The STAT4 SLE risk allele rs7574865[T] is associated with increased IL-12-induced IFN-? production in T cells from patients with SLE.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Genetic variants in the transcription factor STAT4 are associated with increased susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and a more severe disease phenotype. This study aimed to clarify how the SLE-associated intronic STAT4 risk allele rs7574865[T] affects the function of immune cells in SLE. METHODS:Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from 52 genotyped patients with SLE. Phosphorylation of STAT4 (pSTAT4) and STAT1 (pSTAT1) in response to interferon (IFN)-?, IFN-? or interleukin (IL)-12, total levels of STAT4, STAT1 and T-bet, and frequency of IFN-?+ cells on IL-12 stimulation were determined by flow cytometry in subsets of immune cells before and after preactivation of cells with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and IL-2. Cellular responses and phenotypes were correlated to STAT4 risk allele carriership. Janus kinase inhibitors (JAKi) selective for TYK2 (TYK2i) or JAK2 (JAK2i) were evaluated for inhibition of IL-12 or IFN-?-induced activation of SLE PBMCs. RESULTS:In resting PBMCs, the STAT4 risk allele was neither associated with total levels of STAT4 or STAT1, nor cytokine-induced pSTAT4 or pSTAT1. Following PHA/IL-2 activation, CD8+ T cells from STAT4 risk allele carriers displayed increased levels of STAT4 resulting in increased pSTAT4 in response to IL-12 and IFN-?, and an augmented IL-12-induced IFN-? production in CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. The TYK2i and the JAK2i efficiently blocked IL-12 and IFN-?-induced activation of PBMCs from STAT4 risk patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:T cells from patients with SLE carrying the STAT4 risk allele rs7574865[T] display an augmented response to IL-12 and IFN-?. This subset of patients may benefit from JAKi treatment.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Recent studies identified STAT4 (signal transducers and activators of transcription-4) as a susceptibility gene for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). STAT1 is encoded adjacently to STAT4 on 2q32.2-q32.3, upregulated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from SLE patients, and functionally relevant to SLE. This study was conducted to test whether STAT4 is associated with SLE in a Japanese population also, to identify the risk haplotype, and to examine the potential genetic contribution of STAT1. To accomplish these aims, we carried out a comprehensive association analysis of 52 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) encompassing the STAT1-STAT4 region. METHODS: In the first screening, 52 tag SNPs were selected based on HapMap Phase II JPT (Japanese in Tokyo, Japan) data, and case-control association analysis was carried out on 105 Japanese female patients with SLE and 102 female controls. For associated SNPs, additional cases and controls were genotyped and association was analyzed using 308 SLE patients and 306 controls. Estimation of haplotype frequencies and an association study using the permutation test were performed with Haploview version 4.0 software. Population attributable risk percentage was estimated to compare the epidemiological significance of the risk genotype among populations. RESULTS: In the first screening, rs7574865, rs11889341, and rs10168266 in STAT4 were most significantly associated (P < 0.01). Significant association was not observed for STAT1. Subsequent association studies of the three SNPs using 308 SLE patients and 306 controls confirmed a strong association of the rs7574865T allele (SLE patients: 46.3%, controls: 33.5%, P = 4.9 x 10(-6), odds ratio 1.71) as well as TTT haplotype (rs10168266/rs11889341/rs7574865) (P = 1.5 x 10(-6)). The association was stronger in subgroups of SLE with nephritis and anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies. Population attributable risk percentage was estimated to be higher in the Japanese population (40.2%) than in Americans of European descent (19.5%). CONCLUSIONS: The same STAT4 risk allele is associated with SLE in Caucasian and Japanese populations. Evidence for a role of STAT1 in genetic susceptibility to SLE was not detected. The contribution of STAT4 for the genetic background of SLE may be greater in the Japanese population than in Americans of European descent.
