Network-based genome-wide association study of Crohn's disease
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have rapidly become a standard method for disease gene discovery. Many recent GWAS indicate that for most disorders, only a few common variants are implicated and the associated SNPs explain only a small fraction of the genetic risk. The current study incorporated gene network information into gene-based analysis of GWAS data for Crohn's disease (CD). The purpose was to develop statistical models to boost the power of identifying disease-associated genes and gene subnetworks by maximizing the use of existing biological knowledge from multiple sources. The results revealed that Markov random field (MRF) based mixture model incorporating direct neighborhood information from a single gene network is not efficient in identifying CD-related genes based on the GWAS data. The incorporation of solely direct neighborhood information might lead to the low efficiency of these models. Alternative MRF models looking beyond direct neighboring information are necessary to be developed in the future for the purpose of this study.