[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome wide association studies have identified variants in PXK that confer risk for humoral autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), rheumatoid arthritis and more recently systemic sclerosis. While PXK is involved in trafficking of epidermal growth factor Receptor (EGFR) in COS-7 cells, mechanisms linking PXK to lupus pathophysiology have remained undefined. In an effort to uncover the mechanism at this locus that increases lupus-risk, we undertook a fine-mapping analysis in a large multi-ancestral study of lupus patients and controls. We define a large (257kb) common haplotype marking a single causal variant that confers lupus risk detected only in European ancestral populations and spans the promoter through the 3' UTR of PXK. The strongest association was found at rs6445972 with P < 4.62 × 10(-10), OR 0.81 (0.75-0.86). Using stepwise logistic regression analysis, we demonstrate that one signal drives the genetic association in the region. Bayesian analysis confirms our results, identifying a 95% credible set consisting of 172 variants spanning 202 kb. Functionally, we found that PXK operates on the B-cell antigen receptor (BCR); we confirmed that PXK influenced the rate of BCR internalization. Furthermore, we demonstrate that individuals carrying the risk haplotype exhibited a decreased rate of BCR internalization, a process known to impact B cell survival and cell fate. Taken together, these data define a new candidate mechanism for the genetic association of variants around PXK with lupus risk and highlight the regulation of intracellular trafficking as a genetically regulated pathway mediating human autoimmunity.
Frontiers in Genetics 01/2014; 5:450. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2014.00450
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent reports have associated NCF2, encoding a core component of the multi-protein NADPH oxidase (NADPHO), with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility in individuals of European ancestry. To identify ethnicity-specific and -robust variants within NCF2, we assessed 145 SNPs in and around the NCF2 gene in 5325 cases and 21 866 controls of European-American (EA), African-American (AA), Hispanic (HS) and Korean (KR) ancestry. Subsequent imputation, conditional, haplotype and bioinformatic analyses identified seven potentially functional SLE-predisposing variants. Association with non-synonymous rs17849502, previously reported in EA, was detected in EA, HS and AA (PEA = 1.01 × 10-54, PHS = 3.68 × 10-10, PAA = 0.03); synonymous rs17849501 was similarly significant. These SNPs were monomorphic in KR. Novel associations were detected with coding variants at rs35937854 in AA (PAA = 1.49 × 10-9), and rs13306575 in HS and KR (PHS = 7.04 × 10-7, PKR = 3.30 × 10-3). In KR, a 3-SNP haplotype was significantly associated (P = 4.20 × 10-7), implying that SLE predisposing variants were tagged. Significant SNP-SNP interaction (P = 0.02) was detected between rs13306575 and rs17849502 in HS, and a dramatically increased risk (OR = 6.55) with a risk allele at each locus. Molecular modeling predicts that these non-synonymous mutations could disrupt NADPHO complex assembly. The risk allele of rs17849501, located in a conserved transcriptional regulatory region, increased reporter gene activity, suggesting in vivo enhancer function. Our results not only establish allelic heterogeneity within NCF2 associated with SLE, but also emphasize the utility of multi-ethnic cohorts to identify predisposing variants explaining additional phenotypic variance ('missing heritability') of complex diseases like SLE.
