Identification of causal rare variants that are associated with complex traits poses a central challenge on genome-wide association studies. However, most current research focuses only on testing the global association whether the rare variants in a given genomic region are collectively associated with the trait. Although some recent work, e.g., the Bayesian risk index method, have tried to address this problem, it is unclear whether the causal rare variants can be consistently identified by them in the small-n-large-P situation. We develop a new Bayesian method, the so-called Bayesian Rare Variant Detector (BRVD), to tackle this problem. The new method simultaneously addresses two issues: (i) (Global association test) Are there any of the variants associated with the disease, and (ii) (Causal variant detection) Which variants, if any, are driving the association. The BRVD ensures the causal rare variants to be consistently identified in the small-n-large-P situation by imposing some appropriate prior distributions on the model and model specific parameters. The numerical results indicate that the BRVD is more powerful for testing the global association than the existing methods, such as the combined multivariate and collapsing test, weighted sum statistic test, RARECOVER, sequence kernel association test, and Bayesian risk index, and also more powerful for identification of causal rare variants than the Bayesian risk index method. The BRVD has also been successfully applied to the Early-Onset Myocardial Infarction (EOMI) Exome Sequence Data. It identified a few causal rare variants that have been verified in the literature.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-016-04
Acknowledgements: FL's research was partially supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (DMS-1007457 and DMS-1106494) and an award (KUS-C1-016-04) made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.