Mapping gene-environment interactions at regulatory polymorphisms: insights into mechanisms of phenotypic variation

Transcription. 2012 Mar-Apr;3(2):56-62. doi: 10.4161/trns.19497. Epub 2012 Mar 1.


Genetic effects on gene regulation make a substantial contribution to phenotypic diversity, yet their mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we discuss the potential insights to be gained from mapping gene-environment interactions at regulatory polymorphisms (i.e., genetic variation that affects gene expression under specific environmental conditions). We highlight a novel statistical method to identify specific patterns of gene-environment interaction at these regulatory polymorphisms. Reviewing its application to a study that mapped gene expression in the presence and absence of glucocorticoids, we discuss the mechanistic insights that this approach provides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Glucocorticoids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Phenotype*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Transcription Factors