Project description:Increased IFN-alpha signaling is a primary pathogenic factor in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). STAT4 is a transcription factor that is activated by IFN-alpha signaling, and genetic variation of STAT4 has been associated with risk of SLE and rheumatoid arthritis. We measured serum IFN-alpha activity and simultaneous IFN-alpha-induced gene expression in PBMC in a large SLE cohort. The risk variant of STAT4 (T allele; rs7574865) was simultaneously associated with both lower serum IFN-alpha activity and greater IFN-alpha-induced gene expression in PBMC in SLE patients in vivo. Regression analyses confirmed that the risk allele of STAT4 was associated with increased sensitivity to IFN-alpha signaling. The IFN regulatory factor 5 SLE risk genotype was associated with higher serum IFN-alpha activity; however, STAT4 showed dominant influence on the sensitivity of PBMC to serum IFN-alpha. These data provide biologic relevance for the risk variant of STAT4 in the IFN-alpha pathway in vivo.
Project description:STAT proteins can regulate both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine signaling. Therefore, identifying consequences of modulating expression of a given STAT is ultimately critical for determining its potential as a therapeutic target and for defining the mechanisms through which immune-mediated disease variants in <i>STAT</i> genes contribute to disease pathogenesis. Genetic variants in the <i>STAT1/STAT4</i> region are associated with multiple immune-mediated diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These diseases are characterized by dysregulated cytokine secretion in response to pattern-recognition receptor (PRR) stimulation. We found that the common IBD-associated rs1517352 C risk allele increased both STAT1 and STAT4 expression in human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). We therefore hypothesized that the <i>STAT1/STAT4</i> variant might regulate PRR-initiated responses in a complementary and cooperative manner because of the important role of autocrine/paracrine cytokines in modulating PRR-initiated signaling. STAT1 and STAT4 were required for PRR- and live bacterial-induced secretion of multiple cytokines. These outcomes were particularly dependent on PRR-initiated autocrine/paracrine IL-12-induced STAT4 activation to generate IFN-γ, with autocrine IFN-γ then signaling through STAT1. STAT1 and STAT4 also promoted bacterial-induced cytokines in intestinal myeloid cells and PRR-enhanced antimicrobial pathways in MDMs. Importantly, MDMs from rs1517352 C IBD risk allele carriers demonstrated increased TLR4-, IFN-γ- and IL-12-induced STAT1 and STAT4 phosphorylation and cytokine secretion and increased TLR4-enhanced antimicrobial pathways. Taken together, STAT1 and STAT4 expression is coregulated by a shared genetic region, and <i>STAT1</i> <i>/STAT4</i>-immune disease-associated variants modulate IFN-γ- and IL-12-associated outcomes, and in turn, PRR-induced outcomes, highlighting that these genes cooperate to regulate pathways relevant to disease pathogenesis.
Project description:Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by systemic end-organ damage. We investigated the involvement of <i>IRF5</i>, <i>TLR-7</i>, <i>MECP2</i>, <i>STAT4</i>, and <i>TNFSF4</i> genes and TNF-<i>?</i>, IFN-<i>?</i>, IL-2, IL-12, IL-6, and IL-10 cytokines in SLE pathogenesis and in organ damage in Jordanian patients. Blood was collected from 51 patients and 50 controls. Expression levels of SLE genes in PBMCs and cytokine levels were determined using RT-PCR and ELISA, respectively. Expression levels of all genes and levels of TNF-<i>?</i>, IL-12, IL-6, and IL-10 were higher in SLE patients than those in controls (<i>p</i> < 0.05), whereas IL-2 level was lower. High <i>STAT4</i> (<i>?</i>), <i>TNFSF4</i>, and IL-10 levels correlated with cardiovascular damage, and high <i>MECP2</i> (<i>?</i>) and TNF-<i>?</i> correlated with renal damage. Pulmonary and musculoskeletal damages correlated with high levels of <i>TNFSF4</i>. We concluded that <i>STAT4</i> and <i>TNFSF4</i> genes with TNF-<i>?</i> and IL-10 cytokines could be used as biomarkers to assess SLE activity and manage treatment.
