Edsgärd D, Iglesias MJ, Reilly SJ, Hamsten A, Tornvall P, Odeberg J, Emanuelsson O
Sci Rep 6 (-) 21134 [2016-02-18; online 2016-02-18]
Allele-specific expression (ASE) is the imbalance in transcription between maternal and paternal alleles at a locus and can be probed in single individuals using massively parallel DNA sequencing technology. Assessing ASE within a single sample provides a static picture of the ASE, but the magnitude of ASE for a given transcript may vary between different biological conditions in an individual. Such condition-dependent ASE could indicate a genetic variation with a functional role in the phenotypic difference. We investigated ASE through RNA-sequencing of primary white blood cells from eight human individuals before and after the controlled induction of an inflammatory response, and detected condition-dependent and static ASE at 211 and 13021 variants, respectively. We developed a method, GeneiASE, to detect genes exhibiting static or condition-dependent ASE in single individuals. GeneiASE performed consistently over a range of read depths and ASE effect sizes, and did not require phasing of variants to estimate haplotypes. We observed condition-dependent ASE related to the inflammatory response in 19 genes, and static ASE in 1389 genes. Allele-specific expression was confirmed by validation of variants through real-time quantitative RT-PCR, with RNA-seq and RT-PCR ASE effect-size correlations r = 0.67 and r = 0.94 for static and condition-dependent ASE, respectively.