A team of researchers, at Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, has identified a group of 12 genetic variants in the HSPB7 gene that is associated with heart failure in humans.
The team, led by Gerald Dorn, used an approach they have recently developed that allows ultra-high-throughput targeted DNA sequencing to identify genetic variation in four genes with biological relevance to heart failure. They identified in a large group of Caucasian individuals with heart failure, 129 separate genetic variants in the four genes, including 23 that seemed to be novel.
Further analysis of 1117 Caucasian individuals with heart failure and 625 nonaffected Caucasians indicated that a block of 12 genetic variants in the HSPB7 gene was associated with heart failure. Confirmation of this association was provided by analysis of an independent group of individuals.
The authors hope to use the same approach to identify further genetic variants associated with heart failure, a disease that is influenced by multiple genetic factors.