Ankylosing spondylitis is a common form of inflammatory arthritis predominantly affecting the spine and pelvis that occurs in approximately 5 out of 1,000 adults of European descent. Here we report the identification of three variants in the RUNX3, LTBRTNFRSF1A and IL12B regions convincingly associated with ankylosing spondylitis (P < 5 × 10−8 in the combined discovery and replication datasets) and a further four loci at PTGER4, TBKBP1, ANTXR2 and CARD9 that show strong association across all our datasets (P < 5 × 10−6 overall, with support in each of the three datasets studied). We also show that polymorphisms of ERAP1, which encodes an endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase involved in peptide trimming before HLA class I presentation, only affect ankylosing spondylitis risk in HLA-B27–positive individuals. These findings provide strong evidence that HLA-B27 operates in ankylosing spondylitis through a mechanism involving aberrant processing of antigenic peptides.
We show that if there is a realistic 4-d string, the dilaton and moduli supermultiplets will generically acquire a small mass ∼ O(m 3/2 ), providing the only vacuum-independent evidence of low-energy physics in string theory beyond the supersymmetric standard model. The only assumptions behind this result are (i) softly broken supersymmetry at low energies with zero cosmological constant, (ii) these particles interact with gravitational strength and the scalar components have a flat potential in perturbation theory, which are well-known properties of string theories. (iii) They acquire a vev of the order of the Planck scale (as required for the correct value of the gauge coupling constants and the expected compactification scale) after supersymmetry gets broken. We explore the cosmological implications of these particles. Similar to the gravitino, the fermionic states may overclose the Universe if they are stable or destroy nucleosynthesis if they decay unless their masses belong to a certain range or inflation dilutes them. For the scalar states it is known that the problem cannot be entirely solved by inflation, since oscillations around the minimum of the potential, rather than thermal production, are the main source for their energy and can lead to a huge entropy generation at late times. We discuss some possible ways to alleviate this entropy problem, that favour low-temperature baryogenesis, and also comment on the possible role of these particles as dark matter candidates or as sources of the baryon asymmetry through their decay.
SummaryBackgroundA high circulating concentration of interleukin 6 is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease. Blockade of the interleukin-6 receptor (IL6R) with a monoclonal antibody (tocilizumab) licensed for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis reduces systemic and articular inflammation. However, whether IL6R blockade also reduces risk of coronary heart disease is unknown.MethodsApplying the mendelian randomisation principle, we used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene IL6R to evaluate the likely efficacy and safety of IL6R inhibition for primary prevention of coronary heart disease. We compared genetic findings with the effects of tocilizumab reported in randomised trials in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.FindingsIn 40 studies including up to 133 449 individuals, an IL6R SNP (rs7529229) marking a non-synonymous IL6R variant (rs8192284; p.Asp358Ala) was associated with increased circulating log interleukin-6 concentration (increase per allele 9·45%, 95% CI 8·34–10·57) as well as reduced C-reactive protein (decrease per allele 8·35%, 95% CI 7·31–9·38) and fibrinogen concentrations (decrease per allele 0·85%, 95% CI 0·60–1·10). This pattern of effects was consistent with IL6R blockade from infusions of tocilizumab (4–8 mg/kg every 4 weeks) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis studied in randomised trials. In 25 458 coronary heart disease cases and 100 740 controls, the IL6R rs7529229 SNP was associated with a decreased odds of coronary heart disease events (per allele odds ratio 0·95, 95% CI 0·93–0·97, p=1·53×10−5).InterpretationOn the basis of genetic evidence in human beings, IL6R signalling seems to have a causal role in development of coronary heart disease. IL6R blockade could provide a novel therapeutic approach to prevention of coronary heart disease that warrants testing in suitably powered randomised trials. Genetic studies in populations could be used more widely to help to validate and prioritise novel drug targets or to repurpose existing agents and targets for new therapeutic uses.FundingUK Medical Research Council; British Heart Foundation; Rosetrees Trust; US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Du Pont Pharma; Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland; Wellcome Trust; Coronary Thrombosis Trust; Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research; UCLH/UCL Comprehensive Medical Research Centre; US National Institute on Aging; Academy of Finland; Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development; SANCO; Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports; World Cancer Research Fund; Agentschap NL; European Commission; Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation; Swedish Research Council; Strategic Cardiovascular Programme of the Karolinska Institutet; Stockholm County Council; US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; MedStar Health Research Institute; GlaxoSmithKline; Dutch Kidney Foundation; US National Institutes of Health; Netherlands Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands; Diabetes UK; European Union Seventh Framework Programme; Nationa...
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