The applicant's career goal is to become an independent investigator in the genetics of autoimmune disorders, particularly rheumatoid arthritis (RA). To meet this goal, the applicant proposes a career development plan with emphasis on didactic training in the pathobiology of autoimmunity and hands-on training using state-of-the-art statistical models that can accommodate the unique challenges presented by high dimensional genetic data. A highly accomplished team of investigators with proven track records as mentors will oversee the applicant's career development. The research component of this project strives to discover novel genetic and environmental factors (and their interactions) that determine susceptibility to RA in African Americans. Data and biological samples from African-American RA participants are available from the NIH-funded Consortium for the Longitudinal Evaluation of African- Americans with RA (CLEAR) Registry (~800 RA cases), while those from healthy African- American controls are from the CLEAR Registry (~300 controls) and from the Birmingham, Alabama area (~500 controls). Genotyping data from these ~800 cases and ~800 controls are already available for 9,484 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) based on the International Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and Autoimmunity Genetics Network (IMAGEN) SNP array. We will perform genotyping of 3 relevant vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) SNPs and measure serum 25(OH)-vitamin D levels on all 1,600 cases and controls.
The aims of the study are: 1) To test the hypothesis that the MHC region harbors genes that have effects on RA risk in African Americans independent of HLA DRB1 SE, and to assess the genetic risk of non-HLA candidate loci in the MHC which have known association in populations of European ancestry;2) to develop a panel of SNPs that be used to impute with high accuracy the HLA-DRB1 alleles associated with RA;and to validate the association of the SE alleles in African Americans with RA;3) To test the hypothesis that interactions between vitamin D receptor (VDR) SNPs and vitamin D levels will influence the risk of developing RA in African Americans;and 4) To utilize and evaluate the relative performance of the statistical shrinkage methods, penalized regression (LASSO), and Bayesian versions of the LASSO for testing the multiple main effects, gene by gene and gene by environmental interaction effects on RA risk in African Americans. This project will greatly enhance our understanding of the complex genetic and environmental risk factors for RA in a traditionally understudied population and will provide critical training for Dr. Reynolds'development as an independent scientist.

Public Health Relevance

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease of unknown cause, but both genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role. There are racial/ethnic differences in the genetics underlying the disease. In this application, we will seek to discover novel genetic and environmental factors and their interactions that contribute to RA in African Americans, a minority group that has been underrepresented in RA research. With this knowledge we will begin to detail individual and population based predictors of the development of RA which may have an impact on the diagnosis and treatment of RA in African Americans.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Type
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
5K01AR060848-04
Application #
8641319
Study Section
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Special Grants Review Committee (AMS)
Program Officer
Wang, Yan Z
Project Start
2011-04-01
Project End
2016-03-31
Budget Start
2014-04-01
Budget End
2015-03-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$128,116
Indirect Cost
$9,416
Name
University of Alabama Birmingham
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
063690705
City
Birmingham
State
AL
Country
United States
Zip Code
35294
Aslibekyan, S; Brown, E E; Reynolds, R J et al. (2014) Genetic variants associated with methotrexate efficacy and toxicity in early rheumatoid arthritis: results from the treatment of early aggressive rheumatoid arthritis trial. Pharmacogenomics J 14:48-53
Mikuls, Ted R; Payne, Jeffrey B; Yu, Fang et al. (2014) Periodontitis and Porphyromonas gingivalis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol 66:1090-100
Govind, Nimmisha; Choudhury, Ananyo; Hodkinson, Bridget et al. (2014) Immunochip identifies novel, and replicates known, genetic risk loci for rheumatoid arthritis in black South Africans. Mol Med 20:341-9
Mikuls, Ted R; Payne, Jeffrey B; Yu, Fang et al. (2014) Periodontitis and Porphyromonas gingivalis in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Rheum :
Reynolds, Richard J; Ahmed, Altan F; Danila, Maria I et al. (2014) HLA-DRB1-associated rheumatoid arthritis risk at multiple levels in African Americans: hierarchical classification systems, amino acid positions, and residues. Arthritis Rheumatol 66:3274-82
Aslibekyan, Stella; Sha, Jin; Redden, David T et al. (2014) Gene-body mass index interactions are associated with methotrexate toxicity in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 73:785-6
Reynolds, Richard J; Cui, Xiangqin; Vaughan, Laura K et al. (2013) Gene expression patterns in peripheral blood cells associated with radiographic severity in African Americans with early rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int 33:129-37