Linkage Analysis in Autoimmune Addison's Disease: NFATC1 as a Potential Novel Susceptibility Locus
Mitchell, A. L.
Boe Wolff, A.
Weaver, J. U.
Sophie Bensing on behalf of The Swedish Addison Registry Study, Group
Erichsen, M. M.
Husebye, E. S.
Cordell, H. J.
Pearce, S. H.
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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BACKGROUND: Autoimmune Addison's disease (AAD) is a rare, highly heritable autoimmune endocrinopathy. It is possible that there may be some highly penetrant variants which confer disease susceptibility that have yet to be discovered. METHODS: DNA samples from 23 multiplex AAD pedigrees from the UK and Norway (50 cases, 67 controls) were genotyped on the Affymetrix SNP 6.0 array. Linkage analysis was performed using Merlin. EMMAX was used to carry out a genome-wide association analysis comparing the familial AAD cases to 2706 UK WTCCC controls. To explore some of the linkage findings further, a replication study was performed by genotyping 64 SNPs in two of the four linked regions (chromosomes 7 and 18), on the Sequenom iPlex platform in three European AAD case-control cohorts (1097 cases, 1117 controls). The data were analysed using a meta-analysis approach. RESULTS: In a parametric analysis, applying a rare dominant model, loci on chromosomes 7, 9 and 18 had LOD scores >2.8. In a non-parametric analysis, a locus corresponding to the HLA region on chromosome 6, known to be associated with AAD, had a LOD score >3.0. In the genome-wide association analysis, a SNP cluster on chromosome 2 and a pair of SNPs on chromosome 6 were associated with AAD (P <5x10-7). A meta-analysis of the replication study data demonstrated that three chromosome 18 SNPs were associated with AAD, including a non-synonymous variant in the NFATC1 gene. CONCLUSION: This linkage study has implicated a number of novel chromosomal regions in the pathogenesis of AAD in multiplex AAD families and adds further support to the role of HLA in AAD. The genome-wide association analysis has also identified a region of interest on chromosome 2. A replication study has demonstrated that the NFATC1 gene is worthy of future investigation, however each of the regions identified require further, systematic analysis.