Gene network analysis in a pediatric cohort identifies novel lung function genes

PLoS One. 2013 Sep 2;8(9):e72899. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072899. eCollection 2013.


Lung function is a heritable trait and serves as an important clinical predictor of morbidity and mortality for pulmonary conditions in adults, however, despite its importance, no studies have focused on uncovering pediatric-specific loci influencing lung function. To identify novel genetic determinants of pediatric lung function, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of four pulmonary function traits, including FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC and FEF25-75% in 1556 children. Further, we carried out gene network analyses for each trait including all SNPs with a P-value of <1.0 × 10(-3) from the individual GWAS. The GWAS identified SNPs with notable trends towards association with the pulmonary function measures, including the previously described INTS12 locus association with FEV1 (pmeta=1.41 × 10(-7)). The gene network analyses identified 34 networks of genes associated with pulmonary function variables in Caucasians. Of those, the glycoprotein gene network reached genome-wide significance for all four variables. P-value range pmeta=6.29 × 10(-4) - 2.80 × 10(-8) on meta-analysis. In this study, we report on specific pathways that are significantly associated with pediatric lung function at genome-wide significance. In addition, we report the first loci associated with lung function in both pediatric Caucasian and African American populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / physiology
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Young Adult