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J Immunol. 2009 Jan 1;182(1):34-8.

Cutting edge: autoimmune disease risk variant of STAT4 confers increased sensitivity to IFN-alpha in lupus patients in vivo.

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  • 1Section of Rheumatology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Abstract

Increased IFN-alpha signaling is a primary pathogenic factor in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). STAT4 is a transcription factor that is activated by IFN-alpha signaling, and genetic variation of STAT4 has been associated with risk of SLE and rheumatoid arthritis. We measured serum IFN-alpha activity and simultaneous IFN-alpha-induced gene expression in PBMC in a large SLE cohort. The risk variant of STAT4 (T allele; rs7574865) was simultaneously associated with both lower serum IFN-alpha activity and greater IFN-alpha-induced gene expression in PBMC in SLE patients in vivo. Regression analyses confirmed that the risk allele of STAT4 was associated with increased sensitivity to IFN-alpha signaling. The IFN regulatory factor 5 SLE risk genotype was associated with higher serum IFN-alpha activity; however, STAT4 showed dominant influence on the sensitivity of PBMC to serum IFN-alpha. These data provide biologic relevance for the risk variant of STAT4 in the IFN-alpha pathway in vivo.

PMID:
19109131
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2716754
Free PMC Article

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