July 17th, 2015
Variation in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes accounts for one-half of the genetic risk in type 1 diabetes (T1D), but scientists have found it challenging to pinpoint the specific variants that account for this risk. This week, a team led by Soumya Raychaudhuri and Xinli Hu of Broad Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital published a study that used new genotype imputation methods to identify independent amino acid positions, as well as interactions within the HLA region, that account for T1D risk. Taking this approach, they found that three key amino acid positions in HLA-DQ and HLA-DR molecules drive the vast majority of T1D risk. To learn more, read their paper online in Nature Genetics.