Loci associated with N-glycosylation of human IgG are not associated with rheumatoid arthritis: a Mendelian randomisation study
Ann Rheum Dis
OBJECTIVES: A recent study identified 16 genetic variants associated with N-glycosylation of human IgG. Several of the genomic regions where these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) reside have also been associated with autoimmune disease (AID) susceptibility, suggesting there may be pleiotropy (genetic sharing) between loci controlling both N-glycosylation and AIDs. We investigated this by testing variants associated with levels of IgG N-glycosylation for association with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility using a Mendelian randomisation study, and testing a subset of these variants in a less well-powered study of treatment response and severity. METHODS: SNPs showing association with IgG N-glycosylation were analysed for association with RA susceptibility in 14 361 RA cases and 43 923 controls. Five SNPs were tested for association with response to anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy in 1081 RA patient samples and for association with radiological disease severity in 342 patients. RESULTS: Only one SNP (rs9296009) associated with N-glycosylation showed an association (p=6.92x10(-266)) with RA susceptibility, although this was due to linkage disequilibrium with causal human leukocyte antigen (HLA) variants. Four regions of the genome harboured SNPs associated with both traits (shared loci); although statistical analysis indicated that the associations observed for the two traits are independent. No SNPs showed association with response to anti-TNF therapy. One SNP rs12342831 was modestly associated with Larsen score (p=0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In a large, well-powered cohort of RA patients, we show SNPs driving levels of N-glycosylation have no association with RA susceptibility, indicating colocalisation of associated SNPs are not necessarily indicative of a shared genetic background or a role for glycosylation in disease susceptibility.
School of Medicine
General Internal Medicine