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1.  Molecular basis of an autoantibody-associated restriction fragment length polymorphism that confers susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1991;88(1):193-203.
Recently, combined serological and molecular studies of autoantibodies have revealed that these antibodies play an important role in the normal function of the immune system and in the development of the B cell repertoire. Accordingly, we hypothesized that a homozygous deletion of a critical autoantibody-associated Ig variable (V) gene may alter the immune system and thus predispose the host to autoimmune disorders. Initial experiments revealed several restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) of the Humhv3005 gene, that is likely to encode heavy chains of rheumatoid factors, and the closely related 1.9III gene. By probing EcoR1-digested DNA with the Humhv3005/P1 probe, we found that one of the four major hybridizing bands was missing in approximately 20% of patients with either rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus, but only 2% of normal subjects. To delineate the genetic basis of this polymorphism, we have now employed the PCR to amplify and analyze hv3005, 1.9III, and homologous genes in individuals with characteristic RFLP genotypes. Our results indicate that the human Vh gene repertoire contains several hv3005- and 1.9III-like genes, and that a complete deletion of the hv3005-like genes is relatively restricted to a subset of autoimmune patients. These findings provide initial evidence for deletion of developmentally regulated autoreactive V genes in autoimmune diseases.
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PMCID: PMC296020  PMID: 1676037
2.  Association between a T cell receptor restriction fragment length polymorphism and systemic lupus erythematosus. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1990;86(6):1961-1967.
The present study was designed to test the possibility that T cell receptor genes are associated/linked to those involved in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Genomic DNA was isolated from 31 unrelated Caucasian SLE patients, 34 unrelated Caucasian normals, 5 multiplex American Caucasian SLE families, 9 multiplex Mexican SLE families, and 13 unrelated Mexican normals. The DNA was digested with Pst I, electrophoresed, and transferred to membranes by the Southern blot method. The blots were probed with a cDNA probe for the alpha chain of the T cell receptor. 13 polymorphic RFLP patterns were recognized. 1.3- and 3.0-kb band pairs were observed in 15 of 31 of American Caucasian patients and 4 of 34 American Caucasian controls (chi square, 8.81; P less than 0.002; relative risk, 7); there was no association of any RFLP pattern with Mexican SLE. The cDNA probe was cut with Rsa I, EcoR I, and Ava II into fragments corresponding to the V, J, C, and 3'UT regions. Only the fragment corresponding to the constant region reacted with the 1.3/3.0-kb band pair. These observations suggest that a genetic marker of the constant region of the alpha chain of the T cell receptor is associated with genes involved in SLE.
Images
PMCID: PMC329832  PMID: 1979334
3.  Association between -1486 T>C and +1174 G>A single nucleotide polymorphisms in TLR9 gene and severity of lupus nephritis 
Indian Journal of Nephrology  2012;22(2):125-129.
Signaling through Toll-like receptor-9 (TLR9), a mediator of innate immune responses, could have a role in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Some studies have shown an association between polymorphisms in the TLR9 gene and disease manifestations. We investigated whether two single nucleotide polymorphisms (-1486 T>C and +1174 G>A) in the TLR9 gene are associated with the risk of renal involvement in SLE. DNA samples from 112 SLE patients (62 with lupus nephritis) and 100 healthy controls were obtained. TLR9 polymorphisms (-1486 T>C and +1174 G>A) were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism. Genotype and allelic frequencies were compared between lupus patients and healthy controls. Clinical and laboratory manifestations and activity scores on renal biopsy of patients with lupus nephritis were compared between various genotypes. There was no difference in the frequency of genotype or allele distribution at either of the two loci between lupus patients and controls and in lupus patients with or without nephritis. Patients with CC/CT genotype at the -1486 position had higher serum creatinine (P = 0.03) and Austin activity scores (P = 0.015). Patients with AA/AG genotype at +1174 position showed higher serum creatinine (P = 0.04), proteinuria (P = 0.011), anti-dsDNA titers (P < 0.001) and Austin activity scores (P = 0.003) than the GG genotype. Variations at the -1486 and +1174 positions of TLR9 gene are not associated with increased risk of SLE or that of kidney involvement in North Indians. CC/CT genotypes at -1486 and AA/AG at +1174 positions are associated with more severe kidney disease at presentation.
doi:10.4103/0971-4065.97133
PMCID: PMC3391810  PMID: 22787315
Genetics; lupus nephritis; systemic lupus erythematosus; toll-like receptor
4.  Male only Systemic Lupus 
The Journal of rheumatology  2010;37(7):1480-1487.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is more common among women than men with a ratio of about 10 to 1. We undertook this study to describe familial male SLE within a large cohort of familial SLE. SLE families (two or more patients) were obtained from the Lupus Multiplex Registry and Repository. Genomic DNA and blood samples were obtained using standard methods. Autoantibodies were determined by multiple methods. Medical records were abstracted for SLE clinical data. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed with X and Y centromere specific probes, and a probe specific for the toll-like receptor 7 gene on the X chromosome. Among 523 SLE families, we found five families in which all the SLE patients were male. FISH found no yaa gene equivalent in these families. SLE-unaffected primary female relatives from the five families with only-male SLE patients had a statistically increased rate of positive ANA compared to SLE-unaffected female relatives in other families. White men with SLE were 5 times more likely to have an offspring with SLE than were White women with SLE but there was no difference in this likelihood among Black men. These data suggest genetic susceptibility factors that act only in men.
doi:10.3899/jrheum.090726
PMCID: PMC2978923  PMID: 20472921
Systemic lupus erythematosus; men; autoantibodies; genetics
5.  Role of the Promoter Polymorphism IL-6 −174G/C in Dermatomyositis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:315365.
The promoter polymorphism −174G/C within the interleukin-6 gene (IL-6) has been reported to have a functional importance through the modulation of IL-6 gene expression in vitro and in vivo. IL-6 is thought to play an important role in autoimmune diseases and the effect of its receptor inhibitor—tocilizumab—has been recently studied. The aim of this case-control study was to investigate the association between the interleukin-6 −174G/C single nucleotide polymorphism and the susceptibility to dermatomyositis (DM) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Bulgarian patients. Altogether, 87 patients—52 with SLE and 35 with DM—as well as 80 unrelated healthy controls were included in this study. All of them were analyzed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (RFLP). The GG genotype and the G allele appeared to be associated with SLE, especially in women. None of the genotypes showed an association with DM. However, the G allele appeared to be associated with muscle weakness and it is a risk factor for elevated muscle enzymes. Our results indicate that IL-6 −174G/C polymorphism might be associated with the susceptibility to SLE especially in women. Although it is not associated with DM, it seems that IL-6 −174G/C polymorphism could modulate some clinical features in the autoimmune myopathies.
doi:10.1155/2013/315365
PMCID: PMC3784074  PMID: 24106699
6.  Vitamin D receptor gene BsmI polymorphisms in Thai patients with systemic lupus erythematosus 
The immunomodulatory role of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 is well known. An association between vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene BsmI polymorphisms and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been reported. To examine the characteristics of VDR gene BsmI polymorphisms in patients with SLE and the relationship of polymorphisms to the susceptibility and clinical manifestations of SLE, VDR genotypings of 101 Thai patients with SLE and 194 healthy controls were performed based on polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). The relationship between VDR gene BsmI polymorphisms and clinical manifestations of SLE was evaluated. The distribution of VDR genotyping in patients with SLE was 1.9% for BB (non-excisable allele homozygote), 21.78% for Bb (heterozygote), and 76.23% for bb (excisable allele homozygote). The distribution of VDR genotyping in the control group was 1.03% for BB, 15.98% for Bb, and 82.99% for bb. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.357). The allelic distribution of B and b was similar within the groups (p = 0.173). The relationship between VDR genotype and clinical manifestation or laboratory profiles of SLE also cannot be statistically demonstrated. In conclusion, we cannot verify any association between VDR gene BsmI polymorphism and SLE. A larger study examining other VDR gene polymorphisms is proposed.
doi:10.1186/ar1910
PMCID: PMC1526606  PMID: 16507161
7.  Replicated associations of TNFAIP3, TNIP1 and ETS1 with systemic lupus erythematosus in a southwestern Chinese population 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2011;13(6):R186.
Introduction
Recent genome-wide and candidate gene association studies in large numbers of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients have suggested approximately 30 susceptibility genes. These genes are involved in three types of biological processes, including immune complex processing, toll-like receptor function and type I interferon production, and immune signal transduction in lymphocytes, and they may contribute to the pathogenesis of SLE. To better understand the genetic risk factors of SLE, we investigated the associations of seven SLE susceptibility genes in a Chinese population, including FCGR3A, FCGR2A, TNFAIP3, TLR9, TREX1, ETS1 and TNIP1.
Methods
A total of 20 SNPs spanning the seven SLE susceptibility genes were genotyped in a sample of 564 unrelated SLE patients and 504 unrelated healthy controls recruited from Yunnan, southwestern China. The associations of SNPs with SLE were assessed by statistical analysis.
Results
Five SNPs in two genes (TNFAIP3 and ETS1) were significantly associated with SLE (corrected P values ranging from 0.03 to 5.5 × 10-7). Through stratified analysis, TNFAIP3 and ETS1 showed significant associations with multiple SLE subphenotypes (such as malar rash, arthritis, hematologic disorder and antinuclear antibody) while TNIP1 just showed relatively weak association with onset age. The associations of the SNPs in the other four genes were not replicated.
Conclusions
The replication analysis indicates that TNFAIP3, ETS1 and TNIP1 are probably common susceptibility genes for SLE in Chinese populations, and they may contribute to the pathogenesis of multiple SLE subphenotypes.
doi:10.1186/ar3514
PMCID: PMC3334635  PMID: 22087647
8.  Complement receptor 2 polymorphisms associated with systemic lupus erythematosus modulate alternative splicing 
Genes and immunity  2009;10(5):457-469.
