Genetic variants associated with vitiligo, a common autoimmune disease characterized by patchy depigmentation of skin and hair is reported this week in Nature Genetics. This suggests a role for immune regulatory genes in development of this disorder.
Richard Spritz and colleagues report a follow-up to a genome-wide association study for vitiligo in two populations from North America and Europe. They identify two new genomic regions ― including the genes FOXP1 and CCR6 ― associated with the disorder. These genes each have known roles in immune regulation.
Xue-Jun Zhang and colleagues report a genome-wide association study for vitiligo in a Chinese Han population of over 1000 cases, with follow up in two additional Chinese populations including over 6,000 additional cases. They identify three genomic regions associated to vitiligo, including two within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) ― which plays an important role in autoimmunity.