[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ubiquitin associated and Src-homology 3 (SH3) domain containing A (UBASH3a) is a suppressor of T-cell receptor signaling, underscoring antigen presentation to T-cells as a critical shared mechanism of diseases pathogenesis. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the UBASH3a gene influence the susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Caucasian populations. We evaluated five UBASH3a polymorphisms (rs2277798, rs2277800, rs9976767, rs13048049 and rs17114930), using TaqMan® allelic discrimination assays, in a discovery cohort that included 906 SLE patients and 1165 healthy controls from Spain. The SNPs that exhibit statistical significance difference were evaluated in a German replication cohort of 360 SLE patients and 379 healthy controls. The case-control analysis in the Spanish population showed a significant association between the rs9976767 and SLE (Pc = 9.9E-03 OR = 1.21 95%CI = 1.07-1.37) and a trend of association for the rs2277798 analysis (P = 0.09 OR = 0.9 95%CI = 0.79-1.02). The replication in a German cohort and the meta-analysis confirmed that the rs9976767 (Pc = 0.02; Pc = 2.4E-04, for German cohort and meta-analysis, respectively) and rs2277798 (Pc = 0.013; Pc = 4.7E-03, for German cohort and meta-analysis, respectively) UBASH3a variants are susceptibility factors for SLE. Finally, a conditional regression analysis suggested that the most likely genetic variation responsible for the association was the rs9976767 polymorphism. Our results suggest that UBASH3a gene plays a role in the susceptibility to SLE. Moreover, our study indicates that UBASH3a can be considered as a common genetic factor in autoimmune diseases.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e60646. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: The Xq28 region containing IRAK1 and MECP2 has been identified as a risk locus for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in previous genetic association studies. However, due to the strong linkage disequilibrium between IRAK1 and MECP2, it remains unclear which gene is affected by the underlying causal variant(s) conferring risk of SLE. METHODS: We fine-mapped ≥136 SNPs in a ∼227 kb region on Xq28, containing IRAK1, MECP2 and seven adjacent genes (L1CAM, AVPR2, ARHGAP4, NAA10, RENBP, HCFC1 and TMEM187), for association with SLE in 15 783 case-control subjects derived from four different ancestral groups. RESULTS: Multiple SNPs showed strong association with SLE in European Americans, Asians and Hispanics at p<5×10(-8) with consistent association in subjects with African ancestry. Of these, six SNPs located in the TMEM187-IRAK1-MECP2 region captured the underlying causal variant(s) residing in a common risk haplotype shared by all four ancestral groups. Among them, rs1059702 best explained the Xq28 association signals in conditional testings and exhibited the strongest p value in transancestral meta-analysis (p(meta )= 1.3×10(-27), OR=1.43), and thus was considered to be the most likely causal variant. The risk allele of rs1059702 results in the amino acid substitution S196F in IRAK1 and had previously been shown to increase NF-κB activity in vitro. We also found that the homozygous risk genotype of rs1059702 was associated with lower mRNA levels of MECP2, but not IRAK1, in SLE patients (p=0.0012) and healthy controls (p=0.0064). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest contributions of both IRAK1 and MECP2 to SLE susceptibility.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 08/2012; · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Amerindian-Europeans, Asians and African-Americans have an excess morbidity from SLE and higher prevalence of lupus nephritis than Caucasians. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between genetic ancestry and socio-demographic characteristics and clinical features in a large cohort of Amerindian-European SLE patients. METHODS: A total of 2116 SLE patients of Amerindian-European origin and 4001 SLE patients of European descent with clinical data were used in the study. Genotyping of 253 continental ancestry informative markers was performed on the Illumina platform. The STRUCTURE and ADMIXTURE software were used to determine genetic ancestry of each individual. Correlation between ancestry and socio-demographic and clinical data were analyzed using logistic regression. RESULTS: The average Amerindian genetic ancestry of 2116 SLE patients was 40.7%. There was an increased risk of having renal involvement (P<0.0001, OR= 3.50 95%CI 2.63-4.63) and an early age of onset with the presence of Amerindian genetic ancestry (P<0.0001). Amerindian ancestry protected against photosensitivity (P<0.0001, OR= 0.58 95%CI 0.44-0.76), oral ulcers (P<0.0001, OR= 0.55 95%CI 0.42-0.72), and serositis (P<0.0001, OR= 0.56 95%CI 0.41-0.75) after adjustment by age, gender and age of onset. However, gender and age of onset had stronger effects on malar rash, discoid rash, arthritis and neurological involvement than genetic ancestry. CONCLUSION: In general, genetic Amerindian ancestry correlates with lower socio-demographic status and increases the risk for developing renal involvement and SLE at an earlier age of onset.