Genetic factors influence susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A recent family-based analysis in Caucasian and Chinese populations provided evidence for association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the complement receptor 2 (CR2/CD21) gene with SLE. Here we confirmed this result in a case-control analysis of an independent European-derived population including 2084 patients with SLE and 2853 healthy controls. A haplotype formed by the minor alleles of three CR2 SNPs (rs1048971, rs17615, rs4308977) showed significant association with decreased risk of SLE (30.4% in cases vs. 32.6% in controls, P = 0.016, OR = 0.90 [0.82-0.98]). Two of these SNPs are in exon 10, directly 5′ of an alternatively spliced exon preferentially expressed in follicular dendritic cells (FDC), and the third is in the alternatively spliced exon. Effects of these SNPs as well as a fourth SNP in exon 11 (rs17616) on alternative splicing were evaluated. We found that the minor alleles of these SNPs decreased splicing efficiency of exon 11 both in vitro and ex vivo. These findings further implicate CR2 in the pathogenesis of SLE and suggest that CR2 variants alter the maintenance of tolerance and autoantibody production in the secondary lymphoid tissues where B cells and FDCs interact.
doi:10.1038/gene.2009.27
PMCID: PMC2714407  PMID: 19387458
Alternative splicing; systemic lupus erythematosus; complement receptors; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; B cells; follicular dendritic cells
9.  Systemic lupus erythematosus. III. Observations on clinical renal involvement and follow up of renal function: Dutch experience with 110 patients studied prospectively. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1989;48(10):810-816.
A prospective study of 110 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was undertaken to evaluate the reliability of clinical signs of lupus nephritis, which developed in 39 (35%) patients. Those patients with SLE who showed no clinical signs of lupus nephritis had an excellent survival rate (10 year survival 93%) and retained normal renal function (serum creatinine less than 130 mumols/l); clinical lupus nephritis developed mainly in the first three years after diagnosis of SLE and was associated with a decreased survival rate (10 year survival 62%). Increased mortality was found in male patients with lupus nephritis over 25 years of age and in female patients with lupus nephritis under 25 years of age, while renal failure rates did not differ between these groups. Treatment of lupus nephritis with high dose prednisone alone or in combination with immunosuppressants did not result in differences in patient survival or renal function preservation. It was concluded that clinical variables are a reliable guide in the management of patients with SLE, and routine use of renal biopsy in these patients is rejected.
PMCID: PMC1003886  PMID: 2818017
10.  A novel isoform of the Ly108 gene ameliorates murine lupus 
The expression of the new Ly108 isoform H1 weakens lupus-like disease of C57BL/6.Sle1b mice.
Studies of human systemic lupus erythematosus patients and of murine congenic mouse strains associate genes in a DNA segment on chromosome 1 with a genetic predisposition for this disease. The systematic analysis of lupus-prone congenic mouse strains suggests a role for two isoforms of the Ly108 receptor in the pathogenesis of the disease. In this study, we demonstrate that Ly108 is involved in the pathogenesis of lupus-related autoimmunity in mice. More importantly, we identified a third protein isoform, Ly108-H1, which is absent in two lupus-prone congenic animals. Introduction of an Ly108-H1–expressing transgene markedly diminishes T cell–dependent autoimmunity in congenic B6.Sle1b mice. Thus, an immune response–suppressing isoform of Ly108 can regulate the pathogenesis of lupus.
doi:10.1084/jem.20101653
PMCID: PMC3135348  PMID: 21422172
11.  A Dinucleotide Deletion in CD24 Confers Protection against Autoimmune Diseases 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(4):e49.
It is generally believed that susceptibility to both organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases is under polygenic control. Although multiple genes have been implicated in each type of autoimmune disease, few are known to have a significant impact on both. Here, we investigated the significance of polymorphisms in the human gene CD24 and the susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We used cases/control studies to determine the association between CD24 polymorphism and the risk of MS and SLE. In addition, we also considered transmission disequilibrium tests using family data from two cohorts consisting of a total of 150 pedigrees of MS families and 187 pedigrees of SLE families. Our analyses revealed that a dinucleotide deletion at position 1527∼1528 (P1527del) from the CD24 mRNA translation start site is associated with a significantly reduced risk (odds ratio = 0.54 with 95% confidence interval = 0.34–0.82) and delayed progression (p = 0.0188) of MS. Among the SLE cohort, we found a similar reduction of risk with the same polymorphism (odds ratio = 0.38, confidence interval = 0.22–0.62). More importantly, using 150 pedigrees of MS families from two independent cohorts and the TRANSMIT software, we found that the P1527del allele was preferentially transmitted to unaffected individuals (p = 0.002). Likewise, an analysis of 187 SLE families revealed the dinucleotide-deleted allele was preferentially transmitted to unaffected individuals (p = 0.002). The mRNA levels for the dinucleotide-deletion allele were 2.5-fold less than that of the wild-type allele. The dinucleotide deletion significantly reduced the stability of CD24 mRNA. Our results demonstrate that a destabilizing dinucleotide deletion in the 3′ UTR of CD24 mRNA conveys significant protection against both MS and SLE.
