Background: Copy number variants (CNVs) have recently been reported to be associated with several autoimmune conditions. Moreover, loci involved in immunity are enriched in CNVs. Therefore, we hypothesized that CNVs in immune genes associated with Graves' disease (GD) may contribute to the etiology of disease. Methods: One hundred ninety-one North American Caucasian GD patients and 192 Caucasian controls were analyzed for CNVs in three major immune regulatory genes: CD40, PTPN22, and CTLA-4. Copy number was determined using quantitative-PCR (Q-PCR) assays specifically designed for determining copy numbers in genomic DNA. Additionally, a well-characterized CNV in the amylase gene was typed in a separate dataset of DNA samples that were derived from cell lines or blood. Results: No CNVs could be confirmed in the CD40 and CTLA-4 genes, even though a CD40 CNV is cataloged in the Database of Genomic Variants. Only the PTPN22 CNV was confirmed in our cohort, but it was rare and appeared in only two individuals. A key finding was that the source of DNA has a significant effect on CNV typing. There was a statistically significant increase in amylase locus deletions in cell line-derived DNA compared to blood-derived DNA samples. Conclusions: We conclude that CNV analysis should be performed only using blood-derived DNA Samples. Additionally, the CTLA-4, CD40, and PTPN22 loci do not harbor CNVs that play a role in the etiology of GD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism