53 This suggests that the variant may be common in the population because the “good response” allele conferred protection against one or
more viruses and hence was positively selected. This variant is a very good candidate to use as a pharmacogenetic predictor of treatment response before beginning hepatitis C treatment, since the procedure is long and often associated with adverse effects.54 The major histocompatibility complex Setting aside the old-age or pharmacogenetic Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical associations, many of the strongest reported GWAS associations of common variants with common disease involve markers in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). These associations are too extensive to selleck inhibitor discuss in detail in this review, but include autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders, and variability in normal traits such as height.55 A number of hypotheses Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical have been put forward to explain why variants conferring disease risk at this locus have been maintained at high frequency in the population. One suggestion is that the disease-associated variants Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical have been selected for because they confer resistance to particular infectious agents, either now or historically. An alternative hypothesis is that each locus that confers risk for one common disease is maintained at high frequency because
it confers protection against one or more other common diseases. For example, the HLA gene DQB1*0602, which encodes the β chain for the HLA class II molecule DQ6, is protective against diabetes,56 Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical but a strong risk factor for narcolepsy57 and multiple sclerosis.58 GWAS in neuropsychiatry Neuropsychiatric traits have been among the most disappointing GWAS results. Despite many GWAS, most associated variants
have either not withstood significance correction for multiple testing, or else have failed to replicate. In general, where replicable effects have been found, they have required very large sample sizes and the Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical effects have been small. There have been some notable success stories, however. Two GWAS have revealed strong and replicable genetic influences on restless legs syndrome (RLS), a condition characterized by an unpleasant and irresistible urge to move the legs, particularly while resting and during the evening and night. Both studies, one on Icelandic individuals and one on a more mixed European cohort, implicated BTBD9. 59,60 The European Histone demethylase study also found an association with two other loci: MEIS1 and a locus encompassing MAP2K5/LBXCOR1 .60 The associations with MEIS1 and BTBD9 were quickly replicated in two subsequent studies,61,62 but the MAP2K5/LBXCOR1 appears to be weaker, showing a borderline significance in one study only62 Although the risk associated with MEIS1 and BTBD9 (ranging from 1.5 to 3.759,60,62,63 ,606263) is substantially lower than those described above, they do appear to be real and highly significant risk factors for RLS.