Do you plan to integrate TWAS into Open Targets Genetics?

Dear Opentargets team,

I am wondering is there any roadmap to integrate TWAS workflow to opentargets platform?



We currently don’t have TWAS on our roadmap. Although TWAS has been successful at identifying genes whose genetically regulated expression is associated to traits, a major limitation of TWAS is that it cannot distinguish between a causal effect of expression on disease and a tagging association within the same region due to correlations among SNPs (i.e. linkage disequilibrium, LD). Hence, it leads to a high number of false positive causal genes results. In contrast to TWAS, colocalization analyses, including COLOC, which is what we use in the Genetics portal, focuses on estimating the probability of the SNPs causals for eQTL to be the same as for GWAS, irrespective of direction of genetic effect on expression or disease, and are not designed to test for an effect of gene expression on disease risk. COLOC output is currently used as a feature for our L2G score. However, if the are clear evidence that TWAS may improve the prediction model for causal genes, we will be happy to investigate further.

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