[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess candidate genes for association with osteoarthritis (OA) and identify promising genetic factors and, secondarily, to assess the candidate gene approach in OA.
A total of 199 candidate genes for association with OA were identified using Human Genome Epidemiology (HuGE) Navigator. All of their single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with an allele frequency of >5% were assessed by fixed-effects meta-analysis of 9 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that included 5,636 patients with knee OA and 16,972 control subjects and 4,349 patients with hip OA and 17,836 control subjects of European ancestry. An additional 5,921 individuals were genotyped for significantly associated SNPs in the meta-analysis. After correction for the number of independent tests, P values less than 1.58 × 10(-5) were considered significant.
SNPs at only 2 of the 199 candidate genes (COL11A1 and VEGF) were associated with OA in the meta-analysis. Two SNPs in COL11A1 showed association with hip OA in the combined analysis: rs4907986 (P = 1.29 × 10(-5) , odds ratio [OR] 1.12, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.06-1.17) and rs1241164 (P = 1.47 × 10(-5) , OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.74-0.89). The sex-stratified analysis also showed association of COL11A1 SNP rs4908291 in women (P = 1.29 × 10(-5) , OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.82-0.92); this SNP showed linkage disequilibrium with rs4907986. A single SNP of VEGF, rs833058, showed association with hip OA in men (P = 1.35 × 10(-5) , OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.79-0.91). After additional samples were genotyped, association at one of the COL11A1 signals was reinforced, whereas association at VEGF was slightly weakened.
Two candidate genes, COL11A1 and VEGF, were significantly associated with OA in this focused meta-analysis. The remaining candidate genes were not associated.
Arthritis and Rheumatology 04/2014; 66(4):940-9. DOI:10.1002/art.38300
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis with a clear genetic component. To identify novel loci associated with hip OA we performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on European subjects.
We performed a two-stage meta-analysis on more than 78 000 participants. In stage 1, we synthesised data from eight GWAS whereas data from 10 centres were used for 'in silico' or 'de novo' replication. Besides the main analysis, a stratified by sex analysis was performed to detect possible sex-specific signals. Meta-analysis was performed using inverse-variance fixed effects models. A random effects approach was also used.
We accumulated 11 277 cases of radiographic and symptomatic hip OA. We prioritised eight single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) for follow-up in the discovery stage (4349 OA cases); five from the combined analysis, two male specific and one female specific. One locus, at 20q13, represented by rs6094710 (minor allele frequency (MAF) 4%) near the NCOA3 (nuclear receptor coactivator 3) gene, reached genome-wide significance level with p=7.9×10(-9) and OR=1.28 (95% CI 1.18 to 1.39) in the combined analysis of discovery (p=5.6×10(-8)) and follow-up studies (p=7.3×10(-4)). We showed that this gene is expressed in articular cartilage and its expression was significantly reduced in OA-affected cartilage. Moreover, two loci remained suggestive associated; rs5009270 at 7q31 (MAF 30%, p=9.9×10(-7), OR=1.10) and rs3757837 at 7p13 (MAF 6%, p=2.2×10(-6), OR=1.27 in male specific analysis).
Novel genetic loci for hip OA were found in this meta-analysis of GWAS.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 08/2013; 73(12). DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-203114 · 10.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
Osteoarthritis (OA) has a complex aetiology with a strong genetic component. Genome-wide association studies implicate several nuclear genes in the aetiology, but a major component of the heritability has yet to be defined at the molecular level. Initial studies implicate maternally inherited variants of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in subgroups of patients with OA based on gender and specific joint involvement, but these findings have not been replicated.
The authors studied 138 maternally inherited mtDNA variants genotyped in a two cohort genetic association study across a total of 7393 OA cases from the arcOGEN consortium and 5122 controls genotyped in the Wellcome Trust Case Control consortium 2 study.
Following data quality control we examined 48 mtDNA variants that were common in cohort 1 and cohort 2, and found no association with OA. None of the phenotypic subgroups previously associated with mtDNA haplogroups were associated in this study.
We were not able to replicate previously published findings in the largest mtDNA association study to date. The evidence linking OA to mtDNA is not compelling at present.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2012; 72(1). DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-201932 · 10.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
Obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI) is one of the major risk factors for osteoarthritis. In addition, genetic overlap has been reported between osteoarthritis and normal adult height variation. We investigated whether this relationship is due to a shared genetic aetiology on a genome-wide scale.
We compared genetic association summary statistics (effect size, p value) for BMI and height from the GIANT consortium genome-wide association study (GWAS) with genetic association summary statistics from the arcOGEN consortium osteoarthritis GWAS. Significance was evaluated by permutation. Replication of osteoarthritis association of the highlighted signals was investigated in an independent dataset. Phenotypic information of height and BMI was accounted for in a separate analysis using osteoarthritis-free controls.
We found significant overlap between osteoarthritis and height (p=3.3×10−5 for signals with p≤0.05) when the GIANT and arcOGEN GWAS were compared. For signals with p≤0.001 we found 17 shared signals between osteoarthritis and height and four between osteoarthritis and BMI. However, only one of the height or BMI signals that had shown evidence of association with osteoarthritis in the arcOGEN GWAS was also associated with osteoarthritis in the independent dataset: rs12149832, within the FTO gene (combined p=2.3×10−5). As expected, this signal was attenuated when we adjusted for BMI.
We found a significant excess of shared signals between both osteoarthritis and height and osteoarthritis and BMI, suggestive of a common genetic aetiology. However, only one signal showed association with osteoarthritis when followed up in a new dataset.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2012; 72(6). DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202081 · 10.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is known to have an important genetic component and human genetic studies can help unravel the molecular mechanisms responsible for joint damage and nociception involved in OA. Genetic studies in humans have identified molecules involved in signaling cascades that are important for the pathology of the joint components such as the bone morphogenetic protein growth differentiation factor 5 (GDF5). Genomewide association scans (GWAS) in Asians have uncovered a likely role for structural extracellular matrix components (DVWA), and for molecules involved in immune response (HLA class II DQB1 and BTNL2) but these genes are not associated in Caucasian patients. In Caucasians a ~300 kilobase region in chromosome 7q22 containing several genes has been found to be reproducibly associated with OA. A recent European GWAS taking advantage of imputation techniques has uncovered a variant in the MCF2L gene as significantly associated with large joint OA. MCF2L is involved in neurotrophin mediated regulation of cell motility in the peripheral nervous system, and thus potentially implicated in nociception in OA. As the number of OA cases with genomewide genotyping increases it is expected that many more reproducible variants implicated in OA will be reported. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Osteoarthritis".
Bone 12/2011; 51(2):258-64. DOI:10.1016/j.bone.2011.11.026 · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large-scale meta-analyses of genome-wide association scans (GWAS) have been successful in discovering common risk variants with modest and small effects. The detection of lower frequency signals will undoubtedly require concerted efforts of at least similar scale. We investigate the sample size-dictated power limits of GWAS meta-analyses, in the presence and absence of modest levels of heterogeneity and across a range of different allelic architectures. We find that data combination through large-scale collaboration is vital in the quest for complex trait susceptibility loci, but that effect size heterogeneity across meta-analyzed studies drawn from similar populations does not appear to have a profound effect on sample size requirements.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent, heritable degenerative joint disease with a substantial public health impact. We used a 1000-Genomes-Project-based imputation in a genome-wide association scan for osteoarthritis (3177 OA cases and 4894 controls) to detect a previously unidentified risk locus. We discovered a small disease-associated set of variants on chromosome 13. Through large-scale replication, we establish a robust association with SNPs in MCF2L (rs11842874, combined odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 1.17 [1.11-1.23], p = 2.1 × 10(-8)) across a total of 19,041 OA cases and 24,504 controls of European descent. This risk locus represents the third established signal for OA overall. MCF2L regulates a nerve growth factor (NGF), and treatment with a humanized monoclonal antibody against NGF is associated with reduction in pain and improvement in function for knee OA patients.