A powerful parent-of-origin effects test for qualitative traits incorporating control children in nuclear families

J Hum Genet. 2012 Aug;57(8):500-7. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2012.58. Epub 2012 May 31.


Genomic imprinting is an important epigenetic phenomenon in studying complex traits and has generally been examined by detecting parent-of-origin effects of alleles. The parental-asymmetry test (PAT) based on nuclear families with both parents and its extensions to deal with missing parental genotypes is simple and powerful for such a task. However, these methods only use case (affected) children in nuclear families and thus do not make full use of information on control (unaffected) children, if available, in these families. In this article, we propose a novel parent-of-origin effects test C-PATu (the combined test of PATu and 1-PATu) by using both the control and case children in nuclear families with one or both parents. C-PATu is essentially a weighted framework, in which the test based on all the control children and their parents and that based on all the case children and their parents are weighted according to the population disease prevalence. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed tests control the size well under no parent-of-origin effects and using additional information from control children improves the power of the tests under the imprinting alternative. Application of C-PATu to a Framingham Heart Study data set further shows the feasibility in practical application of the test.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Alleles
  • Computer Simulation
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • Haplotypes
  • Heart Diseases / genetics
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Nuclear Family
  • Phenotype