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1.  HLA DR-DQ Haplotypes and Genotypes and Type 1 Diabetes Risk 
Diabetes  2008;57(4):1084-1092.
The Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium has collected type 1 diabetic families worldwide for genetic analysis. The major genetic determinants of type 1 diabetes are alleles at the HLA-DRB1 and DQB1 loci, with both susceptible and protective DR-DQ haplotypes present in all human populations. The aim of this study is to estimate the risk conferred by specific DR-DQ haplotypes and genotypes.
Six hundred and seven Caucasian families and 38 Asian families were typed at high resolution for the DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1 loci. The association analysis was performed by comparing the frequency of DR-DQ haplotypes among the chromosomes transmitted to an affected child with the frequency of chromosomes not transmitted to any affected child.
A number of susceptible, neutral, and protective DR-DQ haplotypes have been identified, and a statistically significant hierarchy of type 1 diabetes risk has been established. The most susceptible haplotypes are the DRB1*0301-DQA1*0501-DQB1*0201 (odds ratio [OR] 3.64) and the DRB1*0405-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302, DRB1*0401-DQA1*0301-DQB*0302, and DRB1*0402-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302 haplotypes (ORs 11.37, 8.39, and 3.63), followed by the DRB1*0404-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302 (OR 1.59) and the DRB1*0801-DQB1*0401-DQB1*0402 (OR 1.25) haplotypes. The most protective haplotypes are DRB1*1501-DQA1*0102-DQB1*0602 (OR 0.03), DRB1*1401-DQA1*0101-DQB1*0503 (OR 0.02), and DRB1*0701-DQA1*0201-DQB1*0303 (OR 0.02).
Specific combinations of alleles at the DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1 loci determine the extent of haplotypic risk. The comparison of closely related DR-DQ haplotype pairs with different type 1 diabetes risks allowed identification of specific amino acid positions critical in determining disease susceptibility. These data also indicate that the risk associated with specific HLA haplotypes can be influenced by the genotype context and that the trans-complementing heterodimer encoded by DQA1*0501 and DQB1*0302 confers very high risk.
PMCID: PMC4103420  PMID: 18252895
2.  HLA class II DR and DQ genotypes and haplotypes associated with rheumatic fever among a clinically homogeneous patient population of Latvian children 
The HLA system is being paid more and more attention because it is very significant in polymorphous immunological reactions. Several studies have suggested that genetic susceptibility to rheumatic fever (RF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is linked to HLA class II alleles. We hypothesized that HLA class II associations within RHD may be more consistent if analysed amongst patients with a relatively homogeneous clinical outcome. A total of 70 RF patients under the age of 18 years were surveyed and analysed in Latvia. HLA genotyping of DQA1, DQB1 and DRB1 was performed using PCR with amplification with sequence-specific primers. We also used results from a previous study of DQB1 and DRB1 genotyping. In the RF patients, HLA class II DQA1*0401 was found more frequently compared to DQA1*0102. In the RF homogeneous patient groups, DQA1*0402 has the highest odds ratio. This is also the case in the multivalvular lesion (MVL) group, together with DQA1*0501 and DQA1*0301. In the chorea minor patients, DQA1*0201 was often found. Significant HLA DQA1 protective genotypes were not detected, although DQA1 genotypes *0103/*0201 and *0301/*0501 were found significantly and frequently. In the distribution of HLA DRB1/DQA1 genotypes, *07/*0201 and *01/*0501 were frequently detected; these also occurred significantly often in the MVL group. The genotype *07/*0201 was frequently found in Sydenhamn's chorea patients that had also acquired RHD, but DRB1*04/DQA1*0401 was often apparent in RF patients without RHD. In the distribution of HLA DQA1/DQB1 genotypes, both in RF patients and in the homogeneous patient groups, the least frequent were *0102/*0602-8. The genotype DQA1*0501 with the DQB1 risk allele *0301 was often found in the MVL group. The genotype *0301/*0401-2 was frequently found in the RF and Sydenhamn's chorea patient groups. The haplotype *07-*0201-*0302 was frequently found in RF and homogeneous patient groups, including the MVL group. In addition, haplotypes *04-*0401-*0301 and *04-*0301-*0401-2 were frequent amongst patients with Sydenhamn's chorea. The protective alleles DQA1*0102 and DQB1*0602-8 in the haplotype DRB1*15 were less frequently found in RF patients. The results of the present study support our hypothesis and indicate that certain HLA class II haplotypes are associated with risk for or protection against RHD and that these associations are more evident in patients in clinically homogeneous groups.
PMCID: PMC2206337  PMID: 17559688
3.  A Genome-wide Association Study of Host Genetic Determinants of the Antibody Response to Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed 
Vaccine  2012;30(32):4778-4784.
Several lines of evidence have supported a host genetic contribution to vaccine response, but genome-wide assessments for specific determinants have been sparse. Here we describe a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of protective antigen-specific antibody (AbPA) responses among 726 European-Americans who received Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) as part of a clinical trial. After quality control, 736,996 SNPs were tested for association with the AbPA response to 3 or 4 AVA vaccinations given over a 6-month period. No SNP achieved the threshold of genome-wide significance (p=5x10−8), but suggestive associations (p<1x10−5) were observed for SNPs in or near the class II region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), in the promoter region of SPSB1, and adjacent to MEX3C. Multivariable regression modeling suggested that much of the association signal within the MHC corresponded to previously identified HLA DR-DQ haplotypes involving component HLA-DRB1 alleles of *15:01, *01:01, or *01:02. We estimated the proportion of additive genetic variance explained by common SNP variation for the AbPA response after the 6 month vaccination. This analysis indicated a significant, albeit imprecisely estimated, contribution of variation tagged by common polymorphisms (p=0.032). Future studies will be required to replicate these findings in European Americans and to further elucidate the host genetic factors underlying variable immune response to AVA.
PMCID: PMC3387748  PMID: 22658931
Anthrax vaccines; Bacillus anthracis; bacterial vaccines; vaccination; Genome-wide association study
4.  DQB1*0602 rather than DRB1*1501 confers susceptibility to multiple sclerosis-like disease induced by proteolipid protein (PLP) 
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with pathogenic autoimmunity primarily focused on major CNS-myelin target antigens including myelin basic protein (MBP), proteolipidprotein (PLP), myelin oligodendrocyte protein (MOG). MS is a complex trait whereby the HLA genes, particularly class-II genes of HLA-DR15 haplotype, dominate the genetic contribution to disease-risk. Due to strong linkage disequilibrium in HLA-II region, it has been hard to establish precisely whether the functionally relevant effect derives from the DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102-DQB1*0602, or DRB5*0101 loci of HLA-DR15 haplotype, their combinations, or their epistatic interactions. Nevertheless, most genetic studies have indicated DRB1*1501 as a primary risk factor in MS. Here, we used 'HLA-humanized' mice to discern the potential relative contribution of DRB1*1501 and DQB1*0602 alleles to susceptibility to "humanized" MS-like disease induced by PLP, one of the most prominent and encephalitogenic target-antigens implicated in human MS.
