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AFA: Ancestry-specific allele frequency estimation in admixed populations: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.

TitleAFA: Ancestry-specific allele frequency estimation in admixed populations: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.
Publication TypePublication
AuthorsGranot-Hershkovitz E, Sun Q, Argos M, Zhou H, Lin X, Browning SR, Sofer T
JournalHGG Adv
Date Published2022 Apr 14

Allele frequency estimates in admixed populations, such as Hispanics and Latinos, rely on the sample's specific admixture composition and thus may differ between two seemingly similar populations. However, ancestry-specific allele frequencies, i.e., pertaining to the ancestral populations of an admixed group, may be particularly useful for prioritizing genetic variants for genetic discovery and personalized genomic health. We developed a method, ancestry-specific allele frequency estimation in admixed populations (AFA), to estimate the frequencies of biallelic variants in admixed populations with an unlimited number of ancestries. AFA uses maximum-likelihood estimation by modeling the conditional probability of having an allele given proportions of genetic ancestries. It can be applied using either local ancestry interval proportions encompassing the variant (local-ancestry-specific allele frequency estimations in admixed populations [LAFAs]) or global proportions of genetic ancestries (global-ancestry-specific allele frequency estimations in admixed populations [GAFAs]), which are easier to compute and are more widely available. Simulations and comparisons to existing software demonstrated the high accuracy of the method. We implemented AFA on high-quality imputed data of ∼9,000 Hispanics and Latinos from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), an understudied, admixed population with three predominant continental ancestries: Amerindian, European, and African. Comparison of the European and African estimated frequencies to the respective gnomAD frequencies demonstrated high correlations (Pearson R = 0.97-0.99). We provide a genome-wide dataset of the estimated ancestry-specific allele frequencies for available variants with allele frequency between 5% and 95% in at least one of the three ancestral populations. Association analysis of Amerindian-enriched variants with cardiometabolic traits identified five loci associated with lipid traits in Hispanics and Latinos, demonstrating the utility of ancestry-specific allele frequencies in admixed populations.

Alternate JournalHGG Adv
PubMed ID35300209
PubMed Central IDPMC8920934
Grant ListR01 HG010869 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States
R21 AG070644 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
Manuscript Lead/Corresponding Author Affiliation: 
HCHS/SOL Genetic Analysis Center - University of Washington, Seattle
Manuscript Status: