Psoriasis (Ps) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting approximately 2-3% of individuals of European ancestry. 10-40% of the time it is accompanied by a disabling psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Other co-morbidities include metabolic syndrome and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Genome-wide association studies have identified over 20 predisposing loci, but account for less than 20% of disease heritability. We recently used a combination of linkage analysis and NexGen sequencing to identify mutations in caspase recruitment domain protein 14 (CARD14) in two families with highly penetrant forms of Ps and PsA, thereby successfully identifying the PSORS2 locus on human chromosome 17q25. Screening of over 5,000 cases and controls revealed additional rare variants in CARD14 and an excess of variants in cases versus controls. We also identified a single severe psoriasis case with a de-novo mutation in CARD14. Ps/PsA associated mutations enhanced NF- kB activation and altered the transcriptome of keratinocytes, leading to the production of chemokines and other psoriasis-associated inflammatory markers. In the current application we will extend our genetic analyses of CARD14 in an extended cohort of Ps/PsA patients and controls. We will also perform exome capture or whole genome sequencing on cases with sporadic and familial forms of Ps and PsA to screen for additional genes with rare highly penetrant variants predisposing to disease. By targeting cases or families with both Ps and PsA we hope to reduce possible genetic heterogeneity. Genes will be prioritized for follow up on the basis of known biological roles/pathway altered in Ps/PsA or if they are enriched for deleterious variants. Additional variants in these genes will be identified with targeted capture (4 genes per year). Those with additional variants in cases versus controls will be genotyped in a larger cohort of >5,000 cases and 5,000 controls. Statistical analyzes will then be performed to examine the contribution of rare variants in specifi genes to Ps and PsA susceptibility. Functional studies of novel variants will be performed to complement the genetic studies. By identifying rare highly penetrant mutations leading to these diseases, we will increase our understanding of disease pathogenesis and identify novel therapeutic targets lying within pathways altered in Ps/PsA.

Public Health Relevance

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are chronic inflammatory diseases of the skin and joints for which there are no cures. Total direct and indirect health care costs are ~ $11.25 billion annually with work loss accounting for 40% of the cost burden. Psoriasis can cause as much disability as other major diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and depression accompanied by thoughts of suicide. It goes hand-in- hand with myriad co-morbid conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, renal failure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Crohn's disease, hypertension, stroke, and hypertension. Current treatments present a challenge for patients and their health care providers because no one treatment works for everyone, some treatments lose effectiveness over time, many treatments used are in combination with other treatments, and all treatments are associated with a unique set of side effects. The goal of the current study is to identify rare mutations leading to these diseases, thereby increasing our understanding of their genetic basis and their altered pathways. These are expected to provide novel targets for therapies for these devastating diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Genetics of Health and Disease Study Section (GHD)
Program Officer
Cibotti, Ricardo
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U of L Imperial Col of Sci/Technlgy/Med
United Kingdom
Zip Code
SW7 2-AZ
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