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1.  The Clinical Continuum of Cryopyrinopathies 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2007;56(4):1273-1285.
Objective
The cryopyrinopathies are a group of rare autoinflammatory disorders that are caused by mutations in CIAS1, encoding the cryopyrin protein. However, cryopyrin mutations are found only in 50% of patients with clinically diagnosed cryopyrinopathies. This study was undertaken to investigate the structural effect of disease-causing mutations on cryopyrin, in order to gain better understanding of the impact of disease-associated mutations on protein function.
Methods
We tested for CIAS1 mutations in 22 patients with neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease/chronic infantile neurologic, cutaneous, articular syndrome, 12 with Muckle-Wells syndrome (MWS), 18 with familial cold-induced autoinflammatory syndrome (FCAS), and 3 probands with MWS/FCAS. In a subset of mutation-negative patients, we screened for mutations in proteins that are either homologous to cryopyrin or involved in the caspase 1/interleukin-1β signaling pathway. CIAS1 and other candidate genes were sequenced, models of cryopyrin domains were constructed using structurally homologous proteins as templates, and disease-causing mutations were mapped.
Results
Forty patients were mutation positive, and 7 novel mutations, V262A, C259W, L264F, V351L, F443L, F523C, and Y563N, were found in 9 patients. No mutations in any candidate genes were identified. Most mutations mapped to an inner surface of the hexameric ring in the cryopyrin model, consistent with the hypothesis that the mutations disrupt a closed form of cryopyrin, thus potentiating inflammasome assembly. Disease-causing mutations correlated with disease severity only for a subset of known mutations.
Conclusion
Our modeling provides insight into potential molecular mechanisms by which cryopyrin mutations can inappropriately activate an inflammatory response. A significant number of patients who are clinically diagnosed as having cryopyrinopathies do not have identifiable disease-associated mutations.
doi:10.1002/art.22491
PMCID: PMC4321998  PMID: 17393462
2.  NLRP1 inflammasome activation induces pyroptosis of hematopoietic progenitor cells 
Immunity  2012;37(6):1009-1023.
Cytopenias are key prognostic indicators of life-threatening infection, contributing to immunosuppression and mortality. Here we define a role for Caspase-1-dependent death, known as pyroptosis, in infection-induced cytopenias by studying inflammasome activation in hematopoietic progenitor cells. The NLRP1a inflammasome is expressed in hematopoietic progenitor cells and its activation triggers their pyroptotic death. Active NLRP1a induced a lethal systemic inflammatory disease that was driven by Caspase-1 and IL-1β but was independent of apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) and ameliorated by IL-18. Surprisingly, in the absence of IL-1β-driven inflammation, active NLRP1a triggered pyroptosis of hematopoietic progenitor cells resulting in leukopenia in the steady state. During periods of hematopoietic stress induced by chemotherapy or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection, active NLRP1a caused prolonged cytopenia, bone marrow hypoplasia and immunosuppression. Conversely, NLRP1-deficient mice showed enhanced recovery from chemotherapy and LCMV infection, demonstrating that NLRP1 acts as a cellular sentinel to alert Caspase-1 to hematopoietic and infectious stress.
doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2012.08.027
PMCID: PMC4275304  PMID: 23219391
inflammasome; NLRP1; IL-18; IL-1β; progenitor cells; pyroptosis; cytopenia; sepsis
3.  Genome-wide association study meta-analysis identifies seven new rheumatoid arthritis risk loci 
Nature genetics  2010;42(6):508-514.
To identify novel genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis of 5,539 autoantibody positive RA cases and 20,169 controls of European descent, followed by replication in an independent set of 6,768 RA cases and 8,806 controls. Of 34 SNPs selected for replication, 7 novel RA risk alleles were identified at genome-wide significance (P<5×10−8) in analysis of all 41,282 samples. The associated SNPs are near genes of known immune function, including IL6ST, SPRED2, RBPJ, CCR6, IRF5, and PXK. We also refined the risk alleles at two established RA risk loci (IL2RA and CCL21) and confirmed the association at AFF3. These new associations bring the total number of confirmed RA risk loci to 31 among individuals of European ancestry. An additional 11 SNPs replicated at P<0.05, many of which are validated autoimmune risk alleles, suggesting that most represent bona fide RA risk alleles.
doi:10.1038/ng.582
PMCID: PMC4243840  PMID: 20453842
4.  Neonatal-Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease Responsive to Interleukin-1β Inhibition 
The New England journal of medicine  2006;355(6):581-592.
