Early-onset pauciarticular juvenile chronic arthritis (EOPA-JCA) has associations with different alleles of the MHC region (HLA-A2, DR5, 6, 8, DQA1*0401, *0501, *0601 and DPB1*0201). All susceptible DQA1 alleles carry an exclusive sequence motif. MHC-class II gene expression is controlled by 5' flanking upstream regulatory regions (URR). A hypervariable region in the promoter region of the HLA-DQA1 gene (-240 and -200 base pairs upstream) defines ten different QAP (DQA1-Promoter) alleles, which are associated with certain DQA1-alleles. The Y-Box in the DQA1 promoter (YC-Box -125 to -115 upstream from the ATG) differs from the consensus sequence (-123 A for G) of all other MHC class II Y-Boxes, resulting in a lower affinity to the NF-Y transcription factor and in a reduced expression of DQA1. A second substitution in the Y-Box of QAP 4.1 and 4.2 (-119 A for G) is found in the promoter alleles of the DQA1-alleles (DQA1*0401, *0501, *0601) and is strongly associated with susceptibility to EOPA-JCA.