For more than 40 y, expression of HLA-B27 has been strongly associated with the chronic inflammatory disease Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS); however, the mechanisms underlying this association are still unknown. Single nucleotide polymorphisms within the aminopeptidase endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 (ERAP1), which is essential for trimming peptides before they are presented to T cells by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules, have been linked with disease. We show that ERAP1 is a highly polymorphic molecule comprising allotypes of single nucleotide polymorphisms. The prevalence of specific ERAP1 allotypes is different between AS cases and controls. Both chromosomal copies of ERAP1 are codominantly expressed, and analysis of allotype pairs provided clear stratification of individuals with AS versus controls. Functional analyses demonstrated that ERAP1 allotype pairs seen in AS cases were poor at generating optimal peptide ligands for binding to murine H-2Kb and -Db and the AS-associated HLA-B*2705. We therefore provide strong evidence that polymorphic ERAP1 alters protein function predisposing an individual to AS via its influence on the antigen processing pathway.