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Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 Jul;72(7):1249-54. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202076. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Identification of the NF-κB activating protein-like locus as a risk locus for rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Mount Sinai Hospital Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute and Toronto General Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To fine-map the NF-κB activating protein-like (NKAPL) locus identified in a prior genome-wide study as a possible rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk locus and thereby delineate additional variants with stronger and/or independent disease association.


Genotypes for 101 SNPs across the NKAPL locus on chromosome 6p22.1 were obtained on 1368 Canadian RA cases and 1471 controls. Single marker associations were examined using logistic regression and the most strongly associated NKAPL locus SNPs then typed in another Canadian and a US-based RA case/control cohort.


Fine-mapping analyses identified six NKAPL locus variants in a single haplotype block showing association with p≤5.6×10(-8) in the combined Canadian cohort. Among these SNPs, rs35656932 in the zinc finger 193 gene and rs13208096 in the NKAPL gene remained significant after conditional logistic regression, contributed independently to risk for disease, and were replicated in the US cohort (Pcomb=4.24×10(-10) and 2.44×10(-9), respectively). These associations remained significant after conditioning on SNPs tagging the HLA-shared epitope (SE) DRB1*0401 allele and were significantly stronger in the HLA-SE negative versus positive subgroup, with a significant negative interaction apparent between HLA-DRB1 SE and NKAPL risk alleles.


By illuminating additional NKAPL variants with highly significant effects on risk that are distinct from, but interactive with those arising from the HLA-DRB1 locus, our data conclusively identify NKAPL as an RA susceptibility locus.


Autoimmune Diseases; Inflammation; Rheumatoid Arthritis

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