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Individuals with Dupuytren disease (DD) are commonly seen by physicians and surgeons across multiple specialties. It is an increasingly common and disabling fibroproliferative disorder of the palmar fascia, which leads to flexion contractures of the digits, and is associated with other tissue-specific fibroses. DD affects between 5% and 25% of people of European descent and is the most common inherited disease of connective tissue. We undertook the largest GWAS to date in individuals with a surgically validated diagnosis of DD from the UK, with replication in British, Dutch, and German individuals. We validated association at all nine previously described signals and discovered 17 additional variants with p ≤ 5 × 10-8. As a proof of principle, we demonstrated correlation of the high-risk genotype at the statistically most strongly associated variant with decreased secretion of the soluble WNT-antagonist SFRP4, in surgical specimen-derived DD myofibroblasts. These results highlight important pathways involved in the pathogenesis of fibrosis, including WNT signaling, extracellular matrix modulation, and inflammation. In addition, many associated loci contain genes that were hitherto unrecognized as playing a role in fibrosis, opening up new avenues of research that may lead to novel treatments for DD and fibrosis more generally. DD represents an ideal human model disease for fibrosis research.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.08.006

Type

Journal article

Journal

American journal of human genetics

Publication Date

09/2017

Volume

101

Pages

417 - 427

Addresses

Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Science, University of Oxford, Botnar Research Centre, Windmill Road, Oxford OX3 7HE, UK.