Statistics Papers

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

10-12-2015

Publication Source

Nature Communications

Volume

6

DOI

10.1038/ncomms9555

Abstract

The standard expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) detects polymorphisms associated with gene expression without revealing causality. We introduce a coupled Bayesian regression approach—eQTeL, which leverages epigenetic data to estimate regulatory and gene interaction potential, and identifies combination of regulatory single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that explain the gene expression variance. On human heart data, eQTeL not only explains a significantly greater proportion of expression variance but also predicts gene expression more accurately than other methods. Based on realistic simulated data, we demonstrate that eQTeL accurately detects causal regulatory SNPs, including those with small effect sizes. Using various functional data, we show that SNPs detected by eQTeL are enriched for allele-specific protein binding and histone modifications, which potentially disrupt binding of core cardiac transcription factors and are spatially proximal to their target. eQTeL SNPs capture a substantial proportion of genetic determinants of expression variance and we estimate that 58% of these SNPs are putatively causal.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Date Posted: 25 October 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.