Testing for genetic linkage in families by a variance-components approach in the presence of genomic imprinting.
ABSTRACT: Some genes that affect development and behavior in mammals are known to be imprinted; and > or = 1% of all mammalian genes are imprinted. Hence, incorporating an imprinting parameter into linkage analysis may increase the power to detect linkage for these traits. Here we propose theoretical justifications for a recently developed model for testing of linkage, in the presence of genetic imprinting, between a quantitative-trait locus and a polymorphic marker; this is achieved in the variance-components framework. We also incorporate sex-specific recombination fractions into this model. We discuss the effects that imprinting and nonimprinting have on the power of the usual variance-components method and on the variance-components method that incorporates an imprinting parameter. We provide noncentrality parameters that can be used to determine the sample size necessary to attain a specified power for a given significance level, which is useful in the planning of a linkage study. Optimal strategies for a genome scan of potentially imprinted traits are discussed.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Genomic imprinting is a mechanism in which the expression of a gene copy depends upon the sex of the parent from which it was inherited. This mechanism is now well recognized in humans, and the deregulation of imprinted genes has been implicated in a number of diseases. In this study, we performed a genome-wide joint linkage and imprinting scan using two data sets provided by Genetic Analysis Workshop 15 (GAW15).<h4>Results</h4>The first data set was high-risk rheumatoid arthritis families collected by the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium. We used both model-based and model-free methods of joint linkage and imprinting analyses. Although a genome scan of rheumatoid arthritis families using GENEHUNTER-MODSCORE suggested regions that might be imprinted, further analyses using variance-components method failed to obtain significant signals of imprinting. The second data set was Problem 1 of GAW15, which included single-nucleotide polymorphism genotypes and gene expression data for Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain pedigrees. A previous genome-wide linkage scan identified loci that may be regulators of gene expression: our genome-wide joint linkage and imprinting scan using a variance-components approach found significant signals for linkage.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our linkage scan results suggest that imprinted genes are unlikely to be involved in susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. However, for expression level of TGFBR3 gene, we found a point-wise p-value of 0.03 for imprinting, but increase in the LOD score did not meet the required threshold to reliably identify imprinting as the correct mode of inheritance in genome-wide linkage scans.
Project description:Genomic imprinting is an important epigenetic phenomenon, which on the phenotypic level can be detected by the difference between the two heterozygote classes of a gene. Imprinted genes are important in both the development of the placenta and the embryo, and we hypothesized that imprinted genes might be involved in female fertility traits. We therefore performed an association study for imprinted genes related to female fertility traits in two commercial pig populations. For this purpose, 309 SNPs in fifteen evolutionary conserved imprinted regions were genotyped on 689 and 1050 pigs from the two pig populations. A single SNP association study was used to detect additive, dominant and imprinting effects related to four reproduction traits; total number of piglets born, the number of piglets born alive, the total weight of the piglets born and the total weight of the piglets born alive. Several SNPs showed significant (q-value < 0.10) additive and dominant effects and one SNP showed a significant imprinting effect. The SNP with a significant imprinting effect is closely linked to DIO3, a gene involved in thyroid metabolism. The imprinting effect of this SNP explained approximately 1.6% of the phenotypic variance, which corresponded to approximately 15.5% of the additive genetic variance. In the other population, the imprinting effect of this QTL was not significant (q-value > 0.10), but had a similar effect as in the first population. The results of this study indicate a possible association between the imprinted gene DIO3 and female fertility traits in pigs.
Project description:Methods are presented for incorporation of parent-of-origin effects into linkage analysis of quantitative traits. The estimated proportion of marker alleles shared identical by descent is first partitioned into a component derived from the mother and a component derived from the father. These parent-specific estimates of allele sharing are used in variance-components or Haseman-Elston methods of linkage analysis so that the effect of the quantitative-trait locus carried on the maternally derived chromosome is potentially different from the effect of the locus on the paternally derived chromosome. Statistics for linkage between trait and marker loci derived from either or both parents are then calculated, as are statistics for testing whether the effect of the maternally derived locus is equal to that of the paternally derived locus. Analyses of data simulated for 956 siblings from 263 nuclear families who had participated in a linkage study revealed that type I error rates for these statistics were generally similar to nominal values. Power to detect an imprinted locus was substantially increased when analyzed with a model allowing for parent-of-origin effects, compared with analyses that assumed equal effects; for example, for an imprinted locus accounting for 30% of the phenotypic variance, the expected LOD score was 4.5 when parent-of-origin effects were incorporated into the analysis, compared with 3.1 when these effects were ignored. The ability to include parent-of-origin effects within linkage analysis of quantitative traits will facilitate genetic dissection of complex traits.
