Objective: Defective expression of Ras guanil releasing protein-1 (RasGRP-1) and increased apoptosis have been reported in lymphocytes from SLE patients. Whether these aberrations are correlated and linked to disease activity has not been elucidated.
Methods: Expression of normal 90 kDa RasGRP-1, its most prevalent 86 kDa isoform and full PARP-1 116 kDa and its cleavage fragment 84 kDa were determined in whole protein lysates of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in correlation with mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity and SLE clinical status in a large group of SLE patients during 1 year follow-up.
Results: Expression of normal 90 kDa RasGRP-1 was comparable in patients and controls. However, SLE patients demonstrated a constitutively increased 86 kDa/90 kDA ratio (p < 0.01) and decreased full poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase protein-1 (PARP-1) expression (p < 0.002) compared with controls who were disease-independent. A remission in disease activity was associated with decreased RasGRP-1 expression. Expression of 84 kDa PARP-1 cleavage fragment was found in 15% of patients but in none of the controls. In addition, expression of PARP-1 correlated positively with normal 90 kDa RasGRP-1 expression and negatively with the RasGRP-1 86 kDa/90 kDA ratio.
Conclusions: These data suggest that constitutive aberrant expression of PARP-1 and RasGRP-1 ratio may act in concert to impair survival of lymphocytes in SLE patients.