Understanding mutational effects in digenic diseases

Andrea Gazzo, Daniele Raimondi, Dorien Daneels, Yves Moreau, Guillaume Smits, Sonia Van Dooren, Tom Lenaerts

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39 Citations (Scopus)
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To further our understanding of the complexity and genetic heterogeneity of rare diseases, it has become essential to shed light on how combinations of variants in different genes are responsible for a disease phenotype. With the appearance of a resource on digenic diseases, it has become possible to evaluate how digenic combinations differ in terms of the phenotypes they produce. All instances in this resource were assigned to two classes of digenic effects, annotated as true digenic and composite classes. Whereas in the true digenic class variants in both genes are required for developing the disease, in the composite class, a variant in one gene is sufficient to produce the phenotype, but an additional variant in a second gene impacts the disease phenotype or alters the age of onset. We show that a combination of variant, gene and higher-level features can differentiate between these two classes with high accuracy. Moreover, we show via the analysis of three digenic disorders that a digenic effect decision profile, extracted from the predictive model, motivates why an instance was assigned to either of the two classes. Together, our results show that digenic disease data generates novel insights, providing a glimpse into the oligogenic realm.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere140
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2017


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