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Epidemiologic studies have shown associations between periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but a causal relationship has not been established. Citrullination of gingival proteins by human peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) or PAD from Porphyromonas gingivalis has been proposed to generate autoantigens in anti-CCP-positive RA. This study investigated whether the association between periodontitis and RA is influenced by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the genes encoding PAD2 and PAD4 that catalyze aberrant citrullination in RA and often are overexpressed in inflamed gingival connective tissue in subjects with periodontitis. The study included 137 RA patients and 161 controls with self-reported periodontitis. Periodontitis onset preceded RA onset by 13 years on average and was not associated with any of the SNPs investigated. In subjects with periodontitis, carriage of the minor alleles of rs2057094 and rs2235912 in PADI2 significantly increased the risk of RA (odds ratios 1.42 [p = 0.03] and 1.48 [p = 0.02], respectively), and this effect was driven by the anti-CCP-negative RA patients. The minor alleles of these SNPs only increased risk of anti-CCP-positive RA in individuals with periodontitis and a history of smoking. These data suggest that individuals with periodontitis carrying the minor alleles of SNPs rs2057094, rs2076616 and rs2235912 in PADI2 may be at increased risk of RA.

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Journal article


International Journal of Molecular Sciences

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