Genome-wide interaction-based association analysis identified multiple new susceptibility Loci for common diseases

PLoS Genet. 2011 Mar;7(3):e1001338. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001338. Epub 2011 Mar 17.


Genome-wide interaction-based association (GWIBA) analysis has the potential to identify novel susceptibility loci. These interaction effects could be missed with the prevailing approaches in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, no convincing loci have been discovered exclusively from GWIBA methods, and the intensive computation involved is a major barrier for application. Here, we developed a fast, multi-thread/parallel program named "pair-wise interaction-based association mapping" (PIAM) for exhaustive two-locus searches. With this program, we performed a complete GWIBA analysis on seven diseases with stringent control for false positives, and we validated the results for three of these diseases. We identified one pair-wise interaction between a previously identified locus, C1orf106, and one new locus, TEC, that was specific for Crohn's disease, with a Bonferroni corrected P < 0.05 (P = 0.039). This interaction was replicated with a pair of proxy linked loci (P = 0.013) on an independent dataset. Five other interactions had corrected P < 0.5. We identified the allelic effect of a locus close to SLC7A13 for coronary artery disease. This was replicated with a linked locus on an independent dataset (P = 1.09 × 10⁻⁷). Through a local validation analysis that evaluated association signals, rather than locus-based associations, we found that several other regions showed association/interaction signals with nominal P < 0.05. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the GWIBA approach was successful for identifying novel loci, and the results provide new insights into the genetic architecture of common diseases. In addition, our PIAM program was capable of handling very large GWAS datasets that are likely to be produced in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease / genetics
  • Crohn Disease / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Disease / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Reproducibility of Results