A computational model for sex-specific genetic architecture of complex traits in humans: Implications for mapping pain sensitivity

Chenguang Wang; Yun Cheng; Tian Liu; Qin Li; Fillingim, Roger B.; Wallace, Margaret R.; Staud, Roland; Kaplan, Lee; Rongling Wu
January 2008
Molecular Pain;2008, Vol. 4 Issue 1, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Understanding differences in the genetic architecture of complex traits between the two sexes has significant implications for evolutionary studies and clinical diagnosis. However, our knowledge about sex-specific genetic architecture is limited largely because of a lack of analytical models that can detect and quantify the effects of sex on the complexity of quantitative genetic variation. Here, we derived a statistical model for mapping DNA sequence variants that contribute to sex-specific differences in allele frequencies, linkage disequilibria, and additive and dominance genetic effects due to haplotype diversity. This model allows a genome-wide search for functional haplotypes and the estimation and test of haplotype by sex interactions and sex-specific heritability. The model, validated by simulation studies, was used to detect sex-specific functional haplotypes that encode a pain sensitivity trait in humans. The model could have important implications for mapping complex trait genes and studying the detailed genetic architecture of sex-specific differences.


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