[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Next-generation sequencing is revolutionizing the molecular taxonomy of human disease. Recent studies of patients with unexplained autoinflammatory disorders reveal germline genetic mutations that target important regulators of innate immunity.
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 12/2014; 14(6):491-500. · 3.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective Previously, we reported that a novel variant, p.Ser707Tyr, in phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2) is the cause of a dominantly inherited autoinflammatory disease, APLAID. The hypermorphic mutation enhances the PLCγ2 activity and causes an increase in intracellular Ca2+ release from ER stores. As increased intracellular Ca2+ signaling has been associated with NLRP3 inflammasome activation, we studied the role of the NLRP3 inflammasome in the pathogenesis of this disease.Methods Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from healthy controls and two affected patients. Inflammasome activation was analyzed by Western blotting. Intracellular Ca2+ levels were measured with the FLIPR Calcium 4 assay kit.Results Patients' cells had elevated basal levels of intracellular Ca2+ and the intracellular Ca2+ flux triggered by extracellular CaCl2 was substantially enhanced. Patients' PBMCs secreted IL-1β in response to LPS priming alone, and this effect was attenuated by use of a PLC inhibitor, intracellular Ca2+ blockers, or an adenylate cyclase activator.Conclusion Our findings suggest that the inflammation in patients with APLAID is partially driven by the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. These data link two seemingly distinct molecular pathways and provide new insights into the pathogenesis of APLAID and autoinflammation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Behçet's disease (BD) is a multi-system inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology. Two recent genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of BD confirmed a strong association with the MHC class I region and identified two non-HLA common genetic variations. In complex diseases, multiple factors may target different sets of genes in the same pathway and thus may cause the same disease phenotype. We therefore hypothesized that identification of disease-associated pathways is critical to elucidate mechanisms underlying BD, and those pathways may be conserved within and across populations. To identify the disease-associated pathways, we developed a novel methodology that combines nominally significant evidence of genetic association with current knowledge of biochemical pathways, protein-protein interaction networks, and functional information of selected SNPs. Using this methodology, we searched for the disease-related pathways in two BD GWASs in Turkish and Japanese case-control groups. We found that 6 of the top 10 identified pathways in both populations were overlapping, even though there were few significantly conserved SNPs/genes within and between populations. The probability of random occurrence of such an event was 2.24E-39. These shared pathways were focal adhesion, MAPK signaling, TGF-β signaling, ECM-receptor interaction, complement and coagulation cascades, and proteasome pathways. Even though each individual has a unique combination of factors involved in their disease development, the targeted pathways are expected to be mostly the same. Hence, the identification of shared pathways between the Turkish and the Japanese patients using GWAS data may help further elucidate the inflammatory mechanisms in BD pathogenesis.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 17 September 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.158.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 09/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because ADA2 is primarily expressed in lineages derived from bone marrow, we have proposed that HSCT might be effective in the treatment of ADA2 deficiency. Two groups (van Montfrans et al. and Van Eyck, Liston, and Meyts) have now reported the efficacy of this approach in two unrelated patients homozygous for the p.Arg169Gln mutation inCECR1. The effectiveness of HSCT is consistent with the knowledge that monocytes and macrophages are the main source of serum ADA2 and provides support for the feasibility of ADA2 replacement therapy. On the basis of the findings of Navon Elkan et al., treatment with anti-TNF agents may represent an effective alternative, but broader experience and longer follow-up are required before we can be certain. Fresh-frozen plasma infusions represent another therapeutic possibility, but careful pharmacokinetic analyses will be needed before the practicality of this approach can be assessed.
