP3 associated with diabetes, and CFN associated with body mass index.
This study identified novel biomarkers of blood pressure, which may be causal in hypertension. Further study of the underlying mechanisms is required to understand whether these could be useful therapeutic targets in hypertensive disease.
The next paper comes from Sony Tuteja, Dan Rader, Jay Giri and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania and it's entitled, “Prospective CYP2C19 Genotyping to Guide Antiplatelet Therapy Following Percutaneous Coronary Intervention: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial”.
They designed a pharmacode genomic trial to assess effects of CYP2C19 genotyping on antiplatelet therapy following PCI. Because loss of function alleles in CYP2C19 impair the effectiveness of clopidogrel, the team were interested in understanding whether knowledge of genotype status would affect prescribing in a clinical setting. They randomized 504 participants to genotype guided or usual care groups and assessed the rate of prasugrel or ticagrelor prescribing in place of clopidogrel within each arm. As a secondary outcome, they assessed whether prescribers adhere to genotype guided recommendations. Of genotyped individuals, 28% carried loss of function alleles. Within the genotype guided group overall, there was higher use of prasugrel or ticagrelor with these being prescribed to 30% of patients compared with only 21% in the usual care group. Within genotype individuals carrying loss of function alleles, 53% were started on prasugrel or ticagrelor, demonstrating some adherence to genotyp
Jane Ferguson: Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode 35 of Getting Personal: Omics of the Heart, the podcast from Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine. I'm Jane Ferguson, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and an associate editor at Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine. This episode is first airing in December 2019. Let's see what we published this month.
Our first paper is an “Integrated Multiomics Approach to Identify Genetic Underpinnings of Heart Failure and Its Echocardiographic Precursors: The Framingham Heart Study” from Charlotte Anderson, Ramachandran Vasan and colleagues from Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, Denmark and Boston University.
In this paper, the team investigated the genomics of heart failure, combining GWAS with methylation and gene expression data, to prioritize candidate genes. They analyzed four heart failure related and eight echocardiography related phenotypes in several thousand individuals, and then identified SNPs, methylation markers, and differential gene expression associated with those phenotypes. They then created scores for each gene, based on the rank of statistical significance, aggregated across the different omics analysis.
They examined the top ranked genes for evidence of pathway enrichment, and also looked up top SNPs for PheWAS associations in UK Biobank, and examined tissue specific expression in public data. While their data cannot definitively identify causal genes, they highlight several genes of potential relevance to heart failure pathogenesis, which may be promising candidates for future mechanistic studies.
The next paper is “Genetic Determinants of Lipids and Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes: A Wide-Angled Mendelian Randomization Investigation” and comes from Elias Allara, Stephen Burgess and colleagues, from the University of Cambridge and the INVENT consortium. While it has been established, therapies to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides lead to lower risk of coronary artery disease, it remains less clear whether these lipid lowering efforts can also reduce risk for other cardiovascular outcomes. The team set out to address this question using Mendelian randomization. They generated genetic predictors of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides using data from the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium, and then assessed whether genetically predicted increased LDL and triglycerides associated with risk of cardiovascular phenotypes using UK Biobank data. Beyond CAD, they found that higher LDL was associated with abdominal aortic aneurysm and aortic valve stenosis. High triglyceride levels were positively associated with aortic valve stenosis and hypertension, but inversely associated with venous thromboembolism and hemorrhagic stroke.
High LDL cholesterol and triglycerides were also associated with heart failure, which appeared to be mediated by CAD. Their data suggests that LDL lowering may have additional cardiovascular benefits in reducing aortic aneurism and aortic stenosis, while efforts to lower triglycerides may reduce the risk of aortic valve stenosis, but could result in increased thromboembolic risk.
Next up is a paper from Steven Joffe, G.L. Splansky and colleagues, from the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University, on “Preferences for Return of Genetic Results Among Participants in the Jackson Hea
34 November 2019
Jane Ferguson: Hi there. Welcome to the November 2019 issue of Getting Personal: Omics of the Heart. I'm Jane Ferguson. This is your podcast from Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine. Let's get started.
First up from Eric Curruth, Christopher Haggerty and colleagues from Geisinger, we have a paper entitled, “Prevalence and Electronic Health Record-based Phenotype of Loss-of-function Genetic Variance in Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy-associated Genes”. In this study, the team set out to understand the phenotypic consequences of variants and desmosome genes which has been associated with a arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy or ARVC. In clinical genetic testing, secondary findings of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in desmosome genes are recommended for clinical reporting. However, relatively little is known about the phenotypic consequences of these variants in a general clinical population.
The team obtained whole exome sequencing data for over 61,000 individuals from the DiscovEHR cohort, part of the Geisinger MyCode Community Health Initiative. They then screened individuals for a putative loss of function variants in PKP2, DSC2, DSG2, and DSP. They evaluated ARVC diagnostic criteria using previously conducted ECG and echocardiograms and performed a phenom-wide association study or PHeWAS using EHR derived phenotypes. They found 140 people with an ARVC variant in one of the four genes, none of whom had an existing diagnosis of ARVC in the EHR.