Project description:The T allele of rs7574865 in STAT4 confers risk of developing autoimmune disorders. However, its functional significance remains unclear. Here we analyze how rs7574865 affects the transcription of STAT4 and its protein expression.We studied 201 patients (80% female; median age, 54 years; median disease duration, 5.4 months) from PEARL study. Demographic, clinical, laboratory and therapeutic data were collected at each visit. IL-6 serum levels were measured by enzyme immune assay. The rs7574865 was genotyped using TaqMan probes. The expression levels of STAT4 mRNA were determined at 182 visits from 69 patients using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. STAT4 protein was assessed by western blot in 62 samples from 34 patients. To determine the effect of different variables on the expression of STAT4 mRNA and protein, we performed multivariate longitudinal analyses using generalized linear models.After adjustment for age, disease activity and glucocorticoid dose as confounders, the presence of at least one copy of the T allele of rs7574865 was significantly associated with higher levels of STAT4 mRNA. Similarly, TT patients showed significantly higher levels of STAT4 protein than GG patients. IL-6 induced STAT4 and STAT5 phosphorylation in peripheral blood lymphocytes. Patients carrying at least one T allele of rs7574865 displayed lower levels of serum IL-6 compared to GG homozygous; by contrast the production of C-reactive protein was similar in both populations.Our data suggest that the presence of the rs7574865 T allele enhances STAT4 mRNA transcription and protein expression. It may enhance the signaling of molecules depending on the STAT4 pathway.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To characterise the molecular pathways impacted by the pharmacologic effects of the Janus kinase (JAK) 1 and JAK2 inhibitor baricitinib in SLE. METHODS:In a phase II, 24-week, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (JAHH), RNA was isolated from whole blood in 274 patients and analysed using Affymetrix HTA2.0 array. Serum cytokines were measured using ultrasensitive quantitative assays. RESULTS:Gene expression profiling demonstrated an elevation of STAT1, STAT2 and multiple interferon (IFN) responsive genes at baseline in patients with SLE. Statistical and gene network analyses demonstrated that baricitinib treatment reduced the mRNA expression of functionally interconnected genes involved in SLE including STAT1-target, STAT2-target and STAT4-target genes and multiple IFN responsive genes. At baseline, serum cytokines IFN-?, IFN-?, interleukin (IL)-12p40 and IL-6 were measurable and elevated above healthy controls. Treatment with baricitinib significantly decreased serum IL-12p40 and IL-6 cytokine levels at week 12, which persisted through week 24. CONCLUSION:Baricitinib treatment induced significant reduction in the RNA expression of a network of genes associated with the JAK/STAT pathway, cytokine signalling and SLE pathogenesis. Baricitinib consistently reduced serum levels of two key cytokines implicated in SLE pathogenesis, IL-12p40 and IL-6.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multifactorial autoimmune inflammatory disease that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors and associated with dysregulation of type I interferon (INF) response. This study aimed to investigate the effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the IFIH1, TNFAIP3, and STAT4 genes in the type I INF system on SLE risk in Egyptian children and adolescents.<h4>Patients and methods</h4>We recruited 94 SLE individuals and 94 healthy subjects. SNPs of IFIH1 rs3747517 C/T, TNFAIP3 rs610604 G/T, and STAT4 rs7574865 G/T were evaluated using TaqMan™ SNP genotyping assay.<h4>Results</h4>Individuals with the TT, CT+TT genotypes, and T allele of rs3747517 in the IFIH1 gene were protective for SLE patients (OR = 0.429, 95% CI = 0.191-0.962, P = 0.040), (OR = 0.685, 95% CI = 0.477-0.984, P = 0.041), and (OR = 0.705, 95% CI = 0.527-0.944, P = 0.019), respectively. Also, individuals with the TT, GT+TT genotypes, and T allele of rs7574865 in the STAT4 gene were associated with SLE risk (OR = 3.945, 95% CI = 1.303-11.947, P = 0.015), (OR = 1.536, 95% CI = 1.058-2.231, P = 0.024), and (OR = 1.522, 95% CI = 1.113-2.082, P = 0.009), respectively. In the case of TNFAIP3 rs610604, no significant association of genotypes or alleles with SLE were detected, while the three SNPs did not show any significant association with the SLE clinical or laboratory features.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our findings indicated that rs3747517 in IFIH1 was protective for SLE in Egyptian children and adolescents. Moreover, rs7574865 in STAT4 not rs610604 in TNFAIP3 was associated with SLE risk.
