A telescope GWAS analysis strategy, based on SNPs-genes-pathways ensamble and on multivariate algorithms, to characterize late onset Alzheimer’s disease

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Genome–wide association studies (GWAS) have revealed a plethora of putative susceptibility genes for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with the sole exception of APOE gene unequivocally validated in independent study. Considering that the etiology of complex diseases like AD could depend on functional multiple genes interaction network, here we proposed an alternative GWAS analysis strategy based on (i) multivariate methods and on a (ii) telescope approach, in order to guarantee the identification of correlated variables, and reveal their connections at three biological connected levels. Specifically as multivariate methods, we employed two machine learning algorithms and a genetic association test and we considered SNPs, Genes and Pathways features in the analysis of two public GWAS dataset (ADNI-1 and ADNI-2). For each dataset and for each feature we addressed two binary classifications tasks: cases vs. controls and the low vs. high risk of developing AD considering the allelic status of APOEe4. This complex strategy allowed the identification of SNPs, genes and pathways lists statistically robust and meaningful from the biological viewpoint. Among the results, we confirm the involvement of TOMM40 gene in AD and we propose GRM7 as a novel gene significantly associated with AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12063
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection and sharing for this project was funded by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuro imaging Initiative (ADNI) (National Institutes of Health Grant U01 AG024904) and DOD ADNI (Department of Defense award number W81XWH-12-2-0012). ADNI is funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and through generous contributions from the following: AbbVie, Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation; Araclon Biotech; BioClinica, Inc.; Biogen; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; CereSpir, Inc.; Cogstate; Eisai Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; EuroImmun; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and its affiliated company Genentech, Inc.; Fujirebio; GE Healthcare; IXICO Ltd.; Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, LLC.; Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC.; Lumosity; Lundbeck; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC.; NeuroRx Research; Neurotrack Technologies; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; Piramal Imaging; Servier; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company; and Transition Therapeutics. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is providing funds to support ADNI clinical sites in Canada. Private sector contributions are facilitated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (https://www.fnih.org). The grantee organization is the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and the study is coordinated by the Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute at the University of Southern California. ADNI data are disseminated by the Laboratory for Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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