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1.  Prediction of Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2013;62(4):1020-1021.
PMCID: PMC3609574  PMID: 23520277
2.  Report from the Immunogenomic Data Analysis Working Group (IDAWG) 16th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop (IHIW) Project: Immunogenomic Data-Management Methods 
The goal of the IDAWG is to facilitate the consistent analysis of HLA and KIR data, and the sharing of those data among the immunogenomic and larger genomic communities. However, the data-management approaches currently applied by immunogenomic researchers are not widely discussed or reported in the literature, and the effect of different approaches on data-analyses is not known.
With ASHI’s support, the IDAWG developed a forty-five question survey on HLA and KIR data-generation, data-management, and data-analysis practices. Survey questions detailed the loci genotyped, typing systems used, nomenclature versions reported, computer operating systems and software used to manage and transmit data, the approaches applied to resolve HLA ambiguity, and the methods used for basic population-level analyses. Respondents were invited to demonstrate their HLA ambiguity resolution approaches in simulated data sets.By May 2012, 156 respondents from 35 nations had completed the survey . These survey respondents represent a broad sampling of the Immunogenomic community; 52% were European, 30% North American, 10% Asian, 4% South American, and 4% from the Pacific.
The project will continue in conjunction with the 17th Workshop, with the aim of developing community data-sharing standards, ambiguity resolution documentation formats, single-task data-Management tools, and, novel data-analysis methods and applications. While additional project details and plans for the 17th IHIW will be forthcoming, we welcome the input and participation in these projects from the histocompatibility and immunogenetics community.
PMCID: PMC3789600  PMID: 23280068
Meta-analysis; Statistics; HLA; Genetics
3.  Report from the 16th International Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Workshop (IHIW) Component: Population Global Distribution of Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR) and Ligands 
In the last fifteen years published reports have described KIR gene-content frequency distributions in more than 120 populations worldwide. However, there have been limited studies examining these data in aggregate in order to detect overall patterns of variation at regional and global levels. Here, we present a summary of the collection of KIR gene-content data for 105 worldwide populations collected as part of the 15th and 16th International Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Workshops, and preliminary results for data analysis.
The data were contributed by thirty-four laboratories during the four-year course of this project, including data for the HGDP-CEPH populations. Additionally, data from the 15th IHIW and data contributed to the (AFND) database were combined with the current workshop dataset
PMCID: PMC3789603  PMID: 23280119
KIR; HLA; workshop; report
4.  Fine-Mapping the Genetic Association of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in Multiple Sclerosis: HLA and Non-HLA Effects 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(11):e1003926.
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region is strongly associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility. HLA-DRB1*15:01 has the strongest effect, and several other alleles have been reported at different levels of validation. Using SNP data from genome-wide studies, we imputed and tested classical alleles and amino acid polymorphisms in 8 classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes in 5,091 cases and 9,595 controls. We identified 11 statistically independent effects overall: 6 HLA-DRB1 and one DPB1 alleles in class II, one HLA-A and two B alleles in class I, and one signal in a region spanning from MICB to LST1. This genomic segment does not contain any HLA class I or II genes and provides robust evidence for the involvement of a non-HLA risk allele within the MHC. Interestingly, this region contains the TNF gene, the cognate ligand of the well-validated TNFRSF1A MS susceptibility gene. The classical HLA effects can be explained to some extent by polymorphic amino acid positions in the peptide-binding grooves. This study dissects the independent effects in the MHC, a critical region for MS susceptibility that harbors multiple risk alleles.
Author Summary
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease with a heritable component. Although it has been known for a long time that the strongest MS risk factor maps to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6, there are still many unresolved questions as to the identity and the nature of the risk variants within the MHC. Because the MHC has a complex structure, systematic investigation across this region has been challenging. In this study, we used state-of-the-art imputation methods coupled to statistical regression to query variants in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and II genes for a role in MS risk. Starting from available SNP genotype data, we replicated the strongest risk factor, the HLA-DRB1*15:01 allele, and were able to identify 11 independent effects in total. Functional studies are now needed to understand their mechanism in MS etiology.
PMCID: PMC3836799  PMID: 24278027
5.  Defining multiple common “completely” conserved major histocompatibility complex SNP haplotypes 
Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.)  2009;132(2):203-214.