Human Molecular Genetics 11/2013; 23(6). DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddt532 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously established an 80 kb haplotype upstream of TNFSF4 as a susceptibility locus in the autoimmune disease SLE. SLE-associated alleles at this locus are associated with inflammatory disorders, including atherosclerosis and ischaemic stroke. In Europeans, the TNFSF4 causal variants have remained elusive due to strong linkage disequilibrium exhibited by alleles spanning the region. Using a trans-ancestral approach to fine-map the locus, utilising 17,900 SLE and control subjects including Amerindian/Hispanics (1348 cases, 717 controls), African-Americans (AA) (1529, 2048) and better powered cohorts of Europeans and East Asians, we find strong association of risk alleles in all ethnicities; the AA association replicates in African-American Gullah (152,122). The best evidence of association comes from two adjacent markers: rs2205960-T (P = 1.71×10(-34) , OR = 1.43[1.26-1.60]) and rs1234317-T (P = 1.16×10(-28) , OR = 1.38[1.24-1.54]). Inference of fine-scale recombination rates for all populations tested finds the 80 kb risk and non-risk haplotypes in all except African-Americans. In this population the decay of recombination equates to an 11 kb risk haplotype, anchored in the 5' region proximal to TNFSF4 and tagged by rs2205960-T after 1000 Genomes phase 1 (v3) imputation. Conditional regression analyses delineate the 5' risk signal to rs2205960-T and the independent non-risk signal to rs1234314-C. Our case-only and SLE-control cohorts demonstrate robust association of rs2205960-T with autoantibody production. The rs2205960-T is predicted to form part of a decameric motif which binds NF-κBp65 with increased affinity compared to rs2205960-G. ChIP-seq data also indicate NF-κB interaction with the DNA sequence at this position in LCL cells. Our research suggests association of rs2205960-T with SLE across multiple groups and an independent non-risk signal at rs1234314-C. rs2205960-T is associated with autoantibody production and lymphopenia. Our data confirm a global signal at TNFSF4 and a role for the expressed product at multiple stages of lymphocyte dysregulation during SLE pathogenesis. We confirm the validity of trans-ancestral mapping in a complex trait.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We used the Immunochip array to analyze 2,816 individuals with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), comprising the most common subtypes (oligoarticular and rheumatoid factor-negative polyarticular JIA), and 13,056 controls. We confirmed association of 3 known JIA risk loci (the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region, PTPN22 and PTPN2) and identified 14 loci reaching genome-wide significance (P < 5 x 10(-8)) for the first time. Eleven additional new regions showed suggestive evidence of association with JIA (P < 1 x 10(-6)). Dense mapping of loci along with bioinformatics analysis refined the associations to one gene in each of eight regions, highlighting crucial pathways, including the interleukin (IL)-2 pathway, in JIA disease pathogenesis. The entire Immunochip content, the HLA region and the top 27 loci (P < 1 x 10(-6)) explain an estimated 18, 13 and 6% of the risk of JIA, respectively. In summary, this is the largest collection of JIA cases investigated so far and provides new insight into the genetic basis of this childhood autoimmune disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Little is known about the genetic etiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in individuals of African ancestry, despite its higher prevalence and greater disease severity. Overproduction of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species are implicated in the pathogenesis and severity of SLE, making NO synthases and other reactive intermediate-related genes biological candidates for disease susceptibility. We analyzed variation in reactive intermediate genes for association with SLE in 2 populations with African ancestry.
A total of 244 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) from 53 regions were analyzed in non-Gullah African Americans (AA; 1432 cases and 1687 controls) and the genetically more homogeneous Gullah of the Sea Islands of South Carolina (133 cases and 112 controls). Single-marker, haplotype, and 2-locus interaction tests were computed for these populations.
The glutathione reductase gene GSR (rs2253409; p = 0.0014, OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.09-1.44) was the most significant single SNP association in AA. In the Gullah, the NADH dehydrogenase NDUFS4 (rs381575; p = 0.0065, OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.23-3.59) and NO synthase gene NOS1 (rs561712; p = 0.0072, OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.44-0.88) were most strongly associated with SLE. When both populations were analyzed together, GSR remained the most significant effect (rs2253409; p = 0.00072, OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.10-1.44). Haplotype and 2-locus interaction analyses also uncovered different loci in each population.
These results suggest distinct patterns of association with SLE in African-derived populations; specific loci may be more strongly associated within select population groups.