BACKGROUND
Neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease is characterized by fever, urticarial rash, aseptic meningitis, deforming arthropathy, hearing loss, and mental retardation. Many patients have mutations in the cold-induced autoinflammatory syndrome 1 (CIAS1) gene, encoding cryopyrin, a protein that regulates inflammation.
METHODS
We selected 18 patients with neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (12 with identifiable CIAS1 mutations) to receive anakinra, an interleukin-1–receptor antagonist (1 to 2 mg per kilogram of body weight per day subcutaneously). In 11 patients, anakinra was withdrawn at three months until a flare occurred. The primary end points included changes in scores in a daily diary of symptoms, serum levels of amyloid A and C-reactive protein, and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate from baseline to month 3 and from month 3 until a disease flare.
RESULTS
All 18 patients had a rapid response to anakinra, with disappearance of rash. Diary scores improved (P<0.001) and serum amyloid A (from a median of 174 mg to 8 mg per liter), C-reactive protein (from a median of 5.29 mg to 0.34 mg per deciliter), and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate decreased at month 3 (all P<0.001), and remained low at month 6. Magnetic resonance imaging showed improvement in cochlear and leptomeningeal lesions as compared with baseline. Withdrawal of anakinra uniformly resulted in relapse within days; retreatment led to rapid improvement. There were no drug-related serious adverse events.
CONCLUSIONS
Daily injections of anakinra markedly improved clinical and laboratory manifestations in patients with neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease, with or without CIAS1 mutations. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00069329.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa055137
PMCID: PMC4178954  PMID: 16899778
5.  The calcium-sensing receptor regulates the NLRP3 inflammasome through Ca2+ and cAMP 
Nature  2012;492(7427):123-127.
Mutations in the gene encoding NLRP3 cause a spectrum of autoinflammatory diseases known as the cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS)1. NLRP3 is a key component of one of several distinct cytoplasmic multiprotein complexes (inflammasomes) that mediate the maturation of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL-1β) by activating caspase-1. Although several models for inflammasome activation, such as K+ efflux2, generation of reactive oxygen species3 and lysosomal destabilization4, have been proposed, the precise molecular mechanism of NLRP3 inflammasome activation, as well as the mechanism by which CAPS-associated mutations activate NLRP3, remain to be elucidated. Here we show that the murine calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) activates the NLRP3 inflammasome, mediated by increased intracellular Ca2+ and decreased cellular cyclic AMP (cAMP). Ca2+ or other CASR agonists activate the NLRP3 inflammasome in the absence of exogenous ATP, whereas knockdown of CASR reduces inflammasome activation in response to known NLRP3 activators. CASR activates the NLRP3 inflammasome through phospholipase C, which catalyses inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate production and thereby induces release of Ca2+ from endoplasmic reticulum stores. The increased cytoplasmic Ca2+ promotes the assembly of inflammasome components, and intracellular Ca2+ is required for spontaneous inflammasome activity in cells from CAPS patients. CASR stimulation also results in reduced intracellular cAMP, which independently activates the NLRP3 inflammasome. cAMP binds to NLRP3 directly to inhibit inflammasome assembly, and downregulation of cAMP relieves this inhibition. The binding affinity of cAMP for CAPS-associated mutant NLRP3 is substantially lower than for wild-type NLRP3, and the uncontrolled mature IL-1β production from CAPS patients' peripheral blood mononuclear cells is attenuated by increasing cAMP. Taken together, these findings indicate that Ca2+ and cAMP are two key molecular regulators of the NLRP3 inflammasome that have critical roles in the molecular pathogenesis of CAPS.
doi:10.1038/nature11588
PMCID: PMC4175565  PMID: 23143333
6.  Microarray-based gene expression profiling in patients with cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes defines a disease-related signature and IL-1-responsive transcripts 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2012;72(6):1064-1070.
Objective
To analyse gene expression patterns and to define a specific gene expression signature in patients with the severe end of the spectrum of cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS). The molecular consequences of interleukin 1 inhibition were examined by comparing gene expression patterns in 16 CAPS patients before and after treatment with anakinra.
