A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the PTPN22 gene encoding the lymphoid protein tyrosine phosphatase (Lyp) has recently been identified as a functional variant associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), type 1 diabetes, and systemic lupus erythematosus. To determine whether association of this variant (PTPN22 1858T) with RA is reproducible and is also observed in another autoimmune condition, Crohn's disease, we investigated the association between the PTPN22 1858T allele and RA and Crohn's disease in a Canadian population.
Two RA case–control cohorts representing a total of 1,234 patients and 791 healthy controls as well as a cohort of 455 patients with Crohn's disease and 190 controls were genotyped for the PTPN22 C1858T polymorphism, and genotype frequencies were compared between patients and controls.
Significant association of the PTPN22 1858T allele with RA was detected in both the Toronto-based RA cohort (P = 1.6 × 10−6, odds ratio [OR] 1.8) and the Halifax-based RA cohort (P = 9.4 × 10−4, OR 1.94). Association of the risk allele with RA was not affected by sex, age at disease onset, or the presence of either rheumatoid factor or rheumatoid nodules. No association between the PTPN22 risk allele and Crohn's disease was detected.
These observations confirm the association of RA susceptibility with the PTPN22 1858T allele. However, the data also reveal a lack of association between this variant and Crohn's disease, suggesting that the PTPN22 1858T allele is a risk allele for multiple, but not all, autoimmune diseases.