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This article is part of the supplement: Selected articles from the Third International Symposium on Optimization and Systems Biology

Open Access Proceedings

Shrunken methodology to genome-wide SNPs selection and construction of SNPs networks

Yang Liu and Michael Ng*

Author Affiliations

Centre for Mathematical Imaging and Vision, and Department of Mathematics, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

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BMC Systems Biology 2010, 4(Suppl 2):S5  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-4-S2-S5

Published: 13 September 2010



Recent development of high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays allows detailed assessment of genome-wide human genome variations. There is increasing recognition of the importance of SNPs for medicine and developmental biology. However, SNP data set typically has a large number of SNPs (e.g., 400 thousand SNPs in genome-wide Parkinson disease data set) and a few hundred of samples. Conventional classification methods may not be effective when applied to such genome-wide SNP data.


In this paper, we use shrunken dissimilarity measure to analyze and select relevant SNPs for classification problems. Examples of HapMap data and Parkinson disease (PD) data are given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, and illustrate it has a potential to become a useful analysis tool for SNP data sets. We use Parkinson disease data as an example, and perform a whole genome analysis. For the 367440 SNPs with less than 1% missing percentage from all 22 chromosomes, we can select 357 SNPs from this data set. For the unique genes that those SNPs are located in, a gene-gene similarity value is computed using GOSemSim and gene pairs that has a similarity value being greater than a threshold are selected to construct several groups of genes. For the SNPs that involved in these groups of genes, a statistical software PLINK is employed to compute the pair-wise SNP-SNP interactions, and SNPs with significance of P < 0.01 are chosen to identify SNPs networks based on their P values. Here SNPs networks are constructed based on Gene Ontology knowledge, and therefore each SNP network plays a role in the biological process. An analysis shows that such networks have relationships directly or indirectly to Parkinson disease.


Experimental results show that our approach is suitable to handle genetic variations, and provide useful knowledge in a genome-wide SNP study.