Comprehensive analysis of transcription factor expression patterns in peripheral blood mononuclear cell of systemic lupus erythematosus


Correspondence: Prof Yong Dai, The Second Clinical Medical College, Shenzhen People's Hospital, Jinan University, Shenzhen, 518020 Guangdong, China.



Transcription factors (TFs) play a central role in regulating gene expression and in providing interconnecting regulatory networks between related pathway elements. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an organ-nonspecific autoimmune disorder characterized by the production of autoantibodies against a host of nuclear antigens.


The pathogenesis of lupus is incompletely understood. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to SLE and finding effect biomarkers to anticipate SLE will be of great value.


To investigate possible mechanisms, we describe a comparison of TF activity profiles between SLE and controls. Through TF assay analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) confirmation, we identified different activities of TFs in SLE.


Three hundred and forty-five TFs were detected in both groups, with 92 of them differentially expressed by TF array in which 78 TFs up-regulated and 14 TFs down-regulated in SLE compared with the control group, while 253 TFs showed no significant expression levels. The array data was consistent with the EMSA verification results.


Our data indicated that TFs may be potentially involved in the pathogenesis of SLE, and can help to diagnose, treat and prevent SLE. The method could simplify the assay of multiple TFs and may facilitate high-throughput profiling of large numbers of TFs.