Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 20 genomic regions associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) susceptibility. However, the functional genetic variants within these COPD GWAS loci remain largely unidentified, thus limiting translation of these GWAS discoveries to new disease insights. Whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing studies have the potential to identify rare genetic determinants of COPD. Efforts to understand the biological effects of novel COPD genetic loci include gene-targeted murine models, integration of additional omics data (including transcriptomics and epigenetics), and functional variant identification. COPD genetic determinants likely act through biological networks, and a variety of network-based approaches have been used to gain insights into COPD susceptibility and heterogeneity.
Keywords: association analysis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; genetics; integrative genomics; network medicine.