There is increasing evidence that genome-wide association (GWA) studies represent a powerful approach to the identification of genes involved in common human diseases. We describe a joint GWA study (using the Affymetrix GeneChip 500K Mapping Array Set) undertaken in the British population, which has examined approximately 2,000 individuals for each of 7 major diseases and a shared set of approximately 3,000 controls. Case-control comparisons identified 24 independent association signals at P < 5 x 10(-7): 1 in bipolar disorder, 1 in coronary artery disease, 9 in Crohn's disease, 3 in rheumatoid arthritis, 7 in type 1 diabetes and 3 in type 2 diabetes. On the basis of prior findings and replication studies thus-far completed, almost all of these signals reflect genuine susceptibility effects. We observed association at many previously identified loci, and found compelling evidence that some loci confer risk for more than one of the diseases studied. Across all diseases, we identified a large number of further signals (including 58 loci with single-point P values between 10(-5) and 5 x 10(-7)) likely to yield additional susceptibility loci. The importance of appropriately large samples was confirmed by the modest effect sizes observed at most loci identified. This study thus represents a thorough validation of the GWA approach. It has also demonstrated that careful use of a shared control group represents a safe and effective approach to GWA analyses of multiple disease phenotypes; has generated a genome-wide genotype database for future studies of common diseases in the British population; and shown that, provided individuals with non-European ancestry are excluded, the extent of population stratification in the British population is generally modest. Our findings offer new avenues for exploring the pathophysiology of these important disorders. We anticipate that our data, results and software, which will be widely available to other investigators, will provide a powerful resource for human genetics research.Read more
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder with a lifetime risk of about 1%, characterized by hallucinations, delusions and cognitive deficits, with heritability estimated at up to 80%. We performed a genome-wide association study of 3,322 European individuals with schizophrenia and 3,587 controls. Here we show, using two analytic approaches, the extent to which common genetic variation underlies the risk of schizophrenia. First, we implicate the major histocompatibility complex. Second, we provide molecular genetic evidence for a substantial polygenic component to the risk of schizophrenia involving thousands of common alleles of very small effect. We show that this component also contributes to the risk of bipolar disorder, but not to several non-psychiatric diseases.Read more
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), affect over 2.5 million people of European ancestry, with rising prevalence in other populations. Genome-wide association studies and subsequent meta-analyses of these two diseases as separate phenotypes have implicated previously unsuspected mechanisms, such as autophagy, in their pathogenesis and showed that some IBD loci are shared with other inflammatory diseases. Here we expand on the knowledge of relevant pathways by undertaking a meta-analysis of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis genome-wide association scans, followed by extensive validation of significant findings, with a combined total of more than 75,000 cases and controls. We identify 71 new associations, for a total of 163 IBD loci, that meet genome-wide significance thresholds. Most loci contribute to both phenotypes, and both directional (consistently favouring one allele over the course of human history) and balancing (favouring the retention of both alleles within populations) selection effects are evident. Many IBD loci are also implicated in other immune-mediated disorders, most notably with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis. We also observe considerable overlap between susceptibility loci for IBD and mycobacterial infection. Gene co-expression network analysis emphasizes this relationship, with pathways shared between host responses to mycobacteria and those predisposing to IBD.Read more
We performed a second-generation genome-wide association study of 4,533 individuals with celiac disease (cases) and 10,750 control subjects. We genotyped 113 selected SNPs with P(GWAS) < 10(-4) and 18 SNPs from 14 known loci in a further 4,918 cases and 5,684 controls. Variants from 13 new regions reached genome-wide significance (P(combined) < 5 x 10(-8)); most contain genes with immune functions (BACH2, CCR4, CD80, CIITA-SOCS1-CLEC16A, ICOSLG and ZMIZ1), with ETS1, RUNX3, THEMIS and TNFRSF14 having key roles in thymic T-cell selection. There was evidence to suggest associations for a further 13 regions. In an expression quantitative trait meta-analysis of 1,469 whole blood samples, 20 of 38 (52.6%) tested loci had celiac risk variants correlated (P < 0.0028, FDR 5%) with cis gene expression.Read more
