The genetic architecture of primary biliary cholangitis

Alessio Gerussi, Marco Carbone, Cristophe Corpechot, Christoph Schramm, Rosanna Asselta, Pietro Invernizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a rare autoimmune disease of the liver affecting the small bile ducts. From a genetic point of view, PBC is a complex trait and several genetic and environmental factors have been called in action to explain its etiopathogenesis. Similarly to other complex traits, PBC has benefited from the introduction of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which identified many variants predisposing or protecting toward the development of the disease. While a progressive endeavour toward the characterization of candidate loci and downstream pathways is currently ongoing, there is still a relatively large portion of heritability of PBC to be revealed. In addition, genetic variation behind progression of the disease and therapeutic response are mostly to be investigated yet. This review outlines the state-of-the-art regarding the genetic architecture of PBC and provides some hints for future investigations, focusing on the study of gene-gene interactions, the application of whole-genome sequencing techniques, and the investigation of X chromosome that can be helpful to cover the missing heritability gap in PBC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104292
JournalEur. J. Med. Genet.
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Animals
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary/genetics
  • Multifactorial Inheritance


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