Large scale proteomic studies create novel privacy considerations

Andrew C. Hill, Claire Guo, Elizabeth M. Litkowski, Ani W. Manichaikul, Bing Yu, Iain R. Konigsberg, Betty A. Gorbet, Leslie A. Lange, Katherine A. Pratte, Katerina J. Kechris, Matthew DeCamp, Marilyn Coors, Victor E. Ortega, Stephen S. Rich, Jerome I. Rotter, Robert E. Gerzsten, Clary B. Clish, Jeffrey L. Curtis, Xiaowei Hu, Ma en ObeidatMelody Morris, Joseph Loureiro, Debby Ngo, Wanda K. O’Neal, Deborah A. Meyers, Eugene R. Bleecker, Brian D. Hobbs, Michael H. Cho, Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, Russell P. Bowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Privacy protection is a core principle of genomic but not proteomic research. We identified independent single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) quantitative trait loci (pQTL) from COPDGene and Jackson Heart Study (JHS), calculated continuous protein level genotype probabilities, and then applied a naïve Bayesian approach to link SomaScan 1.3K proteomes to genomes for 2812 independent subjects from COPDGene, JHS, SubPopulations and InteRmediate Outcome Measures In COPD Study (SPIROMICS) and Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). We correctly linked 90–95% of proteomes to their correct genome and for 95–99% we identify the 1% most likely links. The linking accuracy in subjects with African ancestry was lower (~ 60%) unless training included diverse subjects. With larger profiling (SomaScan 5K) in the Atherosclerosis Risk Communities (ARIC) correct identification was > 99% even in mixed ancestry populations. We also linked proteomes-to-proteomes and used the proteome only to determine features such as sex, ancestry, and first-degree relatives. When serial proteomes are available, the linking algorithm can be used to identify and correct mislabeled samples. This work also demonstrates the importance of including diverse populations in omics research and that large proteomic datasets (> 1000 proteins) can be accurately linked to a specific genome through pQTL knowledge and should not be considered unidentifiable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9254
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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