A Genome-Wide Scan of Ashkenazi Jewish Crohn's Disease Suggests Novel Susceptibility Loci

<div><p>Crohn's disease (CD) is a complex disorder resulting from the interaction of intestinal microbiota with the host immune system in genetically susceptible individuals. The largest meta-analysis of genome-wide association to date identified 71 CD–susceptibility loci in individuals of European ancestry. An important epidemiological feature of CD is that it is 2–4 times more prevalent among individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) descent compared to non-Jewish Europeans (NJ). To explore genetic variation associated with CD in AJs, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) by combining raw genotype data across 10 AJ cohorts consisting of 907 cases and 2,345 controls in the discovery stage, followed up by a replication study in 971 cases and 2,124 controls. We confirmed genome-wide significant associations of 9 known CD loci in AJs and replicated 3 additional loci with strong signal (p<5×10<sup>−6</sup>). Novel signals detected among AJs were mapped to chromosomes 5q21.1 (rs7705924, combined p = 2×10<sup>−8</sup>; combined odds ratio OR = 1.48), 2p15 (rs6545946, p = 7×10<sup>−9</sup>; OR = 1.16), 8q21.11 (rs12677663, p = 2×10<sup>−8</sup>; OR = 1.15), 10q26.3 (rs10734105, p = 3×10<sup>−8</sup>; OR = 1.27), and 11q12.1 (rs11229030, p = 8×10<sup>−9</sup>; OR = 1.15), implicating biologically plausible candidate genes, including <em>RPL7</em>, <em>CPAMD8</em>, <em>PRG2</em>, and <em>PRG3</em>. In all, the 16 replicated and newly discovered loci, in addition to the three coding <em>NOD2</em> variants, accounted for 11.2% of the total genetic variance for CD risk in the AJ population. This study demonstrates the complementary value of genetic studies in the Ashkenazim.</p> </div>