HLA DQβ restriction fragment length polymorphism and rheumatQid arthritis Association between DQw7 and rheumatoid arthritis in DR4-positive subjects
Two variants of the HLA-DR4-linked DQw3 allele, namely OQw7 and DQw8, were analysed in patients of mixed ancestry (Cape Coloureds) with rheumatoid arthritis and in healthy individuals from the same population group using a DQ-β specific cDNA probe. The DQw7 allele, identified by 3,4 kb Hind III or 3,7 kb and 6,9 kb Barn HI DQ,β-specific restriction fragments, was expressed in 93% of DR4-positive patients (N= 15), compared with 12,5% DR4-positive normal individuals (N = 8). This DQ variant showed a highly significant association (relative risk = 98; P < 0,0001) with rheumatoid arthritis in this population group and may play a role in their susceptibility to this disease.
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