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Some susceptibility genes are shared by multiple autoimmune diseases. For example, the interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) gene is associated with various autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and systemic sclerosis (SSc).1–3 The signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) gene has been shown to be a susceptibility gene for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and SLE.4 5 STAT4 is a transcription factor involved in interleukin (IL)12 signalling in induction of interferon (IFN)γ production and T helper type 1 (Th1) cell differentiation, type I IFN signalling and IL23-induced IL17 production.6 An association of rs7574864 with SSc was recently reported by a large-scale case-control study in European populations.7 In the present study, we examined the association of a STAT4 intron 3 single nucleotide …
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