Hypersensitivity reactions are the most frequent dose-limiting adverse reactions to Escherichia coli-derived asparaginase in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. The aim of the present study was to identify associations between sequence-based Human Leukocyte Antigen Class II region alleles and asparaginase hypersensitivity in a Hungarian ALL population. Four-digit typing of HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 loci was performed in 359 pediatric ALL patients by using next-generation sequencing method. Based on genotypic data of the two loci, haplotype reconstruction was carried out. In order to investigate the possible role of the HLA-DQ complex, the HLADQA1 alleles were also inferred. Multivariate logistic regression analysis and a Bayesian network-based approach were applied to identify relevant genetic risk factors of asparaginase hypersensitivity. Patients with HLA-DRB1*07:01 and HLA-DQB1*02:02 alleles had significantly higher risk of developing asparaginase hypersensitivity compared to non-carriers [P=4.56x10-5; OR=2.86 (1.73-4.75) and P=1.85x10-4; OR=2.99 (1.68- 5.31); n=359, respectively]. After haplotype reconstruction, the HLADRB1* 07:01-HLA-DQB1*02:02 haplotype was associated with an increased risk. After inferring the HLA-DQA1 alleles the HLA-DRB1*07:01-HLA-DQA1*02:01-HLA-DQB1*02:02 haplotype was associated with the highest risk of asparaginase hypersensitivity [P=1.22x10-5; OR=5.00 (2.43-10.29); n=257]. Significantly fewer T-cell ALL patients carried the HLA-DQB1*02:02 allele and the associated haplotype than did pre-B-cell ALL patients (6.5%; vs. 19.2%, respectively; P=0.047). In conclusion, we identified a haplotype in the Human Leukocyte Antigen Class II region associated with a higher risk of asparaginase hypersensitivity. Our results confirm that variations in HLA-D region might influence the development of asparaginase hypersensitivity.
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