Both genetic and epigenetic factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of lupus. Herein, we study methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) polymorphism in a large cohort of lupus patients and controls, and determine functional consequences of the lupus-associated MECP2 haplotype.
We genotyped 18 SNPs within MECP2, located on chromosome Xq28, in a large cohort of European-derived lupus patients and controls. We studied the functional effects of the lupus-associated MECP2 haplotype by determining gene expression profiles in B cell lines from female lupus patients with and without the lupus-associated MECP2 risk haplotype.
We confirm, replicate, and extend the genetic association between lupus and genetic markers within MECP2 in a large independent cohort of European-derived lupus patients and controls (OR= 1.35, p= 6.65×10−11). MECP2 is a dichotomous transcriptional regulator that either activates or represses gene expression. We identified 128 genes that are differentially expressed in lupus patients with the disease-associated MECP2 haplotype; most (~81%) are upregulated. Genes that were upregulated have significantly more CpG islands in their promoter regions compared to downregulated genes. Gene ontology analysis using the differentially expressed genes revealed significant association with epigenetic regulatory mechanisms suggesting that these genes are targets for MECP2 regulation in B cells. Further, at least 13 of the 104 upregulated genes are interferon-regulated genes. The disease-risk MECP2 haplotype is associated with increased expression of the MECP2 transcriptional co-activator CREB1, and decreased expression of the co-repressor HDAC1.
Polymorphism in the MECP2 locus is associated with lupus and, at least in part, contributes to the interferon signature observed in lupus patients.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease which behaves as a complex genetic trait. At least 20 SLE risk susceptibility loci have been mapped using both candidate gene and genome-wide association strategies. The gene encoding the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL18, has been reported as a candidate gene showing an association with SLE. This pleiotropic cytokine is expressed in a range of immune cells and has been shown to induce interferon-γ and tumour necrosis factor-α. Serum interleukin-18 has been reported to be elevated in patients with SLE. Here we aimed to densely map single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across IL18 to investigate the association across this locus. We genotyped 36 across IL18 by Illumina bead express in 372 UK SLE trios. We also genotyped these SNPs in a further 508 non-trio UK cases and were able to accurately impute a dense marker set across IL18 in WTCCC2 controls with a total of 258 SNPs. To improve the study's power, we also imputed a total of 158 SNPs across the IL18 locus using data from an SLE genome-wide association study and performed association testing. In total, we analysed 1818 cases and 10 770 controls in this study. Our large well-powered study (98% to detect odds ratio = 1.5, with respect to rs360719) showed that no individual SNP or haplotype was associated with SLE in any of the cohorts studied. We conclude that we were unable to replicate the SLE association with rs360719 located upstream of IL18. No evidence for association with any other common variant at IL18 with SLE was found.
To analyze if genetically determined Amerindian ancestry predicts the increased presence of risk alleles of known susceptibility genes for systemic lupus erythematosus.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms within 16 confirmed genetic susceptibility loci for SLE were genotyped in a set of 804 Mestizo lupus patients and 667 Mestizo normal healthy controls. In addition, 347 admixture informative markers were genotyped. Individual ancestry proportions were determined using STRUCTURE. Association analysis was performed using PLINK, and correlation of the presence of risk alleles with ancestry was done using linear regression.
A meta-analysis of the genetic association of the 16 SNPs across populations showed that TNFSF4, STAT4, PDCD1, ITGAM, and IRF5 were associated with lupus in a Hispanic-Mestizo cohort enriched for European and Amerindian ancestry. In addition, two SNPs within the MHC region, previously associated in a genome-wide association study in Europeans, were also associated in Mestizos. Using linear regression we predict an average increase of 2.34 risk alleles when comparing a lupus patient with 100% Amerindian ancestry to an SLE patient with 0% American Indian Ancestry (p<0.0001). SLE patients with 43% more Amerindian ancestry are predicted to carry one additional risk allele.
Amerindian ancestry increased the number of risk alleles for lupus.