Bras et al. have extended the phenotypic spectrum of ADA2 deficiency to include a familial form of Sneddon's syndrome, in which patients have intermittent fever, livedo racemosa, and ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes, but for these patients the effects of ADA2 deficiency developed later in life than they did for the patients we described. More unexpectedly, Van Eyck, Liston, and Wouters report a Jewish child who is homozygous for the p.Gly47Arg mutation in CECR1, had negative test results for HHV-8, has a phenotype similar to that of Castleman's disease, and has markedly elevated serum interleukin-6 levels. We have not observed significantly increased serum levels of interleukin-6 in the patients with ADA2 deficiency whom we have assessed, and we did not findCECR1 mutations in a single patient with HHV-8-negative Castleman's disease in our clinic.
New England Journal of Medicine 07/2014; 371(5):480-1. · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background The study of autoinflammatory diseases has uncovered mechanisms underlying cytokine dysregulation and inflammation. Methods We analyzed the DNA of an index patient with early-onset systemic inflammation, cutaneous vasculopathy, and pulmonary inflammation. We sequenced a candidate gene, TMEM173, encoding the stimulator of interferon genes (STING), in this patient and in five unrelated children with similar clinical phenotypes. Four children were evaluated clinically and immunologically. With the STING ligand cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP), we stimulated peripheral-blood mononuclear cells and fibroblasts from patients and controls, as well as commercially obtained endothelial cells, and then assayed transcription of IFNB1, the gene encoding interferon-β, in the stimulated cells. We analyzed IFNB1 reporter levels in HEK293T cells cotransfected with mutant or nonmutant STING constructs. Mutant STING leads to increased phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), so we tested the effect of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors on STAT1 phosphorylation in lymphocytes from the affected children and controls. Results We identified three mutations in exon 5 of TMEM173 in the six patients. Elevated transcription of IFNB1 and other gene targets of STING in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from the patients indicated constitutive activation of the pathway that cannot be further up-regulated with stimulation. On stimulation with cGAMP, fibroblasts from the patients showed increased transcription of IFNB1 but not of the genes encoding interleukin-1 (IL1), interleukin-6 (IL6), or tumor necrosis factor (TNF). HEK293T cells transfected with mutant constructs show elevated IFNB1 reporter levels. STING is expressed in endothelial cells, and exposure of these cells to cGAMP resulted in endothelial activation and apoptosis. Constitutive up-regulation of phosphorylated STAT1 in patients' lymphocytes was reduced by JAK inhibitors. Conclusions STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI) is an autoinflammatory disease caused by gain-of-function mutations in TMEM173. (Funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00059748 .).
New England Journal of Medicine 07/2014; · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The HLA protein, HLA-B*51, encoded by HLA-B in MHC, is the strongest known genetic risk factor for Behçet disease (BD). Associations between BD and other factors within the MHC have been reported also, although strong regional linkage disequilibrium complicates their confident disentanglement from HLA-B*51. In the current study, we examined a combination of directly obtained and imputed MHC-region SNPs, directly obtained HLA-B locus types, and imputed classical HLA types with their corresponding polymorphic amino acid residues for association with BD in 1,190 cases and 1,257 controls. SNP mapping with logistic regression of the MHC identified the HLA-B/MICA region and the region between HLA-F and HLA-A as independently associated with BD (P < 1.7 × 10(-8)). HLA-B*51, -A*03, -B*15, -B*27, -B*49, -B*57, and -A*26 each contributed independently to BD risk. We directly examined rs116799036, a noncoding SNP upstream of HLA-B that was recently suggested to underlie the association of HLA-B*51 with BD, but we were unable to replicate that finding in our collection. Instead, we mapped the BD association to seven MHC class I (MHC-I) amino acid residues, including anchor residues that critically define the selection and binding of peptides to MHC-I molecules, residues known to influence MHC-I-killer immunoglobulin-like receptor interactions, and a residue located in the signal peptide of HLA-B. The locations of these variants collectively implicate MHC-I peptide binding in the