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Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Dec;37:28-33. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.09.001. Epub 2015 Oct 2.

Identifying genetic determinants of autoimmunity and immune dysregulation.

Author information

1
Molecular Development of the Immune System Section, Laboratory of Immunology, NIAID Clinical Genomics Program, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
2
Molecular Development of the Immune System Section, Laboratory of Immunology, NIAID Clinical Genomics Program, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. Electronic address: lenardo@nih.gov.

Abstract

Common autoimmune diseases are relatively heterogeneous with both genetic and environmental factors influencing disease susceptibility and progression. As the populations in developed countries age, these chronic diseases will become an increasing burden in human suffering and health care costs. By contrast, rare immune diseases that are severe and develop early in childhood are frequently monogenic and fully penetrant, often with a Mendelian inheritance pattern. Although these may be incompatible with survival or cured by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, we will argue that they constitute a rich source of genetic insights into immunological diseases. Here, we discuss five examples of well-studied Mendelian disease-causing genes and their known or predicted roles in conferring susceptibility to common, polygenic diseases of autoimmunity. Mendelian disease mutations, as experiments of nature, reveal human loci that are indispensable for immune regulation and, therefore, most promising as therapeutic targets.

PMID:
26433354
PMCID:
PMC5583726
DOI:
10.1016/j.coi.2015.09.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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