The availability of both HLA data and genotypes for thousands of SNPs across the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in 1240 complete families of the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium allowed us to analyze the occurrence and extent of megabase contiguous identity for founder chromosomes from unrelated individuals. We identified 82 HLA-defined haplotype groups, and within these groups, megabase regions of SNP identity were readily apparent. The conserved chromosomes within the 82 haplotype groups comprise approximately one third of the founder chromosomes. It is currently unknown whether such frequent conservation for groups of unrelated individuals is specific to the MHC, or if initial binning by highly polymorphic HLA alleles facilitated detection of a more general phenomenon within the MHC. Such common identity, specifically across the MHC, impacts type 1 diabetes susceptibility and may impact transplantation between unrelated individuals.
PMCID: PMC3740523  PMID: 19427271
Type 1 diabetes; MHC; HLA; Extended haplotypes; SNP; 8.1; DR8
6.  The Missing Heritability in T1D and Potential New Targets for Prevention 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2013;2013:737485.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a T cell-mediated disease. It is strongly associated with susceptibility haplotypes within the major histocompatibility complex, but this association accounts for an estimated 50% of susceptibility. Other studies have identified as many as 50 additional susceptibility loci, but the effect of most is very modest (odds ratio (OR) <1.5). What accounts for the “missing heritability” is unknown and is often attributed to environmental factors. Here we review new data on the cognate ligand of MHC molecules, the T cell receptor (TCR). In rats, we found that one allele of a TCR variable gene, Vβ13A, is strongly associated with T1D (OR >5) and that deletion of Vβ13+ T cells prevents diabetes. A role for the TCR is also suspected in NOD mice, but TCR regions have not been associated with human T1D. To investigate this disparity, we tested the hypothesis in silico that previous studies of human T1D genetics were underpowered to detect MHC-contingent TCR susceptibility. We show that stratifying by MHC markedly increases statistical power to detect potential TCR susceptibility alleles. We suggest that the TCR regions are viable candidates for T1D susceptibility genes, could account for “missing heritability,” and could be targets for prevention.
PMCID: PMC3647582  PMID: 23691517
7.  Genetics of the HLA Region in the Prediction of Type 1 Diabetes 
Current diabetes reports  2011;11(6):533-542.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of the most widely studied complex genetic disorders, and the genes in HLA are reported to account for approximately 40% to 50% of the familial aggregation of T1D. The major genetic determinants of this disease are polymorphisms of class II HLA genes encoding DQ and DR. The DR-DQ haplotypes conferring the highest risk are DRB1*03:01-DQA1*05:01-DQB1*02:01 (abbreviated “DR3”) and DRB1*04:01/02/04/05/08-DQA1*03:01-DQB1*03:02/04 (or DQB1*02; abbreviated “DR4”). The risk is much higher for the heterozygote formed by these two haplotypes (OR = 16.59; 95% CI, 13.7–20.1) than for either of the homozygotes (DR3/DR3, OR = 6.32; 95% CI, 5.12–7.80; DR4/DR4, OR = 5.68; 95% CI, 3.91). In addition, some haplotypes confer strong protection from disease, such as DRB1*15:01-DQA1*01:02-DQB1*06:02 (abbreviated “DR2”; OR = 0.03; 95% CI, 0.01–0.07). After adjusting for the genetic correlation with DR and DQ, significant associations can be seen for HLA class II DPB1 alleles, in particular, DPB1*04:02, DPB1*03:01, and DPB1*02:02. Outside of the class II region, the strongest susceptibility is conferred by allele B*39:06 (OR =10.31; 95% CI, 4.21–25.1) and other HLA-B alleles. In addition, several loci in the class III region are reported to be associated with T1D, as are some loci telomeric to class I. Not surprisingly, current approaches for the prediction of T1D in screening studies take advantage of genotyping HLA-DR and HLA-DQ loci, which is then combined with family history and screening for autoantibodies directed against islet-cell antigens. Inclusion of additional moderate HLA risk haplotypes may help identify the majority of children with T1D before the onset of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3233362  PMID: 21912932
Type 1 diabetes; Genetic risk; HLA class II; HLA class I; HLA class III; Risk prediction
8.  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
9.  The rs4774 CIITA missense variant is associated with risk of systemic lupus erythematosus 
Genes and Immunity  2011;12(8):667-671.