Further, there were no measurable differences in their ECG or echocardiogram findings compared with matched controls. There were also no associations with any heart disease phenotypes as assessed by PHeWAS. Overall, they report a prevalence of ARVC loss of function variants of around one in 435 in a general clinical population of predominantly European descent, but they did not find evidence that these variants associated with specific phenotypes. Thus, the clinical relevance of putative loss of function variants in desmosome genes still remains to be determined.
The next paper is titled, “MRAS Variants Cause Cardiomyocyte Hypertrophy in Patients-specific iPSC-derived Cardiomyocytes”. Additional evidence for MRS as a definitive Noonan syndrome susceptibility gene. This comes from Erin Higgins, Michael Ackerman, and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic. They were interested in understanding whether a recently identified Noonan syndrome variant in the MRS gene was necessary and sufficient to cause Noonan syndrome with cardiac hypertrophy. They generated induced pluripotent STEM cell or IPS C lines from patient derived cells carrying the glycine 23 veiling variant and MRS. In addition to isogenic control cells where the pathogenic variant was corrected back to wild-type using CRISPR CAS nine gene editing, they also created a disease model cell line by introducing the MRS variant into unrelated control cells.
They then comprehensively characterized the phenotypes of the three cell lines using a variety of approaches including microscopy, immunofluorescence, single cell RNA seek, Western blot, qPCR, and live cell calcium imaging. Both the patient derived and the disease model IPS cardiomyocytes were larger than control cells and demonstrated changes in gene expression and intracellular pathway signaling characteristic of cardiac hypertrophy. The patient and disease model cells also displayed impaired calcium handling. Through in-vi
33 October 2019
Jane Ferguson: Hello. Welcome to episode 33 of Getting Personal: Omics Of The Heart, your podcast from Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine. I'm Jane Ferguson. This episode is from October 2019. Let's get started.
First up is a paper from Sébastien Thériault, Yohan Bossé, Jean-Jacques Schott and colleagues from Laval University, Quebec and INSERM in Mont. They published on genetic association analyses, highlight IL6, ALPL and NAV1 as three new susceptibility genes underlying Calcific Aortic Valve Stenosis.
In this paper, they were interested in finding out whether they could identify novel susceptibility genes for Calcific Aortic Valve Stenosis, or CAVS, which is a severe and often fatal condition with limited treatment options other than surgical aortic valve replacement. They conducted a GWAS meta-analysis across four European ancestry cohorts comprising over 5,000 cases and over 354,000 controls. They identified four loci at genome-wide significance, including two known loci in LPA and PALMD as well as two novel loci, IL6 which encodes the interleukin six cytokine, and ALPL, which encodes an alkaline phosphatase. They then integrated transcriptomic data from 233 human aortic valves to conduct the transcriptome wide association study and find an additional risk locus associated with higher expression of NAV1 encoding neuron navigator one. Through fine mapping, integrating conservation scores, and methylation peaks, they narrowed down the putative causal variants at each locus identifying one snip in each of PALMD and IL6 as likely causal in addition to two candidates snips at ALPL and three plausible candidate snips in NAV1.
Phenome-Wide Association Analysis, or PheWAS of the top candidate functional snips found that the IL6 risk variant associated with higher eosinophil count, pulse pressure and systolic blood pressure. Overall, this study was able to identify novel loci associated with CAVS potentially implicating inflammation and hypertension in CAVS etiology. Additional functional studies are required to further explore these potential mechanisms.
Next up is a paper from Elisavet Fotiou, Bernard Keavney and colleagues from the University of Manchester. Their paper entitled Integration of Large-Scale Genomic Data Sources With Evolutionary History Reveals Novel Genetic Loci for Congenital Heart Disease explored the genetic etiology of sporadic non syndromic congenital heart disease using an evolution informed approach. Ohnologs are related genes that have been retained following ancestral whole genome duplication events which occurred around 500 million years ago. The authors hypothesized that ohnologs which were retained versus duplicated genes that were lost were likely to have been under greater evolutionary pressure due to the need to maintain consistent gene dosage. For example, as could occur when the resulting proteins form complexes that require stochiometric balance.
Thus, ohnologs may be enriched for genes that are sensitive to dosage. The group analyzed copy number variant data from over 4,600 non syndromic coronary heart disease patients as well as whole exome sequence data from 829 cases of Tetralogy of Fallot. Compared to control data obtained from public databases, there was evidence for significant enrichment in CHD associated variants in ohnologs but not in other duplicated genes arising from small scale duplications. Through this and various other filtering steps to prioritize likely variants, the group was able to identify 54 novel can
32 September 2019
Jane Ferguson: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Getting Personal: Omics of the Heart, the monthly podcast from Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine. I'm Jane Ferguson, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and an associate editor at CircGen. This is episode 32 from September 2019. Starting off this month, we have a paper on Genetic Mosaicism in Calmodulinopathy brought to us by Lisa Wren, Alfred George and colleagues from Northwestern University. They were interested in exploring the disease phenotypes that result from variation in the calmodulin genes, CALM1, 2 and 3.
