Objectives: Genetic susceptibility is known to make a major contribution to the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis (UC). Recently, three studies, including a genome-wide association study (GWAS), reported novel UC risk loci.
Methods: The top-20 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the first UC-GWAS were genotyped, as part of the study's replication phase, in 561 UC cases and 728 controls from our Dutch UC study sample. We genotyped eight SNPs identified in two more studies, in these individuals, and replicated all significantly associated SNPs in an additional 894 UC cases and 1,174 controls from our Dutch UC study sample. A combined analysis for all patients (n=1,455) and controls (n=1,902) was performed. Dose-response models were constructed with the associated risk alleles.
Results: We found 12 SNPs tagging ten loci, including HLA-DRA, IL10, IL23R, JAK2, S100Z, ARPC2, and ECM1, to be associated with UC. We identified 10q26, flagged by the UC-GWAS but not confirmed in its replication phase, as a UC locus and found a trend toward association for GAS7. No association with disease localization or severity was found. The dose-response models show that individuals carrying 11 or more risk alleles have an odds ratio of 8.2 (confidence interval 3.0-22.8) for UC susceptibility.
Conclusions: We confirmed the association of multiple loci with UC in the Dutch population and found evidence for association of 10q26 and a trend suggesting association for GAS7. Genetic models show that multiple risk loci in an individual increase the risk for developing UC.