Variants in ZNF365 isoform D are associated with Crohn's disease

Talin Haritunians*, Michelle R. Jones, Dermot P.B. McGovern, David Q. Shih, Robert J. Barrett, Carrie Derkowski, Marla C. Dubinsky, Debra Dutridge, Phillip R. Fleshner, Andrew Ippoliti, Lily King, Esther Leshinsky-Silver, Arie Levine, Gil Y. Melmed, Emebet Mengesha, Eric A. Vasilauskas, Shabnam Ziaee, Jerome I. Rotter, Stephan R. Targan, Kent D. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Genome-wide association studies have identified multiple Crohn's disease (CD) susceptibility loci, including association with non-coding intergenic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 10q21. Design: To fine-map the 10q21 locus, the authors genotyped 86 SNPs in 1632 CD cases and 961 controls and performed single-marker and conditional analyses using logistic regression. Results: Association with CD risk spanning 11 SNPs (p<0.001) was observed. The most significant association observed was at the non-synonymous SNP, rs7076156 (Ala62Thr), in ZNF365. The alanine allele was over-represented in CD (p=5.23×10-7; OR=1.39 (95% CI 1.22 to 1.58)); allele frequency of 76% in CD and 69.7% in controls). Conditional analysis on rs7076156 nullified all other significant associations, suggesting that this is the causative variant at this locus. Four isoforms of ZNF365 have previously been identified, and rs7076156 is located in an exon unique to ZNF365 isoform D. The authors demonstrated, using reverse transcription-PCR, expression of ZNF365D in intestinal resections from both CD subjects and controls. Markedly reduced mean expression levels of ZNF365D were identified in Epstein - Barr virus-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines from CD subjects homozygous for the risk allele (Ala). A whole-genome microarray expression study further suggested that the Ala62Thr change in ZNF365 isoform D is related to differential expression of the genes ARL4A, MKKS, RRAGD, SUMF2, TDR1 and ZNF148 in CD. Conclusions: Collectively, these data support the hypothesis that the non-synonymous Ala62Thr SNP, rs7076156, underlies the association between 10q21 and CD risk and suggest that this SNP acts by altering expression of genes under the control of ZNF365 isoform D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1067
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesP30DK063491


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