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Horm Metab Res. 2013 Apr;45(4):257-60. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1330014. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Reduced DNASE1 gene expression in thyroid autoimmunity.

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Department of Medicine I, Gutenberg University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany.


The enzyme DNASE1 plays an important role in the hydrolysis of double-stranded DNA and might be related to autoimmunity. Therefore, the authors hypothesized that patients with autoimmune thyroid disease show a reduced expression of the DNASE1 gene. DNASE1 mRNA was quantitatively analyzed in 20 patients (10 with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and 10 with Graves' disease) and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy controls by real-time reverse transcription PCR in a lightcycler using SYBR-Green-format. For relative quantification, the mRNA ratio of the DNASE1 gene to the house keeping gene β2-MICROGLOBULIN was used. The house keeping gene was proved not to be regulated by autoimmune thyroid disease. The interassay coefficient of variation for patients and controls was 22.2% and 15.6%, respectively, suggesting good reproducibility of measurements. The mean expression of the DNASE1 mRNA in patients was 0.52±0.22 (range 0.18-0.99) and in controls 0.95±0.22 (0.66-1.43). The expression level of the DNASE1 gene was strongly decreased in patients, amounting only 54.7% of that in controls (p<0.001). The lowered expression level in patients was not related to age or sex. This study demonstrated for the first time a downregulation of the DNASE1 mRNA expression in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease. This might result in degrading less DNA from dying cells, thereby promoting the development of thyroid autoimmunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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