The HLA-DRB1*1501- and HLA-DQB1*0602-Tg mice (MHC-II-/-), and control non-HLA-DR15-relevant-Tg mice were immunized with a set of overlapping PLP peptides or with recombinant soluble PLP for induction of "humanized" MS-like disease, as well as for ex-vivo analysis of immunogenic/immunodominant HLA-restricted T-cell epitopes and associated cytokine secretion profile.
PLP autoimmunity in both HLA-DR15-Tg mice was focused on 139-151 and 175-194 epitopes. Strikingly, however, the HLA-DRB1*1501-transgenics were refractory to disease induction by any of the overlapping PLP peptides, while HLA-DQB1*0602 transgenics were susceptible to disease induction by PLP139-151 and PLP175-194 peptides. Although both transgenics responded to both peptides, the PLP139-151- and PLP175-194-reactive T-cells were directed to Th1/Th17 phenotype in DQB1*0602-Tg mice and towards Th2 in DRB1*1501-Tg mice.
While genome studies map a strong MS susceptibility effect to the region of DRB1*1501, our findings offer a rationale for potential involvement of pathogenic DQ6-associated autoimmunity in MS. Moreover, that DQB1*0602, but not DRB1*1501, determines disease-susceptibility to PLP in HLA-transgenics, suggests a potential differential, functional role for DQB1*0602 as a predisposing allele in MS. This, together with previously demonstrated disease-susceptibility to MBP and MOG in DRB1*1501-transgenics, also suggests a differential role for DRB1*1501 and DQB1*0602 depending on target antigen and imply a potential complex 'genotype/target antigen/phenotype' relationship in MS heterogeneity.
PMCID: PMC3344688  PMID: 22316121
EAE/MS; Antigens/Peptides/Epitopes; Neuroimmunology; T Cells; MHC; HLA-Tg mice
5.  Human Leukocyte Antigens and Cellular Immune Responses to Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(7):2584-2591.
Interindividual variations in vaccine-induced immune responses are in part due to host genetic polymorphisms in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and other gene families. This study examined associations between HLA genotypes, haplotypes, and homozygosity and protective antigen (PA)-specific cellular immune responses in healthy subjects following immunization with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA). While limited associations were observed between individual HLA alleles or haplotypes and variable lymphocyte proliferative (LP) responses to AVA, analyses of homozygosity supported the hypothesis of a “heterozygote advantage.” Individuals who were homozygous for any HLA locus demonstrated significantly lower PA-specific LP than subjects who were heterozygous at all eight loci (median stimulation indices [SI], 1.84 versus 2.95, P = 0.009). Similarly, we found that class I (HLA-A) and class II (HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1) homozygosity was significantly associated with an overall decrease in LP compared with heterozygosity at those three loci. Specifically, individuals who were homozygous at these loci had significantly lower PA-specific LP than subjects heterozygous for HLA-A (median SI, 1.48 versus 2.13, P = 0.005), HLA-DQA1 (median SI, 1.75 versus 2.11, P = 0.007), and HLA-DQB1 (median SI, 1.48 versus 2.13, P = 0.002) loci, respectively. Finally, homozygosity at an increasing number (≥4) of HLA loci was significantly correlated with a reduction in LP response (P < 0.001) in a dose-dependent manner. Additional studies are needed to reproduce these findings and determine whether HLA-heterozygous individuals generate stronger cellular immune response to other virulence factors (Bacillus anthracis LF and EF) than HLA-homozygous subjects.
PMCID: PMC3697592  PMID: 23649091
6.  HLA-DR-DQ haplotypes and genotypes in Finnish patients with rheumatoid arthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2004;63(11):1406-1412.
Objectives: To elucidate the contribution of HLA-DR-DQ haplotypes and their genotypic combinations to susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis, and to evaluate the various models for HLA associated risk for the disease in a series of Finnish patients.
Methods: 322 Finnish patients with rheumatoid arthritis were typed for common north European HLA-DR-DQ haplotypes and compared with a series of 1244 artificial family based control haplotypes.
Results: The association of the so called shared epitope (SE) haplotypes (DRB1*0401, *0404, *0408, and *01) with rheumatoid arthritis was confirmed. The DRB1*0401 haplotypes carried a far stronger risk for the disease than the (DRB1*01/10)-(DQA1*01)-DQB1*0501 haplotypes. Seven protective HLA haplotypes—(DRB1*15)-(DQA1*01)-DQB1*0602; (DRB1*08)-(DQA1*04)-DQB1*04; (DRB1*11/12)-DQA1*05-DQB1*0301; (DRB1*1301)-(DQA1*01)-DQB1*0603; (DRB1*1302)-(DQA1*01)-DQB1*0604; (DRB1*07)-DQA1*0201-DQB1*0303; and (DRB1*16)- (DQA1*01)-DQB1*0502—were identified. In accordance with the reshaped shared epitope hypothesis, all the protective DRB1 alleles in these haplotypes share either isoleucine at position 67 or aspartic acid at position 70 in their third hypervariable region motif. However, differences in the disease risk of haplotypes carrying the same DR but different DQ alleles were also found: (DRB1*07)-DQA1*0201-DQB1*0303 was protective, while (DRB1*07)-DQA1*0201-DQB1*02 was neutral. The same haplotypes carried different risks for rheumatoid arthritis depending on their combination in genotypes.
Conclusions: When assessing the influence of HLA genes on the susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis, not only should the HLA-DR or -DQ alleles or haplotypes be unravelled but also the genotype. The effect of HLA class II region genes is more complicated than any of the existing hypotheses can explain.
PMCID: PMC1754800  PMID: 15479890
7.  Extended LTA, TNF, LST1 and HLA Gene Haplotypes and Their Association with Rubella Vaccine-Induced Immunity 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(7):e11806.