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Altered signalling in B cells is a predominant feature of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The genes BANK1 and BLK were recently described as associated with SLE. BANK1 codes for a B-cell-specific cytoplasmic protein involved in B-cell receptor signalling and BLK codes for an Src tyrosine kinase with important roles in B-cell development. To characterise the role of BANK1 and BLK in SLE, a genetic interaction analysis was performed hypothesising that genetic interactions could reveal functional pathways relevant to disease pathogenesis.
The GPAT16 method was used to analyse the gene-gene interactions of BANK1 and BLK. Confocal microscopy was used to investigate co-localisation, and immunoprecipitation was used to verify the physical interaction of BANK1 and BLK.
Epistatic interactions between BANK1 and BLK polymorphisms associated with SLE were observed in a discovery set of 279 patients and 515 controls from northern Europe. A meta-analysis with 4399 European individuals confirmed the genetic interactions between BANK1 and BLK. As BANK1 was identified as a binding partner of the Src tyrosine kinase LYN, the possibility that BANK1 and BLK could also show a protein-protein interaction was tested. The co-immunoprecipitation and co-localisation of BLK and BANK1 were demonstrated. In a Daudi cell line and primary naive B cells endogenous binding was enhanced upon B-cell receptor stimulation using anti-IgM antibodies.
This study shows a genetic interaction between BANK1 and BLK, and demonstrates that these molecules interact physically. The results have important consequences for the understanding of SLE and other autoimmune diseases and identify a potential new signalling pathway.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 01/2012; 71(1):136-42. · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a sexually dimorphic autoimmune disease which is more common in women, but affected men often experience a more severe disease. The genetic basis of sexual dimorphism in SLE is not clearly defined. A study was undertaken to examine sex-specific genetic effects among SLE susceptibility loci.
A total of 18 autosomal genetic susceptibility loci for SLE were genotyped in a large set of patients with SLE and controls of European descent, consisting of 5932 female and 1495 male samples. Sex-specific genetic association analyses were performed. The sex-gene interaction was further validated using parametric and non-parametric methods. Aggregate differences in sex-specific genetic risk were examined by calculating a cumulative genetic risk score for SLE in each individual and comparing the average genetic risk between male and female patients.
A significantly higher cumulative genetic risk for SLE was observed in men than in women. (P=4.52x10-8) A significant sex-gene interaction was seen primarily in the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) region but also in IRF5, whereby men with SLE possess a significantly higher frequency of risk alleles than women. The genetic effect observed in KIAA1542 is specific to women with SLE and does not seem to have a role in men.
The data indicate that men require a higher cumulative genetic load than women to develop SLE. These observations suggest that sex bias in autoimmunity could be influenced by autosomal genetic susceptibility loci.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 11/2011; 71(5):694-9. · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several confirmed genetic susceptibility loci for lupus have been described. To date, no clear evidence for genetic epistasis in lupus has been established. The aim of this study was to test for gene-gene interactions in a number of known lupus susceptibility loci.
Eighteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms tagging independent and confirmed lupus susceptibility loci were genotyped in a set of 4,248 patients with lupus and 3,818 normal healthy control subjects of European descent. Epistasis was tested by a 2-step approach using both parametric and nonparametric methods. The false discovery rate (FDR) method was used to correct for multiple testing.
