[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common autoimmune diseases. As with other complex traits, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have tremendously enhanced our understanding of the complex etiology of RA. In this review, we describe the genetic architecture of RA as determined through GWASs and meta-analyses. In addition, we discuss the pathologic mechanism of the disease by examining the combined findings of genetic and functional studies of individual RA-associated genes, including HLA-DRB1, PADI4, PTPN22, TNFAIP3, STAT4, and CCR6. Moreover, we briefly examine the potential use of genetic data in clinical practice in RA treatment, which represents a challenge in medical genetics in the post-GWAS era.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2014; · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), smoking has been described to be specifically associated with the presence of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). However, smoking has also been shown to be associated with the presence of autoantibodies in various other autoimmune diseases, such anti-dsDNA in systemic lupus erythematosus and anti-Jo1 in idiopathic inflammatory myopathy. We therefore investigated whether smoking is specifically associated with ACPA-positive RA, or with autoantibody-positive RA in general.
A meta-analysis was performed using RA patients from 5 countries: Norway, the Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Complete data on rheumatoid factor (RF)-, ACPA-status and tobacco exposure were available for 6320 RA patients. The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) associated with the presence of RF, ACPA or both, were calculated by logistic regression comparing ever smokers with never smokers, and using the RF-negative ACPA-negative RA patients as the reference category.
There was no significant association between smoking and RA in patients who were positive for only one antibody, being either RF (OR 1.04, 0.76 - 1.42) or ACPA (OR 1.00, 0.82 - 1.22). However, smoking was significantly associated with double-positive (RF-positive and ACPA-positive) RA (OR 1.55, 1.20 - 2.00). When ANA-status was also taken into account in the Dutch cohort, the association with smoking was strongest for the triple-positive group (OR = 2.43, 95% CI 1.47 - 4.00), although the difference with the double-positive RA patients (RF- and ACPA-positive, ANA-negative) (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.14 - 2.62) was not statistically significant.
Smoking is not specifically associated with ACPA-positive RA, but rather with the concurrent presence of RF and ACPA in RA patients. These data indicate that smoking predisposes to the development of several autoantibodies, and that current hypotheses about the role of smoking in the pathophysiology of RA may need to be revisited.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 03/2014; 73 Suppl 1:A12. · 9.27 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: Objective. To re-evaluate the roles of HLA-DRB1 alleles in susceptibility to SLE and RA and their effects on autoantibody status in large-scale Japanese cohorts.Methods. A total of 656 SLE, 2410 RA and 911 control subjects, who were all Japanese, were genotyped for HLA-DRB1 alleles using sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes. The association of alleles with disease susceptibility was tested by logistic regression analysis and by the relative predispositional effect method. The association with autoantibody status was examined by the standard χ(2) test.Results. HLA-DRB1*15:01, *09:01, *08:02 and *04:01 were significantly associated with SLE susceptibility, while shared epitope (SE) alleles and DRB1*09:01 were associated with RA susceptibility. The compound heterozygote of DRB1*09:01/*15:01 conferred an increased risk for SLE compared with the homozygotes for DRB1*09:01 and *15:01 and was associated with earlier onset of disease, whereas the compound effect of DRB1-SE/*09:01 was not clear in RA. DRB1*09:01 was significantly associated with the appearance of anti-Sm antibody in SLE as well as ACPA in RA, while protectively associated with anti-dsDNA antibody in SLE. No significant interaction was observed between DRB1*09:01 and smoking status for the appearance of ACPA, unlike that observed in SE alleles in RA.Conclusion. We identified HLA-DRB1 alleles associated with SLE and RA in a Japanese population and demonstrated a shared susceptibility of DRB1*09:01 between the diseases as well as its effect on autoantibody production.