BMC Proc 2007 18;1 Suppl 1:S87. Epub 2007 Dec 18.
Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois 60153, USA.
Background: Recently, gene expression levels have been shown to demonstrate familial aggregation, suggesting a direct role of heritable DNA variation. We studied the gene expression levels in lymphoblastoid cells of the Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain Utah families made available to Genetic Analysis Workshop 15 (GAW15), using genome-wide linkage analyses.
Methods: Heritability was estimated for the expression levels of each individual phenotype. Genome wide linkage analysis was then performed using the 2819 SNPs for the expression levels of all the genes.
Results: Heritability exceeded 0.21 for 50% of the expressed phenotypes. Genome-wide linkage analysis demonstrated that 19 of them reached significance after correcting for multiple comparisons, only 4 of which were reported previously. We did not identify any hot spots of transcriptional regulation when assuming LOD score > 5.3 for significant linkage evidence.
Conclusion: Our analysis suggests that inconsistent results in comparison to the previous report may be due to the different approaches, phenotype transformation, and different pedigree data used in the analyses.