Efficient meta-analysis of multivariate genome-wide association studies with Meta-MOSTest [article]

Aihua Lin, alexey shadrin, Dennis van der Meer, Guy Hindley, Weiqiu Cheng, Ida Elken Sonderby, Shahram Bahrami, Kevin S OConnell, Zillur Rahman, Nadine Parker, Olav B Smeland, Chun Fan (+4 others)
2022 bioRxiv   pre-print
Motivation: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful in identifying genetic variants associated with a particular phenotype. However, many complex phenotypes are influenced by multiple genetic variants with small effects. Detecting the genetic pleiotropy can provide insights into biological mechanisms influencing complex human phenotypes. The recently developed Multivariate Omnibus Statistical Test (MOSTest) has proven to be efficient and powerful, suited for complex
more » ... le data. The method substantially increased discovery of genetic variants associated with brain MRI phenotypes in the UK Biobank compared to conventionally use multivariate approach. Here we extend the MOSTest to meta-analysis (Meta-MOSTest), facilitating data analysis of multiple phenotypes across multiple cohorts. We evaluated our updated approach in the UK Biobank using brain MRI phenotypes, by comparing the discovery yield of the single-cohort MOSTest versus Meta-MOSTest through simulating sub-cohorts of different sample sizes from 265 to 26501 subjects. Results: Our method works efficiently on large-scale cohorts with a large number of MRI phenotypes. We found that lower per-cohort sample sizes resulted in a reduced discovery yield indicating a loss of statistical power. However, with a minimum sample size of 250 subjects across cohorts, Meta-MOSTest was equivalent to MOSTest on discovery yield while maintaining a well-calibrated type I error and equivalent statistical power. We conclude that Meta-MOSTest is a useful tool for multivariate analysis across separate brain imaging genetics cohorts. Availability and implementation: All codes are freely available on GitHub: MOSTest and Meta-MOSTest.
doi:10.1101/2022.08.18.504383 fatcat:yrh6i6s2vnha5gh2ixktszehli