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with a complex etiology, leading to inflammation of synovial tissue and joint destruction. Through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and two replication studies in the Japanese population (7,907 cases and 35,362 controls), we identified two gene loci associated with rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility (NFKBIE at 6p21.1, rs2233434, odds ratio (OR) = 1.20, P = 1.3×10(-15); RTKN2 at 10q21.2, rs3125734, OR = 1.20, P = 4.6×10(-9)). In addition to two functional non-synonymous SNPs in NFKBIE, we identified candidate causal SNPs with regulatory potential in NFKBIE and RTKN2 gene regions by integrating in silico analysis using public genome databases and subsequent in vitro analysis. Both of these genes are known to regulate the NF-κB pathway, and the risk alleles of the genes were implicated in the enhancement of NF-κB activity in our analyses. These results suggest that the NF-κB pathway plays a role in pathogenesis and would be a rational target for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HLA-DRB1, especially the shared epitope (SE), is strongly associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, recent studies have shown that SE is at most weakly associated with RA without anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibody (ACPA). We have recently reported that ACPA-negative RA is associated with specific HLA-DRB1 alleles and diplotypes. Here, we attempted to detect genetically different subsets of ACPA-negative RA by classifying ACPA-negative RA patients into two groups based on their positivity for rheumatoid factor (RF). HLA-DRB1 genotyping data for totally 954 ACPA-negative RA patients and 2,008 healthy individuals in two independent sets were used. HLA-DRB1 allele and diplotype frequencies were compared among the ACPA-negative RF-positive RA patients, ACPA-negative RF-negative RA patients, and controls in each set. Combined results were also analyzed. A similar analysis was performed in 685 ACPA-positive RA patients classified according to their RF positivity. As a result, HLA-DRB1*04:05 and *09:01 showed strong associations with ACPA-negative RF-positive RA in the combined analysis (p = 8.8×10(-6) and 0.0011, OR: 1.57 (1.28-1.91) and 1.37 (1.13-1.65), respectively). We also found that HLA-DR14 and the HLA-DR8 homozygote were associated with ACPA-negative RF-negative RA (p = 0.00022 and 0.00013, OR: 1.52 (1.21-1.89) and 3.08 (1.68-5.64), respectively). These association tendencies were found in each set. On the contrary, we could not detect any significant differences between ACPA-positive RA subsets. As a conclusion, ACPA-negative RA includes two genetically distinct subsets according to RF positivity in Japan, which display different associations with HLA-DRB1. ACPA-negative RF-positive RA is strongly associated with HLA-DRB1*04:05 and *09:01. ACPA-negative RF-negative RA is associated with DR14 and the HLA-DR8 homozygote.
PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e40067. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation. We report a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in a Japanese population including 4,074 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (cases) and 16,891 controls, followed by a replication in 5,277 rheumatoid arthritis cases and 21,684 controls. Our study identified nine loci newly associated with rheumatoid arthritis at a threshold of P < 5.0 × 10(-8), including B3GNT2, ANXA3, CSF2, CD83, NFKBIE, ARID5B, PDE2A-ARAP1, PLD4 and PTPN2. ANXA3 was also associated with susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (P = 0.0040), and B3GNT2 and ARID5B were associated with Graves' disease (P = 3.5 × 10(-4) and 2.9 × 10(-4), respectively). We conducted a multi-ancestry comparative analysis with a previous meta-analysis in individuals of European descent (5,539 rheumatoid arthritis cases and 20,169 controls). This provided evidence of shared genetic risks of rheumatoid arthritis between the populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk alleles overlap between different ethnic groups. Here, we utilize a multiethnic approach to show that we can effectively discover RA risk alleles. Thirteen putatively associated SNPs that had not yet exceeded genome-wide significance (p < 5 × 10(-8)) in our previous RA