Autoimmune Disease Risk Variant of IFIH1 Is Associated with Increased Sensitivity to IFN- and Serologic Autoimmunity in Lupus Patients

Section of Rheumatology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 4.92). 06/2011; 187(3):1298-303. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1100857
Source: PubMed


Increased IFN-α signaling is a heritable risk factor for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). IFN induced with helicase C domain 1 (IFIH1) is a cytoplasmic dsRNA sensor that activates IFN-α pathway signaling. We studied the impact of the autoimmune-disease-associated IFIH1 rs1990760 (A946T) single nucleotide polymorphism upon IFN-α signaling in SLE patients in vivo. We studied 563 SLE patients (278 African-American, 179 European-American, and 106 Hispanic-American). Logistic regression models were used to detect genetic associations with autoantibody traits, and multiple linear regression was used to analyze IFN-α-induced gene expression in PBMCs in the context of serum IFN-α in the same blood sample. We found that the rs1990760 T allele was associated with anti-dsDNA Abs across all of the studied ancestral backgrounds (meta-analysis odds ratio = 1.34, p = 0.026). This allele also was associated with lower serum IFN-α levels in subjects who had anti-dsDNA Abs (p = 0.0026). When we studied simultaneous serum and PBMC samples from SLE patients, we found that the IFIH1 rs1990760 T allele was associated with increased IFN-induced gene expression in PBMCs in response to a given amount of serum IFN-α in anti-dsDNA-positive patients. This effect was independent of the STAT4 genotype, which modulates sensitivity to IFN-α in a similar way. Thus, the IFIH1 rs1990760 T allele was associated with dsDNA Abs, and in patients with anti-dsDNA Abs this risk allele increased sensitivity to IFN-α signaling. These studies suggest a role for the IFIH1 risk allele in SLE in vivo.

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Available from: Kyriakos Kirou, Feb 17, 2014
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    • "Several differentially expressed SLE transcripts have been implicated as having a potentially significant role in disease. An autoimmune disease risk variant for MDA5 (IFIH1), which binds dsRNA and results in increased sensitivity to IFN-α has been described [30]. Likewise, over-expression of MDA5 in a murine model resulted in viral resistance and when combined with a lupus-susceptible background, acceleration of autoimmune nephritis [31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is characterized by defective immune tolerance combined with immune cell hyperactivity resulting in the production of pathogenic autoantibodies. Previous gene expression studies employing whole blood or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) have demonstrated that a majority of patients with active disease have increased expression of type I interferon (IFN) inducible transcripts known as the IFN signature. The goal of the current study was to assess the gene expression profiles of isolated leukocyte subsets obtained from SLE patients. Subsets including CD19(+) B lymphocytes, CD3(+)CD4(+) T lymphocytes and CD33(+) myeloid cells were simultaneously sorted from PBMC. The SLE transcriptomes were assessed for differentially expressed genes as compared to healthy controls. SLE CD33(+) myeloid cells exhibited the greatest number of differentially expressed genes at 208 transcripts, SLE B cells expressed 174 transcripts and SLE CD3(+)CD4(+) T cells expressed 92 transcripts. Only 4.4% (21) of the 474 total transcripts, many associated with the IFN signature, were shared by all three subsets. Transcriptional profiles translated into increased protein expression for CD38, CD63, CD107a and CD169. Moreover, these studies demonstrated that both SLE lymphoid and myeloid subsets expressed elevated transcripts for cytosolic RNA and DNA sensors and downstream effectors mediating IFN and cytokine production. Prolonged upregulation of nucleic acid sensing pathways could modulate immune effector functions and initiate or contribute to the systemic inflammation observed in SLE.
    PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e67003. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0067003 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "In previous work, we have begun to map genetic variants which are associated with high IFN-α and with the presence of particular autoantibodies in SLE patients [11–13]. Some well-established genetic risk factors for SLE have been associated with one or both of these molecular phenotypes [14–18]. In addition, we have performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using these two molecular traits as phenotypes to enable discovery of novel genetic variants associated with IFN-α and SLE-associated autoantibodies [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a highly heterogeneous autoimmune disorder characterized by differences in autoantibody profiles, serum cytokines, and clinical manifestations. We have previously conducted a case-case genome-wide association study (GWAS) of SLE patients to detect associations with autoantibody profile and serum interferon alpha (IFN-α). In this study, we used public gene expression data sets to rationally select additional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for validation. The top 200 GWAS SNPs were searched in a database which compares genome-wide expression data to genome-wide SNP genotype data in HapMap cell lines. SNPs were chosen for validation if they were associated with differential expression of 15 or more genes at a significance of P < 9 × 10(-5). This resulted in 11 SNPs which were genotyped in 453 SLE patients and 418 matched controls. Three SNPs were associated with SLE-associated autoantibodies, and one of these SNPs was also associated with serum IFN-α (P < 4.5 × 10(-3) for all). One additional SNP was associated exclusively with serum IFN-α. Case-control analysis was insensitive to these molecular subphenotype associations. This study illustrates the use of gene expression data to rationally select candidate loci in autoimmune disease, and the utility of stratification by molecular phenotypes in the discovery of additional genetic associations in SLE.
    Clinical and Developmental Immunology 07/2012; 2012(4):682018. DOI:10.1155/2012/682018 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    • "IFIH1 is a DEAD box helicase that senses intracellular RNA and induces IFN (type 1) activation [102]. Variants at this locus have been associated with other autoimmune diseases such as T1D [103], autoimmune thyroid disease [104], and psoriasis [105]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with a strong genetic component and is characterized by chronic inflammation and the production of anti-nuclear auto-antibodies. In the era of genome-wide association studies (GWASs), elucidating the genetic factors present in SLE has been a very successful endeavor; 28 confirmed disease susceptibility loci have been mapped. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the genetics of lupus and focus on the strongest associated risk loci found to date (P <1.0 × 10-8). Although these loci account for less than 10% of the genetic heritability and therefore do not account for the bulk of the disease heritability, they do implicate important pathways, which contribute to SLE pathogenesis. Consequently, the main focus of the review is to outline the genetic variants in the known associated loci and then to explore the potential functional consequences of the associated variants. We also highlight the genetic overlap of these loci with other autoimmune diseases, which indicates common pathogenic mechanisms. The importance of developing functional assays will be discussed and each of them will be instrumental in furthering our understanding of these associated variants and loci. Finally, we indicate that performing a larger SLE GWAS and applying a more targeted set of methods, such as the ImmunoChip and next generation sequencing methodology, are important for identifying additional loci and enhancing our understanding of the pathogenesis of SLE.
    Arthritis research & therapy 05/2012; 14(3):211. DOI:10.1186/ar3844 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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