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Genetic association of miRNA-146a with systemic lupus erythematosus in Europeans through decreased expression of the gene
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Medical Genetics.
Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, 14183.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, section of M.I.G., Lund University.
Department of Rheumatology, Sanatorio Parque, Rosario, Argentina.
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2012 (English)In: Genes and Immunity, ISSN 1466-4879, E-ISSN 1476-5470, Vol. 13, no 3, 268-274 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A recent genome-wide association study revealed a variant (rs2431697) in an intergenic region, between the pituitary tumor-transforming 1 (PTTG1) and microRNA (miR-146a) genes, associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility. Here, we analyzed with a case-control design this variant and other candidate polymorphisms in this region together with expression analysis in order to clarify to which gene this association is related. The single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2431697, rs2910164 and rs2277920 were genotyped by TaqMan assays in 1324 SLE patients and 1453 healthy controls of European ancestry. Genetic association was statistically analyzed using Unphased. Gene expression of PTTG1, the miRNAs miR-3142 and primary and mature forms of miR-146a in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. Of the three variants analyzed, only rs2431697 was genetically associated with SLE in Europeans. Gene expression analysis revealed that this SNP was not associated with PTTG1 expression levels, but with the microRNA-146a, where the risk allele correlates with lower expression of the miRNA. We replicated the genetic association of rs2341697 with SLE in a case-control study in Europeans and demonstrated that the risk allele of this SNP correlates with a downregulation of the miRNA 146a, potentially important in SLE etiology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 13, no 3, 268-274 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-166899DOI: 10.1038/gene.2011.84ISI: 000303059900009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-166899DiVA: diva2:478708
Available from: 2012-01-16 Created: 2012-01-16 Last updated: 2013-07-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Functional Role of Genetic Polymorphisms Associated with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Functional Role of Genetic Polymorphisms Associated with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic and complex autoimmune disorder characterized by a failure in the mechanism of self-tolerance and production of autoantibodies, potentially affecting any organ in the body. The genetic factors behind the disease have been extensively studied in the past years and to date a list of more than 30 loci have been associated with SLE. However, very little is known about the functional significance of the risk variants. In this thesis, we focused on the analysis of SLE-associated variants in three genes: interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5), CD226 and the microRNA 146a.

In paper I, we analyzed four polymorphisms in the IRF5 gene in a large set of individuals from different populations. We replicated a strong association of a promoter indel in our meta-analysis, but expression analysis indicated that it is rather another variant, SNP rs10954213 in the poly(A) signal of the gene that is in fact the major contributor to the altered gene expression in leukocytes. In manuscript II, we further characterized the regulation of IRF5 expression, showing that this gene can be up-regulated by estrogen in PBMCs and monocytes, regardless of the genotype, which could to some extent, explain the sex-bias of SLE. In paper III, we investigated the association of CD226 with SLE and the potential functional effect of the associated variants. The genetic analysis showed an association of a three-SNP-haplotype located at the 3’UTR region of the gene. The risk haplotype correlated with lower CD226 protein expression on the surface of cytotoxic and helper T cells, as well as in NK T cells. Reporter assays pointed to rs727088 in the 3’UTR as the main responsible variant for altered gene expression. In paper IV, we described the association of a variant in microRNA miR-146a, involved in the interferon pathway, with SLE in Europeans, which could in addition be correlated with decreased expression of both mature and primary miR-146a in leukocytes.

In summary, we have investigated the genetic association of three genes with SLE in a large cohort of individuals and identified variants responsible for functional alterations of these genes, providing further insight into the pathogenesis of SLE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 69 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 736
autoimmunity, systemic lupus erythematosus, genetic association, single nucleotide polymorphism, IRF5, CD226, miR-146a
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Medical Genetics
Research subject
Medical Science; Medical Genetics
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-166909 (URN)978-91-554-8258-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-03-02, Rudbecksalen, Dag Hammarsjölds väg 20, Rudbecklaboratoriet, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2012-02-09 Created: 2012-01-16 Last updated: 2012-02-15

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