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An evolution-based high-fidelity method of epistasis measurement: Theory and application to influenza

Abstract : Linkage effects in a multi-locus population strongly influence its evolution. The models based on the traveling wave approach enable us to predict the average speed of evolution and the statistics of phylogeny. However, predicting statistically the evolution of specific sites and pairs of sites in the multi-locus context remains a mathematical challenge. In particular, the effects of epistasis, the interaction of gene regions contributing to phenotype, is difficult to predict theoretically and detect experimentally in sequence data. A large number of false-positive interactions arises from stochastic linkage effects and indirect interactions, which mask true epistatic interactions. Here we develop a proof-of-principle method to filter out false-positive interactions. We start by demonstrating that the averaging of haplotype frequencies over multiple independent populations is necessary but not sufficient for epistatic detection, because it still leaves high numbers of false-positive interactions. To compensate for the residual stochastic noise, we develop a three-way haplotype method isolating true interactions. The fidelity of the method is confirmed analytically and on simulated genetic sequences evolved with a known epistatic network. The method is then applied to a large sequence database of neurominidase protein of influenza A H1N1 obtained from various geographic locations to infer the epistatic network responsible for the difference between the pre-pandemic virus and the pandemic strain of 2009. These results present a simple and reliable technique to measure epistatic interactions of any sign from sequence data.
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Contributor : Hal Sorbonne Université Gestionnaire <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 11:31:41 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 9:08:50 AM


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Gabriele Pedruzzi, Igor Rouzine. An evolution-based high-fidelity method of epistasis measurement: Theory and application to influenza. PLoS Pathogens, Public Library of Science, 2021, 17 (6), pp.e1009669. ⟨10.1371/journal.ppat.1009669⟩. ⟨hal-03268498⟩



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