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Prioritization of schizophrenia risk genes from GWAS results by integrating multi-omics data

He, Dan, Fan, Cong, Qi, Mengling, Yang, Yuedong, Cooper, David N. ORCID: and Zhao, Huiying 2021. Prioritization of schizophrenia risk genes from GWAS results by integrating multi-omics data. Translational Psychiatry 11 (1) , 175. 10.1038/s41398-021-01294-x

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Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a polygenic disease with a heritability approaching 80%. Over 100 SCZ-related loci have so far been identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, the risk genes associated with these loci often remain unknown. We present a new risk gene predictor, rGAT-omics, that integrates multi-omics data under a Bayesian framework by combining the Hotelling and Box–Cox transformations. The Bayesian framework was constructed using gene ontology, tissue-specific protein–protein networks, and multi-omics data including differentially expressed genes in SCZ and controls, distance from genes to the index single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and de novo mutations. The application of rGAT-omics to the 108 loci identified by a recent GWAS study of SCZ predicted 103 high-risk genes (HRGs) that explain a high proportion of SCZ heritability (Enrichment = 43.44 and p=9.30×10−9). HRGs were shown to be significantly (padj=5.35×10−7) enriched in genes associated with neurological activities, and more likely to be expressed in brain tissues and SCZ-associated cell types than background genes. The predicted HRGs included 16 novel genes not present in any existing databases of SCZ-associated genes or previously predicted to be SCZ risk genes by any other method. More importantly, 13 of these 16 genes were not the nearest to the index SNP markers, and them would have been difficult to identify as risk genes by conventional approaches while ten out of the 16 genes are associated with neurological functions that make them prime candidates for pathological involvement in SCZ. Therefore, rGAT-omics has revealed novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying SCZ and could provide potential clues to future therapies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer Nature
ISSN: 2158-3188
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 3 February 2021
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 18:58

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