Clinicians are well aware of the importance of a positive family history for coronary artery disease (CAD). Nonetheless, elucidation of the genetic basis of CAD has long proven difficult. The scenario changed in the last decade through the application of modern genomic technologies, like genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and next generation sequencing (NGS). GWAS have discovered over 60 common variants highly associated with CAD. For predictive purposes, such variants have been used to build up Genetic Risk Scores (GRSs), but their incorporation into classical prediction models does not appear substantially outperform the simple addition of family history. To date, the only strong case for the utility of incorporating genetic testing into clinical practice is represented by the diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). On the other hand, utilization of genomic techniques has driven formidable advances into the knowledge of CAD pathophysiology, particularly by addressing controversies on the causality of some lipid fractions that had long remained unsolved because of limitations of observational epidemiology. For example, NGS-derived rare variants with strong functional effects on key-genes like ANGPTL4, APOA5, APOC3, LPL, and SCARB1, have proven useful as proxies to demonstrate the causality of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) at variance with HDL-cholesterol concentration, thus contributing to tear down a dogma from classical epidemiology. Moreover, such variants have paved the way for the development of new biologic drugs (i.e. monoclonal antibodies or antisense oligonucleotides) targeting key proteins like PCSK9, Lipoprotein(a), and apolipoprotein C3. Such drugs are currently under active investigation, with first results being extremely promising.
|Titolo:||A decade of progress on the genetic basis of coronary artery disease. Practical insights for the internist|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|