Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and the only leading cause of death that is steadily increasing in frequency. This proposal will establish a racially diverse cohort that is sufficiently large and appropriately designed for genome-wide association analysis of COPD. A total of 10,500 subjects will be recruited, including control smokers and subjects across the full range of COPD severity (GOLD Stages 1 through 4). This cohort will be used for cross-sectional analysis, although long-term longitudinal follow-up will be a future goal. The primary focus of the study will be genome-wide association analysis to identify the genetic risk factors that determine susceptibility for COPD and COPD related? phenotypes. Detailed phenotyping of COPD cases, including chest CT scan assessment of emphysema and airway disease, will allow identification of genetic determinants for the heterogeneous components of the COPD syndrome. The hypotheses to be studied are: 1) Precise phenotypic characterization of COPD subjects using computed tomography, as well as clinical and physiological measures, will provide data that will enable the broad COPD syndrome to be decomposed into clinically significant subtypes. 2) Genome-wide association studies will identify genetic determinants for COPD susceptibility that will provide insight into clinically relevant COPD subtypes. 3) Distinct genetic determinants influence the development of emphysema and airway disease. The genome-wide association analysis will involve four phases to identify COPD susceptibility genes using a case-control design.
The Specific Aims are (1) Cohort Building. Identify and phenotype COPD case and control cohorts in two racial groups (non-Hispanic whites and African Americans) for genetic and natural history studies. (2) Genome-wide Association Study. In Phase 1, a genome-wide panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) will be tested for association with COPD and COPD-related phenotypes in COPD case-control samples within each racial group. In Phase 2, the top-ranked 6,000 SNPs in each racial group will be validated and tested in a second round of association analysis in independent samples. In Phase 3, the genomic regions around the top-ranked 50 SNPs in each racial group will be analyzed to identify genes/regions yielding confirmed association signals. In Phase 4, final susceptibility gene identification will be performed in the entire study population, with external validation in the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study and International COPD Genetics Network. (3) Epidemiologic characterization of subtypes of COPD using the radiologic, physiologic, and clinical data including CT emphysema and airway phenotypes, degree of functional impairment, and severity of COPD, will be performed. Finally, SNPs in the identified COPD genes from Aim 2 will be tested for association with these COPD subtypes.?
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