07 Dec Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Share Several Key Driver Genes
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Simin Liu, MD, ScD, Professor of Epidemiology
School of Public Health, Professor of Medicine
The Warren Alpert School of Medicine
Director, Molecular Epidemiology and Nutrition
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Liu: Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are highly heritable and share many risk factors and show ethnic-specific prevalence. Nevertheless, a comprehensive molecular-level understanding of these observations is lacking. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of whole genome assessment using network-based analysis in >15,000 women and identified eight molecular pathways share in both diseases as well as several “key driver” genes that appear to form the gene networks in which these pathways connect and interact.
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Liu: There are shared pathways and networks of genes that are critically importance in the development of both diabetes and CVD. These include those related to cardiomyopathy, calcium signaling, axon guidance, cell adhesion, and extracellular matrix. We also identified potential key drivers of these shared pathways, such as COL1A1, COL3A1, and ELN and cross-validated in mouse genomic datasets. There are several ethnicity-specific pathways for both diabetes and CVD; these include cell cycle (specific for Hispanic and Caucasian American) and tight junction (specific for Hispanic American). These findings not only suggest the existence of major mechanistic pathways and key regulatory genes underlying the development of both diseases, but also support the notion that ethnicity-specific mechanisms may play a role in the complex pathogenesis of CVD and T2D.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Liu: We believe the progress made through our study are significant for not only improving the understanding of the shared pathogenesis for CVD and T2D, but for future development of more effective therapies targeted specifically to the signals shared by these two diseases across diverse ethnic groups.
Last Updated on December 7, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD