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1.  Analysis of long non-coding RNAs highlights tissue-specific expression patterns and epigenetic profiles in normal and psoriatic skin 
Genome Biology  2015;16(1):24.
Background
Although analysis pipelines have been developed to use RNA-seq to identify long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), inference of their biological and pathological relevance remains a challenge. As a result, most transcriptome studies of autoimmune disease have only assessed protein-coding transcripts.
Results
We used RNA-seq data from 99 lesional psoriatic, 27 uninvolved psoriatic, and 90 normal skin biopsies, and applied computational approaches to identify and characterize expressed lncRNAs. We detect 2,942 previously annotated and 1,080 novel lncRNAs which are expected to be skin specific. Notably, over 40% of the novel lncRNAs are differentially expressed and the proportions of differentially expressed transcripts among protein-coding mRNAs and previously-annotated lncRNAs are lower in psoriasis lesions versus uninvolved or normal skin. We find that many lncRNAs, in particular those that are differentially expressed, are co-expressed with genes involved in immune related functions, and that novel lncRNAs are enriched for localization in the epidermal differentiation complex. We also identify distinct tissue-specific expression patterns and epigenetic profiles for novel lncRNAs, some of which are shown to be regulated by cytokine treatment in cultured human keratinocytes.
Conclusions
Together, our results implicate many lncRNAs in the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis, and our results provide a resource for lncRNA studies in other autoimmune diseases.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0570-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0570-4
PMCID: PMC4311508
2.  Transcriptome analysis of psoriasis in a large case-control sample: RNA-seq provides insights into disease mechanisms 
To increase our understanding of psoriasis, we utilized RNA-seq to assay the transcriptomes of lesional psoriatic and normal skin. We sequenced polyadenylated RNA-derived cDNAs from 92 psoriatic and 82 normal punch biopsies, generating an average of ~38 million single-end 80-bp reads per sample. Comparison of 42 samples examined by both RNA-seq and microarray revealed marked differences in sensitivity, with transcripts identified only by RNA-seq having much lower expression than those also identified by microarray. RNA-seq identified many more differentially expressed transcripts enriched in immune system processes. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) revealed multiple modules of coordinately expressed epidermal differentiation genes, overlapping significantly with genes regulated by the long non-coding RNA TINCR, its target gene, staufen-1 (STAU1), the p63 target gene ZNF750, and its target KLF4. Other coordinately expressed modules were enriched for lymphoid and/or myeloid signature transcripts and genes induced by IL-17 in keratinocytes. Dermally-expressed genes were significantly down-regulated in psoriatic biopsies, most likely due to expansion of the epidermal compartment. These results demonstrate the power of WGCNA to elucidate gene regulatory circuits in psoriasis, and emphasize the influence of tissue architecture in both differential expression and co-expression analysis.
doi:10.1038/jid.2014.28
PMCID: PMC4057954  PMID: 24441097
skin; inflammation; immunology; cytokine; dermatology; psoriasis; transcriptome; network analysis
3.  Cellular dissection of psoriasis for transcriptome analyses and the post-GWAS era 
BMC Medical Genomics  2014;7:27.
Background
Genome-scale studies of psoriasis have been used to identify genes of potential relevance to disease mechanisms. For many identified genes, however, the cell type mediating disease activity is uncertain, which has limited our ability to design gene functional studies based on genomic findings.
Methods
We identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with altered expression in psoriasis lesions (n = 216 patients), as well as candidate genes near susceptibility loci from psoriasis GWAS studies. These gene sets were characterized based upon their expression across 10 cell types present in psoriasis lesions. Susceptibility-associated variation at intergenic (non-coding) loci was evaluated to identify sites of allele-specific transcription factor binding.
Results
Half of DEGs showed highest expression in skin cells, although the dominant cell type differed between psoriasis-increased DEGs (keratinocytes, 35%) and psoriasis-decreased DEGs (fibroblasts, 33%). In contrast, psoriasis GWAS candidates tended to have highest expression in immune cells (71%), with a significant fraction showing maximal expression in neutrophils (24%, P < 0.001). By identifying candidate cell types for genes near susceptibility loci, we could identify and prioritize SNPs at which susceptibility variants are predicted to influence transcription factor binding. This led to the identification of potentially causal (non-coding) SNPs for which susceptibility variants influence binding of AP-1, NF-κB, IRF1, STAT3 and STAT4.
