Rationale:Collagen type XI alpha 2 chain is a component of type XI collagen and is expressed in various tissues including articular cartilage and tectorial membrane of the cochlea. Variants in the COL11A2 gene, which encodes collagen type XI alpha 2 chain, has been reported to cause hearing loss and has been associated with osteoarthritis and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine. Despite the importance of type XI collagen in the joints, association of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with COL11A2 has not been reported.Patient concerns:The patient is a 60-year-old female, born to Japanese parents of no known consanguinity. She had progressive hearing loss since childhood. Her father also had progressive hearing loss before middle age. She developed joint pain in the knees and the hips in her forties. When she was 56, she developed polyarthritis. Rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibodies were positive.Diagnoses:She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and RA. Whole exome analysis detected 2 rare variants, c.4201C>T, p.(Arg1401Trp) and c4265C>T, p.(Pro1422Leu), in the COL11A2 gene (NM_080680.2). Whole genome analysis with a long insert size confirmed 2 variants that are in trans.Interventions and outcomes:She received a cochlear implant, which improved her hearing. She was treated with methotrexate, golimumab, tocilizumab, and upadacitinib with partial responses for her RA.Lessons:We herein report a patient with RA with compound heterozygous variants in the COL11A2 gene. Autoantibodies against type XI collagen are detected in the sera of patients with RA, suggesting the possibility that type XI collagen may be involved in the pathogenesis of RA as an autoantigen. The hearing loss and osteoarthritis in this patient may be due to the compound heterozygous variants in the COL11A2 gene, and the conformational changes induced by the variants may have changed the immunogenicity of type XI collagen, leading to the development of RA.
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