Author Summary
When an individual's immune system attacks self tissues or organs, he/she develops autoimmune diseases. Although it is well established that multiple genes control susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, most of the genes remain unidentified. In addition, although different autoimmune diseases have a common immunological basis, a very small number of genes have been identified that affect multiple autoimmune diseases. Here we show that a variation in CD24 is a likely genetic factor for the risk and progression of two types of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), an organ-specific autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system, and systemic lupus erythematosus, a systemic autoimmune disease. Our data indicated that if an individual's CD24 gene has a specific two-nucleotide deletion in the noncoding region of CD24 mRNA, his/her risk of developing MS or SLE is reduced by 2- to 3-fold. As a group, MS patients with the two-nucleotide deletion will likely have a slower disease progression. Biochemical analysis indicated that the deletion leads to rapid decay of CD24 mRNA, which should result in reduced synthesis of the CD24 protein. Our data may be useful for the treatment and diagnosis of autoimmune diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030049
PMCID: PMC1847692  PMID: 17411341
12.  A Dinucleotide Deletion in CD24 Confers Protection against Autoimmune Diseases 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(4):e49.
It is generally believed that susceptibility to both organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases is under polygenic control. Although multiple genes have been implicated in each type of autoimmune disease, few are known to have a significant impact on both. Here, we investigated the significance of polymorphisms in the human gene CD24 and the susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We used cases/control studies to determine the association between CD24 polymorphism and the risk of MS and SLE. In addition, we also considered transmission disequilibrium tests using family data from two cohorts consisting of a total of 150 pedigrees of MS families and 187 pedigrees of SLE families. Our analyses revealed that a dinucleotide deletion at position 1527∼1528 (P1527del) from the CD24 mRNA translation start site is associated with a significantly reduced risk (odds ratio = 0.54 with 95% confidence interval = 0.34–0.82) and delayed progression (p = 0.0188) of MS. Among the SLE cohort, we found a similar reduction of risk with the same polymorphism (odds ratio = 0.38, confidence interval = 0.22–0.62). More importantly, using 150 pedigrees of MS families from two independent cohorts and the TRANSMIT software, we found that the P1527del allele was preferentially transmitted to unaffected individuals (p = 0.002). Likewise, an analysis of 187 SLE families revealed the dinucleotide-deleted allele was preferentially transmitted to unaffected individuals (p = 0.002). The mRNA levels for the dinucleotide-deletion allele were 2.5-fold less than that of the wild-type allele. The dinucleotide deletion significantly reduced the stability of CD24 mRNA. Our results demonstrate that a destabilizing dinucleotide deletion in the 3′ UTR of CD24 mRNA conveys significant protection against both MS and SLE.
Author Summary
When an individual's immune system attacks self tissues or organs, he/she develops autoimmune diseases. Although it is well established that multiple genes control susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, most of the genes remain unidentified. In addition, although different autoimmune diseases have a common immunological basis, a very small number of genes have been identified that affect multiple autoimmune diseases. Here we show that a variation in CD24 is a likely genetic factor for the risk and progression of two types of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), an organ-specific autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system, and systemic lupus erythematosus, a systemic autoimmune disease. Our data indicated that if an individual's CD24 gene has a specific two-nucleotide deletion in the noncoding region of CD24 mRNA, his/her risk of developing MS or SLE is reduced by 2- to 3-fold. As a group, MS patients with the two-nucleotide deletion will likely have a slower disease progression. Biochemical analysis indicated that the deletion leads to rapid decay of CD24 mRNA, which should result in reduced synthesis of the CD24 protein. Our data may be useful for the treatment and diagnosis of autoimmune diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030049
PMCID: PMC1847692  PMID: 17411341
13.  Association of the IRF5 Risk Haplotype With High Serum Interferon-α Activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2008;58(8):2481-2487.
Objective
A haplotype of the interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) gene has been associated with the risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and our previous studies have demonstrated that high levels of serum interferon-α (IFNα) activity are a heritable risk factor for SLE. The aim of this study was to determine whether the IRF5 SLE risk haplotype mediates the risk of SLE by predisposing patients to the development of high levels of serum IFNα activity.
Methods
IFNα levels in 199 SLE patients of European and Hispanic ancestry were measured with a sensitive functional reporter cell assay. The rs2004640, rs3807306, rs10488631, and rs2280714 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IRF5 were genotyped in these patients. Haplotypes were categorized as SLE risk, neutral, or protective based on published data.
