The Missing Heritability in T1D and Potential New Targets for Prevention.

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TitleThe Missing Heritability in T1D and Potential New Targets for Prevention.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPierce, BG, Eberwine, R, Noble, JA, Habib, M, Shulha, HP, Weng, Z, Blankenhorn, EP, Mordes, JP
JournalJ Diabetes Res
Date Published2013

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a T cell-mediated disease. It is strongly associated with susceptibility haplotypes within the major histocompatibility complex, but this association accounts for an estimated 50% of susceptibility. Other studies have identified as many as 50 additional susceptibility loci, but the effect of most is very modest (odds ratio (OR) <1.5). What accounts for the "missing heritability" is unknown and is often attributed to environmental factors. Here we review new data on the cognate ligand of MHC molecules, the T cell receptor (TCR). In rats, we found that one allele of a TCR variable gene, V β 13A, is strongly associated with T1D (OR >5) and that deletion of V β 13+ T cells prevents diabetes. A role for the TCR is also suspected in NOD mice, but TCR regions have not been associated with human T1D. To investigate this disparity, we tested the hypothesis in silico that previous studies of human T1D genetics were underpowered to detect MHC-contingent TCR susceptibility. We show that stratifying by MHC markedly increases statistical power to detect potential TCR susceptibility alleles. We suggest that the TCR regions are viable candidates for T1D susceptibility genes, could account for "missing heritability," and could be targets for prevention.

Alternate JournalJ Diabetes Res
PubMed ID23691517
PubMed Central IDPMC3647582
Grant ListR01 AI092105 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States