The dual effect of the lupus-associated polymorphism rs10516487 on BANK1 gene expression and protein localization

Genes Immun. 2012 Feb;13(2):129-38. doi: 10.1038/gene.2011.62. Epub 2011 Sep 8.


Numerous loci have been found genetically associated with complex diseases, but only in a few cases has the functional variant and the molecular mechanism behind it been identified. Recently, the association of the BANK1 gene with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was described. Here, we investigated the role of the associated polymorphisms on gene function and found that SNP rs17266594 located in the branch point consensus sequence has negligible effect on splicing or gene expression. The non-synonymous SNP rs10516487 located in exon 2 influenced splicing efficiency by creating an exonic splicing enhancer site for the SRp40 factor. Further, this same SNP generates protein isoforms with differential and measurable self-association properties. The full-length protein isoform containing the R61 variant forms larger protein scaffold complexes in the cell cytoplasm compared with the protective BANK1-61H variant. We also observed that, contrary to the full-length isoforms, the short Δ2 isoform of BANK1 displays a homogeneous cytoplasmic distribution, underscoring the potential role of the exon 2-coded protein domain in the scaffolding function of BANK1. We provide evidence that the non-synonymous SNP rs10516487 (G>A; R61H) shows a dual nature by first, influencing mRNA splicing and consequently the quantity of protein, and, second, by producing a risk variant-containing protein isoform with increased potential for multimerization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Base Sequence
  • Exons
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Multimerization
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • BANK1 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger