Published in

eLife Sciences Publications, eLife, (10), 2021

DOI: 10.7554/elife.63115



Export citation

Search in Google Scholar

Genetic association and causal inference converge on hyperglycaemia as a modifiable factor to improve lung function

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

Full text: Download

Red circle
Preprint: archiving forbidden
Green circle
Postprint: archiving allowed
Green circle
Published version: archiving allowed
Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Measures of lung function are heritable, and thus, we sought to utilise genetics to propose drug-repurposing candidates that could improve respiratory outcomes. Lung function measures were found to be genetically correlated with seven druggable biochemical traits, with further evidence of a causal relationship between increased fasting glucose and diminished lung function. Moreover, we developed polygenic scores for lung function specifically within pathways with known drug targets and investigated their relationship with pulmonary phenotypes and gene expression in independent cohorts to prioritise individuals who may benefit from particular drug-repurposing opportunities. A transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) of lung function was then performed which identified several drug–gene interactions with predicted lung function increasing modes of action. Drugs that regulate blood glucose were uncovered through both polygenic scoring and TWAS methodologies. In summary, we provided genetic justification for a number of novel drug-repurposing opportunities that could improve lung function.