NHLBI TOPMed: Lung Tissue Research Consortium (LTRC)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disease state characterized by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. COPD is a heterogeneous syndrome, with affected individuals demonstrating marked differences in lung structure (emphysema vs. airway disease); physiology (airflow obstruction); and other clinical features (e.g., exacerbations, co-morbid illnesses). Multiple genomic regions influencing COPD susceptibility have been identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and rare coding variants can also influence risk for COPD. However, only a small percentage of the estimated heritability for COPD risk can be explained by known genetic loci. Like most complex diseases, COPD is influenced by multiple genetic determinants (each with modest individual effects). Emerging evidence supports the paradigm that complex disease genetic determinants are part of a network of interacting genes and proteins; perturbations of this network can increase disease risk. To identify this network, multiple Omics data will need to be analyzed with methods to account for nonlinear relationships and interactions between key genes and proteins. Our overall hypothesis is that integrated network analysis of genetic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and epigenetic data from biospecimens ranging from lung tissue to nasal epithelial cells to blood in highly phenotyped subjects will provide insights into COPD pathogenesis and heterogeneity. We will leverage the well-phenotyped, NHLBI-funded Lung Tissue Research Consortium (LTRC) to address these questions. We will perform multi-omics analysis in 1548 lung tissue and blood samples from the LTRC. With these multi-omics data, we will utilize a systems biology approach to understand relationships between multiple genetic determinants and multiple types of Omics data. We will begin by performing single Omics analyses in COPD vs. control lung, nasal, and blood samples. Next, we will integrate single Omics data with genetic variants identified by WGS to assist in fine mapping genetic determinants of COPD. We will then perform integrated network analysis of COPD with genetic and multiple Omics data using correlation-based, gene regulatory, and Bayesian networks. Subjects were recruited from Mayo Clinic, Universities of Colorado, Michigan, and Pittsburg, and Temple University.