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Publications by Year: 2015
Ombrello MJ, Remmers EF, Tachmazidou I, Grom A, Foell D, Haas J-P, Martini A, Gattorno M, Özen S, Prahalad S, Zeft AS, Bohnsack JF, Mellins ED, Ilowite NT, Russo R, Len C, Hilario MOE, Oliveira S, Yeung RSM, Rosenberg A, Wedderburn LR, Anton J, Schwarz T, Hinks A, Bilginer Y, Park J, Cobb J, Satorius CL, Han B, Baskin E, Signa S, Duerr RH, Achkar JP, Kamboh IM, Kaufman KM, Kottyan LC, Pinto D, Scherer SW, Alarcón-Riquelme ME, Docampo E, Estivill X, Gül A, of and Group BSPAR (BSPAR) S, of and Group BSPAR (BSPAR) S, of in sJIA Investigators RPPSR (RAPPORT), to Group S-CARMS (CHARMS), in Group BBOPJIA (BBOP), de Bakker PIW, Raychaudhuri S, Langefeld CD, Thompson S, Zeggini E, Thomson W, Kastner DL, Woo P, Woo P. HLA-DRB1*11 and variants of the MHC class II locus are strong risk factors for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis [Internet]. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015;112(52):15970-5. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) is an often severe, potentially life-threatening childhood inflammatory disease, the pathophysiology of which is poorly understood. To determine whether genetic variation within the MHC locus on chromosome 6 influences sJIA susceptibility, we performed an association study of 982 children with sJIA and 8,010 healthy control subjects from nine countries. Using meta-analysis of directly observed and imputed SNP genotypes and imputed classic HLA types, we identified the MHC locus as a bona fide susceptibility locus with effects on sJIA risk that transcended geographically defined strata. The strongest sJIA-associated SNP, rs151043342 [P = 2.8 × 10(-17), odds ratio (OR) 2.6 (2.1, 3.3)], was part of a cluster of 482 sJIA-associated SNPs that spanned a 400-kb region and included the class II HLA region. Conditional analysis controlling for the effect of rs151043342 found that rs12722051 independently influenced sJIA risk [P = 1.0 × 10(-5), OR 0.7 (0.6, 0.8)]. Meta-analysis of imputed classic HLA-type associations in six study populations of Western European ancestry revealed that HLA-DRB1*11 and its defining amino acid residue, glutamate 58, were strongly associated with sJIA [P = 2.7 × 10(-16), OR 2.3 (1.9, 2.8)], as was the HLA-DRB1*11-HLA-DQA1*05-HLA-DQB1*03 haplotype [6.4 × 10(-17), OR 2.3 (1.9, 2.9)]. By examining the MHC locus in the largest collection of sJIA patients assembled to date, this study solidifies the relationship between the class II HLA region and sJIA, implicating adaptive immune molecules in the pathogenesis of sJIA.
Recent work has demonstrated that some functional categories of the genome contribute disproportionately to the heritability of complex diseases. Here we analyze a broad set of functional elements, including cell type-specific elements, to estimate their polygenic contributions to heritability in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 17 complex diseases and traits with an average sample size of 73,599. To enable this analysis, we introduce a new method, stratified LD score regression, for partitioning heritability from GWAS summary statistics while accounting for linked markers. This new method is computationally tractable at very large sample sizes and leverages genome-wide information. Our findings include a large enrichment of heritability in conserved regions across many traits, a very large immunological disease-specific enrichment of heritability in FANTOM5 enhancers and many cell type-specific enrichments, including significant enrichment of central nervous system cell types in the heritability of body mass index, age at menarche, educational attainment and smoking behavior.
Previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of HIV-1-infected populations have been underpowered to detect common variants with moderate impact on disease outcome and have not assessed the phenotypic variance explained by genome-wide additive effects. By combining the majority of available genome-wide genotyping data in HIV-infected populations, we tested for association between ∼8 million variants and viral load (HIV RNA copies per milliliter of plasma) in 6,315 individuals of European ancestry. The strongest signal of association was observed in the HLA class I region that was fully explained by independent effects mapping to five variable amino acid positions in the peptide binding grooves of the HLA-B and HLA-A proteins. We observed a second genome-wide significant association signal in the chemokine (C-C motif) receptor (CCR) gene cluster on chromosome 3. Conditional analysis showed that this signal could not be fully attributed to the known protective CCR5Δ32 allele and the risk P1 haplotype, suggesting further causal variants in this region. Heritability analysis demonstrated that common human genetic variation-mostly in the HLA and CCR5 regions-explains 25% of the variability in viral load. This study suggests that analyses in non-European populations and of variant classes not assessed by GWAS should be priorities for the field going forward.
OBJECTIVE: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease leading to joint destruction. Although many studies have addressed factors potentially correlated with the speed of joint destruction, less attention has been paid to the distribution of joint destruction in patients with RA. In this study, destruction of the hand bones in patients with RA was classified into 2 anatomic subgroups, the fingers and the non-fingers, with the aim of analyzing which factors are associated with destruction of the finger joints. METHODS: A total of 1,215 Japanese patients with RA were recruited from 2 different populations. The degree of joint destruction was assessed using the total modified Sharp/van der Heijde score (SHS) of radiographic joint damage. The SHS score of joint damage in the finger joints was used as the dependent variable, and the SHS score in the non-finger joints was used as a covariate. Age, sex, disease duration, smoking, C-reactive protein level, treatment for RA, and positivity for and levels of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies and rheumatoid factor (RF) were evaluated as candidate correlates. Overall effect sizes were assessed in a meta-analysis. In addition, associations observed in the Japanese patients were compared to those in a cohort of 157 Dutch RA patients in the BeSt study (a randomized, controlled trial involving 4 different strictly specified treatment strategies for early RA). RESULTS: Not surprisingly, disease duration in Japanese patients with RA was associated with the finger SHS score (P ≤ 0.00037). Both positivity for and levels of RF showed significant associations with the finger SHS score after adjustment for covariates (P = 0.0022 and P = 8.1 × 10(-7) , respectively). These associations were also true in relation to the time-averaged finger SHS score. An association between RF positivity and the finger SHS score was also observed in Dutch patients with RA in the BeSt study (P = 0.049). CONCLUSION: Positivity for and levels of RF are associated with finger joint destruction independent of non-finger joint destruction and other covariates. Our findings suggest that there are different mechanisms of joint destruction operating in the finger joints of patients with RA.
Biomarkers are needed to guide treatment decisions for patients with rheumatic diseases. Although the phenotypic and functional analysis of immune cells is an appealing strategy for understanding immune-mediated disease processes, immune cell profiling currently has no role in clinical rheumatology. New technologies, including mass cytometry, gene expression profiling by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and multiplexed functional assays, enable the analysis of immune cell function with unprecedented detail and promise not only a deeper understanding of pathogenesis, but also the discovery of novel biomarkers. The large and complex data sets generated by these technologies--big data--require specialized approaches for analysis and visualization of results. Standardization of assays and definition of the range of normal values are additional challenges when translating these novel approaches into clinical practice. In this Review, we discuss technological advances in the high-dimensional analysis of immune cells and consider how these developments might support the discovery of predictive biomarkers to benefit the practice of rheumatology and improve patient care.