Recently, Sun et al (2008) reported that the IL6R polymorphism is associated with schizophrenia. Therefore, to detect the association between polymorphisms of interleukin 31 receptor A (IL31RA) and schizophrenia, we genotyped 9 SNPs [rs9292101 (intron 1), rs1009639 (exon 2, Pro43Pro), rs2161582 (intron 2), rs68761890 (intron 5), rs16884629 (intron 6), rs11956465 (intron 12), rs12153724 (intron 12), and rs16884641 (intron 14)] using the Golden Gate assay on Illumina BeadStation 500 GX. Two hundred eighteen patients with schizophrenia and 379 normal subjects were recruited. Patients with schizophrenia were diagnosed according to DSM-IV, and control subjects without history of psychiatric disorders were selected. We used SNPStats, Haploview, HapAnalyzer, SNPAnalyzer, and Helixtree programs for the evaluation of genetic data. Of nine polymorphisms, three SNPs (rs9292101, rs1009639, and rs11956465) were associated with schizophrenia. The rs9292101 and rs11956465 showed significant associations with the risk of schizophrenia in the codominant [rs9292101, odds ratio (OR)=0.74, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.58~0.95, p=0.017] and recessive (rs11956465, OR=0.64, 95% CI=0.42~0.96, p=0.034) models, respectively. The rs1009639 also was statistically related to schizophrenia in both codominant (OR=0.76, 95% CI=0.60~0.97, p=0.025) and dominant (OR=0.66, 95% CI=0.44~0.98, p=0.035) models. Two linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks were made. In the analysis of haplotypes, a haplotype (GCT) in block 1 and a haplotype (CCACAG) in block 2 showed significant associations between schizophrenia and control groups (haplotype GCT, frequency=0.509, chi square=4.199, p=0.040; haplotype CCACAG, frequency=0.289, chi square=5.691, p=0.017). The results suggest that IL31RA may be associated with risk of schizophrenia in Korean population.
Interleukin 31 receptor A; Haplotype; Linkage disequilibrium; Schizophrenia; Single nucleotide polymorphism
It has been reported that some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene and the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) gene are associated with the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the progression of nephropathy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible association between six SNPs (A-5466C, T-3892C, A-240T, C1237T, G2215A and A2350G) of the ACE gene and two SNPs (T-786C and G894T) of the eNOS gene with lupus nephropathy in a northern Chinese population.
In this study, 225 patients with lupus nephropathy were compared to 232 healthy controls, matched by gender, age and ethnicity. Following the extraction of genomic DNA from the leukocytes in the peripheral blood, the genotypes of the eight selected SNPs were determined by the method of PCR-RFLP; the haplotypes were inferred using PHASE 2.1. The associations between the SNPs and the risk of lupus nephropathy were analyzed using Chi-square test and Logistic regression with SPSS13.0 software.
Statistically significant differences of the allele frequency distribution of three SNPs (A-5466C, A2350G and G894T) were observed between cases and controls (P < 0.05). Among the 53 haplotypes identified, the frequencies of five haplotypes (CTTCGA, ACTTAA, ACATGG, ACACGG and ATTCGA) were significantly different between cases and controls (P < 0.05).
Our study indicated an association between the risk of lupus nephropathy and the sequence variations of both the ACE gene and the eNOS gene, which may play an important role in the pathogenesis of lupus nephropathy in the northern Chinese population. Further studies are warranted to validate our findings.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the prototypic systemic autoimmune disorder with complex etiology and a strong genetic component. Recently, gene products involved in the interferon pathway have been under intense investigation in SLE pathogenesis. STAT1 and STAT4 are transcription factors that play key roles in the interferon and Th1 signaling pathways, making them attractive candidates for SLE susceptibility.
Fifty-six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across STAT1 and STAT4 genes on chromosome 2 were genotyped using Illumina platform as a part of extensive association study in a large collection of 9923 lupus cases and controls from different racial groups. DNA from patients and controls was obtained from peripheral blood. Principal component analyses and population based case-control association analyses were performed and the p values, FDR q values and Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated.
