Rare variants and autoimmune disease.

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    The study of rare variants in monogenic forms of autoimmune disease has offered insight into the aetiology of more complex pathologies. Research in complex autoimmune disease initially focused on sequencing candidate genes, with some early successes, notably in uncovering low-frequency variation associated with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, other early examples have proved difficult to replicate, and a recent study across six autoimmune diseases, re-sequencing 25 autoimmune disease-associated genes in large sample sizes, failed to find any associated rare variants. The study of rare and low-frequency variation in autoimmune diseases has been made accessible by the inclusion of such variants on custom genotyping arrays (e.g. Immunochip and Exome arrays). Whole-exome sequencing approaches are now also being utilised to uncover the contribution of rare coding variants to disease susceptibility, severity and treatment response. Other sequencing strategies are starting to uncover the role of regulatory rare variation.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBriefings in functional genomics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2014


    • autoimmunity
    • complex disease
    • immunochip
    • low-frequency variants
    • rare variants


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