GSEA-SNP: applying gene set enrichment analysis to SNP data from genome-wide association studies
The power of genome-wide SNP association studies is limited, among others, by the large number of false positive test results. To provide a remedy, we combined SNP association analysis with the pathway-driven gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), recently developed to facilitate handling of genome-wide gene expression data. The resulting GSEA-SNP method rests on the assumption that SNPs underlying a disease phenotype are enriched in genes constituting a signaling pathway or those with a common regulation. Besides improving power for association mapping, GSEA-SNP may facilitate the identification of disease-associated SNPs and pathways, as well as the understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms. GSEA-SNP may also help to identify markers with weak effects, undetectable in association studies without pathway consideration. The program is freely available and can be downloaded from our website.