Genome-wide joint analysis of singlenucleotide variant sets and gene expression for hypertension and related phenotypes

Xiaoran Tong, Changshuai Wei, Qing Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: With the advance of next-generation sequencing technologies, the study of rare variants in targeted genome regions or even the whole genome becomes feasible. Nevertheless, the massive amount of sequencing data brings great computational and statistical challenges for association analyses. Aside from sequencing variants, other high-throughput omic data (eg, gene expression data) also become available, and can be incorporated into association analysis for better modeling and power improvement. This motivates the need of developing computationally efficient and powerful approaches to model the joint associations of multilevel omic data with complex human diseases. Methods: A similarity-based weighted U approach is used to model the joint effect of sequencing variants and gene expression. Using a Mexican American sample provided by Genetic Analysis Workshop 19 (GAW19), we performed a whole-genome joint association analysis of sequencing variants and gene expression with systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and hypertension (HTN) phenotypes. Results: The whole-genome joint association analysis was completed in 80 min on a high-performance personal computer with an i7 4700 CPU and 8 GB memory. Although no gene reached statistical significance after adjusting for multiple testing, some top-ranked genes attained a high significance level and may have biological plausibility to hypertension-related phenotypes. Conclusions: The weighted U approach is computationally efficient for high-dimensional data analysis, and is capable of integrating multiple levels of omic data into association analysis. Through a real data application, we demonstrate the potential benefit of using the new approach for joint association analysis of sequencing variants and gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalBMC Proceedings
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article has been published as part of BMC Proceedings Volume 10 Supplement 7, 2016: Genetic Analysis Workshop 19: Sequence, Blood Pressure and Expression Data. Summary articles. The full contents of the supplement are available online at articles/supplements/volume-10-supplement-7. Publication of the proceedings of Genetic Analysis Workshop 19 was supported by National Institutes of Health grant R01 GM031575.

Funding Information:
The Genetic Analysis Workshop is supported by NIH grant R01 GM031575. The authors wish to thank the editor and two anonymous referees for their helpful comments that improved the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)


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