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The Impact of Protein Acetylation/Deacetylation on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Grammer, Amrie C.
Lipsky, Peter E.
Reilly, Chris M.
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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. Although the exact cause of SLE has not been identified, it is clear that both genetics and environmental factors trigger the disease. Identical twins have a 24% chance of getting lupus disease if the other one is affected. Internal factors such as female gender and sex hormones, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and other genetic polymorphisms have been shown to affect SLE, as well as external, environmental influences such as sunlight exposure, smoking, vitamin D deficiency, and certain infections. Several studies have reported and proposed multiple associations between the alteration of the epigenome and the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Epigenetic factors contributing to SLE include microRNAs, DNA methylation status, and the acetylation/deacetylation of histone proteins. Additionally, the acetylation of non-histone proteins can also influence cellular function. A better understanding of non-genomic factors that regulate SLE will provide insight into the mechanisms that initiate and facilitate disease and also contribute to the development of novel therapeutics that can specifically target pathogenic molecular pathways.