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2011; 89(3):446-50. DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.08.001 · 10.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Imputation is an extremely valuable tool in conducting and synthesising genome-wide association studies (GWASs). Directly typed SNP quality control (QC) is thought to affect imputation quality. It is, therefore, common practise to use quality-controlled (QCed) data as an input for imputing genotypes. This study aims to determine the effect of commonly applied QC steps on imputation outcomes. We performed several iterations of imputing SNPs across chromosome 22 in a dataset consisting of 3177 samples with Illumina 610 k (Illumina, San Diego, CA, USA) GWAS data, applying different QC steps each time. The imputed genotypes were compared with the directly typed genotypes. In addition, we investigated the correlation between alternatively QCed data. We also applied a series of post-imputation QC steps balancing elimination of poorly imputed SNPs and information loss. We found that the difference between the unQCed data and the fully QCed data on imputation outcome was minimal. Our study shows that imputation of common variants is generally very accurate and robust to GWAS QC, which is not a major factor affecting imputation outcome. A minority of common-frequency SNPs with particular properties cannot be accurately imputed regardless of QC stringency. These findings may not generalise to the imputation of low frequency and rare variants.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 01/2011; 19(5):610-4. DOI:10.1038/ejhg.2010.242 · 4.35 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study whether common genetic variants of the genes involved in the complex regulatory mechanism determining the intracellular bio-availability of T3 influence osteoarthritis onset.
In total 17 genetic variants within the genes encoding WD40-repeat/SOCS-box protein 1, ubiquitin specific protease 33, thyroid hormone receptor α, deiodinase, iodothyronine, type III (DIO3) and Indian hedgehog were measured and associated with osteoarthritis in a meta-analyses in European populations from the UK, The Netherlands, Greece and Spain containing a total of 3252 osteoarthritis cases and 2132 controls.
The minor allele of the DIO3 variant rs945006 showed suggestive evidence for protective association in the overall meta-analyses, which was supported by individual osteoarthritis studies and osteoarthritis subtypes. The association appeared most significant in cases with knee and/or hip with an allelic OR of 0.81 (95% CI 0.70 to 0.930) with a nominal p value of 0.004 and a permutation-based corrected p value for multiple testing of 0.039.
The findings suggest that the DIO3 gene modulates osteoarthritis disease risk; however, additional studies are necessary to replicate our findings. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms focus should be on the local adaptation to T3 availability either during the endochondral ossification process or during ageing of the articular cartilage.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 01/2011; 70(1):164-7. DOI:10.1136/ard.2010.133660 · 10.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis and accounts for substantial morbidity and disability, particularly in older people. It is characterised by changes in joint structure, including degeneration of the articular cartilage, and its aetiology is multifactorial with a strong postulated genetic component.
A meta-analysis was performed of four genome-wide association (GWA) studies of 2371 cases of knee OA and 35 909 controls in Caucasian populations. Replication of the top hits was attempted with data from 10 additional replication datasets.
With a cumulative sample size of 6709 cases and 44 439 controls, one genome-wide significant locus was identified on chromosome 7q22 for knee OA (rs4730250, p=9.2 × 10⁻⁹), thereby confirming its role as a susceptibility locus for OA.
The associated signal is located within a large (500 kb) linkage disequilibrium block that contains six genes: PRKAR2B (protein kinase, cAMP-dependent, regulatory, type II, β), HPB1 (HMG-box transcription factor 1), COG5 (component of oligomeric golgi complex 5), GPR22 (G protein-coupled receptor 22), DUS4L (dihydrouridine synthase 4-like) and BCAP29 (B cell receptor-associated protein 29). Gene expression analyses of the (six) genes in primary cells derived from different joint tissues confirmed expression of all the genes in the joint environment.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 11/2010; 70(2):349-55. DOI:10.1136/ard.2010.132787 · 10.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a previous study carried out by our group, the genotyping of 36 microsatellite markers from within a narrow interval of chromosome 6p12.3-q13 generated evidence for linkage and for association to female hip osteoarthritis (OA), with the most compelling association found for a marker within intron 1 of the bone morphogenetic protein 5 gene (BMP5). In this study, we aimed to further categorize the association of variants within intron 1 of BMP5 with OA through an expanded genetic association study of the intron and subsequent functional analysis of associated polymorphisms.
