Autoimmune disease risk variant of IFIH1 is associated with increased sensitivity to IFN-α and serologic autoimmunity in lupus patients

Talin Robinson, Silvia N. Kariuki, Beverly S. Franek, Marissa Kumabe, Akaash A. Kumar, Maria Badaracco, Rachel A. Mikolaitis, Galen Guerrero, Tammy O. Utset, Barbara E. Drevlow, Laura S. Zaacks, James S. Grober, Lewis M. Cohen, Kyriakos A. Kirou, Mary K. Crow, Meenakshi Jolly, Timothy B. Niewold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increased IFN-α signaling is a heritable risk factor for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). IFN induced with helicase C domain 1 (IFIH1) is a cytoplasmic dsRNA sensor that activates IFN-α pathway signaling. We studied the impact of the autoimmune-disease-associated IFIH1 rs1990760 (A946T) single nucleotide polymorphism upon IFN-α signaling in SLE patients in vivo. We studied 563 SLE patients (278 African-American, 179 European-American, and 106 Hispanic-American). Logistic regression models were used to detect genetic associations with autoantibody traits, and multiple linear regression was used to analyze IFN-α-induced gene expression in PBMCs in the context of serum IFN-α in the same blood sample. We found that the rs1990760 T allele was associated with anti-dsDNA Abs across all of the studied ancestral backgrounds (meta-analysis odds ratio = 1.34, p = 0.026). This allele also was associated with lower serum IFN-α levels in subjects who had anti-dsDNA Abs (p = 0.0026). When we studied simultaneous serum and PBMC samples from SLE patients, we found that the IFIH1 rs1990760 T allele was associated with increased IFN-induced gene expression in PBMCs in response to a given amount of serum IFN-α in anti-dsDNA-positive patients. This effect was independent of the STAT4 genotype, which modulates sensitivity to IFN-α in a similar way. Thus, the IFIH1 rs1990760 Tallele was associated with dsDNA Abs, and in patients with anti-dsDNA Abs this risk allele increased sensitivity to IFN-α signaling. These studies suggest a role for the IFIH1 risk allele in SLE in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1303
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume187
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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