We observed strong genetic associations with SLE and multiple SNPs located within the STAT4 gene in different ethnicities (Fisher combined p= 7.02×10−25). In addition to strong confirmation of the association in the 3rd intronic region of this gene reported previously, we identified additional haplotypic association across STAT4 gene and in particular a common risk haplotype that is found in multiple racial groups. In contrast, only a relatively weak suggestive association was observed with STAT1, probably due to the proximity to STAT4.
Our findings indicate that the STAT4 gene is likely to be a crucial component in SLE pathogenesis among multiple racial groups. The functional effects of this association, when revealed, might improve our understanding of the disease and provide new therapeutic targets.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic relapsing autoimmune disease that primarily afflicts women, and both a genetic predisposition and appropriate environmental exposures are required for lupus to develop and flare. The genetic requirement is evidenced by an increased concordance in identical twins and by the validation of at least 35 single-nucleotide polymorphisms predisposing patients to lupus. Genes alone, though, are not enough. The concordance of lupus in identical twins is often incomplete, and when concordant, the age of onset is usually different. Lupus is also not present at birth, but once the disease develops, it typically follows a chronic relapsing course. Thus, genes alone are insufficient to cause human lupus, and additional factors encountered in the environment and over time are required to initiate the disease and subsequent flares. The nature of the environmental contribution, though, and the mechanisms by which environmental agents modify the immune response to cause lupus onset and flares in genetically predisposed people have been controversial. Reports that the lupus-inducing drugs procainamide and hydralazine are epigenetic modifiers, that epigenetically modified T cells are sufficient to cause lupus-like autoimmunity in animal models, and that patients with active lupus have epigenetic changes similar to those caused by procainamide and hydralazine have prompted a growing interest in how epigenetic alterations contribute to this disease. Understanding how epigenetic mechanisms modify T cells to contribute to lupus requires an understanding of how epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression. The roles of DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs in lupus pathogenesis will be reviewed here.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic-relapsing autoimmune disease of incompletely understood etiology. Recent evidence strongly supports an epigenetic contribution to the pathogenesis of lupus. To understand the extent and nature of dysregulated DNA methylation in lupus T cells, we performed a genome-wide DNA methylation study in CD4+ T cells in lupus patients compared to normal healthy controls. Cytosine methylation was quantified in 27,578 CG sites located within the promoter regions of 14,495 genes. We identified 236 hypomethylated and 105 hypermethylated CG sites in lupus CD4+ T cells compared to normal controls, consistent with widespread DNA methylation changes in lupus T cells. Of interest, hypomethylated genes in lupus T cells include CD9, which is known to provide potent T-cell co-stimulation signals. Other genes with known involvement in autoimmunity such as MMP9 and PDGFRA were also hypomethylated. The BST2 gene, an interferon-inducible membrane-bound protein that helps restrict the release of retroviral particles was also hypomethylated in lupus patients. Genes involved in folate biosynthesis, which plays a role in DNA methylation, were overrepresented among hypermethylated genes. In addition, the transcription factor RUNX3 was hypermethylated in patients, suggesting an impact on T-cell maturation. Protein-protein interaction maps identified a transcription factor, HNF4a, as a regulatory hub affecting a number of differentially methylated genes. Apoptosis was also an overrepresented ontology in these interaction maps. Further, our data suggest that the methylation status of RAB22A, STX1B2, LGALS3BP, DNASE1L1 and PREX1 correlates with disease activity in lupus patients.
lupus; T cells; CD4+ T cells; methylation; methylome
To investigate peripheral blood (PB) cell transcript profiles of systemic sclerosis (SSc) and its subtypes in direct comparison with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
We investigated PB cell samples from 74 SSc patients, 21 healthy controls, and 17 SLE patients using Illumina Human Ref-8 BeadChips and quantitative polymerase chain reaction confirmation. None of the study participants were receiving immunosuppressive agents other than low-dose steroids and hydroxychloroquine. In addition to conventional statistical and modular analysis, a composite score for the interferon (IFN)–inducible genes was calculated. Within the group of patients with SSc, the correlation of the IFN score with the serologic and clinical subtypes was investigated, as were single-nucleotide polymorphisms in a selected number of IFN pathway genes.