genome-wide association study (GWAS) were analyzed in independent sample sets consisting of 4,366 cases and 17,765 controls of European, African American, and East Asian ancestry. Additionally, we conducted an overall association test across all 65,833 samples (a GWAS meta-analysis plus the replication samples). Of the 13 SNPs investigated, four were significantly below the study-wide Bonferroni corrected p value threshold (p < 0.0038) in the replication samples. Two SNPs (rs3890745 at the 1p36 locus [p = 2.3 × 10(-12)] and rs2872507 at the 17q12 locus [p = 1.7 × 10(-9)]) surpassed genome-wide significance in all 16,659 RA cases and 49,174 controls combined. We used available GWAS data to fine map these two loci in Europeans and East Asians, and we found that the same allele conferred risk in both ethnic groups. A series of bioinformatic analyses identified TNFRSF14-MMEL1 at the 1p36 locus and IKZF3-ORMDL3-GSDMB at the 17q12 locus as the genes most likely associated with RA. These findings demonstrate empirically that a multiethnic approach is an effective strategy for discovering RA risk loci, and they suggest that combining GWASs across ethnic groups represents an efficient strategy for gaining statistical power.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 02/2012; 90(3):524-32. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that causes multiple organ damage. Although recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have contributed to discovery of SLE susceptibility genes, few studies has been performed in Asian populations. Here, we report a GWAS for SLE examining 891 SLE cases and 3,384 controls and multi-stage replication studies examining 1,387 SLE cases and 28,564 controls in Japanese subjects. Considering that expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) have been implicated in genetic risks for autoimmune diseases, we integrated an eQTL study into the results of the GWAS. We observed enrichments of cis-eQTL positive loci among the known SLE susceptibility loci (30.8%) compared to the genome-wide SNPs (6.9%). In addition, we identified a novel association of a variant in the AF4/FMR2 family, member 1 (AFF1) gene at 4q21 with SLE susceptibility (rs340630; P = 8.3×10(-9), odds ratio = 1.21). The risk A allele of rs340630 demonstrated a cis-eQTL effect on the AFF1 transcript with enhanced expression levels (P<0.05). As AFF1 transcripts were prominently expressed in CD4(+) and CD19(+) peripheral blood lymphocytes, up-regulation of AFF1 may cause the abnormality in these lymphocytes, leading to disease onset.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HLA-DRB1 is associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, it has recently been suggested that HLA-DRB1 is only associated with patients with RA who have anticitrullinated peptide/protein antibodies (ACPA), which are specific to RA.
To elucidate whether specific HLA-DR alleles are associated with ACPA-negative RA development.
HLA-DRB1 typing was carried out in 368 Japanese ACPA-negative patients with RA and 1508 healthy volunteers as the first set, followed by HLA-DRB1 typing of 501 cases and 500 controls as the second set. The HLA-DRB1 allele frequency and diplotype frequency were compared in each group, and the results of the two studies were combined to detect HLA-DRB1 alleles or diplotypes associated with ACPA-negative RA.
HLA-DRB1*12:01 was identified as a novel susceptibility allele for ACPA-negative RA (p=0.000088, OR=1.72, 95% CI 1.31 to 2.26). HLA-DRB1*04:05 and *14:03 showed moderate associations with ACPA-negative RA (p=0.0063, OR=1.26, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.49 and p=0.0043, OR=1.81, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.73, respectively). The shared epitope was weakly associated with ACPA-negative RA, but no dosage effect was detected (p=0.016, OR=1.17, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.34). A combination of HLA-DRB1*12:01 and DRB1*09:01 showed a strong association with susceptibility to ACPA-negative RA (p=0.00013, OR=3.62, 95% CI 1.79 to 7.30). Homozygosity for HLA-DR8 was significantly associated with ACPA-negative RA (p=0.0070, OR=2.16, 95% CI 1.22 to 3.82). It was also found that HLA-DRB1*15:02 and *13:02 were protective against ACPA-negative RA (p=0.00010, OR=0.68, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.83 and p=0.00059, OR=0.66, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.84, respectively).