We detected and confirmed gene-gene interactions between the HLA region and CTLA4, IRF5, and ITGAM and between PDCD1 and IL21 in patients with lupus. The most significant interaction detected by parametric analysis was between rs3131379 in the HLA region and rs231775 in CTLA4 (interaction odds ratio 1.19, Z = 3.95, P = 7.8 × 10(-5) [FDR ≤0.05], P for multifactor dimensionality reduction = 5.9 × 10(-45)). Importantly, our data suggest that in patients with lupus, the presence of the HLA lupus risk alleles in rs1270942 and rs3131379 increases the odds of also carrying the lupus risk allele in IRF5 (rs2070197) by 17% and 16%, respectively (P = 0.0028 and P = 0.0047, respectively).
We provide evidence for gene-gene epistasis in systemic lupus erythematosus. These findings support a role for genetic interaction contributing to the complexity of lupus heritability.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Candidate gene and genome-wide association studies have identified several disease susceptibility loci in lupus patients. These studies have largely been performed in lupus patients who are Asian or of European ancestry. This study was undertaken to examine whether some of these same susceptibility loci increase lupus risk in African American individuals.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms tagging 15 independent lupus susceptibility loci were genotyped in a set of 1,724 lupus patients and 2,024 healthy controls of African American descent. The loci examined included PTPN22, FCGR2A, TNFSF4, STAT4, CTLA4, PDCD1, PXK, BANK1, MSH5 (HLA region), CFB (HLA region), C8orf13-BLK region, MBL2, KIAA1542, ITGAM, and MECP2/IRAK1.
We found the first evidence of genetic association between lupus in African American patients and 5 susceptibility loci (C8orf13-BLK, BANK1, TNFSF4, KIAA1542, and CTLA4; P = 8.0 × 10⁻⁶, P = 1.9 × 10⁻⁵, P = 5.7 × 10⁻⁵, P = 0.00099, and P = 0.0045, respectively). Further, we confirmed the genetic association between lupus and 5 additional lupus susceptibility loci (ITGAM, MSH5, CFB, STAT4, and FCGR2A; P = 7.5 × 10⁻¹¹, P = 5.2 × 10⁻⁸, P = 8.7 × 10⁻⁷ , P = 0.0058, and P = 0.0070, respectively), and provided evidence, for the first time, of genome-wide significance for the association between lupus in African American patients and ITGAM and MSH5 (HLA region).
These findings provide evidence of novel genetic susceptibility loci for lupus in African Americans and demonstrate that the majority of lupus susceptibility loci examined confer lupus risk across multiple ethnicities.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus is a clinically heterogeneous autoimmune disease. A number of genetic loci that increase lupus susceptibility have been established. This study examines if these genetic loci also contribute to the clinical heterogeneity in lupus.
4001 European-derived, 1547 Hispanic, 1590 African-American and 1191 Asian lupus patients were genotyped for 16 confirmed lupus susceptibility loci. Ancestry informative markers were genotyped to calculate and adjust for admixture. The association between the risk allele in each locus was determined and compared in patients with and without the various clinical manifestations included in the ACR criteria.
Renal disorder was significantly correlated with the lupus risk allele in ITGAM (p=5.0 × 10(-6), OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.35) and in TNFSF4 (p=0.0013, OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.25). Other significant findings include the association between risk alleles in FCGR2A and malar rash (p=0.0031, OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.33), ITGAM and discoid rash (p=0.0020, OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.33), STAT4 and protection from oral ulcers (p=0.0027, OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.83 to 0.96) and IL21 and haematological disorder (p=0.0027, OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.22). All these associations are significant with a false discovery rate of <0.05 and pass the significance threshold using Bonferroni correction for multiple testing.
