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Paul Franks

Paul Franks

Principal investigator

Paul Franks

Genome wide analysis for mouth ulcers identifies associations at immune regulatory loci


  • Tom Dudding
  • Simon Haworth
  • Penelope A. Lind
  • J. Fah Sathirapongsasuti
  • Michelle Agee
  • Babak Alipanahi
  • Adam Auton
  • Robert K. Bell
  • Katarzyna Bryc
  • Sarah L. Elson
  • Pierre Fontanillas
  • Nicholas A. Furlotte
  • Barry Hicks
  • David A. Hinds
  • Karen E. Huber
  • Ethan M. Jewett
  • Yunxuan Jiang
  • Aaron Kleinman
  • Keng Han Lin
  • Nadia K. Litterman
  • Jennifer C. McCeight
  • Matthew H. McIntyre
  • Kimberly F. McManus
  • Joanna L. Mountain
  • Elizabeth S. Noblin
  • Carrie A.M. Northover
  • Steven J. Pitts
  • G. David Poznik
  • Janie F. Shelton
  • Suyash Shringarpure
  • Chao Tian
  • Vladimir Vacic
  • Xin Wang
  • Catherine H. Wilson
  • Joyce Y. Tung
  • Ruth Mitchell
  • Lucía Colodro-Conde
  • Sarah E. Medland
  • Scott Gordon
  • Benjamin Elsworth
  • Lavinia Paternoster
  • Paul W. Franks
  • Steven J. Thomas
  • Nicholas G. Martin
  • Nicholas J. Timpson

Summary, in English

Mouth ulcers are the most common ulcerative condition and encompass several clinical diagnoses, including recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS). Despite previous evidence for heritability, it is not clear which specific genetic loci are implicated in RAS. In this genome-wide association study (n = 461,106) heritability is estimated at 8.2% (95% CI: 6.4%, 9.9%). This study finds 97 variants which alter the odds of developing non-specific mouth ulcers and replicate these in an independent cohort (n = 355,744) (lead variant after meta-analysis: rs76830965, near IL12A, OR 0.72 (95% CI: 0.71, 0.73); P = 4.4e−483). Additional effect estimates from three independent cohorts with more specific phenotyping and specific study characteristics support many of these findings. In silico functional analyses provide evidence for a role of T cell regulation in the aetiology of mouth ulcers. These results provide novel insight into the pathogenesis of a common, important condition.


  • Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • EXODIAB: Excellence in Diabetes Research in Sweden

Publishing year





Nature Communications



Document type

Journal article


Nature Publishing Group


  • Medical Genetics



Research group

  • Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology


  • ISSN: 2041-1723