Recent studies have suggested the importance of HLA genes in determining immune responses following rubella vaccine. The telomeric class III region of the HLA complex harbors several genes, including lymphotoxin alpha (LTA), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and leukocyte specific transcript -1 (LST1) genes, located between the class I B and class II DRB1 loci. Apart from HLA, little is known about the effect of this extended genetic region on HLA haplotypic backgrounds as applied to immune responses.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We examined the association between immune responses and extended class I-class II-class III haplotypes among 714 healthy children after two doses of rubella vaccination. These extended haplotypes were then compared to the HLA-only haplotypes. The most significant association was observed between haplotypes extending across the HLA class I region, ten-SNP haplotypes, and the HLA class II region (i.e. A-C-B-LTA-TNF-LST1-DRB1-DQA1-DQB1-DPA1-DPB1) and rubella-specific antibodies (global p-value of 0.03). Associations were found between both extended A*02-C*03-B*15-AAAACGGGGC-DRB1*04-DQA1*03-DQB1*03-DPA1*01-DPB1*04 (p = 0.002) and HLA-only A*02-C*03-B*15-DRB1*04-DQA1*03-DQB1*03-DPA1*01-DPB1*04 haplotypes (p = 0.009) and higher levels of rubella antibodies. The class II HLA-only haplotype DRB1*13-DQA1*01-DQB1*06-DPA1*01-DPB1*04 (p = 0.04) lacking LTA-TNF-LST1 SNPs was associated with lower rubella antibody responses. Similarly, the class I-class II HLA-only A*01-C*07-B*08-DRB1*03-DQA1*05-DQB1*02-DPA1*01-DPB1*04 haplotype was associated with increased TNF-α secretion levels (p = 0.009). In contrast, the extended AAAACGGGGC-DRB1*01-DQA1*01-DQB1*05-DPA1*01-DPB1*04 (p = 0.01) haplotype was found to trend with decreased rubella-specific IL-6 secretion levels.
These data suggest the importance of examining both HLA genes and genes in the class III region as part of the extended haplotypes useful in understanding genomic drivers regulating immune responses to rubella vaccine.
PMCID: PMC2910726  PMID: 20668555
8.  A cis-eQTL of HLA-DRB1 and a frameshift mutation of MICA contribute to the pattern of association of HLA alleles with cervical cancer 
Cancer Medicine  2014;3(2):445-452.
The association of classic human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles with risk of cervical cancer has been extensively studied, and a protective effect has consistently been found for DRB1*1301, DQA1*0103, and/or DQB1*0603 (these three alleles are in perfect linkage disequilibrium [LD] and often occur on the same haplotype in Europeans), while reports have differed widely with respect to the effect of HLA-B*07, DRB1*1501, and/or DQB1*0602 (the last two alleles are also in perfect LD in Europeans). It is not clear whether the reported HLA alleles are responsible for the differences in cervical cancer susceptibility, or if functional variants at other locations within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region may explain the effect. In order to assess the relative contribution of both classic HLA alleles and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the MHC region to cervical cancer susceptibility, we have imputed classic HLA alleles in 1034 cervical cancer patients and 3948 controls in a Swedish population for an integrated analysis. We found that the protective haplotype DRB1*1301-DQA1*0103-DQB1*0603 has a direct effect on cervical cancer and always occurs together with the C allele of a HLA-DRB1 cis-eQTL (rs9272143), which increases the expression of HLA-DRB1. The haplotype rs9272143C-DRB1*1301-DQA1*0103-DQB1*0603 conferred the strongest protection against cervical cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 0.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.32–0.52, P = 6.2 × 10−13). On the other hand, the associations with HLA-B*0702 and DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 are attributable to the joint effects of both the HLA-DRB1 cis-eQTL (rs9272143) and a frameshift mutation (G inserion of rs67841474, also known as A5.1) of the MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A gene (MICA). Variation in LD between the classic HLA loci, rs9272143 and rs67841474 between populations may explain the different associations of HLA-B*07 and DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 with cervical cancer between studies. The mechanism suggested may also explain similar inconsistent results for other HLA-associated diseases.
PMCID: PMC3987094  PMID: 24520070
Cervical cancer; cis-eQTL; frameshift mutation; HLA; MICA
9.  HLA class II gene associations in African American Type 1 diabetes reveal a protective HLA-DRB1*03 haplotype 
Diabetic Medicine  2013;30(6):710-716.
Owing to strong linkage disequilibrium between markers, pinpointing disease associations within genetic regions is difficult in European ancestral populations, most notably the very strong association of the HLA-DRB1*03-DQA1*05:01-DQB1*02:01 haplotype with Type 1 diabetes risk, which is assumed to be because of a combination of HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1. In contrast, populations of African ancestry have greater haplotype diversity, offering the possibility of narrowing down regions and strengthening support for a particular gene in a region being causal. We aimed to study the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region in African American Type 1 diabetes.
Two hundred and twenty-seven African American patients with Type 1 diabetes and 471 African American control subjects were tested for association at the HLA class II genes, HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQB1 and 5147 single nucleotide polymorphisms across the major histocompatibility complex region using logistic regression models. Population admixture was accounted for with principal components analysis.
Single nucleotide polymorphism marker associations were explained by the HLA associations, with the major peak over the class II loci. The HLA association overall was extremely strong, as expected for Type 1 diabetes, even in African Americans in whom diabetes diagnosis is heterogeneous. In addition, there were unique features: the HLA-DRB1*03 haplotype was split into HLA-DRB1*03:01, which confers greatest susceptibility in these samples (odds ratio 3.17, 95% CI 1.72–5.83) and HLA-DRB1*03:02, an allele rarely observed in Europeans, which confers the greatest protection in these African American samples (odds ratio 0.22, 95% CI 0.09–0.55).
The unique diversity of the African HLA region we have uncovered supports a specific and major role for HLA-DRB1 in HLA-DRB1*03 haplotype-associated Type 1 diabetes risk.
PMCID: PMC3709123  PMID: 23398374
10.  Human Leukocyte Antigen and Cytokine Receptor Gene Polymorphisms Associated With Heterogeneous Immune Responses to Mumps Viral Vaccine 
Pediatrics  2008;121(5):e1091-e1099.
Mumps outbreaks continue to occur throughout the world, including in highly vaccinated populations. Vaccination against mumps has been successful; however, humoral and cellular immune responses to mumps vaccines vary significantly from person to person. We set out to assess whether HLA and cytokine gene polymorphisms are associated with variations in the immune response to mumps viral vaccine.
To identify genetic factors that might contribute to variations in mumps vaccine–induced immune responses, we performed HLA genotyping in a group of 346 healthy schoolchildren (12–18 years of age) who previously received 2 doses of live mumps vaccine. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (minor allele frequency of >5%) in cytokine and cytokine receptor genes were genotyped for a subset of 118 children.
