Identification of an emphysema- associated genetic variant near TGFB2 with regulatory effects in lung fibroblasts

Academic Article


  • © Parker et al. Murine studies have linked TGF-β signaling to emphysema, and human genome-wide association studies (GWAS) studies of lung function and COPD have identified associated regions near genes in the TGF-β superfamily. However, the functional regulatory mechanisms at these loci have not been identified. We performed the largest GWAS of emphysema patterns to date, identifying 10 GWAS loci including an association peak spanning a 200 kb region downstream from TGFB2. Integrative analysis of publicly available eQTL, DNaseI, and chromatin conformation data identified a putative functional variant, rs1690789, that may regulate TGFB2 expression in human fibroblasts. Using chromatin conformation capture, we confirmed that the region containing rs1690789 contacts the TGFB2 promoter in fibroblasts, and CRISPR/Cas-9 targeted deletion of a ~ 100 bp region containing rs1690789 resulted in decreased TGFB2 expression in primary human lung fibroblasts. These data provide novel mechanistic evidence linking genetic variation affecting the TGF-β pathway to emphysema in humans.
  • Published In

  • eLife  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Parker MM; Hao Y; Guo F; Pham B; Chase R; Platig J; Cho MH; Hersh CP; Thannickal VJ; Crapo J
  • Volume

  • 8