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Intra-individual changes in the frequency of mosaic loss of chromosome Y over time estimated with a new method

By Marcus Danielsson, Jonatan Halvardson, Hanna Davies, Behrooz Torabi Moghadam, Jonas Mattisson, Edyta Rychlicka-Buniowska, Janusz Jaszczyński, Julia Heintz, Lars Lannfelt, Vilmantas Giedraitis, Martin Ingelsson, Jan P. Dumanski, Lars A. Forsberg

Posted 09 May 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/631713

Background Mosaic loss of chromosome Y (LOY) is the most common somatic mutation and is associated with all-cause mortality, non-haematological cancers and Alzheimer’s disease among other outcomes. The predominant method used for estimating LOY is the intensity data generated by SNP-arrays, which is difficult to interpret due to its logarithmic scale. Here we describe a new way to convert the LOY mosaicism into a non-logarithmic scale, which instead represents the percentage of affected cells. Methods We compared three independent LOY readouts from matched samples, generated by SNP-array, whole genome sequencing and droplet digital PCR. The SNP-array standardization was derived from this comparison and was applied in analyses of serially collected samples from a large cohort of aging men. The sampling was performed up to five times, spanning up to 22 years. Results We observed a higher correlation between the LOY measurements from SNP-array and the two other readouts when using the standardized, instead of the logarithmic, SNP-array data. We also observed a pronounced intra-individual variation of changes in the frequency of LOY within individual males over time. Conclusions Describing LOY measurements generated from SNP-arrays in percentage of cells without the Y chromosome makes comparisons to WGS and ddPCR measurements more precise and easier to interpret. This standardization could be applied to the vast amount of SNP-array data already generated in the scientific community, allowing further discoveries of LOY associated disease and outcomes. Additionally, the frequency of LOY in this study changed profoundly within men over time, likely as a result of aberrant clonal expansions.

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