The authors performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 1589 individuals with bone marrow stem cell transplantation to identify minor histocompatibility antigen loci mismatched between donors and recipients associated with acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD). All individuals were transplanted with matched grafts on the HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, and -DQB1 loci. They tested their approach on cases with DPB1 mismatch and successfully found a correlation of mismatch and aGVHD occurrence. Three new loci were identified with one within the KRAS gene harboring the strongest correlation. Unfortunately, the authors do not discuss the possible mechanism implicated with this locus variant in GVHD occurrence. Furthermore, the study was performed on a homogeneous Japanese cohort and might not be applicable to other ethnicities.
* Another application of GWAS to identify possible genetic variants associated with clinical features – potentially rendering stem cell transplantation donor search even more complex in the future.