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Curr Mol Med. 2019;19(3):164-171. doi: 10.2174/1566524019666190424130809.

Genetic Alleles Associated with SLE Susceptibility and Clinical Manifestations in Hispanic Patients from the Dominican Republic.

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Department of Medical Genetics, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, 110122, China.
Shenyang Dian Medical Institute, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, 110870, China.
Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, United States.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, United States.
Division of Rheumatology, Hospital Regional Universitario José Ma Cabral Baez, Dominica.



Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease with marked disparities in prevalence and disease severity among different ethnic groups. The purpose of this study is to characterize a Latin American cohort and identify genetic risk factors for developing SLE and its end-organ manifestations in this Latin Hispanic cohort.


A total of 201 SLE cases and 205 non-diseased controls were recruited in the Dominican Republic (DR). Cases were defined according to the 1997 revised American College of Rheumatology criteria for the classification of SLE. Genomic DNA was prepared from whole blood and applied to genotyping analyses for 42 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that have been implicated in autoimmune diseases, including SLE, in other ethnic populations. Data were analyzed by Fisher's Exact Probability Test.


In this cohort, SNP rs9271366 (tag SNP for HLA-DRB1*15:01) confers the highest risk for SLE among the 13 MHC gene alleles that display association with SLE (p = 8.748E-10; OR = 3.5). Among the 26 non-MHC gene alleles analyzed, SNP rs2476601 in PTPN22 gene confers the highest risk for SLE (p = 0.0001; OR = 5.6). ITGAM, TNFSF4, TNIP1, STAT4, CARD11, BLK, and TNXB gene alleles were confirmed as SLE-susceptible alleles in the DR cohort. However, IRF5 and TNFAIP3 gene alleles, established risk factors for SLE in populations of European and Asian ancestry, are not significantly associated with SLE in this cohort. We also defined a novel HLA-DRA haplotype that confers an increased risk for lupus nephritis (LN) and alleles in HLA-DRA2 and TNFSF4 genes as genetic risk factors for developing neuropsychiatric (NP) SLE.


Our data suggest that the Latin American population shares some common genetic risk factors for SLE as other populations, but also has distinct risk gene alleles that contribute to SLE susceptibility and development of LN and NPSLE. This is the first study focusing on genetic risk factors for SLE in the DR, a Latin American population that has never been characterized before.


Genetic alleles lupus; SLE; autoimmune disease; genetic risk factors; genetic alleles; hispanic patients; systemic lupus erythematosus.

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