Conclusions
These findings underscore the role of innate immunity in psoriasis and highlight neutrophils as a cell type linked with pathogenetic mechanisms. Assignment of candidate cell types to genes emerging from GWAS studies provides a first step towards functional analysis, and we have proposed an approach for generating hypotheses to explain GWAS hits at intergenic loci.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-7-27
PMCID: PMC4060870  PMID: 24885462
AP-1; Fibroblast; GWAS; Keratinocyte; Microarray; Neutrophil; TNFRSF9; Transcription factor
4.  Susceptibility-associated genetic variation at IL12B enhances Th1 polarization in psoriasis 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(9):1807-1815.
The IL12B gene encodes the common p40 subunit of IL-12 and IL-23, cytokines with key roles in Th1 and Th17 biology, respectively, and genetic variation in this region significantly influences risk of psoriasis. Here, we demonstrate that a psoriasis-associated risk haplotype at the IL12B locus leads to increased expression of IL12B by monocytes and correlated with increased serum levels of IL-12, IFN-γ and the IFN-γ induced chemokine, CXCL10. In contrast, serum IL-23 levels were decreased in risk carriers when compared with non-carriers. We further demonstrate that IL-12 is increased in psoriatic skin and that risk carriers manifest a skewing of the inflammatory network toward stronger IFN-γ responses. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the risk variant in IL12B associates with its increased expression and predisposes to stronger Th1 polarization through deviation of the local inflammatory environment toward increased IL-12/IFN-γ at the expense of IL-23/IL-17 responses.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddt034
PMCID: PMC3613166  PMID: 23376980
5.  Identification of fifteen new psoriasis susceptibility loci highlights the role of innate immunity 
Nature genetics  2012;44(12):1341-1348.
Summary
To gain further insight into the genetic architecture of psoriasis, we conducted a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and two independent datasets genotyped on the Immunochip, involving 10,588 cases and 22,806 controls in total. We identified 15 new disease susceptibility regions, increasing the number of psoriasis-associated loci to 36 for Caucasians. Conditional analyses identified five independent signals within previously known loci. The newly identified shared disease regions encompassed a number of genes whose products regulate T-cell function (e.g. RUNX3, TAGAP and STAT3). The new psoriasis-specific regions were notable for candidate genes whose products are involved in innate host defense, encoding proteins with roles in interferon-mediated antiviral responses (DDX58), macrophage activation (ZC3H12C), and NF-κB signaling (CARD14 and CARM1). These results portend a better understanding of shared and distinctive genetic determinants of immune-mediated inflammatory disorders and emphasize the importance of the skin in innate and acquired host defense.
doi:10.1038/ng.2467
PMCID: PMC3510312  PMID: 23143594
6.  Association of β-defensin copy number and psoriasis in three cohorts of European origin 
A single previous study has demonstrated significant association of psoriasis with copy number of beta-defensin genes, using DNA from psoriasis cases and controls from Nijmegen and Erlangen. In this study we attempted to replicate that finding in larger new cohorts from Erlangen (N = 2017) and Michigan (N = 5412), using improved methods for beta-defensin copy number determination based on the paralog ratio test (PRT), and enhanced methods of analysis and association testing implemented in the CNVtools resource. We demonstrate that the association with psoriasis found in the discovery sample is maintained after applying improved typing and analysis methods (p = 5.5 × 10−4, OR = 1.25). We also find that the association is replicated in 2616 cases and 2526 controls from Michigan, although at reduced significance (p = 0.014), but not in new samples from Erlangen (1396 cases and 621 controls, p = 0.38). Meta-analysis across all cohorts suggests a nominally significant association (p = 6.6 × 10−3/2 × 10−4) with an effect size (OR = 1.081) much lower than found in the discovery study (OR = 1.32). This reduced effect size and significance on replication is consistent with a genuine but weak association.
