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Pers T.H.,Center for Basic and Translational Obesity Research | Pers T.H.,The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard | Pers T.H.,Technical University of Denmark | Timshel P.,Center for Basic and Translational Obesity Research | And 5 more authors.
Bioinformatics | Year: 2014

An important computational step following genome-wide association studies (GWAS) is to assess whether disease or trait-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) enrich for particular biological annotations. SNP-based enrichment analysis needs to account for biases such as co-localization of GWAS signals to gene-dense and high linkage disequilibrium (LD) regions, and correlations of gene size, location and function. The SNPsnap Web server enables SNP-based enrichment analysis by providing matched sets of SNPs that can be used to calibrate background expectations. Specifically, SNPsnap efficiently identifies sets of randomly drawn SNPs that are matched to a set of query SNPs based on allele frequency, number of SNPs in LD, distance to nearest gene and gene density. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Hu Y.-J.,Emory University | Berndt S.I.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Gustafsson S.,Uppsala University Hospital | Ganna A.,Uppsala University Hospital | And 8 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2013

Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWASs) has led to the discoveries of many common variants associated with complex human diseases. There is a growing recognition that identifying "causal" rare variants also requires large-scale meta-analysis. The fact that association tests with rare variants are performed at the gene level rather than at the variant level poses unprecedented challenges in the meta-analysis. First, different studies may adopt different gene-level tests, so the results are not compatible. Second, gene-level tests require multivariate statistics (i.e., components of the test statistic and their covariance matrix), which are difficult to obtain. To overcome these challenges, we propose to perform gene-level tests for rare variants by combining the results of single-variant analysis (i.e., p values of association tests and effect estimates) from participating studies. This simple strategy is possible because of an insight that multivariate statistics can be recovered from single-variant statistics, together with the correlation matrix of the single-variant test statistics, which can be estimated from one of the participating studies or from a publicly available database. We show both theoretically and numerically that the proposed meta-analysis approach provides accurate control of the type I error and is as powerful as joint analysis of individual participant data. This approach accommodates any disease phenotype and any study design and produces all commonly used gene-level tests. An application to the GWAS summary results of the Genetic Investigation of ANthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium reveals rare and low-frequency variants associated with human height. The relevant software is freely available. © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics. Source

Panagiotou O.A.,University of Ioannina | Panagiotou O.A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Willer C.J.,University of Michigan | Hirschhorn J.N.,Center for Basic and Translational Obesity Research | And 3 more authors.
Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics | Year: 2013

Meta-analysis of multiple genome-wide association (GWA) studies has become common practice over the past few years. The main advantage of this technique is the maximization of power to detect subtle genetic effects for common traits. Moreover, one can use meta-analysis to probe and identify heterogeneity in the effect sizes across the combined studies. In this review, we systematically appraise and evaluate the characteristics of GWA meta-analyses with 10,000 or more subjects published up to June 2012. We provide an overview of the current landscape of variants discovered by GWA meta-analyses, and we discuss and assess with extrapolations from empirical data the value of larger meta-analyses for the discovery of additional genetic associations and new biology in the future. Finally, we discuss some emerging logistical and practical issues related to the conduct of meta-analysis of GWA studies. Copyright © 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Source

Fehrmann R.S.N.,University of Groningen | Karjalainen J.M.,University of Groningen | Krajewska M.,University of Groningen | Westra H.-J.,University of Groningen | And 16 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2015

Many cancer-associated somatic copy number alterations (SCNAs) are known. Currently, one of the challenges is to identify the molecular downstream effects of these variants. Although several SCNAs are known to change gene expression levels, it is not clear whether each individual SCNA affects gene expression. We reanalyzed 77,840 expression profiles and observed a limited set of 'transcriptional components' that describe well-known biology, explain the vast majority of variation in gene expression and enable us to predict the biological function of genes. On correcting expression profiles for these components, we observed that the residual expression levels (in 'functional genomic mRNA' profiling) correlated strongly with copy number. DNA copy number correlated positively with expression levels for 99% of all abundantly expressed human genes, indicating global gene dosage sensitivity. By applying this method to 16,172 patient-derived tumor samples, we replicated many loci with aberrant copy numbers and identified recurrently disrupted genes in genomically unstable cancers. © 2015 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Winkler T.W.,University of Regensburg | Day F.R.,Institute of Metabolic Science | Croteau-Chonka D.C.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Croteau-Chonka D.C.,Harvard University | And 26 more authors.
Nature Protocols | Year: 2014

Rigorous organization and quality control (QC) are necessary to facilitate successful genome-wide association meta-analyses (GWAMAs) of statistics aggregated across multiple genome-wide association studies. This protocol provides guidelines for (i) organizational aspects of GWAMAs, and for (ii) QC at the study file level, the meta-level across studies and the meta-analysis output level. Real-world examples highlight issues experienced and solutions developed by the GIANT Consortium that has conducted meta-analyses including data from 125 studies comprising more than 330,000 individuals. We provide a general protocol for conducting GWAMAs and carrying out QC to minimize errors and to guarantee maximum use of the data. We also include details for the use of a powerful and flexible software package called EasyQC. Precise timings will be greatly influenced by consortium size. For consortia of comparable size to the GIANT Consortium, this protocol takes a minimum of about 10 months to complete. © 2014 Nature America, Inc. Source

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