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Liu C.,Center for Population Studies and the Framingham Heart Study | Ackerman H.H.,University of California at Berkeley | Carulli J.P.,Biogen Idec
Human Genetics | Year: 2011

The objective of the study was to identify interacting genes contributing to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility and identify SNPs that discriminate between RA patients who were anti-cyclic citrullinated protein positive and healthy controls. We analyzed two independent cohorts from the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium. A cohort of 908 RA cases and 1,260 controls was used to discover pairwise interactions among SNPs and to identify a set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that predict RA status, and a second cohort of 952 cases and 1,760 controls was used to validate the findings. After adjusting for HLA-shared epitope alleles, we identified and replicated seven SNP pairs within the HLA class II locus with significant interaction effects. We failed to replicate significant pairwise interactions among non-HLA SNPs. The machine learning approach "random forest" applied to a set of SNPs selected from single-SNP and pairwise interaction tests identified 93 SNPs that distinguish RA cases from controls with 70% accuracy. HLA SNPs provide the most classification information, and inclusion of non-HLA SNPs improved classification. While specific gene-gene interactions are difficult to validate using genome-wide SNP data, a stepwise approach combining association and classification methods identifies candidate interacting SNPs that distinguish RA cases from healthy controls. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

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