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Keywords:

  • interferon regulatory factor 5;
  • IRF5;
  • interferon;
  • lupus;
  • SLE

Summary

Interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) belongs to a family of transcription factors that control the transactivation of type I interferon system-related genes, as well as the expression of several other genes involved in immune response, cell signalling, cell cycle control and apoptosis. Two recent studies reported a significant association between the IRF5/rs2004640 T allele and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The purpose of this study was to determine whether the reported rs2004640 T allele association could be replicated in our independent SLE case-control sample. We genotyped DNA samples from 370 white SLE-affected female subjects and 462 white healthy female controls using the TaqMan Assay-on-Demand for rs2004640, and performed a case-control genetic association analysis. Frequency of the rs2004640 T allele was significantly higher in cases than in controls (56.5% vs. 50%; P= 0.008). The odds ratio for T allele carriers was 1.68 (95% CI: 1.20 – 2.34; P= 0.003). Our results in an independent case-control sample confirm the robust association of the IRF5/rs2004640 T allele with SLE risk, and further support the relevance of the type I interferon system in the pathogenesis of SLE and autoimmunity.