We genotyped 18 common polymorphisms including 8 microsatellites and 9 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 1 insertion/deletion (INDEL) from within highly conserved regions between human and mouse within intron 1 of BMP5. These markers were then tested for association to OA by a two-stage approach in which the polymorphisms were initially genotyped in a case-control cohort comprising 361 individuals with associated polymorphisms (P < or = 0.05) then genotyped in a second case-control cohort comprising 1185 individuals.
Two BMP5 intron 1 polymorphisms demonstrated association in the combined case-control cohort of 1546 individuals (765 cases and 781 controls): microsatellite D6S1276 (P = 0.018) and SNP rs921126 (P = 0.013). Functional analyses in osteoblastic, chondrocytic, and adipocytic cell lines indicated that allelic variants of D6S1276 have significant effects on the transcriptional activity of the BMP5 promoter in vitro.
Variability in gene expression of BMP5 may be an important contributor to OA genetic susceptibility.
BMC Medical Genetics 12/2009; 10(1):141. DOI:10.1186/1471-2350-10-141 · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs143383 (T to C) in the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of GDF5 has recently been reported to be associated with osteoarthritis (OA) susceptibility, with lower expression of the risk-associated T allele observed in vitro and in vivo. The in vivo studies were performed on cartilage tissue from OA patients. The present study was undertaken to expand the analysis of the effect of this SNP on GDF5 allelic expression to more joint tissue types, to investigate for cis and trans factors that interact with the SNP, and to examine novel cis-acting GDF5 regulatory polymorphisms.
Tissue samples were collected from OA patients undergoing joint replacement of the hip or knee. Nucleic acid was extracted, and, using rs143383 and an assay that discriminates and quantifies allelic expression, the relative amount of GDF5 expression from the T and C alleles was measured. Additional common variants in the GDF5 transcript sequence were interrogated as potential regulatory elements using allelic expression and luciferase reporter assays, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays were used to search for trans factors binding to rs143383.
We observed a consistent allelic expression imbalance of GDF5 in all tissues tested, implying that the functional effect mediated by rs143383 on GDF5 expression is joint-wide. We identified a second polymorphism, located in the 3'-UTR of GDF5, that influenced allelic expression of the gene independent of rs143383. Finally, we observed differential binding of deformed epidermal autoregulatory factor 1 (DEAF-1) to the 2 alleles of rs143383.
These findings show that the OA susceptibility mediated by polymorphism in GDF5 is not restricted to cartilage, emphasizing the need to consider the disease as involving the whole joint. The existence of an additional cis-acting regulatory polymorphism highlights the complexity of the regulation of expression of this important OA susceptibility locus. DEAF-1 is a trans-acting factor that merits further investigation as a potential tool for modulating GDF5 expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GDF5 and FRZB have been proposed as genetic loci conferring susceptibility to osteoarthritis (OA); however, the results of several studies investigating the association of OA with the rs143383 polymorphism of the GDF5 gene or the rs7775 and rs288326 polymorphisms of the FRZB gene have been conflicting or inconclusive. To examine these associations, we performed a large-scale meta-analysis of individual-level data.
Fourteen teams contributed data on polymorphisms and knee, hip, and hand OA. For rs143383, the total number of cases and controls, respectively, was 5,789 and 7,850 for hip OA, 5,085 and 8,135 for knee OA, and 4,040 and 4,792 for hand OA. For rs7775, the respective sample sizes were 4,352 and 10,843 for hip OA, 3,545 and 6,085 for knee OA, and 4,010 and 5,151 for hand OA, and for rs288326, they were 4,346 and 8,034 for hip OA, 3,595 and 6,106 for knee OA, and 3,982 and 5,152 for hand OA. For each individual study, sex-specific odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for each OA phenotype that had been investigated. The ORs for each phenotype were synthesized using both fixed-effects and random-effects models for allele-based effects, and also for haplotype effects for FRZB.
A significant random-effects summary OR for knee OA was demonstrated for rs143383 (1.15 [95% confidence interval 1.09-1.22]) (P=9.4x10(-7)), with no significant between-study heterogeneity. Estimates of effect sizes for hip and hand OA were similar, but a large between-study heterogeneity was observed, and statistical significance was borderline (for OA of the hip [P=0.016]) or absent (for OA of the hand [P=0.19]). Analyses for FRZB polymorphisms and haplotypes did not reveal any statistically significant signals, except for a borderline association of rs288326 with hip OA (P=0.019).
Evidence of an association between the GDF5 rs143383 polymorphism and OA is substantially strong, but the genetic effects are consistent across different populations only for knee OA. Findings of this collaborative analysis do not support the notion that FRZB rs7775 or rs288326 has any sizable genetic effect on OA phenotypes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, through a genome wide association study in Japanese knee osteoarthritis (OA) cases, a previously unknown gene, DVWA, was identified. The non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs7639618 was subsequently found to be consistent
and most significantly associated in Japanese and Han Chinese knee OA studies and functional relevant. Here, the association
of the DVWA polymorphisms (rs7639618, rs11718863 and rs9864422) was genotyped in 1120 knee OA cases, 1482 hip OA cases and 2147 controls,
all of white European descent from the Netherlands, the UK, Spain and Greece. Random effect DerSimonian and Laird meta-analyses
were performed to assess the association in the different strata. To assess a more global effect, the original Japanese and
Chinese data were included with the European. The meta-analyses provided evidence for global association of rs7639618 with
knee OA with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.15–1.45 and a P-value of 2.70 × 10−5. This effect, however, showed moderate heterogeneity, and rs7639618 was not independently associated with knee OA in Europeans,
with an OR of 1.16, 95% CI of 0.99–1.35 and a P-value of 0.063. Furthermore, no association was observed with hip OA in Europeans, with a P-value of 0.851. Our results suggest that there may be global relevance for the DVWA SNP rs7639618 among knee OA cases, however, the apparent lower effect size in combination with the higher risk allele frequency
in the European samples highlights again the ethnic differences in effects of discovered OA susceptibility genes.
Human Molecular Genetics 02/2009; 18(8):1518-23. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddp053 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have performed a meta-analysis combining data for more than 11 000 individuals. It provides compelling evidence for a positive
association between a functional single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the 5′-UTR of GDF5 (+104T/C; rs143383) and osteoarthritis (OA) in European and Asian populations. This SNP has recently been reported to be
associated with OA in Japanese and Han Chinese populations. Attempts to replicate this association in European samples have
been inconclusive, as no association was found in the case–control cohorts from the UK, Spain and Greece when studied individually.
However, the pooled data of UK and Spain found an association of the T-allele with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.10. Although the
European studies had adequate power to replicate the original findings from the Japanese cohort (OR = 1.79), these results
suggest that the role of the GDF5 polymorphism may not be as strong in Europeans. To clarify whether the European studies were hampered by insufficient power,
we combined new data from the UK and the Netherlands with the three published studies of Europe and Asia. The results provide
strong evidence of a positive association of the GDF5 SNP with knee OA for Europeans as well as for Asians. The combined association for both ethnic groups is highly significant
for the allele frequency model (P = 0.0004, OR = 1.21) and the dominant model (P < 0.0001, OR = 1.48). These findings represent the first highly significant evidence for a risk factor for the development
of OA which affects two highly diverse ethnic groups.
