Putative functional genes in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy

Nishanth Ulhas Nair, Avinash Das, Uri Amit, Welles Robinson, Seung Gu Park, Mahashweta Basu, Alex Lugo, Jonathan Leor, Eytan Ruppin, Sridhar Hannenhalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a complex disorder with a genetic and an environmental component involving multiple genes, many of which are yet to be discovered. We integrate genetic, epigenetic, transcriptomic, phenotypic, and evolutionary features into a method - Hridaya, to infer putative functional genes underlying DCM in a genome-wide fashion, using 213 human heart genomes and transcriptomes. Many genes identified by Hridaya are experimentally shown to cause cardiac complications. We validate the top predicted genes, via five different genome-wide analyses: First, the predicted genes are associated with cardiovascular functions. Second, their knockdowns in mice induce cardiac abnormalities. Third, their inhibition by drugs cause cardiac side effects in human. Fourth, they tend to have differential exon usage between DCM and normal samples. Fifth, analyzing 213 individual genotypes, we show that regulatory polymorphisms of the predicted genes are associated with elevated risk of cardiomyopathy. The stratification of DCM patients based on cardiac expression of the functional genes reveals two subgroups differing in key cardiac phenotypes. Integrating predicted functional genes with cardiomyocyte drug treatment experiments reveals novel potential drug targets. We provide a list of investigational drugs that target the newly identified functional genes that may lead to cardiac side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018


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