Identification of a novel genetic locus associated with immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Haematologica. 2022 Mar 1;107(3):574-582. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2020.274639.


Immune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) is an ultra-rare, life-threatening disorder, mediated through severe ADAMTS13 deficiency causing multi-system micro-thrombi formation, and has specific human leukocyte antigen associations. We undertook a large genome-wide association study to investigate additional genetically distinct associations in iTTP. We compared two iTTP patient cohorts with controls, following standardized genome-wide quality control procedures for single-nucleotide polymorphisms and imputed HLA types. Associations were functionally investigated using expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL), and motif binding prediction software. Independent associations consistent with previous findings in iTTP were detected at the HLA locus and in addition a novel association was detected on chromosome 3 (rs9884090, P=5.22x10-10, odds ratio 0.40) in the UK discovery cohort. Meta-analysis, including the French replication cohort, strengthened the associations. The haploblock containing rs9884090 is associated with reduced protein O-glycosyltransferase 1 (POGLUT1) expression (eQTL P<0.05), and functional annotation suggested a potential causative variant (rs71767581). This work implicates POGLUT1 in iTTP pathophysiology and suggests altered post-translational modification of its targets may influence disease susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • ADAMTS13 Protein / genetics
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Glucosyltransferases / genetics
  • Humans
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / genetics
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic* / genetics


  • Glucosyltransferases
  • POGLUT1 protein, human
  • ADAMTS13 Protein

Grants and funding

Funding: This Study was supported by research funding from Shire/Takeda to MAS.