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Replication of KIF21B as a susceptibility locus for multiple sclerosis
  1. A Goris1,
  2. S Boonen2,
  3. M-B D'hooghe3,
  4. B Dubois1
  1. 1Laboratory for Neuroimmunology, Section for Experimental Neurology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Herestraat, Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2Leuven University Center for Metabolic Bone Diseases and Division of Geriatric Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Herestraat, Leuven, Belgium
  3. 3National MS Center Melsbroek, Van Heylenstraat, Melsbroek, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr An Goris, Laboratory for Neuroimmunology, Section of Experimental Neurology, O&N2, Herestraat 49, Box 1022, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; an.goris{at}


Background Knowledge of genetic susceptibility to autoimmune disorders is growing exponentially. One of the messages emerging from these data is the growing overlap in genetic susceptibility to different autoimmune disorders. KIF21B is a member of the kinesin superfamily and was recently established as a susceptibility locus for inflammatory bowel disease and for multiple sclerosis.

Results We here replicate the association with multiple sclerosis in a Belgian study population of 791 patients and 1098 controls.

Conclusion As SNPs in KIF21B increase risk for both inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis, this suggests a common pathway in the pathogenesis of these diseases.

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • association
  • genetics
  • autoimmune disease
  • kinesin

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  • Funding This work has been supported by Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Multiple Sclerose (WOMS). BD is a Clinical Investigator of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen) and holds the Bayer Chair on fundamental genetic research regarding the neuroimmunological aspects of multiple sclerosis at the KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the local hospital ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.