Methods
We collected peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 22 CAPS patients with active disease and from 14 healthy children. Transcripts that passed stringent filtering criteria (p values ≤ false discovery rate 1%) were considered as differentially expressed genes (DEG). A set of DEG was validated by quantitative reverse transcription PCR and functional studies with primary cells from CAPS patients and healthy controls. We used 17 CAPS and 66 non-CAPS patient samples to create a set of gene expression models that differentiates CAPS patients from controls and from patients with other autoinflammatory conditions.
Results
Many DEG include transcripts related to the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses, oxidative stress, cell death, cell adhesion and motility. A set of gene expression-based models comprising the CAPS-specific gene expression signature correctly classified all 17 samples from an independent dataset. This classifier also correctly identified 15 of 16 postanakinra CAPS samples despite the fact that these CAPS patients were in clinical remission.
Conclusions
We identified a gene expression signature that clearly distinguished CAPS patients from controls. A number of DEG were in common with other systemic inflammatory diseases such as systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The CAPS-specific gene expression classifiers also suggest incomplete suppression of inflammation at low doses of anakinra.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202082
PMCID: PMC4174357  PMID: 23223423
7.  Lighting the fires within: the cell biology of autoinflammatory diseases 
Nature reviews. Immunology  2012;12(8):570-580.
Autoinflammatory diseases are characterized by seemingly unprovoked, pathological activation of the innate immune system in the absence of autoantibodies or autoreactive T cells. Discovery of the causative mutations underlying several monogenic autoinflammatory diseases has identified key regulators of innate immune responses. Recent studies have highlighted the role of misfolding, oligomerization and abnormal trafficking of pathogenic mutant proteins in triggering autoinflammation, and suggest that more common rheumatic diseases may have an autoinflammatory component. This coincides with recent discoveries of new links between endoplasmic reticulum stress and inflammatory signalling pathways, which support the emerging view that autoinflammatory diseases may be due to pathological derangement of stress sensing pathways that normally function in host defence.
doi:10.1038/nri3261
PMCID: PMC4165575  PMID: 22828911
9.  Efficacy of Etanercept in the Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor–Associated Periodic Syndrome (TRAPS) 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2012;64(3):10.1002/art.33416.
Objective
To investigate the efficacy of etanercept in improving the symptoms and underlying inflammation in patients with the TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS).
Methods
Fifteen patients with TRAPS were enrolled in a prospective, open-label, dose-escalation study. Patients recorded attacks, symptom severity, and use of ancillary medications in a daily diary. Blood samples were collected during each period and measured for acute phase reactants. 7–9 years after the conclusion of the initial study, patients completed a follow-up survey and were evaluated to determine the long-term outcome of etanercept treatment.
Results
Etanercept treatment significantly attenuated the total symptom score, as well as reduced the frequency of symptoms. Etanercept also reduced acute phase reactants, particularly during asymptomatic periods. During a ten-year follow-up period, patients remained on etanercept for a median of 3.3 years, with a number of patients switching to anti-IL-1β therapy or remaining off biologic agents, citing injection reactions and lack of efficacy most frequently for discontinuation. However, patients remaining on etanercept had reduced symptoms at follow-up.
Conclusion
Etanercept reduces symptoms and serum inflammatory markers of TRAPS in a dose-dependent manner, but does not completely normalize symptoms or acute phase reactants. Although long-term adherence to etanercept is poor, remaining on etanercept may provide continued symptomatic benefit.
doi:10.1002/art.33416
PMCID: PMC3882089  PMID: 22006113
10.  Genome-wide association analysis identifies new susceptibility loci for Behçet's disease and epistasis between HLA-B*51 and ERAP1 
Nature genetics  2013;45(2):10.1038/ng.2520.
Patients with Behçet's disease (BD) suffer from episodic inflammation often affecting the orogenital mucosa, skin, and eyes. To discover new BD-susceptibility loci, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 779,465 SNPs with imputed genotypes in 1,209 Turkish BD patients and 1,278 controls. We identified novel associations at CCR1, STAT4, and KLRC4. Additionally, two SNPs in ERAP1, encoding ERAP1 p.Asp575Asn and p.Arg725Gln, recessively conferred disease risk. These findings replicated in 1,468 independent Turkish and/or 1,352 Japanese samples (combined meta-analysis p < 2 × 10−9). We also found evidence for interaction between HLA-B*51 and ERAP1 (p = 9 × 10−4). The CCR1 and STAT4 variants were associated with gene expression differences. Three risk loci shared with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriasis (MHC-I, ERAP1, and IL23R, and the MHC-I-ERAP1 interaction), as well as two loci shared with inflammatory bowel disease (IL23R and IL10) implicate shared pathogenic pathways in the spondyloarthritides and BD.
doi:10.1038/ng.2520
PMCID: PMC3810947  PMID: 23291587
11.  Genotype, Phenotype, and Clinical Course in Five Patients With PAPA Syndrome (Pyogenic Sterile Arthritis, Pyoderma Gangrenosum, and Acne) 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2011;64(6):2022-2027.