The Journal of Rheumatology 05/2013; 40(6). DOI:10.3899/jrheum.120989 · 3.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease with a strong genetic component. African-Americans (AA) are at increased risk of SLE, but the genetic basis of this risk is largely unknown. To identify causal variants in SLE loci in AA, we performed admixture mapping followed by fine mapping in AA and European-Americans (EA). Through genome-wide admixture mapping in AA, we identified a strong SLE susceptibility locus at 2q22-24 (LOD = 6.28), and the admixture signal is associated with the European ancestry (ancestry risk ratio ∼1.5). Large-scale genotypic analysis on 19,726 individuals of African and European ancestry revealed three independently associated variants in the IFIH1 gene: an intronic variant, rs13023380 [P(meta) = 5.20×10(-14); odds ratio, 95% confidence interval = 0.82 (0.78-0.87)], and two missense variants, rs1990760 (Ala946Thr) [P(meta) = 3.08×10(-7); 0.88 (0.84-0.93)] and rs10930046 (Arg460His) [P(dom) = 1.16×10(-8); 0.70 (0.62-0.79)]. Both missense variants produced dramatic phenotypic changes in apoptosis and inflammation-related gene expression. We experimentally validated function of the intronic SNP by DNA electrophoresis, protein identification, and in vitro protein binding assays. DNA carrying the intronic risk allele rs13023380 showed reduced binding efficiency to a cellular protein complex including nucleolin and lupus autoantigen Ku70/80, and showed reduced transcriptional activity in vivo. Thus, in SLE patients, genetic susceptibility could create a biochemical imbalance that dysregulates nucleolin, Ku70/80, or other nucleic acid regulatory proteins. This could promote antibody hypermutation and auto-antibody generation, further destabilizing the cellular network. Together with molecular modeling, our results establish a distinct role for IFIH1 in apoptosis, inflammation, and autoantibody production, and explain the molecular basis of these three risk alleles for SLE pathogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) disease manifestations are highly variable among patients, and the prevalence of individual clinical features differs significantly by ancestry. Serum tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) levels are elevated in some SLE patients and may play a role in disease pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to look for associations between serum TNFα levels, clinical manifestations of SLE, autoantibodies, and serum interferon-α (IFNα) levels in a large multiancestral SLE cohort.
We studied serum TNFα levels in 653 SLE patients (214 African Americans, 298 European Americans, and 141 Hispanic Americans). TNFα was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and IFNα was measured with a functional reporter cell assay. Stratified and multivariate analyses were used to detect associations in each ancestral background separately, with meta-analysis when appropriate.
Serum TNFα levels were significantly higher in SLE patients than in non-autoimmune disease controls (P < 5.0 × 10(-3) for each ancestral background). High serum TNFα levels were positively correlated with high serum IFNα levels when tested in the same sample across all ancestral backgrounds (odds ratio range 1.76-1.86, P = 4.8 × 10(-3) by Fisher's combined probability test). While serum TNFα levels alone did not differ significantly among SLE patients of different ancestral backgrounds, the proportion of patients with concurrently high levels of TNFα and IFNα was highest in African Americans and lowest in European Americans (P = 5.0 × 10(-3) ). Serum TNFα levels were not associated with autoantibodies, clinical criteria for the diagnosis of SLE, or age at the time of sampling.
Serum TNFα levels are high in many SLE patients, and we observed a positive correlation between serum TNFα and IFNα levels. These data support a role for TNFα in the pathogenesis of SLE across all ancestral backgrounds and suggest important cytokine subgroups within the disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Sjögren syndrome is a common, chronic autoimmune disease that typically produces inflammation and poor function of the salivary and lacrimal glands. Other organs can be affected, including the nervous system. Sensory peripheral neuropathy is a common manifestation of the disease.
Eight-eight patients attending a dry eyes-dry mouth clinic were diagnosed to have primary Sjögren syndrome and underwent a neurological examination. Anti-Ro (or SSA) and anti-La (or SSB) were determined using immunodiffusion as well as Inno-Lia and BioPlex ANA screen. Serum vitamin B(12) levels were determined using an enzyme-linked microtiter plate assay.
Twenty-seven (31%) of the 88 patients had peripheral neuropathy as defined by loss of light touch, proprioception, or vibratory sensation. Anti-Ro and anti-La were found by immunodiffusion in 12 patients, and 8 of these 12 had neuropathy (χ(2) = 8.46, P = 0.0036, odds ratio = 6.0 compared to those without precipitating anti-Ro and anti-La). Of the 27 patients with only anti-Ro by immunodiffusion, 13 (48.1%) had neuropathy (χ(2) = 5.587, P = 0.018, compared to those without anti-Ro). There was no relationship of the other, more sensitive measures of anti-Ro and anti-La to neuropathy. In addition, we found no association of serum vitamin B(12) levels to neuropathy among these patients with Sjögren syndrome.
Sensory peripheral neuropathy is common among patients with Sjögren syndrome and is associated with the presence of anti-Ro and anti-La when determined by immunodiffusion.
