A genome-wide association study meta-analysis in a European sample of stage III/IV grade C periodontitis patients ≤35 years of age identifies new risk loci

J Clin Periodontol. 2024 Apr;51(4):431-440. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.13922. Epub 2023 Dec 23.


Aim: Few genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been conducted for severe forms of periodontitis (stage III/IV grade C), and the number of known risk genes is scarce. To identify further genetic risk variants to improve the understanding of the disease aetiology, a GWAS meta-analysis in cases with a diagnosis at ≤35 years of age was performed.

Materials and methods: Genotypes from German, Dutch and Spanish GWAS studies of III/IV-C periodontitis diagnosed at age ≤35 years were imputed using TopMed. After quality control, a meta-analysis was conducted on 8,666,460 variants in 1306 cases and 7817 controls with METAL. Variants were prioritized using FUMA for gene-based tests, functional annotation and a transcriptome-wide association study integrating eQTL data.

Results: The study identified a novel genome-wide significant association in the FCER1G gene (p = 1.0 × 10-9 ), which was previously suggestively associated with III/IV-C periodontitis. Six additional genes showed suggestive association with p < 10-5 , including the known risk gene SIGLEC5. HMCN2 showed the second strongest association in this study (p = 6.1 × 10-8 ).

Conclusions: This study expands the set of known genetic loci for severe periodontitis with an age of onset ≤35 years. The putative functions ascribed to the associated genes highlight the significance of oral barrier tissue stability, wound healing and tissue regeneration in the aetiology of these periodontitis forms and suggest the importance of tissue regeneration in maintaining oral health.

Keywords: aggressive periodontitis; genetic susceptibility; genome-wide association study; inflammation; wound healing.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Genetic Loci / genetics
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Periodontitis* / genetics
  • Risk Factors