In this large-scale association study multiple alleles and diplotypes were found to be associated with susceptibility to, or protection against, ACPA-negative RA.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 08/2011; 70(12):2134-9. · 9.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a typical complex trait and the major cause of chronic inflammation worldwide. Although multiple genetic loci have been shown for their association with the onset of RA, they cover only a part of its genetic components and are largely ethnicity-specific. To identify novel genetic factors related to the predisposition and prognosis of RA in Japanese, we conducted a large-scale genome-wide association (GWA) study. We performed a GWA analysis by scanning the genome of 1247 RA cases and 1486 controls for 277 420 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), followed by replication analysis using two independent sample sets consisting of 1865 cases and 1623 controls, and 2303 cases and 3380 controls. We identified two SNPs, rs2075876 and rs760426, in intron of the autoimmune regulator AIRE gene at chromosome 21q22 that showed strong associations with the disease (P= 3.6 × 10(-9) and P= 4.4 × 10(-8), respectively). Rs1800250, in exon7 of AIRE, was in strong linkage disequilibrium (r(2)= 0.94) with rs2075876 and introduced an amino acid alteration (S278R) in the SAND domain of the AIRE protein. In silico analysis showed the decreased transcription of AIRE by the risk allele of rs2075876 compared with the alternative allele (P= 6.8 × 10(-5)). No correlation was observed between the rs2075876 genotype and quantitative traits reflecting the progression of RA. As AIRE is a key molecule which regulates the expression and presentation of self-antigens in thymic negative selection, its downregulation by genetic polymorphisms may result in the survival of auto-reactive T cells to trigger auto-inflammation in RA.
Human Molecular Genetics 07/2011; 20(13):2680-5. · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autoimmune diseases are caused by multiple genes and environmental effects. In addition, genetic contributions and the number of associated genes differ among different diseases and ethnic populations. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS) show that these diseases share many genetic factors. Recently, in addition to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) gene, other genetic loci have been found to be associated with the risk for autoimmune diseases. This review focuses on the search for genetic variants that influence the susceptibility to RA and MS as typical autoimmune diseases and discusses the future of GWAS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endomucin, an endothelial-specific sialomucin, is thought to facilitate "lymphocyte homing" to synovial tissues, resulting in the major histopathologies of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We examined the association between RA susceptibility and the gene coding endomucin, EMCN.
Association studies were conducted with 2 DNA sample sets (initial set of 1504 patients, 752 controls; and validation set, 1113 patients, 940 controls) using 6 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) from the Japanese HapMap database. Immunohistochemistry for the expression of endomucin was conducted with synovial tissues from 4 patients with RA during total knee arthroplasty. Electromobility shift assays were performed for the functional study of identified polymorphisms.
Within the initial sample set, the strongest evidence of an association with RA susceptibility was SNP rs3775369 (OR 1.20, p = 0.0075). While the subsequent replication study did not initially confirm the observed significant association (OR 1.13, p = 0.062), an in-depth stratified analysis revealed significant association in patients testing positive to anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody in the replication data set (OR 1.15, p = 0.044). Investigating 2 sample sets, significant associations were detected in overall and stratified samples with anti-CCP antibody status (OR 1.17, p = 0.0015). Positive staining for endomucin was detected in all patients. The allele associated with RA susceptibility had a higher binding affinity for HEK298-derived nuclear factors compared to the nonsusceptible allelic variant of rs3775369.
A significant association between EMCN and RA susceptibility was detected in our Japanese study population. The EMCN allele conferring RA susceptibility may also contribute to the pathogenesis of RA.
The Journal of Rheumatology 02/2011; 38(2):221-8. · 3.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To elucidate the differential role of peptidyl arginine deiminase 4 (PADI4) polymorphism in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) between Asian and European populations, possible gene-environmental interactions among the PADI4 polymorphism, sex and smoking status were analysed.
Three independent sets of case-control samples were genotyped for single-nucleotide polymorphisms in PADI4; Japanese samples (first set, 1019 RA patients, 907 controls; second set, 999 RA patients, 1128 controls) using TaqMan assays and Dutch samples (635 RA patients, 391 controls) using Sequenom MassARRAY platform. The association of PADI4 with RA susceptibility was evaluated by smoking status and sex in contingency tables and logistic regression models.
