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Myelin basic protein as a novel genetic risk factor in rheumatoid arthritis--a genome-wide study combined with immunological analyses.

PLoS ONE. 2011;6(6):e20457 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0020457


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Chikashi Terao

Koichiro Ohmura

Masaki Katayama

Meiko Takahashi

Miki Kokubo

Gora Diop

Yoshinobu Toda

Natsuki Yamamoto

Human Disease Genomics Working Group

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Clinical and Genetic Study Consortium

Reiko Shinkura

Masakazu Shimizu

Ivo Gut

Simon Heath

Inga Melchers

Toshiaki Manabe

Mark Lathrop

Tsuneyo Mimori

Ryo Yamada

Fumihiko Matsuda


Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a major cause of adult chronic inflammatory arthritis and a typical complex trait. Although several genetic determinants have been identified, they account for only a part of the genetic susceptibility. We conducted a genome-wide association study of RA in Japanese using 225,079 SNPs genotyped in 990 cases and 1,236 controls from two independent collections (658 cases and 934 controls in collection1; 332 cases and 302 controls in collection2), followed by replication studies in two additional collections (874 cases and 855 controls in collection3; 1,264 cases and 948 controls in collection4). SNPs showing p<0.005 in the first two collections and p<10(-4) by meta-analysis were further genotyped in the latter two collections. A novel risk variant, rs2000811, in intron2 of the myelin basic protein (MBP) at chromosome 18q23 showed strong association with RA (pā€Š=ā€Š2.7Ɨ10(-8), OR 1.23, 95% CI: 1.14-1.32). The transcription of MBP was significantly elevated with the risk allele compared to the alternative allele (p<0.001). We also established by immunohistochemistry that MBP was expressed in the synovial lining layer of RA patients, the main target of inflammation in the disease. Circulating autoantibody against MBP derived from human brain was quantified by ELISA between patients with RA, other connective tissue diseases and healthy controls. As a result, the titer of anti-MBP antibody was markedly higher in plasma of RA patients compared to healthy controls (p<0.001) and patients with other connective tissue disorders (p<0.001). ELISA experiment using citrullinated recombinant MBP revealed that a large fraction of anti-MBP antibody in RA patients recognized citrullinated MBP. This is the first report of a genetic study in RA implicating MBP as a potential autoantigen and its involvement in pathogenesis of the disease.