Signifi cant associations were found between clinical manifestations and the FCGR2A, ITGAM, STAT4, TNSF4 and IL21 genes. The findings suggest that genetic profiling might be a useful tool to predict disease manifestations in lupus patients in the future.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 06/2011; 70(10):1752-7. · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic association of the IL2/IL21 region at chromosome 4q27 has previously been reported in lupus and a number of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. This study was undertaken to determine whether this genetic effect could be localized, using a very large cohort of lupus patients and controls.
We genotyped 45 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the IL2/IL21 locus in 2 large independent lupus sample sets. We studied a set of subjects of European descent consisting of 4,248 lupus patients and 3,818 healthy controls, and an African American set of 1,569 patients and 1,893 healthy controls. Imputation in 3,004 additional controls from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium was also performed. Genetic association between the genotyped markers was determined, and pairwise conditional analysis was performed to localize the independent genetic effect in the IL2/IL21 locus in lupus.
We established and confirmed the genetic association between IL2/IL21 and lupus. Using conditional analysis and transethnic mapping, we localized the genetic effect in this locus to 2 SNPs in high linkage disequilibrium: rs907715 located within IL21 (odds ratio 1.16 [95% confidence interval 1.10-1.22], P=2.17×10(-8)) and rs6835457 located in the 3'-untranslated flanking region of IL21 (odds ratio 1.11 [95% confidence interval 1.05-1.17], P=9.35×10(-5)).
Our findings establish the genetic association between lupus and IL2/IL21 with a genome-wide level of significance. Further, our findings indicate that this genetic association within the IL2/IL21 linkage disequilibrium block is localized to IL21. If other autoimmune IL2/IL21 genetic associations are similarly localized, then the IL21 risk alleles would be predicted to operate by a fundamental mechanism that influences the course of a number of autoimmune disease processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess whether genetically determined Amerindian ancestry predicts increased presence of risk alleles of known susceptibility genes for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within 16 confirmed genetic susceptibility loci for SLE were genotyped in a set of 804 Mestizo lupus patients and 667 Mestizo healthy controls. In addition, 347 admixture informative markers were genotyped. Individual ancestry proportions were determined using STRUCTURE. Association analysis was performed using PLINK, and correlation between ancestry and the presence of risk alleles was analyzed using linear regression.
A meta-analysis of the genetic association of the 16 SNPs across populations showed that TNFSF4, STAT4, ITGAM, and IRF5 were associated with lupus in a Hispanic Mestizo cohort enriched for European and Amerindian ancestry. In addition, 2 SNPs within the major histocompatibility complex region, previously shown to be associated in a genome-wide association study in Europeans, were also associated in Mestizos. Using linear regression, we predicted an average increase of 2.34 risk alleles when comparing an SLE patient with 100% Amerindian ancestry versus an SLE patient with 0% Amerindian ancestry (P < 0.0001). SLE patients with 43% more Amerindian ancestry were predicted to carry 1 additional risk allele.
Our results demonstrate that Amerindian ancestry is associated with an increased number of risk alleles for SLE.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Costimulatory receptor CD226 plays an important role in T cell activation, differentiation, and cytotoxicity. This study was undertaken to investigate the genetic association of CD226 with susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and to assess the functional implications of this association.
Twelve tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CD226 were typed in 1,163 SLE patients and 1,482 healthy control subjects from Europe or of European ancestry. Analyses of association were performed by single-marker Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel meta-analysis, followed by haplotype analysis. Gene expression was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analyses of RNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. To study the functional impact of the associated variants, luciferase reporter constructs containing different portions of the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of the gene were prepared and used in transfection experiments.
A 3-variant haplotype, rs763361;rs34794968;rs727088 (ATC), in the last exon of CD226 was associated with SLE (P = 1.3 × 10(-4) , odds ratio 1.24, 95% confidence interval 1.11-1.38). This risk haplotype correlated with low CD226 transcript expression and low CD226 protein levels on the surface of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and natural killer T (NKT) cells. NK cells expressed high levels of CD226, but this expression was independent of the haplotype. Reporter assays with deletion constructs indicated that only the presence of rs727088 could account for the differences in the levels of luciferase transcripts.