Project description:Genomic imprinting results in the differential expression of genes, depending on which allele is inherited from the mother and which from the father. The effects of such differential gene expression are reflected in phenotypic differences between the reciprocal heterozygotes (Aa vs. aA). Although many imprinted genes have been identified and play a key role in development, little is known about the contribution of imprinting to quantitative variation in trait expression. Here, we examine this problem by mapping imprinting effects on adult body composition traits in the F(3) generation of an intercross between the Large (LG/J) and Small (SM/J) inbred mouse strains. We identified eight pleiotropic imprinted quantitative trait loci (iQTL) located throughout the genome. Most iQTL are in novel locations that have not previously been associated with imprinting effects, but those on chromosomes 7, 12, and centromeric 18 lie in regions previously identified as containing imprinted genes. Our results show that the effects of genomic imprinting are relatively small, with reciprocal heterozygotes differing by approximately 0.25 standard deviation units and the effects at each locus accounting for 1% to 4% of the phenotypic variance. We detected a variety of imprinting patterns, with paternal expression being the most common. These results indicate that genomic imprinting has small, but detectable, effects on the normal variation of complex traits in adults and is likely to be more common than usually thought.
Project description:We present two extensions to linkage analysis for genetically complex traits. The first extension allows investigators to perform parametric (LOD-score) analysis of traits caused by imprinted genes-that is, of traits showing a parent-of-origin effect. By specification of two heterozygote penetrance parameters, paternal and maternal origin of the mutation can be treated differently in terms of probability of expression of the trait. Therefore, a single-disease-locus-imprinting model includes four penetrances instead of only three. In the second extension, parametric and nonparametric linkage analysis with two trait loci is formulated for a multimarker setting, optionally taking imprinting into account. We have implemented both methods into the program GENEHUNTER. The new tools, GENEHUNTER-IMPRINTING and GENEHUNTER-TWOLOCUS, were applied to human family data for sensitization to mite allergens. The data set comprises pedigrees from England, Germany, Italy, and Portugal. With single-disease-locus-imprinting MOD-score analysis, we find several regions that show at least suggestive evidence for linkage. Most prominently, a maximum LOD score of 4.76 is obtained near D8S511, for the English population, when a model that implies complete maternal imprinting is used. Parametric two-trait-locus analysis yields a maximum LOD score of 6.09 for the German population, occurring exactly at D4S430 and D18S452. The heterogeneity model specified for analysis alludes to complete maternal imprinting at both disease loci. Altogether, our results suggest that the two novel formulations of linkage analysis provide valuable tools for genetic mapping of multifactorial traits.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Genomic imprinting refers to parent-of-origin dependent gene expression caused by differential DNA methylation of the paternally and maternally derived alleles. Imprinting is increasingly recognized as an important source of variation in complex traits, however, its role in explaining variation in muscle and physiological traits, especially those of commercial value, is largely unknown compared with genetic effects. RESULTS: We investigated both genetic and genomic imprinting effects on key muscle traits in mice from the Berlin Muscle Mouse population, a key model system to study muscle traits. Using a genome scan, we first identified loci with either imprinting or genetic effects on phenotypic variation. Next, we established the proportion of phenotypic variation explained by additive, dominance and imprinted QTL and characterized the patterns of effects. In total, we identified nine QTL, two of which show large imprinting effects on glycogen content and potential, and body weight. Surprisingly, all imprinting patterns were of the bipolar type, in which the two heterozygotes are different from each other but the homozygotes are not. Most QTL had pleiotropic effects and explained up to 40% of phenotypic variance, with individual imprinted loci accounting for 4-5% of variation alone. CONCLUSION: Surprisingly, variation in glycogen content and potential was only modulated by imprinting effects. Further, in contrast to general assumptions, our results show that genomic imprinting can impact physiological traits measured at adult stages and that the expression does not have to follow the patterns of paternal or maternal expression commonly ascribed to imprinting effects.
