A GWAS of patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) found an association between proteinase-3 ANCA (PR3-ANCA) and a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs62132293) upstream of PRTN3, encoding PR3. The variant (G allele) was shown to be an expression quantitative trait locus in healthy controls, but the clinical impact remains unknown. Longitudinally followed patients with ANCA and healthy controls were genotyped. Gene expression was quantified by real-time quantitative PCR from leukocyte RNA. Plasma PR3 was quantified by ELISA. Among patients, variant carriers had elevated leukocyte PRTN3 expression compared with noncarriers (C/G vs. C/C and G/G vs. C/C). Healthy controls had low PRTN3 regardless of genotype. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) expression did not differ by genotype. PRTN3 expression correlated with circulating PR3, and variant carriers had higher plasma PR3 compared with noncarriers. Among variant carriers, there was an increased risk of relapse in patients with PR3-ANCA versus MPO-ANCA. The risk allele marked by rs62132293 is clinically significant as it is associated with increased autoantigen and may, in part, explain increased relapse in PR3-ANCA. Our results underscore the role of autoantigen availability in ANCA vasculitis.
Dhruti P. Chen, Claudia P. Aiello, DeMoris McCoy, Taylor Stamey, Jiajin Yang, Susan L. Hogan, Yichun Hu, Vimal K. Derebail, Eveline Y. Wu, J. Charles Jennette, Ronald J. Falk, Dominic J. Ciavatta