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Title: An empirical Bayes regression for multi-tissue EQTL data analysis Authors:  Fei Xue - Purdue University (United States) [presenting]
Hongzhe Li - University of Pennsylvania (United States)
Abstract: The Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project collects samples from multiple tissues to study the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and gene expression in each tissue. However, most existing eQTL analyses only focus on single tissue information. We develop a multi-tissue eQTL analysis that improves the single-tissue cis-SNP gene expression association analysis by borrowing information across tissues. Specifically, we propose an empirical Bayes regression model for SNP-expression association analysis using data across multiple tissues. To allow the effects of SNPs to vary greatly among tissues, we use a mixture distribution as the prior, which is a mixture of a multivariate Gaussian distribution and a Dirac mass at zero. The model allows us to assess the cis-SNP gene expression association in each tissue by calculating the Bayes factors. We show that the proposed estimator of the cis-SNP effects on gene expression achieves the minimum Bayes risk among all estimators. Analyses of the GTEx data show that our proposed method is superior to traditional regression methods in terms of predicting accuracy for gene expression levels.