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Highly Accessed Open Badges Review

Genetics of rheumatic disease

Alex Clarke and Timothy J Vyse*

Author Affiliations

Imperial College London, Faculty of Medicine, Section of Molecular Genetics and Rheumatology, Fifth Floor, Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12 0NN, UK

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:248  doi:10.1186/ar2781

See related letter by Sugino et al.,

Published: 14 October 2009


Many of the chronic inflammatory and degenerative disorders that present to clinical rheumatologists have a complex genetic aetiology. Over the past decade a dramatic improvement in technology and methodology has accelerated the pace of gene discovery in complex disorders in an exponential fashion. In this review, we focus on rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and ankylosing spondylitis and describe some of the recently described genes that underlie these conditions and the extent to which they overlap. The next decade will witness a full account of the main disease susceptibility genes in these diseases and progress in establishing the molecular basis by which genetic variation contributes to pathogenesis.