The relative importance of various human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loci and the resolution level at which they are matched has not been fully defined for unrelated donor transplantation. To address this question, National Marrow Donor Program data from 3857 transplantations performed from 1988 to 2003 in the United States were analyzed. Patient-donor pairs were fully typed for HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DQB1, -DQA1, -DPB1, and -DPA1 alleles. High-resolution DNA matching for HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 (8/8 match) was the minimum level of matching associated with the highest survival. A single mismatch detected by low- or high-resolution DNA testing at HLA-A, -B, -C or -DRB1 (7/8 match) was associated with higher mortality (relative risk, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.13-1.38; P < .001) and 1-year survival of 43% compared with 52% for 8/8 matched pairs. Single mismatches at HLA-B or HLA-C appear better tolerated than mismatches at HLA-A or HLA-DRB1. Mismatching at 2 or more loci compounded the risk. Mismatching at HLA-DP or -DQ loci and donor factors other than HLA type were not associated with survival. In multivariate modeling, patient age, race, disease stage, and cytomegalovirus status were as predictive of survival as donor HLA matching. High-resolution DNA matching for HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1 alleles is associated with higher rates of survival.Read more
We conducted a meta-analysis of Parkinson's disease genome-wide association studies using a common set of 7,893,274 variants across 13,708 cases and 95,282 controls. Twenty-six loci were identified as having genome-wide significant association; these and 6 additional previously reported loci were then tested in an independent set of 5,353 cases and 5,551 controls. Of the 32 tested SNPs, 24 replicated, including 6 newly identified loci. Conditional analyses within loci showed that four loci, including GBA, GAK-DGKQ, SNCA and the HLA region, contain a secondary independent risk variant. In total, we identified and replicated 28 independent risk variants for Parkinson's disease across 24 loci. Although the effect of each individual locus was small, risk profile analysis showed substantial cumulative risk in a comparison of the highest and lowest quintiles of genetic risk (odds ratio (OR) = 3.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.55-4.30; P = 2 × 10(-16)). We also show six risk loci associated with proximal gene expression or DNA methylation.Read more
The use of abacavir--a potent HIV-1 nucleoside-analogue reverse-transcriptase inhibitor--is complicated by a potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity syndrome in about 5% of cases. Genetic factors influencing the immune response to abacavir might confer susceptibility. We aimed to find associations between MHC alleles and abacavir hypersensitivity in HIV-1-positive individuals treated with abacavir.
MHC region typing was done in the first 200 Western Australian HIV Cohort Study participants exposed to abacavir. Definite abacavir hypersensitivity was identified in 18 cases, and was excluded in 167 individuals with more than 6 weeks' exposure to the drug (abacavir tolerant). 15 individuals experienced some symptoms but did not meet criteria for abacavir hypersensitivity. p values were corrected for comparisons of multiple HLA alleles (p(c)) by multiplication of the raw p value by the estimated number of HLA alleles present within the loci examined.
HLA-B*5701 was present in 14 (78%) of the 18 patients with abacavir hypersensitivity, and in four (2%) of the 167 abacavir tolerant patients (odds ratio 117 [95% CI 29-481], p(c)<0.0001), and the HLA-DR7 and HLA-DQ3 combination was found in 13 (72%) of hypersensitive and five (3%) of tolerant patients (73 [20-268], p(c)<0.0001 ). HLA-B*5701, HLA-DR7, and HLA-DQ3 were present in combination in 13 (72%) hypersensitive patients and none of the tolerant patients (822 [43-15 675], p(c)<0.0001). Other MHC markers also present on the 57.1 ancestral haplotype to which the three markers above belong confirmed the presence of haplotype-specific linkage disequilibrium, and mapped potential susceptibility loci to a region bounded by C4A6 and HLA-C. Within the entire abacavir-exposed cohort (n=200), presence of HLA-B*5701, HLA-DR7, and HLA-DQ3 had a positive predictive value for hypersensitivity of 100%, and a negative predictive value of 97%.