Journal of clinical rheumatology: practical reports on rheumatic & musculoskeletal diseases 09/2012; 18(6):290-293. DOI:10.1097/RHU.0b013e3182675e4f · 1.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas in affected organs. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of this disease have been conducted only in European population. We present the first sarcoidosis GWAS in African Americans (AAs, 818 cases and 1,088 related controls) followed by replication in independent sets of AAs (455 cases and 557 controls) and European Americans (EAs, 442 cases and 2,284 controls). We evaluated >6 million SNPs either genotyped using the Illumina Omni1-Quad array or imputed from the 1000 Genomes Project data. We identified a novel sarcoidosis-associated locus, NOTCH4, that reached genome-wide significance in the combined AA samples (rs715299, P(AA-meta) = 6.51×10(-10)) and demonstrated the independence of this locus from others in the MHC region in the same sample. We replicated previous European GWAS associations within HLA-DRA, HLA-DRB5, HLA-DRB1, BTNL2, and ANXA11 in both our AA and EA datasets. We also confirmed significant associations to the previously reported HLA-C and HLA-B regions in the EA but not AA samples. We further identified suggestive associations with several other genes previously reported in lung or inflammatory diseases.
PLoS ONE 08/2012; 7(8):e43907. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0043907 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibody production and altered type I interferon expression. Genetic surveys and genome-wide association studies have identified >30 SLE susceptibility genes. One of these genes, TNIP1, encodes the ABIN1 protein. ABIN1 functions in the immune system by restricting NF-κB signaling. The present study was undertaken to investigate the genetic factors that influence association with SLE in genes that regulate the NF-κB pathway.
We analyzed a dense set of genetic markers spanning TNIP1 and TAX1BP1, as well as the TNIP1 homolog TNIP2, in case–control populations of diverse ethnic origins. TNIP1, TNIP2, and TAX1BP1 were fine-mapped in a total of 8,372 SLE cases and 7,492 healthy controls from European-ancestry, African American, Hispanic, East Asian, and African American Gullah populations. Levels of TNIP1 messenger RNA (mRNA) and ABIN1 protein in Epstein-Barr virus–transformed human B cell lines were analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting, respectively.
We found significant associations between SLE and genetic variants within TNIP1, but not in TNIP2 or TAX1BP1. After resequencing and imputation, we identified 2 independent risk haplotypes within TNIP1 in individuals of European ancestry that were also present in African American and Hispanic populations. Levels of TNIP1 mRNA and ABIN1 protein were reduced among subjects with these haplotypes, suggesting that they harbor hypomorphic functional variants that influence susceptibility to SLE by restricting ABIN1 expression.
Our results confirm the association signals between SLE and TNIP1 variants in multiple populations and provide new insight into the mechanism by which TNIP1 variants may contribute to SLE pathogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; OMIM 152700) is a chronic autoimmune disease for which the aetiology includes genetic and environmental factors. ITGAM, integrin αM (complement component 3 receptor 3 subunit) encoding a ligand for intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM) proteins, is an established SLE susceptibility locus. This study aimed to evaluate the independent and joint effects of genetic variations in the genes that encode ITGAM and ICAM.
Methods The authors examined several markers in the ICAM1–ICAM4–ICAM5 locus on chromosome 19p13 and the single ITGAM polymorphism (rs1143679) using a large-scale case–control study of 17 481 unrelated participants from four ancestry populations. The single-marker association and gene–gene interaction were analysed for each ancestry, and a meta-analysis across the four ancestries was performed.
Results The A-allele of ICAM1–ICAM4–ICAM5 rs3093030, associated with elevated plasma levels of soluble ICAM1, and the A-allele of ITGAM rs1143679 showed the strongest association with increased SLE susceptibility in each of the ancestry populations and the trans-ancestry meta-analysis (ORmeta=1.16, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.22; p=4.88×10−10 and ORmeta=1.67, 95% CI 1.55 to 1.79; p=3.32×10−46, respectively). The effect of the ICAM single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was independent of the effect of the ITGAM SNP rs1143679, and carriers of both ICAM rs3093030-AA and ITGAM rs1143679-AA had an OR of 4.08 compared with those with no risk allele in either SNP (95% CI 2.09 to 7.98; p=3.91×10−5).
