Genetic Association and Differential RNA Expression of Histone (De)Acetylation-Related Genes in Pemphigus Foliaceus-A Possible Epigenetic Effect in the Autoimmune Response.


Maiara Sulzbach Denardin, Valéria Bumiller-Bini Hoch, Amanda Salviano-Silva, Sara Cristina Lobo-Alves, Gabriel Adelman Cipolla, Danielle Malheiros, Danillo G Augusto, Michael Wittig, Andre Franke, Claudia Pföhler, Margitta Worm, Nina van Beek, Matthias Goebeler, Miklós Sárdy, Saleh Ibrahim, Hauke Busch, Enno Schmidt, Jennifer Elisabeth Hundt, Maria Luiza Petzl-Erler, Angelica Beate Winter Boldt

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Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) is an autoimmune skin blistering disease characterized by antidesmoglein-1 IgG production, with an endemic form (EPF) in Brazil. Genetic and epigenetic factors have been associated with EPF, but its etiology is still not fully understood. To evaluate the genetic association of histone (de)acetylation-related genes with EPF susceptibility, we evaluated 785 polymorphisms from 144 genes, for 227 EPF patients and 194 controls. Carriers of HDAC4_rs4852054*A were more susceptible (OR = 1.79, p = 0.0038), whereas those with GSE1_rs13339618*A (OR = 0.57, p = 0.0011) and homozygotes for PHF21A_rs4756055*A (OR = 0.39, p = 0.0006) were less susceptible to EPF. These variants were not associated with sporadic PF (SPF) in German samples of 75 SPF patients and 150 controls, possibly reflecting differences in SPF and EPF pathophysiology. We further evaluated the expression of histone (de)acetylation-related genes in CD4+ T lymphocytes, using RNAseq. In these cells, we found a higher expression of KAT2B, PHF20, and ZEB2 and lower expression of KAT14 and JAD1 in patients with active EPF without treatment compared to controls from endemic regions. The encoded proteins cause epigenetic modifications related to immune cell differentiation and cell death, possibly affecting the immune response in patients with PF.