Genetic susceptibility to abacavir hypersensitivity is carried on the 57.1 ancestral haplotype. In our population, withholding abacavir in those with HLA-B*5701, HLA-DR7, and HLA-DQ3 should reduce the prevalence of hypersensitivity from 9% to 2.5% without inappropriately denying abacavir to any patient.Read more
We have searched the human genome for genes that predispose to type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus using semi-automated fluorescence-based technology and linkage analysis. In addition to IDDM1 (in the major histocompatibility complex on chromosome 6p21) and IDDM2 (in the insulin gene region on chromosome 11p15), eighteen different chromosome regions showed some positive evidence of linkage to disease. Linkages to chromosomes 11q (IDDM4) and 6q (IDDM5) were confirmed by replication, and chromosome 18 may encode a fifth disease locus. There are probably no genes with large effects aside from IDDM1. Therefore polygenic inheritance is indicated, with a major locus at the major histocompatibility complex.Read more
The Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium has collected type 1 diabetic families worldwide for genetic analysis. The major genetic determinants of type 1 diabetes are alleles at the HLA-DRB1 and DQB1 loci, with both susceptible and protective DR-DQ haplotypes present in all human populations. The aim of this study is to estimate the risk conferred by specific DR-DQ haplotypes and genotypes.
Six hundred and seven Caucasian families and 38 Asian families were typed at high resolution for the DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1 loci. The association analysis was performed by comparing the frequency of DR-DQ haplotypes among the chromosomes transmitted to an affected child with the frequency of chromosomes not transmitted to any affected child.
A number of susceptible, neutral, and protective DR-DQ haplotypes have been identified, and a statistically significant hierarchy of type 1 diabetes risk has been established. The most susceptible haplotypes are the DRB1*0301-DQA1*0501-DQB1*0201 (odds ratio [OR] 3.64) and the DRB1*0405-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302, DRB1*0401-DQA1*0301-DQB*0302, and DRB1*0402-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302 haplotypes (ORs 11.37, 8.39, and 3.63), followed by the DRB1*0404-DQA1*0301-DQB1*0302 (OR 1.59) and the DRB1*0801-DQB1*0401-DQB1*0402 (OR 1.25) haplotypes. The most protective haplotypes are DRB1*1501-DQA1*0102-DQB1*0602 (OR 0.03), DRB1*1401-DQA1*0101-DQB1*0503 (OR 0.02), and DRB1*0701-DQA1*0201-DQB1*0303 (OR 0.02).
Specific combinations of alleles at the DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1 loci determine the extent of haplotypic risk. The comparison of closely related DR-DQ haplotype pairs with different type 1 diabetes risks allowed identification of specific amino acid positions critical in determining disease susceptibility. These data also indicate that the risk associated with specific HLA haplotypes can be influenced by the genotype context and that the trans-complementing heterodimer encoded by DQA1*0501 and DQB1*0302 confers very high risk.Read more
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.
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.
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 beta chain 1) had the strongest association (P=1.78x10(-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-12alpha), rs6441286 (P=2.42x10(-14); odds ratio, 1.54) and rs574808 (P=1.88x10(-13); odds ratio, 1.54), and one SNP at the IL12RB2 locus (encoding interleukin-12 receptor beta2), rs3790567 (P=2.76x10(-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=1.15x10(-34)). We found a modest genomewide association (P<5.0x10(-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.
