Author(s): Majewski J, Pastinen T
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Abstract Common DNA variants alter the expression levels and patterns of many human genes. Loci responsible for this genetic control are known as expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs). The resulting variation of gene expression across individuals has been postulated to be a determinant of phenotypic variation and susceptibility to complex disease. In the past, the application of expression microarray and genetic variation data to study populations enabled the rapid identification of eQTLs in model organisms and humans. Now, a new technology promises to revolutionize the field. Massively parallel RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) provides unprecedented resolution, allowing us to accurately monitor not only the expression output of each genomic locus but also reconstruct and quantify alternatively spliced transcripts. RNA-seq also provides new insights into the regulatory mechanisms underlying eQTLs. Here, we discuss the major advances introduced by RNA-seq and summarize current progress towards understanding the role of eQTLs in determining human phenotypic diversity. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Trends Genet
and referenced in Journal of Plant Biochemistry & Physiology