Brief report: Association of HLA-DRB1*0101/*0405 with susceptibility to anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 antibody-positive dermatomyositis in the Japanese population

Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Nov;64(11):3736-40. doi: 10.1002/art.34657.


Objective: The complication of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM) is associated with anti-aminoacyl-transfer RNA synthetase (anti-aaRS) antibody or anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (anti-MDA-5) antibody positivity. Anti-MDA-5 antibody is associated with clinically amyopathic DM and fatal outcome due to rapidly progressive ILD in Asian populations. The association between genetic factors and anti-MDA-5 antibody-positive DM is unclear. This study was undertaken to investigate the HLA-DRB1 genotype in patients with anti-MDA-5 antibody-positive DM.

Methods: We examined genetic differences among 17 patients with anti-MDA-5 antibody-positive DM, 33 patients with anti-aaRS antibody-positive PM/DM, 33 patients with PM/DM without anti-aaRS antibody or ILD, and 265 healthy controls.

Results: The frequencies of HLA-DRB1*0101 and DRB1*0405 were 29% and 71%, respectively, in patients with anti-MDA-5 antibody-positive DM, which were higher than the frequencies in healthy controls (10% and 25%, respectively). Among the 17 patients with anti-MDA-5 antibody-positive DM, 16 (94%) harbored either the DRB1*0101 or DRB1*0405 allele. The combined frequency of the DRB1*0101 allele and the DRB1*0405 allele was significantly higher in patients with anti-MDA-5 antibody-positive DM than in patients with PM/DM without anti-aaRS antibody or ILD, with an odds ratio (OR) of 42.7 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 4.9-370.2) (P = 1.1 × 10(-5)), or in patients with anti-aaRS antibody-positive PM/DM (OR 13.3 [95% CI 1.6-112.6], P = 4.5 × 10(-3)).

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that HLA-DRB1*0101/*0405 is associated with susceptibility to anti-MDA-5 antibody-positive DM in the Japanese population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / genetics*
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / immunology
  • Dermatomyositis / ethnology
  • Dermatomyositis / genetics*
  • Dermatomyositis / immunology
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / ethnology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genotype
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Autoantibodies
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • HLA-DRB1*01:01 antigen
  • IFIH1 protein, human
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1