Pluto Bioinformatics

GSE120099: Unveiling the Role of the Most Impactful Cardiovascular Risk Locus Through Haplotype Editing at Cell

Bulk RNA sequencing

The 9p21.3 cardiovascular disease locus is the most influential common genetic risk factor for coronary artery disease, accounting for ~10-15% of disease among non-African populations.The ~60kb risk haplotype is human-specific and lacks coding genes, hindering efforts to decipher its function.Genetic studies implicate the 9p21.3 locus and other risk genes to effects in the vascular wall. Here, we use genome editing to delete the entire risk on non-risk haplotype from the genomes of human iPSCs and perform genomewide transcriptional profiling along the timecourse of their differentiation into vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). These studies identify a network of ~3000 genes governed by the risk haplotype in VSMCs that predict deficits in cell division, adhesion and contraction, which we confirmufunctionally. Remarkably, deleting the risk haplotype reverts VSMCs to resemble the non-risk VSMCs, suggesting that the risk region drives a cell state transition. transcriptionally and functionally. . Deleting the risk haplotype reverts these cells to reverted to the non-risk of iPSCs we show that the non-risk haplotype has little effect on locus we produce iPSCs from risk and non-risk individuals, delete each haplotype using genome editing and generate vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). We show that risk VSMCs exhibit aberrant adhesion and contraction, concomitant with dramatically altered global transcriptional changes that are enriched in previously identified cardiovascular disease genes and pathways. Unexpectedly, deleting the risk haplotype rescues VSMC transcriptional identity and function, while expressing the 9p21.3-associated long non-coding RNA ANRIL induces risk phenotypes in non-risk VSMCs.This studies shows that the risk haplotype dominantly predisposes VSMCs to adopt perturbed phenotypes associated with cardiovascular disease and establishes haplotype-edited iPSCs as powerful tools for functionally annotating human-specific variation in non-coding genomic regions. SOURCE: Kristin Baldwin ( - The Scripps Research Institute

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