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.)Read more
The function of the Src-family kinases (SFKs) Lck and Fyn in T cells has been intensively studied over the past 15 years. Animal models and cell line studies both indicate a critical role for Lck and Fyn in proximal T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) signal transduction. Recruited SFKs phosphorylate TCR ITAMs (immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs) in the CD3 and zeta chains, which then serve as docking sites for Syk-family kinases. SFKs then phosphorylate and activate the recruited Syk-family kinase. Lck and Fyn are spatially segregated in cell membranes due to differential lipid raft localization, and may undergo sequential activation. In addition to the CD4 and CD8 coreceptors, a recently described adaptor, Unc119, may link SFKs to the TCR. CD45 and Csk provide positive and negative regulatory control of SFK functions, respectively, and Csk is constitutively bound to the transmembrane adapter protein, PAG/Cbp. TCR-based signaling is required at several stages of T-cell development, including at least pre-TCR signaling, positive selection, peripheral maintenance of naive T cells, and lymphopenia-induced proliferation. SFKs are required for each of these TCR-based signals, and Lck seems to be the major contributor.Read more
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in males in developed countries. To identify common prostate cancer susceptibility alleles, we genotyped 211,155 SNPs on a custom Illumina array (iCOGS) in blood DNA from 25,074 prostate cancer cases and 24,272 controls from the international PRACTICAL Consortium. Twenty-three new prostate cancer susceptibility loci were identified at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10(-8)). More than 70 prostate cancer susceptibility loci, explaining ∼30% of the familial risk for this disease, have now been identified. On the basis of combined risks conferred by the new and previously known risk loci, the top 1% of the risk distribution has a 4.7-fold higher risk than the average of the population being profiled. These results will facilitate population risk stratification for clinical studies.Read more
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the colon that presents as diarrhea and gastrointestinal bleeding. We performed a genome-wide association study using DNA samples from 1,052 individuals with ulcerative colitis and preexisting data from 2,571 controls, all of European ancestry. In an analysis that controlled for gender and population structure, ulcerative colitis loci attaining genome-wide significance and subsequent replication in two independent populations were identified on chromosomes 1p36 (rs6426833, combined P = 5.1 x 10(-13), combined odds ratio OR = 0.73) and 12q15 (rs1558744, combined P = 2.5 x 10(-12), combined OR = 1.35). In addition, combined genome-wide significant evidence for association was found in a region spanning BTNL2 to HLA-DQB1 on chromosome 6p21 (rs2395185, combined P = 1.0 x 10(-16), combined OR = 0.66) and at the IL23R locus on chromosome 1p31 (rs11209026, combined P = 1.3 x 10(-8), combined OR = 0.56; rs10889677, combined P = 1.3 x 10(-8), combined OR = 1.29).Read more
Pulmonary function measures reflect respiratory health and are used in the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We tested genome-wide association with forced expiratory volume in 1 second and the ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity in 48,201 individuals of European ancestry with follow up of the top associations in up to an additional 46,411 individuals. We identified new regions showing association (combined P < 5 × 10(-8)) with pulmonary function in or near MFAP2, TGFB2, HDAC4, RARB, MECOM (also known as EVI1), SPATA9, ARMC2, NCR3, ZKSCAN3, CDC123, C10orf11, LRP1, CCDC38, MMP15, CFDP1 and KCNE2. Identification of these 16 new loci may provide insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating pulmonary function and into molecular targets for future therapy to alleviate reduced lung function.Read more
We carried out a genome-wide association study of IgA nephropathy, a major cause of kidney failure worldwide. We studied 1,194 cases and 902 controls of Chinese Han ancestry, with targeted follow up in Chinese and European cohorts comprising 1,950 cases and 1,920 controls. We identified three independent loci in the major histocompatibility complex, as well as a common deletion of CFHR1 and CFHR3 at chromosome 1q32 and a locus at chromosome 22q12 that each surpassed genome-wide significance (P values for association between 1.59 × 10⁻²⁶ and 4.84 × 10⁻⁹ and minor allele odds ratios of 0.63-0.80). These five loci explain 4-7% of the disease variance and up to a tenfold variation in interindividual risk. Many of the alleles that protect against IgA nephropathy impart increased risk for other autoimmune or infectious diseases, and IgA nephropathy risk allele frequencies closely parallel the variation in disease prevalence among Asian, European and African populations, suggesting complex selective pressures.Read more
A genome-wide association screen for primary biliary cirrhosis risk alleles was performed in an Italian cohort. The results from the Italian cohort replicated IL12A and IL12RB associations, and a combined meta-analysis using a Canadian dataset identified newly associated loci at SPIB (P = 7.9 x 10(-11), odds ratio (OR) = 1.46), IRF5-TNPO3 (P = 2.8 x 10(-10), OR = 1.63) and 17q12-21 (P = 1.7 x 10(-10), OR = 1.38).Read more
