[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients can be classified based on presence or absence of anticitrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) in their serum. This heterogeneity among patients may reflect important biological differences underlying the disease process. To date, the majority of genetic studies have focused on the ACPA-positive group. Therefore, our goal was to analyse the genetic risk factors that contribute to ACPA-negative RA.
We performed a large-scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) in three Caucasian European cohorts comprising 1148 ACPA-negative RA patients and 6008 controls. All patients were screened using the Illumina Human Cyto-12 chip, and controls were genotyped using different genome-wide platforms. Population-independent analyses were carried out by means of logistic regression. Meta-analysis with previously published data was performed as follow-up for selected signals (reaching a total of 1922 ACPA-negative RA patients and 7087 controls). Imputation of classical HLA alleles, amino acid residues and single nucleotide polymorphisms was undertaken.
The combined analysis of the studied cohorts resulted in identification of a peak of association in the HLA-region and several suggestive non-HLA associations. Meta-analysis with previous reports confirmed the association of the HLA region with this subset and an observed association in the CLYBL locus remained suggestive. The imputation and deep interrogation of the HLA region led to identification of a two amino acid model (HLA-B at position 9 and HLA-DRB1 at position 11) that accounted for the observed genome-wide associations in this region.
Our study shed light on the influence of the HLA region in ACPA-negative RA and identified a suggestive risk locus for this condition.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 02/2014; · 8.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integrating genetic data from families with highly penetrant forms of disease together with genetic data from outbred populations represents a promising strategy to uncover the complete frequency spectrum of risk alleles for complex traits such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here, we demonstrate that rare, low-frequency and common alleles at one gene locus, phospholipase B1 (PLB1), might contribute to risk of RA in a 4-generation consanguineous pedigree (Middle Eastern ancestry) and also in unrelated individuals from the general population (European ancestry). Through identity-by-descent (IBD) mapping and whole-exome sequencing, we identified a non-synonymous c.2263G>C (p.G755R) mutation at the PLB1 gene on 2q23, which significantly co-segregated with RA in family members with a dominant mode of inheritance (P = 0.009). We further evaluated PLB1 variants and risk of RA using a GWAS meta-analysis of 8,875 RA cases and 29,367 controls of European ancestry. We identified significant contributions of two independent non-coding variants near PLB1 with risk of RA (rs116018341 [MAF = 0.042] and rs116541814 [MAF = 0.021], combined P = 3.2×10(-6)). Finally, we performed deep exon sequencing of PLB1 in 1,088 RA cases and 1,088 controls (European ancestry), and identified suggestive dispersion of rare protein-coding variant frequencies between cases and controls (P = 0.049 for C-alpha test and P = 0.055 for SKAT). Together, these data suggest that PLB1 is a candidate risk gene for RA. Future studies to characterize the full spectrum of genetic risk in the PLB1 genetic locus are warranted.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e87645. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activating mutations in the Transient Receptor Potential channel C6 (TRPC6) cause autosomal dominant focal segmental glomerular sclerosis (FSGS). TRPC6 expression is upregulated in renal biopsies of patients with idiopathic membranous glomerulopathy (iMN) and animal models thereof. In iMN, disease progression is characterized by glomerulosclerosis. In addition, a context-dependent TRPC6 overexpression was recently suggested in complement-mediated podocyte injury in e.g. iMN. Hence, we hypothesized that genetic variants in TRPC6 might affect susceptibility to development or progression of iMN.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(7):e102065. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major challenge in human genetics is to devise a systematic strategy to integrate disease-associated variants with diverse genomic and biological data sets to provide insight into disease pathogenesis and guide drug discovery for complex traits such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here we performed a genome-wide association study meta-analysis in a total of >100,000 subjects of European and Asian ancestries (29,880 RA cases and 73,758 controls), by evaluating ∼10 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We discovered 42 novel RA risk loci at a genome-wide level of significance, bringing the total to 101 (refs 2, 3, 4). We devised an in silico pipeline using established bioinformatics methods based on functional annotation, cis-acting expression quantitative trait loci and pathway analyses-as well as novel methods based on genetic overlap with human primary immunodeficiency, haematological cancer somatic mutations and knockout mouse phenotypes-to identify 98 biological candidate genes at these 101 risk loci. We demonstrate that these genes are the targets of approved therapies for RA, and further suggest that drugs approved for other indications may be repurposed for the treatment of RA. Together, this comprehensive genetic study sheds light on fundamental genes, pathways and cell types that contribute to RA pathogenesis, and provides empirical evidence that the genetics of RA can provide important information for drug discovery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methotrexate (MTX), one of the important pillars in the treatment of different forms of cancer, is associated with the development of hepatotoxicity. The 677C>T variant (rs1801133) in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene might affect the development of hepatotoxicity. Results in literature are, however, contradictive. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism in MTX-induced hepatotoxicity by analyzing a Dutch cohort of pediatric patients treated with high doses of MTX and subsequently performing a meta-analysis. Ninety-eight patients receiving 542 courses of high-dose MTX were genotyped for the MTHFR 677C>T variant. Hepatotoxicity was evaluated retrospectively according to common terminology criteria for adverse events-National Cancer Institute criteria. The influence of MTHFR 677C>T on hepatotoxicity was examined using a generalized estimating equation (GEE) analysis. A fixed-effect meta-analysis based on this and previous studies investigating the association between the MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism and uniformly coded hepatotoxicity was performed. The GEE analysis showed an increased risk of developing hepatotoxicity for T versus C allele (odds ratio (OR) 1.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-3.2, P=0.04). This finding was not supported by the meta-analysis including seven studies and 1044 patients; the OR for the 677T versus C allele was 1.1 (95% CI 0.84-1.5, P=0.25). Heterogeneity between studies was observed, possibly related to differences in MTX dose and leucovorin rescue. In conclusion, in patients with cancer, the MTHFR 677T allele has only a minor role in the development of MTX-induced hepatotoxicity. Observed heterogeneity between studies warrants further study into (tailored) leucovorin rescue.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 7 May 2013; doi:10.1038/tpj.2013.19.
The Pharmacogenomics Journal 05/2013; · 5.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
There are no genetic predictors of response to one of the most widely used classes of drugs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis—biological modifiers of the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (or anti-TNF therapy). To identify genetic predictors, we performed the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) to date as part of an international collaboration. In our study, which included 2,706 RA patients treated with one of three anti-TNF drugs, the most significant finding was restricted to RA patients treated with etanercept ( P = 8×10<sup>−8</sup>), a drug that acts as a soluble receptor to bind circulating cytokine and prevents TNF from binding to its cell surface receptor. The associated variant influences expression of a nearby immune-related gene, CD84 , whose expression is correlated with disease activity in RA patients. Together, our data support a model in which genomic factors related to CD84</
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNF) biologic therapy is a widely used treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is unknown why some RA patients fail to respond adequately to anti-TNF therapy, which limits the development of clinical biomarkers to predict response or new drugs to target refractory cases. To understand the biological basis of response to anti-TNF therapy, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis of more than 2 million common variants in 2,706 RA patients from 13 different collections. Patients were treated with one of three anti-TNF medications: etanercept (n = 733), infliximab (n = 894), or adalimumab (n = 1,071). We identified a SNP (rs6427528) at the 1q23 locus that was associated with change in disease activity score (ΔDAS) in the etanercept subset of patients (P = 8×10(-8)), but not in the infliximab or adalimumab subsets (P>0.05). The SNP is predicted to disrupt transcription factor binding site motifs in the 3' UTR of an immune-related gene, CD84, and the allele associated with better response to etanercept was associated with higher CD84 gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (P = 1×10(-11) in 228 non-RA patients and P = 0.004 in 132 RA patients). Consistent with the genetic findings, higher CD84 gene expression correlated with lower cross-sectional DAS (P = 0.02, n = 210) and showed a non-significant trend for better ΔDAS in a subset of RA patients with gene expression data (n = 31, etanercept-treated). A small, multi-ethnic replication showed a non-significant trend towards an association among etanercept-treated RA patients of Portuguese ancestry (n = 139, P = 0.4), but no association among patients of Japanese ancestry (n = 151, P = 0.8). Our study demonstrates that an allele associated with response to etanercept therapy is also associated with CD84 gene expression, and further that CD84 expression correlates with disease activity. These findings support a model in which CD84 genotypes and/or expression may serve as a useful biomarker for response to etanercept treatment in RA patients of European ancestry.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The M-type receptor for phospholipase A2 (PLA2R1) is the major target antigen in idiopathic membranous nephropathy (iMN). Our recent genome-wide association study showed that genetic variants in an HLA-DQA1 and phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R1) allele associate most significantly with biopsy-proven iMN, suggesting that rare genetic variants within the coding region of the PLA2R1 gene may contribute to antibody formation. Here, we sequenced PLA2R1 in a cohort of 95 white patients with biopsy-proven iMN and assessed all 30 exons of PLA2R1, including canonical (GT-AG) splice sites, by Sanger sequencing. Sixty patients had anti-PLA2R1 in serum or detectable PLA2R1 antigen in kidney tissue. We identified 18 sequence variants, comprising 2 not previously described, 7 reported as rare variants (<1%) in the Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Database or the 1000 Genomes project, and 9 known to be common polymorphisms. Although we confirmed significant associations among 6 of the identified common variants and iMN, only 9 patients had the private or rare variants, and only 4 of these patients were among the 60 who were PLA2R positive. In conclusion, rare variants in the coding sequence of PLA2R1, including splice sites, are unlikely to explain the pathogenesis of iMN.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 02/2013; · 8.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Treatment strategies blocking tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) have proven very successful in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, a significant subset of patients does not respond for unknown reasons. Currently, there are no means of identifying these patients before treatment. This study was aimed at identifying genetic factors predicting anti-TNF treatment outcome in patients with RA using a genome-wide association approach. METHODS: We conducted a multistage, genome-wide association study with a primary analysis of 2 557 253 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 882 patients with RA receiving anti-TNF therapy included through the Dutch Rheumatoid Arthritis Monitoring (DREAM) registry and the database of Apotheekzorg. Linear regression analysis of changes in the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints after 14 weeks of treatment was performed using an additive model. Markers with p<10(-3) were selected for replication in 1821 patients from three independent cohorts. Pathway analysis including all SNPs with p<10(-3) was performed using Ingenuity. RESULTS: 772 markers showed evidence of association with treatment outcome in the initial stage. Eight genetic loci showed improved p value in the overall meta-analysis compared with the first stage, three of which (rs1568885, rs1813443 and rs4411591) showed directional consistency over all four cohorts studied. We were unable to replicate markers previously reported to be associated with anti-TNF outcome. Network analysis indicated strong involvement of biological processes underlying inflammatory response and cell morphology. CONCLUSIONS: Using a multistage strategy, we have identified eight genetic loci associated with response to anti-TNF treatment. Further studies are required to validate these findings in additional patient collections.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 12/2012; · 8.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The c-Src tyrosine kinase, Csk, physically interacts with the intracellular phosphatase Lyp (encoded by PTPN22) and can modify the activation state of downstream Src kinases, such as Lyn, in lymphocytes. We identified an association of CSK with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and refined its location to the intronic polymorphism rs34933034 (odds ratio (OR) = 1.32; P = 1.04 × 10(-9)). The risk allele at this SNP is associated with increased CSK expression and augments inhibitory phosphorylation of Lyn. In carriers of the risk allele, there is increased B-cell receptor (BCR)-mediated activation of mature B cells, as well as higher concentrations of plasma immunoglobulin M (IgM), relative to individuals with the non-risk haplotype. Moreover, the fraction of transitional B cells is doubled in the cord blood of carriers of the risk allele, due to an expansion of late transitional cells in a stage targeted by selection mechanisms. This suggests that the Lyp-Csk complex increases susceptibility to lupus at multiple maturation and activation points in B cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence that gene copy number (CN) variation influences clinical phenotype. The low-affinity Fc receptor 3B (FCGR3B) located in the FCGR gene cluster is a CN polymorphic gene involved in the recruitment of polymorphonuclear neutrophils to sites of inflammation and their activation. Given the genetic overlap between systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis (SSc) and the strong evidence for FCGR3B CN in the pathology of SLE, we hypothesised that FCGR3B gene dosage influences susceptibility to SSc. We obtained FCGR3B deletion status in 777 European Caucasian cases and 1000 controls. There was an inverse relationship between FCGR3B CN and disease susceptibility. CN of ≤ 1 was a significant risk factor for SSc (OR=1.55 (1.13-2.14), P=0.007) relative to CN ≥ 2. Although requiring replication, these results suggest that impaired immune complex clearance arising from FCGR3B deficiency contributes to the pathology of SSc, and FCGR3B CN variation is a common risk factor for systemic autoimmunity.
Genes and immunity 05/2012; 13(6):458-60. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (T(regs)) are crucial in the maintenance of the immune tolerance and seem to have an important role in systemic sclerosis (SSc). The interleukin 2 receptor α (IL2RA) is an important T(reg) marker, and polymorphisms of IL2RA gene are associated with a number of autoimmune diseases. Therefore, we aimed to investigate for the first time the association of the IL2RA locus in SSc. For this purpose, a total of 3023 SSc patients and 2735 matched healthy controls, from six European Caucasian cohorts, were genotyped for the IL2RA gene variants rs11594656, rs2104286 and rs12722495 using the TaqMan allelic discrimination technology. The overall meta-analysis reached statistical significance when the three polymorphisms were tested for association with SSc, the limited subtype (lcSSc) and anti-centromere auto-antibodies (ACAs). However, no significant P-values were obtained when the ACA-positive patients were removed from the SSc and lcSSc groups, suggesting that these associations rely on ACA positivity. The strongest association signal with ACA production was detected for rs2104286 (P(FDR)=2.07 × 10(-4), odds ratio=1.30 (1.14-1.47)). The associations of rs11594656 and rs12722495 were lost after conditioning to rs2104286, and allelic combination tests did not evidence a combined effect, indicating that rs2104286 best described the association between IL2RA and ACA presence in SSc.
