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Protective effect of A at position –168 in the type III promoter of the MHCIITA gene in systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. Hiroshi Okamoto,
  2. Hirotaka Kaneko,
  3. Chihiro Terai,
  4. Naoyuki Kamatani
  1. Institute of Rheumatology, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
    Hiroshi Okamoto
    Institute of Rheumatology, Tokyo Women’s Medical University, 10-22 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-0054, Japan; hokamoto{at}

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The MHC class II transactivator (MHCIITA) gene was originally identified as a defective gene associated with bare lymphocyte syndrome, a severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome. Evidence indicates that MHCIITA is a master switch of antigen presentation in antigen-presenting cells.1 A recent paper describes how a –168A ->G polymorphism in the type III promoter of the MHC2TA gene was associated with increased susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and myocardial infarction, as well as lower expression of MHC2TA after stimulation of leukocytes with interferon-gamma (IFN-γ).2,3 However, similar replicated studies in two other European populations did not find this association.4,5

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.