Journal Article

Polymorphism at the C-reactive protein locus influences gene expression and predisposes to systemic lupus erythematosus

Andrew I. Russell, Deborah S. Cunninghame Graham, Christopher Shepherd, Cheri A. Roberton, John Whittaker, John Meeks, Richard J. Powell, David A. Isenberg, Mark J. Walport and Timothy J. Vyse

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 13, issue 1, pages 137-147
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddh021
Polymorphism at the C-reactive protein locus influences gene expression and predisposes to systemic lupus erythematosus

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Relative deficiency of pentraxin proteins is implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. The C-reactive protein (CRP) response is defective in patients with acute flares of disease, and mice with targeted deletions of the serum amyloid P component gene (Sap) develop a lupus-like illness. In humans, the genes for CRP (CRP) and SAP (APCS) map to 1q23.2 within an interval linked with SLE. We have investigated the candidate genes CRP and APCS in two cohorts totalling 586 UK simplex SLE families. The inheritance of an intronic dinucleotide repeat and seven single nucleotide polymorphisms in the CRP and APCS genes was examined by application of family-based tests of association and linkage. Basal levels of CRP were influenced independently by two polymorphisms at the CRP locus, CRP 2 and CRP 4. Furthermore, the latter polymorphism was linked/associated with SLE and antinuclear autoantibody production. Thus, the polymorphism associated with reduced basal CRP was also associated with the development of SLE. These data support the hypothesis that defective disposal of potentially immunogenic material is a contributory factor in lupus pathogenesis. The identification of polymorphisms that determine basal CRP levels has implications in ischaemic heart disease, where CRP level is an important predictor of risk.

Journal Article.  8584 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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