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1.  Association of Functional Polymorphisms in Interferon Regulatory Factor 2 (IRF2) with Susceptibility to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Case-Control Association Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109764.
Interferon regulatory factor 2 (IRF2) negatively regulates type I interferon (IFN) responses, while it plays a role in induction of Th1 differentiation. Previous linkage and association studies in European-American populations suggested genetic role of IRF2 in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); however, this observation has not yet been confirmed. No studies have been reported in the Asian populations. Here we investigated whether IRF2 polymorphisms contribute to susceptibility to SLE in a Japanese population. Association study of 46 IRF2 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) detected association of an intronic SNP, rs13146124, with SLE. When the association was analyzed in 834 Japanese patients with SLE and 817 healthy controls, rs13146124 T was significantly increased in SLE compared with healthy controls (dominant model, P = 5.4×10−4, Bonferroni-corrected P [Pc] = 0.026, odds ratio [OR] 1.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18–1.85). To find causal SNPs, resequencing was performed by next-generation sequencing. Twelve polymorphisms in linkage disequilibrium with rs13146124 (r2: 0.30–1.00) were identified, among which significant association was observed for rs66801661 (allele model, P = 7.7×10−4, Pc = 0.037, OR 1.53, 95%CI 1.19–1.96) and rs62339994 (dominant model, P = 9.0×10−4, Pc = 0.043, OR 1.46, 95%CI 1.17–1.82). The haplotype carrying both of the risk alleles (rs66801661A–rs62339994A) was significantly increased in SLE (P = 9.9×10−4), while the haplotype constituted by both of the non-risk alleles (rs66801661G–rs62339994G) was decreased (P = 0.0020). A reporter assay was carried out to examine the effect of the IRF2 haplotypes on the transcriptional activity, and association of the IRF2 risk haplotype with higher transcriptional activity was detected in Jurkat T cells under IFNγ stimulation (Tukey's test, P = 1.2×10−4). In conclusion, our observations supported the association of IRF2 with susceptibility to SLE, and the risk haplotype was suggested to be associated with transcriptional activation of IRF2.
PMCID: PMC4186848  PMID: 25285625
2.  Protective Effect of the HLA-DRB1*13:02 Allele in Japanese Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99453.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease. Certain HLA-DRB1 “shared-epitope” alleles are reported to be positively associated with increased RA susceptibility, whereas some of the other alleles may be negatively associated. However, studies on the latter are rare. Here, we focus on the protective effects of DRB1 alleles in Japanese RA patients in an association study. Relative predispositional effects (RPE) were analyzed by sequential elimination of carriers of each allele with the strongest association. The protective effects of DRB1 alleles were investigated in patients stratified according to whether they possessed anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA). The DRB1*13:02 allele was found to be negatively associated with RA (P = 4.59×10−10, corrected P (Pc) = 1.42×10−8, odds ratio [OR] 0.42, 95% CI 0.32–0.55, P [RPE] = 1.27×10−6); the genotypes DRB1*04:05/*13:02 and *09:01/*13:02 were also negatively associated with RA. The protective effect of *13:02 was also present in ACPA-positive patients (P = 3.95×10−8, Pc = 1.22×10−6, OR 0.42, 95%CI 0.31–0.58) whereas *15:02 was negatively associated only with ACPA-negative RA (P = 8.87×10−5, Pc = 0.0026, OR 0.26, 95%CI 0.12–0.56). Thus, this study identified a negative association of DRB1*13:02 with Japanese RA; our findings support the protective role of DRB1*13:02 in the pathogenesis of ACPA-positive RA.
PMCID: PMC4049831  PMID: 24911054
3.  HLA-DRB1*08:02 Is Associated with Bucillamine-Induced Proteinuria in Japanese Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients 
Biomarker Insights  2014;9:23-28.
Drug-induced proteinuria can occur in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with d-penicillamine, gold salts, or bucillamine (Buc), and represents a drug hypersensitivity reaction. Striking associations of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles with adverse reactions have recently been reported for many drugs.
We investigated the association of HLA class II with Buc-induced proteinuria (BI-Pro) in 485 Japanese RA patients treated with Buc, of whom 25 had developed BI-Pro.
This preliminary study showed a highly significant association of DRB1*08:02 with BI-Pro (P = 1.09 × 10−6, corrected P [Pc] = 1.96 × 10−5, odds ratio [OR] 25.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 7.98–79.38). DQB1*04:02 was also significantly associated with increased risk of BI-Pro (P = 2.44 × 10−5, Pc = 2.69 × 10−4, OR 10.35, 95%CI 3.99–26.83). These findings provide useful information for promoting personalized medicine for RA.
PMCID: PMC4038630  PMID: 24899791
bucillamine; drug-induced proteinuria; HLA-DRB1*08:02; rheumatoid arthritis; disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
4.  A replication study confirms the association of GWAS-identified SNPs at MICB and PLCE1 in Thai patients with dengue shock syndrome 
BMC Medical Genetics  2014;15:58.
Dengue shock syndrome (DSS), a severe life-threatening form of dengue infection, mostly occurs in children. A recent genome wide association study (GWAS) identified two SNPs, rs3132468 of major histocompatibility complex class I polypeptide-related sequence B (MICB) and rs3765524 of phospholipase C, epsilon 1 (PLCE1), associated with DSS in Vietnamese children. In this study, to examine whether an identical association is found in a different population, the association of these two SNPs with DSS was assessed in Thai children with dengue.
The rs3132468 and rs3765524 SNPs were genotyped in 917 Thai children with dengue: 76 patients with DSS and 841 patients with non-DSS. The allele frequencies were compared between DSS and non-DSS groups by one-sided Fisher’s exact test. The association of rs3132468 and rs3765524 with the mRNA expression levels of MICB and PLCE1 were assessed in EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines.
The reported DSS-risk alleles were significantly associated with DSS in Thai patients with dengue (one-sided P = 0.0213 and odds ratio [OR] = 1.58 for rs3132468-C and one-sided P = 0.0252 and OR = 1.49 for rs3765524-C). The rs3132468-C allele showed a significant association with lower mRNA level of MICB (P = 0.0267), whereas the rs3765524-C allele did not. These results imply that the MICB molecule may play an important role in the prevention of DSS in dengue infection.
Together with previous association studies, we conclude that rs3132468-C at MICB and rs3765524-C at PLCE1 confer risk of DSS in Southeast Asians.
PMCID: PMC4030448  PMID: 24884822
Association; Dengue shock syndrome (DSS); Expression; MICB; PLCE1; Polymorphism
5.  Human Leukocyte Antigens and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Protective Role for the HLA-DR6 Alleles DRB1*13:02 and *14:03 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87792.
Many studies on associations between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele frequencies and susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been performed. However, few protective associations with HLA-DRB1 alleles have been reported. Here, we sought protective, as well as predispositional, alleles of HLA-DRB1 in Japanese SLE patients. An association study was conducted for HLA-DRB1 in Japanese SLE patients. Relative predispositional effects were analyzed by sequential elimination of carriers of each allele with the strongest association. We also explored the association of DRB1 alleles with SLE phenotypes including the presence of autoantibody and clinical manifestations. Significantly different carrier frequencies of certain DRB1 alleles were found to be associated with SLE as follows: increased DRB1*15:01 (P = 5.48×10−10, corrected P (Pc) = 1.59×10−8, odds ratio [OR] 2.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.69–2.79), decreased DRB1*13:02 (P = 7.17×10−5, Pc = 0.0020, OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.34–0.63) and decreased DRB1*14:03 (P = 0.0010, Pc = 0.0272, OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.18–0.63). Additionally, the “*15:01/*13:02 or *14:03” genotype tended to be negatively associated with SLE (P = 0.4209, OR 0.66), despite there being significant positive associations with *15:01 when present together with alleles other than *13:02 or *14:03 (P = 1.79×10−11, OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.84–3.10). This protective effect of *13:02 and *14:03 was also confirmed in SLE patients with different clinical phenotypes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a protective association between the carrier frequencies of HLA-DRB1*13:02 and *14:03 and SLE in the Japanese population.
PMCID: PMC3912000  PMID: 24498373
6.  Serum biomarker analysis of collagen disease patients with acute-onset diffuse interstitial lung disease 
BMC Immunology  2013;14:9.
Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is frequently associated with collagen diseases. The prognosis of acute-onset diffuse ILD (AoDILD) occurring in collagen disease patients is very poor. Here, we investigated serum biomarker profiles of AoDILD to find markers predicting outcome in patients with collagen diseases.
A solid-phase antibody array was used for screening 274 biomarkers in pooled sera from collagen disease patients in the AoDILD state and in the stable state. Biomarkers in individual sera were detected without pooling by bead-based immunoassay.
The serum levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1, osteopontin, interleukin (IL)-2 receptor α (IL-2Rα), and IL-1 receptor antagonist were significantly increased in AoDILD, but TIMP-2, MMP-3, and eotaxin 2 levels were decreased. The MMP-3 to MMP-1 ratio was reduced in AoDILD state. This tendency was also observed in RA patients with AoDILD. Moreover, serum IL-6 level was significantly increased in the AoDILD state in patients with acute exacerbation of ILD (AE-ILD). Serum TIMP-1 and IL-2Rα levels were significantly increased in the AoDILD state in patients with drug-induced ILD (DI-ILD), whereas TIMP-2, MMP-3, and eotaxin 2 levels were decreased. The MMP-3 to MMP-1 ratio was reduced in AoDILD state in patients with DI-ILD. The serum TIMP-3, MMP-9, osteopontin, IL-2Rα, MMP-1, and MMP-8 levels were significantly increased in the AoDILD state in patients who subsequently died, whereas TIMP-2 and MMP-3 levels were decreased in those who survived. The MMP-3 to MMP-1 ratio was reduced in AoDILD state in patients who died, but not in those who survived.
Serum biomarker profiles could represent prognosis markers for AoDILD in collagen diseases.
PMCID: PMC3598392  PMID: 23405989
Collagen disease; Biomarker; Cytokine; Interstitial lung disease
7.  Association of Increased Frequencies of HLA-DPB1*05∶01 with the Presence of Anti-Ro/SS-A and Anti-La/SS-B Antibodies in Japanese Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53910.
Autoantibodies to ribonucleoprotein are associated with a variety of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Many studies on associations between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and RA have been reported, but few have been validated in RA subpopulations with anti-La/SS-B or anti-Ro/SS-A antibodies. Here, we investigated associations of HLA class II alleles with the presence of anti-Ro/SS-A or anti-La/SS-B antibodies in RA.
An association study was conducted for HLA-DRB1, DQB1, and DPB1 in Japanese RA and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients that were positive or negative for anti-Ro/SS-A and/or anti-La/SS-B antibodies.
An increased prevalence of certain class II alleles was associated with the presence of anti-Ro/SS-A antibodies as follows: DRB1*08∶03 (Pc = 3.79×10−5, odds ratio [OR] 3.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.98–4.73), DQB1*06∶01 (Pc = 0.0106, OR 1.70, 95%CI 1.26–2.31), and DPB1*05∶01 (Pc = 0.0040, OR 1.55, 95%CI 1.23–1.96). On the other hand, DRB1*15∶01 (Pc = 0.0470, OR 3.14, 95%CI 1.63–6.05), DQB1*06∶02 (Pc = 0.0252, OR 3.14, 95%CI 1.63–6.05), and DPB1*05∶01 (Pc = 0.0069, OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.44–3.57) were associated with anti-La/SS-B antibodies. The DPB1*05∶01 allele was associated with anti-Ro/SS-A (Pc = 0.0408, OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.19–2.41) and anti-La/SS-B antibodies (Pc = 2.48×10−5, OR 3.31, 95%CI 2.02–5.43) in SLE patients.
