Defining the function of new causal atherosclerosis genes from CAD GWAS loci using in vitro and in vivo models.
Large studies linking common variations in our genes to the occurrence of coronary artery disease have enabled us to identify several new genes that have a causative influence on the susceptibility to developing coronary artery disease, but through an unknown mechanism.
We use primary knockout cells in in vitro models of vascular biology eg migration, proliferation and uptake assays, to investigate the role of novel cardiovascular genes in vascular biology. We then use pathway-specific in vivo models such as murine models of vascular injury, and models of atherosclerosis progression and regression to assess the role of the novel genes in cardiovascular disease. Understanding how the these novel genes are linked with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease will provide new information on the causes of coronary artery disease, and might identify new approaches for prevention or treatment.