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1.  Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Associated with HLA, IL12A, and IL12RB2 Variants 
The New England journal of medicine  2009;360(24):2544-2555.
BACKGROUND
Primary biliary cirrhosis is a chronic granulomatous cholangitis, characteristically associated with antimitochondrial antibodies. Twin and family aggregation data suggest that there is a significant genetic predisposition to primary biliary cirrhosis, but the susceptibility loci are unknown.
METHODS
To identify genetic loci conferring a risk for primary biliary cirrhosis, we carried out a genomewide association analysis in which DNA samples from 2072 Canadian and U.S. subjects (536 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and 1536 controls) were genotyped for more than 300,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Sixteen of the SNPs most strongly associated with primary biliary cirrhosis were genotyped in two independent replication sets. We carried out fine-mapping studies across three loci associated with primary biliary cirrhosis.
RESULTS
We found significant associations between primary biliary cirrhosis and 13 loci across the HLA class II region; the HLA-DQB1 locus (encoding the major histocompatibility complex class II, DQ β chain 1) had the strongest association (P = 1.78×10−19; odds ratio for patients vs. controls, 1.75). Primary biliary cirrhosis was also significantly and reproducibly associated with two SNPs at the IL12A locus (encoding interleukin-12α), rs6441286 (P = 2.42×10−14; odds ratio, 1.54) and rs574808 (P = 1.88×10−13; odds ratio, 1.54), and one SNP at the IL12RB2 locus (encoding interleukin-12 receptor β2), rs3790567 (P = 2.76×10−11; odds ratio, 1.51). Fine-mapping analysis showed that a five-allele haplotype in the 3′ flank of IL12A was significantly associated with primary biliary cirrhosis (P = 1.15×10−34). We found a modest genomewide association (P<5.0×10−5) with the risk of disease for SNPs at the STAT4 locus (encoding signal transducer and activator of transcription 4) and the CTLA4 locus (encoding cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated protein 4) and 10 other loci.
CONCLUSIONS
Our data show significant associations between primary biliary cirrhosis and common genetic variants at the HLA class II, IL12A, and IL12RB2 loci and suggest that the interleukin-12 immunoregulatory signaling axis is relevant to the pathophysiology of primary biliary cirrhosis. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00242125.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0810440
PMCID: PMC2857316  PMID: 19458352
2.  TRAF1-C5 as a Risk Locus for Rheumatoid Arthritis — A Genomewide Study 
The New England journal of medicine  2007;357(12):1199-1209.
BACKGROUND
Rheumatoid arthritis has a complex mode of inheritance. Although HLA-DRB1 and PTPN22 are well-established susceptibility loci, other genes that confer a modest level of risk have been identified recently. We carried out a genomewide association analysis to identify additional genetic loci associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
METHODS
We genotyped 317,503 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a combined case-control study of 1522 case subjects with rheumatoid arthritis and 1850 matched control subjects. The patients were seropositive for autoantibodies against cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP). We obtained samples from two data sets, the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) and the Swedish Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (EIRA). Results from NARAC and EIRA for 297,086 SNPs that passed quality-control filters were combined with the use of Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel stratified analysis. SNPs showing a significant association with disease (P<1×10-8) were genotyped in an independent set of case subjects with anti-CCP-positive rheumatoid arthritis (485 from NARAC and 512 from EIRA) and in control subjects (1282 from NARAC and 495 from EIRA).
RESULTS
We observed associations between disease and variants in the major-histocompatibility-complex locus, in PTPN22, and in a SNP (rs3761847) on chromosome 9 for all samples tested, the latter with an odds ratio of 1.32 (95% confidence interval, 1.23 to 1.42; P = 4×10-14). The SNP is in linkage disequilibrium with two genes relevant to chronic inflammation: TRAF1 (encoding tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 1) and C5 (encoding complement component 5).
CONCLUSIONS
A common genetic variant at the TRAF1-C5 locus on chromosome 9 is associated with an increased risk of anti-CCP-positive rheumatoid arthritis.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa073491
PMCID: PMC2636867  PMID: 17804836
3.  STAT4 and the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
The New England journal of medicine  2007;357(10):977-986.
BACKGROUND
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease with a substantial genetic component. Susceptibility to disease has been linked with a region on chromosome 2q.
METHODS
We tested single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in and around 13 candidate genes within the previously linked chromosome 2q region for association with rheumatoid arthritis. We then performed fine mapping of the STAT1-STAT4 region in a total of 1620 case patients with established rheumatoid arthritis and 2635 controls, all from North America. Implicated SNPs were further tested in an independent case-control series of 1529 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis and 881 controls, all from Sweden, and in a total of 1039 case patients and 1248 controls from three series of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
RESULTS
A SNP haplotype in the third intron of STAT4 was associated with susceptibility to both rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. The minor alleles of the haplotype-defining SNPs were present in 27% of chromosomes of patients with established rheumatoid arthritis, as compared with 22% of those of controls (for the SNP rs7574865, P = 2.81×10-7; odds ratio for having the risk allele in chromosomes of patients vs. those of controls, 1.32). The association was replicated in Swedish patients with recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis (P = 0.02) and matched controls. The haplotype marked by rs7574865 was strongly associated with lupus, being present on 31% of chromosomes of case patients and 22% of those of controls (P = 1.87×10-9; odds ratio for having the risk allele in chromosomes of patients vs. those of controls, 1.55). Homozygosity of the risk allele, as compared with absence of the allele, was associated with a more than doubled risk for lupus and a 60% increased risk for rheumatoid arthritis.
CONCLUSIONS
A haplotype of STAT4 is associated with increased risk for both rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, suggesting a shared pathway for these illnesses.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa073003
PMCID: PMC2630215  PMID: 17804842

Results 1-3 (3)