Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the STAT4 gene have recently been shown to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Primary Sjögren's sydrome (pSS) is a related autoimmune disease thought to have a pathogenesis similar to these diseases. To test the hypothesis that the variant haplotype of STAT4 seen in RA and SLE is also associated with pSS, we genotyped rs7574865, the most strongly disease-associated SNP in the variant STAT4 haplotype, in 124 Caucasian pSS subjects and compared them to 1143 Caucasian controls. The disease-associated T allele was more common in chromosomes of the pSS patients (29.6%) than in controls (22.3%), leading to a P-value for association of 0.01. These results implicate polymorphisms in the STAT4 gene in the pathogenesis of pSS.
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