15 Greek researchers participate in the discovery of 44 novel genes linked to hypertension
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15 Greek researchers participate in the discovery of 44 novel genes linked to hypertension

In 3 new papers receiving advance online publication in Nature Genetics, the international multi-institutional research teams describe identifying a total of 44 novel gene sites associated with hypertension or high blood pressure. The studies, point towards potential new treatment strategies for the condition. In total 15 Greek researchers participate in the 3 papers.

“High blood pressure or hypertension is a major cause of heart disease and stroke worldwide, but its underlying causes are poorly understood,” says Christopher Newton-Cheh, MD, MPH, of the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research and Cardiovascular Research Center, senior author of both papers. “Existing therapies target only a small subset of the pathways that contribute to hypertension, so identifying additional genes that influence blood pressure can point us in new directions, giving us exciting new leads for drug development.”

It is well known that hypertension tends to run in families, but while around half the risk of the condition can be attributed to inheritance, the approximately 60 hypertension genes identified in previous studies explain only about 2 percent of that risk. To identify additional risk variants, the two current investigations conducted meta-analyses using novel, custom genotyping arrays, each of which test for more than 200,000 variants, combined with data from the group’s previously published studies.

The Greek researchers participating are:

In the paper “The genetics of blood pressure regulation and its target organs from association studies in 342,415 individuals”: Stavroula Kanoni, Loukianos Rallidis, Lazaros Lataniotis, Fotios Drenos, Evangelos Evangelou, Genovefa Kolovou, Eirini Marouli, George Dedoussis, Panos Deloukas, Themistocles (Tim) Assimes.

In the paper “Meta-analysis identifies common and rare variants influencing blood pressure and overlapping with metabolic trait loci”: George J Papanicolaou, Panos Deloukas, Fotios Drenos

In the paper “Trans-ancestry meta-analyses identify rare and common variants associated with blood pressure and hypertension”: Fotios Drenos, Olga Giannakopoulou, Andrianos M Yiorkas, Evangelos Evangelou, Aliki-Eleni Farmaki,  Eirini Marouli, George Dedoussis,  Panos Deloukas,  Eleftheria Zeggini.

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