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II transactivator gene (CIITA) encodes an important transcription factor required for HLA class II MHC-restricted antigen presentation. MHC genes, including the HLA class II DRB1*03:01 allele, are strongly associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Recently the rs4774 CIITA missense variant (+1632G/C) was reported to be associated with susceptibility to multiple sclerosis. In the current study, we investigated CIITA, DRB1*03:01 and risk of SLE using a multi-stage analysis. In stage 1, 9 CIITA variants were tested in 658 cases and 1,363 controls (N = 2,021). In stage 2, rs4774 was tested in 684 cases and 2,938 controls (N = 3,622). We also performed a meta-analysis of the pooled 1,342 cases and 4,301 controls (N = 5,643). In stage 1, rs4774*C was associated with SLE (odds ratio [OR] = 1.24, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.07–1.44, P = 4.2 × 10−3). Similar results were observed in stage 2 (OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.02–1.33, P = 8.5×10−3) and the meta-analysis of the combined dataset (OR = 1.20, 95% CI = 1.09–1.33, Pmeta = 2.5×10−4). In all three analyses, the strongest evidence for association between rs4774*C and SLE was present in individuals who carried at least one copy of DRB1*03:01 (Pmeta= 1.9×10−3). Results support a role for CIITA in SLE, which appears to be stronger in the presence of DRB1*03:01.
PMCID: PMC3387803  PMID: 21614020
systemic lupus erythematosus; autoimmunity; major histocompatibility complex; HLA; CIITA; MHC2TA
10.  Distinguishing Type 2 Diabetes from Type 1 Diabetes in African American and Hispanic American Pediatric Patients 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32773.
To test the hypothesis that clinical observations made at patient presentation can distinguish type 2 diabetes (T2D) from type 1 diabetes (T1D) in pediatric patients aged 2 to 18.
Subjects and Methods
Medical records of 227 African American and 112 Hispanic American pediatric patients diagnosed as T1D or T2D were examined to compare parameters in the two diseases. Age at presentation, BMI z-score, and gender were the variables used in logistic regression analysis to create models for T2D prediction.
The regression-based model created from African American data had a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 89%; testing of a replication cohort showed 91% sensitivity and 93% specificity. A model based on the Hispanic American data showed 92% sensitivity and 90% specificity. Similarities between African American and Hispanic American patients include: (1) age at onset for both T1D and T2D decreased from the 1980s to the 2000s; (2) risk of T2D increased markedly with obesity. Racial/ethnic-specific observations included: (1) in African American patients, the proportion of females was significantly higher than that of males for T2D compared to T1D (p<0.0001); (2) in Hispanic Americans, the level of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was significantly higher in T1D than in T2D (p<0.002) at presentation; (3) the strongest contributor to T2D risk was female gender in African Americans, while the strongest contributor to T2D risk was BMI z-score in Hispanic Americans.
Distinction of T2D from T1D at patient presentation was possible with good sensitivity and specificity using only three easily-assessed variables: age, gender, and BMI z-score. In African American pediatric diabetes patients, gender was the strongest predictor of T2D, while in Hispanic patients, BMI z-score was the strongest predictor. This suggests that race/ethnic specific models may be useful to optimize distinction of T1D from T2D at presentation.
PMCID: PMC3296728  PMID: 22412923
11.  Genetics of Type 1 Diabetes 
Genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been a subject of intensive study for nearly four decades. This article will present the history of these studies, beginning with observations of the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) association in the 1970s, through the advent of DNA-based genotyping methodologies, through recent large, international collaborations and genome-wide association studies. More than 40 genetic loci have been associated with T1D in multiple studies; however, the HLA region, with its multiple genes and extreme polymorphism at those loci, remains by far the greatest contributor to the genetic susceptibility to T1D. Even after decades of study, the complete story has yet to unfold, and exact mechanisms by which HLA and other associated loci confer T1D susceptibility remain elusive.
More than 40 genetic loci have been associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) is, by far, the strongest predictor of T1D risk.
