Rare-Variant Extensions of the Transmission Disequilibrium Test: Application to Autism Exome Sequence Data

The American Journal of Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 10.93). 12/2013; 94(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.11.021
Source: PubMed


Many population-based rare-variant (RV) association tests, which aggregate variants across a region, have been developed to analyze sequence data. A drawback of analyzing population-based data is that it is difficult to adequately control for population substructure and admixture, and spurious associations can occur. For RVs, this problem can be substantial, because the spectrum of rare variation can differ greatly between populations. A solution is to analyze parent-child trio data, by using the transmission disequilibrium test (TDT), which is robust to population substructure and admixture. We extended the TDT to test for RV associations using four commonly used methods. We demonstrate that for all RV-TDT methods, using proper analysis strategies, type I error is well-controlled even when there are high levels of population substructure or admixture. For trio data, unlike for population-based data, RV allele-counting association methods will lead to inflated type I errors. However type I errors can be properly controlled by obtaining p values empirically through haplotype permutation. The power of the RV-TDT methods was evaluated and compared to the analysis of case-control data with a number of genetic and disease models. The RV-TDT was also used to analyze exome data from 199 Simons Simplex Collection autism trios and an association was observed with variants in ABCA7. Given the problem of adequately controlling for population substructure and admixture in RV association studies and the growing number of sequence-based trio studies, the RV-TDT is extremely beneficial to elucidate the involvement of RVs in the etiology of complex traits.

Download full-text


Available from: Biao Li, Sep 01, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite the extensive discovery of trait- and disease-associated common variants, much of the genetic contribution to complex traits remains unexplained. Rare variants can explain additional disease risk or trait variability. An increasing number of studies are underway to identify trait- and disease-associated rare variants. In this review, we provide an overview of statistical issues in rare-variant association studies with a focus on study designs and statistical tests. We present the design and analysis pipeline of rare-variant studies and review cost-effective sequencing designs and genotyping platforms. We compare various gene- or region-based association tests, including burden tests, variance-component tests, and combined omnibus tests, in terms of their assumptions and performance. Also discussed are the related topics of meta-analysis, population-stratification adjustment, genotype imputation, follow-up studies, and heritability due to rare variants. We provide guidelines for analysis and discuss some of the challenges inherent in these studies and future research directions.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2014 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Motivation: Individuals in each family are genetically more homogeneous than unrelated individuals, and family-based designs are often recommended for the analysis of rare variants. However, despite the importance of family-based samples analysis, few statistical methods for rare variant association analysis are available. Results: In this report, we propose a FAmily-based Rare Variant Association Test (FARVAT). FARVAT is based on the quasi-likelihood of whole families, and is statistically and computationally efficient for the extended families. FARVAT assumed that families were ascertained with the disease status of family members, and incorporation of the estimated genetic relationship matrix to the proposed method provided robustness under the presence of the population substructure. Depending on the choice of working matrix, our method could be a burden test or a variance component test, and could be extended to the SKAT-O-type statistic. FARVAT was implemented in C+ +, and application of the proposed method to schizophrenia data and simulated data for GAW17 illustrated its practical importance.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Bioinformatics
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Family-based study design will play a key role in identifying rare causal variants, because rare causal variants can be enriched in families with multiple affected subjects. Furthermore, different from population-based studies, family studies are robust to bias induced by population substructure. It is well known that rare causal variants are difficult to detect from single-locus tests. Therefore, burden tests and non-burden tests have been developed, by combining signals of multiple variants in a chromosomal region or a functional unit. This inevitably incorporates some neutral variants into the test statistics, which can dilute the power of statistical methods. To guard against the noise caused by neutral variants, we here propose an 'adaptive combination of P-values method' (abbreviated as 'ADA'). This method combines per-site P-values of variants that are more likely to be causal. Variants with large P-values (which are more likely to be neutral variants) are discarded from the combined statistic. In addition to performing extensive simulation studies, we applied these tests to the Genetic Analysis Workshop 17 data sets, where real sequence data were generated according to the 1000 Genomes Project. Compared with some existing methods, ADA is more robust to the inclusion of neutral variants. This is a merit especially when dichotomous traits are analyzed. However, there are some limitations for ADA. First, it is more computationally intensive. Second, pedigree structures and founders' sequence data are required for the permutation procedure. Third, unrelated controls cannot be included. We here show that, for family-based studies, the application of ADA is limited to dichotomous trait analyses with full pedigree information.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · PLoS ONE
Show more