Top Advances in Functional Genomics and Translational Biology for 2013
The year 2013 has witnessed exciting advances in cardiovascular research exemplified by discovery leveraging genomics, proteomics and metabolomics platforms, genome editing, translation in individualized disease modeling, and application of regenerative therapies. New knowledge generated through integrative analysis has informed the understanding of molecular mechanisms that can now be validated and exploited to expedite management of biological processes.
The Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Council from the American Heart Association (www.my.americanheart.org/fgtbcouncil) has the mission of advancing new discoveries in the fields of genetics, omics technologies, and translational biology and facilitate their application in cardiovascular health and disease. By creating a multidisciplinary collaborative environment, this Council integrates scientific knowledge from molecules to populations to contribute to the global American Heart Association goal of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
With input from the Early Career Committee of the Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology, we considered many outstanding articles and selected 10 advances published during 2013. In this Special Report, we summarize some relevant articles related to each of those advances and highlight their significance in the cardiovascular field.
Cardiac hypertrophy is an increasingly prevalent condition because of population aging with limited therapeutic options to prevent its progression to heart failure. Loffredo et al1 hypothesized that loss of systemic factors may be responsible for the stiffening and enlargement of the ventricles and thereby a therapeutic target for the treatment of systolic heart failure. Using a model of parabiosis (surgically linking the systemic circulation of 2 animals), they demonstrated that exposure to a young circulatory environment can reverse age-induced cardiac hypertrophy in old mice. Proteomic analysis of old and young adult plasma enabled identification of the growth differentiation factor 11, a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, as a factor with decreasing blood levels in aging mice. …