Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex disease with both environmental and genetic determinants, the most important of which is cigarette smoking. There is marked heterogeneity in the development of COPD among persons with similar cigarette smoking histories, which is likely partially explained by genetic variation. Genomic approaches such as genomewide association studies and gene expression studies have been used to discover genes and molecular pathways involved in COPD pathogenesis; however, these "first generation" omics studies have limitations. Integrative genomic studies are emerging which can combine genomic datasets to further examine the molecular underpinnings of COPD. Future research in COPD genetics will likely use network-based approaches to integrate multiple genomic data types in order to model the complex molecular interactions involved in COPD pathogenesis. This article reviews the genomic research to date and offers a vision for the future of integrative genomic research in COPD.
Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Genomewide association study; Genomics; Network medicine.
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