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PLoS One. 2017 Jan 20;12(1):e0169956. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169956. eCollection 2017.

Polymorphisms in STAT4, PTPN2, PSORS1C1 and TRAF3IP2 Genes Are Associated with the Response to TNF Inhibitors in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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Clinic of Rheumatology, Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Department of "Medicina dei Sistemi", University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, Genetics Section, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
Reumatologia, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Specialità Mediche, Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy.



Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a progressive autoimmune disease characterized by chronic joint inflammation and structural damage. Remission or at least low disease activity (LDA) represent potentially desirable goals of RA treatment. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in several genes might be useful for prediction of response to therapy. We aimed at exploring 4 SNPs in candidate genes (STAT4, PTPN2, PSORS1C1 and TRAF3IP2) in order to investigate their potential role in the response to therapy with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF-i) in RA patients.


In 171 RA patients we investigated the following SNPs: rs7574865 (STAT4), rs2233945 (PSORS1C1), rs7234029 (PTPN2) and rs33980500 (TRAF3IP2). Remission, LDA, and EULAR response were registered at 6 months and 2 years after initiation of first line TNF-i [Adalimumab (ADA) and Etanercept (ETN)].


STAT4 variant allele was associated with the absence of a good/moderate EULAR response at 2 years of treatment in the whole RA group and in ETN treated patients. The PTPN2 SNP was associated with no good/moderate EULAR response at 6 months in ADA treated patients. Patients carrying PSORS1C1 variant allele did not reach LDA at 6 months in both the whole RA group and ETN treated patients. TRAF3IP2 variant allele was associated with the lack of LDA and remission achievement at 6 months in all RA cohort while an association with no EULAR response at 2 years of treatment occurred only in ETN treated patients.


For the first time, we reported that SNPs in STAT4, PTPN2, PSORS1C1, and TRAF3IP2 are associated with response to TNF-i treatment in RA patients; however, these findings should be validated in a larger population.

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