Loh Lab

New preprint on exome imputation and fine-mapping in UK Biobank

We are excited to share a new preprint, “Whole-exome imputation within UK Biobank powers rare coding variant association and fine-mapping analyses” (Barton et al.), which reports an atlas of 1,189 rare coding variants likely to causally influence 54 quantitative traits in UK Biobank. This analysis leveraged the initial release of N=49,960 UKB exomes to accurately impute variants with MAF down to ~0.00005 into the full cohort (N~500K). Association and fine-mapping analyses identified several new large-effect (>0.5 s.d.) variants for height as well as long allelic series — containing up to 45 distinct likely-causal variants within the same gene — for many molecular and cellular traits. These results demonstrate the utility of within-cohort imputation and inform analysis strategies for future exome studies.