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Hum Mol Genet. 2004 Oct 15;13(20):2361-8. Epub 2004 Aug 27.

A synonymous SNP of the corneodesmosin gene leads to increased mRNA stability and demonstrates association with psoriasis across diverse ethnic groups.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK.


Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder with multifactorial aetiology. Genome-wide scans have provided unambiguous evidence for a major disease susceptibility locus on chromosome 6p21 (PSORS1). A minimal PSORS1 interval has been defined which encompasses three genes (HLA-C, HCR and CDSN) carrying psoriasis-associated SNPs. On the basis of this genetic evidence, we have undertaken an assessment of CDSN allele functional impact. A comparison of CDSN intragenic haplotypes showed that SNPs exclusive to disease-associated chromosomes are located in regions implicated in the stabilization of RNA transcripts. As CDSN is over-expressed in psoriatic lesions, we hypothesised that disease-associated intragenic SNPs may alter the rate of its mRNA decay. Here, we demonstrate that mRNAs transcribed from a CDSN risk haplotype present a 2-fold increase in stability, compared with those transcribed from a neutral haplotype (t-test P=0.004). Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that a single synonymous SNP (CDSN*971T) accounts for the observed increase in RNA stability. CDSN*971T maps to a RNA stability motif and UV cross-linking analysis demonstrated that the SNP affects the transcript affinity for a 39 kDa RNA binding protein. Association analyses show that haplotypes bearing CDSN*971T confer psoriasis susceptibility in a wide range of ethnic groups. These results demonstrate the effect of synonymous variation upon allele specific gene expression, a finding of relevance to future studies of the pathogenesis of common and complex traits.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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