The thyroglobulin gene: the third locus for autoimmune thyroid disease or a false dawn?
Genetic studies have identified the HLA and CTLA4 regions as susceptibility loci for the development of common autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs), including Graves' disease and autoimmune hypothyroidism. Despite numerous studies, the identification of a third locus has remained elusive. Genetic-linkage studies have implicated chromosome 8q24 as a susceptibility locus for AITD. The gene encoding thyroglobulin (Tg), which encodes a major thyroid autoantigen, maps to this region, and a recent study has reported the association of several exonic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with disease. Although these preliminary data are potentially exciting, caution needs to be exercised, and replication of the data sought before Tg can be designated as the third locus for AITD.