Integrative genomics analysis of various omics data and networks identify risk genes and variants vulnerable to childhood-onset asthma

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Background: Childhood-onset asthma is highly affected by genetic components. In recent years, many genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have reported a large group of genetic variants and susceptible genes associated with asthma-related phenotypes including childhood-onset asthma. However, the regulatory mechanisms of these genetic variants for childhood-onset asthma susceptibility remain largely unknown. Methods: In the current investigation, we conducted a two-stage designed Sherlock-based integrative genomics analysis to explore the cis- and/or trans-regulatory effects of genome-wide SNPs on gene expression as well as childhood-onset asthma risk through incorporating a large-scale GWAS data (N = 314,633) and two independent expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) datasets (N = 1890). Furthermore, we applied various bioinformatics analyses, including MAGMA gene-based analysis, pathway enrichment analysis, drug/disease-based enrichment analysis, computer-based permutation analysis, PPI network analysis, gene co-expression analysis and differential gene expression analysis, to prioritize susceptible genes associated with childhood-onset asthma. Results: Based on comprehensive genomics analyses, we found 31 genes with multiple eSNPs to be convincing candidates for childhood-onset asthma risk; such as, PSMB9 (cis-rs4148882 and cis-rs2071534) and TAP2 (cis-rs9267798, cis-rs4148882, cis-rs241456, and trans-10,447,456). These 31 genes were functionally interacted with each other in our PPI network analysis. Our pathway enrichment analysis showed that numerous KEGG pathways including antigen processing and presentation, type I diabetes mellitus, and asthma were significantly enriched to involve in childhood-onset asthma risk. The co-expression patterns among 31 genes were remarkably altered according to asthma status, and 25 of 31 genes (25/31 = 80.65%) showed significantly or suggestively differential expression between asthma group and control group. Conclusions: We provide strong evidence to highlight 31 candidate genes for childhood-onset asthma risk, and offer a new insight into the genetic pathogenesis of childhood-onset asthma.




Ma, X., Wang, P., Xu, G., Yu, F., & Ma, Y. (2020). Integrative genomics analysis of various omics data and networks identify risk genes and variants vulnerable to childhood-onset asthma. BMC Medical Genomics, 13(1).

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