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Pulm Circ. 2011 Jul-Sep;1(3):305-19. doi: 10.4103/2045-8932.87293.

The genetics of pulmonary arterial hypertension in the post-BMPR2 era.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, US.


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rapidly progressive and fatal disease for which there is an ever-expanding body of genetic and related pathophysiological information on disease pathogenesis. The most common single culprit gene known is BMPR2, and animal models of the disease in several forms exist. There is a wealth of genetic data regarding modifiers of disease expression, penetrance, and severity. Despite the rapid accumulation of data in the last decade, a complete picture of the molecular pathogenesis of PAH leading to novel therapies is lacking. In this review, we attempt to summarize the current understanding of PAH from the genetic perspective. The most recent PAH demographics are discussed. Heritable PAH in the post-BMPR2 era is examined in detail as the most robust model of PAH genetics in both animal models and human pedigrees. Important downstream molecular pathways and modifiers of disease expression are reviewed in light of what is known about PAH pathogenesis. Current and emerging therapies are examined in light of genetic data. The role of genetic testing in PAH in the post-BMPR2 era is discussed. Finally, directions for future investigations that ideally will fulfill the promise of novel therapeutic or preventive strategies are discussed.


BMPR2; heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension; idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension; pulmonary arterial hypertension; right ventricle

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