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ETS1 variants confer susceptibility to ankylosing spondylitis in Han Chinese

Shan Shan1, Jie Dang12, Jiangxia Li1, Ze Yang3, Hailing Zhao1, Qian Xin1, Xiaochun Ma1, Yongchao Liu1, Xianli Bian1, Yaoqin Gong1 and Qiji Liu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for Experimental Teratology of the Ministry of Education and Department of Medical Genetics, Shandong University School of Medicine, Jinan, Shandong 250012, China

2 Department of Medical Genetics and Cell Biology, Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, Ningxia 750004, China

3 Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing Hospital, Ministry of Health of PR China, Beijing 100730, China

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2014, 16:R87  doi:10.1186/ar4530

Published: 4 April 2014



ETS1 is a negative regulator of the Th17 differentiation gene and plays a central role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. We aimed to investigate whether polymorphisms in ETS1 confer susceptibility to ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in Han Chinese.


We selected seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within ETS1 based on HapMap data and previous genome-wide association study. Genotyping involved the TaqMan method in 1,015 patients with AS and 1,132 healthy controls from Shandong Province, and 352 AS patients and 400 healthy controls from Ningxia, a northwest region in China. Gene expression was determined by real-time PCR.


The SNP rs1128334 was strongly associated with AS (odds ratio 1.204, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.37; P = 0.005). This association was confiexrmed in the Ningxia population (P = 0.015). Carriers of the haplotype TAT for rs12574073, rs1128334 and rs4937333 were associated with increased risk of AS and haplotype CGC with reduced risk as compared to controls. In addition, ETS1 expression was lower in AS patients than controls. The risk allele A of rs1128334 and haplotype A-T of rs1128334 and rs4937333 were associated with decreased expression of ETS1.


Common variants in ETS1 may contribute to AS susceptibility in Han Chinese people.