OBJECTIVE: The severity of joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is highly variable from patient to patient and is influenced by genetic factors. Genome-wide association studies have enormously boosted the field of the genetics of RA susceptibility, but risk loci for RA severity remain poorly defined. A recent meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identified 6 genetic regions for susceptibility to autoantibody-positive RA: CD40, KIF5A/PIP4K2C, CDK6, CCL21, PRKCQ, and MMEL1/TNFRSF14. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether these newly described genetic regions are associated with the rate of joint destruction. METHODS: RA patients enrolled in the Leiden Early Arthritis Clinic were studied (n=563). Yearly radiographs were scored using the Sharp/van der Heijde method (median followup 5 years; maximum followup 9 years). The rate of joint destruction between genotype groups was compared using a linear mixed model, correcting for age, sex, and treatment strategies. A total of 393 anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive RA patients from the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) who had radiographic data available were used for the replication study. RESULTS: The TT and CC/CG genotypes of 2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, rs4810485 (CD40) and rs42041 (CDK6), respectively, were associated with a higher rate of joint destruction in ACPA-positive RA patients (P=0.003 and P=0.012, respectively), with rs4810485 being significant after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. The association of the CD40 minor allele with the rate of radiographic progression was replicated in the NARAC cohort (P=0.021). CONCLUSION: A polymorphism in the CD40 locus is associated with the rate of joint destruction in patients with ACPA-positive RA. Our findings provide one of the first non-HLA-related genetic severity factors that has been replicated.
Translating a set of disease regions into insight about pathogenic mechanisms requires not only the ability to identify the key disease genes within them, but also the biological relationships among those key genes. Here we describe a statistical method, Gene Relationships Among Implicated Loci (GRAIL), that takes a list of disease regions and automatically assesses the degree of relatedness of implicated genes using 250,000 PubMed abstracts. We first evaluated GRAIL by assessing its ability to identify subsets of highly related genes in common pathways from validated lipid and height SNP associations from recent genome-wide studies. We then tested GRAIL, by assessing its ability to separate true disease regions from many false positive disease regions in two separate practical applications in human genetics. First, we took 74 nominally associated Crohn's disease SNPs and applied GRAIL to identify a subset of 13 SNPs with highly related genes. Of these, ten convincingly validated in follow-up genotyping; genotyping results for the remaining three were inconclusive. Next, we applied GRAIL to 165 rare deletion events seen in schizophrenia cases (less than one-third of which are contributing to disease risk). We demonstrate that GRAIL is able to identify a subset of 16 deletions containing highly related genes; many of these genes are expressed in the central nervous system and play a role in neuronal synapses. GRAIL offers a statistically robust approach to identifying functionally related genes from across multiple disease regions--that likely represent key disease pathways. An online version of this method is available for public use (http://www.broad.mit.edu/mpg/grail/).
Kong A, Steinthorsdottir V, Masson G, Thorleifsson G, Sulem P, Besenbacher S, Jonasdottir A, Sigurdsson A, Kristinsson KT, Jonasdottir A, Frigge ML, Gylfason A, Olason PI, Gudjonsson SA, Sverrisson S, Stacey SN, Sigurgeirsson B, Benediktsdottir KR, Sigurdsson H, Jonsson T, Benediktsson R, Olafsson JH, Johannsson OT, Hreidarsson AB, Sigurdsson G, Sigurdsson G, Ferguson-Smith AC, Gudbjartsson DF, Thorsteinsdottir U, Stefansson K. Parental origin of sequence variants associated with complex diseases [Internet]. Nature 2009;462(7275):868-74. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Effects of susceptibility variants may depend on from which parent they are inherited. Although many associations between sequence variants and human traits have been discovered through genome-wide associations, the impact of parental origin has largely been ignored. Here we show that for 38,167 Icelanders genotyped using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chips, the parental origin of most alleles can be determined. For this we used a combination of genealogy and long-range phasing. We then focused on SNPs that associate with diseases and are within 500 kilobases of known imprinted genes. Seven independent SNP associations were examined. Five-one with breast cancer, one with basal-cell carcinoma and three with type 2 diabetes-have parental-origin-specific associations. These variants are located in two genomic regions, 11p15 and 7q32, each harbouring a cluster of imprinted genes. Furthermore, we observed a novel association between the SNP rs2334499 at 11p15 and type 2 diabetes. Here the allele that confers risk when paternally inherited is protective when maternally transmitted. We identified a differentially methylated CTCF-binding site at 11p15 and demonstrated correlation of rs2334499 with decreased methylation of that site.
OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have demonstrated that the PRL -1149 T (minor) allele decreases prolactin expression and may be associated with autoimmune disease. The aim of this study was to determine the role of the PRL -1149 G/T polymorphism (rs1341239) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility.
METHODS: We examined the association between PRL -1149 G/T and RA risk in 4 separate study populations, consisting of a total of 3,405 RA cases and 4,111 controls of self-reported white European ancestry. Samples were genotyped using 1 of 3 genotyping platforms, and strict quality control metrics were applied. We tested for association using a 2-tailed Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel additive, fixed-effects model.
RESULTS: In the individual populations, odds ratios (ORs) for an association between PRL -1149 T and RA risk ranged from 0.80 to 0.97. In a joint meta-analysis across all 4 populations, the OR for an association between PRL -1149 T and RA risk was 0.90 (95% confidence interval 0.84-0.96, P=0.001).
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate a possible association between the PRL -1149 T allele and decreased RA risk. The effect size is small but similar to ORs for other genetic polymorphisms associated with complex traits, including RA.
Raychaudhuri S, Thomson BP, Remmers EF, Eyre S, Hinks A, Guiducci C, Catanese JJ, Xie G, Stahl EA, Chen R, Alfredsson L, Amos CI, Ardlie KG, Ardlie KG, Barton A, Bowes J, Burtt NP, Chang M, Coblyn J, Costenbader KH, Criswell LA, Crusius BJA, Cui J, De Jager PL, Ding B, Emery P, Flynn E, Harrison P, Hocking LJ, Huizinga TWJ, Kastner DL, Ke X, Kurreeman FAS, Lee AT, Liu X, Li Y, Martin P, Morgan AW, Padyukov L, Reid DM, Seielstad M, Seldin MF, Shadick NA, Steer S, Tak PP, Thomson W, van der Helm-van Mil AHM, van der Horst-Bruinsma IE, Weinblatt ME, Wilson AG, Wolbink GJ, Wordsworth P, Wordsworth P, Altshuler D, Karlson EW, Toes REM, de Vries N, Begovich AB, Siminovitch KA, Worthington J, Klareskog L, Gregersen PK, Daly MJ, Plenge RM. Genetic variants at CD28, PRDM1 and CD2/CD58 are associated with rheumatoid arthritis risk [Internet]. Nat Genet 2009;41(12):1313-8. Publisher's VersionAbstract
To discover new rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk loci, we systematically examined 370 SNPs from 179 independent loci with P < 0.001 in a published meta-analysis of RA genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 3,393 cases and 12,462 controls. We used Gene Relationships Across Implicated Loci (GRAIL), a computational method that applies statistical text mining to PubMed abstracts, to score these 179 loci for functional relationships to genes in 16 established RA disease loci. We identified 22 loci with a significant degree of functional connectivity. We genotyped 22 representative SNPs in an independent set of 7,957 cases and 11,958 matched controls. Three were convincingly validated: CD2-CD58 (rs11586238, P = 1 x 10(-6) replication, P = 1 x 10(-9) overall), CD28 (rs1980422, P = 5 x 10(-6) replication, P = 1 x 10(-9) overall) and PRDM1 (rs548234, P = 1 x 10(-5) replication, P = 2 x 10(-8) overall). An additional four were replicated (P < 0.0023): TAGAP (rs394581, P = 0.0002 replication, P = 4 x 10(-7) overall), PTPRC (rs10919563, P = 0.0003 replication, P = 7 x 10(-7) overall), TRAF6-RAG1 (rs540386, P = 0.0008 replication, P = 4 x 10(-6) overall) and FCGR2A (rs12746613, P = 0.0022 replication, P = 2 x 10(-5) overall). Many of these loci are also associated to other immunologic diseases.
We report the results of a meta-analysis of genome-wide association scans for multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility that includes 2,624 subjects with MS and 7,220 control subjects. Replication in an independent set of 2,215 subjects with MS and 2,116 control subjects validates new MS susceptibility loci at TNFRSF1A (combined P = 1.59 x 10(-11)), IRF8 (P = 3.73 x 10(-9)) and CD6 (P = 3.79 x 10(-9)). TNFRSF1A harbors two independent susceptibility alleles: rs1800693 is a common variant with modest effect (odds ratio = 1.2), whereas rs4149584 is a nonsynonymous coding polymorphism of low frequency but with stronger effect (allele frequency = 0.02; odds ratio = 1.6). We also report that the susceptibility allele near IRF8, which encodes a transcription factor known to function in type I interferon signaling, is associated with higher mRNA expression of interferon-response pathway genes in subjects with MS.