Genes and immunity 02/2012; 13(2):191-6. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two recent studies, in a Spanish and a Chinese population, point to an association between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk and the deletion of the Late Cornified Envelope (LCE) 3B and 3C genes (LCE3C_LCE3B-del), a known risk factor for psoriasis. We aimed to replicate these studies in a large Dutch cohort.
1039 RA cases and 759 controls were genotyped for LCE3C_LCE3B-del. Association analysis was performed for the complete cohort and after stratification for the serologic markers anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide and rheumatoid factor. A meta-analysis was performed combining our data with the Spanish and Chinese datasets, resulting in an analysis including 2466 RA cases and 2438 controls.
In the Dutch cohort we did not observe a significant association of LCE3C_LCE3B-del (p = 0.093) with RA risk. A stratified analysis for the serologic positive and negative group did not show an association between the genetic variant and disease risk, either. The meta-analysis, however, confirmed a significant association (p<0.0001, OR = 1.31, 95% confidence interval 1.16-1.47).
Our meta-analysis confirms the association of the LCE3 deletion with RA, suggesting that LCE3C_LCE3B-del is a common risk factor for (auto)immune diseases.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e32045. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: So far, there are no means of identifying rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who will fail to respond to tumour necrosis factor blocking agents (anti-TNF), prior to treatment. We set out to validate eight previously reported gene expression signatures predicting therapy outcome. Genome-wide expression profiling using Affymetrix GeneChip Exon 1.0 ST arrays was performed on RNA isolated from whole blood of 42 RA patients starting treatment with infliximab or adalimumab. Clinical response according to EULAR criteria was determined at week 14 of therapy. Genes that have been reported to be associated with anti-TNF treatment were extracted from our dataset. K-means partition clustering was performed to assess the predictive value of the gene-sets. We performed a hypothesis-driven analysis of the dataset using eight existing gene sets predictive of anti-TNF treatment outcome. The set that performed best reached a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 61%, for classifying the patients in the current study. We successfully validated one of eight previously reported predictive expression profile. This replicated expression signature is a good starting point for developing a prediction model for anti-TNF treatment outcome that can be used in a daily clinical setting. Our results confirm that gene expression profiling prior to treatment is a useful tool to predict anti-TNF (non) response.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e33199. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by vasculopathy, immune cell activation, and fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. Over the past few years, a role for genetics in the susceptibility for SSc has been established. This review aims to provide an update on the progress made in the past year or so within the field of SSc genetics research. This year has been of particular interest due to the publication of a large genome-wide association study, further investigations into gene-gene interactions, and the tendency to validate genetic results in functional models.
Current Rheumatology Reports 11/2011; 14(1):11-21.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at the IL12RB2 locus showed a suggestive association signal in a previously published genome-wide association study (GWAS) in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Aiming to reveal the possible implication of the IL12RB2 gene in SSc, we conducted a follow-up study of this locus in different Caucasian cohorts. We analyzed 10 GWAS-genotyped SNPs in the IL12RB2 region (2309 SSc patients and 5161 controls). We then selected three SNPs (rs3790567, rs3790566 and rs924080) based on their significance level in the GWAS, for follow-up in an independent European cohort comprising 3344 SSc and 3848 controls. The most-associated SNP (rs3790567) was further tested in an independent cohort comprising 597 SSc patients and 1139 controls from the USA. After conditional logistic regression analysis of the GWAS data, we selected rs3790567 [P(MH)= 1.92 × 10(-5) odds ratio (OR) = 1.19] as the genetic variant with the firmest independent association observed in the analyzed GWAS peak of association. After the first follow-up phase, only the association of rs3790567 was consistent (P(MH)= 4.84 × 10(-3) OR = 1.12). The second follow-up phase confirmed this finding (P(χ2) = 2.82 × 10(-4) OR = 1.34). After performing overall pooled-analysis of all the cohorts included in the present study, the association found for the rs3790567 SNP in the IL12RB2 gene region reached GWAS-level significant association (P(MH)= 2.82 × 10(-9) OR = 1.17). Our data clearly support the IL12RB2 genetic association with SSc, and suggest a relevant role of the interleukin 12 signaling pathway in SSc pathogenesis.
Human Molecular Genetics 11/2011; 21(4):926-33. · 7.69 Impact Factor