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Genetics of juvenile rheumatic diseases 

Genetics of juvenile rheumatic diseases
Genetics of juvenile rheumatic diseases
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

Anne Hinks

and Wendy Thomson

Previous versions of this chapter are available. To view earlier versions of this chapter view the full site here.

Juvenile rheumatic diseases are heterogeneous, complex genetic diseases; to date only juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has been extensively studied in terms of identifying genetic risk factors. The MHC region is a well-established risk factor but in the last few years candidate gene and large-scale genome-wide association studies have been utilized in the search for non-HLA risk factors. There are now 17 JIA susceptibility loci which reach the genome-wide significance threshold for association and a further 7 regions with evidence for association in more than one study. In addition, some subtype-specific associations are emerging. These risk loci now need to be investigated further using fine-mapping strategies and then appropriate functional studies to show how the variant alters the gene function. This knowledge will not only lead to a better understanding of disease pathogenesis for juvenile rheumatic diseases but may also aid in the classification of these heterogeneous diseases. It may identify new pathways for potential therapeutic targets and help in the prediction of disease outcome and response to treatment.

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