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Open Access Research article

The interferon induced with helicase domain 1 A946T polymorphism is not associated with rheumatoid arthritis

Ioanna Marinou1, Douglas S Montgomery2, Marion C Dickson2, Michael H Binks2, David J Moore1, Deborah E Bax1 and Anthony G Wilson1*

Author Affiliations

1 Section of Musculoskeletal Sciences, School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, The University of Sheffield, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield S10 2RX, UK

2 GlaxoSmithKline R&D, Stevenage SG1 2NY, UK

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007, 9:R40  doi:10.1186/ar2179

Published: 18 April 2007

Abstract

An important feature of autoimmune diseases is the overlap of pathophysiological characteristics. Clustering of autoimmune diseases in families suggests that genetic variants may contribute to autoimmunity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of the interferon induced with helicase domain 1 (IFIH1) A946T (rs1990760 A>G) variant in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as this was recently associated with susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. A total of 965 Caucasians with RA and 988 healthy controls were genotyped for IFIH1 A946T. Gene expression of IFIH1 was measured in peripheral blood leukocytes using real-time PCR. Genotypes were equally distributed in both RA cases and healthy controls (odds ratio for allele C = 0.9, 95% confidence interval = 0.8–1.0, P = 0.3). No association was detected after stratification by sex, age at onset, rheumatoid factor status, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide status or radiological joint damage. Levels of IFIH1 mRNA were approximately twofold higher in blood leucocytes of RA cases compared with healthy controls (P < 0.0001). These results indicate that the IFIH1 is upregulated in RA but that the A946T variant does not contribute significantly to the genetic background of RA.