Results
SLE patients with risk/risk and risk/neutral IRF5 genotypes had higher serum IFNα activity than did those with protective/protective and neutral/protective genotypes (P = 0.025). This differential effect of IRF5 genotype on serum IFNα levels was driven largely by SLE patients who were positive for either anti–RNA binding protein (anti-RBP) or anti–double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) autoantibodies (P = 0.012 for risk/risk or risk/neutral versus protective/protective or neutral/protective). The rs3807306 genotype was independently associated with high serum IFNα in this autoantibody group. We found no difference in IFNα activity according to IRF5 genotype in patients lacking either type of autoantibody or in patients positive for both classes of autoantibody.
Conclusion
The IRF5 SLE risk haplotype is associated with higher serum IFNα activity in SLE patients, and this effect is most prominent in patients positive for either anti-RBP or anti-dsDNA autoantibodies. This study demonstrates the biologic relevance of the SLE risk haplotype of IRF5 at the protein level.
doi:10.1002/art.23613
PMCID: PMC2621107  PMID: 18668568
14.  Analysis of Adiponectin Gene Polymorphisms in Chinese Population with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototypic systemic autoimmune disease. Adiponectin is an adipocyte-derived cytokine with anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and antiatherogenic properties. No study has reported on the association between adiponectin (ADIPOQ) gene and SLE. Our aim is to investigate the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms in ADIPOQ gene and SLE. We examined 179 SLE patients and 237 age- and gender-matched controls from Sichuan province in China. Genotypes were determined using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA sequencing. Results show that there was no significant difference in the allele frequencies of rs1501299 (P = .311, OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 0.86–1.59) and rs2241766 (P = .929, OR = 0.99, 95% CI: 0.74–1.33) in ADIPOQ gene between SLE patients and controls. The same results were seen in their genotypes (P < .05). The allele frequencies of rs1501299 and rs2241766 polymorphisms of ADIPOQ may not be associated with SLE risk.
doi:10.1155/2010/401537
PMCID: PMC2856039  PMID: 20414354
15.  Major histocompatibility complex haplotypes and complement C4 alleles in systemic lupus erythematosus. Results of a multicenter study. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1992;90(4):1346-1351.
In a multicenter study more than 300 central European systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients were examined for HLA-B, HLA-DR, and complement C4 phenotypes. For 174 SLE patients MHC haplotypes were determined by family segregation analysis, and for 155 patients C4 gene deletions were determined by TaqI restriction fragment length polymorphism. Two haplotypes, B8-C4AQ0-C4B1-DR3 and B7-C4A3-C4B1-DR2, were identified as risk factors for SLE. These findings were confirmed by applying the haplotype frequency difference (HFD) method, which uses nontransmitted haplotypes from the family study as internal controls. Furthermore, only HLA-DR2, but not DR3, B7, or B8, was significantly increased in SLE patients independently of the two risk haplotypes. C4A gene deletions, but not silent C4AQ0 alleles, were increased in SLE patients and neither C4BQ0 alleles nor C4B gene deletions were increased. The observed frequencies of homozygosity and heterozygosity for the two haplotypes and the frequencies of homozygotes for C4AQ0 and C4A deletions did not differ from the expected values, indicating that the risk for SLE is conveyed by single allele effects. In conclusion, there are two MHC-linked susceptibility factors for Caucasian SLE patients carried by the haplotypes B7-DR2 and B8-DR3. The results argue against C4Q0 alleles being the decisive factors increasing susceptibility to SLE.
PMCID: PMC443179  PMID: 1401069
16.  Complement-4 Deficiency in a Child with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Presenting with Standard Treatment-Resistant Severe Skin Lesion 
ISRN Rheumatology  2011;2011:917673.
The complement system is of great importance in systemic lupus erythematosus. Complete genetically determined deficiencies are with few exceptions reported for the various complement proteins, and most of the deficiency states are rare. Deficiencies of the factors in the classical pathway are also associated with development SLE and SLE-like disorders. Most of the patients with lupus present skin involvement. Approximately, 75–95% of patients with cutaneous lupus erythematosus respond to antimalarial therapy and/or topical glucocorticosteroids. Immunosuppressive agents are usually considered a second-line approach in patients with resistant disease. In this study, we present the clinical features and determine the molecular basis responsible for the complete C4A and C4B deficiencies in a lupus patient presented subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus and resistance to treatment.
doi:10.5402/2011/917673
PMCID: PMC3317086  PMID: 22482068
17.  Polymorphisms of the ITGAM Gene Confer Higher Risk of Discoid Cutaneous Than of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e14212.
Background
Lupus erythematosus (LE) is a heterogeneous disease ranging from mainly skin-restricted manifestations (discoid LE [DLE] and subacute cutaneous LE) to a progressive multisystem disease (systemic LE [SLE]). Genetic association studies have recently identified several strong susceptibility genes for SLE, including integrin alpha M (ITGAM), also known as CD11b, whereas the genetic background of DLE is less clear.
