Predisposition of HLA-DRB1*04:01/*15 heterozygous genotypes to Japanese mixed connective tissue disease

Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 15;12(1):9916. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-14116-x.


Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a rare systemic autoimmune disease characterized by the production of anti-U1 ribonucleoprotein antibodies and systemic symptoms similar to those of some other autoimmune diseases. HLA-DRB1 polymorphisms are important genetic risk factors for MCTD, but precise associations of DRB1 genotypes with MCTD have not been reported in Japanese people. Genotyping of HLA-DRB1 and -DQB1 was performed in Japanese MCTD patients (n = 116) and controls (n = 413). Associations of specific allele carriers and genotype frequencies with MCTD were analyzed.The following alleles were found to be associated with predisposition to MCTD: HLA-DRB1*04:01 (P = 8.66 × 10-6, Pc = 0.0003, odds ratio [OR] 7.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.13‒20.24) and DRB1*09:01 (P = 0.0189, Pc = 0.5468, OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.12‒2.67). In contrast, the carrier frequency of the DRB1*13:02 allele (P = 0.0032, Pc = 0.0929, OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.11‒0.72) was lower in MCTD patients than in controls. The frequencies of heterozygosity for HLA-DRB1*04:01/*15 (P = 1.88 × 10-7, OR 81.54, 95% CI 4.74‒1402.63) and DRB1*09:01/*15 (P = 0.0061, OR 2.94, 95% CI 1.38‒6.25) were also higher in MCTD patients. Haplotype and logistic regression analyses suggested a predisposing role for HLA-DRB1*04:01, DQB1*03:03, and a protective role for DRB1*13:02. Increased frequencies of HLA-DRB1*04:01/*15 and DRB1*09:01/*15 heterozygous genotypes were found in Japanese MCTD patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains* / genetics
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease* / genetics


  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • HLA-DRB1*04:01 antigen