IL2RA gene encodes the alpha subunit of a high-affinity receptor for interleukin-2 which is expressed by several distinct populations of lymphocytes involved in autoimmune processes. A large number of polymorphic alleles of the IL2RA locus are associated with the development of various autoimmune diseases. With bioinformatics analysis we the dissected the first intron of the IL2RA gene and selected several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may influence the regulation of the IL2RA gene in cell types relevant to autoimmune pathology. We described five enhancers containing the selected SNPs that stimulated activity of the IL2RA promoter in a cell-type specific manner, and tested the effect of specific SNP alleles on activity of the respective enhancers (E1 to E5, labeled according to the distance to the promoter). The E4 enhancer with minor T variant of rs61839660 SNP demonstrated reduced activity due to disrupted binding of MEF2A/C transcription factors (TFs). Neither rs706778 nor rs706779 SNPs, both associated with a number of autoimmune diseases, had any effect on the activity of the enhancer E2. However, rare variants of several SNPs (rs139767239, rs115133228, rs12722502, rs12722635) genetically linked to either rs706778 and/or rs706779 significantly influenced the activity of E1, E3 and E5 enhancers, presumably by disrupting EBF1, GABPA and ELF1 binding sites.
- Autoimmune disease
- Transcription factor