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Multitrait GWAS to connect disease variants and biological mechanisms

PLoS Genet

Julienne H, Laville V, McCaw ZR, He Z, Guillemot V, Lasry C, Ziyatdinov A, Nerin C, Vaysse A, Lechat P, Ménager H, Le Goff W, Dube MP, Kraft P, Ionita-Laza I, Vilhjálmsson BJ, Aschard H

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have uncovered a wealth of associations between common variants and human phenotypes. Here, we present an integrative analysis of GWAS summary statistics from 36 phenotypes to decipher multitrait genetic architecture and its link with biological mechanisms. Our framework incorporates multitrait association mapping along with an investigation of the breakdown of genetic associations into clusters of variants harboring similar multitrait association profiles. Focusing on two subsets of immunity and metabolism phenotypes, we then demonstrate how genetic variants within clusters can be mapped to biological pathways and disease mechanisms. Finally, for the metabolism set, we investigate the link between gene cluster assignment and the success of drug targets in randomized controlled trials.

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