Scientific article

Using gene expression to investigate the genetic basis of complex disorders

Published inHuman molecular genetics, vol. 17, no. R2, p. R129-134
Publication date2008

The identification of complex disease susceptibility loci through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has recently become possible and is now a method of choice for investigating the genetic basis of complex traits. The number of results from such studies is constantly increasing but the challenge lying forward is to identify the biological context in which these statistically significant candidate variants act. Regulatory variation plays an important role in shaping phenotypic differences among individuals and thus is very likely to also influence disease susceptibility. As such, integrating gene expression data and other disease relevant intermediate phenotypes with GWAS results could potentially help prioritize fine-mapping efforts and provide a shortcut to disease biology. Combining these different levels of information in a meaningful way is however not trivial. In the present review, we outline the several approaches that have been explored so far in this sense and their achievements. We also discuss the limitations of the methods and how upcoming technological developments could help circumvent these limitations. Overall, such efforts will be very helpful in understanding initially regulatory effects on disease and disease etiology in general.

  • Disease/*genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling/*methods/trends
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease/*genetics
  • Genome-Wide Association Study/trends
  • Humans
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
Citation (ISO format)
NICA, Alexandra, DERMITZAKIS, Emmanouil. Using gene expression to investigate the genetic basis of complex disorders. In: Human molecular genetics, 2008, vol. 17, n° R2, p. R129–134. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddn285
Updates (1)
ISSN of the journal0964-6906

Technical informations

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