Results from a recent study suggested that polymorphisms within the HLA class II genes LMP2 and LMP7 were associated with the susceptibility for developing IDDM, and that this association could not be explained by linkage disequilibrium to HLA-DR or -DQ genes. We typed 285 IDDM patients and 337 HLA-DRB1-DQA1-DQB1 genotypically matched control subjects from an ethnically homogeneous population for both the G/T polymorphism in intron 6 of the LMP7 gene and the Arg-His polymorphism in the LMP2 gene. In addition, we typed IDDM families in which at least one parent was homozygous for a DRB1-DQA1-DQB1 haplotype and performed a transmission/disequilibrium test of these LMP polymorphisms. Our data suggest that none of these LMP2 or LMP7 polymorphisms are independently associated with IDDM susceptibility, in contrast to what has been previously reported by others. Further, our results suggest that one partial explanation for the previously reported independent association between IDDM and these LMP polymorphisms may have been that patients and control subjects were not matched for DRB1*04 subtypes. Our results emphasize the need for a complete matching for DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1 alleles between patients and control subjects when attempting to detect independent effects of other polymorphisms in the HLA complex on IDDM susceptibility or protection.

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