Genetic mechanisms of blood pressure (BP) regulation remain poorly defined. Using kidney-specific epigenomic annotations and 3D genome information we generated and validated gene expression prediction models for the purpose of transcriptome-wide association studies in 700 human kidneys. We identified 889 kidney genes associated with BP of which 399 were prioritised as contributors to BP regulation. Imputation of kidney proteome and microRNAome uncovered 97 renal proteins and 11 miRNAs associated with BP. Integration with plasma proteomics and metabolomics illuminated circulating levels of myo-inositol, 4-guanidinobutanoate and angiotensinogen as downstream effectors of several kidney BP genes (SLC5A11, AGMAT, AGT, respectively). We showed that genetically determined reduction in renal expression may mimic the effects of rare loss-of-function variants on kidney mRNA/protein and lead to an increase in BP (e.g., ENPEP). We demonstrated a strong correlation (r = 0.81) in expression of protein-coding genes between cells harvested from urine and the kidney highlighting a diagnostic potential of urinary cell transcriptomics. We uncovered adenylyl cyclase activators as a repurposing opportunity for hypertension and illustrated examples of BP-elevating effects of anticancer drugs (e.g. tubulin polymerisation inhibitors). Collectively, our studies provide new biological insights into genetic regulation of BP with potential to drive clinical translation in hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2359
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2024


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