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A single nucleotide polymorphism in Ncf1 has been found with a major effect on chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases in the rat with the surprising observation that a lower reactive oxygen response led to more severe diseases. This finding was subsequently reproduced in the mouse and the effect operates in many different murine diseases through different pathogenic pathways; like models for rheumatoid arthritis, encephalomyelitis, lupus, gout, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The human gene is located in an unstable region with many variable sequence repetitions, which means it has not been included in any genome wide associated screens so far. However, identification of copy number variations and single nucleotide polymorphisms has now clearly shown that major autoimmune diseases are strongly associated with the Ncf1 locus. In systemic lupus erythematosus the associated Ncf1 polymorphism (leading to an amino acid substitution at position 90) is the strongest locus and is associated with a lower reactive oxidative burst response. In addition, more precise mapping analysis of polymorphism of other NOX2 genes reveals that these are also associated with autoimmunity. The identified genetic association shows the importance of redox control and that ROS regulate chronic inflammation instead of promoting it. The genetic identification of Ncf1 polymorphisms now opens for relevant studies of the regulatory mechanisms involved, effects that will have severe consequences in many different pathogenic pathways and understanding of the origin of autoimmune diseasesThe Ncf1 gene polymorphism is associated with a lower oxidative burst response.The lower reactive oxygen response leads to more severe autoimmune diseases.Polymorphism in NOX2 genes is strong associated with systemic lupus erythematosus.