Objective
To describe the genotypes, phenotypes, immunophenotypes, and treatments of PAPA syndrome (pyogenic sterile arthritis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and acne), a rare autoinflammatory disease, in 5 patients.
Methods
Clinical information was gathered from medical records and through interviews with 5 patients from 4 kindreds. PSTPIP1 (CD2BP1) exon 10 and exon 11 sequencing was performed in each patient. Neutrophil granule content and cytokine levels were determined in plasma and stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients and controls.
Results
We identified 2 previously described PAPA syndrome–associated PSTPIP1 mutations, A230T and E250Q, and a novel change, E250K. Disease penetrance was incomplete, with variable expressivity. The cutaneous manifestations included pathergy, cystic acne, and pyoderma gangrenosum. Interleukin-1 (IL-1β) and circulating neutrophil granule enzyme levels were markedly elevated in patients compared to those in controls. PBMC stimulation studies demonstrated impaired production of IL-10 and enhanced production of granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Good resolution of pyoderma gangrenosum was achieved in 3 patients with tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) blockade treatment.
Conclusion
This analysis of 5 patients demonstrates that mutations in PSTPIP1 are incompletely penetrant and variably expressed in the PAPA syndrome. Neutrophil granule proteins are markedly elevated ex vivo and in the plasma, and elevated levels might be compatible with a diagnosis of PAPA syndrome. TNFα blockade appears to be effective in treating the cutaneous manifestations of PAPA syndrome.
doi:10.1002/art.34332
PMCID: PMC3737487  PMID: 22161697
12.  STAT4: Genetics, Mechanisms, and Implications for Autoimmunity Review for Current Allergy and Asthma Reports 
Recent advances in genetics and technology have led to breakthroughs in understanding the genes that predispose individuals to autoimmune diseases. A common haplotype of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) gene has been shown to be associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and primary Sjögren’s syndrome. STAT4 is a transcription factor that transduces interleukin-12, interleukin-23, and type I interferon cytokine signals in T cells and monocytes, leading to T-helper type 1 and T-helper type 17 differentiation, monocyte activation, and production of interferon-γ. Although the evidence for this association is very strong and well replicated, the exact mechanism by which polymorphisms in this gene lead to disease remains unknown. In concert with the identification of other disease-associated loci, elucidating how the variant form of STAT4 modulates immune function should lead to an improved understanding of the pathophysiology of autoimmunity.
PMCID: PMC2562257  PMID: 18682104
13.  Autoinflammatory Disease Reloaded: A Clinical Perspective 
Cell  2010;140(6):784-790.
Our understanding of the etiology of autoinflammatory disease is growing rapidly. Recent advances offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention and suggest that the definition of what constitutes an autoinflammatory disease should be reassessed.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.002
PMCID: PMC3541025  PMID: 20303869
14.  Cold Urticaria, Immunodeficiency, and Autoimmunity Related to PLCG2 Deletions 
The New England Journal of Medicine  2012;366(4):330-338.
Background
Mendelian analysis of disorders of immune regulation can provide insight into molecular pathways associated with host defense and immune tolerance.
Methods
We identified three families with a dominantly inherited complex of cold-induced urticaria, antibody deficiency, and susceptibility to infection and autoimmunity. Immunophenotyping methods included flow cytometry, analysis of serum immunoglobulins and autoantibodies, lymphocyte stimulation, and enzymatic assays. Genetic studies included linkage analysis, targeted Sanger sequencing, and next-generation whole-genome sequencing.