Principal Findings
To specifically investigate whether ITGAM is a susceptibility gene not only for SLE, but also for cutaneous DLE, we genotyped 177 patients with DLE, 85 patients with sporadic SLE, 190 index cases from SLE families and 395 population control individuals from Finland for nine genetic markers at the ITGAM locus. SLE patients were further subdivided by the presence or absence of discoid rash and renal involvement. In addition, 235 Finnish and Swedish patients positive for Ro/SSA-autoantibodies were included in a subphenotype analysis. Analysis of the ITGAM coding variant rs1143679 showed highly significant association to DLE in patients without signs of systemic disease (P-value  = 4.73×10−11, OR  = 3.20, 95% CI  = 2.23–4.57). Significant association was also detected to SLE patients (P-value  = 8.29×10−6, OR  = 2.14, 95% CI  = 1.52–3.00), and even stronger association was found when stratifying SLE patients by presence of discoid rash (P-value  = 3.59×10−8, OR  = 3.76, 95% CI  = 2.29–6.18).
Significance
We propose ITGAM as a novel susceptibility gene for cutaneous DLE. The risk effect is independent of systemic involvement and has an even stronger genetic influence on the risk of DLE than of SLE.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014212
PMCID: PMC2996302  PMID: 21151989
18.  Lack of Association of the TP53 Arg72Pro SNP and the MDM2 SNP309 with systemic lupus erythematosus in Caucasian, African American, and Asian children and adults 
Lupus  2009;18(1):61-66.
The p53 tumour suppressor is the central regulator of apoptosis. Previously, the functional TP53 Arg72Pro polymorphism was found to be associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Koreans but not Spaniards. MDM2 is the major negative regulator of p53. An intronic polymorphism in MDM2, the SNP309, attenuates p53 activity and is associated with accelerated tumour development in premenopausal women. Polymorphic variation in MDM2 has never been studied in SLE. The aim of this study is to further assess the contribution of p53-pathway genetic variation to SLE by testing the association of the TP53 Arg72Pro polymorphism and the MDM2 SNP309 with SLE in a well-characterised and ethnically diverse cohort of patients with both childhood- and adult-onset SLE (n = 314). No association was found between the TP53 Arg72Pro polymorphism and SLE in patients of European descent, Asian descent or in African Americans, nor was an association found between the MDM2 SNP309 and SLE in patients of European descent or in African Americans. In addition, there was no correlation between either variant and early-onset disease or nephritis, an index of severe disease. It is concluded that neither the TP53 Arg72Pro polymorphism nor the MDM2 SNP309 contributes significantly to either susceptibility or disease severity in SLE.
doi:10.1177/0961203308094558
PMCID: PMC2801155  PMID: 19074170
genetic polymorphism; nephritis; pediatrics; systemic lupus erythematosus
19.  The lupus susceptibility locus Sle3 is not sufficient to accelerate atherosclerosis in lupus susceptible low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice 
Lupus  2009;19(1):34-42.
Summary
Cardiovascular disease risk is increased in individuals suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Understanding the mechanism(s) of SLE-accelerated atherosclerosis is critical for the development of effective therapies. Our laboratory previously demonstrated that radiation chimeras of SLE-susceptible B6.Sle1.2.3 and low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr)−/−mice have augmented atherosclerosis which is associated with increased T cell burden and activation in the lesion. The goals of this study were to further define specific immune mechanisms mediating accelerated atherosclerosis and to determine whether the gene interval Sle3, which is linked to lupus-associated T cell dysregulation, was sufficient to modulate atherogenesis. We transferred B6.Sle3 or C57Bl/6-derived bone marrow cells into lethally irradiated LDLr−/− mice (hereafter referred to as LDLr.Sle3 and LDLr.B6, respectively). Sixteen weeks after transplantation, the mice were placed on a Western-type diet for 8 weeks. Our analyses revealed that LDLr.Sle3 mice had increased auto-antibody production against dsDNA and cardiolipin compared to LDLr.B6 controls. We also found an increase in atherosclerosis associated oxLDL antibodies. Antibody isotypes and serum cytokine analysis suggested that the humoral immune response in LDLr.Sle mice was skewed toward a Th2 phenotype. This is consistent with lupus-associated immune dysregulation. Additionally, LDLr.Sle3 mice had decreased serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels. However, there was no difference in lesion area or cellular composition of lesions between the two groups. These data demonstrate that, despite no changes in lesion area, transfer of Sle3-associated T cell dysregulation alone to LDLr-deficient mice is sufficient to decrease serum cholesterol and to exacerbate humoral immune responses that are frequently associated with atherosclerosis.
doi:10.1177/0961203309345785
PMCID: PMC2802678  PMID: 19850656
systemic lupus erythematosus; atherosclerosis; autoimmunity; T cell; oxidized LDL
20.  European Genetic Ancestry is Associated with a Decreased Risk of Lupus Nephritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2012;64(10):10.1002/art.34567.
