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Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan;106(1):139-44. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.340. Epub 2010 Sep 7.

HLA-G 14 bp deletion/insertion polymorphism in celiac disease.

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Genetic Service, IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Trieste, Italy.



Nonclassical major histocompatibility class I HLA-G antigen is a tolerogenic molecule that inhibits lytic activity of natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Because of its immunomodulatory and tolerogenic properties, HLA-G molecules may have a role in celiac disease (CD). We analyzed the HLA-G 14 bp deletion/insertion polymorphism, known to have a functional effect on mRNA stability, in a group of 522 CD patients, stratified for the presence of HLA-DQ2 genotype, and 400 healthy individuals to evaluate the possible effect of the polymorphism on the risk to develop the disease.


HLA-G 14 bp deletion/insertion polymorphism (rs1704) was detected by polymerase chain reaction and double-checked by direct sequencing.


The 14 bp inserted (I) allele and the homozygous I/I genotype were significantly more frequent in CD patients than in healthy controls. The presence of I allele was associated with an increased risk of CD (OR 1.35) and the effect of I allele was consistent with a recessive genetic model (P<0.001).


Our results also indicate that the effect of the HLA-G D/I polymorphism is restricted for HLA-DQ2, and not simply due to the presence of linkage disequilibrium with the major known risk factor; moreover we found that the presence of the I allele confers an increased risk of CD in addition to the risk conferred by HLA-DQ2 alone and that subjects that carry both DQ2 and HLA-G I alleles have an increased risk of CD than subjects that carry DQ2 but not the I allele.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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