Significance Associated with Phenotype Score Aids in Variant Prioritization for Exome Sequencing Analysis.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2024.01.009


Several in silico annotation-based methods have been developed to prioritize variants in exome sequencing analysis. This study introduced a novel metric Significance Associated with Phenotypes (SAP) score, which generates a statistical score by comparing an individual's observed phenotypes against existing gene-phenotype associations. To evaluate the SAP score, a retrospective analysis was performed on 219 exomes. Among them, 82 family-based and 35 singleton exomes had at least one disease-causing variant that explained the patient's clinical features. SAP scores were calculated, and the rank of the disease-causing variant was compared with a known method, Exomiser. Using the SAP score, the known causative variant was ranked in the top 10 retained variants for 94% (77 of 82) of the family-based exomes and in first place for 73% of these cases. For singleton exomes, the SAP score analysis ranked the known pathogenic variants within the top 10 for 80% (28 of 35) of cases. The SAP score, which is independent of detected variants, demonstrates comparable performance with Exomiser, which considers both phenotype and variant-level evidence simultaneously. Among 102 cases with negative results or variants of uncertain significance, SAP score analysis revealed two cases with a potential new diagnosis based on rank. The SAP score, a phenotypic quantitative metric, can be used in conjunction with standard variant filtration and annotation to enhance variant prioritization in exome analysis.

Journal Title

The Journal of molecular diagnostics : JMD





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Exome Sequencing; Retrospective Studies; Databases, Genetic; Genetic Testing; Phenotype


Exome Sequencing; Retrospective Studies; Genetic Databases; Genetic Testing; Phenotype

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