The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) is

The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) is one SLE susceptibility gene recently identified [[6]]. Multiple studies have confirmed the presence of IRF5 genetic variants that show strong association with increased risk of developing SLE [[6-8]]. Association has been convincingly replicated in SLE patients from multiple populations and distinct IRF5 haplotypes that Gefitinib concentration confer either susceptibility to (risk), or protection from, SLE in persons of varying ethnic ancestry have been identified [[6-11]]. A potential biologic role for IRF5 in human SLE pathogenesis has been supported

by the fact that elevated IRF5 mRNA levels are associated with specific IRF5 risk variants [[7, 8, 12, 13]]. Subsequently, we demonstrated that IRF5 mRNA and protein abundance were significantly elevated in primary blood cells of SLE patients, as compared to healthy donors, independent of IRF5 risk variants;

however, a correlation between IRF5 expression and the IRF5 risk haplotype was obtained [[14]]. These data support a more global role for PKC412 in vitro IRF5 in SLE pathogenesis that is both genotype dependent and genotype independent. IRF5 regulates type I IFN expression in response to a variety of pathogenic stimuli and is a critical mediator of MyD88-dependent Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling [[15-18]]. Proinflammatory cytokines elevated in the serum of lupus patients, that is IFN-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, are regulated by IRF5 [[16]]. In mice, the production of IFN-α/β and IL-6 in response to sera or IgG–RNA immune complexes (IC) from lupus

patients was shown to be Tlr7, Irf5, and Irf7 dependent [[19]]. These data support aminophylline the conventional wisdom that elevated IRF5 expression in SLE patients may drive disease development by causing aberrant production of type I IFN through TLR7 and/or TLR9 signaling that is activated by IC [[20, 21]]. Correlative data supporting this has been obtained in SLE patients demonstrating association of an IRF5 risk haplotype with IFN-α activity that was dependent on autoantibodies [[22]]. Recently, it was demonstrated that FcRIIb−/− and FcRIIb−/−Yaa mice lacking Irf5 had significantly decreased autoantibody production, limited glomerular IgG deposition, and enhanced survival [[23]]. Little mechanistic insight was provided for the protective Irf5−/− phenotype. A subsequent study demonstrated that IRF5 regulates transcription of the γ2a locus resulting in decreased autoantibody production [[24]]. Surprisingly, neither study directly addressed whether loss of Irf5 affected type I IFN expression [[23, 24]]. We hypothesized that loss of Irf5 would alter multiple aspects of autoimmunity due to its regulation of the pleiotropic cytokine type I IFN and other proinflammatory cytokines [[15-18]].

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