Automated construction and testing of multi-locus gene-gene associations

Automated construction and testing of multi-locus gene-gene associations - Summary: It has been argued that the missing heritability in common diseases may be in part due to rare variants and gene–gene effects. Haplotype analyses provide more power for rare variants and joint analyses across genes can address multi-gene effects. Currently, methods are lacking to perform joint multi-locus association analyses across more than one gene/region. Here, we present a haplotype-mining gene–gene analysis method, which considers multi-locus data for two genes/regions simultaneously. This approach extends our single region haplotype-mining algorithm, hapConstructor, to two genes/regions. It allows construction of multi-locus SNP sets at both genes and tests joint gene–gene effects and interactions between single variants or haplotype combinations. A Monte Carlo framework is used to provide statistical significance assessment of the joint and interaction statistics, thus the method can also be used with related individuals. This tool provides a flexible data-mining approach to identifying gene–gene effects that otherwise is currently unavailable.
Availability: http://bioinformatics.med.utah.edu/Genie/hapConstructor.html