Project description:We performed an updated meta-analysis and systematic review to explore the associations between polymorphisms in genes of IL-12 signaling pathway and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk. Diverse databases were retrieved to identify entire available studies, and odds ratios (ORs) correspondence with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were performed to assess their associations. Finally, 6 polymorphisms in five genes of the IL-12 signaling pathway were extracted from 39 case-control studies, 26 publications. We identified that STAT4-rs7574865 polymorphism was significantly associated with an increased risk of HCC in allelic contrast, dominant, homozygote and recessive models. However, we failed to uncover any significant association between other polymorphisms in genes of IL-12 signaling pathway and HCC risk, including IL18-rs1946518 and -rs187238, IFN-?-rs2430561, IL12A-rs568408, IL12B-rs3212227 and STAT4-rs7574865. When the subgroup analysis was conducted based on Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium (HWE) status, we identified that IFN-?-rs2430561 polymorphism was significantly associated with an increased risk of HCC in homozygote and recessive models of these studies whose control groups were conformed to HWE. To sum up, our study suggests that STAT4-rs7574865 is a risk factor for HCC. Further well-designed large sample size studies are warranted to shed new light on these findings.
Project description:Introduction:Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is caused by the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic ? cells, resulting from coincident genetic predisposition and some environmental triggers. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) gene encodes a transcription factor, which promotes Th1 cell differentiation, interferon ? production, and development of Th17 cells. Polymorphisms of STAT4 are associated with several autoimmune conditions, while studies in T1D provided inconsistent results. This analysis was designed to investigate the association of STAT4 rs7574865 with T1D in Polish children and to assess STAT4 expression in newly diagnosed subjects. Material and methods:Rs7574865 was genotyped in 656 T1D children and 782 healthy individuals. STAT4 mRNA expression was analyzed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 29 children with T1D and 27 age-matched controls. ?-cell and thyroid-specific serum autoantibodies were assessed with radioimmunoassays. Results:The distribution of rs7574865 genotypes and alleles demonstrated significant difference (p = 0.002, p < 0.001, respectively) between patients vs. controls. Carriers of the minor T allele presented earlier T1D onset (p = 0.017). No differences were found in ?-cell autoantibody in genotype-stratified patients (p > 0.050), while anti-thyroid antibodies were more frequent in carriers of the minor allele(p = 0.039 for anti-thyroperoxidase, p = 0.007 for anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, respectively). STAT4 was overexpressed in PBMCs from T1D patients (p = 0.008), especially subjects with two/three circulating ?-cell antibodies (p < 0.001). Conclusions:The study confirms an association of STAT4 rs7574865 with T1D in Polish patients, and provides an evidence for its relationship with an earlier disease onset and concomitant thyroid autoimmunity. STAT4 expression appears elevated in T1D, especially with more severe reaction against ?-cell antigens.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Posttransplantation diabetes mellitus (PTDM) is a major complication after solid organ transplantation. This study is to investigate the association of nine genetic variant factors and PTDM in Chinese Han patients. METHODS:HLA-DP (rs3077, rs9277535), HLA-DQ (rs7453920), signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) (rs7574865), IL-28B (rs12979860, rs8099917, and rs12980275), and IL-18 (rs1946518 and rs187238) were investigated in 260 liver transplant recipients (PTDM vs non-PTDM) by high-resolution melting curve analysis. Serum interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17, interferon-?, inducible protein-10, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1b were analyzed by a Bio-Plex suspension array system (Bio-Plex Multiplex Immunoassays, Bio-Rad, Hercules, CA, USA). RESULTS:Signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (rs7574865) T allele and IL-18 (rs1946518) A allele increase the risk for insulin resistance and PTDM. CONCLUSIONS:Recipients with STAT4 (rs7574865) T allele are associated with an increased concentration of IL-1?, interferon-?, monocyte chemoattractant protein, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1b. The genetic variants of STAT4 (rs7574865) and IL-18 (rs1946518) may be new important markers for PTDM.