Transcription activity hot spot, is it real or an artifact?
Transcription activity 'hot spots', defined as chromosome regions that contain more expression quantitative trait loci than would have been expected by chance, have been frequently detected both in humans and in model organisms. It has been common to consider the existence of hot spots as evidence for master regulation of gene expression. However, hot spots could also simply be due to highly correlated gene expressions or linkage disequilibrium and do not truly represent master regulators. A recent simulation study using real human gene expression data but simulated random single-nucleotide polymorphism genotypes showed patterns of clustering of expression quantitative trait loci that resemble those in actual studies [Perez-Enciso: Genetics 2004, 166: 547–554.]. In this study, to assess the credibility of transcription activity hot spots, we conducted genetic analyses on gene expressions provided by Genetic Analysis Workshop 15 Problem 1.
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