This study identified an association of CD226 with SLE in individuals of European ancestry. These data support the importance of the 3'-UTR SNP rs727088 in the regulation of CD226 transcription both in T cells and in NKT cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Association studies of over 1 million SNPs capturing most of the human genome common variation became possible thanks to the information provided by the HapMap International project and the development of high-throughput genotyping technologies at accessible prices. Genome-wide scans analyzing thousands of individuals have now identified most if not all of the major genes involved in susceptibility for several systemic autoimmune diseases. In particular, results for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and systemic sclerosis (SSc) are reviewed here. While most genes are shared between diseases, few seem to be unique reflecting that we still are long before knowing all genes, their interactions with other genes and the environment and their impact on biological functions.
Current opinion in immunology 10/2010; 22(6):698-705. · 10.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, multiorgan, autoimmune disease that affects people of all ages and ethnicities.
To explore the relationship between age at disease onset and many of the diverse manifestations of SLE. Additionally, to determine the relationship between age of disease onset and genetic risk in patients with SLE.
The relationship between the age at disease onset and SLE manifestations were explored in a multi-racial cohort of 1317 patients. Patients with SLE were genotyped across 19 confirmed genetic susceptibility loci for SLE. Logistic regression was used to determine the relationships between the number of risk alleles present and age of disease onset.
Childhood-onset SLE had higher odds of proteinuria, malar rash, anti-dsDNA antibody, haemolytic anaemia, arthritis and leucopenia (OR=3.03, 2.13, 2.08, 2.50, 1.89, 1.53, respectively; p values <0.0001, 0.0004, 0.0005, 0.0024, 0.0114, 0.045, respectively). In female subjects, the odds of having cellular casts were 2.18 times higher in childhood-onset than in adult-onset SLE (p=0.0027). With age of onset ≥50, the odds of having proteinuria, cellular casts, anti-nRNP antibody, anti-Sm antibody, anti-dsDNA antibody and seizures were reduced. However, late adult-onset patients with SLE have higher odds of developing photosensitivity than early adult-onset patients. Each SLE-susceptibility risk allele carried within the genome of patients with SLE increased the odds of having a childhood-onset disease in a race-specific manner: by an average of 48% in Gullah and 25% in African-Americans, but this was not significant in Hispanic and European-American lupus patients.
The genetic contribution towards predicting early-onset disease in patients with SLE is quantified for the first time. A more severe SLE phenotype is found in patients with early-onset disease in a large multi-racial cohort, independent of gender, race and disease duration.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2010; 70(1):151-6. · 8.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the genetic association of the promoter insertion/deletion (indel) in IRF5 gene with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in distinct populations and assessed its role in gene expression.
Four IRF5 polymorphisms were genotyped in 1488 SLE patients and 1466 controls. Gene expression was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR using RNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).
The promoter indel and rs2070197 had independent genetic effects, which accounted for the association of rs2004640 and rs10954213. Gene expression analysis revealed that rs10954213 exerted the greatest influence on IRF5 transcript levels.
We corroborated the association of the promoter indel with SLE in 5 different populations and revealed that rs10954213 is the main single-nucleotide polymorphism responsible for altered IRF5 expression in PBMC.
