The functional consequences of trait associated SNPs are often investigated using expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping. While trait-associated variants may operate in a cell-type specific manner, eQTL datasets for such cell-types may not always be available. We performed a genome-environment interaction (GxE) meta-analysis on data from 5,683 samples to infer the cell type specificity of whole blood cis-eQTLs. We demonstrate that this method is able to predict neutrophil and lymphocyte specific cis-eQTLs and replicate these predictions in independent cell-type specific datasets. Finally, we show that SNPs associated with Crohn’s disease preferentially affect gene expression within neutrophils, including the archetypal NOD2 locus.,
PL o S Genetics (Online)
Department of Internal Medicine

Westra, H.-J., Arends, D., Esko, T., Peters, M., Schurmann, C., Schramm, K., … Franke, L. (2015). Cell Specific eQTL Analysis without Sorting Cells. PL o S Genetics (Online), 11(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005223