pathophysiology of BD. Furthermore, several lines of evidence suggest a role for altered regulation of cellular cytotoxicity in BD pathogenesis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background We observed a syndrome of intermittent fevers, early-onset lacunar strokes and other neurovascular manifestations, livedoid rash, hepatosplenomegaly, and systemic vasculopathy in three unrelated patients. We suspected a genetic cause because the disorder presented in early childhood. Methods We performed whole-exome sequencing in the initial three patients and their unaffected parents and candidate-gene sequencing in three patients with a similar phenotype, as well as two young siblings with polyarteritis nodosa and one patient with small-vessel vasculitis. Enzyme assays, immunoblotting, immunohistochemical testing, flow cytometry, and cytokine profiling were performed on samples from the patients. To study protein function, we used morpholino-mediated knockdowns in zebrafish and short hairpin RNA knockdowns in U937 cells cultured with human dermal endothelial cells. Results All nine patients carried recessively inherited mutations in CECR1 (cat eye syndrome chromosome region, candidate 1), encoding adenosine deaminase 2 (ADA2), that were predicted to be deleterious; these mutations were rare or absent in healthy controls. Six patients were compound heterozygous for eight CECR1 mutations, whereas the three patients with polyarteritis nodosa or small-vessel vasculitis were homozygous for the p.Gly47Arg mutation. Patients had a marked reduction in the levels of ADA2 and ADA2-specific enzyme activity in the blood. Skin, liver, and brain biopsies revealed vasculopathic changes characterized by compromised endothelial integrity, endothelial cellular activation, and inflammation. Knockdown of a zebrafish ADA2 homologue caused intracranial hemorrhages and neutropenia - phenotypes that were prevented by coinjection with nonmutated (but not with mutated) human CECR1. Monocytes from patients induced damage in cocultured endothelial-cell layers. Conclusions Loss-of-function mutations in CECR1 were associated with a spectrum of vascular and inflammatory phenotypes, ranging from early-onset recurrent stroke to systemic vasculopathy or vasculitis. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Programs and others.).
New England Journal of Medicine 02/2014; · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic and genomic investigations are a starting point for the study of human disease, seeking to discover causative variants relevant to disease pathophysiology. Over the past 5 years, massively parallel, high-throughput, next-generation sequencing techniques have revolutionized genetics and genomics, identifying the causes of many Mendelian diseases. The application of whole-genome sequencing and whole-exome sequencing to large populations has produced several publicly available sequence datasets that have revealed the scope of human genetic variation and have contributed to important methodological advances in the study of both common and rare genetic variants in genetically complex diseases. The importance of noncoding genetic variation has been highlighted by the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap Epigenomics Program and integrated analyses of these datasets, together with disease-specific datasets, will provide an important and powerful tool for determining the mechanisms through which disease-associated, noncoding variation influences disease risk.
Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. 01/2014; 28(2):175–189.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are a powerful means of identifying genes with disease-associated common variants, but they are not well-suited to detecting genes with disease-associated rare and low-frequency variants. In the current study of Behçet disease (BD), nonsynonymous variants (NSVs) identified by deep exonic resequencing of 10 genes found by GWAS (IL10, IL23R, CCR1, STAT4, KLRK1, KLRC1, KLRC2, KLRC3, KLRC4, and ERAP1) and 11 genes selected for their role in innate immunity (IL1B, IL1R1, IL1RN, NLRP3, MEFV, TNFRSF1A, PSTPIP1, CASP1, PYCARD, NOD2, and TLR4) were evaluated for BD association. A differential distribution of the rare and low-frequency NSVs of a gene in 2,461 BD cases compared with 2,458 controls indicated their collective association with disease. By stringent criteria requiring at least a single burden test with study-wide significance and a corroborating test with at least nominal significance, rare and low-frequency NSVs in one GWAS-identified gene, IL23R (P = 6.9 × 10(-5)), and one gene involved in innate immunity, TLR4 (P = 8.0 × 10(-4)), were associated with BD. In addition, damaging or rare damaging NOD2 variants were nominally significant across