Multitissue H3K27ac profiling of GTEx samples links epigenomic variation to disease.
Genetic variants associated with complex traits are primarily noncoding, and their effects on gene-regulatory activity remain largely uncharacterized. To address this, we profile epigenomic variation of histone mark H3K27ac across 387 brain, heart, muscle and lung samples from Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx). We annotate 282 k active regulatory elements (AREs) with tissue-specific activity patterns. We identify 2,436 sex-biased AREs and 5,397 genetically influenced AREs associated with 130 k genetic variants (haQTLs) across tissues. We integrate genetic and epigenomic variation to provide mechanistic insights for disease-associated loci from 55 genome-wide association studies (GWAS), by revealing candidate tissues of action, driver SNPs and impacted AREs. Lastly, we build ARE-gene linking scores based on genetics (gLink scores) and demonstrate their unique ability to prioritize SNP-ARE-gene circuits. Overall, our epigenomic datasets, computational integration and mechanistic predictions provide valuable resources and important insights for understanding the molecular basis of human diseases/traits such as schizophrenia.
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