Objective: To identify systemic sclerosis (SSc) susceptibility loci via a genome-wide association study.
Methods: A genome-wide association study was performed in 137 patients with SSc and 564 controls from Korea using the Affymetrix Human SNP Array 5.0. After fine-mapping studies, the results were replicated in 1,107 SSc patients and 2,747 controls from a US Caucasian population.
Results: The single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs3128930, rs7763822, rs7764491, rs3117230, and rs3128965) of HLA-DPB1 and DPB2 on chromosome 6 formed a distinctive peak with log P values for association with SSc susceptibility (P=8.16x10(-13)). Subtyping analysis of HLA-DPB1 showed that DPB1*1301 (P=7.61x10(-8)) and DPB1*0901 (P=2.55x10(-5)) were the subtypes most susceptible to SSc in Korean subjects. In US Caucasians, 2 pairs of SNPs, rs7763822/rs7764491 and rs3117230/rs3128965, showed strong association with SSc patients who had either circulating anti-DNA topoisomerase I (P=7.58x10(-17)/4.84x10(-16)) or anticentromere autoantibodies (P=1.12x10(-3)/3.2x10(-5)), respectively.
Conclusion: The results of our genome-wide association study in Korean subjects indicate that the region of HLA-DPB1 and DPB2 contains the loci most susceptible to SSc in a Korean population. The confirmatory studies in US Caucasians indicate that specific SNPs of HLA-DPB1 and/or DPB2 are strongly associated with US Caucasian patients with SSc who are positive for anti-DNA topoisomerase I or anticentromere autoantibodies.