FamLBL: Detecting Rare Haplotype Disease Association Based on Common SNPs Using Case-parent Triads

Meng Wang (September 18, 2018)

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Motivation: In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in using common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) amassed in genome-wide association studies to investigate rare haplotype effects on complex diseases. Evidence has suggested that rare haplotypes may tag rare causal single-nucleotide variants, making SNP-based rare haplotype analysis not only cost effective, but also more valuable for detecting causal variants. Although a number of methods for detecting rare haplotype association have been proposed in recent years, they are population based and thus susceptible to population stratification.

Results: We propose family-triad-based logistic Bayesian Lasso (famLBL) for estimating effects of haplotypes on complex diseases using SNP data. By choosing appropriate prior distribution, effect sizes of unassociated haplotypes can be shrunk toward zero, allowing for more precise estimation of associated haplotypes, especially those that are rare, thereby achieving greater detection power. We evaluate famLBL using simulation to gauge its type I error and power. Compared with its population counterpart, LBL, highlights famLBL’s robustness property in the presence of population substructure. Further investigation by comparing famLBL with Family-Based Association Test (FBAT) reveals its advantage for detecting rare haplotype association.