doi:10.1038/jid.2012.191
PMCID: PMC3447111  PMID: 22739795
7.  Genome-wide meta-analysis of Psoriatic Arthritis Identifies Susceptibility Locus at REL 
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory musculoskeletal disease affecting up to 30% of psoriasis vulgaris (PsV) cases and approximately 0.25% to 1% of the general population. To identify common susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis of three imputed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on psoriasis, stratified for PsA. A total of 1,160,703 SNPs were analyzed in the discovery set consisting of 535 PsA cases and 3,432 controls from Germany, the United States and Canada. We followed up two SNPs in 1,931 PsA cases and 6,785 controls comprising six independent replication panels from Germany, Estonia, the United States and Canada. In the combined analysis, a genome-wide significant association was detected at 2p16 near the REL locus encoding c-Rel (rs13017599, P=1.18×10−8, OR=1.27, 95% CI=1.18–1.35). The rs13017599 polymorphism is known to associate with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and another SNP near REL (rs702873) was recently implicated in PsV susceptibility. However, conditional analysis indicated that rs13017599, rather than rs702873, accounts for the PsA association at REL. We hypothesize that c-Rel, as a member of the Rel/NF-κB family, is associated with PsA in the context of disease pathways that involve other identified PsA and PsV susceptibility genes including TNIP1, TNFAIP3 and NFκBIA.
doi:10.1038/jid.2011.415
PMCID: PMC3305829  PMID: 22170493
8.  TNFAIP3 Gene Polymorphisms Are Associated with Response to TNF Blockade in Psoriasis 
The TNFAIP3 gene has been associated with psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus and celiac disease. TNFAIP3 encodes A20, a TNF-α-inducible zinc finger protein thought to limit NF-κB mediated immune responses. In this study we report association of response of psoriasis to TNF blockers with two TNFAIP3 SNPs (rs2230926 in exon 3 and rs610604 in intron 6) and their haplotypes. Treatment response was self-evaluated using a 0–5 visual analog scale in 433 psoriasis patients who received TNF blockers. Confirmation was sought in 199 psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients from Toronto who were followed prospectively. Response variables were dichotomized separately in the two cohorts, yielding similar proportions of good responses. While significant associations were observed only for the Michigan cohort, fixed-effects meta-analysis retained significant association between dosage of the G allele of rs610604 and good combined response to all TNF blockers (OR = 1.50, pcorr = 0.050) and etanercept (OR = 1.64, pcorr = 0.016). The rs2230926 T–rs610604 G haplotype was similarly associated. By demonstrating an association with therapeutic response, these results provide a clinically relevant functional correlate to the recently described genetic association between psoriasis and TNFAIP3.
doi:10.1038/jid.2011.376
PMCID: PMC3278539  PMID: 22113471
psoriasis; TNFAIP3; tumor necrosis factor; pharmacogenetics
9.  Meta-analysis confirms the LCE3C_LCE3B deletion as a risk factor for psoriasis in several ethnic groups and finds interaction with HLA-Cw6 
A multicenter meta-analysis including data from 9389 psoriasis patients and 9477 control subjects was performed to investigate the contribution of the deletion of genes LCE3C and LCE3B, involved in skin barrier defense, to psoriasis susceptibility in different populations. The study confirms that the deletion of LCE3C and LCE3B is a common genetic factor for susceptibility to psoriasis in European populations [OROverall = 1.21 (1.15–1.27)], and for the first time directly demonstrated the deletion's association with psoriasis in [Chinese OR = 1.27 (1.16–1.34); Mongolian OR = 2.08 (1.44–2.99)] populations. The analysis of the HLA-Cw6 locus showed significant differences in the epistatic interaction with the LCE3C and LCE3B deletion in at least some European populations, indicating epistatic effects between these two major genetic contributors to psoriasis. The study highlights the value of examining genetic risk factors in multiple populations to identify genetic interactions, and indicates the need of further studies to understand the interaction of the skin barrier and the immune system in susceptibility to psoriasis.
doi:10.1038/jid.2010.350
PMCID: PMC3386316  PMID: 21107349
10.  Heterogeneity of Inflammatory and Cytokine Networks in Chronic Plaque Psoriasis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e34594.