HLA-DPB1*05∶01 was the only allele associated with the presence of both anti-Ro/SS-A and anti-La/SS-B antibodies in Japanese RA and SLE patients.
PMCID: PMC3540046  PMID: 23320107
8.  Human CD72 splicing isoform responsible for resistance to systemic lupus erythematosus regulates serum immunoglobulin level and is localized in endoplasmic reticulum 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:72.
CD72 is an inhibitory co-receptor expressed on B cells. We previously demonstrated significant association of the polymorphism of the CD72 gene with susceptibility to human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in individuals carrying a SLE-susceptible FCGR2B genotype (FCGR2B-232Thr/Thr). The human CD72 locus generates a splicing isoform that lacks exon 8 (CD72Δex8) as well as full-length CD72 (CD72fl), and the CD72 polymorphism regulates exon 8 skipping.
Here we demonstrated that individuals carrying the disease-protective CD72 genotype exhibit significantly lower serum immunoglobulin levels than do individuals carrying other CD72 genotypes (P < 0.05). Although expression level of CD72fl in the peripheral blood B cells was similar regardless of CD72 genotype, the protein level of CD72Δex8 was increased in individuals carrying the disease-protective CD72 genotype, suggesting a crucial role of CD72Δex8 in regulation of antibody production. By expressing these human CD72 isoforms in mouse cell lines, we further demonstrated that CD72Δex8 is accumulated in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and fails to regulate BCR signaling whereas human CD72fl is efficiently transported to the cell surface and inhibits signaling through the B cell antigen receptor (BCR), as is the case for mouse CD72.
Human CD72 polymorphism appears to regulate antibody production as well as susceptibility to SLE by regulating expression of ER-localizing CD72Δex8.
PMCID: PMC3565990  PMID: 23268649
Polymorphism; Exon skipping; C-type lectin domain
9.  Association of Human Leukocyte Antigen with Interstitial Lung Disease in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Protective Role for Shared Epitope 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e33133.
Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) is frequently associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) as one of extra-articular manifestations. Many studies for Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) allelic association with RA have been reported, but few have been validated in an RA subpopulation with ILD. In this study, we investigated the association of HLA class II alleles with ILD in RA.
An association study was conducted on HLA-DRB1, DQB1, and DPB1 in 450 Japanese RA patients that were or were not diagnosed with ILD, based on the findings of computed tomography images of the chest.
Unexpectedly, HLA-DRB1*04 (corrected P [Pc] = 0.0054, odds ratio [OR] 0.57), shared epitope (SE) (P = 0.0055, OR 0.66) and DQB1*04 (Pc = 0.0036, OR 0.57) were associated with significantly decreased risk of ILD. In contrast, DRB1*16 (Pc = 0.0372, OR 15.21), DR2 serological group (DRB1*15 and *16 alleles) (P = 0.0020, OR 1.75) and DQB1*06 (Pc = 0.0333, OR 1.57, respectively) were significantly associated with risk of ILD.
HLA-DRB1 SE was associated with reduced, while DR2 serological group (DRB1*15 and *16) with increased, risk for ILD in Japanese patients with RA.
PMCID: PMC3346749  PMID: 22586441
10.  Genetics of Microscopic Polyangiitis in the Japanese Population 
Annals of Vascular Diseases  2012;5(3):289-295.
The epidemiology of ANCA-associated vasculitis is substantially different between Caucasians and Japanese, which may be related to differences in genetic backgrounds. In this review, I discussed our findings on the genetics of microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) in Japanese. Analysis of HLA genes revealed a significant increase in the HLA-DRB1*09:01-DQB1*03:03 haplotype MPA. This is one of the most frequent haplotypes in Japanese, but is nearly absent in Caucasians, and has been shown to be associated with multiple autoimmune diseases.
