The molecular basis of local gene co-expression and its impact on human disease
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have so far associated >10 000 genetic variants with disease and linked some of these disease variants to causal genes. Our understanding of a variant’s molecular link to disease is still a major challenge as most are found in the genome’s non-coding regions, act only in specific tissues and may affect several genes. Recent studies revealed that neighbouring genes are often co-expressed – they form co-expression domains (CODs) – and could be regulated by shared regulatory variants. The EU-funded CODer project aims to investigate how local gene co-expression is achieved and regulated by genetic variants and study their impact on human disease using cutting-edge datasets of single-cell RNA sequencing.