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Genetics. 2012 Jul;191(3):959-67. doi: 10.1534/genetics.112.140277. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

Increasing association mapping power and resolution in mouse genetic studies through the use of meta-analysis for structured populations.

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  • 1Department of Computer Science, Immunology & Molecular Genetic, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

Abstract

Genetic studies in mouse models have played an integral role in the discovery of the mechanisms underlying many human diseases. The primary mode of discovery has been the application of linkage analysis to mouse crosses. This approach results in high power to identify regions that affect traits, but in low resolution, making it difficult to identify the precise genomic location harboring the causal variant. Recently, a panel of mice referred to as the hybrid mouse diversity panel (HMDP) has been developed to overcome this problem. However, power in this panel is limited by the availability of inbred strains. Previous studies have suggested combining results across multiple panels as a means to increase power, but the methods employed may not be well suited to structured populations, such as the HMDP. In this article, we introduce a meta-analysis-based method that may be used to combine HMDP studies with F2 cross studies to gain power, while increasing resolution. Due to the drastically different genetic structure of F2s and the HMDP, the best way to combine two studies for a given SNP depends on the strain distribution pattern in each study. We show that combining results, while accounting for these patterns, leads to increased power and resolution. Using our method to map bone mineral density, we find that two previously implicated loci are replicated with increased significance and that the size of the associated is decreased. We also map HDL cholesterol and show a dramatic increase in the significance of a previously identified result.

PMID:
22505625
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3389987
Free PMC Article
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