Many of the most prominently overexpressed genes in SSc and SLE were IFN-inducible genes. Forty-three of 47 overexpressed IFN-inducible genes in SSc (91%) were similarly altered in SLE. The IFN score was highest in the SLE patients, followed by the SSc patients, and then the controls. The difference in IFN score among all 3 groups was statistically significant (P < 0.001 for all 3 comparisons). SSc and SLE PB cell samples showed striking parallels to our previously reported SSc skin transcripts in regard to the IFN-inducible gene expression pattern. In SSc, the presence of antitopoisomerase and anti–U1 RNP antibodies and lymphopenia correlated with the higher IFN scores (P = 0.005, P = 0.001, and P = 0.004, respectively); a missense mutation in IFNAR2 was significantly associated with the IFN score.
SLE and SSc fit within the same spectrum of IFN-mediated diseases. A subset of SSc patients shows a “lupus-like” high IFN-inducible gene expression pattern that correlates with the presence of antitopoisomerase and anti–U1 RNP antibodies.
Several lines of evidence suggest that chemokines and cytokines play an important role in the inflammatory development and progression of systemic lupus erythematosus. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relevance of functional genetic variations of RANTES, IL-8, IL-1α, and MCP-1 for systemic lupus erythematosus.
The study was conducted on 500 SLE patients and 481 ethnically matched healthy controls. Genotyping of polymorphisms in the RANTES, IL-8, IL-1α, and MCP-1 genes were performed using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system with pre-developed TaqMan allelic discrimination assay.
No significant differences between SLE patients and healthy controls were observed when comparing genotype, allele or haplotype frequencies of the RANTES, IL-8, IL-1α, and MCP-1 polymorphisms. In addition, no evidence for association with clinical sub-features of SLE was found.
These results suggest that the tested functional variation of RANTES, IL-8, IL-1α, and MCP-1 genes do not confer a relevant role in the susceptibility or severity of SLE in the Spanish population.
The contribution to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) of three lupus-associated polymorphisms (involving the C4A2 complement component, Humhv3005 and the T cell antigen receptor alpha chain gene) are investigated in 81 individuals from 14 multiplex SLE families, 41 unrelated lupus patients, and 88 unrelated healthy controls. The results show a strong association between C4A deletion and SLE in these families. While the current study confirms the previously reported association between hv3005 deletion and sporadic SLE, the study fails to support this association in familial SLE patients. Moreover, no correlation is detected between the occurrence of hv3005 deletion and C4A null alleles in lupus patients, suggesting that the effects of these genetic polymorphisms on predisposition to lupus are independent. The previously reported lupus-associated T cell receptor (TCR) alpha chain polymorphism is not detected in any of the individuals studied here. The combined data suggest that C4A null alleles predispose strongly to development of lupus, whereas the influence of hv3005 deletion is relatively weak. The results also suggest that contributions of weak susceptibility genes such as hv3005 to disease predisposition may be obscured by the effects of stronger genetic factors and thus need to be examined in patients lacking these factors.
The protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor 22 gene (PTPN22) is an important negative regulator of signal transduction through the T-cell receptors (TCR). Recently a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 1858 C/T within this gene was shown to be a risk factor for several autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Graves' Disease (GD), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) and type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D). The aim of this study was to analyze a possible association between 1858 C/T SNP and a number of autoimmune diseases, including RA, GD and T1D in Russian population. Patients with T1D, GD, RA and healthy controls were genotyped for the 1858 C/T SNP in PTPN22 gene. We found a significant association between PTPN22 1858 C/T SNP and T1D and GD. 1858T/T genotype was observed more frequently in T1D and GD patients compared to control subjects. No such association was observed for RA. In concordance with a previous data establishing PTPN22 1858 C/T SNP association with several autoimmune diseases, our findings provide further evidence that the PTPN22 gene may play an important role in the susceptibility to some autoimmune diseases.
