Integrin alpha M(ITGAM; CD11b) is a component of the macrophage-1 antigen complex, which mediates leukocyte adhesion, migration and phagocytosis as part of the immune system.We previously identified amissense polymorphism, rs1143679 (R77H), strongly associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the molecularmechanismsof this variant are incompletely understood. Ameta-analysis of publishedandnovel data on 28 439 individuals with European, African, Hispanic and Asian ancestries reinforces genetic association between rs1143679 and SLE [Pmeta = 3.60 × 10-90, odds ratio (OR) 5 1.76]. Since rs1143679 is in the most active region of chromatin regulation and transcription factor binding in ITGAM, we quantitated ITGAM RNA and surface protein levels inmonocytes from patients with each rs1143679 genotype.Weobserved that transcript levels significantly decreased for the risk allele ('A') relative to the non-risk allele ('G'), in a dose-dependent fashion: ('AA' < 'AG' < 'GG'). CD11b protein levels in patients' monocytes were directly correlated with RNA levels. Strikingly, heterozygous individuals express much lower (average 10-to 15-fold reduction) amounts of the 'A' transcript than 'G' transcript. Wefound that the non-risk sequence surrounding rs1143679 exhibits transcriptional enhancer activity in vivo and binds to Ku70/80, NFKB1 and EBF1 in vitro, functions that are significantly reduced with the risk allele. Mutant CD11b protein shows significantly reduced binding to fibrinogen and vitronectin, relative to non-risk, both in purified protein and in cellular models. This two-pronged contribution (nucleic acid-and protein-level) of the rs1143679 risk allele to decreasing ITGAM activity provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of its potent association with SLE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology