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Genes Immun. 2013 Jan;14(1):62-6. doi: 10.1038/gene.2012.52. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Multiple sclerosis-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms in CLEC16A correlate with reduced SOCS1 and DEXI expression in the thymus.

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Department of Neurology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


Genome-wide association studies have revealed that the 16p13 chromosomal region, including CLEC16A, DEXI, CIITA and SOCS1, is associated with susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. As non-coding single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may confer susceptibility to disease by affecting expression of nearby genes, we examined whether autoimmune-associated intronic CLEC16A SNPs (rs12708716, rs6498169 and rs7206912) correlate with the expression of CLEC16A itself as well as neighboring genes in whole-blood and thymic samples. Real-time quantitative PCR analyses show that SOCS1 and DEXI expression was lower in thymic samples carrying at least one of the CLEC16A risk alleles compared with non-carriers of the risk allele. Linear regression analysis revealed a significant correlation between the expression level of CLEC16A and that of SOCS1 and DEXI in thymic samples. These data indicate a possible regulatory role for multiple sclerosis-associated non-coding CLEC16A SNPs and a common control mechanism for the expression of CLEC16A, SOCS1 and DEXI.

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