Stockholm-Tartu Atherosclerosis Reverse Network Engineering Task (STARNET)
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STARNET is a genetics of RNA expression study of multiple disease-relevant tissues obtained from living patients with cardiovascular disease. Tissue samples are obtained from blood, atherosclerotic-lesion-free internal mammary artery (MAM) and atherosclerotic aortic root (AOR), subcutaneous fat (SF), visceral abdominal fat (VAF), skeletal muscle (SKLM), and liver (LIV) during open thorax surgery of 600 coronary artery disease (CAD) patients. All patients gave written informed consent. The inclusion criterion was eligibility for coronary artery by-pass graft (CABG) surgery. Patients with other severe systemic diseases, such as active systemic inflammatory disease or cancer, were excluded. The primary clinical end points were the SYNTAX score based on the extent of coronary atherosclerosis assessed from preoperative angiograms. The STARNET patients are Caucasians (31% females); 32% had diabetes, 75% had hypertension, and 67% had hyperlipidemia; and 33% had an MI before age 60. By New York Heart Association criteria, 45% were class I, 42% class II, 9% class III, and 1% class IV.
TYPES AND RNA SEQUENCING: 566 DNA genotype and 3577 RNA-seq profiles from seven tissues from 600 STARNET CABG patients passed quality control (on average 511 RNA-seq profiles/tissue). DNA was genotyped with the OmniExpress Exome array (Illumina, ~900k SNPs) and imputed to a total of 14,098,063 DNA variant calls (6,245,505 with minor allele frequency >5%). The STARNET subjects mainly overlap with Caucasian of Northern European (Finnish) descent. RNA sequencing was performed using the HighSeq2000 platform, poly-A (LIV, SKLM, VAF, SF and blood) and ribo-zero (AOR, MAM) protocols with 50-100 bp read lengths, single end to 15-30 million read depth.
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