PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis is associated with a specific motif in the peptide-binding cleft of HLA-DP molecules

Jon Waarst Gregersen, Christian Erikstrup, Per Ivarsen, Rie Glerup, Elizabeth Krarup, Kresten Krarup Keller, Ib Tønder Hansen, Bjarne Kuno Møller

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9 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to characterize the association between HLA alleles and ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) in a genetically homogeneous population, and to analyse the contribution of specific HLA molecule amino acid sequences to the risk of AAV. METHODS: We included 187 Danish patients with AAV and 1070 healthy controls. All were HLA typed at two-field resolution. The association of HLA alleles to PR3- or MPO-AAV was analysed. The contribution of the dominant molecular motifs of the HLA-DPB1 molecule to the risk of AAV was investigated by association studies that included specific amino acid sequences of the hypervariable regions in exon 2. RESULTS: Ninety-four percent of patients with PR3-AAV were carriers of HLA-DPB1*04:01 while all patients with PR3-AAV were carriers of an HLA-DPB1*04 allele, and 85% were homozygous. This was significantly more than in the control group (P < 0.0001). The association was even stronger when HLA-DPB1*04:02 and -DPB1*23:01 were included. HLA-DPB1*04:01, -DPB1*04:02 and -DPB1*23:01 share amino acids in positions 8-9, 69, 76 and 84-87 within the hypervariable regions, but only positions 69 and 84-87 contributed significantly to the disease risk. HLA-DRB1*15 was associated with an increased risk of developing PR3-AAV, while HLA-DRB1*04, -DRB1*07 and -DQB1*03 were associated with a reduced risk of kidney involvement in PR3-AAV. MPO-AAV was only weakly associated with HLA class I alleles. CONCLUSION: PR3-AAV is strongly associated with the HLA-DPB1 alleles HLA-DPB1*04:01, -DPB1*04:02 and -DPB1*23:01, which share amino acid sequences crucial for the peptide-binding groove.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1942-1949
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • ANCA-associated vasculitis
  • HLA
  • autoimmunity
  • peptide-binding cleft


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