Analysis of KIR genes revealed significant decreases in the carrier frequency of an activating receptor KIR2DS3 in MPA. When KIRs were analyzed in combination with HLA ligands, the proportion of individuals carrying KIR3DL1 and HLA-Bw4 but not KIR3DS1, the most inhibitory of all KIR3DS1/3DL1/HLA-B combinations, was significantly increased in MPA. These results suggested that decreased activation of NK and/or T cells may cause a predisposition to MPA.
LILRA2 is an activating receptor involved in granulocyte and macrophage activation. LILRA2 SNP rs2241524 G >A, which disrupts the intron 6 splice acceptor site, was significantly associated with MPA. The risk allele produces an LILRA2 isoform lacking three amino acids in the linker region.
These findings, when confirmed by larger-scale studies, will shed light on the molecular mechanisms of MPA. (*English Translation of J Jpn Coll Angiol 2009; 49: 31-37.)
PMCID: PMC3595849  PMID: 23555527
microscopic polyangiitis; genetics; HLA; KIR; LILRA2
11.  Association of ADAMTS13 polymorphism with cerebral malaria 
Malaria Journal  2011;10:366.
Cerebral malaria is one of the most severe manifestations of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The sequestration of parasitized red blood cells (PRBCs) to brain microvascular endothelium has been shown to contribute to the pathophysiology of cerebral malaria. Recent studies reported increased levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF) and reduced activity of VWF-cleaving protease, ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13), in patients with cerebral malaria.
Association of six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the ADAMTS13 gene with cerebral malaria was examined in 708 Thai patients with P. falciparum malaria.
Among six SNPs, the derived allele of a SNP located in intron 28, rs4962153-A, was significantly associated with protection against cerebral malaria when 115 cerebral malaria patients were compared with 367 mild malaria patients (Fisher's exact P-value = 0.0057; OR = 0.27; 95% CI = 0.096-0.76). Significant association was also detected between 115 cerebral malaria and 593 non-cerebral malaria (226 non-cerebral severe malaria and 367 mild malaria) patients (Fisher's exact P-value = 0.012; OR = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.11-0.83).
Excessive adhesion of PRBCs to the platelet-decorated ultra-large VWF (ULVWF) appears to enhance the sequestration of PRBCs to cerebral microvascular endothelium. The genetic association observed in the present study implies that the regulation of platelet-decorated ULVWF strings by ADAMTS13 may play a role in the development of cerebral malaria.
PMCID: PMC3261218  PMID: 22168261
12.  TLR7 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the 3' untranslated region and intron 2 independently contribute to systemic lupus erythematosus in Japanese women: a case-control association study 
The Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) gene, encoded on human chromosome Xp22.3, is crucial for type I interferon production. A recent multicenter study in East Asian populations, comprising Chinese, Korean and Japanese participants, identified an association of a TLR7 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located in the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR), rs3853839, with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), especially in males, although some difference was observed among the tested populations. To test whether additional polymorphisms contribute to SLE in Japanese, we systematically analyzed the association of TLR7 with SLE in a Japanese female population.
A case-control association study was conducted on eight tag SNPs in the TLR7 region, including rs3853839, in 344 Japanese females with SLE and 274 healthy female controls.
In addition to rs3853839, two SNPs in intron 2, rs179019 and rs179010, which were in moderate linkage disequilibrium with each other (r2 = 0.53), showed an association with SLE (rs179019: P = 0.016, odds ratio (OR) 2.02, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.15 to 3.54; rs179010: P = 0.018, OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.80 (both under the recessive model)). Conditional logistic regression analysis revealed that the association of the intronic SNPs and the 3' UTR SNP remained significant after we adjusted them for each other. When only the patients and controls carrying the risk genotypes at the 3' UTR SNPpositionwere analyzed, the risk of SLE was significantly increased when the individuals also carried the risk genotypes at both of the intronic SNPs (P = 0.0043, OR 2.45, 95% CI 1.31 to 4.60). Furthermore, the haplotype containing the intronic risk alleles in addition to the 3' UTR risk allele was associated with SLE under the recessive model (P = 0.016, OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.17 to 4.80), but other haplotypes were not associated with SLE.
