Functional Mapping of Genetic Interactions between HLA-Cw6 and LCE3A in Psoriasis

Article Type

Research Article

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Journal of Investigative Dermatology


Functional studies to delineate the molecular mechanisms of causal genetic variants are the main focus in the post-GWAS era. Previous GWASs have identified >50 susceptibility loci associated with psoriasis. Functional understanding of the biology underlying the disease risk of most of these associated loci is unclear. In this study, we identified a regulatory SNP at the putative enhancer of the LCE3A gene within the epidermal differentiation complex that showed epistatic interaction with HLA-Cw6. The variant allele disrupted signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 binding to the region, thereby regulating the expression of the downstream LCE3A gene. Electrophoretic mobility shift and pulldown assay confirmed the preferential binding of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 to the DNA with a wild-type allele compared with the DNA with a variant allele. The reporter assay further validated the IL-6‒stimulated phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3‒mediated LCE3A activation in the presence of the wild-type allele. Interestingly, the presence of the HLA-Cw6 allele leads to IL-6‒mediated phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, followed by its nuclear localization in the epidermal keratinocytes of psoriatic skin, suggesting indirect interaction of the HLA-Cw6 allele and a regulatory SNP upstream of the LCE3A gene. This study reflects an interesting approach to dissecting the molecular mechanism underlying the genetic interaction observed between HLA-Cw6 and LCE3A in psoriasis pathogenesis.

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Open Access, Bronze

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