Median values for mumps-specific antibody titers and lymphoproliferative stimulation indices were 729 IU/mL and 4.8, respectively. Girls demonstrated significantly higher mumps antibody titers than boys, indicating gender-linked genetic differences in humoral immune response. Significant associations were found between the HLA-DQB1*0303 alleles and lower mumps-specific antibody titers. An interesting finding was the association of several HLA class II alleles with mumps-specific lymphoproliferation. Alleles of the DRB1 (*0101, *0301, *0801, *1001, *1201, and *1302), DQA1 (*0101, *0105, *0401, and *0501), and DQB1 (*0201, *0402, and *0501) loci were associated with significant variations in lymphoproliferative immune responses to mumps vaccine. Additional associations were observed with single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the interleukin-10RA, interleukin-12RB1, and interleukin-12RB2 cytokine receptor genes. Minor alleles for 4 single-nucleotide polymorphisms within interleukin-10RA and interleukin-12RB genes were associated with variations in humoral and cellular immune responses to mumps vaccination.
These data suggest the important role of HLA and immunoregulatory cytokine receptor gene polymorphisms in explaining variations in mumps vaccine–induced immune responses.
PMCID: PMC2668976  PMID: 18450852
mumps; mumps vaccine; immunity; cellular; antibodies; viral; lymphocyte proliferation; genes; HLA complex; single-nucleotide polymorphisms
11.  DQB1*06:02-Associated Pathogenic Anti-Myelin Autoimmunity in Multiple Sclerosis-Like Disease: Potential Function of DQB1*06:02 as a Disease-Predisposing Allele 
Frontiers in Oncology  2014;4:280.
Susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) has been linked mainly to the HLA-DRB1 locus, with the HLA-DR15 haplotype (DRB1*1501-DQA1*0102-DQB1*0602-DRB5*0101) dominating MS risk in Caucasians. Although genes in the HLA-II region, particularly DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102-DQB1*0602, are in tight linkage disequilibrium, genome-wide-association, and gene candidate studies identified the DRB1*15:01 allele as the primary risk factor in MS. Many genetic and immune-functional studies have indicated DRB1*15:01 as a primary risk factor in MS, while only some functional studies suggested a disease-modifying role for the DRB5*01 or DQB1*06 alleles. In this respect, the susceptibility of DRB1*15:01-transgenic (Tg) mice to myelin basic protein- or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced MS-like disease is consistent with primary contribution of DRB1*15:01 to HLA-DR15+ MS. The studies summarized here show that susceptibility to MS-like disease, induced in HLA-“humanized” mice by myelin oligodendrocytic basic protein or by the proteolipid protein, one of the most prominent encephalitogenic target antigens implicated in human MS, is determined by DQB1*06:02, rather than by the DRB1*15:01 allele. These findings not only offer a rationale for a potential role for DQB1*06:02 in predisposing susceptibility to MS, but also suggest a more complex and differential functional role for HLA-DR15 alleles, depending on the primary target myelin antigen. However, the conflict between these findings in HLA-Tg mice and the extensive genome-wide-association studies, which could not detect any significant effect from the DQB1*06:02 allele on MS risk, is rather puzzling. Functional analysis of MS PBLs for DQB1*06:02-associated anti-myelin autoimmunity may indicate whether or not DQB1*06:02 is associated with MS pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC4199271  PMID: 25360418
MS/EAE; antigens/peptides/epitopes; neuroimmunology; T-cells; HLA-DR15-Tg mice
12.  Race-Specific Type 1 Diabetes Risk of HLA-DR7 Haplotypes 
Tissue antigens  2011;78(5):348-351.
To test the hypothesis that closely-related HLA haplotypes containing the DRB1*07:01 gene (“DR7” haplotypes) derived from European and African populations differ in their genetic susceptibility for type 1 diabetes (T1D) depending on the DQ-α molecule present.
Research Design and Methods
A combined total of ninety-eight African American T1D patients from the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium and from Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland were genotyped for the HLA class II loci DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1. DNA samples extracted from newborn blood spot cards from African Americans born in California (n=947) were used as a population-based control group.
Among African American cases, the European-derived DRB1*07:01-DQA1*02:01-DQB1*02:01g haplotype was protective for T1D risk (odds ratio (OR)=0.34; 95% CI 0.14 - 0.78; p<0.011), but the African-derived DRB1*07:01-DQA1*03:01-DQB1*02:01g haplotype increased T1D risk (OR=3.96; 95% CI 1.94 - 8.08; p<5.5E-05).
The effect of DRB1*07:01-DQB1*02:01g on T1D susceptibility depends on the DQA1 allele. DRB1*07:01-DQA1*02:01-DQB1*02:01g is protective for T1D however, the presence of DQA1*03:01 on the DRB1*07:01-DQB1*02:01g haplotype not only renders the DR7 haplotype not protective, it creates a haplotype with significant T1D risk. These data underscore the importance of assessing genetic effects within ethnic context.
PMCID: PMC3193161  PMID: 21988721
type 1 diabetes; genetic risk; HLA class II; HLA DR7; African American
13.  HLA Class II Genotyping of African American Type 1 Diabetic Patients Reveals Associations Unique to African Haplotypes 
Diabetes  2013;62(9):3292-3299.
HLA genotyping was performed in African American type 1 diabetic patients (n = 772) and controls (n = 1,641) in the largest study of African Americans and type 1 diabetes reported to date. Cases were from Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland and from existing collections (Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium [T1DGC], Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications [DCCT/EDIC], and Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes [GoKinD]). Controls were from the T1DGC and from newborn bloodspot cards. The diversity of HLA DRB1-DQA1-DQB1 haplotypes and genotypes is far greater than that found in Europeans and European Americans. Association analyses replicated many type 1 diabetes risk effects of European-derived haplotypes but also revealed novel effects for African-derived haplotypes. Notably, the African-specific “DR3” haplotype DRB1*03:02-DQA1*04:01-DQB1*04:02 is protective for type 1 diabetes, in contrast to the common and highly-susceptible DR3 DRB1*03:01-DQA1*05:01-DQB1*02:01. Both DRB1*07:01 and DRB1*13:03 haplotypes are predisposing when they include DQA1*03:01-DQB1*02:01g but are protective with DQA1*02:01-DQB1*02:01g. The heterozygous DR4/DR9 genotype, containing the African-derived “DR9” haplotype DRB1*09:01-DQA1*03:01-DQB1*02:01g, exhibits extremely high risk (odds ratio = 30.88), approaching that for DR3/DR4 in European populations. Disease risk assessment for African Americans differs greatly from risk assessment in European populations. This has profound implications on risk screening programs and underscores the need for high-resolution genotyping of multiple populations for the rational design of screening programs with tests that will fairly represent the population being screened.
