Inflammatory bowel diseases

IFNG rs1861494 polymorphism is associated with IBD disease severity and functional changes in both IFNG methylation and protein secretion.

PMID 25171510


Mucosal expression of interferon (IFN)-γ plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and IBD risk regions flank IFNG. The conserved IFNG rs1861494 T/C introduces a new CpG methylation site, is associated with disease severity and lack of therapeutic response in other infectious and immune-mediated disorders, and is in linkage disequilibrium with a ulcerative colitis (UC) disease severity region. It seems likely that CpG-altering single nucleotide polymorphisms modify methylation and gene expression. This study evaluated the association between rs1861494 and clinical, serologic, and methylation patterns in patients with IBD. Peripheral T cells of UC and Crohn's disease (CD) patients were genotyped for rs1861494 and analyzed for allele-specific and IFNG promoter methylation. Serum antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies and IFN-γ secretion were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and nucleoprotein complex formation by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. IFNG rs1861494 T allele carriage in patients with IBD was associated with enhanced secretion of IFN-γ. T allele carriage was associated in UC with high levels of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies and faster progression to colectomy. In CD, it was associated with complicated disease involving a stricturing/penetrating phenotype. Likewise, IFNG rs1861494 displayed genotype-specific modulation of DNA methylation and transcription factor complex formation. This study reports the first association of IFNG rs1861494 T allele with enhanced IFN-γ secretion and known IBD clinical parameters indicative of more aggressive disease and serological markers associated with treatment resistance to anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy in patients with IBD. These data may be useful prognostically as predictors of early response to anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy to identify patients with IBD for improved personalized therapeutics.