Motivation: As a promising tool for dissecting the genetic basis of complex traits, expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) mapping has attracted increasing research interest. An important issue in eQTL mapping is how to effectively integrate networks representing interactions among genetic markers and genes. Recently, several Lasso-based methods have been proposed to leverage such network information. Despite their success, existing methods have three common limitations: (i) a preprocessing step is usually needed to cluster the networks; (ii) the incompleteness of the networks and the noise in them are not considered; (iii) other available information, such as location of genetic markers and pathway information are not integrated.

Results: To address the limitations of the existing methods, we propose Graph-regularized Dual Lasso (GDL), a robust approach for eQTL mapping. GDL integrates the correlation structures among genetic markers and traits simultaneously. It also takes into account the incompleteness of the networks and is robust to the noise. GDL utilizes graph-based regularizers to model the prior networks and does not require an explicit clustering step. Moreover, it enables further refinement of the partial and noisy networks. We further generalize GDL to incorporate the location of genetic makers and gene-pathway information. We perform extensive experimental evaluations using both simulated and real datasets. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed methods can effectively integrate various available priori knowledge and significantly outperform the state-of-the-art eQTL mapping methods.


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

Algorithm; Chromosome Map; Cluster Analysis; Gene Expression; Gene Regulatory Network; Genetic Marker; Genetics; Metabolism; Protein Analysis; Quantitative Trait Locus; Saccharomyces Cerevisiae; Single Nucleotide Polymorphism; Statistical Model

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Article - Journal

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Final Version

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Publication Date

01 Jun 2014