An evolutionary framework for association testing in resequencing studies.
ABSTRACT: Sequencing technologies are becoming cheap enough to apply to large numbers of study participants and promise to provide new insights into human phenotypes by bringing to light rare and previously unknown genetic variants. We develop a new framework for the analysis of sequence data that incorporates all of the major features of previously proposed approaches, including those focused on allele counts and allele burden, but is both more general and more powerful. We harness population genetic theory to provide prior information on effect sizes and to create a pooling strategy for information from rare variants. Our method, EMMPAT (Evolutionary Mixed Model for Pooled Association Testing), generates a single test per gene (substantially reducing multiple testing concerns), facilitates graphical summaries, and improves the interpretation of results by allowing calculation of attributable variance. Simulations show that, relative to previously used approaches, our method increases the power to detect genes that affect phenotype when natural selection has kept alleles with large effect sizes rare. We demonstrate our approach on a population-based re-sequencing study of association between serum triglycerides and variation in ANGPTL4.
Project description:Resequencing genes provides the opportunity to assess the full spectrum of variants that influence complex traits. Here we report the first application of resequencing to a large population (n = 3,551) to examine the role of the adipokine ANGPTL4 in lipid metabolism. Nonsynonymous variants in ANGPTL4 were more prevalent in individuals with triglyceride levels in the lowest quartile than in individuals with levels in the highest quartile (P = 0.016). One variant (E40K), present in approximately 3% of European Americans, was associated with significantly lower plasma levels of triglyceride and higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in European Americans from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study and in Danes from the Copenhagen City Heart Study. The ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous variants was higher in European Americans than in African Americans (4:1 versus 1.3:1), suggesting population-specific relaxation of purifying selection. Thus, resequencing of ANGPTL4 in a multiethnic population allowed analysis of the phenotypic effects of both rare and common variants while taking advantage of genetic variation arising from ethnic differences in population history.
Project description:Deep sequencing will soon generate comprehensive sequence information in large disease samples. Although the power to detect association with an individual rare variant is limited, pooling variants by gene or pathway into a composite test provides an alternative strategy for identifying susceptibility genes. We describe a statistical method for detecting association of multiple rare variants in protein-coding genes with a quantitative or dichotomous trait. The approach is based on the regression of phenotypic values on individuals' genotype scores subject to a variable allele-frequency threshold, incorporating computational predictions of the functional effects of missense variants. Statistical significance is assessed by permutation testing with variable thresholds. We used a rigorous population-genetics simulation framework to evaluate the power of the method, and we applied the method to empirical sequencing data from three disease studies.
Project description:The discovery of low-frequency coding variants affecting the risk of coronary artery disease has facilitated the identification of therapeutic targets.Through DNA genotyping, we tested 54,003 coding-sequence variants covering 13,715 human genes in up to 72,868 patients with coronary artery disease and 120,770 controls who did not have coronary artery disease. Through DNA sequencing, we studied the effects of loss-of-function mutations in selected genes.We confirmed previously observed significant associations between coronary artery disease and low-frequency missense variants in the genes LPA and PCSK9. We also found significant associations between coronary artery disease and low-frequency missense variants in the genes SVEP1 (p.D2702G; minor-allele frequency, 3.60%; odds ratio for disease, 1.14; P=4.2×10(-10)) and ANGPTL4 (p.E40K; minor-allele frequency, 2.01%; odds ratio, 0.86; P=4.0×10(-8)), which encodes angiopoietin-like 4. Through sequencing of ANGPTL4, we identified 9 carriers of loss-of-function mutations among 6924 patients with myocardial infarction, as compared with 19 carriers among 6834 controls (odds ratio, 0.47; P=0.04); carriers of ANGPTL4 loss-of-function alleles had triglyceride levels that were 35% lower than the levels among persons who did not carry a loss-of-function allele (P=0.003). ANGPTL4 inhibits lipoprotein lipase; we therefore searched for mutations in LPL and identified a loss-of-function variant that was associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease (p.D36N; minor-allele frequency, 1.9%; odds ratio, 1.13; P=2.0×10(-4)) and a gain-of-function variant that was associated with protection from coronary artery disease (p.S447*; minor-allele frequency, 9.9%; odds ratio, 0.94; P=2.5×10(-7)).We found that carriers of loss-of-function mutations in ANGPTL4 had triglyceride levels that were lower than those among noncarriers; these mutations were also associated with protection from coronary artery disease. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).