The Journal of Rheumatology 03/2010; 37(3):574-8. · 3.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays an important role in chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders. In this study, we aimed to determine the potential role of the IL18 gene in SLE. To define the genetic association of the IL18 and SLE, we have genotyped nine SNPs in an independent set of Spanish cases and controls. The IL18 polymorphisms were genotyped by PCR, using a predeveloped TaqMan allele discrimination assay. Two SNPs were still significant after fine mapping of the IL18 gene. The SNP (rs360719) surviving correction for multiple tests was genotyped in two replication cohorts from Italy and Argentina. After the analysis, a significance with rs360719 C-allele remained across the sets and after the meta-analysis (Pooled OR = 1.37, 95% CI 1.21-1.54, combined P = 3.8E-07, Pc = 1.16E-06). Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to assess IL18 mRNA expression in PBMC from subjects with different IL18 rs360719 genotypes. We tested the effect of the IL18 rs360719 polymorphism on the transcription of IL18 by electrophoretic mobility shift assay and western blot. We found a significant increase in the relative expression of IL18 mRNA in individuals carrying the rs360719 C-risk allele; in addition we show that the polymorphism creates a binding site for the transcriptional factor OCT-1. These findings suggest that the novel IL18 rs360719 variant may play an important role in determining the susceptibility to SLE and it could be a key factor in the expression of the IL18 gene.
Human Molecular Genetics 08/2009; 18(19):3739-48. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune-mediated nephritis contributes to disease in systemic lupus erythematosus, Goodpasture syndrome (caused by antibodies specific for glomerular basement membrane [anti-GBM antibodies]), and spontaneous lupus nephritis. Inbred mouse strains differ in susceptibility to anti-GBM antibody-induced and spontaneous lupus nephritis. This study sought to clarify the genetic and molecular factors that maybe responsible for enhanced immune-mediated renal disease in these models. When the kidneys of 3 mouse strains sensitive to anti-GBM antibody-induced nephritis were compared with those of 2 control strains using microarray analysis, one-fifth of the underexpressed genes belonged to the kallikrein gene family,which encodes serine esterases. Mouse strains that upregulated renal and urinary kallikreins exhibited less evidence of disease. Antagonizing the kallikrein pathway augmented disease, while agonists dampened the severity of anti-GBM antibody-induced nephritis. In addition, nephritis-sensitive mouse strains had kallikrein haplotypes that were distinct from those of control strains, including several regulatory polymorphisms,some of which were associated with functional consequences. Indeed, increased susceptibility to anti-GBM antibody-induced nephritis and spontaneous lupus nephritis was achieved by breeding mice with a genetic interval harboring the kallikrein genes onto a disease-resistant background. Finally, both human SLE and spontaneous lupus nephritis were found to be associated with kallikrein genes, particularly KLK1 and the KLK3 promoter, when DNA SNPs from independent cohorts of SLE patients and controls were compared. Collectively, these studies suggest that kallikreins are protective disease-associated genes in anti-GBM antibody-induced nephritis and lupus.
The Journal of clinical investigation 05/2009; 119(4):911-23. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To confirm and define the genetic association of STAT4 and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), investigate the possibility of correlations with differential splicing and/or expression levels, and genetic interaction with IRF5.
30 tag SNPs were genotyped in an independent set of Spanish cases and controls. SNPs surviving correction for multiple tests were genotyped in five new sets of cases and controls for replication. STAT4 cDNA was analysed by 5'-RACE PCR and sequencing. Expression levels were measured by quantitative PCR.
In the fine mapping, four SNPs were significant after correction for multiple testing, with rs3821236 and rs3024866 as the strongest signals, followed by the previously associated rs7574865, and by rs1467199. Association was replicated in all cohorts. After conditional regression analyses, two major independent signals, represented by SNPs rs3821236 and rs7574865, remained significant across the sets. These SNPs belong to separate haplotype blocks. High levels of STAT4 expression correlated with SNPs rs3821236, rs3024866 (both in the same haplotype block) and rs7574865 but not with other SNPs. Transcription of alternative tissue-specific exons 1, indicating the presence of tissue-specific promoters of potential importance in the expression of STAT4, was also detected. No interaction with associated SNPs of IRF5 was observed using regression analysis.
These data confirm STAT4 as a susceptibility gene for SLE and suggest the presence of at least two functional variants affecting levels of STAT4. The results also indicate that the genes STAT4 and IRF5 act additively to increase the risk for SLE.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 12/2008; 68(11):1746-53. · 8.11 Impact Factor