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FEBS Lett. 2011 Dec 1;585(23):3627-32. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.05.025. Epub 2011 May 17.

Insight from genome-wide association studies in rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

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Laboratory for Autoimmune Diseases, Center for Genomic Medicine, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa, Japan.


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.

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