Conclusion These findings are the first to suggest that an ICAM–integrin-mediated pathway contributes to susceptibility to SLE.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 04/2012; 71(11):1809-1814. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201110 · 10.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic heterogeneous autoimmune disorder characterized by the loss of tolerance to self-antigens and dysregulated interferon responses. The etiology of SLE is complex, involving both heritable and environmental factors. Candidate-gene studies and genome-wide association (GWA) scans have been successful in identifying new loci that contribute to disease susceptibility; however, much of the heritable risk has yet to be identified. In this study, we sought to replicate 1,580 variants showing suggestive association with SLE in a previously published GWA scan of European Americans; we tested a multiethnic population consisting of 7,998 SLE cases and 7,492 controls of European, African American, Asian, Hispanic, Gullah, and Amerindian ancestry to find association with the disease. Several genes relevant to immunological pathways showed association with SLE. Three loci exceeded the genome-wide significance threshold: interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8; rs11644034; p(meta-Euro) = 2.08 × 10(-10)), transmembrane protein 39A (TMEM39A; rs1132200; p(meta-all) = 8.62 × 10(-9)), and 17q21 (rs1453560; p(meta-all) = 3.48 × 10(-10)) between IKAROS family of zinc finger 3 (AIOLOS; IKZF3) and zona pellucida binding protein 2 (ZPBP2). Fine mapping, resequencing, imputation, and haplotype analysis of IRF8 indicated that three independent effects tagged by rs8046526, rs450443, and rs4843869, respectively, were required for risk in individuals of European ancestry. Eleven additional replicated effects (5 × 10(-8) < p(meta-Euro) < 9.99 × 10(-5)) were observed with CFHR1, CADM2, LOC730109/IL12A, LPP, LOC63920, SLU7, ADAMTSL1, C10orf64, OR8D4, FAM19A2, and STXBP6. The results of this study increase the number of confirmed SLE risk loci and identify others warranting further investigation.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 04/2012; 90(4):648-60. DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.02.023 · 10.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent advances in the field of genetics have dramatically changed our understanding of autoimmune disease. Candidate gene and, more recently, genome-wide association (GWA) studies have led to an explosion in the number of loci and pathways known to contribute to autoimmune phenotypes. Since the 1970s, researchers have known that several alleles in the MHC region play a role in the pathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases. More recent work has identified numerous risk loci involving both the innate and adaptive immune responses. However, much remains to be learned about the heritability of autoimmune conditions. Most regions found through GWA scans have yet to isolate the association to the causal allele(s) responsible for conferring disease risk. A role for rare variants (allele frequencies of <1%) has begun to emerge. Future research will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to comprehensively evaluate the human genome for risk variants. Whole-transcriptome sequencing is now possible, which will provide much more detailed gene expression data. The dramatic drop in the cost and time required to sequence the entire human genome will ultimately make it possible for this technology to be used as a clinical diagnostic tool.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is more common than related autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), scientific and medical research in SS has lagged behind significantly. This is especially true in the field of SS genetics, where efforts to date have relied heavily on candidate gene approaches. Within the last decade, the advent of the genome-wide association (GWA) scan has altered our understanding of disease pathogenesis in hundreds of disorders through the successful identification of novel risk loci. With strong evidence for a genetic component in SS as evidenced by familial aggregation of SS as well as similarities between SS and SLE and RA, the application of GWA approaches would likely yield numerous novel risk loci in SS. Here we review the fundamental scientific principles employed in GWA scans as well as the limitations of this tool, and we discuss the application of GWA scans in determining genetic variants at play in complex disease. We also examine the successful application of GWA scans in SLE, which now has more than 40 confirmed risk loci, and consider the possibility for a similar trajectory of SS genetic discovery in the era of GWA scans. Ultimately, the GWA studies that will be performed in SS have the potential to identify a myriad of novel genetic loci that will allow scientists to begin filling in the gaps in our understanding of the SS pathogenesis.
Journal of Autoimmunity 01/2012; 39(1-2):57-63. DOI:10.1016/j.jaut.2012.01.008 · 8.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disease with significant immune system aberrations resulting from complex heritable genetics as well as environmental factors. We undertook to study the role of TRAF6 as a candidate gene for SLE, since it plays a major role in several signaling pathways that are important for immunity and organ development.
Fifteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across TRAF6 were evaluated in 7,490 SLE patients and 6,780 control subjects from different ancestries. Population-based case-control association analyses and meta-analyses were performed. P values, false discovery rate q values, and odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated.
