Analysing biological pathways in genome-wide association studies.
ABSTRACT Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have typically focused on the analysis of single markers, which often lacks the power to uncover the relatively small effect sizes conferred by most genetic variants. Recently, pathway-based approaches have been developed, which use prior biological knowledge on gene function to facilitate more powerful analysis of GWA study data sets. These approaches typically examine whether a group of related genes in the same functional pathway are jointly associated with a trait of interest. Here we review the development of pathway-based approaches for GWA studies, discuss their practical use and caveats, and suggest that pathway-based approaches may also be useful for future GWA studies with sequencing data.
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ABSTRACT: The molecular biology revolution led to an intense focus on the study of interactions between DNA, RNA and protein biosynthesis in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the cell. One consequence of this focus was a reduced attention to whole-system physiology, making it difficult to link molecular biology to clinical medicine. Equipped with the tools emerging from the genomics revolution, we are now in a position to link molecular states to physiological ones through the reverse engineering of molecular networks that sense DNA and environmental perturbations and, as a result, drive variations in physiological states associated with disease.Nature 10/2009; 461(7261):218-23. · 38.60 Impact Factor
Article: Extensions to gene set enrichment.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) has been developed recently to capture changes in the expression of pre-defined sets of genes. We propose number of extensions to GSEA, including the use of different statistics to describe the association between genes and phenotypes of interest. We make use of dimension reduction procedures, such as principle component analysis, to identify gene sets with correlated expression. We also address issues that arise when gene sets overlap. Our proposals extend the range of applicability of GSEA and allow for adjustments based on other covariates. We have provided a well-defined procedure to address interpretation issues that can raise when gene sets have substantial overlap. We have shown how standard dimension reduction methods, such as PCA, can be used to help further interpret GSEA. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.Bioinformatics 03/2007; 23(3):306-13. · 5.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Published genomewide association (GWA) studies typically analyze and report single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their neighboring genes with the strongest evidence of association (the "most-significant SNPs/genes" approach), while paying little attention to the rest. Borrowing ideas from microarray data analysis, we demonstrate that pathway-based approaches, which jointly consider multiple contributing factors in the same pathway, might complement the most-significant SNPs/genes approach and provide additional insights into interpretation of GWA data on complex diseases.The American Journal of Human Genetics 11/2007; 81(6):1278-83. · 11.20 Impact Factor