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Large-scale transcriptome-wide association study identifies new prostate cancer risk regions

By Nicholas Mancuso, Simon Gayther, Alexander Gusev, Wei Zheng, Kathryn L Penney, Zsofia Kote-Jarai, Rosalind Eeles, Matthew Freedman, Christopher Haiman, Bogdan Pasaniuc

Posted 14 Jun 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/345736 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06302-1)

Although genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for prostate cancer (PrCa) have identified more than 100 risk regions, most of the risk genes at these regions remain largely unknown. Here, we integrate the largest PrCa GWAS (N=142,392) with gene expression measured in 45 tissues (N=4,458), including normal and tumor prostate, to perform a multi-tissue transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) for PrCa. We identify 235 genes at 87 independent 1Mb regions associated with PrCa risk, 9 of which are regions with no genome-wide significant SNP within 2Mb. 24 genes are significant in TWAS only for alternative splicing models in prostate tumor thus supporting the hypothesis of splicing driving risk for continued oncogenesis. Finally, we use a Bayesian probabilistic approach to estimate credible sets of genes containing the causal gene at pre-defined level; this reduced the list of 235 associations to 120 genes in the 90% credible set. Overall, our findings highlight the power of integrating expression with PrCa GWAS to identify novel risk loci and prioritize putative causal genes at known risk loci.

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