Perspectives on allele-specific expression

Cleary, Siobhan
Seoighe, Cathal
Cleary, Siobhan, & Seoighe, Cathal. (2021). Perspectives on Allele-Specific Expression. Annual Review of Biomedical Data Science, 4(1), 101-122. doi:10.1146/annurev-biodatasci-021621-122219
Diploidy has profound implications for population genetics and susceptibility to genetic diseases. Although two copies are present for most genes in the human genome, they are not necessarily both active or active at the same level in a given individual. Genomic imprinting, resulting in exclusive or biased expression in favor of the allele of paternal or maternal origin, is now believed to affect hundreds of human genes. A far greater number of genes display unequal expression of gene copies due to cis-acting genetic variants that perturb gene expression. The availability of data generated by RNA sequencing applied to large numbers of individuals and tissue types has generated unprecedented opportunities to assess the contribution of genetic variation to allelic imbalance in gene expression. Here we review the insights gained through the analysis of these data about the extent of the genetic contribution to allelic expression imbalance, the tools and statistical models for gene expression imbalance, and what the results obtained reveal about the contribution of genetic variants that alter gene expression to complex human diseases and phenotypes.
Annual Reviews
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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)