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Proteome-by-phenome Mendelian Randomisation detects 38 proteins with causal roles in human diseases and traits

By Andrew D Bretherick, Oriol Canela-Xandri, Peter K. Joshi, David W Clark, Konrad Rawlik, Thibaud S. Boutin, Yanni Zeng, Carmen Amador, Pau Navarro, Igor Rudan, Alan F. Wright, Harry Campbell, Veronique Vitart, Caroline Hayward, James F Wilson, Albert Tenesa, Chris P Ponting, J Kenneth Baillie, Chris Haley

Posted 10 May 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/631747 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008785)

Target identification remains a crucial challenge in drug development. To enable unbiased detection of proteins and pathways that have a causal role in disease pathogenesis or progression, we propose proteome-by-phenome Mendelian Randomisation (P2MR). We first detected genetic variants associated with plasma concentration of 249 proteins. We then used 64 replicated variants in two-sample Mendelian Randomisation to quantify evidence of a causal role for each protein across 846 phenotypes: this yielded 509 robust protein-outcome links. P2MR provides substantial promise for drug target prioritisation. We provide confirmatory evidence for a causal role for the proteins encoded at multiple cardiovascular disease risk loci (FGF5, IL6R, LPL, LTA), and discovered that intestinal fatty acid binding protein (FABP2) contributes to disease pathogenesis. Additionally, we find and replicate evidence for a causal role of tyrosine-protein phosphatase non-receptor type substrate 1 (SHPS1; SIRPA) in schizophrenia. Our results provide specific prediction of the effects of changes of plasma protein concentration on complex phenotypes in humans.

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