Genome-wide association studies of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Chinese and Korean populations demonstrated strong association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in the GTF2I-NCF1 region, rs73366469 (GTF2I), rs117026326 (GTF2I), rs80346167(GTF2IRD1) and rs201802880 (NCF1). This region has also been associated with susceptibility to Sjögren syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis; however, association studies with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) have not been reported. Here we made an attempt to confirm their associations with SLE in the Japanese population, to find the primarily associated SNP, and to investigate whether these SNPs are also associated with susceptibility to SSc and AAV. By genotyping these four SNPs on 842 SLE, 467 SSc, 477 AAV patients and 934 healthy controls, striking association was confirmed in Japanese SLE. In addition, these SNPs were significantly associated with susceptibility to SSc, but not with AAV. Conditional logistic regression analysis revealed that the association of NCF1 rs201802880, a missense SNP encoding p.Arg90His, can account for the association of other SNPs by linkage disequilibrium. These results suggested that GTF2I-NCF1 region is associated with susceptibility to multiple autoimmune rheumatic diseases but not with AAV, and the primarily associated variant may be the missense SNP in NCF1.
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