The extent to which genetic interactions affect observed phenotypes is generally unknown because current interaction detection approaches only consider simple interactions between top SNPs of genes. We introduce an open-source framework for increasing the power of interaction detection by considering all SNPs within a selected set of genes and complex interactions between them, beyond only the currently considered multiplicative relationships. In brief, the relation between SNPs and a phenotype is captured by a neural network, and the interactions are quantified by Shapley scores between hidden nodes, which are gene representations that optimally combine information from the corresponding SNPs. Additionally, we design a permutation procedure tailored for neural networks to assess the significance of interactions, which outperformed existing alternatives on simulated datasets with complex interactions, and in a cholesterol study on the UK Biobank it detected nine interactions which replicated on an independent FINRISK dataset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1238
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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