Meta-analysis of 208,370 East Asians identifies 113 genomic loci and yields new non-immune cell relevant biological insights for systemic lupus erythematosus
Mi Yeong Hwang,
Won Tae Chung,
Young Mo Kang,
Japanese Research Committee on Idiopathic Osteone,
Leah C. Kottyan,
Matthew T Weirauch,
John B. Harley,
Posted 25 Aug 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.22.20178939
Posted 25 Aug 2020
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disorder, has been associated with nearly 100 susceptibility loci1-8. Nevertheless, these loci only partially explain SLE heritability and provide limited biological insight. We report the largest study of SLE in East Asians (13,377 cases and 194,993 controls), identifying 233 association signals within 113 (46 novel) genetic loci. We detect six new lead missense variants and prioritize ten most likely putative causal variants, one of which we demonstrate exhibits allele-specific regulatory effect on ACAP1 in vitro. We suggest 677 effector genes with potential for drug repurposing, and provide evidence that two distinct association signals at a single locus act on different genes (NCF2 and SMG7). We demonstrate that SLE-risk variants overlap with cell-specific active regulatory elements, notably EBNA2-mediated super-enhancers in Epstein-Barr Virus-transformed B cells, and implicate the role for non-immune cells in SLE biology. These findings shed light on genetic and biological understandings of SLE.
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