Title: Integrating genetic and toxicogenomic information for determining underlying susceptibility to developmental disorders.
Authors: Robinson, Joshua F; Port, Jesse A; Yu, Xiaozhong; Faustman, Elaine M
Published In Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol, (2010 Oct)
Abstract: To understand the complex etiology of developmental disorders, an understanding of both genetic and environmental risk factors is needed. Human and rodent genetic studies have identified a multitude of gene candidates for specific developmental disorders such as neural tube defects (NTDs). With the emergence of toxicogenomic-based assessments, scientists now also have the ability to compare and understand the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously across strain, time, and exposure in developmental models. Using a systems-based approach in which we are able to evaluate information from various parts and levels of the developing organism, we propose a framework for integrating genetic information with toxicogenomic-based studies to better understand gene-environmental interactions critical for developmental disorders. This approach has allowed us to characterize candidate genes in the context of variables critical for determining susceptibility such as strain, time, and exposure. Using a combination of toxicogenomic studies and complementary bioinformatic tools, we characterize NTD candidate genes during normal development by function (gene ontology), linked phenotype (disease outcome), location, and expression (temporally and strain-dependent). In addition, we show how environmental exposures (cadmium, methylmercury) can influence expression of these genes in a strain-dependent manner. Using NTDs as an example of developmental disorder, we show how simple integration of genetic information from previous studies into the standard microarray design can enhance analysis of gene-environment interactions to better define environmental exposure-disease pathways in sensitive and resistant mouse strains.
PubMed ID: 20706997
MeSH Terms: Animals; Cadmium/toxicity; Computational Biology*; Databases, Genetic; Developmental Disabilities/genetics*; Developmental Disabilities/metabolism*; Disease Susceptibility*; Environmental Exposure/adverse effects; Gene Expression; Genome, Human; Humans; Methylmercury Compounds/toxicity; Mice; Mice, Inbred Strains; Mice, Knockout; Models, Animal; Neural Tube Defects/genetics; Neurulation; Risk Factors; Toxicogenetics*