BMC bioinformatics 2018 01 0519(1) 8 doi 10.1186/s12859-017-2001-5
Genomic imprinting is one of the well-known epigenetic factors causing the association between traits and genes, and has generally been examined by detecting parent-of-origin effects of alleles. A lot of methods have been proposed to test for parent-of-origin effects on autosomes based on nuclear families and general pedigrees. Although these parent-of-origin effects tests on autosomes have been available for more than 15 years, there has been no statistical test developed to test for parent-of-origin effects on X chromosome, until the parental-asymmetry test on X chromosome (XPAT) and its extensions were recently proposed. However, these methods on X chromosome are only applicable to nuclear families and thus are not suitable for general pedigrees.
In this article, we propose the pedigree parental-asymmetry test on X chromosome (XPPAT) statistic to test for parent-of-origin effects in the presence of association, which can accommodate general pedigrees. When there are missing genotypes in some pedigrees, we further develop the Monte Carlo pedigree parental-asymmetry test on X chromosome (XMCPPAT) to test for parent-of-origin effects, by inferring the missing genotypes given the observed genotypes based on a Monte Carlo estimation. An extensive simulation study has been carried out to investigate the type I error rates and the powers of the proposed tests. Our simulation results show that the proposed methods control the size well under the null hypothesis of no parent-of-origin effects. Moreover, XMCPPAT substantially outperforms the existing tests and has a much higher power than XPPAT which only uses complete nuclear families (with both parents) from pedigrees. We also apply the proposed methods to analyze rheumatoid arthritis data for their practical use.
The proposed XPPAT and XMCPPAT test statistics are valid and powerful in detecting parent-of-origin effects on X chromosome for qualitative traits based on general pedigrees and thus are recommended.