PMCID: PMC3749336  PMID: 23801574
14.  Type 1 Diabetes in the Spanish Population: additional factors to Class II HLA-DR3 and -DR4 
BMC Genomics  2005;6:56.
The Major Histocompatibility Complex is the main genetic contributor to susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (T1D); genome-wide scans have consistently mapped increased predisposition to this region. The highest disease risk has been associated with HLA-DR3 and HLA-DR4. In particular, the DR3-positive ancestral haplotype 18.2 was reported as highly diabetogenic. We aimed to corroborate whether this haplotype increases the susceptibility conferred by the DQ2-DR3 alleles in a Mediterranean population. We also searched for additional susceptibility factors to the classic DQ2-DR3 and DQ8-DR4.
Genetic MHC markers were analysed in a case-control study with 302 T1D patients and 529 ethnically matched controls. DR3-TNFa1b5 carrier rate was significantly higher in DR3-positive heterozygous T1D patients than in DR3-positive heterozygous controls (p = 0.0019; odds ratio OR [95% confidence interval CI] = 2.26 [1.3–3.93]). This data was confirmed analysing the allelic frequency, which includes the information corresponding to the DR3-homozygous individuals (p = 0.001; OR = 2.09) and by using the Arlequin software to check the DR3-positive haplotypes (p = 0.004;OR = 1.93). The present results provide strong evidence of a second susceptibility region in the ancestral haplotype 18.2 in the Spanish population.
Moreover, we searched for T1D susceptibility factors in addition to the MHC classical ones, within the DR2-DQ6/DR3-DQ2/DR4-DQ8 negative population. Several genetic markers in both MHC class II (DQA1*0101-DQB1*0501 [p = 0.007;OR = 2.81], DQA1*0201-DQB1*0202 [p = 0.03; OR = 2.35]) and III (TNFa2b1 [p = 0.01 OR = 2.74], BAT-2*2 [p = 0.004; OR = 3.19]) were found. These different alleles associated with T1D were not independent and we observed linkage disequilibrium among them leading us to describe two new risk haplotypes (DQA1*0101-DQB1*0501-TNFa2b1 and DQA1*0201-DQB1*0202- BAT-2*2). Finally, we studied a T1D susceptibility/protection marker located in extended class I, D6S2223; however, no association was observed in our population.
Our results suggest that other associated MHC haplotypes might present susceptibility factors in loci different from HLA-class II and that the class II molecules are not necessarily the universal etiologic factor in every MHC haplotype.
PMCID: PMC1097726  PMID: 15842729
15.  High-Density SNP Mapping of the HLA Region Identifies Multiple Independent Susceptibility Loci Associated with Selective IgA Deficiency 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(1):e1002476.
Selective IgA deficiency (IgAD; serum IgA<0.07 g/l) is the most common form of human primary immune deficiency, affecting approximately 1∶600 individuals in populations of Northern European ancestry. The polygenic nature of IgAD is underscored by the recent identification of several new risk genes in a genome-wide association study. Among the characterized susceptibility loci, the association with specific HLA haplotypes represents the major genetic risk factor for IgAD. Despite the robust association, the nature and location of the causal variants in the HLA region remains unknown. To better characterize the association signal in this region, we performed a high-density SNP mapping of the HLA locus and imputed the genotypes of common HLA-B, -DRB1, and -DQB1 alleles in a combined sample of 772 IgAD patients and 1,976 matched controls from 3 independent European populations. We confirmed the complex nature of the association with the HLA locus, which is the result of multiple effects spanning the entire HLA region. The primary association signal mapped to the HLA-DQB1*02 allele in the HLA Class II region (combined P = 7.69×10−57; OR = 2.80) resulting from the combined independent effects of the HLA-B*0801-DRB1*0301-DQB1*02 and -DRB1*0701-DQB1*02 haplotypes, while additional secondary signals were associated with the DRB1*0102 (combined P = 5.86×10−17; OR = 4.28) and the DRB1*1501 (combined P = 2.24×10−35; OR = 0.13) alleles. Despite the strong population-specific frequencies of HLA alleles, we found a remarkable conservation of these effects regardless of the ethnic background, which supports the use of large multi-ethnic populations to characterize shared genetic association signals in the HLA region. We also provide evidence for the location of association signals within the specific extended haplotypes, which will guide future sequencing studies aimed at characterizing the precise functional variants contributing to disease pathogenesis.
Author Summary
The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) locus is robustly associated with many immune-mediated conditions. However, identification of the genetic variants contributing to the disease pathophysiology has been greatly hampered by the extensive chromosomal conservation within this genomic region. To better understand the association of the HLA locus in selective IgA deficiency (IgAD), we used an extensive genotyping database from a recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) to generate a high-density SNP map of this region in a combined sample of >2,700 individuals from 3 independent European populations. In addition, we took advantage of recent methodological advances to impute the more common HLA-B, -DRB1, and -DQB1 alleles in all subjects. We confirmed the strong disease-association of the HLA locus and identified several different signals located in specific conserved HLA haplotypes contributing independent risk or protection for IgAD. Further analysis of the chromosomal sequences associated with the associated HLA alleles allowed us to refine the mapping of the susceptibility variants. These findings represent the most comprehensive high-density SNP mapping of the HLA locus in IgAD to date and provide important new information as to the location of the genetic variants contributing to this common immune deficiency.
PMCID: PMC3266887  PMID: 22291608
16.  Analysis of Class II human leucocyte antigens in Italian and Spanish systemic sclerosis 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2011;51(1):52-59.
Objective. To determine the role of Class II HLAs in SSc patients from Italy and Spain and in SSc patients of Caucasian ancestry.
Methods. Nine hundred and forty-four SSc patients (Italy 392 patients; Spain 452 patients) and 1320 ethnically matched healthy controls (Italy 398 patients; Spain 922 patients) were genotyped up to the fourth digit by PCR with sequence-specific oligonucleotides for HLA-DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1 loci. Patients included 390 ACA-positive and 254 anti-topo I-positive subjects. Associations between SSc or SSc-specific antibodies and HLA alleles or HLA haplotypes were sought via the chi-square test after 10 000-fold permutation testing. A meta-analysis including this study cohort and other Caucasoids samples was also conducted.
