New insights into the genetic basis of rheumatoid arthritis are reported in two papers published online in the scientific. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have participated in both studies.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an acquired, chronic autoimmune disease, characterized by inflammation of the lining of multiple joints. RA is the most common inflammatory form of arthritis and is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.
In on of the published papers Karin Lundberg and colleagues explore the susceptibility to RA and the interaction of established genetic, environmental and autoimmune factors. These factors include several previously studied genes, environmental factors such as smoking, and a particular immune system antibody. The scientists find that the interaction between the different factors depends on a specific protein, which may mediate the autoimmune response underlying this gene-environment interaction.
In the second paper, Soumya Raychaudhuri and colleagues report three genetic variants found to be associated with RA. They began with a unique approach of analyzing genome-wide association study datasets, using a computational method called GRAIL that predicts functional relationships between genes, and then replicated their findings in an independent set of nearly 8000 RA cases.
Soumya Raychauduri et alGenetic variants at CD28, PRDM1 and CD2/CD58 are associated with rheumatoid arthritis risk
Nature Genetics, AOP 8 November 2009, doi: 10.1038/ng.479
Hiba Mahdi et alSpecific interaction between genotype, smoking and autoimmunity to citrullinated ±-enolase in the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis
Nature Genetics, AOP 8 November 2009, doi: 10.1038/ng.480