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      METAL: fast and efficient meta-analysis of genomewide association scans

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      1 , 1 , 2 , 1 , *

      Bioinformatics

      Oxford University Press

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          Abstract

          Summary: METAL provides a computationally efficient tool for meta-analysis of genome-wide association scans, which is a commonly used approach for improving power complex traits gene mapping studies. METAL provides a rich scripting interface and implements efficient memory management to allow analyses of very large data sets and to support a variety of input file formats.

          Availability and implementation: METAL, including source code, documentation, examples, and executables, is available at http://www.sph.umich.edu/csg/abecasis/metal/

          Contact: goncalo@ 123456umich.edu

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          Most cited references 6

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          Six new loci associated with body mass index highlight a neuronal influence on body weight regulation.

          Common variants at only two loci, FTO and MC4R, have been reproducibly associated with body mass index (BMI) in humans. To identify additional loci, we conducted meta-analysis of 15 genome-wide association studies for BMI (n > 32,000) and followed up top signals in 14 additional cohorts (n > 59,000). We strongly confirm FTO and MC4R and identify six additional loci (P < 5 x 10(-8)): TMEM18, KCTD15, GNPDA2, SH2B1, MTCH2 and NEGR1 (where a 45-kb deletion polymorphism is a candidate causal variant). Several of the likely causal genes are highly expressed or known to act in the central nervous system (CNS), emphasizing, as in rare monogenic forms of obesity, the role of the CNS in predisposition to obesity.
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            Newly identified loci that influence lipid concentrations and risk of coronary artery disease.

            To identify genetic variants influencing plasma lipid concentrations, we first used genotype imputation and meta-analysis to combine three genome-wide scans totaling 8,816 individuals and comprising 6,068 individuals specific to our study (1,874 individuals from the FUSION study of type 2 diabetes and 4,184 individuals from the SardiNIA study of aging-associated variables) and 2,758 individuals from the Diabetes Genetics Initiative, reported in a companion study in this issue. We subsequently examined promising signals in 11,569 additional individuals. Overall, we identify strongly associated variants in eleven loci previously implicated in lipid metabolism (ABCA1, the APOA5-APOA4-APOC3-APOA1 and APOE-APOC clusters, APOB, CETP, GCKR, LDLR, LPL, LIPC, LIPG and PCSK9) and also in several newly identified loci (near MVK-MMAB and GALNT2, with variants primarily associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; near SORT1, with variants primarily associated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; near TRIB1, MLXIPL and ANGPTL3, with variants primarily associated with triglycerides; and a locus encompassing several genes near NCAN, with variants strongly associated with both triglycerides and LDL cholesterol). Notably, the 11 independent variants associated with increased LDL cholesterol concentrations in our study also showed increased frequency in a sample of coronary artery disease cases versus controls.
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              Variants in MTNR1B influence fasting glucose levels.

              To identify previously unknown genetic loci associated with fasting glucose concentrations, we examined the leading association signals in ten genome-wide association scans involving a total of 36,610 individuals of European descent. Variants in the gene encoding melatonin receptor 1B (MTNR1B) were consistently associated with fasting glucose across all ten studies. The strongest signal was observed at rs10830963, where each G allele (frequency 0.30 in HapMap CEU) was associated with an increase of 0.07 (95% CI = 0.06-0.08) mmol/l in fasting glucose levels (P = 3.2 x 10(-50)) and reduced beta-cell function as measured by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-B, P = 1.1 x 10(-15)). The same allele was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (odds ratio = 1.09 (1.05-1.12), per G allele P = 3.3 x 10(-7)) in a meta-analysis of 13 case-control studies totaling 18,236 cases and 64,453 controls. Our analyses also confirm previous associations of fasting glucose with variants at the G6PC2 (rs560887, P = 1.1 x 10(-57)) and GCK (rs4607517, P = 1.0 x 10(-25)) loci.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Bioinformatics
                bioinformatics
                bioinfo
                Bioinformatics
                Oxford University Press
                1367-4803
                1367-4811
                1 September 2010
                8 July 2010
                8 July 2010
                : 26
                : 17
                : 2190-2191
                Affiliations
                1Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, 48109 and 2Department of Genetics, Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina
                Author notes
                * To whom correspondence should be addressed.

                Associate Editor: Burkhard Rost

                Article
                btq340
                10.1093/bioinformatics/btq340
                2922887
                20616382
                © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Applications Note
                Genome Analysis

                Bioinformatics & Computational biology

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