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REL encodes the c-rel protein, a member of the nuclear factor-κB family of transcription factors involved in the autoimmune response via regulation of the expression of cytokines, anti-apoptotic molecules and cell cycle modulators.1 Expression of c-rel, which is restricted to mature haematopoietic cells, has been described in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and inflammatory bowel disease.2 ,3 Associations of the REL gene with celiac disease4 and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)5 have been reported. Moreover, Rel knockout mice do not develop autoimmune diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis,6 collagen-induced arthritis or type I diabetes.7
Last year Gregersen et al described the association of the intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs13031237G→T in the REL gene as a risk factor for RA in an expansion of previous genome-wide association …
JV, RP-M, EU and JM contributed equally to this work.
Funding JV is an employee with support from the ‘Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias’ (CA08/00194). EU works for the ‘Fundación para la investigación Biomédica-Hospital Clínico San Carlos’. This work was supported by ‘Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias’.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.