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Utilising multi-large omics data to elucidate biological mechanisms within multiple sclerosis genetic susceptibility loci


Zhou, Y and Cuellar-Partida, G and Simpson Yap, S and Lin, X and Claflin, S and Burdon, K and Charlesworth, J and Taylor, BVM, Utilising multi-large omics data to elucidate biological mechanisms within multiple sclerosis genetic susceptibility loci, Multiple Sclerosis Journal Article online ahead of print. ISSN 1352-4585 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s), 2021

DOI: doi:10.1177/13524585211004422


Background: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have succeeded in identifying over 200 susceptibility loci for multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the potential functional variants and the mechanisms by which these loci affect MS risk remain largely unexplained.

Objectives: We used summary data-based Mendelian randomisation to prioritise risk genes and infer potential biological mechanisms for MS risk loci.

Methods: The data used consisted of DNA methylation (n = 1980) QTL (mQTL) and gene expression (n = 31,684) QTL (eQTL) derived from whole blood as well as MS GWAS summary statistics (14,802 cases, 26,703 controls). The findings were further evaluated using data derived from independent brain mQTL (n = 1160) and eQTL (n = 1194).

Results: In whole blood, we identified two independent genomic loci (lincRNA: RP11-326C3.13 and TNFSF14) with consistent genome-wide significant pleiotropic associations across different omics layers. In brain tissue, a similar effect for the RP11-326C3.13 locus was observed but not for TNFSF14, indicating a potential tissue-specific effect for the TNFSF14 locus.

Conclusion: We provide in silico evidence for the putative biological mechanisms by which the identified DNA methylation sites and target genes are functionally relevant to MS development in different tissues. Future research targeting these genes and DNA methylation sites will determine their roles in the pathophysiology of MS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Multiple sclerosis, genetics, genomics, multiomics
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Genomics
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Zhou, Y (Mr Yuan Zhou)
UTAS Author:Simpson Yap, S (Dr Steve Simpson JR)
UTAS Author:Lin, X (Mr Xin Lin)
UTAS Author:Claflin, S (Dr Suzi Claflin)
UTAS Author:Burdon, K (Professor Kathryn Burdon)
UTAS Author:Charlesworth, J (Dr Jac Charlesworth)
UTAS Author:Taylor, BVM (Professor Bruce Taylor)
ID Code:144751
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-06-08
Last Modified:2021-09-22

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