The clinical features of psoriasis, characterized by sharply demarcated scaly erythematous plaques, are typically so distinctive that a diagnosis can easily be made on these grounds alone. However, there is great variability in treatment response between individual patients, and this may reflect heterogeneity of inflammatory networks driving the disease. In this study, whole-genome transcriptional profiling was used to characterize inflammatory and cytokine networks in 62 lesional skin samples obtained from patients with stable chronic plaque psoriasis. We were able to stratify lesions according to their inflammatory gene expression signatures, identifying those associated with strong (37% of patients), moderate (39%) and weak inflammatory infiltrates (24%). Additionally, we identified differences in cytokine signatures with heightened cytokine-response patterns in one sub-group of lesions (IL-13-strong; 50%) and attenuation of these patterns in a second sub-group (IL-13-weak; 50%). These sub-groups correlated with the composition of the inflammatory infiltrate, but were only weakly associated with increased risk allele frequency at some psoriasis susceptibility loci (e.g., REL, TRAF3IP2 and NOS2). Our findings highlight variable points in the inflammatory and cytokine networks known to drive chronic plaque psoriasis. Such heterogeneous aspects may shape clinical course and treatment responses, and can provide avenues for development of personalized treatments.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034594
PMCID: PMC3315545  PMID: 22479649
11.  Comparison of MHC Class I Risk Haplotypes in Thai and Caucasian Psoriatics Reveals Locus Heterogeneity at PSORS1 
Tissue antigens  2010;76(5):387-397.
Earlier studies have shown that psoriasis in Japan and Thailand is associated with two different MHC haplotypes—those bearing HLA-Cw6 and those bearing HLA-Cw1 and HLA-B46. In an independent case-control sample from Thailand, we confirmed association of psoriasis with both haplotypes. No association was seen in Thai HLA-Cw1 haplotypes lacking HLA-B46, nor was HLA-Cw1 associated with psoriasis in a large Caucasian sample. To assess whether these risk haplotypes share a common origin, we sequenced genomic DNA from a Thai HLA-Cw1-B46 homozygote across the ~300 kb MHC risk interval, and compared it to sequence of a HLA-Cw6-B57 risk haplotype. Three small regions of homology were found, but these regions share equivalent sequence similarity with one or more clearly non-risk haplotypes, and they contain no polymorphism alleles unique to all risk haplotypes. Differences in psoriasis phenotype were also observed, including lower risk of disease, greater nail involvement, and later age at onset in HLA-Cw1-B46 carriers compared to HLA-Cw6 carriers. These findings suggest locus heterogeneity at PSORS1, the major psoriasis susceptibility locus in the MHC, with HLA-Cw6 imparting risk in both Caucasians and Asians, and an allele other than HLA-Cw1 on the HLA-Cw1-B46 haplotype acting as an additional risk variant in East Asians.
doi:10.1111/j.1399-0039.2010.01526.x
PMCID: PMC2970686  PMID: 20604894
Psoriasis; Human Leukocyte Antigens; human genetics; Major Histocompatibility Complex
12.  Association analyses identify six new psoriasis susceptibility loci in the Chinese population 
Nature genetics  2010;42(11):1005-1009.
We extended our previous GWAS for psoriasis with a a multistage replication study including 8,312 cases and 12,919 controls from China as well as 3,293 cases, 4,188 controls from Germany and the USA, and 254 nuclear families from the USA. We identified 6 new susceptibility loci associated to psoriasis in Chinese, containing candidate genes ERAP1, PTTG1, CSMD1, GJB2, SERPINB8, ZNF816A (PCombined<5×10−8) and replicated one locus 5q33.1 (TNIP1/ANXA6) previously reported (PCombined=3.8×10−21) in European studies. Two of these loci showed evidence for association evidence in the German study, at ZNF816A and GJB2 with P=3.6×10−3 and P=7.9×10−3, respectively. ERAP1 and ZNF816A were preferentially associated with Type I (early onset) psoriasis in Chinese Han population (test for heterogeneity P=6.5×10−3 and P=1.5×10−3, respectively). Comparisons with previous GWAS of psoriasis highlight the heterogeneity of disease susceptibility between Chinese and European populations. Our study identifies new genetic susceptibility factors and suggests new biological pathways in psoriasis.
doi:10.1038/ng.690
PMCID: PMC3140436  PMID: 20953187
13.  Genome-wide association study identifies a psoriasis susceptibility locus at TRAF3IP2 
Nature genetics  2010;42(11):991-995.
