• Human aging in the post-GWAS era: further insights reveal potential regulatory variants

      Haider, S.A.; Faisal, Muhammad (2015)
      Human aging involves a gradual decrease in cellular integrity that contributes to multiple complex disorders such as neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) play a key role in discovering genetic variations that may contribute towards disease vulnerability. However, mostly disease-associated SNPs lie within non-coding part of the genome; majority of the variants are also present in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with the genome-wide significant SNPs (GWAS lead SNPs). Overall 600 SNPs were analyzed, out of which 291 returned RegulomeDB scores of 1-6. It was observed that just 4 out of those 291 SNPs show strong evidence of regulatory effects (RegulomeDB score < 3), while none of them includes any GWAS lead SNP. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that by combining ENCODE project data along with GWAS reported information will provide important insights on the impact of a genetic variant-moving from GWAS towards understanding disease pathways. It is noteworthy that both genome-wide significant SNPs as well as the SNPs in LD must be considered for future studies; this may prove to be crucial in deciphering the potential regulatory elements involved in complex disorders and aging in particular.