Background: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antigens and genes have long been reported associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility in many populations. With the advance in technologies such as genome-wide association studies, many newly discovered SLE-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been reported in recent years. These include HLA-DRB1/HLA-DQA1 rs9271366 and HLA-DQB1/HLA-DQA2 rs9275328. Our aim was to investigate these SNPs in a Malaysian SLE cohort. Materials and methods: SNPs rs9271366 and rs9275328 were screened across 790 Malaysian citizens from three ethnic groups (360 patients and 430 healthy volunteers) by Taqman SNP genotyping assays. Allele and genotyping frequencies, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, Fisher's exact test and odds ratio were calculated for each SNP and ethnic group. Linkage disequilibrium and interaction between the two SNPs were also evaluated. Results: The minor allele G and its homozygous genotype GG of HLA-DRB1/HLA-DQA1 rs9271366 significantly increased the SLE susceptibility in Malaysian patients, including those of Malay and Chinese ethnicity (odds ratio (OR)>1, p<0.05). As for HLA-DQB1/HLA-DQA2 rs9275328, the minor allele T and the heterozygous genotype CT conferred protective effect to SLE in Malaysians, as well as in Malays and Chinese, by having OR<1 and p value <0.05. Both SNPs did not show associations to SLE in Indians. D and r2 values for the two SNPs in LD analysis were 0.941 and 0.065, respectively, with haplotype GC and AT being significantly associated with SLE (p<5.0×10-4) after 10,000 permutations were performed. The MDR test clustered the genotype combinations of GG and CC, and AG and CC of rs9271366 and rs9275328, accordingly, as high-risk group, and the two SNPs interacted redundantly by removing 1.96% of the entropy. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that in addition to some classical HLA variants, rs9271366 and rs9275328 are additional polymorphisms worth considering in the Malaysian and possibly in a larger Asian SLE scenario.
- Human leukocyte antigen
- single nucleotide polymorphism
- systemic lupus erythematosus