Psoriasis is a multifactorial skin disease characterized by epidermal hyperproliferation and chronic inflammation, the most common form of which is psoriasis vulgaris (PsV). We present a genome-wide association analysis of 2,339,118 SNPs in 472 psoriasis patients and 1,146 controls from Germany, with follow-up of the 147 most significant SNPs in 2,746 PsV cases and 4,140 controls from three independent replication panels. We identified an association at TRAF3IP2 on 6q21 and genotyped two SNPs at this locus in two additional replication panels (the combined discovery and replication panels consisted of 6,487 cases and 8,037 controls; combinded P = 2.36×10−10 for rs13210247 and combined P = 1.24×10−16 for rs33980500). About 15% of psoriasis cases develope psoriatic arthritis (PsA). A stratified analysis of our datasets including only PsA cases (1,922 cases compared to 8,037 controls, P=4.57×10−12 for rs33980500) suggested that TRAF3IP2 represents a shared susceptibility for PsV and PsA. TRAF3IP2 encodes a protein involved in IL-17 signaling and which interacts with memebers of the Rel/NF-κB transcription factor family.
doi:10.1038/ng.689
PMCID: PMC3136364  PMID: 20953188
14.  Deletion of the late cornified envelope (LCE) 3B and 3C genes as a susceptibility factor for psoriasis 
Nature genetics  2009;41(2):211-215.
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease with a prevalence of 2% to 3% in Caucasians1. In a genome-wide search for copy number variants (CNV) using a sample pooling approach we have identified a deletion comprising LCE3B and LCE3C, members of the late cornified envelope (LCE) gene cluster2. The absence of LCE3B and LCE3C (LCE3C-LCE3B-del) is significantly associated (p=1.38E-08) with risk of psoriasis in 2,831 samples from Spain, The Netherlands, Italy and the USA, and in a family-based study (p=5.4E-04). LCE3C-LCE3B-del is tagged by rs4112788 (r2=0.93), which is also strongly associated with psoriasis (p<6.6E-09). LCE3C-LCE3B-del shows epistatic effects with the HLA-Cw6 allele on the development of psoriasis in Dutch samples, and multiplicative effects in the other samples. LCE expression can be induced in normal epidermis by skin barrier disruption and is strongly expressed in psoriatic lesions, suggesting that compromised skin barrier function plays a role in psoriasis susceptibility.
doi:10.1038/ng.313
PMCID: PMC3128734  PMID: 19169253
15.  Genome-wide association analysis identifies three psoriasis susceptibility loci 
Nature genetics  2010;42(11):1000-1004.
To identify novel psoriasis susceptibility loci, we carried out a meta-analysis of two recent genome-wide association studies 1,2, yielding a discovery sample of 1,831 cases and 2,546 controls. 102 of the most promising loci in the discovery analysis were followed up in a three-stage replication study using 4,064 cases and 4,685 controls from Michigan, Toronto, Newfoundland, and Germany. Association at a genome-wide level of significance for the combined discovery and replication samples was found for three genomic regions. One contains NOS2 (rs4795067, p = 4 × 10−11), another contains FBXL19 (rs10782001, p = 9 × 10−10), and a third contains PSMA6 and NFKBIA (rs12586317, p = 2 × 10−8). All three loci were also strongly associated with the subphenotypes of psoriatic arthritis and purely cutaneous psoriasis. Finally, we confirmed a recently identified3 association signal near RNF114.
doi:10.1038/ng.693
PMCID: PMC2965799  PMID: 20953189
16.  Genetic Evidence for Involvement of the IL23 Pathway in Thai Psoriatics 
Archives of dermatological research  2009;302(2):139-143.
A recent genome-wide association analysis of psoriasis identified IL12B and IL23R as significantly associated with psoriasis. Here we report association test results of a Thai cohort consisting of 206 psoriasis cases and 114 controls. The IL23R SNPs rs7530511 and rs11209026, and IL12B SNPs rs3212227 and rs6887695 were genotyped using Taqman assays. Data were analyzed using a logistic regression model for linear trend of association. One of the IL23R markers, rs7530511, was marginally significant (p=0.017). The other IL23R marker, rs11209026, was not polymorphic. One of the IL12B markers, rs3212227, showed significant association with psoriasis (OR = 1.64, p = 0.0058) while the other, rs6887695, did not (OR = 1.29, p = 0.12). Haplotype analysis of the two IL12B SNPs yielded highly significant association (p=0.00081, OR=1.73). These results show that IL12B is an important genetic factor in psoriasis pathogenesis in the Thai population, with an association strong enough to yield significant confirmatory evidence using a modest sample size. Together with previously reported evidence for IL12B association in Caucasian, Japanese and Chinese psoriatics, our results support the hypothesis that genes encoding components of the IL23-mediated inflammatory pathway are important determinants of psoriasis pathogenesis across multiple racial groups.
doi:10.1007/s00403-009-0986-y
PMCID: PMC2897822  PMID: 19705136
Psoriasis; genetic association; IL12B; IL23; Thailand; Asia
17.  Genomewide Scan Reveals Association of Psoriasis with IL-23 and NF-κB Pathways 
Nature genetics  2009;41(2):199-204.