PMCID: PMC3253030  PMID: 22315720
12.  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
13.  HLA DPA1, DPB1 Alleles and Haplotypes Contribute to the Risk Associated With Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2010;59(8):2055-2062.
To determine the relative risk associated with DPA1 and DPB1 alleles and haplotypes in type 1 diabetes.
The frequency of DPA1 and DPB1 alleles and haplotypes in type 1 diabetic patients was compared to the family based control frequency in 1,771 families directly and conditional on HLA (B)-DRB1-DQA1-DQB1 linkage disequilibrium. A relative predispositional analysis (RPA) was performed in the presence or absence of the primary HLA DR-DQ associations and the contribution of DP haplotype to individual DR-DQ haplotype risks examined.
Eight DPA1 and thirty-eight DPB1 alleles forming seventy-four DPA1-DPB1 haplotypes were observed; nineteen DPB1 alleles were associated with multiple DPA1 alleles. Following both analyses, type 1 diabetes susceptibility was significantly associated with DPB1*0301 (DPA1*0103-DPB1*0301) and protection with DPB1*0402 (DPA1*0103-DPB1*0402) and DPA1*0103-DPB1*0101 but not DPA1*0201-DPB1*0101. In addition, DPB1*0202 (DPA1*0103-DPB1*0202) and DPB1*0201 (DPA1*0103-DPB1*0201) were significantly associated with susceptibility in the presence of the high risk and protective DR-DQ haplotypes. Three associations (DPB1*0301, *0402, and *0202) remained statistically significant when only the extended HLA-A1-B8-DR3 haplotype was considered, suggesting that DPB1 alone may delineate the risk associated with this otherwise conserved haplotype.
HLA DP allelic and haplotypic diversity contributes significantly to the risk for type 1 diabetes; DPB1*0301 (DPA1*0103-DPB1*0301) is associated with susceptibility and DPB1*0402 (DPA1*0103-DPB1*0402) and DPA1*0103-DPB1*0101 with protection. Additional evidence is presented for the susceptibility association of DPB1*0202 (DPA1*0103-DPB1*0202) and for a contributory role of individual amino acids and DPA1 or a gene in linkage disequilibrium in DR3-DPB1*0101 positive haplotypes.
PMCID: PMC2911060  PMID: 20424227
14.  Maximizing Deoxyribonucleic Acid Yield from Dried Blood Spots 
One source of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) for genetic studies is the utilization of dried blood spots stored on paper cards (Guthrie cards) collected shortly after birth. These cards represent an important source of material for epidemiologic and population-based genetic studies. Extraction of DNA from these cards can lead to variable amounts of recovered DNA. We report here results of our efforts to maximize yield from this valuable, but nonrenewable, resource.
Commercial methods of DNA extraction from blood cards were used, and protocol modifications were introduced that enhanced DNA yield.
Use of a commercial solvent prior to DNA extraction steps gave greater yields than extraction without the solvent. Modification of the elution step by use of prewarmed extraction buffer and a soaking step at an elevated temperature increased yield by 6- to 10-fold.
The modified DNA extraction method yielded as much as 660 ng of DNA from a single 5-mm-diameter punch of a blood spot card. The DNA performed well in downstream, polymerase chain reaction-based applications.
PMCID: PMC2864159  PMID: 20307384
blood spot; DNA sample preparation; Guthrie card; HLA genotyping
15.  Anticitrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) in rheumatoid arthritis: influence of an interaction between HLA-DRB1 shared epitope and a deletion polymorphism in glutathione s-transferase in a cross-sectional study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(6):R213.
A deletion polymorphism in glutathione S-transferase Mu-1 (GSTM1-null) has previously been implicated to play a role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk and progression, although no prior investigations have examined its associations with anticitrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) positivity. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of GSTM1-null with ACPA positivity in RA and to assess for evidence of interaction between GSTM1 and HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE).
Associations of GSTM1-null with ACPA positivity were examined separately in two RA cohorts, the Veterans Affairs Rheumatoid Arthritis (VARA) registry (n = 703) and the Study of New-Onset RA (SONORA; n = 610). Interactions were examined by calculating an attributable proportion (AP) due to interaction.