all three burden tests applied (P = 0.0063-0.045). Furthermore, carriage of the familial Mediterranean fever gene (MEFV) mutation Met694Val, which is known to cause recessively inherited familial Mediterranean fever, conferred BD risk in the Turkish population (OR, 2.65; P = 1.8 × 10(-12)). The disease-associated NSVs in MEFV and TLR4 implicate innate immune and bacterial sensing mechanisms in BD pathogenesis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals with Behçet's disease suffer from episodic inflammation often affecting the orogenital mucosa, skin and eyes. To discover new susceptibility loci for Behçet's disease, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 779,465 SNPs with imputed genotypes in 1,209 Turkish individuals with Behçet's disease and 1,278 controls. We identified new associations at CCR1, STAT4 and KLRC4. Additionally, two SNPs in ERAP1, encoding ERAP1 p.Asp575Asn and p.Arg725Gln alterations, recessively conferred disease risk. These findings were replicated in 1,468 independent Turkish and/or 1,352 Japanese samples (combined meta-analysis P < 2 × 10(-9)). We also found evidence for interaction between HLA-B*51 and ERAP1 (P = 9 × 10(-4)). The CCR1 and STAT4 variants were associated with gene expression differences. Three risk loci shared with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis (the MHC class I region, ERAP1 and IL23R and the MHC class I-ERAP1 interaction), as well as two loci shared with inflammatory bowel disease (IL23R and IL10) implicate shared pathogenic pathways in the spondyloarthritides and Behçet's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To analyse gene expression patterns and to define a specific gene expression signature in patients with the severe end of the spectrum of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS). The molecular consequences of interleukin 1 inhibition were examined by comparing gene expression patterns in 16 CAPS patients before and after treatment with anakinra. METHODS: We collected peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 22 CAPS patients with active disease and from 14 healthy children. Transcripts that passed stringent filtering criteria (p values ≤ false discovery rate 1%) were considered as differentially expressed genes (DEG). A set of DEG was validated by quantitative reverse transcription PCR and functional studies with primary cells from CAPS patients and healthy controls. We used 17 CAPS and 66 non-CAPS patient samples to create a set of gene expression models that differentiates CAPS patients from controls and from patients with other autoinflammatory conditions. RESULTS: Many DEG include transcripts related to the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses, oxidative stress, cell death, cell adhesion and motility. A set of gene expression-based models comprising the CAPS-specific gene expression signature correctly classified all 17 samples from an independent dataset. This classifier also correctly identified 15 of 16 post-anakinra CAPS samples despite the fact that these CAPS patients were in clinical remission. CONCLUSIONS: We identified a gene expression signature that clearly distinguished CAPS patients from controls. A number of DEG were in common with other systemic inflammatory diseases such as systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The CAPS-specific gene expression classifiers also suggest incomplete suppression of inflammation at low doses of anakinra.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 12/2012; · 8.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytopenias are key prognostic indicators of life-threatening infection, contributing to immunosuppression and mortality. Here we define a role for Caspase-1-dependent death, known as pyroptosis, in infection-induced cytopenias by studying inflammasome activation in hematopoietic progenitor cells. The NLRP1a inflammasome is expressed in hematopoietic progenitor cells and its activation triggers their pyroptotic death. Active NLRP1a induced a lethal systemic inflammatory disease that was driven by Caspase-1 and IL-1β but was independent of apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) and ameliorated by IL-18. Surprisingly, in the absence of IL-1β-driven inflammation, active NLRP1a triggered pyroptosis of hematopoietic progenitor cells resulting in leukopenia at steady state. During periods of hematopoietic stress induced by chemotherapy or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection, active NLRP1a caused prolonged cytopenia, bone marrow hypoplasia, and immunosuppression. Conversely, NLRP1-deficient mice showed enhanced recovery from chemotherapy and LCMV infection, demonstrating that NLRP1 acts as a cellular sentinel to alert Caspase-1 to hematopoietic and infectious stress.