Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) play a critical role in identifying many loci for common diseases and traits. There has been a rapid increase in the number of GWAS over the past decade. As additional GWAS are being conducted, it is unclear whether a novel signal associated with the trait of interest is independent of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the same region that has been previously associated with the trait of interest. The general approach to determining whether the novel association is independent of previous signals is to examine the association of the novel SNP with the trait of interest conditional on the previously identified SNP and/or calculate linkage disequilibrium (LD) between the two SNPs. However, the role of epistasis and SNP by SNP interactions are rarely considered. Through simulation studies, we examined the role of SNP by SNP interactions when determining the independence of two genetic association signals. We have created an R package on Github called gxgRC to generate these simulation studies based on user input. In genetic association studies of asthma, we considered the role of SNP by SNP interactions when determining independence of signals for SNPs in the gene and bronchodilator response.
J Pers Med
The Role of SNP Interactions when Determining Independence of Novel Signals in Genetic Association Studies-An Application to and Bronchodilator Response.