A majority of patients in the VARA registry (76%) and SONORA (69%) were positive for ACPA with a similar frequency of GSTM1-null (53% and 52%, respectively) and HLA-DRB1 SE positivity (76% and 71%, respectively). The parameter of patients who had ever smoked was more common in the VARA registry (80%) than in SONORA (65%). GSTM1-null was significantly associated with ACPA positivity in the VARA registry (odds ratio (OR), 1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02 to 2.05), but not in SONORA (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.71 to 1.42). There were significant additive interactions between GSTM1 and HLA-DRB1 SE in the VARA registry (AP, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.77; P < 0.001) in ACPA positivity, an interaction replicated in SONORA (AP, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.00 to 0.76; P = 0.050).
This study is the first to show that the GSTM1-null genotype, a common genetic variant, exerts significant additive interaction with HLA-DRB1 SE on the risk of ACPA positivity in RA. Since GSTM1 has known antioxidant functions, these data suggest that oxidative stress may be important in the development of RA-specific autoimmunity in genetically susceptible individuals.
PMCID: PMC3046521  PMID: 21087494
16.  Analysis of Maternal–Offspring HLA Compatibility, Parent-of-Origin Effects, and Noninherited Maternal Antigen Effects for HLA–DRB1 in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2010;62(6):1712-1717.
Genetic susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is well established, with the HLA class II DRB1 and DQB1 loci demonstrating the strongest association. However, HLA may also influence SLE through novel biologic mechanisms in addition to genetic transmission of risk alleles. Evidence for increased maternal–offspring HLA class II compatibility in SLE and differences in maternal versus paternal transmission rates (parent-of-origin effects) and nontransmission rates (noninherited maternal antigen [NIMA] effects) in other autoimmune diseases have been reported. Thus, we investigated maternal–offspring HLA compatibility, parent-of-origin effects, and NIMA effects at DRB1 in SLE.
The cohort comprised 707 SLE families and 188 independent healthy maternal–offspring pairs (total of 2,497 individuals). Family-based association tests were conducted to compare transmitted versus nontransmitted alleles (transmission disequilibrium test) and both maternally versus paternally transmitted (parent-of-origin) and nontransmitted alleles (using the chi-square test of heterogeneity). Analyses were stratified according to the sex of the offspring. Maternally affected offspring DRB1 compatibility in SLE families was compared with paternally affected offspring compatibility and with independent control maternal–offspring pairs (using Fisher’s test) and was restricted to male and nulligravid female offspring with SLE.
As expected, DRB1 was associated with SLE (P < 1 × 10−4). However, mothers of children with SLE had similar transmission and nontransmission frequencies for DRB1 alleles when compared with fathers, including those for the known SLE risk alleles HLA–DRB1*0301, *1501, and *0801. No association between maternal–offspring compatibility and SLE was observed.
Maternal–offspring HLA compatibility, parent-of-origin effects, and NIMA effects at DRB1 are unlikely to play a role in SLE.
PMCID: PMC2948464  PMID: 20191587
17.  Variation in the ATP-binding cassette transporter 2 gene is a separate risk factor for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus within the MHC 
Genes and immunity  2009;10(4):350-355.
The ATP-binding cassette transporter (TAP) proteins are functionally relevant candidates for predisposition to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) by virtue of their role in autoantigen presentation and location in the MHC. We tested if variation in the TAP genes (TAP1 and TAP2) is associated with SLE. We genotyped tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and performed family-based association analysis on 390 Caucasian pedigrees. We found significant evidence of association between TAP2 and SLE (rs241453, P = 1.33 × 10-6). Conditional logistic regression analysis suggests that this TAP2 effect is separate from the HLA-DRB1 alleles. Our analyses show that both rs241453 (P = 1.6 × 10-4) and HLA-DRB1*03xx (P = 2.3 × 10-4) have significant autonomous effects not due to linkage disequilibrium. Moreover, these loci exhibit a significant statistical interaction (P < 1.0 × 10-6), demonstrated by an increase in the odds ratio for the TAP2 association from OR = 2.00 (CI=1.17-3.42) in HLA-DRB1*03xx-negative subjects to OR = 4.29 (CI=1.88-9.76) in the subjects with at least one HLA-DRB1*03xx allele group. We report the largest association study of the TAP genes with SLE to date, and the first to test for its separate effect and interaction with the HLA alleles consistently associated with SLE.