The TLR7 intronic SNPs rs179019 and rs179010 are associated with SLE independently of the 3' UTR SNP rs3853839 in Japanese women. Our findings support a role of TLR7 in predisposition for SLE in Asian populations.
PMCID: PMC3132023  PMID: 21396113
13.  Association of TNFAIP3 interacting protein 1, TNIP1 with systemic lupus erythematosus in a Japanese population: a case-control association study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(5):R174.
TNFAIP3 interacting protein 1, TNIP1 (ABIN-1) is involved in inhibition of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation by interacting with TNF alpha-induced protein 3, A20 (TNFAIP3), an established susceptibility gene to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recent genome-wide association studies revealed association of TNIP1 with SLE in the Caucasian and Chinese populations. In this study, we investigated whether the association of TNIP1 with SLE was replicated in a Japanese population. In addition, association of TNIP1 with RA was also examined.
A case-control association study was conducted on the TNIP1 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs7708392 in 364 Japanese SLE patients, 553 RA patients and 513 healthy controls.
Association of TNIP1 rs7708392C was replicated in Japanese SLE (allele frequency in SLE: 76.5%, control: 69.9%, P = 0.0022, odds ratio [OR] 1.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-1.74). Notably, the risk allele frequency in the healthy controls was considerably greater in Japanese (69.9%) than in Caucasians (24.3%). A tendency of stronger association was observed in the SLE patients with renal disorder (P = 0.00065, OR 1.60 [95%CI 1.22-2.10]) than in all SLE patients (P = 0.0022, OR 1.40 [95%CI 1.13-1.74]). Significant association with RA was not observed, regardless of the carriage of human leukocyte antigen DR β1 (HLA-DRB1) shared epitope. Significant gene-gene interaction between TNIP1 and TNFAIP3 was detected neither in SLE nor RA.
Association of TNIP1 with SLE was confirmed in a Japanese population. TNIP1 is a shared SLE susceptibility gene in the Caucasian and Asian populations, but the genetic contribution appeared to be greater in the Japanese and Chinese populations because of the higher risk allele frequency. Taken together with the association of TNFAIP3, these observations underscore the crucial role of NF-κB regulation in the pathogenesis of SLE.
PMCID: PMC2991001  PMID: 20849588
14.  Association of TNFAIP3 Polymorphism with Susceptibility to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in a Japanese Population 
Recent genome-wide association studies demonstrated association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TNFAIP3 region at 6q23 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in European-American populations. In this study, we investigated whether SNPs in the TNFAIP3 region are associated with SLE also in a Japanese population. A case-control association study was performed on the SNPs rs13192841, rs2230926, and rs6922466 in 318 Japanese SLE patients and 444 healthy controls. Association of rs2230926 G allele with SLE was replicated in Japanese (allelic association P = .033, odds ratio [OR] 1.47, recessive model P = .023, OR 8.52). The association was preferentially observed in the SLE patients with nephritis. When the TNFAIP3 mRNA levels of the HapMap samples were examined using GENEVAR database, the presence of TNFAIP3 rs2230926 G allele was associated with lower mRNA expression of TNFAIP3 (P = .013). These results indicated that TNFAIP3 is a susceptibility gene to SLE both in the Caucasian and Asian populations.
PMCID: PMC2896654  PMID: 20617138
15.  A replication study of the association between the IL12B promoter allele CTCTAA and susceptibility to cerebral malaria in Thai population 
Malaria Journal  2009;8:290.
Interleukin-12 (IL-12), a heterodimeric cytokine composed of p35 and p40 subunits, has been thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of malaria. The IL-12p40 subunit is encoded by the IL12B gene. An IL12B promoter allele, CTCTAA, at rs17860508 has been reported to be associated with susceptibility to cerebral malaria in African populations. However, this association has not so far been replicated in non-African populations.
