Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic, debilitating skin disease for which few treatment options are available. While most HS is sporadic, some rare kindred show a high-penetrance, autosomal-dominant inheritance. We wanted to identify rare variants that could contribute to HS risk in sporadic cases using candidate gene sequencing. We ultimately identified 21 genes for our capture panel. We included genes of the γ-secretase complex (n = 6) because rare variants in these genes sometimes cause familial HS. We added Notch receptor and ligand genes (n = 13) because γ-secretase is critical for processing Notch receptor signaling. Clinically, some people with PAPA (pyogenic arthritis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and acne) syndrome, a rare inflammatory disease, have concurrent HS. Rare variants in PSTPIP1 are known to cause PAPA syndrome, so we included PSTPIP1 and PSTPIP2 in the capture panel. We screened 117 individuals with HS for rare variations and calculated the expected burden using Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD) allele frequencies. We discovered two pathogenic loss-of-function variants in NCSTN. This class of NCSTN variant can cause familial HS. There was no increased burden of rare variations in any γ-secretase complex gene. We did find that individuals with HS had a significantly increased number of rare missense variants in the SH3 domain of PSTPIP1. This finding, therefore, implicates PSTPIP1 variation in sporadic HS and further supports dysregulated immunity in HS. Our data also suggests that population-scale HS genetic research will yield valuable insights into disease pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100187
JournalHuman Genetics and Genomics Advances
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 13 2023


  • gamma-secretase
  • genetics
  • hidradenitis suppurativa
  • nicastrin
  • rare variants


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