Content » Vol 100, 100-year theme: Psoriasis (Jan)


Psoriasis and Genetics

Nick Dand, Satveer K. Mahil, Francesca Capon, Catherine H. Smith, Michael A. Simpson, Jonathan N. Barker
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3384


Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease caused by the interplay between multiple genetic and environmental risk factors. This review summarises recent progress in elucidating the genetic basis of psoriasis, particularly through large genome-wide association studies. We illustrate the power of genetic analyses for disease stratification. Psoriasis can be stratified by phenotype (common plaque versus rare pustular variants), or by outcome (prognosis, comorbidities, response to treatment); recent progress has been made in delineating the genetic contribution in each of these areas. We also highlight how genetic data can directly inform the development of effective psoriasis treatments.


Psoriasis has benefited greatly among dermatological conditions from genome-wide association studies of increasingly large, clinically well-described samples. Sixty-five regions of the genome have been linked to psoriasis risk in Europeans, with the largest contribution due to HLA-C*06:02, a variant of an important gene involved in immunity. Other regions implicate numerous immune and skin barrier processes in psoriasis development. Recent genome-wide association studies-based research has shown that genetics can help distinguish subgroups of psoriasis patients characterised by type (pustular vs. plaque psoriasis), development of joint disease or response to various drugs. This may help inform future tailored treatment strategies for individuals with psoriasis.

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