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Graves' disease (GD) is an autoimmune thyroid disorder that is inherited as a complex trait. We have genotyped 77 affected sib-pairs with autoimmune thyroid disease for eight polymorphic markers spanning the cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 ( CTLA-4 ) region of chromosome 2q31-q33, and for five markers spanning the major histocompatibility complex ( MHC ) region of chromosome 6p21. Non-parametric analysis showed linkage of GD to the CTLA-4 region with a peak non-parametric linkage (NPL) score of 3.43 ( P = 0.0004) at the marker D2S117. The proportion of affected full-sibs sharing zero alleles (z0) reached a minimum of 0.113 close to D2S117, giving a locus-specific lambdas for this region of 2.2. Families with brother-sister sib-pairs showed a peak NPL of 3.46 ( P = 0.0003, lambdas > 10) at D2S117, compared with 2.00 ( P = 0.02, lambdas = 1.9) in the families with only affected females, suggesting a stronger influence in families with affected males. Association between GD and the G allele of the Thr17Ala polymorphism within the CTLA-4 gene ( CTLA4A/G ) was observed using unaffected sib controls ( P = 0.005). Lesser evidence for linkage was found at the MHC locus, with a peak NPL score of 1.95 ( P = 0.026), between the markers D6S273 and TNFalpha. We demonstrate that the CTLA-4 locus (lambdas = 2.2) and the MHC locus (lambdas = 1.6) together confer approximately 50% of the inherited susceptibility to GD disease in our population.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





1195 - 1199


Abatacept, Antigens, CD, Antigens, Differentiation, Autoimmune Diseases, CTLA-4 Antigen, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 2, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 6, Female, Genetic Linkage, Graves Disease, Haplotypes, Humans, Immunoconjugates, Major Histocompatibility Complex, Male