• Integration of metabolomics, genomics, and immune phenotypes reveals the causal roles of metabolites in disease.

      Chu, Xiaojing; Jaeger, Martin; Beumer, Joep; Bakker, Olivier B; Aguirre-Gamboa, Raul; Oosting, Marije; Smeekens, Sanne P; Moorlag, Simone; Mourits, Vera P; Koeken, Valerie A C M; et al. (BMC, 2021-07-06)
      Background: Recent studies highlight the role of metabolites in immune diseases, but it remains unknown how much of this effect is driven by genetic and non-genetic host factors. Result: We systematically investigate circulating metabolites in a cohort of 500 healthy subjects (500FG) in whom immune function and activity are deeply measured and whose genetics are profiled. Our data reveal that several major metabolic pathways, including the alanine/glutamate pathway and the arachidonic acid pathway, have a strong impact on cytokine production in response to ex vivo stimulation. We also examine the genetic regulation of metabolites associated with immune phenotypes through genome-wide association analysis and identify 29 significant loci, including eight novel independent loci. Of these, one locus (rs174584-FADS2) associated with arachidonic acid metabolism is causally associated with Crohn's disease, suggesting it is a potential therapeutic target. Conclusion: This study provides a comprehensive map of the integration between the blood metabolome and immune phenotypes, reveals novel genetic factors that regulate blood metabolite concentrations, and proposes an integrative approach for identifying new disease treatment targets.
    • IRF7 and RNH1 are modifying factors of HIV-1 reservoirs: a genome-wide association analysis.

      Zhang, Zhenhua; Trypsteen, Wim; Blaauw, Marc; Chu, Xiaojing; Rutsaert, Sofie; Vandekerckhove, Linos; van der Heijden, Wouter; Dos Santos, Jéssica Cristina; Xu, Cheng-Jian; Swertz, Morris A; et al. (BMC, 2021-11-16)
      The analysis resulted in one significant association with CA HIV-1 DNA (rs2613996, P < 5 × 10-8) and two suggestive associations with RNA:DNA ratio (rs7113204 and rs7817589, P < 5 × 10-7). Then, we prioritized PTDSS2, IRF7, RNH1, and DEAF1 as potential HIV-1 reservoir modifiers and validated that higher expressions of IRF7 and RNH1 were accompanied by rs7113204-G. Moreover, RNA:DNA ratio, indicating relative HIV-1 transcription activity, was lower in PLHIV carrying this variant.
    • Multi-Omics Approaches in Immunological Research.

      Chu, Xiaojing; Zhang, Bowen; Koeken, Valerie A C M; Gupta, Manoj Kumar; Li, Yang; CiiM, Zentrum für individualisierte Infektionsmedizin, Feodor-Lynen-Str.7, 30625 Hannover. (2021-06-11)
      The immune system plays a vital role in health and disease, and is regulated through a complex interactive network of many different immune cells and mediators. To understand the complexity of the immune system, we propose to apply a multi-omics approach in immunological research. This review provides a complete overview of available methodological approaches for the different omics data layers relevant for immunological research, including genetics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and cellomics. Thereafter, we describe the various methods for data analysis as well as how to integrate different layers of omics data. Finally, we discuss the possible applications of multi-omics studies and opportunities they provide for understanding the complex regulatory networks as well as immune variation in various immune-related diseases.