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Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Jul 27;44(13):6046-54. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw500. Epub 2016 Jun 6.

How far from the SNP may the causative genes be?

Author information

1
The Goodman faculty of life sciences, Nanotechnology building, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel.
2
The Goodman faculty of life sciences, Nanotechnology building, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel yanay@ofranlab.org.

Abstract

While GWAS identify many disease-associated SNPs, using them to decipher disease mechanisms is hindered by the difficulty in mapping SNPs to genes. Most SNPs are in non-coding regions and it is often hard to identify the genes they implicate. To explore how far the SNP may be from the affected genes we used a pathway-based approach. We found that affected genes are often up to 2 Mbps away from the associated SNP, and are not necessarily the closest genes to the SNP. Existing approaches for mapping SNPs to genes leave many SNPs unmapped to genes and reveal only 86 significant phenotype-pathway associations for all known GWAS hits combined. Using the pathway-based approach we propose here allows mapping of virtually all SNPs to genes and reveals 435 statistically significant phenotype-pathway associations. In search for mechanisms that may explain the relationships between SNPs and distant genes, we found that SNPs that are mapped to distant genes have significantly more large insertions/deletions around them than other SNPs, suggesting that these SNPs may sometimes be markers for large insertions/deletions that may affect large genomic regions.

PMID:
27269582
PMCID:
PMC5291268
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gkw500
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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