Journal Article

Long-range sequence composition mirrors linkage disequilibrium pattern in a 1.13 Mb region of human chromosome 22

Ingrid Eisenbarth, Andrea M. Striebel, Elke Moschgath, Walther Vogel and Günter Assum

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 10, issue 24, pages 2833-2839
Published in print November 2001 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online November 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/10.24.2833
Long-range sequence composition mirrors linkage disequilibrium pattern in a 1.13 Mb region of human chromosome 22

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Association studies, the most powerful tool for the identification of genes underlying complex traits, depend on the observation of linkage disequilibrium (LD) between marker alleles and the trait. The LD pattern of the human genome which determines the regional density of required markers is non-uniform, with regions of long-range LD over several hundred kilobases and regions where LD extends only over a few kilobases. Studying LD in the NF1 gene region we encountered a transition from long-range to short-range LD which coincides with a switch in the isochore pattern. This observation prompted us to investigate the regional variation in the extent of LD more systematically and we selected an isochore transition within the MN1/PITPNB gene region on chromosome 22q12.1. Long-range LD characterizes the GC-poor (40% GC) parts of the sequences. No LD can be observed between closely spaced markers throughout the whole range of the GC-rich (50% GC) parts. In both cases, the NF1 and the MN1/PITPNB gene region, a clear-cut transition of the long-range GC content precisely coincides with a change in the extent of observable LD. The results can be explained by a 72-fold lower recombination frequency in the GC-poor, compared to the GC-rich isochores. Although recombination is not the only factor governing LD, our findings can help to predict levels of LD and marker densities required for association studies on the basis of regional GC content.

Journal Article.  4465 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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