Crohn disease is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. A locus of approximately 250 kb at 5q31 (IBD5) was previously associated with susceptibility to Crohn disease, as indicated by increased prevalence of a risk haplotype of 11 single-nucleotide polymorphisms among individuals with Crohn disease, but the pathogenic lesion in the region has not yet been identified. We report here that two variants in the organic cation transporter cluster at 5q31 (a missense substitution in SLC22A4 and a G-->C transversion in the SLC22A5 promoter) form a haplotype associated with susceptibility to Crohn disease. These variants alter transcription and transporter functions of the organic cation transporters and interact with variants in another gene associated with Crohn disease, CARD15, to increase risk of Crohn disease. These results suggest that SLC22A4, SLC22A5 and CARD15 act in a common pathogenic pathway to cause Crohn disease.
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