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LBH Gene Transcription Regulation by the Interplay of an Enhancer Risk Allele and DNA Methylation in Rheumatoid Arthritis.


ABSTRACT: To identify nonobvious therapeutic targets for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we performed an integrative analysis incorporating multiple "omics" data and the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) database for potential regulatory regions. This analysis identified the limb bud and heart development (LBH) gene, which has risk alleles associated with RA/celiac disease and lupus, and can regulate cell proliferation in RA. We identified a novel LBH transcription enhancer with an RA risk allele (rs906868 G [Ref]/T) 6 kb upstream of the LBH gene with a differentially methylated locus. The confluence of 3 regulatory elements, rs906868, an RA differentially methylated locus, and a putative enhancer, led us to investigate their effects on LBH regulation in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS).We cloned the 1.4-kb putative enhancer with either the rs906868 Ref allele or single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variant into reporter constructs. The constructs were methylated in vitro and transfected into cultured FLS by nucleofection.We found that both variants increased transcription, thereby confirming the region's enhancer function. Unexpectedly, the transcriptional activity of the Ref risk allele was significantly lower than that of the SNP variant and is consistent with low LBH levels as a risk factor for aggressive FLS behavior. Using RA FLS lines with a homozygous Ref or SNP allele, we confirmed that homozygous Ref lines expressed lower LBH messenger RNA levels than did the SNP lines. Methylation significantly reduced enhancer activity for both alleles, indicating that enhancer function is dependent on its methylation status.This study shows how the interplay between genetics and epigenetics can affect expression of LBH in RA.

SUBMITTER: Hammaker D 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5083131 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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