Results
Cold urticaria occurred in all affected subjects. Other, variable manifestations included atopy, granulomatous rash, autoimmune thyroiditis, the presence of antinuclear antibodies, sinopulmonary infections, and common variable immunodeficiency. Levels of serum IgM and IgA and circulating natural killer cells and class-switched memory B cells were reduced. Linkage analysis showed a 7-Mb candidate interval on chromosome 16q in one family, overlapping by 3.5 Mb a disease-associated haplotype in a smaller family. This interval includes PLCG2, encoding phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2), a signaling molecule expressed in B cells, natural killer cells, and mast cells. Sequencing of complementary DNA revealed heterozygous transcripts lacking exon 19 in two families and lacking exons 20 through 22 in a third family. Genomic sequencing identified three distinct in-frame deletions that cosegregated with disease. These deletions, located within a region encoding an autoinhibitory domain, result in protein products with constitutive phospholipase activity. PLCG2-expressing cells had diminished cellular signaling at 37°C but enhanced signaling at subphysiologic temperatures.
Conclusions
Genomic deletions in PLCG2 cause gain of PLCγ2 function, leading to signaling abnormalities in multiple leukocyte subsets and a phenotype encompassing both excessive and deficient immune function. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Programs and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1102140
PMCID: PMC3298368  PMID: 22236196
16.  Expanding clinical spectrum and broadening therapeutic horizons 
Nature Reviews. Rheumatology  2011;7(2):82-84.
In 2010, important research into the systemic autoinflammatory diseases has confirmed and extended the role of IL-1 inhibition in hereditary autoinflammatory disorders, demonstrated a novel treatment for a dangerous complication, and expanded the spectrum of systemic autoinflammatory diseases while further implicating autoinflammation in the pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome.
doi:10.1038/nrrheum.2010.229
PMCID: PMC3393888  PMID: 21289614
17.  Gain-of-function Pyrin Mutations Induce NLRP3 Protein-Independent Interleukin-1β Activation and Severe Autoinflammation in Mice 
Immunity  2011;34(5):755-768.
SUMMARY
Missense mutations in the C-terminal B30.2 domain of pyrin cause familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), the most common Mendelian autoinflammatory disease. However, it remains controversial as to whether FMF is due to the loss of an inhibitor of inflammation or to the activity of a proinflammatory molecule. We generated both pyrin-deficient mice and “knockin” mice harboring mutant human B30.2 domains. Homozygous knockin, but not pyrin-deficient, mice exhibited spontaneous bone marrow-dependent inflammation similar to but more severe than human FMF. Caspase-1 was constitutively activated in knockin macrophages and active IL-1β was secreted when stimulated with lipopolysaccharide alone, which is also observed in FMF patients. The inflammatory phenotype of knockin mice was completely ablated by crossing with IL-1 receptor-deficient or adapter molecule ASC-deficient mice, but not NLRP3-deficient mice. Thus, our data provide evidence for a heretofore unrecognized ASC-dependent NLRP3-independent inflammasome in which gain-of-function pyrin mutations cause autoinflammatory disease.
doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2011.02.020
PMCID: PMC3129608  PMID: 21600797
18.  Constitutively Activated NLRP3 Inflammasome Causes Inflammation and Abnormal Skeletal Development in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35979.
The NLRP3 inflammasome complex is responsible for maturation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, IL-1β. Mutations in NLRP3 are responsible for the cryopyrinopathies, a spectrum of conditions including neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID). While excessive production of IL-1β and systemic inflammation are common to all cryopyrinopathy disorders, skeletal abnormalities, prominently in the knees, and low bone mass are unique features of patients with NOMID. To gain insights into the mechanisms underlying skeletal abnormalities in NOMID, we generated knock-in mice globally expressing the D301N NLRP3 mutation (ortholog of D303N in human NLRP3). NOMID mice exhibit neutrophilia in blood and many tissues, including knee joints, and high levels of serum inflammatory mediators. They also exhibit growth retardation and severe postnatal osteopenia stemming at least in part from abnormally accelerated bone resorption, attended by increased osteoclastogenesis. Histologic analysis of knee joints revealed abnormal growth plates, with loss of chondrocytes and growth arrest in the central region of the epiphyses. Most strikingly, a tissue “spike" was observed in the mid-region of the growth plate in the long bones of all NOMID mice that may be the precursor to more severe deformations analogous to those observed in NOMID patients. These findings provide direct evidence linking a NOMID-associated NLRP3-activating mutation to abnormalities of postnatal skeletal growth and bone remodeling.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035979
PMCID: PMC3338787  PMID: 22558291
