Evolving genomic approaches to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: moving beyond genes.
ABSTRACT: A little more than 10 years ago, the completed sequencing of the human genome boldly promised to usher in an era of enhanced understanding and accelerated development of treatments for most human diseases. Ten years later, many of these therapeutic goals have not been reached, but genomic technologies have dramatically enhanced our understanding of how genes and gene networks contribute to the pathogenesis of disease. In this review, we describe how genomic technologies have shaped our study of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a devastating, progressive scarring of the lung parenchyma, a disease without a known cause, or treatment. We frame the important genomic discoveries in IPF of the previous decade in the clinical context of establishing a diagnosis of IPF and predicting the prognosis. Gene expression profiling of peripheral blood will help identify potential biomarkers for assessing the clinical severity of IPF. We highlight the growth of epigenetic research in IPF, including the contribution of microRNAs to the pathogenesis of disease. We suggest that the full power of genomic discoveries in IPF will be realized when researchers apply these techniques prospectively in large collaborative studies across institutions, support the training of young investigators in genomics, and employ systems biology approaches to the interpretation of genomic data.
Project description:Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is comprised of a heterogeneous group of disorders with highly variable natural histories and response to therapies. Pharmacogenetics focuses on the variability in drug response because of the presence of genetic factors that influence drug metabolism or disease activity. In this article, we review relevant drug-specific and disease-specific polymorphisms that may influence therapeutic response, and then highlight a recently identified drug-gene interaction in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).The emergence of high-throughput genomic technology has allowed for identification of gene polymorphisms associated with susceptibility to specific disease states, including IPF and several connective tissue diseases known to cause ILD. IPF risk loci span a diverse group of genes, while most associated with connective tissue disease are critical to immune signaling. A recent pharmacogenetic analysis of patients enrolled in an IPF clinical trial identified a variant within TOLLIP to be associated with differential response to N-acetylcysteine therapy.Though few pharmacogenetic investigations have been conducted in patients with ILD to date, ample opportunities for pharmacogenetic exploration exist in this patient population. Such exploration will advance our understanding of specific ILDs and help usher in an era of personalized medicine.
Project description:Throughout the past decade, there have been substantial advances in understanding the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Recently, several large genome-wide association and linkage studies have identified common genetic variants in more than a dozen loci that appear to contribute to IPF risk. In addition, family-based studies have led to the identification of rare genetic variants in genes related to surfactant function and telomere biology, and mechanistic studies suggest pathophysiological derangements associated with these rare genetic variants are also found in sporadic cases of IPF. Current evidence suggests that rather than existing as distinct syndromes, sporadic and familial cases of IPF (familial interstitial pneumonia) probably reflect a continuum of genetic risk. Rapidly evolving bioinformatic and molecular biology techniques, combined with next-generation sequencing technologies, hold great promise for developing a comprehensive, integrated approach to defining the fundamental molecular mechanisms that underlie IPF pathogenesis.
Project description:The maturation of genomic technologies has enabled new discoveries in disease pathogenesis as well as new approaches to patient care. In pediatric oncology, patients may now receive individualized genomic analysis to identify molecular aberrations of relevance for diagnosis and/or treatment. In this context, several recent clinical studies have begun to explore the feasibility and utility of genomics-driven precision medicine. Here, we review the major developments in this field, discuss current limitations, and explore aspects of the clinical implementation of precision medicine, which lack consensus. Lastly, we discuss ongoing scientific efforts in this arena, which may yield future clinical applications.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Fibrosis is an irreversible pathological endpoint in many chronic diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and often fatal condition characterized by (myo)fibroblast proliferation and transformation in the lung, expansion of the extracellular matrix, and extensive remodeling of the lung parenchyma. Recent evidence indicates that IPF prevalence and mortality rates are growing in the United States and elsewhere. Despite decades of research on the pathogenic mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis, few therapeutics have succeeded in the clinic, and they have failed to improve IPF patient survival. Areas covered: Based on a literature search and our own results, we discuss the key cellular and molecular responses that contribute to (myo)fibroblast actions and pulmonary fibrosis pathogenesis; this includes signaling pathways in various cells that aberrantly and persistently activate (myo)fibroblasts in fibrotic lesions and promote scar tissue formation in the lung. Expert opinion: Lessons learned from recent failures and successes with new therapeutics point toward approaches that can target multiple pro-fibrotic processes in IPF. Advances in preclinical modeling and single-cell genomics will also accelerate novel discoveries for effective treatment of IPF.
