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Mod Rheumatol. 2012 Feb;22(1):52-8. doi: 10.1007/s10165-011-0467-y. Epub 2011 May 24.

A trans-ethnic genetic study of rheumatoid arthritis identified FCGR2A as a candidate common risk factor in Japanese and European populations.

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CREST Program, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Kawaguchi 332-0012, Japan.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common systemic autoimmune disease and its onset and prognosis are controlled by genetic, immunological, and environmental factors. The HLA locus, particularly HLA-DRB1, is its strongest genetic risk determinant across ethnicities. Several other genes, including PTPN22 and PADI4, show modest association with RA. However, they cover only a part of its genetic components and their relative contribution is different between populations. To identify novel genetic determinants, we took a candidate gene approach in a trans-ethnic manner. After critical selection of 169 genes based on their immunological function, we performed SNP discovery of these genes by the resequencing of exons and surrounding areas using European and Japanese DNAs. We then generated a panel of 1,509 SNPs for case-control association study in both populations. The DerSimonian-Laird test for meta-analysis, using the combined results of the two populations, identified rs7551957 at the 5'-flanking region of the low-affinity Fc-gamma receptor IIa (FCGR2A) gene as the strongest candidate for the association (p = 8.6 × 10(-5), odds ratio = 1.58 with 95%CI 1.25-1.99). Suggestive signals were also obtained for three SNPs in the dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD) gene (rs6685859; p = 1.3 × 10(-4), rs7550959; p = 1.5 × 10(-4) and rs7531138; p = 1.7 × 10(-4)) and an intronic SNP, rs2269310, of the erythrocytic spectrin beta (SPTB) gene (p = 7.9 × 10(-4)).

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