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by fibrosis of the skin and internal organs that leads to profound disability and premature death. To identify new SSc susceptibility loci, we conducted the first genome-wide association study in a population of European ancestry including a total of 2,296 individuals with SSc and 5,171 controls. Analysis of 279,621 autosomal SNPs followed by replication testing in an independent case-control set of European ancestry (2,753 individuals with SSc (cases) and 4,569 controls) identified a new susceptibility locus for systemic sclerosis at CD247 (1q22-23, rs2056626, P = 2.09 x 10(-7) in the discovery samples, P = 3.39 x 10(-9) in the combined analysis). Additionally, we confirm and firmly establish the role of the MHC (P = 2.31 x 10(-18)), IRF5 (P = 1.86 x 10(-13)) and STAT4 (P = 3.37 x 10(-9)) gene regions as SSc genetic risk factors.Read more
The complete nucleotide sequence of an HLA-DR antigen-like beta-chain cDNA clone was determined. The 1,080 base pairs include the complete coding region and most of the untranslated portion. The predicted amino acid sequence has 229 residues. The beta chain contains two immunoglobulin-like disulfide loops and a 21-amino acid residue membrane-integrated segment. Ten amino acid residues reside on the cytoplasmic side of the plasma membrane. The single asparagine-linked carbohydrate moiety is attached to asparagine-19. The NH2-terminal 91 residues of the beta chain are homologous to the corresponding region of HLA-A, -B, and -C antigen heavy chains. Residues 92-192 of the beta chain display statistically significant homology to members of the immunoglobulin family, beta 2-microglobulin, and the immunoglobulin-like domain of HLA-A, -B, and -C antigen heavy chains. These data establish that the major histocompatibility antigens of class I and class II type and the constant regions of immunoglobulins are evolutionarily related.Read more
The HLA-D region of the human major histocompatibility complex encodes the genes for the alpha and beta chains of the DP, DQ and DR class II antigens. A cDNA clone encoding a new class II beta chain (designated DO) was isolated from a library constructed from mRNA of a mutant B-cell line having a single HLA haplotype. Complete cDNA clones encoding the four isotypic beta chains of the DR1, DQw1, DPw2 and putative DO antigens were sequenced. The DO beta gene was mapped in the D region by hybridization with DNA of HLA-deletion mutants. DO beta mRNA expression is low in B-cell lines but remains in mutant lines which have lost expression of other class II genes. Unlike other class II genes DO beta is not induced by gamma-interferon in fibroblast lines. The DO beta gene is distinct from the DP beta, DQ beta and DR beta genes in its pattern of nucleotide divergence. The independent evolution and expression of DO beta suggest that it may be part of a functionally distinct class II molecule.Read more
Genetic susceptibility to celiac disease is strongly associated with HLA-DQA1*05-DQB1*02 (DQ2) and HLA-DQA1*03-DQB1*0302 (DQ8). Study of the HLA associations in patients not carrying these heterodimers has been limited by the rarity of such patients. This European collaboration has provided a unique opportunity to study a large series of such patients. From 1008 European coeliacs, 61 were identified who neither carry the DQ2 nor DQ8 heterodimers. Fifty seven of these encoded half of the DQ2 heterodimer. The remaining 4 patients had a variety of clinical presentations. Three of them carried the DQA1*01-DQB*05 haplotype as did 20/61 of those carrying neither DQ2 nor DQ8. This may implicate a role of the DQA1*01-DQB*05 haplotype. None of these four patients carried the DQB1*06 allele that has previously been reported in this sub-group of patients. Of the 16 DQ2 heterodimer negative patients without DRB1*04 or DRB1*07 haplotypes, it was inferred that none encoded the previously implicated DRB4 gene as none had a DRB1*09 haplotype. These results underline the primary importance of HLA-DQ alleles in susceptibility to celiac disease, and the extreme rarity of celiac patients carrying neither the DQ2 or DQ8 heterodimers nor one half of the DQ2 heterodimer alone.Read more
We extract and present high-resolution HLA allele and haplotype frequency data available from the National Marrow Donor Program databases from four major U.S. census categories of race and ethnicity. Population-based high-resolution HLA frequencies defined on the basis of from one to five loci are presented and made available online (http://bioinformatics.nmdp.org/haplotype2006). In addition, a discriminatory classification of HLA allelic variation on the basis of observed population allele frequencies (common, rare and unseen) for HLA A, C, B, DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1 is introduced. The electronic availability of this information will be useful for projects central to the typing and use of population data in HLA applications.Read more
Asthma is a heterogeneous disease that is caused by the interaction of genetic susceptibility with environmental influences. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) represent a powerful approach to investigate the association of DNA variants with disease susceptibility. To date, few GWASs for asthma have been reported.
