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Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.)

Gene-gene interaction and RNA splicing profiles of MAP2K4 gene in rheumatoid arthritis.


PMID 25732927

Abstract

We performed gene-gene interaction analysis, with HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE) alleles for 195 SNPs within immunologically important MAP2K, MAP3K and MAP4K gene families, in 2010 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and 2280 healthy controls. We found a significant statistical interaction for rs10468473 with SE alleles in autoantibody-positive RA. Individuals heterozygous for rs10468473 demonstrated higher expression of total MAP2K4 mRNA in blood, compared to A-allele homozygous. We discovered a novel, putatively translated, "cassette exon" RNA splice form of MAP2K4, differentially expressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 88 RA cases and controls. Within the group of RA patients, we observed a correlation of MAP2K4 isoform expression with carried SE alleles, autoantibody, and rheumatoid factor profiles. TNF-dependent modulation of isoform expression pattern was detected in the Jurkat cell line. Our data suggest a genetic interaction between MAP2K4 and HLA-DRB1, and the importance of rs10468473 and MAP2K4 splice variants in the development of autoantibody-positive RA.

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