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    ABSTRACT: The problem of testing for genotype-phenotype association with loci on the X chromosome in mixed-sex samples has received surprisingly little attention. A simple test can be constructed by counting alleles, with males contributing a single allele and females 2. This approach does assume not only Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in the population from which the study subjects are sampled but also, perhaps, an unrealistic alternative hypothesis. This paper proposes 1 and 2 degree-of-freedom tests for association which do not assume Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and which treat males as homozygous females. The proposed method remains valid when phenotype varies between sexes, provided the allele frequency does not, and avoids the loss of power resulting from stratification by sex in such circumstances.
    Biostatistics 05/2008; 9(4):593-600.
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) are being actively and extensively used to examine the expression of specific genes and genome-wide expression profiles, including allele specific expression assays. However, it has recently been shown that approximately 10% of human genes exhibit random patterns of monoallelic expression within single clones of LCLs. Consequently allelic imbalance studies could be significantly compromised if bulk populations of donor cells are clonal, or near clonal. Here, using X chromosome inactivation as a readout, we confirm and quantify widespread near monoclonality in two independent sets of cell lines. Consequently, we recommend where possible the use of bulk, non cell line, ex vivo cells for allele specific expression assays.
    PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(8):e2966.
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    ABSTRACT: We performed linkage and family-based association analysis across chromosomes 1-22 in Replicates 1-5 of the Genetic Analysis Workshop 15 simulated data. Linkage analysis was performed using the Kong and Cox allele-sharing test as implemented in the program Merlin. Association analysis was performed using the transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT). A region on chromosome 6 was consistently highlighted as showing significant linkage to and association with the disease trait. We focused in on this region and performed fine-mapping using stepwise regression approaches using the case/control and family-based data. In this region, we also applied several new methods, implemented in the computer programs LAMP and Graphminer, respectively, that have recently been proposed for association analysis with family and/or case/control data. All methods confirmed the highly significant associations previously observed. Differentiating between potentially causal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and other non-causal loci (associated with disease merely due to linkage disequilibrium) proved to be problematic. However, in most replicates we did identify two SNPs (either SNPs 3437 and 3439 from the dense SNP set, or SNPs 153 and 3437 from the combined non-dense/dense SNP set) that together explain most of the observed disease association in the DR/C locus region, and an additional SNP (3931 or 3933) that accounts for the association 5 cM away at locus D.
    BMC proceedings 02/2007; 1 Suppl 1:S23.
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    ABSTRACT: It is usually assumed that detection of a disease susceptability gene via marker polymorphisms in linkage disequilibrium with it is facilitated by consideration of marker haplotypes. However, capture of the marker haplotype information requires resolution of gametic phase, and this must usually be inferred statistically. Recently, we questioned the value of the marker haplotype information, and suggested that certain analyses of multivariate marker data, not based on haplotypes explicitly and not requiring resolution of gametic phase, are often more powerful than analyses based on haplotypes. Here, we review this work and assess more carefully the situations in which our conclusions might apply. We also relate these analyses to alternative approaches to haplotype analysis, namely those based on haplotype similarity and those inspired by cladistics.
    Genetic Epidemiology 01/2005; 27(4):415-28.
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    ABSTRACT: Sustainable DNA resources and reliable high-throughput genotyping methods are required for large-scale, long-term genetic association studies. In the genetic dissection of common disease it is now recognised that thousands of samples and hundreds of thousands of markers, mostly single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), will have to be analysed. In order to achieve these aims, both an ability to boost quantities of archived DNA and to genotype at low costs are highly desirable. We have investigated phi29 polymerase Multiple Displacement Amplification (MDA)-generated DNA product (MDA product), in combination with highly multiplexed BeadArray genotyping technology. As part of a large-scale BeadArray genotyping experiment we made a direct comparison of genotyping data generated from MDA product with that from genomic DNA (gDNA) templates. Eighty-six MDA product and the corresponding 86 gDNA samples were genotyped at 345 SNPs and a concordance rate of 98.8% was achieved. The BeadArray sample exclusion rate, blind to sample type, was 10.5% for MDA product compared to 5.8% for gDNA. We conclude that the BeadArray technology successfully produces high quality genotyping data from MDA product. The combination of these technologies improves the feasibility and efficiency of mapping common disease susceptibility genes despite limited stocks of gDNA samples.
    BMC Biotechnology 08/2004; 4:15.
