Molecular Genetics of Cardiovascular Diseases.Cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke etc.) affect a large section of the adult population and are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in many countries including India. Recent studies have documented that although the mortality associated with cardiovascular diseases are declining in the developed countries including Western Europe and North America, the burden of cardiovascular diseases continues to rise in the developing countries including India. Notably, South Asians have a greater prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors than the rest of the World, and India itself is estimated to have more than half of the World’s heart disease patients at present. These diseases not only cause enormous loss of human lives, but also lead to huge health care cost, tremendous economic and social burden, declining national productivity and quality of life.
Our experimental approach involves identification, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of the candidate/susceptibility genes for hypertension and related cardiovascular disease states. We also study the roles of translated protein products of the candidate genes in disease pathogenesis. Additionally, we work on discovering naturally-occurring functional genetic variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes) that may act as risk factors for development of cardiovascular diseases. We investigate at the cellular level (employing cultured cell lines), utilize animal models (genetically modified rodents) and human subjects (cases versus controls) for our various studies. Results from these studies are likely to shed light on the molecular mechanisms and ultimately help to develop diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for management of the cardiovascular diseases.