Multipoint development of the weighted pairwise correlation (WPC) linkage method for pedigrees of arbitrary size and application to the analysis of breast cancer and alcoholism familial data.

Research paper by A A Zinn-Justin, A A Ziegler, L L Abel

Indexed on: 10 Jul '01Published on: 10 Jul '01Published in: Genetic Epidemiology


The weighted pairwise correlation (WPC) method is a simple and powerful model-free method of linkage analysis that has the advantages of being applicable to binary, ordered categorical, quantitative, or censored traits, and to consider all pairs of relatives in large pedigrees. The originally implemented approach was limited to the use of the identical by state (IBS) information, and we recently extended the WPC method to incorporate the identical by descent (IBD) information for two-point linkage analysis. Here, we develop a multipoint WPC method suitable for pedigrees of arbitrary size and large number of markers. The multipoint IBD estimation procedure for relative pairs is based on the efficient regression approach developed for pedigrees implemented in SOLAR. A robust and fast Monte-Carlo procedure is used to determine reliable P values. Application of the method to the 214 pedigrees from the Breast Cancer Linkage Consortium provided for the Genetic Analysis Workshop (GAW) 9 shows that multipoint WPC statistic values were not far from two-point maximum lod-score values obtained by the classical parametric linkage method and were higher than multipoint variance component analysis lod-scores obtained with SOLAR. The multipoint WPC method is also used to analyze the familial Collaborative Study of the Genetics of Alcoholism data on alcoholism released for GAW11. It allows a better specification of the linkage results previously obtained within the chromosome 4 region.