Psoriasis is a common immune mediated disorder that affects the skin, nails, and joints. To identify psoriasis susceptibility loci, we genotyped 438,670 SNPs in 1,409 European ancestry psoriasis cases and 1,436 controls. Twenty-one promising SNPs were followed-up in 5,048 psoriasis cases and 5,041 controls. Our results provide strong support for the association of at least seven genetic loci and psoriasis (each with p < 5×10−8 overall). Loci with confirmed association encode HLA-C, three genes involved in IL-23 signaling (IL23A, IL23R, IL12B), two genes that act downstream of TNF-α and regulate NF-κB signaling (TNIP1, TNFAIP3), and two genes involved in the modulation of Th2 immune responses (IL4, IL13). Although the proteins encoded in these loci are known to interact biologically, we found no evidence for epistasis between associated SNPs. Our results expand the catalog of genetic loci implicated in psoriasis susceptibility and suggest priority targets for study in other auto-immune disorders.
doi:10.1038/ng.311
PMCID: PMC2745122  PMID: 19169254
18.  Polymorphisms of the IL12B and IL23R Genes Are Associated With Psoriasis 
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory and hyperproliferative skin disease with a multifactorial genetic basis. A recent study reported that psoriasis was associated with the IL12B haplotype rs3212227 (3' UTR) - rs6887695 (60 kb 5’) and the IL23R haplotype rs7530511 (L310P) -rs11209026 (Q381R). We examined these four SNPs for association with psoriasis in two groups of North American and German Caucasians: (1) 1,810 cases and 2,522 controls and (2) 509 pedigrees. Both IL12B markers showed highly significant association with psoriasis in the case-control (rs3212227, OR = 1.62, p = 1.7 × 10−15; rs6887695, OR = 1.49, p = 2.7 × 10−15) and in the family-based analysis (rs3212227, p = 2.2 × 10−3; rs6887695, p = 1.7 × 10−3). The IL23R SNPs also showed significant association in the cases and controls (rs7530511, OR = 1.22, p = 3.9 × 10−3; rs11209026, OR = 1.40, p = 3.8 × 10−4). For both genes, common risk haplotypes were identified whose statistical significance approached (IL23R) or exceeded (IL12B) genome-wide criteria. We found no statistical evidence for interactions of these haplotypes with HLA-Cw6. Our results confirm associations between IL12B and IL23R and psoriasis in Caucasians, and provide a genetic basis for the clinical association between psoriasis and Crohn disease.
doi:10.1038/sj.jid.5701255
PMCID: PMC2739284  PMID: 18219280
Psoriasis; genetic susceptibility; association; interleukin-12; interleukin-23
19.  Genetic linkage and transmission disequilibrium of marker haplotypes at chromosome 1q41 in human systemic lupus erythematosus 
Arthritis Research  2001;3(5):299-305.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the production of autoantibodies to a wide range of self-antigens. Recent genome screens have implicated numerous chromosomal regions as potential SLE susceptibility loci. Among these, the 1q41 locus is of particular interest, because evidence for linkage has been found in several independent SLE family collections. Additionally, the 1q41 locus appears to be syntenic with a susceptibility interval identified in the NZM2410 mouse model for SLE. Here, we report the results of genotyping of 11 microsatellite markers within the 1q41 region in 210 SLE sibpair and 122 SLE trio families. These data confirm the modest evidence for linkage at 1q41 in our family collection (LOD = 1.21 at marker D1S2616). Evidence for significant linkage disequilibrium in this interval was also found. Multiple markers in the region exhibit transmission disequilibrium, with the peak single marker multiallelic linkage disequilibrium noted at D1S490 (pedigree disequilibrium test [PDT] global P value = 0.0091). Two- and three-marker haplotypes from the 1q41 region similarly showed strong transmission distortion in the collection of 332 SLE families. The finding of linkage together with significant transmission disequilibrium provides strong evidence for a susceptibility locus at 1q41 in human SLE.
PMCID: PMC64842  PMID: 11549371
1q41; autoimmunity; linkage; systemic lupus erythematosus; transmission disequilibrium

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