Prevalent function of genome loci associated with development of multiple sclerosis as revealed by GWAS and eQTL analysis
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We studied genome distribution of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with development of multiple sclerosis and identified genome segments enriched in such polymorphisms. Some SNPs observed in identified segments are also local or distal eQTLs (expression quantitative trait loci) for a number of genes expressed in the blood or the nervous system. We analyzed lists of genes expression of which depends on these eQTLs, separately for the blood and the nervous system, and identified GO functions overrepresented in such gene lists. An antigen processing and presentation via MHC class II appeared to be the main gene functions either in the blood or in the nervous system. We identified a set of SNPs genetically linked with at least three SNPs associated with multiple sclerosis in GWAS, which includes eQTLs for all overrepresented functions. These SNPs and genes are located in a rather short locus on chromosome 14 presumably containing IGHG genes. SNPs from this genome segment affect expression of the HLA-DOB, HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQA2, and HLA-DQB1 genes both in the blood and in the nervous system. The results we obtained made it possible to suggest the mechanisms of multiple sclerosis development.
Keywordsmultiple sclerosis GWAS eQTL prevalent functions
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