Objective
African Americans, East Asians, and Hispanics with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are more likely to develop renal disease than SLE patients of European descent. We investigated whether European genetic ancestry protects against the development of lupus nephritis and explored genetic and socioeconomic factors that might explain this effect.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study of 1906 adults with SLE. Participants were genotyped for 126 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) informative for ancestry. A subset of participants was also genotyped for 80 SNPs in 14 candidate genes for renal disease in SLE. We used logistic regression to test the association between European ancestry and renal disease. Analyses adjusted for continental ancestries, socioeconomic status, and candidate genes.
Results
Participants (n=1906) had on average 62.4% European, 15.8% African, 11.5% East Asian, 6.5% Amerindian, and 3.8% South Asian ancestry. Among participants, 34% (n=656) had renal disease. A 10% increase in European ancestry was associated with a 15% reduction in the odds of having renal disease after adjustment for disease duration and sex (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.82-0.87, p=1.9 × 10−30). Adjusting for other genetic ancestries, measures of socioeconomic status, or SNPs in genes most associated with renal disease (IRF5 (rs4728142), BLK (rs2736340), STAT4 (rs3024912), ITGAM (rs9937837) and HLA-DRB1*0301 and DRB1*1501, p<0.05) did not substantively alter this relationship.
Conclusion
European ancestry is protective against the development of renal disease in SLE, an effect independent of other genetic ancestries, common risk alleles, and socioeconomic status.
doi:10.1002/art.34567
PMCID: PMC3865923  PMID: 23023776
21.  Fc γ R IIB gene polymorphisms in Indian systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients 
Background & objectives:
Receptors for the Fc fragment of immunoglobulin G (Fc γ Rs) represent the link between humoral and cellular immune responses. Polymorphisms in Fc γ Rs have been identified as genetic factors influencing susceptibility to various autoimmune diseases. This study was aimed to identify Fc γ R IIB genotypes in Indian systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and to correlate these with clinical presentation and autoantibody profile.
Methods:
Eighty consecutive clinically diagnosed SLE patients were included. SLE patients were classified according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria. Disease activity was assessed by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI). PCR-RFLP method was used to detect Fc γ R IIB polymorphism.
Results:
Of the 80 SLE patients, 53 were LN and 27 were SLE without nephritis. The mean SLEDAI score at evaluation was 6.5 ± 5.8. Among SLE patients Fc γ R IIB genotype frequency was 61.2 per cent for Ile/Thr, 20.0 per cent for Thr/Thr and 18.8 per cent for Ile/Ile as compared to 65, 12.5 and 22.5 per cent respectively among normal population. There was no significant difference for Fc γ R IIB genotypes between SLE and normals. The allele frequency for Thr allele in SLE patients was slightly higher (0.51) than in normals (0.45). Thr allele frequency in LN patients was slightly higher (0.53) than in SLE patients without nephritis (0.49). Though a higher percentages of symptoms like renal manifestations (81.3%), arthritis (62.5%) and oral ulcer (56.3%) were noted in patients with Thr/Thr genotypes, no significant difference was noted when these patients were compared with Ile/Ile and Ile/Thr genotypes.
Interpretation & conclusions:
The findings of this study indicate towards an involvement of Thr allele with SLE disease severity and clinical presentation in Indian SLE patients. Future study on a large sample is needed to support this finding to understand the association of Fc γ R IIB 232Thr/Thr genotype as a susceptibility factor in SLE.
PMCID: PMC3181018  PMID: 21911970
Autoantibodies; Fc γ RIIB genotypes; lupus nephritis; SLE without nephritis; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
22.  Polymorphism at the C-reactive protein locus influences gene expression and predisposes to systemic lupus erythematosus 
Human molecular genetics  2003;13(1):137-147.
Relative deficiency of pentraxin proteins is implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. The C-reactive protein (CRP) response is defective in patients with acute flares of disease, and mice with targeted deletions of the serum amyloid P component gene (Sap) develop a lupus-like illness. In humans, the genes for CRP (CRP) and SAP (APCS) map to 1q23.2 within an interval linked with SLE. We have investigated the candidate genes CRP and APCS in two cohorts totalling 586 UK simplex SLE families. The inheritance of an intronic dinucleotide repeat and seven single nucleotide polymorphisms in the CRP and APCS genes was examined by application of family-based tests of association and linkage. Basal levels of CRP were influenced independently by two polymorphisms at the CRP locus, CRP 2 and CRP 4. Furthermore, the latter polymorphism was linked/associated with SLE and antinuclear autoantibody production. Thus, the polymorphism associated with reduced basal CRP was also associated with the development of SLE. These data support the hypothesis that defective disposal of potentially immunogenic material is a contributory factor in lupus pathogenesis. The identification of polymorphisms that determine basal CRP levels has implications in ischaemic heart disease, where CRP level is an important predictor of risk.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddh021
PMCID: PMC3707088  PMID: 14645206
23.  Human Leukocyte Antigens and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Protective Role for the HLA-DR6 Alleles DRB1*13:02 and *14:03 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e87792.