Results. In both the cohorts, the strongest association was observed between the HLA-DRB1*1104 allele and SSc or anti-topo I antibodies. The HLA-DRB1*1104 -DQA1*0501 -DQB1*0301 haplotype was overrepresented in Italian [odds ratio (OR) = 2.069, 95% asymptotic CIs (CI95) 1.486, 2.881; P < 0.001] and in Spanish patients (OR = 6.707, CI95 3.974, 11.319; P < 0.001) as well as in anti-topo-positive patients: Italy (OR = 2.642, CI95 1.78, 3.924; P < 0.001) and Spain (OR = 20.625, CI95 11.536, 36.876; P < 0.001). In both the populations we also identified an additional risk allele (HLA-DQB1*03) and a protective allele (HLA-DQB1*0501) in anti-topo-positive patients. The meta-analysis showed different statistically significant associations, the most interesting being the differential association between HLA-DRB1*01 alleles and ACAs (OR = 1.724, CI95 1.482, 2.005; P < 0.001) or topo I antibodies (OR = 0.5, CI95 0.384, 0.651; P < 0.001).
Conclusions. We describe multiple robust associations between SSc and HLA Class II antigens in Caucasoids that may help to understand the genetic architecture of SSc.
PMCID: PMC3276293  PMID: 22087014
systemic sclerosis; HLA; genetics; epidemiology
17.  The Inheritance of Resistance Alleles in Multiple Sclerosis 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(9):e150.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex trait in which alleles at or near the class II loci HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 contribute significantly to genetic risk. HLA-DRB1*15 and HLA-DRB1*17-bearing haplotypes and interactions at the HLA-DRB1 locus increase risk of MS but it has taken large samples to identify resistance HLA-DRB1 alleles. In this investigation of 7,093 individuals from 1,432 MS families, we have assessed the validity, mode of inheritance, associated genotypes, and the interactions of HLA-DRB1 resistance alleles. HLA-DRB1*14-, HLA-DRB1*11-, HLA-DRB1*01-, and HLA-DRB1*10-bearing haplotypes are protective overall but they appear to operate by different mechanisms. The first type of resistance allele is characterised by HLA-DRB1*14 and HLA-DRB1*11. Each shows a multiplicative mode of inheritance indicating a broadly acting suppression of risk, but a different degree of protection. In contrast, a second type is exemplified by HLA-DRB1*10 and HLA-DRB1*01. These alleles are significantly protective when they interact specifically in trans with HLA-DRB1*15-bearing haplotypes. HLA-DRB1*01 and HLA-DRB1*10 do not interact with HLA-DRB1*17, implying that several mechanisms may be operative in major histocompatibility complex–associated MS susceptibility, perhaps analogous to the resistance alleles. There are major practical implications for risk and for the exploration of mechanisms in animal models. Restriction of antigen presentation by HLA-DRB1*15 seems an improbably simple mechanism of major histocompatibility complex–associated susceptibility.
Author Summary
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex neurological disease with a strong genetic component. With the possible exception of a weak association at Chromosome 5p, the major histocompatibility complex is the only locus consistently linked to MS. Because of this the major histocompatibility complex has recently undergone renewed attention. A region at or near the gene HLA-DRB1 influences the risk of MS. HLA-DRB1 comes in over 400 different forms (or alleles). A common form in Europe, named 1501, increases risk of MS by 3-fold. In this paper, to our knowledge the largest-ever analysis of this region in MS, we examine the inheritance of newly discovered HLA-DRB1 MS resistance alleles, namely HLA-DRB1*14, HLA-DRB1*11, *10, and HLA-DRB1*01. We show that HLA-DRB1*14 and HLA-DRB1*11 are dominantly protective; e.g., HLA-DRB1*14 significantly reduces the risk associated with HLA-DRB1*15 when they are inherited together. This may explain, in part, why MS is rare in Asia; there, the HLA-DRB1*14 allele is frequent. HLA-DRB1*01 and HLA-DRB1*10 are protective only in the presence of HLA-DRB1*15. HLA-DRB1*14 and HLA-DRB1*11 haplotypes and HLA-DRB1*01 and HLA-DRB1*10 haplotypes share common ancestral origins and this may be why the alleles can be grouped in terms of their protective nature. Discovery of the mechanism of protection against MS may lead to the discovery of new treatments to make a palpable difference in the lives of those who have been affected by this devastating disease.
PMCID: PMC1971120  PMID: 17845076
18.  Human Leukocyte Antigen and Interleukin 2, 10 and 12p40 Cytokine Responses to Measles: Is There Evidence of the HLA Effect? 
Cytokine  2007;36(3-4):173-179.
HLA class I and class II associations were examined in relation to measles virus-specific cytokine responses in 339 healthy children who had received two doses of live attenuated measles vaccine. Multivariate linear regression modeling analysis revealed suggestions of associations between the expression of DPA1*0201 (p=0.03) and DPA1*0202 (p=0.09) alleles and interleukin-2 (IL-2) cytokine production (global p-value 0.06). Importantly, cytokine production and DQB1 allele associations (global p-value 0.04) revealed that the alleles with the strongest association with IL-10 secretion were DQB1*0302 (p=0.02), DQB1*0303 (p=0.07) and DQB1*0502 (p=0.06). Measles-specific IL-10 secretion associations approached significance with DRB1 and DQA1 loci (both global p-values 0.08). Specifically, suggestive associations were found between DRB1*0701 (p=0.07), DRB1*1103 (p=0.06), DRB1*1302 (p=0.08), DRB1*1303 (p=0.06), DQA1*0101 (p=0.08), and DQA1*0201 (p=0.04) alleles and measles-induced IL-10 secretion. Further, suggestive association was observed between specific DQA1*0505 (p=0.002) alleles and measles-specific IL-12p40 secretion (global p-value 0.09) indicating that cytokine responses to measles antigens are predominantly influenced by HLA class II genes. We found no associations between any of the alleles of HLA A, B, and Cw loci and cytokine secretion. These novel findings suggest that HLA class II genes may influence the level of cytokine production in the adaptive immune responses to measles vaccine.
PMCID: PMC1948883  PMID: 17234427
Measles Vaccine; HLA; Interleukin-2; Interleukin-10; Interleukin-12p40; ELISA
19.  Use of PCR with Sequence-specific Primers for High-Resolution Human Leukocyte Antigen Typing of Patients with Narcolepsy 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2011;32(1):57-65.
Narcolepsy is a neurologic disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness, symptoms of abnormal rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and a strong association with HLA-DRB1*1501, -DQA1*0102, and -DQB1*0602. Here, we investigated the clinico-physical characteristics of Korean patients with narcolepsy, their HLA types, and the clinical utility of high-resolution PCR with sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP) as a simple typing method for identifying DRB1*15/16, DQA1, and DQB1 alleles.
