The IL23R A/Gln381 allele promotes IL-23 unresponsiveness in human memory T-helper 17 cells and impairs Th17 responses in psoriasis patients.
Di Meglio P., Villanova F., Napolitano L., Tosi I., Terranova Barberio M., Mak RK., Nutland S., Smith CH., Barker JNWN., Todd JA., Nestle FO.
We and others have shown that the minor, nonconserved allele Gln381 of the Arg381Gln single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs11209026G>A) of the IL-23 receptor gene (IL23R) protects against psoriasis. Moreover, we have recently shown impaired IL-23-induced IL-17A production and STAT-3 phosphorylation in Th17 cells generated in vitro from healthy individuals heterozygous for the protective A allele (GA). However, the biological effect of this variant has not been determined in homozygous carriers of the protective A allele (AA), nor in psoriatic patients. Here we expand our functional investigation of the IL23R Arg381Gln gene variant to include AA homozygous individuals. By using isolated memory CD4+ T cells, we found attenuated IL-23-induced Th17 response in heterozygous individuals. Moreover, we found that AA homozygous individuals were strikingly unresponsive to IL-23, with minimal or no IL-17A and IL-17F production and failure of human memory Th17 cell survival/expansion. Finally, IL-23-induced Th17 response was also attenuated in age- and sex-matched GA versus GG psoriatic patients undergoing systemic treatment. Taken together, our data provide evidence for an allele-dosage effect for IL-23R Gln381 and indicate that common gene alleles associated with complex diseases might have biological effects of considerable magnitude in homozygous carriers.