Project description:Usher syndrome encompasses a group of genetically and clinically heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorders with hearing deficiencies and retinitis pigmentosa. The mechanisms underlying the Usher syndrome are highly variable. In the present study, a Chinese family with Usher syndrome was recruited. Whole exome sequencing (WES), Sanger sequencing, homozygosity mapping, short tandem repeat (STR) analysis and segregation analysis were performed. Functional domains of the pathogenic variant for USH2A were analysed. We identified a homozygous frameshift variant c.99_100insT (p.Arg34Serfs*41) in the USH2A gene in the proband that showed discordant segregation in the father. Further homozygosity mapping and STR analysis identified an unusual homozygous variant of proband that originated from maternal uniparental disomy (UPD). The p.Arg34Serfs*41 variant produced a predicted truncated protein that removes all functional domains of USH2A. The variant was not included in the 1000 Human Genomes Project database, ExAC database, HGMD or gnomAD database, but was included in the ClinVar databases as pathogenic. Although USH2A is an autosomal recessive disease, the effects of UPD should be informed in genetic counselling since the recurrence risk of an affected child is greatly reduced when the disease is due to the UPD mechanism. To test potential patients, WES, combined with STR analysis and homozygosity mapping, provides an accurate and useful strategy for genetic diagnosis. In summary, our discoveries can help further the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of Usher syndrome type IIA to advance the prevention, diagnosis and therapy for this disorder.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the most common fibrotic lung disease, is a chronic disease of unknown etiology with a very high mortality. Personalized medicine focuses on the use of the individual's molecular and 'omic' (i.e., genomic, epigenomic and proteomic) information to direct more efficient and cost-effective strategies for prevention, diagnosis, outcome prediction and treatment of diseases. In this review, we describe the use and promise of applying 'omic' technologies to the familial and sporadic forms of IPF as a means to personalize diagnosis and outcome prediction in IPF. The validation and implementation of such approaches will be crucial to personalize IPF patient care, prioritize lung transplant and stratify patients for drug studies, as well as, in the future, predict response to therapies as they emerge.
Project description:Interstitial lung disease (ILD) comprises a heterogeneous group of diffuse parenchymal lung processes with overlapping clinical, radiographic, and histopathologic features. Among the most common and deadly ILDs are idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (CHP). As the name implies, the cause of IPF remains elusive, but a variety of genetic and infectious risk factors have been identified. CHP results from chronic inhalation of an organic antigen, usually of avian or mold origin, and may occur in patients with a genetic predisposition. While IPF is treated with anti-fibrotic compounds, CHP is generally treated by suppression of the immune system and elimination of the causative antigen. Despite advances in our understanding of IPF and CHP, there exists substantial variability in the diagnosis and treatment of these disease processes. Furthermore, IPF and CHP natural history and treatment response remain far from uniform, leaving it unclear which patients derive the most benefit from disease-specific therapy. While clinical prediction models have improved our understanding of outcome risk in patients with various forms of ILD, recent advances in genomic technology provides a valuable opportunity to begin understanding the basis for outcome variability. Such advances will ultimately allow for the incorporation of genomic markers into risk stratification and clinical decision-making. In this piece, we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the genomic factors that influence susceptibility and outcome risk among patients with IPF and CHP. Genomic modalities used to identify these genomic markers include genome-wide association studies, analyses of gene expression, drug-gene interaction testing, telomere length determination, telomerase mutation analysis, and studies of the lung microbiome. We then identify gaps in knowledge that should be addressed to help facilitate the incorporation of these genomic technologies into ILD clinical practice.
Project description:This is a time of substantial progress in the evaluation and care of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In addition to the approval and widespread availability of the first IPF-specific therapies, there have been improvements in imaging interpretation and lung biopsy methods to enable more expeditious and more accurate diagnosis. Recent advances in identifying genetic factors that underlie susceptibility to IPF and affect prognosis have raised the possibility of personalized therapeutic approaches in the future. Further, evolving work is elucidating novel mechanisms influencing epithelial, mesenchymal, and inflammatory cell responses during the injury-repair process, thus advancing understanding of disease pathogenesis. As analytic approaches mature, the field is now poised to harness the power of rapidly advancing "omics" technologies to further accelerate progress.
Project description:Personalised medicine tumour boards, which leverage genomic data to improve clinical management, are becoming standard for the treatment of many cancers. This paper is designed as a primer to assist clinicians treating head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients with an understanding of the discovery and functional impact of recurrent genetic lesions that are likely to influence the management of this disease in the near future. This manuscript integrates genetic data from publicly available array comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) and next-generation sequencing genetics databases to identify the most common molecular alterations in HNSCC. The importance of these genetic discoveries is reviewed and how they may be incorporated into clinical care decisions is discussed. Considerations for the role of genetic stratification in the clinical management of head and neck cancer are maturing rapidly and can be improved by integrating data sets. This article is meant to summarise the discoveries made using multiple genomic platforms so that the head and neck cancer care provider can apply these discoveries to improve clinical care.
Project description:Background:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an age-related and progressive interstitial lung disease. Up to 20% of cases of IPF cluster in families, genetic factors contribute significantly to the pathogenesis of the disease. This study aimed to explore the association between rare genetic variants and IPF in Chinese Han families. Methods:A Han family, comprising three IPF patients and five unaffected their first-degree relatives, and 100 ethnically matched control individuals from North China were enrolled in this study. Peripheral blood was collected, and genomic DNA was extracted. To elucidate if rare genetic variants are associated with the familial IPF, we performed whole-exome sequencing of affected members from a Chinese Han IPF family. Candidate rare variants were then confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Results:We identified a potentially damaging rare variant-a heterozygous mutation c.2146G>A in exon 6 of the gene encoding for telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), which results in an amino acid substitution (p.Ala716Thr). We confirmed the missense mutation by Sanger sequencing in all the affected family members but did not detect this mutation in 100 ethnically matched healthy controls. Patients carried this mutation were characterized by the frequently acute exacerbation of IPF phenotype, with poor prognosis. The mean time to death was 2.8 years after diagnosis. Conclusion:Using next-generation sequencing technology in familial IPF patients, we identified the heterozygous rare variant in TERT gene, and strengthened the importance of genetic variants in telomere-related pathogenesis in Chinese IPF patients.