From Loci to Biology: Functional Genomics of Genome-Wide Association for Coronary Disease

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Genome-wide association studies have provided a rich collection of ≈58 coronary artery disease (CAD) loci that suggest the existence of previously unsuspected new biology relevant to atherosclerosis. However, these studies only identify genomic loci associated with CAD, and many questions remain even after a genomic locus is definitively implicated, including the nature of the causal variant(s) and the causal gene(s), as well as the directionality of effect. There are several tools that can be used for investigation of the functional genomics of these loci, and progress has been made on a limited number of novel CAD loci. New biology regarding atherosclerosis and CAD will be learned through the functional genomics of these loci, and the hope is that at least some of these new pathways relevant to CAD pathogenesis will yield new therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of CAD.

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