The MEP1A gene, located on human chromosome 6p (mouse chromosome 17) in a susceptibility region for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), encodes the α-subunit of metalloproteinase meprin A, which is expressed in the intestinal epithelium. This study shows a genetic association of MEP1A with IBD in a cohort of ulcerative colitis (UC) patients. There were four single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the coding region (P = 0.0012-0.04), and one in the 3′-untranslated region (P = 2 × 10-7) that displayed associations with UC. Moreover, meprin-α mRNA was decreased in inflamed mucosa of IBD patients. Meprin-α knockout mice exhibited a more severe intestinal injury and inflammation than their wild-type counterparts following oral administration of dextran sulfate sodium. Collectively, the data implicate MEP1A as a UC susceptibility gene and indicate that decreased meprin-α expression is associated with intestinal inflammation in IBD patients and in a mouse experimental model of IBD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy