Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototype autoimmune disease with a strong genetic involvement and ethnic differences. Susceptibility genes identified so far only explain a small portion of the genetic heritability of SLE, suggesting that many more loci are yet to be uncovered for this disease. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies on SLE in Chinese Han populations and followed up the findings by replication in four additional Asian cohorts with a total of 5,365 cases and 10,054 corresponding controls. We identified genetic variants in or near CDKN1B, TET3, CD80, DRAM1, and ARID5B as associated with the disease. These findings point to potential roles of cell-cycle regulation, autophagy, and DNA demethylation in SLE pathogenesis. For the region involving TET3 and that involving CDKN1B, multiple independent SNPs were identified, highlighting a phenomenon that might partially explain the missing heritability of complex diseases.
Copyright © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.