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Monozygotic (MZ) twins are partially concordant for most complex diseases, including autoimmune disorders. Whereas phenotypic concordance can be used to study heritability, discordance suggests the role of non-genetic factors. In autoimmune diseases, environmentally driven epigenetic changes are thought to contribute to their etiology. Here we report the(More)
OBJECTIVE The aetiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is incompletely understood. Both genetic and environmental factors are implicated in the pathogenesis of the disease. Herein, we describe genetic association between SLE and polymorphisms in the interleukin (IL)-21 gene. The reported effect of IL-21 on B-cell differentiation into plasma cells and(More)
OBJECTIVE Candidate gene and genome-wide association studies have identified several disease susceptibility loci in lupus patients. These studies have largely been performed in lupus patients who are Asian or of European ancestry. This study was undertaken to examine whether some of these same susceptibility loci increase lupus risk in African American(More)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a predominantly female autoimmune disease that affects multiple organ systems. Herein, we report on an X-chromosome gene association with SLE. Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) is located on chromosome Xq28 and encodes for a protein that plays a critical role in epigenetic transcriptional regulation of(More)
INTRODUCTION Behçet's disease is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease that remains incompletely understood. Herein, we perform the first genome-wide association study in Behçet's disease. METHODS Using DNA pooling technology and the Affymetrix 500K arrays, we identified possible candidate gene associations with Behçet's disease in a cohort of 152(More)
Over the past 40 years more than 100 genetic risk factors have been defined in systemic lupus erythematosus through a combination of case studies, linkage analyses of multiplex families, and case-control analyses of single genes. Multiple investigators have examined patient cohorts gathered from around the world, and although we doubt that all of the(More)
Epigenetic molecular mechanisms, which include DNA methylation and histone deacetylation, are implicated in the dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Previously, we demonstrated that repeated water avoidance stress (WAS), a validated model of chronic psychological stress, induces heightened visceral pain behaviors in rodents that(More)
There are many Green Fluorescent Proteins (GFPs) originating from diverse species that are invaluable to cell biologists today because of their ability to provide experimental visualization of protein expression. Since their initial discovery, they have been modified and improved to provide more stable variants with emission ranges spanning a wide array of(More)
The focus of the present review is on the extent to which epigenetic alterations influence the development of systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by the production of autoantibodies directed at nuclear self-antigens. A DNA methylation defect in CD4+ T cells has long been observed in idiopathic and drug-induced(More)
Genetic and epigenetic variability contributes to the susceptibility and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. T cells play an important role in several autoimmune conditions, including lupus, which is more common and more severe in people of African descent. To investigate inherent epigenetic differences in T cells between ethnicities, we characterized(More)