type 1 diabetes; Graves' disease; rheumatoid arthritis; protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor 22; single-nucleotide polymorphism
The aim of this study was to determine whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of matrix metallopeptidase 2 (MMP2) are associated with obesity. MMP2 is an enzyme with proteolytic activity against matrix and nonmatrix proteins, particularly basement membrane constituents. To identify the relationship between polymorphisms of MMP2 and overweight/obese, we genotyped 5 SNPs (rs17242319, rs1053605, rs243849, rs2287074, and rs10775332) of the coding region of MMP2 using the Golden Gate assay on an Illumina BeadStation 500 GX. One hundred and forty two overweight/obese (BMI ≥23) and 145 normal (BMI 18 to <23) subjects were analyzed. SNPStats, Haploview, HapAnalyzer, SNPAnalyzer, and Helixtree programs were used for the analysis of genetic data. A linkage disequilibrium (LD) block was discovered among the 5 SNPs selected, including rs17242319, rs1053605, rs243849, and rs2287074. Of the 5 polymorphisms, 2 synonymous SNPs [rs17242319 (Gly226Gly) and rs10775332 (Phe602Phe)] were found significant associations with overweight/obese. Recently, rs1132896 replaced rs17242319 as a new number (SNP database, BUILD 129). In haplotype analysis using Haploview, a haplotype (haplotype: CCCA) containing a meaningful polymorphism (rs17242319) was found to be significantly different. The results suggest that MMP2 may be associated with overweight/obese in Korean population.
Body mass index; Linkage disequilibrium; Matrix metallopeptidase 2; Obesity; Single nucleotide polymorphism
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic multisystem genetically complex autoimmune disease characterised by the production of autoantibodies to nuclear and cellular antigens, tissue inflammation and organ damage. Genome-wide association studies have shown that variants within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region on chromosome 6 confer the greatest genetic risk for SLE in European and Chinese populations. However, the causal variants remain elusive due to tight linkage disequilibrium across disease-associated MHC haplotypes, the highly polymorphic nature of many MHC genes and the heterogeneity of the SLE phenotype.
A high-density case-control single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) study of the MHC region was undertaken in SLE cohorts of Spanish and Filipino ancestry using a custom Illumina chip in order to fine-map association signals in these haplotypically diverse populations. In addition, comparative analyses were performed between these two datasets and a northern European UK SLE cohort. A total of 1433 cases and 1458 matched controls were examined.
Using this transancestral SNP mapping approach, novel independent loci were identified within the MHC region in UK, Spanish and Filipino patients with SLE with some evidence of interaction. These loci include HLA-DPB1, HLA-G and MSH5 which are independent of each other and HLA-DRB1 alleles. Furthermore, the established SLE-associated HLA-DRB1*15 signal was refined to an interval encompassing HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQA1. Increased frequencies of MHC region risk alleles and haplotypes were found in the Filipino population compared with Europeans, suggesting that the greater disease burden in non-European SLE may be due in part to this phenomenon.
These data highlight the usefulness of mapping disease susceptibility loci using a transancestral approach, particularly in a region as complex as the MHC, and offer a springboard for further fine-mapping, resequencing and transcriptomic analysis.
Cardiac manifestations of neonatal lupus, comprising atrioventricular conduction defects and cardiomyopathy, occur in fetuses exposed to anti-Ro/SSA antibodies, and carry substantial mortality. There is strong evidence of a genetic contribution to the risk. This study was undertaken to evaluate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for associations with cardiac neonatal lupus.
Children of European ancestry with cardiac neonatal lupus (n = 116) were genotyped using the Illumina 370K SNP platform and merged with 3,351 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for association with cardiac neonatal lupus were determined.
