Analysis of Multiple Association Studies Provides Evidence of an Expression QTL Hub in Gene-Gene Interaction Network Affecting HDL Cholesterol Levels.

TitleAnalysis of Multiple Association Studies Provides Evidence of an Expression QTL Hub in Gene-Gene Interaction Network Affecting HDL Cholesterol Levels.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMa L, Ballantyne C, Brautbar A, Keinan A
JournalPloS one
Volume9
Issue3
Paginatione92469
Date Published2014
ISSN1932-6203
Abstract

Epistasis has been suggested to underlie part of the missing heritability in genome-wide association studies. In this study, we first report an analysis of gene-gene interactions affecting HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels in a candidate gene study of 2,091 individuals with mixed dyslipidemia from a clinical trial. Two additional studies, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study (ARIC; n = 9,713) and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA; n = 2,685), were considered for replication. We identified a gene-gene interaction between rs1532085 and rs12980554 (P = 7.1×10-7) in their effect on HDL-C levels, which is significant after Bonferroni correction (Pc = 0.017) for the number of SNP pairs tested. The interaction successfully replicated in the ARIC study (P = 7.0×10-4; Pc = 0.02). Rs1532085, an expression QTL (eQTL) of LIPC, is one of the two SNPs involved in another, well-replicated gene-gene interaction underlying HDL-C levels. To further investigate the role of this eQTL SNP in gene-gene interactions affecting HDL-C, we tested in the ARIC study for interaction between this SNP and any other SNP genome-wide. We found the eQTL to be involved in a few suggestive interactions, one of which significantly replicated in MESA. Importantly, these gene-gene interactions, involving only rs1532085, explain an additional 1.4% variation of HDL-C, on top of the 0.65% explained by rs1532085 alone. LIPC plays a key role in the lipid metabolism pathway and it, and rs1532085 in particular, has been associated with HDL-C and other lipid levels. Collectively, we discovered several novel gene-gene interactions, all involving an eQTL of LIPC, thus suggesting a hub role of LIPC in the gene-gene interaction network that regulates HDL-C levels, which in turn raises the hypothesis that LIPC's contribution is largely via interactions with other lipid metabolism related genes.

URLhttp://keinanlab.cb.bscb.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/papers/ma_etal_2014_analysisofmult_plosone.pdf
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0092469
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE