Date: 24 Apr 2012

Genetic Variability in Molecular Responses to Chemical Exposure

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Individuals differ in their response to environmental exposures. In the following, we describe examples and paradigms of studying heritable differences in response to exposure—commonly known as “gene–environment interaction” or “ecogenetics”—and their relation to disease etiology and susceptibility. Our discussion is framed in three parts. In the first, we describe replicated examples of studies that have typified the field, single genetic variant, and exposure associations to disease. Second, we describe how studies have scaled up search for interaction using genome-wide measurement modalities, bioinformatics, and model organisms. Finally, we discuss a more comprehensive representation of chemical exposures as the “envirome” and how we may use the envirome to examine interplay between genetics and the environment.