DOI: 10.1101/489542Dec 9, 2018Paper

Reference trait analysis reveals correlations between gene expression and quantitative traits in disjoint samples

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Daniel A SkellyElissa J Chesler


Systems genetic analysis of complex traits involves the integrated analysis of genetic, genomic, and disease related measures. However, these data are often collected separately across multiple study populations, rendering direct correlation of molecular features to complex traits impossible. Recent transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) have harnessed gene expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) to associate unmeasured gene expression with a complex trait in genotyped individuals, but this approach relies primarily on strong eQTLs. We propose a simple and powerful alternative strategy for correlating independently obtained sets of complex traits and molecular features. In contrast to TWAS, our approach gains precision by correlating complex traits through a common set of continuous phenotypes instead of genetic predictors, and can identify transcript-trait correlations for which the regulation is not genetic. In our approach, a set of multiple quantitative "reference" traits is measured across all individuals, while measures of the complex trait of interest and transcriptional profiles are obtained in disjoint sub-samples. A conventional multivariate statistical method, canonical correlation analysis, is used to relat...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Gene Expression
Hippocampus (Brain)
Laboratory mice
Transcription, Genetic
Quantitative Trait Loci
Research Study
Quantitative Trait Loci Genes

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