Identification of New Rare Variants Associated with Familial Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases by Deep Sequencing of Linked Loci

Cheuk Wun Li, Ravi Sachidanandam, Anitha Jayaprakash, Zhengzi Yi, Weijia Zhang, Mihaela Stefan-Lifshitz, Erlinda Concepcion, Yaron Tomer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context: Genetic risk factors play a major role in the pathoetiology of autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD). So far, only common risk variants have been identified in AITD susceptibility genes. Recently, rare genetic variants have emerged as important contributors to complex diseases, and we hypothesized that rare variants play a key role in the genetic susceptibility to AITD. Objective: We aimed to identify new rare variants that are associated with familial AITD. Methods: We performed deep sequencing of 3 previously mapped AITD-linked loci (10q, 12q, and 14q) in a dataset of 34 families in which AITD clustered (familial AITD). Results: We identified 13 rare variants, located in the inositol polyphosphate multikinase (IPMK) gene, that were associated with AITD (ie, both Graves' disease [GD] and Hashimoto's thyroiditis [HT]); 2 rare variants, within the dihydrolipoamide S-succinyltransferase (DLST) and zinc-finger FYVE domain-containing protein (ZFYVE1) genes, that were associated with GD only; and 3 rare variants, within the phosphoglycerate mutase 1 pseudogene 5 (PGAM1P5), LOC105369879, and methionine aminopeptidase 2 (METAP2) genes, that were associated with HT only. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that, in addition to common variants, rare variants also contribute to the genetic susceptibility to AITD. We identified new rare variants in 6 AITD susceptibility genes that predispose to familial AITD. Of these, 3 genes, IPMK, ZFYVE1, and METAP2, are mechanistically involved in immune pathways and have been previously shown to be associated with autoimmunity. These genes predispose to thyroid autoimmunity and may serve as potential therapeutic targets in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E4680-E4687
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • Graves' disease
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • Thyroid
  • genes
  • rare variants
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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