Our genome wide association study (GWAS) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) cases and controls of European-derived ancestry (EA) has identified 14 new genetic effects that influence risk to SLE. Importantly, SLE is more frequent in African-Americans, Hispanics (admixed Amerindians), and Asians than it is in individuals of EA. The strongest EA associations for SLE are within the HLA region but its role in other ethnicities is not well defined.
The aims of this collaborative POI are to complete 1) intensive studies of the HLA associations in N>10,G00 EA individuals and more than 6,000 individuals ofAfrican-American, Hispanic (admixed Amerindians), and Asian descent, 2) separate and comparative GWAS in African-Americans, Hispanics (admixed Amerindians), and Asians, and 3) fine map and confirm associations in an additional 6,000 individuals from the three non-EA populations. The studies are highly integrated and interdependent. The resulting dataset will contain over 100 billion genetic markers, various types of genetic variation and multiple phenotypic and clinical variables. Thus, the Data Analysis and Bioinformatics Core at Wake Forest University Health Sciences will provide expertise and personnel for study design, data storage and manipulation, analysis, novel methods applications and development,filtering,interpretation, summarization and manuscript preparation. The Core will be responsible for data dissemination both within the POI and requesting investigators outside the POI and deposition into dbGaP. Knowing the genetic etiology of lupus will provide the basis to develop a deep understanding of causation and pathophysiology that will lead to new diagnostics, preventive measures and therapeutics that should transform the practical management of SLE.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a life-threatening inflammatory autoimmune disease of tremendous personal and public health burden. A complete understanding of this disease is not possible without the kind of comprehensive multiethnic exploration of the human genome such as that proposed in this program project.
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