PMCID: PMC2927958  PMID: 19387463
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; TAP2; HLA-DRB1; family-based association analysis; conditional logistic regression analysis; interaction analysis
18.  HLA genotyping in the international Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium 
Clinical Trials (London, England)  2010;7(1_supplement):S75-S87.
Background Although human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DQ and DR loci appear to confer the strongest genetic risk for type 1 diabetes, more detailed information is required for other loci within the HLA region to understand causality and stratify additional risk factors. The Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC) study design included high-resolution genotyping of HLA-A, B, C, DRB1, DQ, and DP loci in all affected sibling pair and trio families, and cases and controls, recruited from four networks worldwide, for analysis with clinical phenotypes and immunological markers.
Purpose In this article, we present the operational strategy of training, classification, reporting, and quality control of HLA genotyping in four laboratories on three continents over nearly 5 years.
Methods Methods to standardize HLA genotyping at eight loci included: central training and initial certification testing; the use of uniform reagents, protocols, instrumentation, and software versions; an automated data transfer; and the use of standardized nomenclature and allele databases. We implemented a rigorous and consistent quality control process, reinforced by repeated workshops, yearly meetings, and telephone conferences.
Results A total of 15,246 samples have been HLA genotyped at eight loci to four-digit resolution; an additional 6797 samples have been HLA genotyped at two loci. The genotyping repeat rate decreased significantly over time, with an estimated unresolved Mendelian inconsistency rate of 0.21%. Annual quality control exercises tested 2192 genotypes (4384 alleles) and achieved 99.82% intra-laboratory and 99.68% inter-laboratory concordances.
Limitations The chosen genotyping platform was unable to distinguish many allele combinations, which would require further multiple stepwise testing to resolve. For these combinations, a standard allele assignment was agreed upon, allowing further analysis if required.
Conclusions High-resolution HLA genotyping can be performed in multiple laboratories using standard equipment, reagents, protocols, software, and communication to produce consistent and reproducible data with minimal systematic error. Many of the strategies used in this study are generally applicable to other large multi-center studies.
PMCID: PMC2917849  PMID: 20595243
19.  High-Density SNP Screening of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Demonstrates Strong Evidence for Independent Susceptibility Regions 
PLoS Genetics  2009;5(10):e1000696.
A substantial genetic contribution to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) risk is conferred by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene(s) on chromosome 6p21. Previous studies in SLE have lacked statistical power and genetic resolution to fully define MHC influences. We characterized 1,610 Caucasian SLE cases and 1,470 parents for 1,974 MHC SNPs, the highly polymorphic HLA-DRB1 locus, and a panel of ancestry informative markers. Single-marker analyses revealed strong signals for SNPs within several MHC regions, as well as with HLA-DRB1 (global p = 9.99×10−16). The most strongly associated DRB1 alleles were: *0301 (odds ratio, OR = 2.21, p = 2.53×10−12), *1401 (OR = 0.50, p = 0.0002), and *1501 (OR = 1.39, p = 0.0032). The MHC region SNP demonstrating the strongest evidence of association with SLE was rs3117103, with OR = 2.44 and p = 2.80×10−13. Conditional haplotype and stepwise logistic regression analyses identified strong evidence for association between SLE and the extended class I, class I, class III, class II, and the extended class II MHC regions. Sequential removal of SLE–associated DRB1 haplotypes revealed independent effects due to variation within OR2H2 (extended class I, rs362521, p = 0.006), CREBL1 (class III, rs8283, p = 0.01), and DQB2 (class II, rs7769979, p = 0.003, and rs10947345, p = 0.0004). Further, conditional haplotype analyses demonstrated that variation within MICB (class I, rs3828903, p = 0.006) also contributes to SLE risk independent of HLA-DRB1*0301. Our results for the first time delineate with high resolution several MHC regions with independent contributions to SLE risk. We provide a list of candidate variants based on biologic and functional considerations that may be causally related to SLE risk and warrant further investigation.