The 17 most significant associations with cardiac neonatal lupus were found in the HLA region. The region near the MICB gene showed the strongest variant (rs3099844; Pdom = 4.52 × 10−10, OR 3.34 [95% CI 2.29–4.89]), followed by a missense variant within C6orf10 (rs7775397; Pdom = 1.35 × 10−9, OR 3.30), which lies between NOTCH4 and BTNL2, and several SNPs near the tumor necrosis factor α gene, including rs2857595 (Padd = 1.96 × 10−9, OR 2.37), rs2230365 (Padd = 1.00 × 10−3, OR 0.46), and rs3128982 (Padd = 6.40 × 10−6, OR 1.86). Outside the HLA region, an association was detected at 21q22, upstream of the transcription regulator ets-related isoform 1 (rs743446; P = 5.45 × 10−6, OR 2.40). HLA notwithstanding, no individual locus previously implicated in autoimmune diseases achieved genome-wide significance.
These results suggest that variation near genes related to inflammatory and apoptotic responses may promote cardiac injury initiated by passively acquired autoantibodies.
Recently an association was demonstrated between the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs10516487, within the B-cell gene BANK1 and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as a consequence of a genome wide association study of this disease in European and Argentinean populations. In a bid for replication, we examined the effects of the R61H non-synonymous variant with respect to SLE in our genotyped American cohorts of European and African ancestry. Utilizing data from our ongoing genome-wide association study in our cohort of 178 Caucasian SLE cases and 1808 Caucasian population-based controls plus 148 African American (AA) SLE cases and 1894 AA population-based controls we investigated the association of the previously described non-synonymous SNP at the BANK1 locus with the disease in the two ethnicities separately. Using a Fisher’s exact test, the minor allele frequency (MAF) of rs10516487 in the Caucasian cases was 22.6% while it was 31.2% in Caucasian controls, yielding a protective odds ratio (OR) of 0.64 (95% CI 0.49-0.85; one-sided p = 7.07 × 10−4). Furthermore, the MAF of rs10516487 in the AA cases was 18.7% while it was 23.3% in AA controls, yielding a protective OR of 0.75 (95% CI 0.55–1.034; one-sided p = 0.039). The OR of the BANK1 variant in our study cohorts is highly comparable with that reported previously in a South American/European SLE case-control cohort (OR = 0.72). As such, R61H in the BANK1 gene confers a similar magnitude of SLE protection, not only in European Americans, but also in African Americans.
systemic lupus erythematosus; African Americans; European Americans; BANK1 gene
Summary: Genotype calling from high-throughput platforms such as Illumina and Affymetrix is a critical step in data processing, so that accurate information on genetic variants can be obtained for phenotype–genotype association studies. A number of algorithms have been developed to infer genotypes from data generated through the Illumina BeadStation platform, including GenCall, GenoSNP, Illuminus and CRLMM. Most of these algorithms are built on population-based statistical models to genotype every SNP in turn, such as GenCall with the GenTrain clustering algorithm, and require a large reference population to perform well. These approaches may not work well for rare variants where only a small proportion of the individuals carry the variant. A fundamentally different approach, implemented in GenoSNP, adopts a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based model to infer genotypes of all the SNPs in one individual, making it an appealing alternative to call rare variants. However, compared to the population-based strategies, more SNPs in GenoSNP may fail the Hardy–Weinberg Equilibrium test. To take advantage of both strategies, we propose a two-stage SNP calling procedure, named the modified mixture model (M3), to improve call accuracy for both common and rare variants. The effectiveness of our approach is demonstrated through applications to genotype calling on a set of HapMap samples used for quality control purpose in a large case–control study of cocaine dependence. The increase in power with M3 is greater for rare variants than for common variants depending on the model.
Availability: M3 algorithm: http://bioinformatics.med.yale.edu/group.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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.