Project description:Genomic imprinting is a form of epigenetic regulation in mammals in which the same allele of a gene is expressed differently depending on the parental origin of the allele. Traditionally, the detection of imprinted genes that affect complex diseases has been focused on linkage designs with pedigrees or case-parent designs with case-parent trios. In the past two decades, the birth cohort design with mother-offspring pairs has been applied to understand better the effect of environmental influences during pregnancy and beginning of life on the growth and development of children. No work has been done on the detection of imprinted genes using birth cohort designs. Moreover, although the importance of imprinting has been well recognized, no study has looked at how environmental exposures modify the effects of imprinted genes. In this study, we show that the proposed imprinting test using the birth cohort design with mother-offspring pairs is an efficient test for testing the interactions between imprinted genes and environmental exposures. Through extensive simulation studies and a real data application, the proposed imprinting test has demonstrated much improved power in detecting gene-environment interactions than that of a test assuming the Mendelian dominant model when the true underlying genetic model is imprinting.
Project description:We give a unified treatment of the statistical foundations of population based association mapping and of family based linkage mapping of quantitative traits in humans. A central ingredient in the unification involves the efficient score statistic. The discussion focuses on generalized linear models with an additional illustration of the Cox (proportional hazards) model for age of onset data. We give analytic expressions for noncentrality parameters and show how they give qualitative insight into the loss of power that occurs if the scientist's assumed genetic model differs from nature's "true" genetic model. Issues to be studied in detail in the future development of this approach are discussed.
Project description:Genomic imprinting, where an allele's expression pattern depends on its parental origin, is thought to result primarily from an intragenomic evolutionary conflict. Imprinted genes are widely expressed in the brain and have been linked to various phenotypes, including behaviours related to risk tolerance. In this paper, we analyse a model of evolutionary bet-hedging in a system with imprinted gene expression. Previous analyses of bet-hedging have shown that natural selection may favour alleles and traits that reduce reproductive variance, even at the expense of reducing mean reproductive success, with the trade-off between mean and variance depending on the population size. In species where the sexes have different reproductive variances, this bet-hedging trade-off differs between maternally and paternally inherited alleles. Where males have the higher reproductive variance, alleles are more strongly selected to reduce variance when paternally inherited than when maternally inherited. We connect this result to phenotypes connected with specific imprinted genes, including delay discounting and social dominance. The empirical patterns are consistent with paternally expressed imprinted genes promoting risk-averse behaviours that reduce reproductive variance. Conversely, maternally expressed imprinted genes promote risk-tolerant, variance-increasing behaviours. We indicate how future research might further test the hypotheses suggested by our analysis. This article is part of the theme issue 'Risk taking and impulsive behaviour: fundamental discoveries, theoretical perspectives and clinical implications'.
Project description:Genomic imprinting in domestic animals contributes to the variance of performance traits. However, research remains to be done on large-scale detection of epigenetic landscape of porcine imprinted loci including the GNAS complex locus. The purpose of this study was to generate porcine parthenogenetic fetuses and comprehensively identify imprinting patterns of the GNAS locus in transcript levels. To this end, both normally fertilized and bimaternal (uniparental) parthenogenetic porcine fetuses were generated, and whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) were performed to construct methylome and transcriptome, respectively. Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) between the fetuses were identified through methylome analysis, and parental-origin-specific expression patterns of transcripts were examined with transcriptome. As a result, three major DMRs were identified: paternally methylated Nesp DMR, maternally methylated Nespas-Gnasxl DMR, and maternally methylated Exon1B-Exon1A DMR. Parental-origin-specific expressions of those five DMR-affected transcripts were found, including a novel imprinted transcript, Exon1B, in pigs. In conclusion, using parthenotes, parental-origin-specific imprinting patterns in the porcine GNAS locus was comprehensively identified, and our approach paves the way for the discovery of novel imprinted genes and loci in a genomic context across species.