Epistasis within the MHC contributes to the genetic architecture of celiac disease

Ben Goudey, Gad Abraham, Eder Kikianty, Qiao Wang, Dave Rawlinson, Fan Shi, Izhak Haviv, Linda Stern, Adam Kowalczyk, Michael Inouye

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | Published : 2014


Epistasis has long been thought to contribute to the genetic aetiology of complex diseases, yet few robust epistatic interactions in humans have been detected. We have conducted exhaustive genome-wide scans for pairwise epistasis in five independent celiac disease (CD) case-control studies, using a rapid model-free approach to examine over 500 billion SNP pairs in total. We found 20 significant epistatic signals within the HLA region which achieved stringent replication criteria across multiple studies and were independent of known CD risk HLA haplotypes. The strongest independent CD epistatic signal corresponded to genes in the HLA class III region, in particular PRRC2A and GPANK1/C6orf47, ..

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