Genetics; lupus nephritis; systemic lupus erythematosus; toll-like receptor
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a predominantly female autoimmune disease that affects multiple organ systems. Herein, we report on an X-chromosome gene association with SLE. Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) is located on chromosome Xq28 and encodes for a protein that plays a critical role in epigenetic transcriptional regulation of methylation-sensitive genes. Utilizing a candidate gene association approach, we genotyped 21 SNPs within and around MECP2 in SLE patients and controls. We identify and replicate association between SLE and the genomic element containing MECP2 in two independent SLE cohorts from two ethnically divergent populations. These findings are potentially related to the overexpression of methylation-sensitive genes in SLE.
Several genes within a syntenic region of human and mouse chromosome 1 are associated with predisposition to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Analyses of lupus-prone congenic mice have pointed to an important role for the slamf6 surface receptor in lupus pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that a second member of the Slamf gene family, Slamf4 [Cd244], contributes to lupus-related autoimmunity. B6.Slamf4−/− mice spontaneously develop activated CD4 T cells and B cells, increased numbers of T follicular helper cells, and a proportion develop autoantibodies to nuclear antigens. B6.Slamf4−/− mice also exhibit markedly increased autoantibody production in the bm12 → B6 transfer model of lupus. Although slamf4 function is best characterized in NK cells, the enhanced humoral autoimmunity of B6.Slamf4−/− mice is NK cell-independent, as judged by depletion studies. Together, our findings reveal that slamf4 has an NK cell-independent negative regulatory role in the pathogenesis of lupus on a normally non-autoimmune prone genetic background.
The Sigirr gene (also known as Tir8) encodes for an orphan receptor of the Toll-like receptor (TLR)/interleukin 1 receptor family that inhibits TLR-mediated pathogen recognition in dendritic cells. Here, we show that Sigirr also inhibits the activation of dendritic cells and B cells upon exposure to RNA and DNA lupus autoantigens. To evaluate the functional role of Sigirr in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), we generated Sigirr-deficient C57BL/6-lpr/lpr mice. These mice developed a progressive lymphoproliferative syndrome followed by severe autoimmune lung disease and lupus nephritis within 6 mo of age as compared with the minor abnormalities observed in C57BL/6-lpr/lpr mice. Lack of Sigirr was associated with enhanced activation of dendritic cells and increased expression of multiple proinflammatory and antiapoptotic mediators. In the absence of Sigirr, CD4 T cell numbers were increased and CD4+CD25+ T cell numbers were reduced. Furthermore, lack of Sigirr enhanced the activation and proliferation of B cells, including the production of autoantibodies against multiple nuclear lupus autoantigens. These data identify Sigirr as a novel SLE susceptibility gene in mice.
A recent study in the North American White population has documented the association of a common STAT4 haplotype (tagged by rs7574865) with risk for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus. To replicate this finding in the Korean population, we performed a case-control association study. We genotyped 67 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the STAT1 and STAT4 regions in 1123 Korean patients with RA and 1008 ethnicity-matched controls. The most significant four risk SNPs (rs11889341, rs7574865, rs8179673, and rs10181656 located within the third intron of STAT4) among 67 SNPs are identical with those in the North American study. All four SNPs have modest risk for RA susceptibility (odds ratio 1.21–1.27). A common haplotype defined by these markers (TTCG) carries significant risk for RA in Koreans [34 percent versus 28 percent, P = 0.0027, OR (95 percent CI) = 1.33 (1.10–1.60)]. By logistic regression analysis, this haplotype is an independent risk factor in addition to the classical shared epitope alleles at the HLA-DRB1 locus. There were no significant associations with age of disease onset, radiographic progression, or serologic status using either allelic or haplotypic analysis. Unlike several other risk genes for RA such as PTPN22, PADI4, and FCRL3, a haplotype of the STAT4 gene shows consistent association with RA susceptibility across Whites and Asians, suggesting that this risk haplotype predates the divergence of the major racial groups.
