Author(s): Cunninghame Graham DS, Manku H, Wagner S, Reid J, Timms K,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Results from two studies have implicated the interferon regulatory gene IRF5 as a susceptibility gene in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In this study, we conducted a family-based association analysis in 380 UK SLE nuclear families. Using a higher density of markers than has hitherto been screened, we show that there is association with two SNPs in the first intron, rs2004640 (P = 3.4 x 10(-4)) and rs3807306 (P = 4.9 x 10(-4)), and the association extends into the 3'-untranslated region (UTR). There is a single haplotype block encompassing IRF5 and we show for the first time that the gene comprises two over-transmitted haplotypes and a single under-transmitted haplotype. The strongest association is with a TCTAACT haplotype (T:U = 1.92, P = 5.8 x 10(-5)), which carries all the over-transmitted alleles from this study. Haplotypes carrying the T alleles of rs2004640 and rs2280714 and the A allele of rs10954213 are over-transmitted in SLE families. The TAT haplotype shows a dose-dependent relationship with mRNA expression. A differential expression pattern was seen between two expression probes located each side of rs10954213 in the 3'-UTR. rs10954213 shows the strongest association with RNA expression levels (P = 1 x 10(-14)). The A allele of rs10954213 creates a functional polyadenylation site and the A genotype correlates with increased expression of a transcript variant containing a shorter 3'-UTR. Expression levels of transcript variants with the shorter or longer 3'-UTRs are inversely correlated. Our data support a new mechanism by which an IRF5 polymorphism controls the expression of alternate transcript variants which may have different effects on interferon signalling.
This article was published in Hum Mol Genet
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology