Association studies of over 1 million SNPs capturing most of the human genome common variation became possible thanks to the information provided by the HapMap International project and the development of high-throughput genotyping technologies at accessible prices. Genome-wide scans analyzing thousands of individuals have now identified most if not all of the major genes involved in susceptibility for several systemic autoimmune diseases. In particular, results for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and systemic sclerosis (SSc) are reviewed here. While most genes are shared between diseases, few seem to be unique reflecting that we still are long before knowing all genes, their interactions with other genes and the environment and their impact on biological functions.
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