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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Arthritis Research & Therapy 1/2017

Chromatin landscapes and genetic risk for juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Zeitschrift:
Arthritis Research & Therapy > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Lisha Zhu, Kaiyu Jiang, Karstin Webber, Laiping Wong, Tao Liu, Yanmin Chen, James N. Jarvis
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13075-017-1260-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Background

The transcriptomes of peripheral blood cells in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) have distinct transcriptional aberrations that suggest impairment of transcriptional regulation. To gain a better understanding of this phenomenon, we studied known JIA genetic risk loci, the majority of which are located in non-coding regions, where transcription is regulated and coordinated on a genome-wide basis. We examined human neutrophils and CD4 primary T cells to identify genes and functional elements located within those risk loci.

Methods

We analyzed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) data, H3K27ac and H3K4me1 chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-Seq) data, and previously published chromatin interaction analysis by paired-end tag sequencing (ChIA-PET) data to characterize the chromatin landscapes within the known JIA-associated risk loci.

Results

In both neutrophils and primary CD4+ T cells, the majority of the JIA-associated linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks contained H3K27ac and/or H3K4me1 marks. These LD blocks were also binding sites for a small group of transcription factors, particularly in neutrophils. Furthermore, these regions showed abundant intronic and intergenic transcription in neutrophils. In neutrophils, none of the genes that were differentially expressed between untreated patients with JIA and healthy children were located within the JIA-risk LD blocks. In CD4+ T cells, multiple genes, including HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQB2, TRAF1, and IRF1 were associated with the long-distance interacting regions within the LD regions as determined from ChIA-PET data.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that genetic risk contributes to the aberrant transcriptional control observed in JIA. Furthermore, these findings demonstrate the challenges of identifying the actual causal variants within complex genomic/chromatin landscapes.
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