The autoimmune disease-associated IL2RA locus is involved in the clinical manifestations of systemic sclerosis.
ABSTRACT Regulatory T cells (T(regs)) are crucial in the maintenance of the immune tolerance and seem to have an important role in systemic sclerosis (SSc). The interleukin 2 receptor α (IL2RA) is an important T(reg) marker, and polymorphisms of IL2RA gene are associated with a number of autoimmune diseases. Therefore, we aimed to investigate for the first time the association of the IL2RA locus in SSc. For this purpose, a total of 3023 SSc patients and 2735 matched healthy controls, from six European Caucasian cohorts, were genotyped for the IL2RA gene variants rs11594656, rs2104286 and rs12722495 using the TaqMan allelic discrimination technology. The overall meta-analysis reached statistical significance when the three polymorphisms were tested for association with SSc, the limited subtype (lcSSc) and anti-centromere auto-antibodies (ACAs). However, no significant P-values were obtained when the ACA-positive patients were removed from the SSc and lcSSc groups, suggesting that these associations rely on ACA positivity. The strongest association signal with ACA production was detected for rs2104286 (P(FDR)=2.07 × 10(-4), odds ratio=1.30 (1.14-1.47)). The associations of rs11594656 and rs12722495 were lost after conditioning to rs2104286, and allelic combination tests did not evidence a combined effect, indicating that rs2104286 best described the association between IL2RA and ACA presence in SSc.
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ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 300 regions associated with more than 70 common diseases. However, identifying causal genes within an associated region remains a major challenge. One approach to resolving causal genes is through the dissection of gene-phenotype correlations. Here we use polychromatic flow cytometry to show that differences in surface expression of the human interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor alpha (IL2RA, or CD25) protein are restricted to particular immune cell types and correlate with several haplotypes in the IL2RA region that have previously been associated with two autoimmune diseases, type 1 diabetes (T1D) and multiple sclerosis. We confirm our strongest gene-phenotype correlation at the RNA level by allele-specific expression (ASE). We also define key parameters for the design and implementation of post-GWAS gene-phenotype investigations and demonstrate the usefulness of a large bioresource of genotype-selectable normal donors from whom fresh, primary cells can be analyzed.Nature Genetics 10/2009; 41(9):1011-5. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, is an emerging genomic model system for studies of polyphenisms, bacterial symbioses, host-plant specialization, and the vectoring of plant viruses. Here we provide estimates of nucleotide diversity and linkage disequilibrium (LD) in native (European) and introduced (United States) populations of the pea aphid. Because introductions can cause population bottlenecks, we hypothesized that U.S. populations harbor lower levels of nucleotide diversity and higher levels of LD than native populations. We sampled four non-coding loci from 24 unique aphid clones from the U. S. (12 from New York and 12 from California) and 24 clones from Europe (12 alfalfa and 12 clover specialists). For each locus, we sequenced approximately 1 kb from two amplicons spaced approximately 10 kb apart to estimate both short range and longer range LD. We sequenced over 250 kb in total. Nucleotide diversity averaged 0.6% across all loci and all populations. LD decayed slowly within approximately 1 kb but reached much lower levels over approximately 10 kb. Contrary to our expectations, neither LD nor nucleotide diversity were significantly different between native and introduced populations. Both introduced and native populations of pea aphids exhibit low levels of nucleotide diversity and moderate levels of LD. The introduction of pea aphids to North America has not led to a detectable reduction of nucleotide diversity or increase in LD relative to native populations.BMC Genetics 02/2009; 10:22. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (SSc), also known as scleroderma, is a rare connective tissue disease characterized by vascular and immune dysfunction, leading to fibrosis that can damage multiple organs. Its pathogenesis is complex and poorly understood. Two major clinical subtypes are the limited and diffuse forms. Research into SSc has been hampered by its rarity, its clinical heterogeneity, and the lack of mouse models that accurately recapitulate the disease. Clinical and basic studies have yielded some mechanistic clues regarding pathogenesis. Recent insights gained through the use of microarrays have revealed distinctive subsets of SSc within and beyond the limited and diffuse subsets. In this review, we discuss potential mechanisms underlying the vascular, autoimmune, and fibrotic points of dysregulation. Proper categorization of SSc patients for research studies by use of microarrays or other biomarkers is critical, as disease heterogeneity may explain some of the inconsistencies of prior studies.Annual Review of Pathology Mechanisms of Disease 02/2011; 6:509-37. · 25.79 Impact Factor