We evaluated the roles of five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within PDCD1, and haplotypes defined by these SNPs, for the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and specific sub-phenotypes (nephritis, antiphospholipid antibody positive, arthritis and double-stranded DNA positive) within a multiethnic US cohort of 1036 patients. Family based analyses were performed using 844 simplex families from four ethnic groups (Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic and African American). Subjects were genotyped for five ‘tag’ SNPs (selected from 15) to provide complete genetic information in all main ethnic groups. We employed transmission disequilibrium testing to assess risk for SLE by allele or haplotype, and multiple logistic regression analysis of SLE cases to examine associations with specific sub-phenotypes. In family based analyses, a haplotype containing the PD1.3A allele was significantly associated with SLE susceptibility among Caucasian families (P = 0.01). Among Hispanic families, two novel SNPs were associated with SLE risk (P = 0.005 and 0.01). In multivariate logistic regression analyses, five haplotypes were associated with specific sub-phenotypes among the different ethnic groups. These results suggest that PDCD1 genetic variation influences the risk and expression of SLE and that these associations vary according to ethnic background.
systemic lupus erythematosus; PDCD1; family-based methods; haplotypes
Objective: To ascertain the possible involvement of functional interleukin 10 (IL10) and tumour necrosis α (TNFα) cytokine promoter polymorphisms on the susceptibility to discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus (DLE, SLE), and their associations with immunological features.
Methods: Single nucleotide polymorphisms of the IL10 (–1082, –819, and –592) and TNFα (–308) genes were determined using allele specific probes in 248 lupus patients and 343 matched controls. To assess functional significance of genotypes, basal mRNA cytokine levels were quantified in 106 genotyped healthy controls by real time RT-PCR. Specific autoantibodies and cutaneous manifestations were analysed in SLE patients and associated with functional genotypes.
Results: After analysing the distribution of IL10 and TNFα transcript levels according to promoter genotypes in healthy individuals, patients and controls were classified into functional single and combined genotypes according to the expected high or low constitutive cytokine production. High TNFα genotypes (–308AA or AG) were associated with SLE independently of IL10 alleles, whereas the risk of developing DLE and the prevalence of discoid lesion in SLE were higher in the high IL10/low TNFα producer group (–1082GG/–308GG). Cytokine interaction also influences the appearance of autoantibodies. Antibodies against Sm are prevalent among low producer patients for both cytokines, a genotype not associated with lupus incidence, whereas low IL10/high TNFα patients have the highest frequency of antibodies to SSa and SSb.
Conclusions: IL10/TNFα interaction influences susceptibility to DLE and the appearance of specific autoantibodies in SLE patients, whereas high TNFα producer genotypes represent a significant risk factor for SLE.
Cytochrome P-450 2E1 (CYP2E1) is an important member of the CYP superfamily, which is involved in the metabolism and activation of many low molecular weight toxic compounds. We tried to investigate the possible association of CYP2E1 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in a Chinese Han population.
The coding and flanking regions of the CYP2E1 gene were scanned for polymorphisms and tag SNPs were selected. A two-stage case-control study was performed to genotype a total of 876 SLE patients and 680 geographically matched healthy controls (265 cases and 288 controls in stage I and 611 cases and 392 controls in stage II). SLE associations of alleles, genotypes and haplotypes were tested by age and sex adjusted logistic regression. The gene transcription quantitation was carried out for peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples from 120 healthy controls.
Tag SNP rs2480256 was found significantly associated with SLE in both stages of the study. The "A" allele was associated with slightly higher risk (odds ratio (OR) = 1.165, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.073 to 1.265, P = 2.75E-4) and "A/A" genotype carriers were with even higher SLE risk (OR = 1.464 95% CI 1.259 to 1.702, P = 7.48E-7). When combined with another tag SNP rs8192772, we identified haplotype "rs8192772-rs2480256/TA" over presented in SLE patients (OR 1.407, 95% CI 1.182 to 1.675, P = 0.0001) and haplotype "TG" over presented in the controls (OR 0.771, 95% CI 0.667 to 0.890, P = 0.0004). The gene transcription quantitation analysis further proved the dominant effect of rs2480256 as the "A/A" genotype showed highest transcription.
Our results suggest the involvement of CYP2E1 as a susceptibility gene for SLE in the Chinese population.