Among the vasculitides, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have so far been performed for Behçet's disease, Kawasaki disease, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA). These studies delivered valuable information with respect to the pathogenesis and therapeutic targets: Apart from HLA-B51 and HLA-A26, distinct polymorphisms in cytokine (IL-10) or cytokine receptor (IL-12R/IL-23R) genes, transcription factors (STAT4) and genes encoding for proteins involved in antigen presentation (ERAP-1) have been identified as risk factors for Behçet's disease. The results of two GWAS performed for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) associated vasculitis GPA and MPA in Europe and the USA confirmed that the HLA-DP locus is the most relevant risk factor for GPA. Furthermore, the European GWAS confirmed SERPINA-1, a deficiency allele of the α-1-antitrypsin gene, as a genetic risk factor in GPA and identified a polymorphism in the proteinase 3 gene (PR3), one of the target antigens of ANCA, as a risk factor for GPA and PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)