Human polymorphisms affecting gut epithelial barrier and interactions with bacteria predispose to the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The intestinal transporter PepT1, encoded by the SLC15A1 gene, mediates intracellular uptake of bacterial products that can induce inflammation and NF-kappaB activation upon binding to NOD2, a protein often mutated in CD. Hence, we tested SLC15A1 polymorphisms for association with IBD.
Twelve SLC15A1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 1783 individuals from 2 cohorts of Swedish and Finnish IBD patients and controls. An in vitro system was set up to evaluate the potential impact of SLC15A1 polymorphism on PepT1 transporter function by quantification of NOD2-mediated activation of NF-kappaB.
The common allele (C) of a coding polymorphism (rs2297322, Ser117Asn) was associated with CD susceptibility both in Sweden and in Finland, but with genetic effects in opposite directions (risk and protection, respectively). The best evidence of association was found in both populations when the analysis was performed on individuals not carrying NOD2 common risk alleles (Sweden allelic P = 0.0007, OR 1.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34-2.92; Finland genotype P = 0.0013, OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.44-0.90). The PepT1 variant encoded by the C allele (PepT1-Ser117) was associated with reduced signaling downstream of NOD2 (P
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an epithelial barrier disease that is thought to result from a dysregulated interaction with bacteria in the intestine of genetically predisposed individuals. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), which is mutated in the autosomal recessive disease cystic fibrosis, modulates gut permeability, mucus production, and epithelial interactions with bacteria. The cystic fibrosis DeltaF508 mutation is commonly found in the general population and has been shown to result in a reduced number of CFTR molecules at the surface of epithelial cells. Given the important biological functions of CFTR in the intestine, we tested whether this mutation is of relevance to IBD.
Using DNA heteroduplex analysis, we investigated the distribution of DeltaF508 heterozygosity in 2568 subjects from three independent cohorts of Italian, Swedish, and Scottish IBD patients and controls.
In all three cohorts an association between DeltaF508 and Crohn's disease (CD) was observed. Specifically, DeltaF508 heterozygosity was markedly underrepresented in CD patients from Italy and Sweden (P = 0.021 and 0.027 versus controls, respectively), while stratification for disease location revealed an absence of DeltaF508 carriers among Scottish CD patients with right-sided colitis (P = 0.023 versus all other locations).
DeltaF508 heterozygosity might exert a protective effect in CD.