Leading the way to a cure


Function of a polymorphism in the Fli1 promoter and association with lupus

Nowling, Tamara, PhD

Medical University of South Carolina

Studies find that levels of the transcription factors Fli1 are elevated in lupus-prone mice and lupus patients. Reducing these levels in a lupus mouse model significantly improved disease and prolonged survival. Dr. Nowling and her team have already identified a repetitive sequence in the mouse Fli1 gene that is shorter in lupus mice compared to control mice.  

Importantly, a shorter repetitive sequence results in higher expression in T cells, suggesting this sequence may change Fli1 expression levels and, thus, disease progression. With the Pilot grant, the researchers plan to investigate any association between the length of the repetitive sequence and Fli1 expression levels or disease in lupus patients.  

What this study means for people with lupus: These studies will determine whether the Fli1 repeats can serves as a marker of risk for developing lupus or of a particular manifestation/severity of disease. 

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