Background: The two genome-wide association studies published by us and by the Wellcome Trust Case–Control Consortium (WTCCC) revealed a number of novel loci, but neither had the statistical power to elucidate all of the genetic components of type 1 diabetes risk, a task for which larger effective sample sizes are needed.
Methods: We analysed data from two sources: (1) The previously published second stage of our study, with a total sample size of the two stages consisting of 1046 Canadian case–parent trios and 538 multiplex families with 929 affected offspring from the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC); (2) the Rapid Response 2 (RR2) project of the T1DGC, which genotyped 4417 individuals from 1062 non-overlapping families, including 2059 affected individuals (mostly sibling pairs) for the 1536 markers with the highest statistical significance for type 1 diabetes in the WTCCC results.
Results: One locus, mapping to a linkage disequilibrium (LD) block at chr15q14, reached statistical significance by combining results from two markers (rs17574546 and rs7171171) in perfect LD with each other (r2 = 1). We obtained a joint p value of 1.3×10−6, which exceeds by an order of magnitude the conservative threshold of 3.26×10−5 obtained by correcting for the 1536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tested in our study. Meta-analysis with the original WTCCC genome-wide data produced a p value of 5.83×10−9.
Conclusions: A novel type 1 diabetes locus was discovered. It involves RASGRP1, a gene known to play a crucial role in thymocyte differentiation and T cell receptor (TCR) signalling by activating the Ras signalling pathway.
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▸ An additional figure is published online only at http://jmg.bmj.com/content/vol46/issue8
Funding: This work was funded by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and Genome Canada. HQQ is supported by a fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Competing interests: None.
Patient consent: Obtained.
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