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The Wellcome Trust Case Control and Cardiogenics Consortiums Identify key Genes in Coronary Artery Disease with Affymetrix Technology

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Affymetrix Inc. announced that researchers from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) and the Cardiogenics Consortium have used GeneChip® microarray technology to discover several new genetic variations that may increase the risk of developing Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) by as much as 36 percent.

The results of the project were published in the July 18, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Traditionally, scientists performing genetic association studies have had to focus on a specific subset of genes to replicate findings from initial genome scans.

WTCCC and Cardiogenics researchers used the same genome-wide Affymetrix GeneChip 500K Arrays to replicate two genetic associations from their two separate internal cohort samples, and to identify four new variations. This whole-genome approach to replication increased the statistical power of the project and enabled the team to uncover the new genetic variations associated with CAD. The study found that carriers of one of the variants, which may lead to the development of atherosclerosis, have a 36 percent greater chance of developing CAD.

“This joint analysis of two genome-wide analyses not only identified several new variants for myocardial infarction, which is the leading cause of CAD, but also provides access to a unique database for future studies on genetic association with this phenotype. This database is now available for the benefit of the entire research field,” said Jeanette Erdmann, Ph.D., chief of the molecular genetic laboratory at the Department of Cardiology of the University of Luebeck and member of the Cardiogenics Consortium.

“Microarrays, such as the 500K Array and the newly released SNP Array 6.0, offer remarkable coverage of the genome and increase the possibility of discovering new genes associated with complex diseases such as CAD,” Erdmann added.

“The team at Wellcome Trust and Cardiogenics is part of a growing list of Affymetrix customers from around the world who are using our technology to accelerate genetic research and discovery,” said Mindy Lee-Olsen, senior director of academic marketing at Affymetrix.

“The results of this study illustrate how the Affymetrix genome-wide SNP products are being used to validate the results of studies and identify new genetic associations.”