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Genes 2017, 8(12), 347; doi:10.3390/genes8120347

A Strategy for Identifying Quantitative Trait Genes Using Gene Expression Analysis and Causal Analysis

Laboratory of Animal Genetics and Breeding, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Genetic Loci)
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Abstract

Large numbers of quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting complex diseases and other quantitative traits have been reported in humans and model animals. However, the genetic architecture of these traits remains elusive due to the difficulty in identifying causal quantitative trait genes (QTGs) for common QTL with relatively small phenotypic effects. A traditional strategy based on techniques such as positional cloning does not always enable identification of a single candidate gene for a QTL of interest because it is difficult to narrow down a target genomic interval of the QTL to a very small interval harboring only one gene. A combination of gene expression analysis and statistical causal analysis can greatly reduce the number of candidate genes. This integrated approach provides causal evidence that one of the candidate genes is a putative QTG for the QTL. Using this approach, I have recently succeeded in identifying a single putative QTG for resistance to obesity in mice. Here, I outline the integration approach and discuss its usefulness using my studies as an example. View Full-Text
Keywords: QTL; QTG; gene expression; causal analysis QTL; QTG; gene expression; causal analysis
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Ishikawa, A. A Strategy for Identifying Quantitative Trait Genes Using Gene Expression Analysis and Causal Analysis. Genes 2017, 8, 347.

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