Principal-component-based multivariate regression for genetic association studies of metabolic syndrome components

Hao Mei; Wei Chen; Dellinger, Andrew; Jiang He; Meng Wang; Canddy Yau; Srinivasan, Sathanur R.; Berenson, Gerald S.
January 2010
BMC Genetics;2010, Vol. 11, p100
Academic Journal
Background: Quantitative traits often underlie risk for complex diseases. For example, weight and body mass index (BMI) underlie the human abdominal obesity-metabolic syndrome. Many attempts have been made to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) over the past decade, including association studies. However, a single QTL is often capable of affecting multiple traits, a quality known as gene pleiotropy. Gene pleiotropy may therefore cause a loss of power in association studies focused only on a single trait, whether based on single or multiple markers. Results: We propose using principal-component-based multivariate regression (PCBMR) to test for gene pleiotropy with comprehensive evaluation. This method generates one or more independent canonical variables based on the principal components of original traits and conducts a multivariate regression to test for association with these new variables. Systematic simulation studies have shown that PCBMR has great power. PCBMR-based pleiotropic association studies of abdominal obesity-metabolic syndrome and its possible linkage to chromosomal band 3q27 identified 11 susceptibility genes with significant associations. Whereas some of these genes had been previously reported to be associated with metabolic traits, others had never been identified as metabolism-associated genes. Conclusions: PCBMR is a computationally efficient and powerful test for gene pleiotropy. Application of PCBMR to abdominal obesity-metabolic syndrome indicated the existence of gene pleiotropy affecting this syndrome.


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