Many studies on associations between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele frequencies and susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been performed. However, few protective associations with HLA-DRB1 alleles have been reported. Here, we sought protective, as well as predispositional, alleles of HLA-DRB1 in Japanese SLE patients. An association study was conducted for HLA-DRB1 in Japanese SLE patients. Relative predispositional effects were analyzed by sequential elimination of carriers of each allele with the strongest association. We also explored the association of DRB1 alleles with SLE phenotypes including the presence of autoantibody and clinical manifestations. Significantly different carrier frequencies of certain DRB1 alleles were found to be associated with SLE as follows: increased DRB1*15:01 (P = 5.48×10−10, corrected P (Pc) = 1.59×10−8, odds ratio [OR] 2.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.69–2.79), decreased DRB1*13:02 (P = 7.17×10−5, Pc = 0.0020, OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.34–0.63) and decreased DRB1*14:03 (P = 0.0010, Pc = 0.0272, OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.18–0.63). Additionally, the “*15:01/*13:02 or *14:03” genotype tended to be negatively associated with SLE (P = 0.4209, OR 0.66), despite there being significant positive associations with *15:01 when present together with alleles other than *13:02 or *14:03 (P = 1.79×10−11, OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.84–3.10). This protective effect of *13:02 and *14:03 was also confirmed in SLE patients with different clinical phenotypes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a protective association between the carrier frequencies of HLA-DRB1*13:02 and *14:03 and SLE in the Japanese population.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087792
PMCID: PMC3912000  PMID: 24498373
24.  The A-G polymorphism in exon 1 of the CTLA-4 gene is not associated with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1999;58(3):193-195.
OBJECTIVES—Factors contributing to the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) remain largely unknown although are likely to include both environmental and genetic components. Studies on murine lupus have indicated a role for an antibody that blocks binding of cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated-4 (CTLA-4) to B7 on antigen presenting cells in the treatment of disease, suggesting that CTLA-4 may play an important part in the disease process. This study, therefore, investigated the frequency of a previously described A-G polymorphism in exon 1 of the CTLA-4 gene, the G allele of which has shown to be associated with both Graves' disease and type I diabetes, to determine whether this polymorphism was playing a part in the development of SLE.
METHODS—One hundred and twenty six SLE patients and 363 control subjects were genotyped for the A-G polymorphism in exon 1 of the CTLA-4 gene. Target DNA was amplified using the polymerase chain reaction and the resulting product was digested using the BbvI restriction enzyme.
RESULTS—No differences in allele or genotype frequencies were observed between patients with SLE and control subjects.
CONCLUSION—These data suggest that the A-G polymorphism in exon 1 of the CTLA-4 gene does not play a part in the genetic susceptibility to the development of SLE.

 Keywords: CTLA-4; systemic lupus erythematosus
PMCID: PMC1752847  PMID: 10364920
25.  Evaluation of imputation-based association in and around the integrin-α-M (ITGAM) gene and replication of robust association between a non-synonymous functional variant within ITGAM and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) 
Human Molecular Genetics  2009;18(6):1171-1180.
We recently identified a novel non-synonymous variant, rs1143679, at exon 3 of the ITGAM gene associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility in European-Americans (EAs) and African-Americans. Using genome-wide association approach, three other studies also independently reported an association between SLE susceptibility and ITGAM or ITGAM-ITGAX region. The primary objectives of this study are to assess whether single or multiple causal variants from the same gene or any nearby gene(s) are involved in SLE susceptibility and to confirm a robust ITGAM association across nine independent data sets (n = 8211). First, we confirmed our previously reported association of rs1143679 (risk allele ‘A’) with SLE in EAs (P = 1.0 × 10−8) and Hispanic-Americans (P = 2.9 × 10−5). Secondly, using a comprehensive imputation-based association test, we found that ITGAM is one of the major non-human leukocyte antigen susceptibility genes for SLE, and the strongest association for EA is the same coding variant rs1143679 (log10Bayes factor=20, P = 6.17 × 10−24). Thirdly, we determined the robustness of rs1143679 association with SLE across three additional case–control samples, including UK (P = 6.2 × 10−8), Colombian (P = 3.6 × 10−7), Mexican (P = 0.002), as well as two independent sets of trios from UK (PTDT = 1.4 × 10−5) and Mexico (PTDT = 0.015). A meta-analysis combing all independent data sets greatly reinforces the association (Pmeta = 7.1 × 10−50, odds ratio = 1.83, 95% confidence interval = 1.69–1.98, n = 10 046). However, this ITGAM association was not observed in the Korean or Japanese samples, in which rs1143679 is monomorphic for the non-risk allele (G). Taken together along with our earlier findings, these results demonstrate that the coding variant, rs1143679, best explains the ITGAM-SLE association, especially in European- and African-derived populations, but not in Asian populations.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddp007
PMCID: PMC2649018  PMID: 19129174

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