19.  Effective Sample Size: Quick Estimation of the Effect of Related Samples in Genetic Case-Control Association Analyses 
Summary
Affected relatives are essential for pedigree linkage analysis, however, they cause a violation of the independent sample assumption in case-control association studies. To avoid the correlation between samples, a common practice is to take only one affected sample per pedigree in association analysis. Although several methods exist in handling correlated samples, they are still not widely used in part because these are not easily implemented, or because they are not widely known. We advocate the effective sample size method as a simple and accessible approach for case-control association analysis with correlated samples. This method modifies the chi-square test statistic, p-value, and 95% confidence interval of the odds-ratio by replacing the apparent number of allele or genotype counts with the effective ones in the standard formula, without the need for specialized computer programs. We present a simple formula for calculating effective sample size for many types of relative pairs and relative sets. For allele frequency estimation, the effective sample size method captures the variance inflation exactly. For genotype frequency, simulations showed that effective sample size provides a satisfactory approximation. A gene which is previously identified as a type 1 diabetes susceptibility locus, the interferon-induced helicase gene (IFIH1), is shown to be significantly associated with rheumatoid arthritis when the effective sample size method is applied. This significant association is not established if only one affected sib per pedigree were used in the association analysis. Relationship between the effective sample size method and other methods – the generalized estimation equation, variance of eigenvalues for correlation matrices, and genomic controls – are discussed.
doi:10.1016/j.compbiolchem.2010.12.006
PMCID: PMC3119257  PMID: 21333602
20.  Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species promote production of proinflammatory cytokines and are elevated in TNFR1-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) 
ROS generated by mitochondrial respiration are needed for optimal proinflammatory cytokine production in healthy cells, and are elevated in cells from patients with an autoinflammatory disorder.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have an established role in inflammation and host defense, as they kill intracellular bacteria and have been shown to activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. Here, we find that ROS generated by mitochondrial respiration are important for normal lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-driven production of several proinflammatory cytokines and for the enhanced responsiveness to LPS seen in cells from patients with tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS), an autoinflammatory disorder caused by missense mutations in the type 1 TNF receptor (TNFR1). We find elevated baseline ROS in both mouse embryonic fibroblasts and human immune cells harboring TRAPS-associated TNFR1 mutations. A variety of antioxidants dampen LPS-induced MAPK phosphorylation and inflammatory cytokine production. However, gp91phox and p22phox reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase subunits are dispensable for inflammatory cytokine production, indicating that NADPH oxidases are not the source of proinflammatory ROS. TNFR1 mutant cells exhibit altered mitochondrial function with enhanced oxidative capacity and mitochondrial ROS generation, and pharmacological blockade of mitochondrial ROS efficiently reduces inflammatory cytokine production after LPS stimulation in cells from TRAPS patients and healthy controls. These findings suggest that mitochondrial ROS may be a novel therapeutic target for TRAPS and other inflammatory diseases.
doi:10.1084/jem.20102049
PMCID: PMC3058571  PMID: 21282379
22.  Genetic variants at CD28, PRDM1, and CD2/CD58 are associated with rheumatoid arthritis risk 
Nature genetics  2009;41(12):1313-1318.
To discover novel RA risk loci, we systematically examined 370 SNPs from 179 independent loci with p<0.001 in a published meta-analysis of RA GWAS of 3,393 cases and 12,462 controls1. We used GRAIL2, a computational method that applies statistical text mining to PubMed abstracts, to score these 179 loci for functional relationships to genes in 16 established RA disease loci1,3-11. We identified 22 loci with a significant degree of functional connectivity. We genotyped 22 representative SNPs in an independent set of 7,957 cases and 11,958 matched controls. Three validate convincingly: CD2/CD58 (rs11586238, p=1×10−6 replication, p=1×10−9 overall), and CD28 (rs1980422, p=5×10−6 replication, p=1×10−9 overall), PRDM1 (rs548234, p=1×10−5 replication, p=2×10−8 overall). An additional four replicate (p<0.0023): TAGAP (rs394581, p=0.0002 replication, p=4×10−7 overall), PTPRC (rs10919563, p=0.0003 replication, p=7×10−7 overall), TRAF6/RAG1 (rs540386, p=0.0008 replication, p=4×10−6 overall), and FCGR2A (rs12746613, p=0.0022 replication, p=2×10−5 overall). Many of these loci are also associated to other immunologic diseases.
doi:10.1038/ng.479
PMCID: PMC3142887  PMID: 19898481
23.  Clinical, Molecular, and Genetic Characteristics of PAPA Syndrome: A Review 
Current Genomics  2010;11(7):519-527.