The study population consisted of 67 consecutively enrolled patients having unexplained daytime sleepiness and diagnosed narcolepsy based on clinical and neurological findings. Clinical data and the results of the multiple sleep latency test and polysomnography were reviewed, and HLA typing was performed using both high-resolution PCR-SSP and sequence-based typing (SBT).
The 44 narcolepsy patients with cataplexy displayed significantly higher frequencies of DRB1*1501 (Pc= 0.003), DQA1*0102 (Pc=0.001), and DQB1*0602 (Pc=0.014) than the patients without cataplexy. Among patients carrying DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 or DQA1*0102, the frequencies of a mean REM sleep latency of less than 20 min in nocturnal polysomnography and clinical findings, including sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucination were significantly higher. SBT and PCR-SSP showed 100% concordance for high-resolution typing of DRB1*15/16 alleles and DQA1 and DQB1 loci.
The clinical characteristics and somnographic findings of narcolepsy patients were associated with specific HLA alleles, including DRB1*1501, DQA1*0102, and DQB1*0602. Application of high-resolution PCR-SSP, a reliable and simple method, for both allele- and locus-specific HLA typing of DRB1*15/16, DQA1, and DQB1 would be useful for characterizing clinical status among subjects with narcolepsy.
PMCID: PMC3255490  PMID: 22259780
HLA; Genotype; Narcolepsy; Cataplexy
20.  Association of HLA-DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1 Alleles and Haplotypes with Common Variable Immunodeficiency in Iranian Patients 
Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) is an antibody deficiency syndrome that often co-occurs in families with selective IgA deficiency (IgAD). This study was designed to investigate the frequency of DR and DQ loci of HLA class II region in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) patients. Fifteen Iranian patients with CVID or IgAD (mean age 14.6±5.4, range 4-25 years; 9 male and 6 female) and 63 healthy controls were studied. Establishment of B-lymphoblastoid cell lines was performed using Epstein-Barr-virus (EBV) immortalization technique and HLA alleles were typed using polymerase chain reaction based on sequence specific primers (PCR-SSP). DRB1 alleles including DRB1 *04 (p=0.03) and DRB1 *11 (p=0.01) significantly showed higher frequency in the studied subjects. In contrast, DRB1 *301 (p=0.04) and DRB1 *07 (p=0.02) alleles were negatively associated with CVID. For DQB1 and DQA1 loci, DQB1 *0302 (p=0.047) and DQA1 *03011 (p=0.001) demonstrated high frequency in cases, while DQB1 *0201 (p=0.02) and DQA1 *0201 (p=0.01) were detected to be low when compared to controls. Haplotype analysis indicated that frequency of DRB1*04-DQB1*03011-DQA1 *03011 (p=0.02), DRB1 *11-DQB1 *03011-DQA1 *0505 (p=0.047), DRB1 *11-DQA1 *0505 (p=0.04) and DRB1*04-DQA1*03011 (p=0.02) haplotypes were significantly higher in patient group, while only the frequency of the DRB1 *07-DQA1 *0201 haplotype gene was statistically lower in control group (p=0.02). According to the results, it could be deduced that the HLA-DR and DQ loci may contribute to the pathogenesis of CVID or they might be considered as suitable markers for the possibility of the occurrence of this genetic defect.
PMCID: PMC3558207  PMID: 23408509
HLA antigens; Alleles; Haplotypes; Immunodeficiency
21.  Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II alleles, haplotypes and epitopes which confer susceptibility or protection in systemic sclerosis: analyses in 1300 Caucasian, African-American and Hispanic cases and 1000 controls 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2009;69(5):822-827.
To determine human leucocyte antigen-class II (HLA-class II) (DRB1, DQB1, DQA1 and DPB1) alleles, haplotypes and shared epitopes associated with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis (SSc)) and its subphenotypes in a large multi-ethnic US cohort by a case–control association study.
Patients and methods
1300 SSc cases (961 white, 178 black and 161 Hispanic subjects) characterised for clinical skin forms (limited vs diffuse), SSc-specific autoantibodies (anticentromere (ACA), anti-topoisomerase I (ATA), anti-RNA polymerase III (ARA), anti-U3 ribonucleoprotein (fibrillarin)) and others were studied using molecular genotyping. Statistical analyses in SSc itself by ethnicity, gender, skin type and autoantibodies were performed using exact logistic regression modelling for dominant, additive and recessive effects from HLA.
The strongest positive class II associations with SSc in white and Hispanic subjects were the DRB1*1104, DQA1*0501, DQB1*0301 haplotype and DQB1 alleles encoding a non-leucine residue at position 26 (DQB1 26 epi), while the DRB1*0701, DQA1*0201, DQB1*0202 haplotype and DRB1*1501 haplotype were negatively correlated and possibly protective in dominant and recessive models, respectively. These associations did not discriminate between limited and diffuse SSc. SSc in black subjects was associated with DRB1*0804, DQA1*0501, DQB1*0301 alleles. DPB1*1301 showed the highest odds ratio for ATA (OR = 14). Moreover, it showed no linkage disequilibrium or gene interaction with DR/DQ. ACA was best explained by DQB1*0501 and DQB1*26 epi alleles and ARA by DRB1*0404, DRB1*11 and DQB1*03 alleles in white and Hispanic subjects but DRB1*08 in black subjects.
These data indicate unique and multiple HLA-class II effects in SSc, especially on autoantibody markers of different subphenotypes.
PMCID: PMC2916702  PMID: 19596691
22.  Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II alleles, haplotypes and epitopes which confer susceptibility or protection in systemic sclerosis: analyses in 1300 Caucasian, African-American and Hispanic cases and 1000 controls 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2010;69(5):822-827.
To determine human leucocyte antigen-class II (HLA-class II) (DRB1, DQB1, DQA1 and DPB1) alleles, haplotypes and shared epitopes associated with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis (SSc)) and its subphenotypes in a large multi-ethnic US cohort by a case–control association study.
Patients and methods
1300 SSc cases (961 white, 178 black and 161 Hispanic subjects) characterised for clinical skin forms (limited vs diffuse), SSc-specific autoantibodies (anticentromere (ACA), anti-topoisomerase I (ATA), anti-RNA polymerase III (ARA), anti-U3 ribonucleoprotein (fibrillarin)) and others were studied using molecular genotyping. Statistical analyses in SSc itself by ethnicity, gender, skin type and autoantibodies were performed using exact logistic regression modelling for dominant, additive and recessive effects from HLA.
