Cecilia Contreras-Cubas 1 , Humberto García-Ortiz 1 , Rafael Velázquez-Cruz 1 , Francisco Barajas-Olmos 1 , Paulina Baca 1 , Angélica Martínez-Hernández 1 , Rosa Elda Barbosa-Cobos 2 , Julian Ramírez-Bello 3 , Maria A. López-Hernández 4 , Yevgeniya Svyryd 4 , Osvaldo M. Mutchinick 4 , Vicente Baca 5 , Lorena Orozco , 1
21 August 2019
Type I interferon (IFN-I) pathway plays a central role in the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis. Recent data suggest that SLE is associated with variants in IFN-I genes, such as tyrosine kinase 2 ( TYK2), which is crucial in anti-viral immunity. Here, five TYK2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 368 childhood-onset SLE Mexican patients and 516 sex-matched healthy controls. Allele frequencies were also estimated in four indigenous groups. SLE protection was associated with TYK2 risk infection variants affecting residually its catalytic domain, rs12720356 (OR = 0.308; p = 0.041) and rs34536443 (OR = 0.370; p = 0.034), but not with rs2304256, rs12720270, and rs280500. This association was replicated in a 506 adult-onset SLE patients sample (OR = 0.250; p = 0.005, and OR = 0.277; p = 0.008, respectively). The minor alleles of both associated SNPs had a lower frequency in Mestizos than in Spaniards and were absent or rare in indigenous, suggesting that the presence of these alleles in the Mexican Mestizo population was derived from the Spaniards. For the first time, we report genetic variants with a protective effect in childhood- and adult-onset SLE Mexican population. Our results suggest that the frequency of IFN-I alleles associated with SLE, may have been shaped in populations exposed to infectious diseases for long periods, and this could be an explanation why Native American ancestry is associated with a higher SLE prevalence and an earlier onset.