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    ABSTRACT: Large-scale discovery and validation of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) facilitates indirect association mapping. It has recently been estimated that, in Europeans, 77% of all SNPs with frequency of 10% or more could be ascertained through linkage disequilibrium (LD) by genotyping variants in the database dbSNP. Using a sampling approach from 73 genes with near complete SNP maps, we show here the usefulness of SNP maps at different densities and the large variability of SNP coverage in different genomic regions. While even sparse SNP maps are of some value to genetic mapping, in order to undertake disease association studies providing at least 80% of SNPs in 90% of genes, much denser maps need to be constructed, at more than one SNP per kb in some regions.
    Human Molecular Genetics 01/2004; 12(23):3145-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Variations in the interleukin 4 receptor A (IL4RA) gene have been reported to be associated with atopy, asthma, and allergy, which may occur less frequently in subjects with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Since atopy shows a humoral immune reactivity pattern, and T1D results from a cellular (T lymphocyte) response, we hypothesised that alleles predisposing to atopy could be protective for T1D and transmitted less often than the expected 50% from heterozygous parents to offspring with T1D. We genotyped seven exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the -3223 C> T SNP in the putative promoter region of IL4RA in up to 3475 T1D families, including 1244 Finnish T1D families. Only the -3223 C> T SNP showed evidence of negative association ( P = 0.014). There was some evidence for an interaction between -3233 C> T and the T1D locus IDDM2 in the insulin gene region ( P = 0.001 in the combined and P = 0.02 in the Finnish data set). We, therefore, cannot rule out a genetic effect of IL4RA in T1D, but it is not a major one.
    Genes and Immunity 10/2003;
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    ABSTRACT: Patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the human genome are beginning to be characterized, with a paucity of haplotype diversity in "LD blocks," interspersed by apparent "hot spots" of recombination. Previously, we cloned and physically characterized the low-density lipoprotein-receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5) gene. Here, we have extensively analysed both LRP5 and its flanking three genes, spanning 269 kb, for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and we present a comprehensive SNP map comprising 95 polymorphisms. Analysis revealed high levels of recombination across LRP5, including a hot-spot region from intron 1 to intron 7 of LRP5, where there are 109 recombinants/Mb (4882 meioses), in contrast to flanking regions of 14.6 recombinants/Mb. This region of high recombination could be delineated into three to four hot spots, one within a 601-bp interval. For LRP5, three haplotype blocks were identified, flanked by the hot spots. Each LD block comprised over 80% common haplotypes, concurring with a previous study of 14 genes that showed that common haplotypes account for at least 80% of all haplotypes. The identification of hot spots in between these LD blocks provides additional evidence that LD blocks are separated by areas of higher recombination.
    Genome Research 06/2003; 13(5):845-55.
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    ABSTRACT: In the 'indirect' method of detecting genetic associations between a trait and a DNA variant, we type several markers in a gene or chromosome region of linkage disequilibrium. If there is association between markers and the trait, we presume the existence of one or more causal polymorphisms in the region. In order to obtain a sufficiently dense set of markers it will almost always be necessary to use single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Although there is an emerging literature on methods for choosing an optimal set of 'haplotype tag SNPs' (htSNPs) to detect association between a genetic region and a trait, less attention has been given to the problem of how such studies should be analysed when completed, and how the initial data which was used to select the htSNPs should be incorporated into the analysis. This paper discusses this problem for both population- and family-based association studies. The role of the R2 measure of association between a causal locus and various methods of scoring of marker haplotypes is highlighted. In most cases, the simplest method of scoring (locus coding), which does not require phase resolution, is shown generally to be more powerful than scoring methods that include haplotype information. A new 'multi-locus TDT' is also proposed.
    Human Heredity 02/2003; 56(1-3):18-31.
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    ABSTRACT: Genotyping costs still preclude analysis of a comprehensive SNP map in thousands of individual subjects in the search for disease susceptibility loci. Allele frequency estimation in DNA pools from cases and controls offers a partial solution, but variance in these estimates will result in some loss of statistical power. However, there has been no systematic attempt to quantify the several sources of error in previous studies. We report an analysis of the magnitude of variance components of each experimental stage in DNA pooling studies, and find that a design based on the formation of numerous small pools of approximately 50 individuals is superior to the formation of fewer, larger pools and the replication of any of the experimental stages. We conclude that this approach may retain an effective sample size greater than 68% of the true sample size, whilst offering a 60-fold reduction in DNA usage and a greater than 30-fold saving in cost, compared to individual genotyping. The possibility of combining pooling with informed selection of haplotype tag SNPs is also considered. In this way further savings in efficiency may be possible by using pooled allele frequency estimates to infer haplotype frequencies and hence, allele frequencies at untyped markers.
    Annals of Human Genetics 12/2002; 66(Pt 5-6):393-405.
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