Gene Expression Signatures of Coronary Heart Disease
Objective—To identify transcriptomic biomarkers of coronary heart disease (CHD) in 188 cases with CHD and 188 age- and sex-matched controls who were participants in the Framingham Heart Study.
Approach and Results—A total of 35 genes were differentially expressed in cases with CHD versus controls at FDR<0.5, including GZMB, TMEM56, and GUK1. Cluster analysis revealed 3 gene clusters associated with CHD, 2 linked to increased erythrocyte production and a third to reduced natural killer and T cell activity in cases with CHD. Exon-level results corroborated and extended the gene-level results. Alternative splicing analysis suggested that GUK1 and 38 other genes were differentially spliced in cases with CHD versus controls. Gene Ontology analysis linked ubiquitination and T-cell–related pathways with CHD.
Conclusions—Two bioinformatically defined groups of genes show consistent associations with CHD. Our findings are consistent with the hypotheses that hematopoesis is upregulated in CHD, possibly reflecting a compensatory mechanism, and that innate immune activity is disrupted in CHD or altered by its treatment. Transcriptomic signatures may be useful in identifying pathways associated with CHD and point toward novel therapeutic targets for its treatment and prevention.
- coronary artery disease
- coronary heart disease
- gene expression
- myocardial infarction
- Received October 4, 2012.
- Accepted March 4, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.