Author Summary
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibody production and involvement of multiple organ systems. Although the cause of SLE remains unknown, several lines of evidence underscore the importance of genetic factors. As is true for most autoimmune diseases, a substantial genetic contribution to disease risk is conferred by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene(s) on chromosome 6. This region of the genome contains a large number of genes that participate in the immune response. However, the full contribution of this genomic region to SLE risk has not yet been defined. In the current study we characterize a large number of SLE patients and family members for approximately 2,000 MHC region variants to identify the specific genes that influence disease risk. Our results, for the first time, implicate four different MHC regions in SLE risk. We provide a list of candidate variants based on biologic and functional considerations that may be causally related to SLE risk and warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2758598  PMID: 19851445
20.  Type 1 diabetes risk for HLA-DR3 haplotypes depends on genotypic context: Association of DPB1 and HLA class I loci among DR3 and DR4 matched Italian patients and controls 
Human immunology  2008;69(4-5):291-300.
Patients with high-risk HLA-DR-DQ genotypes for type 1 diabetes (T1D) were compared to HLA-matched controls to evaluate T1D risk for other HLA loci, including HLA-A, -B, -Cw, and DPB1. Patients (n=133) with high-risk genotypes (DR3/DR3, DR3/DR4, DR4/DR4) were selected from the Lazio (Rome) region of Italy. Screening of more than 9000 subjects from the Lazio region and northern Italy yielded 162 controls with high- T1D-risk haplotypes. Although the overall distributions were not significantly different, allele frequency differences were discovered between the controls from Lazio and those from Northern Italy for some alleles previously shown to affect T1D risk, such as A*3002, DPB1*0301, and DPB1*0402. Therefore, Lazio patient data were compared both to the Lazio subset of controls (n=53) and to the entire group of controls for association analyses. Significant allele frequency differences between patients and DR-DQ-matched controls were found for specific alleles at all loci. Data for the DR3/DR3 subset of patients and controls showed an increase of Cw*0702 in patients. Reduced patient, compared to control, frequencies were seen for several alleles, including A*0101, B*0801, and Cw*0701, all found on the highly-conserved, extended DR3 haplotype known as 8.1 in DR3/DR3, but not DR3/DR4, subgroup. DPB1*0101, often found on 8.1 haplotypes, was also less frequent in DR3/DR3 patients than controls. Analysis of family-based data from the HBDI repository was consistent with the observed results from the Italian subjects, suggesting the presence of a T1D-protective locus at or near A*0101 and a second T1D-protective locus at or near DPB1*0101. These data suggest that T1D risk conferred by the 8.1 haplotype is genotype dependent.
PMCID: PMC2505335  PMID: 18486765
HLA Class I; DPB1; Type 1 Diabetes; DR3 haplotype; Disease Association
21.  Linkage disequilibrium with predisposing DR3 haplotypes accounts for apparent effects of TNF and LTA polymorphisms on T1D susceptibility 
Human immunology  2006;67(12):999-1004.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and lymphotoxin alpha (LTA) are immunomodulators that have been hypothesized to contribute to susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (T1D). Several polymorphisms in the TNF and LTA loci have been extensively studied for T1D association, with conflicting reports. In this study, we examined two TNF variants and one LTA variant for T1D association in 283 Caucasian, multiplex T1D families, for which complete HLA genotyping data are available. Initially, association with T1D was seen for LTA A1069G (intron A) (p = 0.011) {rs909253} and TNF G(-308)A (p< 1x 10−5) {rs1800629}, but no association was observed for TNF G(-238)A {rs361525}. After adjusting the data for linkage disequilibrium (LD) with DRB1-DQB1 haplotypes, however, only TNF G(-238)A showed significant association with T1D (p< 0.006). When HLA-DR3 haplotypes were examined, the A allele of TNF G(-238)A was significantly overtransmitted to affected offspring (p< 0.009). Including HLA-B data in the analysis revealed that TNF (-238)A is present exclusively on DR3 haplotypes that also carry HLA-B18. Transmission proportion of B18-DR3 haplotypes did not differ between those with TNF (-238)A and those with TNF (-238)G. Thus, variation at TNF does not affect the T1D risk for B18-DR3 haplotypes, and the apparent association of TNF(-238)A with T1D may simply reflect its presence on a high-risk haplotype.
PMCID: PMC2481238  PMID: 17174749
TNF; Polymorphisms; HLA; Type 1 diabetes; Linkage disequilibrium

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