Multiplexed functional genomic assays to decipher the noncoding genome

Hum Mol Genet. 2022 Oct 20;31(R1):R84-R96. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddac194.


Linkage disequilibrium and the incomplete regulatory annotation of the noncoding genome complicates the identification of functional noncoding genetic variants and their causal association with disease. Current computational methods for variant prioritization have limited predictive value, necessitating the application of highly parallelized experimental assays to efficiently identify functional noncoding variation. Here, we summarize two distinct approaches, massively parallel reporter assays and CRISPR-based pooled screens and describe their flexible implementation to characterize human noncoding genetic variation at unprecedented scale. Each approach provides unique advantages and limitations, highlighting the importance of multimodal methodological integration. These multiplexed assays of variant effects are undoubtedly poised to play a key role in the experimental characterization of noncoding genetic risk, informing our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of disease-associated loci and the development of more robust predictive classification algorithms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Genome*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genomics*
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium