Abstract

Primary Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder characterized by dryness of the mouth and eyes. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) locus DQ is related to the primary Sjogren's syndrome autoantibodies that bind the RNA proteins Ro/SSA and La/SSB. Both DQ1 and DQ2 alleles are associated with high concentrations of these autoantibodies. An analysis of all possible combinations at DQ has shown that the entire effect was due to heterozygotes expressing the DQ1 and DQ2 alleles. These data suggest that gene interaction between DQ1 and DQ2 (or alleles at associated loci), possibly from gene complementation of trans-associated surface molecules, influences the autoimmune response in primary Sjogren's syndrome.

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