With an ever-increasing pool of accessible information and new tools to mine huge data sets, biology and medicine are moving from intervention to prevention. Omics sciences such as genomics and lipidomics are strong contributors to this paradigm shift. Being major players in cardiovascular disease research, genomics and lipidomics make a great multiomics pair. It matches the capacity to identify genetic predestinations with one or multiple snapshots of the lipid metabolic status to investigate cardiovascular diseases.
A genomics-lipidomics multiomics approach
Genomics, the systems biology of genes delivers genome mapping and editing data, illuminates structure and function relationships and gives insights into evolutionary processes. The most important outcome is the DNA sequence. In analogy to genomics, lipidomics is the study of lipids and lipid metabolites in biological systems. Targeting thousands of chemically distinct lipid molecules, lipidomics unveils the many different biological functions of lipids which range from storing energy, serving as hormones and signaling molecules to forming the cell membrane.
Blood plasma lipids are a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which are the top two of the leading causes of death globally. Similarly, the risk for cardiovascular diseases is heritable and must therefore be linked to the DNA – at least to some extent. Still, the genetic architecture behind detailed blood plasma lipid profiles is unknown. Thus, being major drivers in cardiovascular disease research, genomics and lipidomics make a great multiomics pair.
Researchers from Finland collaborated with scientists from Lipotype for a joint multiomics project on cardiovascular disease. They aimed to understand to which extent a lipid profile is passed from one generation to the next one and how genes, lipids and, cardiovascular diseases are related to each other.