Influence of dominance, leptokurtosis and pleiotropy of deleterious mutations on quantitative genetic variation at mutation-selection balance.
ABSTRACT In models of maintenance of genetic variance (V (G)) it has often been assumed that mutant alleles act additively. However, experimental data show that the dominance coefficient varies among mutant alleles and those of large effect tend to be recessive. On the basis of empirical knowledge of mutations, a joint-effect model of pleiotropic and real stabilizing selection that includes dominance is constructed and analyzed. It is shown that dominance can dramatically alter the prediction of equilibrium V (G). Analysis indicates that for the situations where mutations are more recessive for fitness than for a quantitative trait, as supported by the available data, the joint-effect model predicts a significantly higher V (G) than does an additive model. Importantly, for what seem to be realistic distributions of mutational effects (i.e., many mutants may not affect the quantitative trait substantially but are likely to affect fitness), the observed high levels of genetic variation in the quantitative trait under strong apparent stabilizing selection can be generated. This investigation supports the hypothesis that most V (G) comes from the alleles nearly neutral for fitness in heterozygotes while apparent stabilizing selection is contributed mainly by the alleles of large effect on the quantitative trait. Thus considerations of dominance coefficients of mutations lend further support to our previous conclusion that mutation-selection balance is a plausible mechanism of the maintenance of the genetic variance in natural populations.
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ABSTRACT: Currently, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with minor allele frequency (MAF) of >5% are preferentially used in case-control association studies of common human diseases. Recent technological developments enable inexpensive and accurate genotyping of a large number of SNPs in thousands of cases and controls, which can provide adequate statistical power to analyze SNPs with MAF <5%. Our purpose was to determine whether evaluating rare SNPs in case-control association studies could help identify causal SNPs for common diseases. We suggest that slightly deleterious SNPs (sdSNPs) subjected to weak purifying selection are major players in genetic control of susceptibility to common diseases. We compared the distribution of MAFs of synonymous SNPs with that of nonsynonymous SNPs (1) predicted to be benign, (2) predicted to be possibly damaging, and (3) predicted to be probably damaging by PolyPhen. Our sources of data were the International HapMap Project, ENCODE, and the SeattleSNPs project. We found that the MAF distribution of possibly and probably damaging SNPs was shifted toward rare SNPs compared with the MAF distribution of benign and synonymous SNPs that are not likely to be functional. We also found an inverse relationship between MAF and the proportion of nsSNPs predicted to be protein disturbing. On the basis of this relationship, we estimated the joint probability that a SNP is functional and would be detected as significant in a case-control study. Our analysis suggests that including rare SNPs in genotyping platforms will advance identification of causal SNPs in case-control association studies, particularly as sample sizes increase.The American Journal of Human Genetics 01/2008; 82(1):100-12. · 10.60 Impact Factor