Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a commonly occurring chronic skin disease with high heritability. Apart from filaggrin (FLG), the genes influencing atopic dermatitis are largely unknown. We conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 5,606 affected individuals and 20,565 controls from 16 population-based cohorts and then examined the ten most strongly associated new susceptibility loci in an additional 5,419 affected individuals and 19,833 controls from 14 studies. Three SNPs reached genome-wide significance in the discovery and replication cohorts combined, including rs479844 upstream of OVOL1 (odds ratio (OR) = 0.88, P = 1.1 × 10 -13) and rs2164983 near ACTL9 (OR = 1.16, P = 7.1 × 10 -9), both of which are near genes that have been implicated in epidermal proliferation and differentiation, as well as rs2897442 in KIF3A within the cytokine cluster at 5q31.1 (OR = 1.11, P = 3.8 × 10 -8). We also replicated association with the FLG locus and with two recently identified association signals at 11q13.5 (rs7927894; P = 0.008) and 20q13.33 (rs6010620; P = 0.002). Our results underline the importance of both epidermal barrier function and immune dysregulation in atopic dermatitis pathogenesis.

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Journal Nature Genetics
Paternoster, L, Standl, E, Chen, C.-M, Ramasamy, A, Bøpnnelykke, K, Duijts, L, … Weidinger, S. (2012). Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies three new risk loci for atopic dermatitis. Nature Genetics, 44(2), 187–192. doi:10.1038/ng.1017