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Eur J Hum Genet. 2010 Sep;18(9):1045-53. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2010.62. Epub 2010 May 5.

Genome-wide gene and pathway analysis.

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  • 1Human Genetics Center, School of Public Health, The University of Texas, Houston, TX 77225, USA.

Abstract

Current GWAS have primarily focused on testing association of single SNPs. To only test for association of single SNPs has limited utility and is insufficient to dissect the complex genetic structure of many common diseases. To meet conceptual and technical challenges raised by GWAS, we suggest gene and pathway-based GWAS as complementary to the current single SNP-based GWAS. This publication develops three statistics for testing association of genes and pathways with disease: linear combination test, quadratic test and decorrelation test, which take correlations among SNPs within a gene or genes within a pathway into account. The null distribution of the suggested statistics is examined and the statistics are applied to GWAS of rheumatoid arthritis in the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium and the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium studies. The preliminary results show that the suggested gene and pathway-based GWAS offer several remarkable features. First, not only can they identify the genes that have large genetic effects, but also they can detect new genes in which each single SNP conferred a small amount of disease risk, and their joint actions can be implicated in the development of diseases. Second, gene and pathway-based analysis can allow the formation of the core of pathway definition of complex diseases and unravel the functional bases of an association finding. Third, replication of association findings at the gene or pathway level is much easier than replication at the individual SNP level.

PMID:
20442747
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2924916
Free PMC Article
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