The NEJM article just came out showing that Membranous GN has a genetic locus.
Of close to 600 Caucasian studied, two alleles were identified. Chromosome 2q24 contains the gene for the phospholipase A2 receptor, recently identified antibody against in Idiopathic membranous. Chromosome 6p21 contained the gene for HLA complex Class II HLA-DQ alpha chain 1 ( was significant in most patients identified). The PLA2R1 gene was also found to be a associated with the disease in a certain cohort. This supported a prior study that had just come out showing antibodies against phospholipase A2 in idiopathic membranous. Having two copies of the risk alleles in both genes increased the likelihood of the disease by a factor of 78. In all three cohorts studied in their paper, the researchers found a significant association with an HLA-DQA1 allele on chromosome six, while in the Dutch and British groups, they also found a significant link with the gene coding for the M-type phospholipase A2receptor.
Interestingly, an older study had shown some association with HLA DR3. Look below in the references. As we are learning more and more about this disease, I think that we shall soon have a better treatment option for this enigmatic disease entity.
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