Uncoupling protein 2 and dynamin-related protein 1 mRNA expressions as genetic markers for plaque psoriasis

Int J Dermatol. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15788. Online ahead of print.


Background: Psoriasis is a long-lasting, inflammatory disease of the skin with not fully understood pathogenesis. Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) and dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) are the main mitochondrial regulatory proteins implicated in various inflammatory conditions. This work aimed to evaluate the role of UCP2 and Drp1 messenger RNA (mRNA) expressions in diagnosing plaque psoriasis and to correlate their expression levels with the available clinical data.

Methods: Total number of 210 subjects (105 plaque psoriasis patients and 105 healthy volunteers) was enrolled in the current study. Plasma UCP2 and Drp1 mRNA relative expressions were studied by real-time polymerase chain reaction technique.

Results: A significant statistical decrease in the expression levels of the mitochondrial regulatory proteins UCP2 and Drp1 mRNA in plasma of patient group in comparison to control subjects (P < 0.001). UCP2 mRNA expression was significantly correlated with the onset of disease and scalp affection (P < 0.05). The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was the test used for verification of the accuracy of UCP2 and Drp1 mRNA expressions in identifying cases from healthy control subjects; UCP2 mRNA expression had a greater percent of accuracy (94%), sensitivity (97%), and specificity (87%) than Drp1 mRNA expression.

Conclusions: Although UCP2 and Drp1 mRNA are downregulated in plasma of psoriatic patients, UCP2 could serve better as a promising marker for plaque psoriasis. Despite developments in the treatment of psoriasis, these results provide new insights in disease pathogenesis suggesting UCP2 may be a good target for treatment.