Modulation of epidermal transcription circuits in psoriasis: New links between inflammation and hyperproliferation

William R. Swindell, Andrew Johnston, Xianying Xing, John J. Voorhees, James T. Elder, Johann E. Gudjonsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Whole-genome expression profiling has been used to characterize molecular-level differences between psoriasis lesions and normal skin. Pathway analysis, however, is complicated by the fact that expression profiles have been derived from bulk skin biopsies with RNA derived from multiple cell types. Results: We analyzed gene expression across a large sample of psoriatic (PP) and uninvolved/normal (PN) skin biopsies (n = 215 patients). We identified 1975 differentially expressed genes, including 8 associated with psoriasis susceptibility loci. To facilitate pathway analysis, PP versus PN differences in gene expression were analyzed with respect to 235 gene modules, each containing genes with a similar expression pattern in keratinocytes and epidermis. We identified 30 differentially expressed modules (DEMs) biased towards PP-increased or PP-decreased expression. These DEMs were associated with regulatory axes involving cytokines (e.g., IFN-γ, IL-17A, TNF-α), transcription factors (e.g., STAT1, NF-κB, E2F, RUNX1) and chromatin modifiers (SETDB1). We identified an interferon-induced DEM with genes encoding anti-viral proteins (designated "STAT1-57"), which was activated in psoriatic epidermis but repressed following biologic therapy. Genes within this DEM shared a motif near the transcription start site resembling the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE). Conclusions: We analyzed a large patient cohort and developed a new approach for delineating epidermis-specific pathways and regulatory mechanisms that underlie altered gene expression in psoriasis. Our findings highlight previously unrecognized "transcription circuits" that can provide targets for development of non-systemic therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere79253
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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