The strongest positive class II associations with SSc in white and Hispanic subjects were the DRB1*1104, DQA1*0501, DQB1*0301 haplotype and DQB1 alleles encoding a non-leucine residue at position 26 (DQB1 26 epi), while the DRB1*0701, DQA1*0201, DQB1*0202 haplotype and DRB1*1501 haplotype were negatively correlated and possibly protective in dominant and recessive models, respectively. These associations did not discriminate between limited and diffuse SSc. SSc in black subjects was associated with DRB1*0804, DQA1*0501, DQB1*0301 alleles. DPB1*1301 showed the highest odds ratio for ATA (OR = 14). Moreover, it showed no linkage disequilibrium or gene interaction with DR/DQ. ACA was best explained by DQB1*0501 and DQB1*26 epi alleles and ARA by DRB1*0404, DRB1*11 and DQB1*03 alleles in white and Hispanic subjects but DRB1*08 in black subjects.
These data indicate unique and multiple HLA-class II effects in SSc, especially on autoantibody markers of different subphenotypes.
PMCID: PMC2916702  PMID: 19596691
23.  Immunogenetic Risk and Protective Factors for Juvenile Dermatomyositis in Caucasians 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2006;54(12):3979-3987.
To define the relative importance of MHC Class II alleles and peptide binding motifs as risk and protective factors for juvenile dermatomyositis (DM) and to compare these to HLA associations in adult DM.
DRB1 and DQA1 typing was performed in 142 Caucasian patients with juvenile DM, and compared to HLA typing from 193 patients with adult DM and 797 race‐matched controls. Random Forests classification and multiple logistic regression assessed the relative importance of the HLA associations.
The HLA DRB1*0301 allele was a primary risk factor (Odds Ratio [OR] 3.9), while DQA1*0301 (OR 2.8), DQA1*0501 (OR 2.1), and homozygosity of DQA1*0501 (OR 3.2) were additional risk factors for juvenile DM. These risk factors were not present in adult DM without defined autoantibodies. DQA1 *0201 (OR 0.37), *0101 (OR 0.38), and *0102 (OR 0.51) were identified as novel protective factors for juvenile DM, the latter two being shared with adult DM. The peptide binding motif DRB1 9EYSTS13 was a risk factor and DQA1 motifs F25, S26 and 45(V/A) W (R/K)47 were protective. Random Forests classification analysis revealed DRB1*0301 (Relative Importance [RI] 100%) had higher relative importance than DQA1*0301 (RI 57%), DQA1*0501 (RI 42%), or the peptide binding motifs among risk factors for juvenile DM. In a logistic regression model, DRB1*0301 and DQA*0201 were the strongest risk and protective factors, respectively, for juvenile DM.
DRB1*0301 has higher relative importance than DQA1*0501 as a risk factor for juvenile DM. DQA1*0301 has been identified as a new HLA risk factor for juvenile DM. Three DQA1 alleles are newly identified protective factors for juvenile DM.
PMCID: PMC2063456  PMID: 17133612
24.  HLA Class I and Genetic Susceptibility to Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2010;59(11):2972-2979.
We report here genotyping data and type 1 diabetes association analyses for HLA class I loci (A, B, and C) on 1,753 multiplex pedigrees from the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC), a large international collaborative study.
Complete eight-locus HLA genotyping data were generated. Expected patient class I (HLA-A, -B, and -C) allele frequencies were calculated, based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) patterns with observed HLA class II DRB1-DQA1-DQB1 haplotype frequencies. Expected frequencies were compared to observed allele frequencies in patients.
Significant type 1 diabetes associations were observed at all class I HLA loci. After accounting for LD with HLA class II, the most significantly type 1 diabetes–associated alleles were B*5701 (odds ratio 0.19; P = 4 × 10−11) and B*3906 (10.31; P = 4 × 10−10). Other significantly type 1 diabetes–associated alleles included A*2402, A*0201, B*1801, and C*0501 (predisposing) and A*1101, A*3201, A*6601, B*0702, B*4403, B*3502, C*1601, and C*0401 (protective). Some alleles, notably B*3906, appear to modulate the risk of all DRB1-DQA1-DQB1 haplotypes on which they reside, suggesting a class I effect that is independent of class II. Other class I type 1 diabetes associations appear to be specific to individual class II haplotypes. Some apparent associations (e.g., C*1601) could be attributed to strong LD to another class I susceptibility locus (B*4403).
These data indicate that HLA class I alleles, in addition to and independently from HLA class II alleles, are associated with type 1 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2963558  PMID: 20798335
25.  Genomic Copy Number Variants: Evidence for Association with Antibody Response to Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64813.
Anthrax and its etiologic agent remain a biological threat. Anthrax vaccine is highly effective, but vaccine-induced IgG antibody responses vary widely following required doses of vaccinations. Such variation can be related to genetic factors, especially genomic copy number variants (CNVs) that are known to be enriched among genes with immunologic function. We have tested this hypothesis in two study populations from a clinical trial of anthrax vaccination.
We performed CNV-based genome-wide association analyses separately on 794 European Americans and 200 African-Americans. Antibodies to protective antigen were measured at week 8 (early response) and week 30 (peak response) using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We used DNA microarray data (Affymetrix 6.0) and two CNV detection algorithms, hidden markov model (PennCNV) and circular binary segmentation (GeneSpring) to determine CNVs in all individuals. Multivariable regression analyses were used to identify CNV-specific associations after adjusting for relevant non-genetic covariates.
Within the 22 autosomal chromosomes, 2,943 non-overlapping CNV regions were detected by both algorithms. Genomic insertions containing HLA-DRB5, DRB1 and DQA1/DRA genes in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region (chromosome 6p21.3) were moderately associated with elevated early antibody response (β = 0.14, p = 1.78×10−3) among European Americans, and the strongest association was observed between peak antibody response and a segmental insertion on chromosome 1, containing NBPF4, NBPF5, STXMP3, CLCC1, and GPSM2 genes (β = 1.66, p = 6.06×10−5). For African-Americans, segmental deletions spanning PRR20, PCDH17 and PCH68 genes on chromosome 13 were associated with elevated early antibody production (β = 0.18, p = 4.47×10−5). Population-specific findings aside, one genomic insertion on chromosome 17 (containing NSF, ARL17 and LRRC37A genes) was associated with elevated peak antibody response in both populations.
Multiple CNV regions, including the one consisting of MHC genes that is consistent with earlier research, can be important to humoral immune responses to anthrax vaccine adsorbed.
PMCID: PMC3669407  PMID: 23741398

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