In the first set of Japanese samples, PADI4 polymorphism (rs1748033) showed a greater risk in men (OR(allele) 1.39; 95% CI 1.10 to 1.76; p(trend)=0.0054) than in women and in ever-smokers (OR(allele) 1.25; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.53; p(trend)=0.032) than in never-smokers. Moreover, the highest risk was seen in male ever-smokers (OR(allele) 1.46; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.90; p(trend)=0.0047). Similar trends were observed in the second set of Japanese samples as well as in Dutch samples.
PADI4 polymorphism highly predisposes male smokers to RA, and the genetic heterogeneity observed between Asian and European populations may be partly explained by differences in smoking prevalence among men.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 11/2010; 70(3):512-5. · 9.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune disease with a complex genetic etiology. Here, through a genome-wide association study of rheumatoid arthritis, we identified a polymorphism in CCR6, the gene encoding chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 6 (a surface marker for Th17 cells) at 6q27, that was associated with rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility and was validated in two independent replication cohorts from Japan (rs3093024, a total of 7,069 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (cases) and 20,727 controls, overall odds ratio = 1.19, P = 7.7 x 10(-19)). We identified a triallelic dinucleotide polymorphism of CCR6 (CCR6DNP) in strong linkage disequilibrium with rs3093024 that showed effects on gene transcription. The CCR6DNP genotype was correlated with the expression level of CCR6 and was associated with the presence of interleukin-17 (IL-17) in the sera of subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, CCR6DNP was associated with susceptibility to Graves' and Crohn's diseases. These results suggest that CCR6 is critically involved in IL-17-driven autoimmunity in human diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are generally considered multifactorial-that is, they involve both genetic and environmental factors. Technical advances in human genetics over the past 5 years have enabled the survey of the entire human genome for disease susceptibility genes and have contributed to a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying autoimmunity. Among the genetic predisposition factors identified to date, some variants have been found to be restricted to specific ethnic groups, which might reflect migration history and the natural selection that shaped genetic variation in these populations. Other genetic factors could also have exerted different magnitudes of risk for the disease among the different populations, which might be explained by their interactions with other genetic and environmental factors. These pieces of evidence suggest that substantial heterogeneity exists in the genetics underlying autoimmunity among different ethnic populations. This Review discusses the genetic heterogeneity in autoimmunity, with a focus on rheumatoid arthritis, between Asian and European populations. In addition to the most-studied and well-characterized gene HLA-DRB1, we will also describe examples of the gene-environment interactions between PADI4 and smoking, and the gene-gene interactions between PTPN22 and FCRL3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease induced by the combinations of environmental and genetic factors. Recently, mice in which the early growth response 2 (EGR2) gene, a zinc-finger transcription factor, is conditionally knocked out in CD2(+) T cells have been shown to develop a lupus-like autoimmune disease. Here, we evaluated if polymorphisms in the EGR2 gene influence SLE susceptibility in humans. We first analyzed the effect of SNPs in the EGR2 region on EGR2 expression, and a significant positive correlation with expression was identified in an SNP located at the 5' flanking region of EGR2 (rs10761670, R=0.23, P=0.00072). We then performed a case-control association study using three sets of SLE cohorts by genotyping 14 tag SNPs in the EGR2 gene region. A peak of association with SLE susceptibility was observed for rs10761670 [Pooled: OR = 1.23 (95% CI 1.10-1.37), P=0.00023). This SNP was also associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) [OR = 1.15 (95% CI 1.05-1.26), P = 0.0019), suggesting that EGR2 is a common risk factor for SLE and RA. Among the SNPs in complete linkage disequilibrium with rs10761670 (r(2) = 1.0), two SNPs (rs1412554 and rs1509957) affected the binding of transcription factors and transcriptional activity in vitro, suggesting that they may be candidates of causal regulatory variants in this region. Therefore, EGR2 is a genetic risk factor for SLE, in which increased gene expression may contribute to SLE pathogenesis.
Human Molecular Genetics 03/2010; 19(11):2313-20. · 6.68 Impact Factor