Amr H. Sawalha

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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)
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 Interleukin-21 (IL-21) is a member of the type I cytokine superfamily that has a variety of effects on the immune system, including B cell activation, plasma cell differentiation, and immunoglobulin production. The expression of IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) is reduced in the B cells of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), while serum IL-21(More)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic-relapsing autoimmune disease of incompletely understood etiology. Recent evidence strongly supports an epigenetic contribution to the pathogenesis of lupus. To understand the extent and nature of dysregulated DNA methylation in lupus T cells, we performed a genome-wide DNA methylation study in CD4 (+) T cells in(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)
OBJECTIVE Systemic lupus erythematosus is a clinically heterogeneous autoimmune disease. A number of genetic loci that increase lupus susceptibility have been established. This study examines if these genetic loci also contribute to the clinical heterogeneity in lupus. MATERIALS AND METHODS 4001 European-derived, 1547 Hispanic, 1590 African-American and(More)
OBJECTIVES The Xq28 region containing IRAK1 and MECP2 has been identified as a risk locus for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in previous genetic association studies. However, due to the strong linkage disequilibrium between IRAK1 and MECP2, it remains unclear which gene is affected by the underlying causal variant(s) conferring risk of SLE. METHODS We(More)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease characterized by multi-system involvement and autoantibody production. Abnormal T cell DNA methylation and type-I interferon play an important role in the pathogenesis of lupus. We performed a genome-wide DNA methylation study in two independent sets of lupus patients and matched healthy controls to(More)
Behçet's disease is an inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent oral and genital ulcers and significant organ involvement. Localizing the genetic association between HLA-B*51 and Behçet's disease and exploring additional susceptibility loci in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region are complicated by the strong linkage disequilibrium in this(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)