Investigating the role of common and rare variants in multiplex multiple sclerosis families reveals an increased burden of common risk variation

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Everest E., Ahangari M., UYGUNOĞLU U., TÜTÜNCÜ M., Bulbul A., SAİP S., ...More

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.12, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-022-21484-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Many multiple sclerosis (MS)-associated common risk variants as well as candidate low-frequency and rare variants have been identified; however, approximately half of MS heritability remains unexplained. We studied seven multiplex MS families, six of which with parental consanguinity, to identify genetic factors that increase MS risk. Candidate genomic regions were identified through linkage analysis and homozygosity mapping, and fully penetrant, rare, and low-frequency variants were detected by exome sequencing. Weighted sum score and polygenic risk score (PRS) analyses were conducted in MS families (24 affected, 17 unaffected), 23 sporadic MS cases, 63 individuals in 19 non-MS control families, and 1272 independent, ancestry-matched controls. We found that familial MS cases had a significantly higher common risk variation burden compared with population controls and control families. Sporadic MS cases tended to have a higher PRS compared with familial MS cases, suggesting the presence of a higher rare risk variation burden in the families. In line with this, score distributions among affected and unaffected family members within individual families showed that known susceptibility alleles can explain disease development in some high-risk multiplex families, while in others, additional genetic contributors increase MS risk.