Human Molecular Genetics 05/2008; 17(10):1497-504. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddn038 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A compelling genetic association with osteoarthritis (OA) of a functional SNP (rs143383, T/C) in the 5′-UTR of the GDF5 gene was recently reported in case–control cohorts from Japan and China. GDF5 is a pro-chondrogenic growth factor. The T-allele
frequency of the gene was elevated in cases, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.79, and in vitro functional studies demonstrated that this allele mediated a moderate but significant reduction in the activity of the GDF5 promoter in several cell lines. Our initial objective was to assess whether the SNP was also associated with OA in a broad
European population by genotyping the SNP in 2487 cases and 2018 age-matched controls from the UK and Spain. The T-allele
was associated with OA (P = 0.03, OR = 1.10) as was carrier status for this allele (P = 0.004, OR = 1.28), demonstrating that the SNP is associated with OA in two diverse ethnic groups, Asians and Europeans.
We subsequently assessed the functional effect of the SNP on GDF5 allelic expression using RNA extracted from the cartilage of OA patients who had undergone joint-replacement surgery. The
associated T-allele showed up to a 27% reduction in expression relative to the C-allele (P = 0.00007), revealing that the functional effect mediated by SNP rs143383 on GDF5 expression is active in patients who have severe disease up to the point at which they require surgery. A small but persistent
imbalance of GDF5 expression throughout life therefore appears to render an individual more susceptible to OA.
Human Molecular Genetics 10/2007; 16(18):2226-32. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddm174 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess whether the association of genetic polymorphisms with osteoarthritis (OA) in other populations could be replicated in a large, multicenter, mixed-sex, case-control study of clinical knee OA.
Genetic polymorphisms in OA candidate genes were genotyped in 298 men and 305 women, ages 50-86 years, all of whom had a diagnosis of knee OA as assessed clinically and radiographically, and in 300 male and 299 female control subjects matched for age and ethnicity. Allele and haplotype frequencies for 5 genes (ASPN, CALM1, COL2A1, COMP, and FRZB) previously tested for association with hip and/or knee OA in other populations were compared between patients and control subjects, analyzing men and women separately.
The same FRZB 2-marker single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplotype associated with hip OA in other populations of Caucasian women was shown to increase the risk of knee OA among the women (but not the men) in the current study (odds ratio [OR] 2.87, P < 0.04). The CALM1 SNP, which affects the risk of hip OA in Japanese individuals, was not shown to be associated with susceptibility to OA in men or women. COL2A1 haplotypes were demonstrated to be associated with a decreased risk of knee OA in men (OR 0.68, P < 0.005) but not in women. COMP haplotypes that were associated with susceptibility to knee OA were different in men and women (P < 0.014 and P < 0.032, respectively). A meta-analysis of these data and those from previously published reports indicated a strong association between the FRZB G324 allele (P < 0.0003) and suggested that an ASPN allele is protective against the risk of knee OA in Caucasians (P < 0.02).
Our results indicate that genetic polymorphisms affecting knee OA vary between populations (Japanese versus Caucasian) and sexes and indicate a role for ASPN, COMP, FRZB, and COL2A1 in Caucasians.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A compelling genetic association with osteoarthritis (OA) of 2 functional alleles in the aspartic acid (D) repeat of the asporin gene was recently reported in a Japanese population. Allele D13 of the repeat encoded OA protection, whereas allele D14 encoded OA susceptibility. The 2 alleles mediate differences in the capacity of asporin to inhibit the cartilage growth factor transforming growth factor beta, with the D14 allele being a particularly potent inhibitor. Our objective was to assess whether the D repeat is associated with OA in UK Caucasians.
The repeat was genotyped in 1,247 patients who had undergone elective joint replacement of the hip or the knee due to end-stage primary OA and in 748 age-matched controls.
The D13 allele was more common in controls, and the D14 allele was more common in patients. However, this trend was significant only for men who had undergone hip replacement (P = 0.016, odds ratio 1.48, 95% confidence interval 1.09-2.01).
Our data suggest that the asporin polymorphism is not a major influence on OA etiology in Caucasians. The results of our study do not question the veracity of the Japanese report. Instead, our study highlights the complex, heterogeneous nature of OA genetic susceptibility.