To examine whether the CTCTAA allele is associated with susceptibility to cerebral malaria in Asian populations, 303 Thai patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria (109 cerebral malaria and 194 mild malaria patients) were genotyped for rs17860508 by PCR-direct sequencing.
The CTCTAA allele showed a significant association with susceptibility to cerebral malaria in the Thai population (allelic OR = 1.37; one sided P-value = 0.030).
The existence of a significant association between the CTCTAA allele and susceptibility to cerebral malaria was confirmed in Southeast Asian population, which was previously reported in African populations.
PMCID: PMC2797809  PMID: 20003322
16.  Identification of a haplotype block in the 5q31 cytokine gene cluster associated with the susceptibility to severe malaria 
Malaria Journal  2009;8:232.
It has been previously demonstrated that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the IL13 promoter region, IL13 -1055T>C (rs1800925), was associated with susceptibility to severe malaria in Thais. In the present study, fine association mapping for a cytokine gene cluster including IL4, IL5, and IL13 on chromosome 5q31 was conducted using the same malaria subjects to refine the region containing a primary variant or a haplotype susceptible to severe malaria.
A total of 82 SNPs spanning 522 kb of the 5q31 region were analysed in 368 patients with Plasmodium falciparum malaria (203 mild malaria and 165 severe malaria patients).
Only rs1881457 located in the promoter region of IL13, which is in linkage disequilibrium with rs1800925 (r2 = 0.73), showed a significant association with severe malaria after adjusting for multiple testing (P = 0.046 by permutation test). This SNP was in a haplotype block spanning 97 kb (from rs2069812 to rs2240032). The detected haplotype block contained the RAD50 gene and the promoter of IL13, but not the other genes.
A haplotype block in which a primary polymorphism associated with severe malaria is likely to be encoded was identified in Thai malaria patients.
PMCID: PMC2770543  PMID: 19840389
17.  Role of STAT4 polymorphisms in systemic lupus erythematosus in a Japanese population: a case-control association study of the STAT1-STAT4 region 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2008;10(5):R113.
Recent studies identified STAT4 (signal transducers and activators of transcription-4) as a susceptibility gene for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). STAT1 is encoded adjacently to STAT4 on 2q32.2-q32.3, upregulated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from SLE patients, and functionally relevant to SLE. This study was conducted to test whether STAT4 is associated with SLE in a Japanese population also, to identify the risk haplotype, and to examine the potential genetic contribution of STAT1. To accomplish these aims, we carried out a comprehensive association analysis of 52 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) encompassing the STAT1-STAT4 region.
In the first screening, 52 tag SNPs were selected based on HapMap Phase II JPT (Japanese in Tokyo, Japan) data, and case-control association analysis was carried out on 105 Japanese female patients with SLE and 102 female controls. For associated SNPs, additional cases and controls were genotyped and association was analyzed using 308 SLE patients and 306 controls. Estimation of haplotype frequencies and an association study using the permutation test were performed with Haploview version 4.0 software. Population attributable risk percentage was estimated to compare the epidemiological significance of the risk genotype among populations.
In the first screening, rs7574865, rs11889341, and rs10168266 in STAT4 were most significantly associated (P < 0.01). Significant association was not observed for STAT1. Subsequent association studies of the three SNPs using 308 SLE patients and 306 controls confirmed a strong association of the rs7574865T allele (SLE patients: 46.3%, controls: 33.5%, P = 4.9 × 10-6, odds ratio 1.71) as well as TTT haplotype (rs10168266/rs11889341/rs7574865) (P = 1.5 × 10-6). The association was stronger in subgroups of SLE with nephritis and anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies. Population attributable risk percentage was estimated to be higher in the Japanese population (40.2%) than in Americans of European descent (19.5%).
The same STAT4 risk allele is associated with SLE in Caucasian and Japanese populations. Evidence for a role of STAT1 in genetic susceptibility to SLE was not detected. The contribution of STAT4 for the genetic background of SLE may be greater in the Japanese population than in Americans of European descent.
PMCID: PMC2592800  PMID: 18803832

Results 1-17 (17)