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Association of MHC SNP genotype with susceptibility to type 1 diabetes: a modified survival approach

McKinnon, E., Morahan, G., Nolan, D. and James, I. (2009) Association of MHC SNP genotype with susceptibility to type 1 diabetes: a modified survival approach. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 11 (Supp. 1). pp. 92-100.

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Aim:  The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a highly polymorphic region on chromosome 6 encompassing the human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ/DR loci most predictive of susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (T1D). To assess the contribution of other MHC genes, in this exploratory analysis of Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC) family data we characterize association between susceptibility and MHC single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotype, with an emphasis on effects of genetic variation additional to carriage of predisposing or protective MHC haplotypes.

Methods:  We use Cox regression analyses of age of onset, stratified by family, to jointly test both linkage and association. Analysis is restricted to children from families having both affected and unaffected siblings and is conducted with and without adjustment for known HLA class I and II effects. Model fits provide scores for each individual that are based on estimates of the probability of being affected by the age of 35, given the individual’s SNP genotype. The mean within-family variation in these scores provides a measure that closely reflects the relative size of the likelihood ratio test statistics, and their covariation provides a means of mapping patterns of association that incorporate both effect size and commonality of effect that is attributable to the strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) extending across the region.

Results:  Univariate analyses yielded strong associations with T1D susceptibility that are dominated by SNPs in the class II HLA-DR/DQ region but extend across the MHC. Similar effects are frequently observed across SNPs within multiple genes, sometimes spanning hundreds of kilobases. SNPs within a region at the telomeric end of the class II gene HLA-DRA yielded significant associations with and without adjustment for carriage of the predictive DR3, DR4, DR2 and DR7 HLA haplotypes, and remained highly prominent in a secondary analysis that was restricted to 66 families in whom at least one of the affected siblings carried neither the DR3 nor DR4 haplotype.

Conclusions:  While many of the associations can be attributed to LD between the SNPs and the dominant HLA-DRB/DQA/DQB loci, there is also evidence of additional modifying effects.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Clinical Immunology and Biomedical Statistics
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Copyright: 2009 Murdoch University Journal Compilation/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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