Parametric and nonparametric multipoint linkage analysis with imprinting and two-locus-trait models: application to mite sensitization

Am J Hum Genet. 2000 Jun;66(6):1945-57. doi: 10.1086/302911. Epub 2000 May 4.


We present two extensions to linkage analysis for genetically complex traits. The first extension allows investigators to perform parametric (LOD-score) analysis of traits caused by imprinted genes-that is, of traits showing a parent-of-origin effect. By specification of two heterozygote penetrance parameters, paternal and maternal origin of the mutation can be treated differently in terms of probability of expression of the trait. Therefore, a single-disease-locus-imprinting model includes four penetrances instead of only three. In the second extension, parametric and nonparametric linkage analysis with two trait loci is formulated for a multimarker setting, optionally taking imprinting into account. We have implemented both methods into the program GENEHUNTER. The new tools, GENEHUNTER-IMPRINTING and GENEHUNTER-TWOLOCUS, were applied to human family data for sensitization to mite allergens. The data set comprises pedigrees from England, Germany, Italy, and Portugal. With single-disease-locus-imprinting MOD-score analysis, we find several regions that show at least suggestive evidence for linkage. Most prominently, a maximum LOD score of 4.76 is obtained near D8S511, for the English population, when a model that implies complete maternal imprinting is used. Parametric two-trait-locus analysis yields a maximum LOD score of 6.09 for the German population, occurring exactly at D4S430 and D18S452. The heterogeneity model specified for analysis alludes to complete maternal imprinting at both disease loci. Altogether, our results suggest that the two novel formulations of linkage analysis provide valuable tools for genetic mapping of multifactorial traits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Chromosome Mapping / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Genetic Heterogeneity*
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Genomic Imprinting / genetics*
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / genetics*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Lod Score
  • Male
  • Mites / immunology*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Pedigree
  • Penetrance
  • Software
  • Statistics, Nonparametric*


  • Allergens
  • Genetic Markers