A Polygenic Approach to the Study of Polygenic Diseases

Scientific Center of Russian Federation Research Institute for Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms "Genetika", 1-st Dorozny proezd, 1, Moscow, Russia, 113545.
Acta Naturae (Impact Factor: 1). 11/2012; 4(3):59-71.
Source: PubMed


Polygenic diseases are caused by the joint contribution of a number of independently acting or interacting polymorphic genes; the individual contribution of each gene may be small or even unnoticeable. The carriage of certain combinations of genes can determine the occurrence of clinically heterogeneous forms of the disease and treatment efficacy. This review describes the approaches used in a polygenic analysis of data in medical genomics, in particular, pharmacogenomics, aimed at identifying the cumulative effect of genes. This effect may result from the summation of gains of different genes or be caused by the epistatic interaction between the genes. Both cases are undoubtedly of great interest in investigating the nature of polygenic diseases. The means that allow one to discriminate between these two possibilities are discussed. The methods for searching for combinations of alleles of different genes associated with the polygenic phenotypic traits of the disease, as well as the methods for presenting and validating the results, are described and compared. An attempt is made to evaluate the applicability of the existing methods to an epistasis analysis. The results obtained by the authors using the APSampler software are described and summarized.


Available from: Alexander V Favorov
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