Project description:High-density array-based genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are complemented by exome sequencing and whole-genome resequencing-based association studies. Here we present a composite resequencing-based genome-wide association study (CR-GWAS) strategy that systematically exploits collective biological information and analytical tools for a robust analysis. We showcased the utility of this strategy by using Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) resequencing data. Bioinformatic predictions of biological function alteration at each locus were integrated into the process of association testing of both common and rare variants for complex traits with a suite of statistics. Significant signals were then filtered with a priori candidate loci generated from genome database and gene network models to obtain a posteriori candidate loci. A probabilistic gene network (AraNet) that interrogates network neighborhoods of genes was then used to expand the filtering power to examine the significant testing signals. Using this strategy, we confirmed the known true positives and identified several new promising associations. Promising genes (AP1, FCA, FRI, FLC, FLM, SPL5, FY, and DCL2) were shown to control for flowering time through either common variants or rare variants within a diverse set of Arabidopsis accessions. Although many of these candidate genes were cloned earlier with mutational studies, identifying their allele variation contribution to overall phenotypic variation among diverse natural accessions is critical. Our rare allele testing established a greater number of connections than previous analyses in which this issue was not addressed. More importantly, our results demonstrated the potential of integrating various biological, statistical, and bioinformatic tools into complex trait dissection.
Project description:Common variation in over 100 genes has been implicated in the risk of developing asthma, but the contribution of rare variants to asthma susceptibility remains largely unexplored. We selected nine genes that showed the strongest signatures of weak purifying selection from among 53 candidate asthma-associated genes, and we sequenced the coding exons and flanking noncoding regions in 450 asthmatic cases and 515 nonasthmatic controls. We observed an overall excess of p values <0.05 (p = 0.02), and rare variants in four genes (AGT, DPP10, IKBKAP, and IL12RB1) contributed to asthma susceptibility among African Americans. Rare variants in IL12RB1 were also associated with asthma susceptibility among European Americans, despite the fact that the majority of rare variants in IL12RB1 were specific to either one of the populations. The combined evidence of association with rare noncoding variants in IL12RB1 remained significant (p = 3.7 × 10(-4)) after correcting for multiple testing. Overall, the contribution of rare variants to asthma susceptibility was predominantly due to noncoding variants in sequences flanking the exons, although nonsynonymous rare variants in DPP10 and in IL12RB1 were associated with asthma in African Americans and European Americans, respectively. This study provides evidence that rare variants contribute to asthma susceptibility. Additional studies are required for testing whether prioritizing genes for resequencing on the basis of signatures of purifying selection is an efficient means of identifying novel rare variants that contribute to complex disease.
Project description:Understanding the role of rare variants is important in elucidating the genetic basis of human disease. Negative selection can cause rare variants to have larger per-allele effect sizes than common variants. Here, we develop a method to estimate the minor allele frequency (MAF) dependence of SNP effect sizes. We use a model in which per-allele effect sizes have variance proportional to [p(1 - p)]α, where p is the MAF and negative values of α imply larger effect sizes for rare variants. We estimate α for 25 UK Biobank diseases and complex traits. All traits produce negative α estimates, with best-fit mean of -0.38 (s.e. 0.02) across traits. Despite larger rare variant effect sizes, rare variants (MAF < 1%) explain less than 10% of total SNP-heritability for most traits analyzed. Using evolutionary modeling and forward simulations, we validate the α model of MAF-dependent trait effects and assess plausible values of relevant evolutionary parameters.
Project description:Common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit genes have previously been associated with measures of nicotine dependence. We investigated the contribution of common SNPs and rare single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in nAChR genes to Fagerström test for nicotine dependence (FTND) scores in treatment-seeking smokers. Exons of 10 genes were resequenced with next-generation sequencing technology in 448 European-American participants of a smoking cessation trial, and CHRNB2 and CHRNA4 were resequenced by Sanger technology to improve sequence coverage. A total of 214 SNP/SNVs were identified, of which 19.2% were excluded from analyses because of reduced completion rate, 73.9% had minor allele frequencies <5%, and 48.1% were novel relative to dbSNP build 129. We tested associations of 173 SNP/SNVs with the FTND score using data obtained from 430 individuals (18 were excluded because of reduced completion rate) using linear regression for common, the cohort allelic sum test and the weighted sum statistic for rare, and the multivariate distance matrix regression method for both common and rare SNP/SNVs. Association testing with common SNPs with adjustment for correlated tests within each gene identified a significant association with two CHRNB2 SNPs, eg, the minor allele of rs2072660 increased the mean FTND score by 0.6 Units (P=0.01). We observed a significant evidence for association with the FTND score of common and rare SNP/SNVs at CHRNA5 and CHRNB2, and of rare SNVs at CHRNA4. Both common and/or rare SNP/SNVs from multiple nAChR subunit genes are associated with the FTND score in this sample of treatment-seeking smokers.
Project description:Rationale: Several common and rare genetic variants have been associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive fibrotic condition that is localized to the lung. Objectives: To develop an integrated understanding of the rare and common variants located in multiple loci that have been reported to contribute to the risk of disease. Methods: We performed deep targeted resequencing (3.69 Mb of DNA) in cases (n?=?3,624) and control subjects (n?=?4,442) across genes and regions previously associated with disease. We tested for associations between disease and 1) individual common variants via logistic regression and 2) groups of rare variants via sequence kernel association tests. Measurements and Main Results: Statistically significant common variant association signals occurred in all 10 of the regions chosen based on genome-wide association studies. The strongest risk variant is the MUC5B promoter variant rs35705950, with an odds ratio of 5.45 (95% confidence interval, 4.91-6.06) for one copy of the risk allele and 18.68 (95% confidence interval, 13.34-26.17) for two copies of the risk allele (P?=?9.60?×?10-295). In addition to identifying for the first time that rare variation in FAM13A is associated with disease, we confirmed the role of rare variation in the TERT and RTEL1 gene regions in the risk of IPF, and found that the FAM13A and TERT regions have independent common and rare variant signals. Conclusions: A limited number of common and rare variants contribute to the risk of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in each of the resequencing regions, and these genetic variants focus on biological mechanisms of host defense and cell senescence.
Project description:Since it has been claimed that rare variants with extremely small allele frequency play a crucial role in complex traits, there is great demand for the development of a powerful test for detecting these variants. However, due to the extremely low frequencies of rare variants, common statistical testing methods do not work well, which has motivated recent extensive research on developing an efficient testing procedure for rare variant effects. Many studies have suggested effective testing procedures with reasonably high power under some presumed assumptions of parametric statistical models. However, if the parametric assumptions are violated, these tests are possibly under-powered. In this paper, we develop an optimal, powerful statistical test called the aggregated conditional score test (ACST) for simultaneously testing M rare variant effects without restrictive parametric assumptions. The proposed test uses a test statistic aggregating the conditional score statistics of effect sizes of M rare variants. In simulation studies, ACST generally performed well compared with the two most commonly used tests, the optimal sequence kernel association test (SKAT-O) and Kullback-Leibler distance test. Finally, we demonstrate the performance and practical utility of ACST using the Dallas Heart Study data.
Project description:The genome-wide association studies (GWAS) designed for next-generation sequencing data involve testing association of genomic variants, including common, low frequency, and rare variants. The current strategies for association studies are well developed for identifying association of common variants with the common diseases, but may be ill-suited when large amounts of allelic heterogeneity are present in sequence data. Recently, group tests that analyze their collective frequency differences between cases and controls shift the current variant-by-variant analysis paradigm for GWAS of common variants to the collective test of multiple variants in the association analysis of rare variants. However, group tests ignore differences in genetic effects among SNPs at different genomic locations. As an alternative to group tests, we developed a novel genome-information content-based statistics for testing association of the entire allele frequency spectrum of genomic variation with the diseases. To evaluate the performance of the proposed statistics, we use large-scale simulations based on whole genome low coverage pilot data in the 1000 Genomes Project to calculate the type 1 error rates and power of seven alternative statistics: a genome-information content-based statistic, the generalized T(2), collapsing method, multivariate and collapsing (CMC) method, individual ?(2) test, weighted-sum statistic, and variable threshold statistic. Finally, we apply the seven statistics to published resequencing dataset from ANGPTL3, ANGPTL4, ANGPTL5, and ANGPTL6 genes in the Dallas Heart Study. We report that the genome-information content-based statistic has significantly improved type 1 error rates and higher power than the other six statistics in both simulated and empirical datasets.