Mutations in calmodulin are known to associate with congenital arrhythmia, but the group hypothesized that there may be a broader range of phenotypes associated with calmodulin mutations. They report on four unrelated families all with pro bands exhibiting symptoms of prolonged QTC interval and documented ventricular arrhythmia. They conducted targeted exome sequencing in these individuals and in their families and identified mutations in calmodulin genes, including two novel mutations. In one family with multiple occurrences of intrauterine fetal demise, there was evidence for sematic mosaicism in both parents.
The team studied the two novel mutations and found that the variants led to alterations in a calcium binding site resulting in impaired calcium binding. In human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes, the team showed that the mutations impaired calcium dependent inactivation of L-type calcium channels and prolonged action potential duration. Their study not only demonstrates that mutations in calmodulins can cause dysregulation of L-type calcium channels, but that parental mosaicism maybe a factor in families with unexplained fetal arrhythmia or fetal demise.
Our next paper come from Wan G Pang, Christiana Kartsonaki, Michael Holmes and Zing Min Chen from the University of Oxford and Peking University Health Science Center and is entitled Physical Activity, Sedentary Leisure Time, Circulating Metabolic Markers, and Risk of Major Vascular Diseases. In this study, the authors were interested in finding out whether circulating metabolites are associated with the relationship between physical inactivity or sedentary behavior and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. They identified over 3000 cases of incident CVD from the China Kadoorie Biobank and included over 1400 controls without CVD. They measured 225 different metabolites and baseline plasma samples using NMR.
They used measures of self-reported physical activity and sedentary leisure time to associate physical activity with circulating metabolites, and then they ran analysis to relate the metabolites to CVD. Physical activity and sedentary leisure time were associated with over 100 metabolic markers. In general, the patterns of associations were similar using either activity measure. Physical activity was inversely related to very low and low density HDL particles, but positively related to large and very large HDL particle concentrations. Physical activity was also inversely associated with alanine, glucose, lactate, acetoacetate, and glycoprotein acetyls.
When they examined the associations of these same metabolites with CVD, the directions were generally consistent with expectation, going on the premise that physical activity is protective, and that sedentary behavior is a risk factor for CVD. Their analyses suggests that metabolite markers could explain about 70% of the protective ass
27 August 2019
Jane Ferguson: Hello, and welcome to Getting Personal, Omics of the Heart, your monthly podcast from Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine. I'm Jane Ferguson. It is August, 2019, and this is episode 31. Let's get started.
Our first paper comes from Freyja van Lint and Cynthia James, from University Medical Center Utrecht, and is entitled Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy-Associated Desmosomal Variants Are Rarely De Novo, Segregation and Haplotype Analysis of a Multinational Cohort. In this study, the team was interested in exploring variants that are associated with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy or ARVC. ARVC is often attributable to pathogenic variants in genes encoding cardiac desmosomal proteins, but the origin of these variants had not been comprehensively studied.
The investigators identified ARVC probands meeting 2010 task force criteria from three ARVC registries in the United States and Europe and who had undergone sequencing of desmosomal genes. All 501 probands, 322 of them, or over 64%, carried a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant in the desmosomal genes PKP2, DSP DSG2, DSC2, and JUP. The majority of these, over 75%, we're not unique with these variants occurring in more than one proband.
The team performed cascade screening and were able to identify the parental origin of almost all of the variants. However, they identified three de novo variants, including two whole gene deletions. They conducted haplotype analysis for 24 PKP2 variants across 183 seemingly unrelated families and concluded that all of these variants originated from common founders.
This analysis sheds light on the origin of variants in desmosomal genes and suggests that the vast majority of these ARVC variants originate from ancient founders with only a very small proportion of de novo variants. These data can inform clinical care particularly concerning genetic counseling and cascade screening of relatives.
The next paper continues a theme of cardiomyopathy and comes from Derk Frank, Ashraf Yusuf Rangrez, Corinna Friedrich, Sven Dittmann, Norbert Frey, Eric Schulze-Bahr and colleagues from University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein. In this paper, Cardiac α-Actin Gene Mutation Causes Atrial-Septal Defects Associated with Late-Onset Dilated Cardiomyopathy, the team was interested in understanding the genetics of familial atrial-septal defect. They studied large multi-generational family with 78 family members and mapped a causal variant on chromosome 15q14, which caused nonsynonymous change in exon 5 of the ACTC1 gene.
In silico tools predicted this variant to be deleterious. Analysis of myocardial tissue from an affected individual revealed sarcomeric disarray, myofibrillar degeneration, and increased apoptosis. Proteomic analysis highlighted extracellular matrix proteins as being affected. The team over-expressed the mutation in rats and found structural defects and increased apoptosis in neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes and confirmed defects in actin polymerization and turnover which affected contractility. These data implicate the variant in ACTC1 as causing atrial-septal defects and late-onset cardiomyopathy in this family and revealed the underlying molecular mechanisms affecting development and contractility.
The next paper is entitled Characterization of the
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A much needed resource for the busy physician or scientist to help to keep up with the literature of cardiovascular genetics