Specificity of the STAT4 Genetic Association for Severe Disease Manifestations of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
ABSTRACT Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a genetically complex disease with heterogeneous clinical manifestations. A polymorphism in the STAT4 gene has recently been established as a risk factor for SLE, but the relationship with specific SLE subphenotypes has not been studied. We studied 137 SNPs in the STAT4 region genotyped in 4 independent SLE case series (total n = 1398) and 2560 healthy controls, along with clinical data for the cases. Using conditional testing, we confirmed the most significant STAT4 haplotype for SLE risk. We then studied a SNP marking this haplotype for association with specific SLE subphenotypes, including autoantibody production, nephritis, arthritis, mucocutaneous manifestations, and age at diagnosis. To prevent possible type-I errors from population stratification, we reanalyzed the data using a subset of subjects determined to be most homogeneous based on principal components analysis of genome-wide data. We confirmed that four SNPs in very high LD (r(2) = 0.94 to 0.99) were most strongly associated with SLE, and there was no compelling evidence for additional SLE risk loci in the STAT4 region. SNP rs7574865 marking this haplotype had a minor allele frequency (MAF) = 31.1% in SLE cases compared with 22.5% in controls (OR = 1.56, p = 10(-16)). This SNP was more strongly associated with SLE characterized by double-stranded DNA autoantibodies (MAF = 35.1%, OR = 1.86, p<10(-19)), nephritis (MAF = 34.3%, OR = 1.80, p<10(-11)), and age at diagnosis<30 years (MAF = 33.8%, OR = 1.77, p<10(-13)). An association with severe nephritis was even more striking (MAF = 39.2%, OR = 2.35, p<10(-4) in the homogeneous subset of subjects). In contrast, STAT4 was less strongly associated with oral ulcers, a manifestation associated with milder disease. We conclude that this common polymorphism of STAT4 contributes to the phenotypic heterogeneity of SLE, predisposing specifically to more severe disease.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Sharon A Chung, Jun 15, 2015
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ABSTRACT: In recent years, genome-wide association studies have led to an expansion in the identification of regions containing confirmed genetic risk variants within complex human diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Many of the strongest SLE genetic associations can be divided into groups based on their potential roles in different processes implicated in lupus pathogenesis, including ubiquitination, DNA degradation, innate immunity, cellular immunity, lymphocyte development, and antigen presentation. Recent advances have also shown several genetic associations with SLE subphenotypes and subcriteria. Many areas for further exploration remain to move lupus genetic studies toward clinically informative end points.Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America 08/2014; 40(3). DOI:10.1016/j.rdc.2014.04.002 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of individuals of European ancestry afflicted with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) the extensive utilization of imputation, step-wise multiple regression, lasso regularization and increasing study power by utilizing false discovery rate instead of a Bonferroni multiple test correction enabled us to identify 13 novel non-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes and confirmed the association of four genes previously reported to be associated. Novel genes associated with SLE susceptibility included two transcription factors (EHF and MED1), two components of the NF-κB pathway (RASSF2 and RNF114), one gene involved in adhesion and endothelial migration (CNTN6) and two genes involved in antigen presentation (BIN1 and SEC61G). In addition, the strongly significant association of multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the HLA region was assigned to HLA alleles and serotypes and deconvoluted into four primary signals. The novel SLE-associated genes point to new directions for both the diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating autoimmune disease.Genes and Immunity advance online publication, 29 May 2014; doi:10.1038/gene.2014.23.Genes and Immunity 05/2014; 15(6). DOI:10.1038/gene.2014.23 · 3.79 Impact Factor