Adjacent genes, for COL2A1 and the vitamin D receptor, are associated with separate features of radiographic osteoarthritis of the knee.
Uitterlinden AG., Burger H., van Duijn CM., Huang Q., Hofman A., Birkenhäger JC., van Leeuwen JP., Pols HA.
OBJECTIVE: To study the association of the COL2A1 genotype, in relation to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) genotype, with features of radiographic osteoarthritis (ROA) in a population of elderly men and women. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed a population-based sample of 851 men and women ages 55-80 years from a large cohort study, the Rotterdam Study. We determined the prevalence of ROA of the knee according to the Kellgren/Lawrence (K/L) score and features of ROA (presence of osteophytes and narrowing of the joint space [JSN]) without considering clinical parameters of the disease. Genotypes were determined at a variable-number tandem repeats marker 1 kb downstream of the COL2A1 gene using a newly developed heteroduplexing method. The VDR genotype was previously determined by a direct molecular haplotyping polymerase chain reaction method to establish the phase of alleles at 3 adjacent restriction fragment length polymorphisms for Bsm I, Apa I, and Taq I. RESULTS: We found the COL2A1 genotype to be associated with a 2-fold increased risk for JSN, but not with osteophytes or the K/L score. We had previously found the VDR genotype to be associated with osteophytes and the K/L score, but not with JSN. When the COL2A1 genotype was analyzed in combination with the VDR genotype, we found evidence suggesting that the presence of haplotypes of the 2 genes was associated with increased risk for ROA. CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate that both the COL2A1 gene and the VDR gene are involved in ROA, but in separate features. The COL2A1 genotype is associated with JSN, while the VDR genotype is associated with osteophytes.