Mutation screening of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor gene: positive association of a functional polymorphism of macrophage migration inhibitory factor with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Donn R., Alourfi Z., De Benedetti F., Meazza C., Zeggini E., Lunt M., Stevens A., Shelley E., Lamb R., Ollier WER., Thomson W., Ray D., British Paediatric Rheumatology Study Group None.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if polymorphisms of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) gene are associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). METHODS: Denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography was used to screen the MIF gene in 32 UK Caucasian controls and 88 UK Caucasian JIA patients. Ninety-two healthy UK Caucasian controls were then genotyped for each of the polymorphic positions identified. A panel of 526 UK Caucasian JIA patients and 259 UK Caucasian controls were subsequently genotyped for a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) identified in the 5'-flanking region of the gene, using SNaPshot ddNTP primer extension and capillary electrophoresis. The functional significance of this polymorphism was also studied using luciferase-based reporter gene assays in human T lymphoblast and epithelial cell lines. RESULTS: A tetranucleotide repeat CATT((5-7)) beginning at nucleotide position -794 and 3 SNPs at positions -173 (G to C), +254 (T to C), and +656 (C to G) of the MIF gene were identified. No JIA-specific mutations were found. Allele and genotype frequencies differed significantly between the controls and the JIA patients for the MIF-173 polymorphism. Individuals possessing a MIF-173*C allele had an increased risk of JIA (34.8% versus 21.6%) (odds ratio 1.9, 95% confidence interval 1.4-2.7; P = 0.0002). Furthermore, the MIF-173* G and C variants resulted in altered expression of MIF in a cell type-specific manner. Serum levels of MIF were also significantly higher in individuals who carried a MIF-173*C allele (P = 0.04). CONCLUSION: The -173-MIF*C allele confers increased risk of susceptibility to JIA. Our data suggest a cell type-specific regulation of MIF, which may be central to understanding its role in inflammation.