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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

HLA-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1 in Celiac disease predisposition: practical implications of the HLA molecular typing

Francesca Megiorni* and Antonio Pizzuti

Author Affiliations

Department of Experimental Medicine, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena, 324, Rome, Italy

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Journal of Biomedical Science 2012, 19:88  doi:10.1186/1423-0127-19-88

Published: 11 October 2012

Abstract

Celiac disease (CD) is a multifactorial disorder with an estimated prevalence in Europe and USA of 1:100 and a female:male ratio of approximately 2:1. The disorder has a multifactorial etiology in which the triggering environmental factor, the gluten, and the main genetic factors, Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-DQA1 and HLA-DQB1 loci, are well known. About 90-95% of CD patients carry DQ2.5 heterodimers, encoded by DQA1*05 and DQB1*02 alleles both in cis or in trans configuration, and DQ8 molecules, encoded by DQB1*03:02 generally in combination with DQA1*03 variant. Less frequently, CD occurs in individuals positive for the DQ2.x heterodimers (DQA1≠*05 and DQB1*02) and very rarely in patients negative for these DQ predisposing markers. HLA molecular typing for Celiac disease is, therefore, a genetic test with a negative predictive value. Nevertheless, it is an important tool able to discriminate individuals genetically susceptible to CD, especially in at-risk groups such as first-degree relatives (parents, siblings and offspring) of patients and in presence of autoimmune conditions (type 1 diabetes, thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis) or specific genetic disorders (Down, Turner or Williams syndromes).

Keywords:
Celiac disease; HLA-DQA1; HLA-DQB1; HLA typing; Disease risk