Evidence of associations was detected in multiple SNPs. The best overall P values were obtained for SNPs rs5030437 and rs4755453 (P = 7.85 × 10(-5) and P = 4.73 × 10(-5) , respectively) without significant heterogeneity among populations (P = 0.67 and P = 0.50, respectively, in Q statistic). In addition, SNP rs540386, which was previously reported to be associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), was found to be in linkage disequilibrium with these 2 SNPs (r(2) = 0.95) and demonstrated evidence of association with SLE in the same direction (meta-analysis P = 9.15 × 10(-4) , OR 0.89 [95% CI 0.83-0.95]). The presence of thrombocytopenia improved the overall results in different populations (meta-analysis P = 1.99 × 10(-6) , OR 0.57 [95% CI 0.45-0.72], for rs5030470). Finally, evidence of family-based association in 34 African American pedigrees with the presence of thrombocytopenia was detected in 1 available SNP (rs5030437) with a Z score magnitude of 2.28 (P = 0.02) under a dominant model.
Our data indicate the presence of association of TRAF6 with SLE, consistent with the previous report of association with RA. These data provide further support for the involvement of TRAF6 in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity.
[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. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200085 · 10.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the prototypic systemic autoimmune disease, is a debilitating multisystem autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation and extensive immune dysregulation in multiple organ systems, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Here, we present a multidisciplinary approach resulting in the identification of neutrophil cytosolic factor 2 (NCF2) as an important risk factor for SLE and the detailed characterization of its causal variant. We show that NCF2 is strongly associated with increased SLE risk in two independent populations: childhood-onset SLE and adult-onset SLE. The association between NCF2 and SLE can be attributed to a single nonsynonymous coding mutation in exon 12, the effect of which is the substitution of histidine-389 with glutamine (H389Q) in the PB1 domain of the NCF2 protein, with glutamine being the risk allele. Computational modeling suggests that the NCF2 H389Q mutation reduces the binding efficiency of NCF2 with the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav1. The model predicts that NCF2/H389 residue interacts with Vav1 residues E509, N510, E556, and G559 in the ZF domain of Vav1. Furthermore, replacing H389 with Q results in 1.5 kcal/mol weaker binding. To examine the effect of the NCF2 H389Q mutation on NADPH oxidase function, site-specific mutations at the 389 position in NCF2 were tested. Results show that an H389Q mutation causes a twofold decrease in reactive oxygen species production induced by the activation of the Vav-dependent Fcγ receptor-elicited NADPH oxidase activity. Our study completes the chain of evidence from genetic association to specific molecular function.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2011; 109(2):E59-67. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1113251108 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In spite of the well-known clustering of multiple autoimmune disorders in families, analyses of specific shared genes and polymorphisms between systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other autoimmune diseases (ADs) have been limited. Therefore, we comprehensively tested autoimmune variants for association with SLE, aiming to identify pleiotropic genetic associations between these diseases. We compiled a list of 446 non-Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) variants identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of populations of European ancestry across 17 ADs. We then tested these variants in our combined Caucasian SLE cohorts of 1,500 cases and 5,706 controls. We tested a subset of these polymorphisms in an independent Caucasian replication cohort of 2,085 SLE cases and 2,854 controls, allowing the computation of a meta-analysis between all cohorts. We have uncovered novel shared SLE loci that passed multiple comparisons adjustment, including the VTCN1 (rs12046117, P = 2.02×10(-06)) region. We observed that the loci shared among the most ADs include IL23R, OLIG3/TNFAIP3, and IL2RA. Given the lack of a universal autoimmune risk locus outside of the MHC and variable specificities for different diseases, our data suggests partial pleiotropy among ADs. Hierarchical clustering of ADs suggested that the most genetically related ADs appear to be type 1 diabetes with rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease with ulcerative colitis. These findings support a relatively distinct genetic susceptibility for SLE. For many of the shared GWAS autoimmune loci, we found no evidence for association with SLE, including IL23R. Also, several established SLE loci are apparently not associated with other ADs, including the ITGAM-ITGAX and TNFSF4 regions. This study represents the most comprehensive evaluation of shared autoimmune loci to date, supports a relatively distinct non-MHC genetic susceptibility for SLE, provides further evidence for previously and newly identified shared genes in SLE, and highlights the value of studies of potentially pleiotropic genes in autoimmune diseases.
[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. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200385 · 10.38 Impact Factor