Objective: Recent findings suggest that interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF-5) may play a crucial role in several cellular processes, including the transcription of genes for inflammatory cytokines. Two genetic variants of the IRF5 gene (rs2004640 in exon 1 and rs2280714 in the 3'-untranslated region) have been shown to exert functional modifications affecting IRF5 messenger RNA splicing and expression, and have been associated with genetic predisposition to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of this study was to analyze the possible contribution of the IRF5 gene to the predisposition to rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: Three case-control cohorts from Spain (724 RA patients and 542 healthy controls), Sweden (281 RA patients 474 healthy controls), and Argentina (284 RA patients and 286 healthy controls) were independently analyzed. Genotyping for IRF5 rs2004640 and rs2280714 was performed using a TaqMan 5' allele-discrimination assay.
Results: In the 3 cohorts studied, no statistically significant differences in allele or genotype frequencies of the rs2004640 and rs2280714 IRF5 polymorphisms were observed between RA patients and controls. Accordingly, haplotype analysis revealed that none of the IRF5 haplotypes was associated with genetic predisposition to RA.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that the IRF5 functional polymorphisms analyzed do not seem to be implicated in genetic susceptibility to RA.