PAPA syndrome (Pyogenic Arthritis, Pyoderma gangrenosum, and Acne) is an autosomal dominant, hereditary auto-inflammatory disease arising from mutations in the PSTPIP1/CD2BP1 gene on chromosome 15q. These mutations produce a hyper-phosphorylated PSTPIP1 protein and alter its participation in activation of the “inflammasome” involved in interleukin-1 (IL-1β) production. Overproduction of IL-1β is a clear molecular feature of PAPA syndrome. Ongoing research is implicating other biochemical pathways that may be relevant to the distinct pyogenic inflammation of the skin and joints characteristic of this disease. This review summarizes the recent and rapidly accumulating knowledge on these molecular aspects of PAPA syndrome and related disorders.
doi:10.2174/138920210793175921
PMCID: PMC3048314  PMID: 21532836
Auto-inflammatory disease; PAPA syndrome; PSTPIP1; CD2BP1; PTP-PEST; pyrin; neutrophils; microarray transcript profiling; anakinra; IL-1β.
25.  A Novel Unstable Duplication Upstream of HAS2 Predisposes to a Breed-Defining Skin Phenotype and a Periodic Fever Syndrome in Chinese Shar-Pei Dogs 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(3):e1001332.
Hereditary periodic fever syndromes are characterized by recurrent episodes of fever and inflammation with no known pathogenic or autoimmune cause. In humans, several genes have been implicated in this group of diseases, but the majority of cases remain unexplained. A similar periodic fever syndrome is relatively frequent in the Chinese Shar-Pei breed of dogs. In the western world, Shar-Pei have been strongly selected for a distinctive thick and heavily folded skin. In this study, a mutation affecting both these traits was identified. Using genome-wide SNP analysis of Shar-Pei and other breeds, the strongest signal of a breed-specific selective sweep was located on chromosome 13. The same region also harbored the strongest genome-wide association (GWA) signal for susceptibility to the periodic fever syndrome (praw = 2.3×10−6, pgenome = 0.01). Dense targeted resequencing revealed two partially overlapping duplications, 14.3 Kb and 16.1 Kb in size, unique to Shar-Pei and upstream of the Hyaluronic Acid Synthase 2 (HAS2) gene. HAS2 encodes the rate-limiting enzyme synthesizing hyaluronan (HA), a major component of the skin. HA is up-regulated and accumulates in the thickened skin of Shar-Pei. A high copy number of the 16.1 Kb duplication was associated with an increased expression of HAS2 as well as the periodic fever syndrome (p<0.0001). When fragmented, HA can act as a trigger of the innate immune system and stimulate sterile fever and inflammation. The strong selection for the skin phenotype therefore appears to enrich for a pleiotropic mutation predisposing these dogs to a periodic fever syndrome. The identification of HA as a major risk factor for this canine disease raises the potential of this glycosaminoglycan as a risk factor for human periodic fevers and as an important driver of chronic inflammation.
Author Summary
Shar-Pei dogs have two unique features: a breed defining “wrinkled” skin phenotype and a genetic disorder called Familial Shar-Pei Fever (FSF). The wrinkled phenotype is strongly selected for and is the result of excessive hyaluronan (HA) deposited in the skin. HA is a molecule that may behave in a pro-inflammatory manner and create a “danger signal” by being analogous to molecules on the surface of pathogens. FSF is characterized by unprovoked episodes of fever and/or inflammation and resembles several human autoinflammatory syndromes. Here we show that the two features are connected and have the same genetic origin, a regulatory mutation located close to a HA synthesizing gene (HAS2). The mutation is a 16.1 Kb duplication, the copy number of which correlates with HAS2 expression and disease. We suggest that the large amount of HA responsible for the skin condition predisposes to sterile fever and inflammation. HAS2 was previously not known to associate with autoinflammatory disease, and this finding is of wide interest since approximately 60% of human patients with periodic fever syndrome remain genetically unexplained. This investigation also demonstrates how strong artificial selection may affect not only desired and selected phenotypes, but also the health of domestic animals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1001332
PMCID: PMC3060080  PMID: 21437276

Results 1-25 (47)