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Title: Integration of multidimensional splicing data and GWAS summary statistics for risk gene discovery Authors:  Ran Tao - Vanderbilt University Medical Center (United States) [presenting]
Abstract: A common strategy for the functional interpretation of genome-wide association study (GWAS) findings has been the integrative analysis of GWAS and expression data. Using this strategy, many association methods have been successful in identifying trait-associated genes via mediating effects on RNA expression. However, these approaches often ignore the effects of splicing, which can carry as much disease risk as expression. Compared to expression data, one challenge to detecting associations using splicing data is the large multiple testing burden due to multidimensional splicing events within genes. Here, we introduce a multidimensional splicing gene (MSG) approach, which consists of two stages: 1) we use sparse canonical correlation analysis (sCCA) to construct latent canonical vectors (CVs) by identifying sparse linear combinations of genetic variants and splicing events that are maximally correlated with each other; and 2) we test for the association between the genetically regulated splicing CVs and the trait of interest using GWAS summary statistics. Simulations show that MSG has proper type I error control and substantial power gains over existing multidimensional expression analysis methods under diverse scenarios. When applied to the Genotype-Tissue Expression Project data and GWAS summary statistics of 14 complex human traits, MSG identified much more significant genes than existing approaches.