Calibration of computational tools for missense variant pathogenicity classification and ClinGen recommendations for PP3/BP4 criteria

ClinGen Sequence Variant Interpretation Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recommendations from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the Association for Molecular Pathology (ACMG/AMP) for interpreting sequence variants specify the use of computational predictors as “supporting” level of evidence for pathogenicity or benignity using criteria PP3 and BP4, respectively. However, score intervals defined by tool developers, and ACMG/AMP recommendations that require the consensus of multiple predictors, lack quantitative support. Previously, we described a probabilistic framework that quantified the strengths of evidence (supporting, moderate, strong, very strong) within ACMG/AMP recommendations. We have extended this framework to computational predictors and introduce a new standard that converts a tool's scores to PP3 and BP4 evidence strengths. Our approach is based on estimating the local positive predictive value and can calibrate any computational tool or other continuous-scale evidence on any variant type. We estimate thresholds (score intervals) corresponding to each strength of evidence for pathogenicity and benignity for thirteen missense variant interpretation tools, using carefully assembled independent data sets. Most tools achieved supporting evidence level for both pathogenic and benign classification using newly established thresholds. Multiple tools reached score thresholds justifying moderate and several reached strong evidence levels. One tool reached very strong evidence level for benign classification on some variants. Based on these findings, we provide recommendations for evidence-based revisions of the PP3 and BP4 ACMG/AMP criteria using individual tools and future assessment of computational methods for clinical interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2163-2177
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • ACMG/AMP recommendations
  • PP3/BP4 criteria
  • clinical classification
  • computational predictors
  • in silico tools
  • likelihood ratio
  • posterior probability
  • variant interpretation


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