Integration of Mendelian randomisation and systems biology models to identify novel blood-based biomarkers for stroke

Tania Islam, Md Rezanur Rahman, Asaduzzaman Khan, Mohammad Ali Moni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Stroke is the second largest cause of mortality in the world. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified some genetic variants associated with stroke risk, but their putative functional causal genes are unknown. Hence, we aimed to identify putative functional causal gene biomarkers of stroke risk. We used a summary-based Mendelian randomisation (SMR) approach to identify the pleiotropic associations of genetically regulated traits (i.e., gene expression and DNA methylation) with stroke risk. Using SMR approach, we integrated cis-expression quantitative loci (cis-eQTLs) and cis-methylation quantitative loci (cis-mQTLs) data with GWAS summary statistics of stroke. We also utilised heterogeneity in dependent instruments (HEIDI) test to distinguish pleiotropy from linkage from the observed associations identified through SMR analysis. Our integrative SMR analyses and HEIDI test revealed 45 candidate biomarker genes (FDR < 0.05; PHEIDI > 0.01) that were pleiotropically or potentially causally associated with stroke risk. Of those candidate biomarker genes, 10 genes (HTRA1, PMF1, FBN2, C9orf84, COL4A1, BAG4, NEK6, SH2B3, SH3PXD2A, ACAD10) were differentially expressed in genome-wide blood transcriptomics data from stroke and healthy individuals (FDR < 0.05). Functional enrichment analysis of the identified candidate biomarker genes revealed gene ontologies and pathways involved in stroke, including “cell aging”, “metal ion binding” and “oxidative damage”. Based on the evidence of genetically regulated expression of genes through SMR and directly measured expression of genes in blood, our integrative analysis suggests ten genes as blood biomarkers of stroke risk. Furthermore, our study provides a better understanding of the influence of DNA methylation on the expression of genes linked to stroke risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104345
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Early online dateMar 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Integration of Mendelian randomisation and systems biology models to identify novel blood-based biomarkers for stroke'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this