A GWAS was performed on a population of patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma to identify genes that are involved in the pathogenesis of asthma.
A total of 292,443 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were tested for association with asthma in 473 The Epidemiology and Natural History of Asthma: Outcomes and Treatment Regimens (TENOR) cases and 1892 Illumina general population controls. Asthma-related quantitative traits (total serum IgE, FEV(1), forced vital capacity, and FEV(1)/forced vital capacity) were also tested in identified candidate regions in 473 TENOR cases and 363 phenotyped controls without a history of asthma to analyze GWAS results further. Imputation was performed in identified candidate regions for analysis with denser SNP coverage.
Multiple SNPs in the RAD50-IL13 region on chromosome 5q31.1 were associated with asthma: rs2244012 in intron 2 of RAD50 (P = 3.04E-07). The HLA-DR/DQ region on chromosome 6p21.3 was also associated with asthma: rs1063355 in the 3' untranslated region of HLA-DQB1 (P = 9.55E-06). Imputation identified several significant SNPs in the T(H)2 locus control region 3' of RAD50. Imputation also identified a more significant SNP, rs3998159 (P = 1.45E-06), between HLA-DQB1 and HLA-DQA2.
This GWAS confirmed the important role of T(H)2 cytokine and antigen presentation genes in asthma at a genome-wide level and the importance of additional investigation of these 2 regions to delineate their structural complexity and biologic function in the development of asthma.Read more
An underlying complex genetic susceptibility exists in multiple sclerosis (MS), and an association with the HLA-DRB1*1501-DQB1*0602 haplotype has been repeatedly demonstrated in high-risk (northern European) populations. It is unknown whether the effect is explained by the HLA-DRB1 or the HLA-DQB1 gene within the susceptibility haplotype, which are in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD). African populations are characterized by greater haplotypic diversity and distinct patterns of LD compared with northern Europeans. To better localize the HLA gene responsible for MS susceptibility, case-control and family-based association studies were performed for DRB1 and DQB1 loci in a large and well-characterized African American data set. A selective association with HLA-DRB1*15 was revealed, indicating a primary role for the DRB1 locus in MS independent of DQB1*0602. This finding is unlikely to be solely explained by admixture, since a substantial proportion of the susceptibility chromosomes from African American patients with MS displayed haplotypes consistent with an African origin.Read more
The class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) glycoproteins HLA-DQ8 and HLA-DQ2 in humans and I-A(g7) in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice are the major risk factors for increased susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. Using X-ray crystallography, we have determined the three-dimensional structure of DQ8 complexed with an immunodominant peptide from insulin. The similarity of the DQ8, DQ2 and I-A(g7) peptide-binding pockets suggests that diabetes is caused by the same antigen-presentation event(s) in humans and NOD mice. Correlating type 1 diabetes epidemiology and MHC sequences with the DQ8 structure suggests that other structural features of the P9 pocket in addition to position 57 contribute to susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.Read more